|Smiddy Focuses on Gun Rights, Government Efficiency as Legislative Session Comes to End|
|News Releases - Civic News & Info|
|Written by Rep. Mike Smiddy|
|Monday, 03 June 2013 09:33|
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Smiddy (D-Hillsdale) concluded his first legislative session with a record of responsible budgeting, making government more efficient, and protecting Illinoisans’ Second Amendment rights.
“My goal as a legislator has been to serve as a voice for the working families in our community,” Smiddy said. “Families deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent efficiently and not on wasteful government services, and I have been working hard to ensure that their voices are heard loud and clear.”
To help working middle class families, Smiddy supported numerous measures to enforce and protect Illinois’ Prevailing Wage Act to guarantee fair pay for workers. He co-sponsored Senate Bill 1470 to require prevailing wages to be paid for clean-up work on leaking underground storage tanks under the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Smiddy also sponsored legislation to ensure that contractors bidding for public works projects are considered “responsible bidders” who uphold labor standards, including paying a prevailing wage to its workers. To further help working class families and older residents hit hard by recent health care budget cuts, Smiddy supported a measure to extend basic health care coverage to thousands of low income adults.
A staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, Smiddy sponsored a number of gun rights initiatives, including concealed carry legislation that would make Illinois the last state in the nation to allow citizens to carry concealed firearms in public. In a strong showing of bipartisanship, House Bill 183 passed the House with 89 votes and will be considered by the governor. Smiddy actively opposed measures that would limit the rights of law-abiding gun owners or create a set of overly complicated patchwork laws. He opposed House Bill 1296, a failed proposal to divest the state’s pension funds from economy-boosting gun manufacturing companies, such as Rock River Arms in Colona.
“For too long in Illinois, the anti-gun lobby and its supporters have exerted undue influence in
Springfield and blocked law-abiding citizens from exercising their rights to bear arms,” said Smiddy. “Sending concealed carry legislation to the governor signals that the legislature is finally ready to recognize our constitutionally-protected rights. This is a positive first step in the right direction to guarantee the basic right to protect ourselves and our families.”
To streamline government and cut down on government bureaucracy, Smiddy sponsored legislation to abolish the state’s Central Management Services agency (CMS) and consolidate its functions into other existing agencies. With an annual budget topping $1 billion, CMS serves as the state’s administrative arm. House Bill 2416 was not called for a vote, but Smiddy plans to continue pushing this legislation in future legislative sessions. Continuing his efforts to save taxpayer dollars, Smiddy co-sponsored House Bill 71 to crack down on Medicaid fraud and enact tough penalties on individuals who help others obtain fraudulent benefits.
“I chose to run for office last year because I was angry at the state’s track record of wasting our hard-earned tax dollars,” Smiddy said. “We are taking proactive measures to reduce spending and pay down our debts, but there is much more we should be doing to make government more efficient. Residents need good jobs, a quality education system, and property tax relief to help them keep their homes. They don’t need or deserve more government bureaucracy and red tape.”
To protect seniors from being defrauded out of their life savings through phony long-term investment schemes, Smiddy introduced House Bill 2969, which will be sent to the governor for approval. The bill will prevent scam artists from escaping prosecution by extending the amount of time consumers have to seek legal action against the scam artists.
“As the cost of living increases, many seniors living on fixed incomes may turn to financial advisors or investors to make their dollars stretch further,” said Smiddy. “Unfortunately, sometimes these advisors turn out to be nothing more than scam artists looking to make a quick buck at the expense of someone genuinely looking to do the right thing for their financial future. This bill will help those who unknowingly fall victim to these schemes seek retribution from the perpetrator.”
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