Chesney Capitol Report 2019 Newsletter

Chesney Opposes Tax Hikes on Illinois Families

State Representative Andrew Chesney Voted to Oppose:

  • Online Sales Tax Increase
  • Gas Tax Increase
  • Vehicle Title Fee Increase
  • Cigarette Tax Increase
  • E-Cigarette Tax Increase
  • Video Gaming Tax Increase
  • Vehicle Registration Fee Increase
  • Legislative Pay Raise

Leading by Example

Illinois residents are craving for their public servants to lead by example to prove to overtaxed skeptics that Illinois can change its ways.

One of the first votes Representative Chesney took was against a push to pay executive agency directors more money than the over six-digit salaries they receive under law.  Governor Pritzker later came through and boosted their pay further through his own “private funds”. 

“The icing on the cake was to sign a $1,600 pay raise for legislators.  I debated returning this pay raise to the state coffers.  Instead, I will be donating my legislative pay raise, to area organizations that reflect Northwest Illinoisans values.  I will continue to remember the meaning of “public service” and do my very best to personally and professionally lead by example,” Chesney continued.

Protecting the Sanctity of Life

Co-sponsoring a chartered bus trip of over 50 Northwest Illinois pro-life advocates as they joined statewide groups in converging in the Illinois State Capitol this Spring to advocate for lives of the unborn and against the expansion of abortion and infanticide in Illinois, Representative Chesney fought for the sanctity of life through opposing the Reproductive Healthcare Act and opposing repeal of the Parental Notification of Abortion Act of 1995.

“If we don’t stand for life, not much else that we stand for or fight for here in Springfield matters.  I am proud to be pro-life and am honored to join these passionate advocates in attempting to restore a culture of life in Illinois,” Rep. Chesney went on to say.

Rep. Chesney was contacted by local pro-life advocates who hoped to visit Springfield as part of a day-long Rally for Life in the State Capitol.  When he learned of the effort, he offered to co-sponsor the bus trip (which he funded privately, with no taxpayer funds utilized) and to greet the pro-life advocates in Springfield during their visit.

Preventing Animal Cruelty and Abuse

Providing bipartisan co-sponsorship of a bill preventing animal cruelty to pets, Representative Chesney made it clear that animal abuse and cruelty will not be tolerated in Illinois.

House Bill 3381, which Chesney sponsored, extends additional offenses preventing a person dwelling in the same household from owning, harboring, or controlling of pets if a twice-convicted animal abuser resides in the same household.  Pet advocacy groups supported the legislation to prevent another household member from taking control or owning animals if their household member is convicted of aggravated cruelty, violation of animals for entertainment or a violation of dog fighting. 

Chesney also backed legislation to prevent cosmetics testing on animals beginning 2020- Chesney co-sponsored Senate Bill 241, which was signed into law this Summer as Public Act 101-303.

Standing Up for Agriculture & Conservation

Rep. Chesney has earned a reputation in the Illinois House as being a strong defender of Illinois’ agricultural economy and a champion of conservation efforts. 

“Our agricultural economy in Illinois is very important to my district in Northwest Illinois,” said Chesney after being appointed to the Illinois House Agriculture & Conservation Committee. 

Hitting the ground running, Rep. Chesney sponsored House Bill 2425, which aims to incentivize endangered species protections and has the support of the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Chesney also passed House Bill 2777 in the Illinois House after hearing from several sportsmen in his district with concerns about the disposition of the deer taken as part of the disease management programs administered by IDNR.  IDNR has indicated the deer are donated to various groups in need, however concerns have been brought forward suggesting further transparency and accountability are needed.  House Bill 2777, which was signed into law this Summer as Public Act 101-066, requires IDNR annually report to the General Assembly information regarding deer management programs.

Protecting 2nd Amendment Rights

Opposes Bill to Collect Bio-Metric Data of 25% of Residents

Andrew Chesney voted to protect 2nd Amendment Rights by opposing Senate Bill 1966, an omnibus bill requiring Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Card renewals occur twice as often (from every ten to every five years), an increase in the renewal fee and mandatory bio-metric data (fingerprinting) collection for all gun-owners.

“According to the Illinois State Police’s own numbers, over 110,000 citizens in the counties I represent are active lawful FOID card holders.  That means 1 in every 4 residents,” said Chesney.  “Mandatory fingerprinting would mean that the State Police would be in possession of fingerprints for 25% of law-abiding citizens.”

“The problems in Chicago related to violent crime have nothing to do with law-abiding citizens exercising their rights in a lawful manner in the rest of Illinois,” Chesney continued.  “Those law-abiding citizens should not have their rights infringed while nothing new is done to enforce current laws against criminal acts.”

Senate Bill 1966 passed by a vote of 62-52-0-4.  Rep. Chesney spoke out on the House Floor before voting NO.  The legislation later stalled in the Illinois Senate due to public outcry.