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Meier named Champion of Free Enterprise by Illinois Chamber of Commerce

Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) has been named a Champion of Free Enterprise, an award given by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce to legislators who have made special contributions to the defense of free enterprise, and the furtherance of economic opportunities for Illinoisans. Meier was one of three State Representatives to earn a 100% pro-jobs rating from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “Advocating for more jobs and economic development in my district is a top priority,” said Rep. Meier. “I’m honored to be recognized by the business community for my pro-jobs voting record. We have to work that much harder to keep and attract businesses in the region due to our proximity to Missouri. I will continue to promote our region as the best location for businesses to call home and to expand their business.” Continue reading

Meier: Emergency Session Ends with Pay Raise for Lawmakers, Unbalanced Budget and No Plan to Reopen

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) was disappointed with the Illinois General Assembly’s action following the emergency session which ended after midnight on May 24th in Springfield. The legislative session ended with lawmakers receiving a pay raise, a budget which spent billions the state doesn’t have and they skipped town without a vote to safely reopen Illinois earlier than Governor Pritzker’s ‘Restore Illinois’ plan. “With less revenue for state government and record unemployment, it makes zero sense for the legislature to give themselves a pay raise and spend money the state doesn’t have,” said Rep. Meier. “I voted against the state budget because it makes promises the state can’t afford to keep. With billions in debt and less revenue for the state, now more than ever must our state government tighten its belt and stop digging ourselves deeper into debt.” The State of Illinois owes more than $7.4 billion in unpaid bills, with 74,064 invoices waiting to be paid. Illinois’ estimated revenue for Fiscal Year 2021 which begins July 1, 2020, and ends July 1, 2021 is $36.8 billion. Yet, the Democrat-controlled legislature approved a $42.8 billion budget which included borrowing $5 billion. The legislature anticipates Governor Pritzker will sign the budget very soon. Continue reading

Rep. Meier: Childcare Centers Can Reopen May 29

Childcare centers are allowed to reopen Friday, May 29 thanks to child care advocates, State Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena), and State Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville). More childcare centers will now be allowed to reopen in Phase 3 of Governor Pritzker’s plan as more families head back to work. According to Rep. Meier, “With Missouri already reopened and barbers, salons, retail, and manufacturing reopening on May 29, it’s good to know people returning to work in Illinois will have more access to child care.” Last week Rep. Meier and 27 other House Republican members sent a letter to Governor Pritzker, urging him to allow all Illinois child care providers to reopen as regions move to Phase 3. The reopening of childcare centers was previously listed as a Phase 4 item in Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan. Today the Governor announced that all 5,500 of Illinois’ child care centers that were not deemed as “essential” may indeed reopen on May 29 when all four regions of the state move to Phase 3. “As childcare owners are mostly women, and women would be the ones forced to stay home if they can’t find sufficient childcare when trying to return to work, Governor Pritzker’s plan as originally proposed, left women all over the state high and dry,” Rep. McDermed said. Newly reopened providers will have reduced capacity, of no more than 10 children per classroom, for the first 4 weeks. Once they have provided care safely for four weeks and have followed the new health, social distancing, and sanitation routines and guidelines, they will be able to expand to larger group sizes, though not their full licensed capacity.

Rep. Meier files bill to reject pay raise for lawmakers

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) filed legislation for Illinois lawmakers to reject the 2.6% pay raise scheduled to take effect July 1, 2020 and also take away the 2.4% pay raise given to lawmakers last year. According to state law, each year lawmakers are scheduled to receive a ‘pay raise’ unless they vote to reject the annual cost of living adjustment. “With record unemployment and less of revenue for the state, it makes no sense for the legislature to give themselves a pay raise,” said Rep. Meier. “The state will need to tighten its belt and squeeze every penny it can get for the fiscal year 2021 budget. There is no way the legislature can justify giving themselves a pay raise.” State Rep. Charlie Meier filed House Bill 5777 to reject the annual pay raise for Illinois senators and representatives. If the House and Senate do not vote to reject the pay raise during session this week, then lawmakers will receive the $1,805 pay raise on July 1. If enacted, Meier’s legislation would reduce lawmaker salaries totaling $3,433. Rep. Meier added, “When lawmakers received a pay raise last year, I donated the raise to five nonprofits serving southern Illinois. If this year’s pay raise is not rejected by the legislature, then I will donate this year’s raise again to local nonprofits.”

Rep. Meier on KMOV Channel 4 St. Louis discussing opposition to Pritzker’s emergency rule to put mom and pop business owners in jail

Watch Meier’s interview on KMOV St. Louis here. According to Rep. Meier, “I find it disgusting this Governor will try to lock up mom and pop business owners just trying to feed their families and pay their bills while his family travels around the country and he continues to let rapists and murderers out of jail! Who would have thought he was planning on using those cells for people paying taxes.”

Rep. Meier and Congressman Shimkus Host Telephone Town Hall April 23

Join Rep. Charlie Meier and Congressman John Shimkus for a special Telephone Town Hall “COVID-19 Edition” on Thursday, April 23 beginning at 6:00 p.m. If you do not receive a call from us and you would like to participate and ask questions, call 888-652-0386 by 6:00 p.m.

Meier: Greenhouses, Garden Centers, and Nurseries Can Remain Open

I want to address the confusion concerning greenhouses, garden centers, and nurseries. Yes, you can remain open provided adequate social distancing is in effect. It is clear these essential businesses can stay open according to Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order 2020-10 and is reaffirmed under DCEO’s Essential Businesses & Operations Frequently Asked Questions UPDATED on 4/9/20 which reads as follows, “Our original guidance provided that stores that sell supplies that assist with either (a) agriculture; or (b) products for landscaping can continue to sell those products to the public, provided adequate social distancing is complied with. This guidance remains valid.” For centuries our forefathers have provided for their families with large gardens. In the twenty-first century, we have community and urban gardens that provide fresh healthy food for a large portion of our population who can’t afford it. Healthy diets help with overall health which helps fight COVID-19. These essential agriculture businesses must remain open as we enter the season when family gardens, community gardens, and urban gardens need to be planted now – not May, June, or July. These plants will not survive in the containers they are in or have time to mature if not planted now. Our health and well-being depend on this essential agriculture industry.

Meier Calls for Passage of Bills to Reduce Cost and Regulations for Law Abiding Gun Owners

State Representatives Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), Mike Marron (R-Fithian), and Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) held a press conference in Springfield Wednesday alongside fellow Republican legislators and 2nd Amendment supporters to discuss solutions to end delays in FOID card processing, and discussed their shared 2nd Amendment focused legislative agenda. The lawmakers expressed their concerns that fund sweeps of $28 million from the Illinois State Police fund have led to delays in processing FOID card applications and renewals. Meier said when he first took office in 2013, there was a slight delay in FOID processing, but the delay has gotten much worse. “My office receives anywhere from 3 to 5 e-mails and calls a day from constituents that are affected by the delay in FOID renewal,” said Rep. Meier. “The fund sweeps have led to long delays for gun owners to get their FOID cards renewed. The FOID program has been used as a piggy bank to fund other programs. If the State is going to require the fee, and require the FOID, then we owe it to our citizens to run an efficient and effective program. If we can’t do that, the program should be eliminated.” Continue reading

Op-Ed: Corruption is the root of Illinois’ problems

As I head back to Springfield for the 2020 legislative session I am reminded of the important issues our state is faced with today. The issue I hear most from people in my district lately is, what is the legislature going to do to stop corruption in state government? I could not agree more that something must be done. Corruption is the root of Illinois’ problems! It’s arguably the reason why our state is faced with many issues such as high property taxes, billions in debt and of course gerrymandered districts which are drawn to protect entrenched politicians. On January 29th during the Governor’s annual ‘State of the State’, I was happy to hear that Governor Pritzker announced his support for stronger ethics reforms such as legislation I co-sponsored that would ban lawmakers from serving as paid lobbyists. However, I was disappointed we didn’t hear anything about fair maps. The current process of drawing political maps to suit the politician instead of putting the choice in the people’s hands is corrupt. Our forefathers platted America using straight lines instead of drawing boundaries. Taking the redistricting process away from politicians goes hand in hand with much needed ethics reforms. It’s time for the legislature to pass stricter ethics reforms immediately. There should be no excuses, the Democrats control the majority in the legislature and they have yet to pass any ethics reforms that will help end the culture of corruption. As of today, the FBI has ongoing investigations pertaining to specific state lawmakers, lobbyists and elected officials in Chicago. Most recently, on January 28th a Chicago Democrat Senator plead guilty on corruption charges. The recent guilty plea by a member of the Illinois General Assembly should provide a sense of urgency for the legislature to approve these reforms. I have co-sponsored seven bills to stop corruption in our state, it’s time for the Democrat majority in the House to join my colleagues and I by allowing these bills to be voted on in the legislature. I hope House Democrats give us the opportunity to vote on stronger ethics reforms as soon as session reconvenes.

545 non-citizens registered to vote by SOS, Meier demands action to fix error

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) is calling on the Office of Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) to suspend the Automatic Voter Registration program given the fact that 545 non-citizens were registered to vote in Illinois during a 17-month period. “The right to vote is for American citizens only, this is the law,” said Rep. Meier. “The fact that nearly 600 non-citizens were registered to vote is a serious mistake which needs to be addressed. This is exactly what myself and many other colleagues were concerned about when the automatic voter registration bill was signed into law. I am told the issue has been corrected by SOS, but I think more work needs to be done to ensure this mistake does not happen again which is why I support a temporary halt to the Automatic Voter Registration program.” The Automatic Voter Registration “program error” became public following a recently disclosed December 18, 2019 letter from the Secretary of State’s office to the Illinois State Board of Elections that voter registration information of 545 self-identified non-citizens was forwarded to the Board of Elections. That registration was in-turn forwarded to local election authorities for finalization of the voter registration process. With absentee voting set to begin on February 6, Rep. Meier and his Republican colleagues are demanding accountability and immediate action to preserve the integrity of our elections and want to learn more about what went wrong and how to fix it. Following calls by Meier and his colleagues in the House, a legislative hearing to discuss the Automatic Voter Registration program is scheduled on Thursday, January 30th at the State Capitol. Rep. Meier added, “Something needs to change, only in Illinois do we have non-citizens ‘mistakenly’ being registered to vote while law-abiding gun owners have to wait months to obtain their FOID card. We need to get our priorities straight and follow the Constitution. Our law-abiding citizens deserve better.”