SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – During his first weeks as a new member of the Illinois House of Representatives, state Rep. Nathan Reitz, D-Steeleville, has supported proposals to protect middle-class families while also standing up for the values of Southern Illinoisans.
“In my first month serving as State Representative, I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to work on important priorities for our region. I am committed to building a stronger middle-class, and supporting tax relief for the hard working families throughout my district. We need to work to build our local economy, and I will continue to work to lower taxes, create new high wage jobs, protect our Second Amendment rights, and to protect agriculture in our state.
Focusing on proposals that are important to the district, Reitz passed Senate Bill 1498. This bill requires the Illinois State Board of Higher Education (ISBE) to work collaboratively with the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) to create the Agriculture Education Pre-Service Teacher Internship Program. The legislation is intended to increase the number of agricultural teachers by allowing for better opportunities and programing for students wishing to enter the agricultural field.
“Agriculture is single-handedly one of largest contributors to the success of our local economy,” Reitz said. “As a lifelong southern Illinoisan, I understand the value and importance that agriculture brings to every corner of our state, as well as our neighbors and the rest of the country.”
As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Reitz also supported the passage of pro-Second Amendment legislation to shield southern Illinois from sweeping new gun laws and regulations enacted by the Firearm Dealer Licensing Certification Act. Specifically, Senate Bill 1139 would slash burdensome red tape that has been placed on gun owners who are following the law in Illinois, including members of the military and our police officers, and would ensure that the Sparta World Shooting Complex is exempt from new restrictions placed on gun dealers. Reitz also opposed Senate Bill 1966, which is an anti-firearm measure that would impose stricter background checks on gun owners, including fingerprints and other fees.
“I’m proud to have co-sponsored a bill that puts southern Illinois values first by protecting our Second Amendment rights,” Reitz said. “There is no clear or one-size-fits-all solution on the issue of guns, and it is important that we hold Chicago accountable for burdensome overregulation. There is more work to be done, but I will make sure that Southern Illinois always has a strong voice in Springfield and what’s important to our families.”
Reitz also supported measures that would help protect those with pre-existing conditions, demanding that insurance companies cover critical health monitors and screenings. Reitz supported Senate Bill 2026, which protects health care for millions of Illinoisans with pre-existing conditions while also lowering skyrocketing medical costs on working families.
“Health care is a fundamental human right. Those with pre-existing conditions should not be punished for circumstances beyond their control,” Reitz said. “It is time that we demand increased accountability from insurance companies to meet the demands of those they are intended to serve.”
Additionally, Reitz supported a balanced budget which pays down more than $1 billion in old bills and holds the line on middle-class taxes.
“With the help of my colleagues, we passed an honest and balanced budget that begins to repair the damage done over four years of crisis,” Reitz said. “This budget prioritizes our commitment to education by investing $375 million in new funding for the future of our children. It also pays down over 1 billion in outstanding old bills to remedy years of dysfunction.”