State Representative Sandra Pihos (R)

Years served: 2003 – Present

 

Committee assignments: Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education; Consumer Protection; Aging (Republican Spokesperson); Elementary & Secondary Education; Public Policy & Accountability; Disability Services; Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (Republican Spokesperson); Charter Schools; Mandates of the Elementary & Secondary Education.

 

 

TAXES AND SPENDING

 

Pihos voted for a huge electric rate increase.

Pihos helped pass SB1652 – a huge electric rate increase sought by ComEd and Ameren. (2011)

 

Pihos was absent when the vote was taken for the Democrats’ pork-bloated FY2008 $59 BILLION budget.

Republicans who voted for HB3866 demonstrated inability as a legislator to seriously address Illinois’ chronic fiscal crisis that’s attributable to out-of-control spending, an antiquated pension system and government corruption. (2007)

 

Pihos voted to allow the Mayor of Chicago to DOUBLE the telephone tax.

SB0837 would give Mayor Richard Daley the ability to raise the telephone tax from $1.25 to $2.50 per month for all customers. (2007)

 

Pihos voted against electric rate relief.

In January 2007, a 10-year electric rate-freeze expired, exposing thousands of Illinois residents to huge increases in their electric bills. SB1592 provided $1 billion in rate relief to Illinois consumers. More importantly, the law establishes an independent Illinois Power Agency that will be responsible for planning and purchasing electricity at the lowest possible price for consumers. (2007)

 

Pihos voted to increase the real estate transfer tax by $30 million.

SB0075 increased the cost of selling a house in Illinois by adding a $10 tax to closing fees. (2005)

 

Pihos voted to allow non-Home Rule sales tax increases to double.

According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, SB0272 allows non-Home Rule municipalities to increase their sales tax 100%. Governor Blagojevich rightly vetoed the bill, but his veto was overridden. (2005)

 

Pihos voted against reducing the taxpayers’ burden to the state pension fund by $1.1 BILLION.

According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, SB0027 limited end-of-career salary hikes for government school teachers and other government employees to 6% instead of the usual 20%. Such a reform would reduce state taxpayers’ contribution to state retirement funds by over $1.1 billion yearly. (2005)

 

Pihos voted for Governor Blagojevich’s FY2005 Partial Operational Budget totaling $45.5 billion.

SB3340 included substantial increases for healthcare and education but did not address out-of-control spending. According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, after months of debate in the legislature, the FY2005 Capital Budget was passed totaling $9.1 billion. FY2005’s $54.6 billion state budget represented a 4% or $2 billion increase over the FY2004 budget. (2004)

 

Pihos voted for a state income-tax increase that hits Illinois businesses for $29 million.

According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, SB2207 redefines that phrase “business income” in a way that benefits the big-spenders in Springfield. (2004)

 

Pihos voted for a computer software sales-tax hike.

SB2205 raised state sales taxes on computer software by $64 million. (2004)

 

Pihos was absent when the vote for a $750 million pork spending bill was taken.

SB1239 included $300 million in new pork spending and about $450 million to finish projects started by former Governor George Ryan. $556 million of the pork spending bill was vetoed by Governor Blagojevich. Pihos voted to override most of the Governor’s line item vetoes. (2003)

 

Pihos did not vote against a property tax hike to increase patronage employees’ pay.

Pihos was in attendance when the vote was taken, but voted “present’ refusing to take a principled stand. SB1881 will cost taxpayers $31 million per year. Governor Blagojevich vetoed SB1881. Both Houses overrode the veto. (2003)

 

Pihos was absent for the vote for an income-tax hike on natural gas.

SB1733 is a $42 million income-tax hike on Illinois businesses that choose to purchase cheaper out-of-state natural gas. (2003)

 

Pihos was absent for the vote to keep the Illinois Death Tax alive.

SB1725 kept the Illinois Estate Tax alive, even as it was being phased out at the federal level. According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, this new death tax will cost Illinois taxpayers as much as $500 million per year by 2010. (2003)

 

Pihos voted for Governor Blagojevich’s $10 BILLION bond deal

Pihos voted to nearly double the state’s indebtedness with the largest bond issuance in Illinois history, by far. Pihos’s vote for HB2660 also helped net controversial Republican National Committeeman Bob Kjellander $809,000 in “finder’s” fees. Kjellander is a key figure in an ongoing probe of corruption in Illinois. (2003)

 

Pihos was absent for the vote to greatly increase fees on Illinois trucking companies.

By greatly increasing the fee burden on Illinois trucking companies, SB0841 nearly destroyed the industry in our state. (2003)

 

Pihos was absent for the vote for 300 tax and fee increases (Governor Blagojevich’s FY2004 $52.6 billion budget).

SB1903 increased state spending by 9% (or $6.5 billion) by the end of fiscal year 2004, and imposed $350 million in tax hikes, mainly on Illinois businesses. According to the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, SB1903 added $2 BILLION to the cost of doing business in Illinois. (2003)

 

 

EDUCATION

 

Pihos voted against groundbreaking school choice legislation.

Pihos voted against SB2494 which would have given parents in underperforming Chicago school districts a voucher to cover educational expenses at nonpublic schools. SB2494 represented a lifeline to poor children who face bleak futures as a consequence of the awful and dangerous public schools in the City of Chicago. To read more about this disgrace – go here. (2010)

 

Pihos voted to exempt teachers, principals and school superintendents from FOIA disclosure.

At the urging of the teachers’ unions and just months after approving what was billed as a sweeping reform of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, Pihos voted for SB315. The bill exempts from FOIA disclosure of performance evaluations for teachers, principals and school superintendents. Also supporting SB315 was the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 which seeks the same exemption for all public employees who receive performance evaluations. (2010)

 

Pihos listened to the teachers’ unions and voted against a Constitutional Convention.

HB0025 urged the electorate to support the calling of a Constitutional Convention. The Illinois Education Association (IEA) and Pihos fear giving taxpayers the opportunity to debate and decide upon school funding reforms in Illinois. Instead, the IEA and Pihos want to keep the power in the hands of politicians whose votes can be easily bought and controlled by teachers’ union PAC money. (2007)

 

Pihos voted to prohibit parents’ right to alternative education.

HB0232 prohibits the State Board of Education and school boards from establishing, maintaining, or in any way supporting any virtual schools or virtual classes for elementary or secondary students in this State. (2007)

 

Pihos was absent for the vote to increase education spending by nearly $600 million.

Republicans who voted for HB3866 proves they are incapable and unwilling to address the public education-spending crisis in Illinois. Instead of leading with bold reforms, too often Republicans follow the Democrats’ dishonest argument that blames school failures on “not enough money.” (2007)

 

Pihos voted for a $45 million taxpayer-funded experiment – Universal Preschool

According to National Taxpayers United of Illinois, SB1497 will once again prove that “universal preschool” schemes yield benefits that simply do not justify the costs involved. (2006)

 

 

STEM CELL RESEARCH

 

Pihos voted for what is referred to by some as the “clone and kill bill”.

HB3589 would have provided state funds for embryonic stem-cell research. This bill, cynically titled the “Ronald Reagan Biomedical Research Act” despite the former president’s strong pro-life convictions, was termed the “Embryonic Clone & Kill Bill” by critics. (2004)

 

 

PROTECTING OUR FAMILIES

 

Pihos voted against silent reflection and student prayer.

SB1463, amended the Silent Reflection and Student Prayer Act to require (instead of allow) a teacher to observe a brief period of silence at the opening of every school day with the participation of all pupils assembled. (2007)

 

Pihos voted to give children access to contraceptives and condoms.

SB0715, “School Health Centers” Act creates 20 new “school health centers.” These school-based clinics can dispense contraceptives, condoms and refer girls for abortions. The Administrative Code for School-Based/Linked Health Centers states that medical services WILL include “family planning” and “prescribing, dispensing, or referring for birth control”. (2007)

 

Pihos voted against internet filters in public libraries.

HB1727 required public schools and libraries to filter/block internet access to illegal obscenity, child pornography, and material harmful to minors. (2007)

 

 

GAY RIGHTS

 

Pihos voted to add sexual “orientation” to the Illinois Human Rights Act.

HB3186 amends the Illinois Human Rights Act to add sexual orientation to the list of other protected classes already covered by the act (like race, gender and religion). The intent of this “gay rights” bill, as stated by its sponsor, is to force public acceptance of sexual behavior irrespective of those who morally or conscientiously object to the homosexual lifestyle. (2005)

 

 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

 

Pihos did not vote against forcing state and local governments to recognize “consular identification cards” issued by foreign governments.

Once again, Pihos was in attendance when the vote was taken but voted “present” refusing to take a principled stand. SB1623 forces state and local governments to recognize the consular identification cards issued by foreign governments and commonly used by illegal Mexican immigrants. (2005)

 

Pihos voted for in-state tuition for illegal aliens.

HB0060 allows undocumented immigrants to attend state universities at in-state tuition rates. (2003)

 

 

REFORM (or the lack thereof)

 

Pihos voted to exempt teachers, principals and school superintendents from FOIA disclosure.

At the urging of the teachers’ unions and just months after approving what was billed as a sweeping reform of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, Pihos voted for SB315. The bill exempts from FOIA disclosure of performance evaluations for teachers, principals and school superintendents. Also supporting SB315 was the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 which seeks the same exemption for all public employees who receive performance evaluations. (2010)

 

Pihos voted to water down ethics reform law.

Pihos voted to exempt transportation projects from the new ethics law (SB761). Despite the awesome demands of riding around on a High Horse every day since Rod Blagojevich’s arrest lecturing about the need to reform Illinois’ culture of corruption – state lawmakers still somehow found time to gut their own brand new “landmark” ethics reform law. This of course would be the same ethics reform law these same lawmakers hailed as “a big step forward.” (2009)

 

Pihos was absent for the vote to make it more difficult for write-in candidate to get on the ballot.

SB662 changed the deadline for filing to be a write-in candidate to 61 days before an election.  The purpose for this change is purely for incumbent protection. (2007)

 

Pihos desperately opposes a common sense reform that would once again allow ALL Republicans to directly elect the senior leadership of their own Illinois Republican Party.  

Pihos continues to keep rank-and-file Republicans from having the same voice all Illinois Democrats enjoy in their State Party. Pihos opposes SB600 – returning to the better system of direct election Illinois Republicans used until the late 1980’s. Illinois has been a “Blue State” ever since the change to the easily corruptible system Pihos dishonestly still protects.

 

Pihos did nothing to help cleanse the Illinois Republican Party of the tainted National Committeeman Bob Kjellander.

Bob Kjellander could have been removed and replaced with an honest leader a lot earlier, if only Republican “leaders” like Pihos were serious about reform. Pihos never joined the rank-and-file and more serious officials who overwhelmingly called for Kjellander’s immediate ouster. It’s only because Pihos and a tiny handful of other old guard faces refuse to unify on reform that even this simplest of clean-ups remain difficult to accomplish.  

  

END

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