Weekly News from Leader McCombie


The Illinois House of Representatives voted to pass a new state budget at 4:30am last Wednesday morning while most Illinois families were sleeping. The new budget includes $746.5 million in tax increases, pay raises for politicians, and no reforms to reduce the cost of living on families or seniors on fixed incomes struggling to make ends meet. I voted NO.  

Taxpayer beware: the Governor and his allies in the legislature also pulled a bait-and-switch on the grocery tax. We voted to eliminate the state’s 1% sales tax on groceries – not taking effect for more than 18 months from now, on January 1, 2026 – but the Democratic supermajority snuck in a provision allowing municipalities and counties to impose their own sales tax of up to one percent not just on groceries, but on top of their existing general sales tax! All without local voter approval via the referendum process. I did not vote on this political gimmick. 

It all adds up to record-high spending: the largest budget in state history. In just five years the budget has ballooned $13 billion dollars more to reach more than $53 billion with no actual tax relief for families, and close to a billion dollars in various tax hikes, putting us on a poor fiscal path forward.  

After the budget passed along partisan lines, I released the following statement:  

“This budget is a negligent political document that comes at a massive price to Illinois families. The partisan approach by Democratic leaders has pushed the state onto a failed path of taxes and overspending while ignoring necessary structural and ethical reforms. 

“Over the past few weeks, the House has passed bills that address vital needs in the state. The Illinois House Republican caucus, representing parts of all 102 counties, is responsible for holding the majority party accountable on spending. This is especially important with the passage of a budget with bloated political projects, taxpayer-funded benefits for noncitizens, and politician pay raises, which come at the expense of the state’s most vulnerable residents.” 


State Representative Patrick Windhorst of Metropolis has served as the House Republican Floor Leader since the start of the 103rd General Assembly.  He is the Republicans lead on all debates and played a vital role in leading discussion on important pieces of legislation—including the multiple budget bills that passed in the early morning hours.  

Despite holding 78 seats in the chamber, it took Democrats three tries (and having to eventually break the very rules they created) to reach the 60 votes needed to approve more than $1.1 billion in revenue increases, including a tax hike on sportsbooks and businesses, to balance the $53.1 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2025. 

 “I think it should be clear to everyone in this state what this super majority is willing to do to ram a tax increase down the throats of the citizens of Illinois at 4:30 in the morning,” Windhorst said, his voice eventually rising to a shout. “Three votes! Three votes!” Check out his floor remarks here: https://youtu.be/Sxt3giM6ais.


Supporters of the radical climate agenda passed legislation on Saturday creating new regulations for the capture, transport, and storage of carbon dioxide in underground wells on privately-owned land in rural Illinois – with or without the consent of every impacted landowner. 

Under the provisions of the Senate Bill 1289, private landowners could be compelled to have carbon sequestration wells installed in pore spaces on their property, which would be pumped from agricultural, automotive and manufacturing facilities via a pipeline that would be built to store the gas beneath our fertile farmland. 

Private property rights are the backbone of our American system of ownership and freedom, and I will continue to advocate for the landowners throughout Illinois who oppose this program.  


Legislation to expand patient-centric healthcare options for Illinois residents is on its way to becoming law. Senate Bill 3599, introduced by my colleague Rep. Jackie Haas, requires insurers to cover Mobile Integrated Healthcare services for eligible recipients starting January 1, 2026. An eligible recipient is a person who has received emergency hospital services three times in four consecutive months or for whom Mobile Integrated Healthcare services would prevent hospital admission or readmission. 

Mobile Integrated Healthcare programs deliver a high level of care provided by emergency medical services personnel in a location that is best for the patient. These individualized programs reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital readmission rates, resulting in lower costs for patients. 

This bill saves time and money for patients and healthcare workers and is a huge win for Illinois families. Community-based mobile integrated health care services will be available when medically necessary. This may be offered as an alternative to the more costly utilization of emergency medical services accessed through 911 and emergency departments. Mobile Integrated Healthcare services are provided on-site by emergency medical services personnel. This model acts as an alternative to bringing patients with chronic medical conditions to overcrowded emergency departments by allowing care to be administered outside of a hospital environment. 


I continue to seek input from northwest Illinois residents on Chronic Wasting Disease and the efforts by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to combat it. CWD has affected areas in northwest Illinois.  

I have met with the state agency tasked with handling the ongoing CWD disease and am in the process of pursuing legislation to find state fixes that will better accommodate constituent concerns. Illinois residents, especially here locally in our district, are very unhappy with how the DNR has managed CWD and I am determined to engage with stakeholders on both sides of the issue to be a part of a solution. 

The CWD program has been considered to affect the deer population of northwest Illinois and as I continue to engage with hunters and the DNR to find a solution, I want to hear from those impacted on their ideas as to how we can move forward. 

I invite you to share your views by completing a survey: Leader McCombie Sportsmen Survey – Illinois House Republicans (ilhousegop.org). 

The survey will help me determine the next best steps on alternative management to CWD. With questions or concerns, residents can contact my office by phone at 815-291-8989.   


We have officially launched our 8th Annual Summer Reading Club for elementary school students who live or go to school in the 89th District. The “Reading BUZZ” program is offered to encourage students to start or continue positive reading habits.  

I am excited to again offer a summer reading program to encourage and challenge students to keep up their reading while away from school. Summer break is fun, but it can also be a great time to learn and connect with family and friends over stories you read, and I encourage students to participate this year! 

Reading BUZZ challenges elementary school students to read eight (8) books before July 15th. 

The summer reading sign-up sheets have been delivered to schools and local libraries, and an electronic copy can also be accessed online here: Reading BUZZ – Tony McCombie (repmccombie.com) 

Participation in this program can overlap with any other summer reading program offered through area libraries, schools, or other organizations. 

Participants will receive a special treat to reward them for their reading and will receive a certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives. To participate, a parent or guardian must fill out and sign the form and return it to my office by July 15th: 9317B IL Rt 84, Savanna, IL 61074. 

Please contact my district office with questions at 815-291-8989.


Sweet Corn Day was suggested by a local constituent and Rep McCombie presented a bill to designate August 1st as Sweet Corn Appreciation Day in Illinois. The legislation was passed in 2022 with unanimous support. This year’s event will again take place on August 1st and will be the third annual event, carrying on a great tradition of celebrating the love for sweet corn! Stay tuned for more details to come.