I’m State Representative Jack Franks. I represent the 63rd District in the Illinois House of Representatives, which includes the Northern and Western portion of McHenry County. As a third-generation resident of McHenry County, my top priority is to fight on your behalf in our state’s capitol.

On this site, you will find information about my stances on public policy issues, upcoming events and recent news. You can also contact me directly by clicking here. Democracy works best when citizens participate in the process, so please let me know your thoughts on how we can work together get Illinois back on the right track.

Since I took office, your support and ideas have been invaluable, and together we have changed Illinois for the better. From shining a bright light on corruption and government wrongdoing, to fighting for better schools and a lower tax burden, your input has made a difference. But, there is still so much to be done.

Our state needs serious budget and ethics reforms and we must make government function more efficiently. In my next term, I will continue fighting for the things you and I both believe in: a friendlier business climate, lower taxes, and sensible, transparent spending.

Thanks again for visiting my website.







Bill that freezes expansion of local government approved by Illinois Legislature

May 19, 2015 - Reboot Illinois

Legislation that places a four-year ban on the creation of any new local taxing bodies has passed the Illinois General Assembly and now awaits the governor’s approval. Under House Bill 228, new units of local government would be exempt only if they’re formed from the consolidation of two or more existing entities. The bill’s chief sponsor, state Rep. Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, has been an ardent advocate for local government consolidation and property tax relief. Illinois has more than 7,000 local government units throughout the state, all of which have the ability to levy local property taxes... READ MORE

Madigan calls for millionaire surcharge amendment vote; Rauner on education and more from INN Radio

May 16, 2015 - Illinois News Network

The Speaker of the House is pushing for a constitutional amendment to ask voters to increase taxes on millionaires in Illinois, but the Governor is skeptical any increase would get to where it’s intended. In a Friday press release, House Speaker Michael Madigan says the revenue generated from such a tax would fund elementary and high school education. But, speaking to a group of school superintendents Friday, Governor Bruce Rauner says all kinds of increased revenue has been brought about with the purpose being for funding education, but it hasn’t worked. “Everytime we wanna raise a tax we say it’s to fund schools. We brought casinos in to fund schools. We brought the lottery in to fund schools. We’re now trying to tax successful... READ MORE

Property tax freeze goes on hold

May 16, 2015 - The Rock River Times

SPRINGFIELD — Debate got testy again on the floor of the Illinois House Friday as representatives considered a property tax freeze measure sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo). In the end, the measure — an amendment to House Bill 695 — gathered 37 votes, enough to pass the amendment but fewer than the 60 votes it would take to move legislation from the House. The bill remains alive but on hold. Republicans decried the measure as flawed and said the fact that it was being debated in amendment form and not as a piece of legislation ready to move forward showed Democrats were just grandstanding. Franks disagreed... READ MORE

Illinois property-tax freeze called a stunt, faces uncertain future

May 15, 2015 - Northwest Herald

A bill to freeze property taxes statewide could be headed to an Illinois House vote, although a Republican boycott of the measure makes it very unlikely it will pass. House Bill 695, a shell bill modified Monday by state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, would forbid any Illinois taxing body from raising property taxes except by voter referendum. But the 37-23 vote to approve the language was entirely Democratic – 38 Republicans, who want to see what Gov. Bruce Rauner has in mind for a freeze, voted “present” and allege that the freeze is nothing more than a politically-motivated attempt to stymie Rauner’s agenda. Sixty votes are needed for the bill to pass. Franks, who ... READ MORE

Debates Continue; State's Budget Future Still Unclear in Springfield

May 15, 2015 - WAND 17

Springfield - Like deja vu, on Friday, lawmakers found themselves in heated debates over legislation that was designed to fail. "In advancing this legislation, aren't you curious about the impact this is going to have on the people that provide education and our public safety?" asked state representative Bob Pritchard. Woodstock state rep Jack Franks, sponsor of legislation that would freeze property taxes in Illinois responded by saying,"there won't be in an adverse impact on government. I think there will be a positive impact on... READ MORE

Correction: Closer Look-Privatizing DCEO story

May 4, 2015 - Belleville News

In a story May 3 about legislation to privatize much of the work of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, The Associated Press misattributed a quote criticizing the plan. The quote should have been attributed to Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, not to Ron Baiman, who is no longer with the organization. A corrected version of the story is below: In this April 27, 2015 photo, Jim Schultz, left, the new†director of the Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, visits with†Craig Lindvahl, a new member of the†Illinois State Board of Education,†before a reception in their honor at the Thelma Keller Convention Center in Effingham, Ill. Rauner says his plan to privatize the state's economic development agency will improve job creation in Illinois. But similar plans in other states have sometimes created legal and... READ MORE

Our view: Support for Franks' consolidation bill

May 1, 2015 - Northwest Herald

Illinois has too many units of government. At just under 7,000, it has way too many. This is one of the reasons why Illinois has the second highest property taxes in the nation, behind only New Jersey. In recent years, there have been a few much-needed efforts to reduce the number of Illinois governmental units. Those efforts include a bill filed by state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, that recently passed the state House, 61-40. If approved by the Senate and signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, Franks’ legislation would grant the McHenry and Lake county boards the power to eliminate certain units of local government if it finds these units provide either unnecessary services or duplicative... READ MORE

Jack Franks trying to remove government consolidation bill sponsor

April 28, 2015 - Northwest Herald

In a rare open feud between two McHenry County state lawmakers, Rep. Jack Franks is asking Senate President John Cullerton to remove Sen. Pam Althoff as chief sponsor of his recently passed government consolidation bill. The Illinois House on a 61-40 vote last Friday passed House Bill 229, a bill by Franks, D-Marengo, that would grant the McHenry and Lake county boards the same power to eliminate certain units of government that DuPage County was... READ MORE

Bill to restrict red light cameras passes House

April 24, 2015 - Dispatch Argus

SPRINGFIELD — A bill to greatly reduce the number of red light cameras in Illinois rolled through the state House on Wednesday. After about an hour of debate, Rep. David McSweeney’s measure, House Bill 173, passed by a vote of 79-26. The bill prohibits red light cameras in non-home rule communities. If passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, it would put the brakes on the cameras in 35 communities in eight counties where the cameras now are allowed: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, Madison, McHenry, St. Clair and Will. The legislation... READ MORE

Our View: Red light camera abuse closer to ending

April 24, 2015 - Northwest Herald

This week’s legislative action on red light cameras was a step in the right direction. Now, the Illinois Senate needs to do its part to pass the law. On Wednesday, the Illinois House approved a bill sponsored by state Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, that would eliminate red light cameras in non-home rule communities. Some cameras, such as those in Algonquin and Lake in the Hills, will remain under this legislation The vote wasn’t even close, 79-26. McSweeney was joined... READ MORE

Lake, McHenry counties could get government-cutting power

April 24, 2015 - Daily Herald

Lake and McHenry County leaders eventually could be allowed to eliminate certain layers of government, a power DuPage County officials already have. The Illinois House on Friday approved extending the power to Lake and McHenry counties with only one vote to spare. The legislation from state Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat, doesn't name what governments the county boards could ax. But if the county board or chairman appoints a majority of the government's board, it could be eliminated. "It puts the power in the hands of our constituents and our county government," Franks said... READ MORE

House taps breaks on new specialty plates

April 20, 2015 - Illinois News Network

SPRINGFIELD — The state House on Monday pumped the brakes on the creation of new Illinois specialty license plates. The bill, sponsored by Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, would have the state replace the creation of new specialty plates with specialty stickers. It sped through the House on a 108-1 vote and will now move to the Senate. At the moment, there are 193 types of valid, state-issued license plates for passenger vehicles alone, representatives said. Most of Illinois specialty plates are fundraisers for various causes, from autism awareness to wetlands preservation. Pricing for a random-number specialty plate generally involves an additional charge of $40, $15 of which stays with the state so taxpayer dollars aren’t used to make the special plates. The remaining $25 goes to the motorist’s cause. The state requires legislation... READ MORE

Help available for McHenry County residents seeking FOID, concealed carry cards

April 15, 2015 - Northwest Herald

WOODSTOCK – State Rep. Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, said residents can contact his constituent service office for assistance in completing applications for Firearm Owners Identification cards and concealed carry permits. “With the elimination of paper applications for FOID cards and concealed carry permits, it has become more difficult for many Illinoisans to exercise their Second Amendment rights,” Franks said. “Seniors and others without access to the Internet have been burdened by this change.” Beginning March 16, the Illinois State Police phased out the use of paper applications for concealed carry permits and FOID cards; the applications can now only be processed online. Residents who need individual assistance or who cannot... READ MORE

Pumpkin pie measure advances in Legislature

April 16, 2015 - Pantagraph

SPRINGFIELD — It seems most Illinois lawmakers are fans of pumpkin pie and because they are, it's a step closer to becoming Illinois' official state pie. On a 108-3 vote, the Illinois House on Thursday endorsed a proposal floated by state Rep. Keith Sommer to bestow that designation on the popular holiday dessert. Although he acknowledged Illinois faces serious problems, Sommer said the proposal highlights the fact that 95 percent of the processed pumpkin is produced in Illinois, with the majority of that coming from his hometown, Morton... READ MORE

McHenry County group moves to halve township government

April 9, 2015 - The Times

SPRINGFIELD — A citizen group trying to consolidate township governments in McHenry County says the change could save as much as $40 million over 10 years. If successful, the McHenry County Citizens for Township Consolidation would bring the number of townships down from 17 to as few as eight. Mike Shorten, chairman of the group, says the goal is not to reduce services but to restructure to make delivery of services cost-effective. “There are lot of people in townships who value the services and we’re honestly not focused on trying to impact those services, just changing the structure with the intent of decreasing costs,” he said... READ MORE

Ratings firm's undisclosed report sees Illiana as financial risk

March 27, 2015 - Chicago Tribune

John Greuling, president of the Will County Center for Economic Development, is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner not to "stick a fork" in the Illiana Tollway project, despite its apparent financial challenges. A six-page report issued by the center this month says the need for the toll road between Interstate 57 near Wilmington to I-65 near Lowell, Ind., "has never been greater than today" and would be a catalyst for economic growth.... READ MORE