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.







Talk of Illinois term limits revived in the House - Democrat introduces bill for Illinois term limits

January 25, 2015 - Reboot Illinois

he debate over legislator term limits has resurfaced in the Illinois House, but this time, it’s missing Republican fingerprints. State Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, introduced House Bill 257, or the Legislative Leader Term Limit Referendum Act, which would place a non-binding advisory referendum question on the 2016 general election ballot. Voters would be asked whether there should be term limits for the Speaker of the Illinois House, Senate President and both chambers’ minority leaders. “The results of the recent elections demonstrate clearly that Illinois residents and taxpayers are fed up with the immovable status-quo in this state,” Franks said. “Placing term limits on legislative leaders is an idea that I hear regularly from constituents and they deserve the opportunity to make their voices heard directly and specifically on this... READ MORE

Jack Franks taking another stab at Illinois government consolidation bills

January 24, 2015 - Northwest Herald

Bills aimed at helping consolidate some of the state’s almost 7,000 units of government may have a better chance of passing with a new governor in Springfield – or at least that’s what the sponsor hopes. Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, re-filed bills with the new General Assembly aimed at giving counties more power to dissolve more units of government, and placing a four-year ban on lawmakers’ ability to create new ones. They are similar to bills he attempted to pass during the last session. Franks said he is hopeful that the election of Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican who ran on a platform of trimming state government and reining in local property taxes, will better the odds... READ MORE

Jack Franks pushes term limit referendum bill for Illinois legislative leaders

January 23, 2015 - Northwest Herald

New legislation being pushed by State Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo, would place on November's general election ballot a referendum on limiting the terms of state legislative leaders. House Bill 257 would create the Legislative Leader Term Limit Act, which would ask a non-binding, advisory question of Illinois voters, a news release from Franks said. Voters would be asked whether the speaker of the Illinois House, president of the state Senate, and both House and Senate minority leaders should have limited terms as leaders of the Illinois General Assembly's two chambers, the release said. "(This is just for legislative leaders) to start with," Franks said... READ MORE

Republican McSweeney and Democrat Franks agree on Illinois income tax decrease

January 23, 2015 - Illinois Review

SPRINGFIELD, IL - Two members of the Illinois House from differing parties agree that Illinois’ income tax needs to be lowered to spur on more economic activity. Republican State Representative David McSweeney filed legislation last week that would drop the state’s income tax for individuals back to three percent immediately. His proposal would also drop the corporate tax down to four-point-eight percent. McSweeney says efficiencies and cuts can be found in areas like Medicaid, but lowering taxes will bring in more revenue by attracting more businesses to the Land of Lincoln. “We have a lot of work to do, but we need to focus on creating new jobs in this state and the best way to do that is by reducing ... READ MORE

McHenry County communities examine effects of red-light cameras

January 23, 2015 - My Suburban Life

FOX RIVER GROVE – When the contract for the red-light camera at Route 22 and 14 comes up for renewal, Trustee Steve Knar wants Fox River Grove to take a second look. The camera is one of six scattered across four McHenry County communities, the first of which was installed in 2008. "I think — how should I say — it’s certainly not a popular thing with the residents, and it’s right at 22 and 14, and that’s a crossroads of our town," Knar said. "We hear from a lot of residents." The conversation hasn't gotten too far, mostly because the village would be on the hook for the cost of removing the cameras if they cancel the contract midway through, he said. State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, filed legislation earlier this month... READ MORE

Lisa Madigan backs Rauner over Quinn in Lottery fight

January 23, 2014 - Crain's Chicago Business

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today blocked a deal struck in the final weeks of the Quinn administration to revamp management of the Illinois Lottery, saying the arrangement is illegal and would needlessly cost taxpayers. In a stunning letter to Lottery Director Michael Jones, Madigan said she has decided to "formally disapprove" a Dec. 9 termination agreement between the Lottery and the controversial private firm that's managed it, Northstar Lottery Group. The Quinn administration said the agreement would resolve long-standing disputes over Northstar's performance, saving the state $10 million a year. But it was immediately ripped by aides to incoming Gov. Bruce Rauner... READ MORE

Sunshine is best disinfectant

January 18, 2015 - The News Gazette

Illinois' new governor wants to change how people view state government for the better. Elected officials new to the job often move quickly to signal a change in direction, and Gov. Bruce Rauner is no exception. After being sworn in Monday, he quickly issued a series of executive orders designed to toughen the ethical standards to which members of his administration and executive department employees will be held. One Rauner measure is aimed at preventing the recurrence of last summer's state hiring scandal at the Illinois Department of Transportation or any other state department or agency. Rauner directed that the names of individuals hired for "political" reasons will be made public, including the agency or department... READ MORE

Our View: Transparency takes a step

January 17, 2015 - Northwest Herald

The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down: Thumbs up: To new Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for implementing a 2-year-old transparency law, which was pushed through by state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo. The implementation will add local salary information to an online database of state workers, their jobs and their salaries. It’s a necessary step for transparency in government. Thumbs down: To the continuing legislative trend of forcing unfunded mandates on schools that are absorbed by local property taxpayers. The concepts sound great on the surface in Springfield – require all high school students to be trained to use automatic defibrillators, require tornado shelters at schools, etc. But the costs aren’t considered. Legislators often point fingers at local taxing bodies for high taxes... READ MORE

Rauner orders posting local government salaries online

January 15, 2015 - Daily Herald

Back in 2012, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation that called for salaries of most county, township and city workers to be put on a website that already displays similar information for most state workers. State Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat and sponsor of the bill, said it was a simple move to let taxpayers know more about government. It never happened. Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday used one of the executive orders of his infant administration to get the process moving. Former Gov. Pat Quinn's administration never implemented the law, arguing it didn't have to because it wasn't given the money to follow through. "The issues here are not only at the state level," Rauner said. "They're... READ MORE

Political Hires Names To Be Made Public

January 15, 2015 - WUIS 91.9

Anyone will be able to look up the names of political appointees to state jobs under an executive order Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed Thursday, Jan. 15. By law, the vast majority of state employees are to be hired based on merit, not their political affiliation. Higher-level jobs are the exception. A governor gets to choose whoever he wants to be in his inner circle, and in policy-driven jobs. Rauner's executive order requires the names of these political hires to be published on a state website. Rauner, who took over from Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday, says it's a direct response to patronage hiring at the Illinois Department... READ MORE

Jack Franks introduces bill to expand disabled veterans’ tax exemption

January 13, 2015 - Northwest Herald

More disabled veterans in Illinois would be eligible for an existing tax exemption under legislation recently introduced by state Rep. Jack Franks. House Bill 159 moves to expand eligibility for the disabled veterans standard homestead exemption by providing tax relief to veterans with service-connected disabilities of 30 percent or more, as certified by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, a news release from Franks’ office said. "I've been trying to do this for a while now, because it's so important," the Marengo Democrat said of the legislation. "In McHenry County, we have such high property taxes and these are folks who made such important sacrifices for our country and our freedoms." As it currently stands, the exemption... READ MORE

Bruce Rauner inauguration: McHenry County lawmakers react to Illinois governor's address

January 12, 2015 - Northwest Herald

Bruce Rauner has officially taken the reins as Illinois governor after his inauguration Monday in Springfield. Related Links Bruce Rauner inauguration: McHenry County lawmakers react to Illinois governor's address GOP's Bruce Rauner sworn in as Illinois governor, freezes spending McHenry County-area reps have high hopes for Bruce Rauner’s first address Miller: Rauner wants to fight Madigan with cash, but compromise also Bruce Rauner meets with Illinois Democratic legislative leaders Rauner outlines plan, addresses criticism during breakfast in McHenry McHenry County lawmakers share their thoughts on the Republican's inauguration: State Sen. Dan Duffy, R-Lake Barrington, who attended the inauguration, said Rauner has given Illinois a needed "dose of reality." "I came away extremely excited and encouraged about the future. I already see this as a new day in Illinois to return it to its former glory, and Rauner has already taken the first big step by freezing all... READ MORE

From the community: Franks Introduces Tax Credit for Disabled Veterans

January 12, 2015 - Chicago Tribune

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Legislation introduced today by state Rep. Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, significantly expands a property tax exemption available to Illinois veterans with service connected disabilities. "The willingness to sacrifice life and limb for one's fellow countrymen makes every veteran a hero and to those who return from battlefields overseas with injuries that will never fully heal, a special debt is owed," Franks said. "We must make it an urgent priority to ensure that no one who has given so much on our behalf loses their home as a result of Illinois' excessively high property taxes." House Bill 159 broadens eligibility for the disabled veterans standard homestead exemption, providing tax relief to veterans with service connected disabilities of 30% or more, as certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Former service members with disabilities between 30-49% are... READ MORE

Lawmakers Approve Special Election

January 9, 2014 - Alton Daily News

Illinois lawmakers were in and out of the Capitol Thursday, passing a special election bill as an all-Democrat show. The Democrats control both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly, and they will in the new General Assembly that convenes next week. After Monday, the Republicans take over the governor’s office, creating what Republican lawmakers call a phony emergency. “We don’t have a constitutional conundrum,” argued State Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-Elmhurst), calling the measure “political thievery.” Democrats said they were simply returning the power to the people in cases in which, for example, someone is elected to a statewide constitutional office and cannot serve the final 28 months or more of... READ MORE

What Rauner's Been Telling Rank And File Legislators

January 8, 2014 - Alton Daily News

If you listened to Bruce Rauner on the campaign trail, you'd think that he would want to steer clear of Illinois' lawmakers. He reviled them. Especially those who had long careers in Springfield. Rauner, remember, ran on a platform advocating for term limits. But that was before he won election. Now, as he prepares to be Illinois' next governor, Rauner has spent a time reaching out to the politicians he'd once vilified. Amanda Vinicky checked in with some of them about how it went. In early December, Gov.-elect Rauner visited Springfield when the legislature was in session. Rauner gave a primary reason for the trip: to meet with members Illinois House and Senate... READ MORE

From the community: Franks: Our Best Days Are Ahead of Us

January 7, 2014 - Chicago Tribune

When the gavel struck on the afternoon of December 3, adjourning Illinois' 98th General Assembly, there was a sense of deflation on the floor of the House of Representatives. Like most Illinoisans, the members of the legislature began 2014 under no illusions about the grim state of our state. A budget riddled with waste, public pension systems nearing insolvency, an obsolete tax code, weak economic growth and soaring property taxes - we knew then that we would start the next year with many of the same problems. cComments Perhaps we should look to what most of our neighboring states have done - a progressive state income tax structure. Those states are all in better financial shape than Illinois. And Wisconsin has the best funded state pension system out of all 50 states. Individual state income tax rates:... Billy Bolt... READ MORE

From the community: Franks Urges Residents to Avoid Dangerous Cold

January 6, 2014 - Chicago Tribune

Woodstock, Ill. - With the arrival of sub-zero temperatures, state Representative Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, is urging area residents to exercise increased caution when outdoors or traveling in frigid weather. "Temperatures at or below zero are not just inconvenient, they can be very dangerous," Franks said. "Ordinary daily activities, like grocery shopping or grabbing the mail, expose you to conditions that are health hazards." cComments Got something to say? Start the conversation and be the first to comment. Add a comment 0 Franks recommends several simple steps to stay safe, the most important of which is to limit travel during times when temperatures fall below 10 degrees. To help protect pedestrians, children and others who are out... READ MORE