Rep. Keicher appointed as House GOP Conference Chairperson, targets schools, tax relief, job growth

State Rep. Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, speaks Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, at the Egyptian Theatre during the Safe Passage domestic violence vigil.

SYCAMORE – State Rep Jeff Keicher, R-Sycamore, was appointed this week as the House Republican Conference Chairperson in Springfield, and said he plans to work across the aisle on legislation meant to strengthen schools, job growth and tax relief.

The appointment was for the 103 General Assembly, and will make Keicher responsible for facilitating discussion on legislative policy proposals and strategies for moving bills forward. He also will preside over GOP caucus meetings.

“The Illinois General Assembly has a lot of work to do in 2023,” Keicher said in a Thursday statement. “We will work to pass with our colleagues across the aisle needed policy changes to create jobs, strengthen schools, support our agriculture industry and enact meaningful and lasting property tax relief.”

Keicher’s new year has also seen the passage of Illinois Senate Bill 4228 on Jan. 5, which amended a bill signed into law in 2022. Keicher said he believes the amendments will help strengthen a 2022 law related to tax relief he introduced and sponsored.

The legislation amended four sections of the Decennial Committees on Local Government Efficiency Act, which requires local taxing bodies to review and report on their efficiency once every decade. The act also compels taxing bodies to consider if consolidating government operations would achieve cost savings to taxpayers while providing greater accountability.

Municipalities and counties are exempt from the requirements of the bill, however.

“Since I was elected to office, I’ve heard the top complaint is property taxes,” Keicher said in a separate statement. “The new law allows local decisions on what units of government are important. I am gratified that my colleagues on the Democratic side of the aisle have embraced the value of this idea of empowering our citizens.”

Keicher said he believes Illinois taxpayers are too often “beaten up by the number of local units of government that are able to levy residential property taxes.”

“What my original bill and this new bill does is to make sure that we right-size local government units at the property tax level so that every 10 years we put it in the hands of the taxpayers to decide whether or not they want to be taxed for that function of government,” Keicher said in a statement.