Illinois House of Representatives District 15

4200 Lawrence Ave. Chicago, IL 60630


Kelly Secures Property Tax Reduction for Surviving Spouses of Fallen Officers, Rescue Workers

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Language inserted into an omnibus bill passed on Thursday by state Rep. Michael J. Kelly, D-Chicago, means property tax relief is on the way for surviving spouses of police officers and rescue workers killed in the line of duty. 

“Families of fallen first responders have given society enough,” Kelly said. “We can’t give these families their loved ones back, but what we can do is ease the financial burden with regard to taxes and being able to stay in their homes.” 

Kelly introduced House Bill 2950 to provide a 50% reduction in property taxes to the surviving spouses of fallen first responders, as long as they remained in the same home and did not remarry. That bill did not advance out of committee before the deadline. 

But Kelly, a Chicago firefighter who joined the General Assembly in 2021, kept fighting and was able to insert key language from the bill into Article 10 of House Bill 2507, the Property Tax Omnibus bill, which passed unopposed through both the House and Senate this month. 

The bill cleared the General Assembly on Thursday and now moves to the governor’s desk for final approval. When it becomes law, it will take effect in 2024.

“First responders who put their lives on the line do so while trusting that, should the worst happen, the rest of us will step up and ensure their loved ones will be taken care of,” Kelly said. “That’s why this measure is so important. We’re helping take care of the families whose fallen heroes can no longer take care of them themselves.” 

Kelly’s office is reachable at 773-736-0218 or

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Kelly Hails Passage of Fire Department Promotion Reform Bill 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Michael J. Kelly, D-Chicago, is hailing the recent passage of a bill that promises to overhaul the outdated and sluggish promotion system long in place within the Chicago Fire Department.

“This bill is a win for Chicago’s brave first responders because it fixes, at long last, a system which has been broken for decades,” Kelly said. “For far too long, Chicago firefighters have asked for solutions and have instead been given excuses, rationalizations and spin. A broken system of promotions is a broken system of incentive and reward, and leads to low morale, skill and brain drain as well as losses of efficiency and effectiveness when the best people languish in roles for which they are overqualified, rather than advancing into positions from which they can lead.”

Kelly supported Senate Bill 1707, which removes exemptions which prevented the Chicago Fire Department (CFD) from being subject to the same mandated promotion processes as fire departments throughout the rest of the state. It now goes to the Governor’s desk for signature.

The CFD will now join all other Illinois fire departments in being required to create promotion lists based on transparent metrics like test scores, seniority and professional examinations. Advocates, including Kelly, say this will help solve long standing problems that have led to firefighters seeing their promotions unduly delayed due to bureaucratic inertia and meddling.

“We owe it to the firefighters who keep our families safe every single day to tell city bureaucrats and lobbyists ‘Enough Is Enough,’” Kelly said. “It’s one thing if a problem takes time to solve, or a goal takes time to implement, but the City and the Fire Department have been playing the same broken record for a generation, and nothing has changed. They’ve failed to fix it themselves, so we are taking over and we are fixing it. First responders deserve a functioning advancement system, which is why today’s action is long overdue.”

Kelly’s office is reachable at 773-736-0218 or

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Kelly Commemorates Fallen Illinois Officers at Memorial

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Michael J. Kelly, D-Chicago, honored fallen Illinois police officers following a memorial ceremony at the state Capitol Thursday.

“The brave and selfless individuals who risk their health and safety each and every day to protect our communities and our families all too often pay the ultimate price for their courage,” Kelly said. “Those who we honor here today have proven that courage beyond any question and, because they cannot, it falls to those of us who remain to take up the torch and continue to live lives full of the values of service and character that they showed us.”

Kelly is a Chicago firefighter who was appointed to the General Assembly in 2021 before being elected to a full term in 2022. During his time in office, he has been a tireless advocate for first responders and other public servants.

“Families across Illinois sleep safely because the families of these heroes have painful holes where their loved ones used to be,” Kelly said. “We must never forget, or neglect to honor, the sacrifices of our first responders.”

NameOrganizationEnd of Watch
Officer Nicholas KozakForest Park Police Dept.11-27-2021
Officer James R. SvecChicago Police Dept.12-08-2021
CBP Canine Officer Jeffrey P. Dela CruzU.S. Customs and Border Protection12-23-2021
Officer Jose M. HuertaChicago Police Dept.12-23-2021
Detective Joseph A. TripoliChicago Police Dept.1-3-2022
Deputy Sheriff Michael J. QueeneyWill County Sheriff’s Office1-8-2022
Officer Brian Romel ShieldsAurora Police Dept.1-11-2022
Deputy Sheriff Joseph R. TinocoCook County Sheriff’s Office1-13-2022
Sergeant Kenneth J. Thurman Sr.Aurora Police Dept.1-19-2022
Deputy Sheriff Brian J. NortonFord County Sheriff’s Office2-5-2022
Officer Brian L. SemberOttawa Police Dept.4-3-2022
Deputy Sheriff Nicholas D. WestKnox County Sheriff’s Office4-29-2022

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Kelly Calls Attention to Elected School Board Meetings

CHICAGO – State Rep. Michael J. Kelly, D-Chicago, is raising awareness of the upcoming change to an elected school board in the City of Chicago as well as of the meetings that city residents may attend if they wish to give input.

“The future of Chicago’s public education system will be affected by the implementation of this new type of school board,” Kelly said. “I encourage anyone who is interested in learning about the changes or who wishes to give input to attend and make their voice heard.”

There will be 21 school board members, representing 20 districts citywide. One member will be at-large. In the election of 2024, voters will elect 10 board members, while the other 11 will be appointed by the mayor. In the election of 2026, the other 11 seats will also be elected, so the entire 21-member board will then be made up of elected board members from that point onward.

Some meetings which had already been announced have already occurred, most recently on May 1. Future meetings are slated for May 5 at 1 p.m. and May 6 at 10 a.m. The May 5 meeting will be fully virtual while the one on May 6 will be in-person only and will be held in the auditorium at Curie High School, 4959 S. Archer Ave. in Chicago.

Those who would like more information or who wish to testify during a meeting are asked to email Those wishing to submit written testimony may also do so using that email address. By law school board districts must be drawn by July 1.

Kelly’s office is reachable at 773-736-0218 or

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B2B Arts Application

Through the B2B Arts Grant program, The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will distribute a historic $50 million in grant money to assist businesses, nonprofit organizations, and sole proprietors in the creative sector that have suffered losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications are being accepted by DCEO until May 10 at 11:59pm. Arts Alliance Illinois is here to make sure you have the support and tools needed for a successful grant application. Our help desk is your go-to hub for application support, and we will be hosting regular webinars during the grant application period.

Click below for more information.

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House Panel to Seek Public Input on CPS Elected Board Districts at Hearings

I’m working to make local voices heard as we transition to Chicago’s new elected, representative school board. The House is holding in-person and virtual hearings across the city where you can share your thoughts and help create the districts that will elect the new board. Find more information about the hearings and how you can participate at, email written testimony to, or contact my constituent service office at 773.736.0218 or Click below for more information.

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Kelly Collects for Toys for Tots

CHICAGO, Ill. — As the holiday season nears, state Rep. Michael Kelly, D-Chicago, is working to reduce the number of children that go without presents during the holiday season by collecting donations for new, unwrapped toys at his district office as a part of the United States Marine Corps’ annual “Toys for Tots” drive.

“We all have an opportunity to make the difference between a child opening a present this holiday season and having their hopes broken,” said Kelly. “One small donation can make an incredible impact in the life of a child who would have otherwise gone without any presents this holiday season.”

The Toys for Tots program collects new, unwrapped toys and distributes the toys as gifts to less fortunate children in local communities. The Toys for Tots program is most in need of toys for children ages 7 to 14, with the most requested toys including footballs, soccer balls, skateboards, sports equipment, games, purses and small electronics. 

Residents may drop off donations at Kelly’s constituent service office, located at 4200 W. Lawrence Ave. Chicago, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, and Fridays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The holiday season is about helping out those who might be down on their luck,” Kelly continued. “Knowing that our district’s donations could be the highlight of a child’s holiday season is why my office continues to participate in this great program.”

For more information, please contact Kelly’s constituent service office at 773.736.0218 or

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Rep. Kelly Reminds Drivers to Check Insurance Status to Avoid Issues with Electronic Verification System

CHICAGO – As Illinois continues implementation a new system designed to crack down on uninsured drivers who put other drivers, pedestrians and property owners at risk, state Rep. Michael Kelly, D-Chicago, is reminding motorists to make sure their insurance is current and meets minimum standards in order to avoid possible fees and license suspension.

“Secretary of State Jesse White’s office has highlighted the success of electronic verification, which has led to a nearly 50% decrease in the number of uninsured motorists on Illinois roadways,” Kelly said. “Having vehicle liability insurance is the law and that law is now better enforced. So, prevent unnecessary fines and possible suspension and make sure you’re looking out for others by being properly insured.”

The Illinois Insurance Verification System (ILIVS) now allows the Secretary of State to electronically verify required auto insurance coverage. If electronic verification fails, motorists will receive a letter by mail requesting proof of insurance. Failure to respond to this letter with the requested proof can result in added fees and suspension of a vehicle’s license plates. A driver operating a vehicle with suspended plates is also subject to a traffic citation. 

Kelly is reminding drivers that having current and adequate insurance is the best way to avoid issues with ILIVS. State law requires all vehicles operated in Illinois to be insured and provide coverage for least $20,000 for property damage, $25,000 related to injury or death of another person, and $50,000 related to injury or death of multiple people. Motorists can find information about Illinois’ mandatory vehicle insurance requirements by calling the Secretary of State’s office at 217-524-4946.

Motorists who receive a letter from ILIVS are cautioned not to visit or call Driver Services, and should instead contact their insurer with the reference number from the letter to obtain either required insurance or to have the insurer verify the insurance with the state. 

“This is not just for the protection of other motorists, but for the protection of the insured person as well, as the costs following an accident can be significant without sufficient insurance,” Kelly said. “Being properly insured is the law, it’s the only right thing to do, and it’s the smart thing to do financially.” 

Kelly’s constituent service office is reachable at 773-736-0218 or

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Kelly Statement on Mass Shooting in Highland Park

CHICAGO – Following the mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Ill., state Rep. Michael Kelly, D-Chicago, issued this statement: 

“Yesterday’s unspeakable tragedy in Highland Park yet again highlights the ongoing crisis of gun violence sweeping our country. I am saddened by the terrible impact I know that this is having on the families there, and the community as a whole. As a first responder, I know from experience about the hard work and preparation that goes into a response like what we saw yesterday from local officers along with their state and federal partners. Our communities are safer because of the dedicated people whose full time job it is to foresee the unforeseeable and to respond. That said, however, our goal must be more than response. We must set the bar higher—tragedies like this are, and should be regarded as, preventable. Unlike those whose first priority is political expediency—who would have us “move on” before the victims’ blood has dried and before the suspect is even in custody—I stand with those of my colleagues who believe in taking action rather than grandstanding. We have not been idle, but we must do more to protect our communities and to prevent another such calamity.”

For more information, call Kelly’s office at 773-736-0218 or email

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