E-newsletter for July 2nd

My Take on Governor Rauner’s Budget Veto
Last Thursday Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed the bulk of the Illinois budget that the Democratic-controlled General Assembly sent him. It is unfortunate the Democrat leadership forwarded Governor Rauner a budget that is nearly $4 billion out of balance. The Legislature is required by the Illinois Constitution to enact a budget that is balanced. Instead, the majority party in the House and Senate chose to pass-the-buck by passing an out-of-whack budget.

I share Governor Rauner’s vision that “we must be partners in enacting a balanced budget that meets critical needs within the resources available”. I hope that today’s action sends a clear message that negotiation and compromise are needed on all sides to ensure Illinois moves forward with a realistic and balanced budget. The time for political games is long past. Instead of the extraneous votes and sessions that have nothing to do with balancing our budget, the Legislature needs to concentrate on working with the Governor and solving this problem.

Committee Reviews Impact Study of Military Facilities
On Tuesday I took part in my first meeting of the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee. This meeting was also the initial meeting for our Lt. Governor.

At the first meeting we reviewed an economic impact study of military facilities and employees in Illinois. The committee will be working closely with the Illinois Congressional Delegation to ensure our assets are protected under a potential BRAC round in the future, which could possibly be in 2017. My focus serving on this committee is to continue advocating for our military personnel and bases. The leadership by Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti is an asset to this committee and I look forward to taking part in future meetings.

30 Day Budget Rejected
On Wednesday the Illinois House rejected Speaker Madigan’s proposed 30 day state budget. The temporary budget failed to receive enough votes because the budget digs Illinois deeper into debt. I’m supportive of funding all of State Government in a temporary manner until we reach a compromise budget. The proposal from Speaker Madigan is not a genuine proposal to fund state operations; it does not actually fund the salaries of staff to carry out the few programs chosen by the Speaker to be funded. On top of that, this proposal could very possibly create severe cuts to other programs not outlined in the bill.

We need to quit the political games and have productive, collaborative negotiations to craft a compromise budget. We must fund the services of State Government, but that needs to be done within the means we have on hand.

FAQs for State Employees Affected by Budget Situation
As State Representative, I understand state employees have questions on how their benefits will be impacted as the state budget is no longer in place beginning July 1. The following Q&As were designed to help answer any questions you may have.

Legislation to Pay Government Employees During Budget Impasse Fails to Receive a Vote
Today marks the second day of Illinois’ new fiscal year without a state budget. With no state budget enacted yet, I co-sponsored legislation to ensure thousands of state and university employees continue to receive their paycheck.

If no budget is enacted by July 15, the State of Illinois will be unable to cut checks to thousands of state and university employees. However, under a 2014 law passed by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly, lawmakers, legislative staff and judges will still receive their paychecks, with or without a new budget in place. Senate Bill 274 (P.A. 98-682) included a “continuing appropriation” for the salaries and operational expenses of legislators and judges.

House Bill 4235 would include state and public university employees in the continuing appropriation law so that those employees would continue to receive paychecks in the event a new state budget is not in place by July 15.

In the News
Rauner vetoes 19 budget bills, sets up state shutdown – WCIA: June 26, 2015
State lawmakers point fingers over budget impasse; temporary budget in limbo – SJR; July 1, 2015
TJ Hart: State Rep Butler: “Dogs and Ponies on Parade” – WMAY 970AM; June 29, 2015

Explore the 87th District
I added a couple of new hats to my office collection. Welcome Williamsville Bullets and PORTA Blue Jays.

At my first meeting of the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday.