E-newsletter August 3, 2015

House Votes to Reject Pay Raise for Lawmakers
The Illinois House approved legislation I co-sponsored which prevented lawmakers from receiving a pay raise this month.

House Bill 576 will keep the current base legislative salary for lawmakers at $67,836 for Fiscal Year 2016. The legislation also prevents increases in mileage, lodging and meal reimbursements for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

With billions in state debt and billions in unpaid bills, lawmakers should not be rewarded with a pay raise. It is unconscionable that previous General Assemblies set it up for lawmakers to receive this COLA and I was proud to vote against this unneeded pay raise.
I have waited two months for the legislature to refuse the pay raise scheduled to take effect this year. I now call on the State Senate to approve the bill this week so that Governor Rauner can sign it into law.

First Bill Signed Into Law to Promote Renewable Energy
Governor Rauner signed my first bill into law last Tuesday. Growing Illinois’ economy while providing an economic benefit to the State is the goal of this new law. The State owns acres upon acres of land which could be utilized to benefit the State. I look forward to the recommendations to be reported by this new task force and I am optimistic the findings will be positive for the State of Illinois.

P.A. 99-0155 is intended to promote growth within the renewable energy sector and to provide an economic benefit to the State. The new law creates a task force to review the various issues that surround the construction of renewable energy facilities on State-owned property and is meant to address those issues. The Task Force will be dissolved upon submission of the report to the General Assembly.

Upcoming Traveling Office Hours
I will be hosting traveling office hours in Illiopolis on Tuesday, August 11 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at the Illiopolis Village Hall located at 302 5th Street. Government works when the taxpayers get involved and inform elected leaders of their thoughts and concerns. I look forward to meeting with the residents of Illiopolis.

Traveling office hours are open to the public. Appointments are encouraged but not required, scheduled meetings will take place in the order in which they were received. To schedule a meeting, please call 217-782-0053. 

No Deal on State Budget Continues
As the State entered the fifth week of the new fiscal year without a balanced budget. The Democrat majority again refused to negotiate in good faith and instead continued their piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

My colleagues and myself continue to stand united in our support for a truly balanced budget that protects the interests of taxpayers, working families and seniors. When a budget deal is reached, stay tuned as I will keep you updated as events unfold.

State Employee Pay Update
On Friday, July 17th the Illinois Supreme Court denied Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s request for direct appeal and consolidation of the two matters involving state employee payroll.

Also on Friday, the First Appellate Court (Cook County) issued an order vacating the temporary restraining order limiting payroll to the federal minimum wage and returned the matter to the circuit court for evidentiary hearings in support of the relief requested by the Attorney General.

With conflicting court rulings over whether state employees should be paid in the absence of a state budget, Comptroller Leslie Munger is continuing to process payrolls to all state employees in their full amounts.

General Assembly Back in Session Wednesday
The Illinois House is back in session on Wednesday, August 5 at 12:00 p.m. Listen LIVE here.

In the News
State budget impasse likely lasting to August – Peoria Public Radio; July 27, 2015
Butler Says It’s Too Soon To Consider Arbitration For AFSCME Contract – WUIS; July 27, 2015
Nearing one month of new fiscal year and no budget – IL News Network; July 28, 2015
State Rep. Butler visits Cresco Labs – Lincoln Courier; July 29, 2015

Explore the 87th District

Enjoyed attending my first Tourism Advisory Board meeting on Monday, July 20.

Toured the Hopedale Medical Complex on Friday, July 24. Wonderful facility!
Fun morning Saturday introducing Alan Mak, British Member of Parliament to Springfield.
Thanks to The Greg and Dan Show for hosting me Tuesday morning to discuss the State budget situation.
Pictured with Lance Thome of W.E. O’Neil Construction during a tour of the construction site for Cresco Labs in Lincoln Wednesday.
Thanks to Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti for visiting Delavan Wednesday to review the progress on recovery from the July 16 tornado. The outpouring of support has been tremendous and the community has really rallied around those impacted by the storm.