State Sells Surplus Aircraft Fleet
On Wednesday Governor Rauner announced the State of Illinois successfully sold the State’s five remaining surplus aircraft for more than $2.5 million as part of continued efforts to reduce the State’s aircraft fleet.

“The successful sale of the state’s surplus aircraft is some much needed good news for taxpayers,” Governor Bruce Rauner said. “In addition to earning $2.5 million on the sale of the aircraft, the State of Illinois achieved significant savings by avoiding more than $1 million in State resources on upcoming inspections and repairs for unneeded aircraft.”

The sale comes after three previous attempts by the Department of Central Management Services failed to sell all the aircraft. In April of 2014, nine of the State of Illinois’ 21 aircraft were ordered to be sold. Following three consecutive auctions, spanning six months and two weeks, 5 of the State’s 9 surplus aircraft remained to be sold, including the 3 most expensive aircraft.

Governor Signs Bill to Secure Federal Funding
Last Thursday Governor Rauner signed legislation (SB 2042) to protect Illinois from losing federal funding. The legislation received bipartisan support and was pushed by myself and fellow Republican colleagues in the General Assembly. SB 2042 will allow “pass through” funds given to Illinois for programs mandated or strongly encouraged by the federal government.

Although SB 2042 was a Senate bill, the final language approved by the General Assembly and the Governor was developed in the Illinois House after pressure from House Republicans. We pointed out that the overall FY16 budget impasse was holding federally-funded programs “hostage.” Even though the underlying money to pay for these federally-funded programs had been paid by Illinois residents as part of their federal tax payments, Washington was not transferring funds for these programs to Springfield until the legislature approved legal appropriations to allocate spending the federal funding. Stay tuned as I will continue to keep you updated as events unfold regarding state finances and the current budget impasse.

State Fair Commemorates Topinka
On August 18th I had the privilege of attending the ceremony to name a street on the State Fairgrounds “Judy Baar Topinka Lane” in honor of the most colorful and energetic public official in Illinois history. Topinka had a passion for the State Fair and a genuine commitment to public service. I was honored to take part in the ceremony honoring the life of Judy Baar Topinka.

Balloon Festival Coming to Lincoln Friday
This weekend (August 28-29) head to Lincoln to enjoy seeing the hot air balloons in the skies of Logan County. Morning and evening flights both Friday and Saturday (weather permitting). At dusk, the balloons will come back to the Airport and re-inflate for evening glows. This is a spectacular event that is enjoyed by the young and old alike in Lincoln.

House Back in Session September 2
The Illinois House is back in session September 2nd at 11:00 a.m. Listen LIVE here.

In the News
No races today: Impasse brings change to Governor’s Day – Herald & Review; 8-19-15
Lawmaker absences grow as summer session rolls on – WCIA 3; 8-26-15
Butler: Weekly House Sessions “Useless” – WTAX 1240AM; 8-26-15
Rep. Tim Butler on the Committee of the Whole session in the Illinois House – WTAX 1240AM; 8-26-15

A big thank you to Alec Myers of Edinburg for indulging me with showing
his cow Majesty during the State Fair’s celebrity beef showmanship contest.

Stopped by the Logan County Department of Public Health on August 17th
for a tour and briefing on all the services provided by the department.

August 18th was a memorable day at the Illinois State Fair as we 
renamed a lane on the Fairgrounds for a great public servant,
tremendous member of the GOP – Judy Baar Topinka.

Stopped by today’s Veteran’s Fair organized by Rep. Rodney Davis. 
Rep. Avery Bourne and Erica Jeffries, the director of the IL Department 
of Veterans Affairs were there as well.

The highlight of my day yesterday was definitely a tour of the
under-construction Hand of Fate Brewing Company on the square.
Great things happening in this picturesque community!