Panel to Discuss Illinois Government Sept. 22 in Springfield
I will be participating in a forum hosted by the Better Government Association next week in Springfield. The topic of discussion will be ‘how legislators will tackle Illinois’ long-running troubles’. If you would like to attend the forum scheduled Thursday, September 22 at 4:00 p.m., you may RSVP online. The event is free and space is limited, if you are unable to attend the forum it will be broadcasted on 970-WMAY.

International Walk to School Day Oct. 7

The Illinois Department of Transportation and State Board of Education are teaming up to encourage schools throughout Illinois to participate in the annual International Walk to School Day event on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
According to IDOT, this event originated in Chicago in 1997 as National Walk our Children to School Day, in an effort to create community awareness about making it safe for children to walk to school. Schools planning to participate in the event are encouraged to spend time instructing students on pedestrian safety beforehand. Visit www.walkbiketoschool.org for registration information. Click here for a list of participating Illinois schools.

Backlog of Unpaid Bills Could Rise to $8.5 Billion
Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills could top $8.5 billion without a State budget. With money being spent at FY15 rates and State revenues coming in at FY16 rates, cash outflow is exceeding cash inflow. The Office of the Comptroller, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, and other State agencies are addressing the issue by prioritizing the speed with which bills are paid; many bills are going unpaid at this time. The $8.5 billion figure is a cumulative figure representing the Office of the Comptroller’s estimate of where the unpaid-bill total will be on December 31, 2015.

Unpaid Lottery Tickets Result in Lawsuit
The legal action filed on Wednesday, September 9, seeks timely payments of prizes of more than $25,000. The lack of a State budget for fiscal year 2016 has led to the Illinois State Lottery “paying” winners of significant Illinois prizes with IOU promises-to-pay rather than cash. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. federal court.

Based on advice from the Office of the Comptroller, the Illinois State Lottery continues to pay prizes of up to $25,000 earned by Lottery winners on schedule, despite the lack of an appropriated budget. However, this advice does not extend to the largest prizes offered by the Lottery. In the recent lawsuit, two plaintiffs allege that they have been prevented from collecting prizes of $50,000 and $250,000. Five-and-six-figure prizes are paid to some lucky winners from simple games such as scratch-off cards. The lawsuit seeks full payment of the contractual prize winnings plus interest, and asks that the Lottery be barred from covering its internal (administrative and operational) costs until these prize debts are paid off.

Governor Proclaims 9/11 Patriot Day
On Friday, Governor Rauner issued a proclamation declaring September 11, 2015 Patriot Day in Illinois. The proclamation ordered all entities governed by the Flag Display Act to fly the United States and state flags at half-staff in honor of the victims of the terror attacks which occurred 14 years ago.

“It is important as Illinoisans that we observe Patriot Day to honor the thousands of men and women who lost their lives or were injured during the heinous attacks on 9/11,” Governor Rauner said. “We must also thank the first responders who rushed to help in the days following the attacks, and the military personnel who defended our country’s freedoms. As Americans, this day will forever live in our memories, which is why I am ordering the United States and Illinois State flags to half-staff as a tribute in honor of the victims.”

House Back in Session September 24
The Illinois House is back in Session on Thursday, September 24, listen LIVE here at Noon.

In the News
House members show divide in budget solution – Illinois News Network; 9-12-15

Explore the 87th District
Honored to join my friend Jean Bruner Jachino 
and Rodger Fox as we welcomed Ride for the Relay 
motorcyclists to Lincoln Sept. 5

Enjoyed visiting PrairiErth organic farm in Atlanta, Illinois Sept. 8

I visited Bright Star Equestrian Centre in Menard County
and learned about the wonderful work they do for
people, especially children, with autism and other disabilities.

A true privilege to participate as an honorary starter
for the inaugural cross country invitational for the UIS Prairie Stars.