On February 19, Gov. Prtizker gave his annual budget address. Last fall, the Governor told state agencies to look for efficiencies and reductions to improve the cost-effectiveness and delivery of services – and it’s frustrating his budget proposal doesn’t seem to represent any of those scenarios. Instead, he is insinuating that if his graduated tax amendment doesn’t pass this November, he may withhold payment on a myriad of state services, such as group health insurance, K-12 and higher education funding, income tax refunds and transfers to local governments. Instead of more spending and a tax increase, we need to live within our means.
Read below more on the budget address, as well as dealing with Illinois’ automatic voter registration issues.
Have All Voted Who Wish podcast.
Earlier this month, I sat down with fellow State Rep. Avery Bourne and the Have All Voted Who Wish podcast to talk about the need to eliminate mistakes in automatic voter registration (AVR) and to fix bureaucratic processes causing long delays for Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card applications and renewals. Listen to the full podcast here.
Recognizing Williamsville HS State Champion football team.
Earlier this month, I had the honor of welcoming and recognizing the players and coaches of the Williamsville High School football team as the Illinois House congratulated the team on their recent 3A state football championship. This was the first ever state title for the team, which capped a magical undefeated 14-0 season for the Bullets. Congratulations Williamsville! Read more Here.
Gov.’s Budget Address: where is the improved efficiency?
On February 19, Gov. Prtizker gave his annual budget address. Last fall, the Governor told state agencies to look for efficiencies and reductions to improve the cost-effectiveness and delivery of services – and it’s frustrating his budget proposal doesn’t seem to represent any of those scenarios. Instead, he is insinuating that if his graduated tax amendment doesn’t pass this November, he may withhold payment on a myriad of state services, such as group health insurance, K-12 and higher education funding, income tax refunds and transfers to local governments. Essentially holding our service providers, local governments, educational institutions and taxpayers hostage for his political agenda. Despite this flawed proposal, last year showed what we can accomplish when we work together, and the current and projected revenues show there is absolutely no need to increase taxes to balance the budget and meet service needs. Read More Here.
Rejecting Pritzker’s decision to tie school funding to graduated tax approval.
Following his February 19 budget address, House Republicans denounced Gov. Pritzker’s decision to place passage of his graduated income tax proposal ahead of a commitment to fully fund education, health care and public safety in the FY21 budget. In his address, the Governor recommended holding back $150 million in funds for the evidence-based school funding formula and an additional $40 million for mandated categorical payments for school special education and transportation. The result is that less funding would be available to help close the equity gap for schools. In addition, his recommendation would disproportionately impact funding for rural and small schools. Read More Here.
Petition: Urge Gov. Pritzker to not hold school funding hostage to a tax hike.
To urge Gov. Pritzker against his proposal to withhold $150 million of state funds for local K-12 schools unless voters approve his income tax hike in the November elections, please sign this petition! Our schoolchildren and teachers deserve certainty in funding. Click here to sign!
Preventative action to limit spread of coronavirus.
From the Illinois Department of Public Health: The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is working with local, state and federal health partners to take all preventative steps available to limit the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). While COVID-19 is not spreading in communities in Illinois or the U.S., there is evidence of community spread in several countries around the world and IDPH is committed to working across local, state and federal agencies to ensure Illinois is prepared. IDPH is currently conducting hospital assessments to determine all available capacity in the event more people need medical care. Earlier this month, Illinois became the first state to provide COVID-19 testing in-state and IDPH is continuing to work on increasing capacity for testing to ensure rapid results. The CDC also has several useful guides about steps you can take to stay healthy. Read More Here.
Efforts to address automatic voter registration problems continue.
On Monday, I participated in a forum at the Sangamon County Complex in collaboration with Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), as well as other officials, about Illinois election registration errors. The forum was organized after reports that more than 500 people who indicated they were not U.S. citizens had their information passed on to election officials and were registered to vote under Illinois’ automatic voter registration (AVR) program. After calling for a hearing of the Illinois House’s Executive Committee back in January, I have since filed legislation, House Bill 5224, to temporarily suspend the AVR program until the problems are corrected. Read More Here.