Butler’s Bulletin: End of Session Review, Events & More

While I would like to report that this year we saw the promised “new day” and a bipartisan budget agreement that addresses our long-term structural problems with the state’s finances, the facts say otherwise. The Democrats are touting their election-year budget as a triumph of good management when in reality it’s entirely temporary – the direct result of a massive federal bailout and an inflation-induced sugar high. When those temporary funds inevitably run out and structural changes have not been made, it will be all our families who foot the bill. Do not be fooled by election-year gimmicks. I voted for the temporary tax relief proposal because it was the only option we had in the middle of the night to help struggling families as inflation surges, but I didn’t vote for this budget. Until we have a state government that can learn to live within its means, Illinoisans will continue to shoulder the highest tax burden in the nation. You can read more about the budget here.

Failure to pay unemployment deficit is serious financial malpractice.

For months, we were warning Democrats that we have to pay off the debt owed to the federal government in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund or risk a tax hike on jobs and cuts to future unemployment benefits. This could have been done by using ARPA and CARES funds, but once again Democrats have chosen to use that money for pet projects, leaving the trust fund vulnerable to another emergency and putting the burden on taxpayers.  Read More Here.

Measure to create jobs & promote microchip production heads to Governor.

As part of the tax relief package I mentioned above, language for legislation I filed to expand microchip and semiconductor manufacturing was added to the final package as an amendment. While I think the MICRO Act should have been passed on its own merits, I am nonetheless happy to see my colleagues recognize the benefits this legislation will bring to our state. The MICRO Act means hundreds, even thousands, of jobs can be created here in Illinois to make our state a leader in microchip and semiconductor production. This isn’t just good for our economy, it also means shifting away from reliance on overseas components from countries like China.  Read More Here.

Legislation to assist Lincoln College students passes.

Like many others, I was devastated by the news that Lincoln College is closing and the impact it will have on the students and community. One of my brothers attended Lincoln College, as did a member of my staff, so I know just how special Lincoln is to its students and alumni. Fortunately, thanks to quick action in the legislature, we were able to advance legislation to help current Lincoln students pursue options to continue their studies at other universities and community colleges in Illinois. I’m also extremely proud to report that my own alma mater, Eastern Illinois University, has quickly jumped into action to provide transfer opportunities for Lincoln students.  Read More Here.

Legislation to Stand with Ukraine passes.

All you have to do is google Bucha to see the mind-numbing atrocities the Russians, under the direction of Putin, have committed in Ukraine. One of the young Ukrainian leaders I hosted at our Capitol a few years ago was one of the mayors who was abducted by Russian troops. It’s hard to imagine this is actually happening in 2022, but it is and we must stand tall to oppose it. As a state, Illinois must do everything we can to reject Putin’s assault on humanity to be united in defense of Ukraine’s democracy and their right to exist as a free people.  Read More Here.

Honored for support of Illinois National Guard.

State Rep. Tim Butler (center) receives the National Guard Association of Illinois’ Abraham Lincoln Award from members of the Illinois National Guard.

It has been my honor to represent the home of the Illinois National Guard in Springfield and advocate for these dedicated men and women who serve our great state here at home and overseas. I’ve been fortunate to get to know many of our Guard members over the years, and I am continually impressed by their dedication and character. For them to recognize me with the Abraham Lincoln Award is a distinct honor that I will proudly display.  Read More Here.

Scramble for public safety reform falls short.

Unfortunately, we did not see a repeal of the SAFE-T Act in the spring session of the General Assembly despite our efforts, but we did see the majority Democrats trying to sound like they are tough on criminals. The safety of our communities should be a top priority for legislators every day, not just in an election year. After warning Democrats in the legislature for months that we need to address problems created by their last minute passing of the unvetted SAFE-T Act last year, their scramble to pass lip service legislation has fallen desperately short. I voted to support law enforcement and our communities, but much more should have been done before session ended.  Read More Here.

Upcoming Events:

  • Coffee & Conversation with Rep. Sandy Hamilton – Tomorrow – Thursday, April 14 from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. at Papo’s Café in Springfield. Click Here for details.
  • Coffee & Conversation with Rep. Sandy Hamilton – Saturday, May 14 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at Mel-O-Cream Donuts on Grand Ave. in Springfield. Click Here for details.

Thank you for reading. If you have any questions or concerns about anything you read, please feel free to contact me at (217) 782-0053 or by email at butler@ilhousegop.org.