Governor Pritzker this week signed the $50.6 billion state budget passed by the majority party in the final hours of our spring session last month. I voted no for many of the specific reasons listed below…but in a nutshell this plan spends more money we don’t have to fund the wrong priorities for our families. I firmly believe this wrong approach also sets up our families for more tax and fee increases when we can least afford them.
What’s included in the budget…
- Borrows over $700 million.
- Includes pay raises for legislators-the second this year!
- Doubles down on funding the disastrous SAFE-T-Act that has made our communities less safe.
- Expands free healthcare for illegal immigrants-total likely to reach $1 billion.
What’s not included in the budget…
- Kills the Invest in Kids scholarship program- Illinois’ only school choice option.
- Fails to restore Local Government Distributive Funding (your tax dollars returning to your local community) to 10%. It remains under 6.5%.
- Does not include real, permanent tax relief for working families.
- Does not include structural reforms to address pension and other rising costs.
More Bill Signings are Coming
There are more than 500 other bills that passed both Houses this spring and could be signed by the Governor in the next few months. With Democrats holding large majorities in both houses, it’s not surprising that all but a small handful were sponsored by Democrat members. 501 Democrat-sponsored bills passed both chambers, while only 63 Republican-sponsored bills were debated and passed.
Below are a few of the bills ready for the Governor’s signature, including HB 3751 concerning non-citizens’ eligibility to become law enforcement officers in Illinois. I believe undocumented, non-citizens should not be police officers. This prohibition is a federal rule. Similarly, here in Illinois under the FOID law, non-citizens are not allowed to own firearms. House Floor Amendment #2 to this bill dictates that the Federal government is responsible for determining the path to citizenship. Therefore, if the federal government provides a path and a person becomes a legal citizen, then, and only then, would they be allowed to be a police officer and apply for a FOID card. I supported House Floor Amendment #2.
New Potential Law Limits Where You Can File Suit Against the State
During the final week of the Spring Session my Republican colleagues and I vigorously opposed legislation that would prevent Illinois citizens from filing lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of laws or executive orders issued by the Governor in any county besides Sangamon or Cook County.
HB 3062 applies to actions brought against the State or any State employees, officers, or agents acting in an official capacity, such as the current legal challenges to Democrat measures eliminating cash bail in Illinois, and banning certain firearms and ammunition. The main problem is that this legislation disregards local interests and increases legal costs and burdens on individuals that would otherwise be able to seek remedy at their local courthouse.
Central Illinois Drought
The U.S. Drought Monitor’s weekly report released June 1 rated more than three-quarters of the state (77%) as abnormally dry to a drought, including our local counties Central Illinois.
Traveling Office Hours are in Full Swing!
I’ve had a great time visiting with old and new friends at traveling office hours visits in Metamora, Roanoke and Washington. Next week I will be in Eureka. Please stop by to tell me what’s on your mind or to just say Hi.
Around the District
Thank You to Illinois Valley Community College Leadership and Reed Wilson for hosting a great tour of its incredible campus! IVCC President, Dr. Jerry Corcoran and his team provided us with quick facts about the many programs and services IVCC offers, including onsite childcare, truck-training academy, manufacturing simulation lab and so much more!
Putnam County Junior High Supt. Dr. Clayton Thelsinger, Principal Mike Olson and Reed Wilson, shared the rich history, strengths and challenges the district faces during their guided tour of this beautiful campus.