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New education funding legislation would advance true parity for schools

After years of bipartisan negotiations, two legislative proposals have been advanced to reduce the inequity and inadequacy that has plagued the state’s more than 800 school districts, and truly address questions of school funding parity.

State offers help as April 18 deadline to file tax returns looms

With less than a week left to file federal and state income tax returns, the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is reminding taxpayers to file as soon as they can.

Commonsense reforms

Senate and House Republican lawmakers came together this week to reiterate their call for a long-term budget solution for the people of Illinois. The legislators noted that a real budget plan incorporating commonsense reforms will improve Illinois’ economy and provide financial stability. Those commonsense reforms include a property tax freeze, spending reform and caps, job creation, term limits, fair maps and pension reform.

Upcoming Town Hall Events!

On April 19, I will be hosting a town hall event at the Prospect Heights City Hall at 7 p.m. The next night, on April 20, I will be joined by Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) to host another town hall event at the Palatine Village Hall at 7 p.m.

Senate seeks to protect abuse victims

Seeking to give victims of child abuse additional time to report the crime, the Senate advanced legislation March 29 that would eliminate the statute of limitations on certain sexual abuse crimes against a minor.

Pension Postponement

On March 29, Senate Democrats ensured two pension reform measures introduced by Senate Republican lawmakers failed to advance out of a Senate committee.

Senate Republicans urge action on budget

During the week, a fiscal plan was introduced representing a package of seven bills that offer a full and balanced Fiscal Year 2018 budget that aims to protect the state’s highest priority programs, rein in spending, and eliminate two-thirds of the state’s backlog of unpaid bills.

Senate lawmakers celebrates 47th annual Illinois Agricultural Legislative Day at the Capitol

In honor of the 47th annual Illinois Agricultural Legislative Day (IALD), farm and agricultural organizations and interest groups were invited to join Illinois lawmakers in the State Capitol on March 30. The day-long event, organized by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, offers the groups the opportunity to speak with their local legislators about industry-related issues, as well as educate them about their own agri-business and role in the community.

Changes advanced to state’s school funding formula

For more than a year, lawmakers have sought a bipartisan fix to the state’s education funding formula—agreed by legislators on both sides of the aisle to be both inequitable and unfair. This week, an amendment was filed in the Senate to change the current education funding system. Senate Republican lawmakers say they are cautiously optimistic about the proposal, and look forward to its thorough review and vetting. The end goal, say Senate Republicans is a modern, streamlined and efficient school

State prioritizes Illinois’ cybersecurity

In today’s web-and-data-driven world, cybersecurity must be a top priority in both the private and public sector. The state’s current antiquated technology systems put Illinois citizens and their information at risk—something Governor Rauner and the team at the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) are seeking to change.

Building momentum toward a budget compromise

A Senate budget hearing this week focused on the state economy, with additional time dedicated to an overview of a budget plan offered up by The Civic Federation, a non-partisan research organization. Senate Republican lawmakers welcomed the discussion, but noted their disappointment that there was no conversation about reforming state government or cutting government spending. In fact, the Civic Federation’s proposal would increase state taxes by a whopping $9 billion.

Senator Rooney to host upcoming meet and greet

Senator Tom Rooney (R-Rolling Meadows) is set to host an upcoming meet and greet event at the Palatine Senior Center on March 31.

New legislation to protect property owners’ rights from utility company installations

To provide greater protections for private-property owners when utility companies seek to install power lines, legislation was introduced to slow the process and give property owners more rights.

Senate Committee debates Unbalanced Budget Response Act

Making it clear the best approach would be to continue to work toward a full-year, balanced state budget for Illinois, lawmakers debated legislation in the Senate Executive Committee this week that would offer the Governor a plan of action in the event no accord can be reached on a state budget.

IDOT reminds you to drive safely this St. Patrick's Day

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reminds motorists not to try their luck by drinking and driving this St. Patrick’s Day. If planning to celebrate with alcohol, motorists are urged to designate a driver, call a cab or ride-sharing company, or take public transit.