SWALCO, the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, will host two household chemical disposal events in March, see details below:

Saturday, March 12th, 2016
Monday, March 28th, 2016
SWALCO facility located at: 1311 N. Estes Street Gurnee, IL 60031

APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED for Household Chemical Waste Events located at the Gurnee Facility to ensure safety & efficiency. Collections are for residential waste only. No business waste will be accepted. All SWALCO HCW Collection Events are FREE for Illinois residents ONLY.

Click here to schedule an appointment.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) attend the Black History Month Program put on last Saturday in Zion. Jesiel noted how she enjoyed a very nice program and the opportunity to chat with David Osborne, Director of the Hermon Park Center, Tracey Johnson, the Zion-Benton High School JROTC and many others. Gibbie Buchholtz took some great photos from the event, see them all on ZBGuide: click here.
Young adults ages 16 to 21 are invited to attend Lake County’s largest job and resource fair, Jobapalooza. Meet with over 30 employers that will provide job information on full-time, part-time and seasonal positions, and learn about valuable training opportunities that will help you become successful.

Where: College of Lake County, Grayslake
When: Thursday, March 3 from 6 to 8 p.m.
More Info: click here.
“The Governor laid it out clearly once more today; years of poor financial stewardship have put our state in a situation that is untenable without reform and he made it quite clear that all he is asking for is compromise. Since 1999, Illinois has bled jobs and it’s led to an unhealthy state economy. I think his requests are reasonable, a combination of reforms and cost reductions are essential and it’s the only realistic way we can moved forward.

I also appreciated that his address made future generations a key priority. As he said, ‘The next generation should be our priority, not the next election.’ Whatever final budget is approved will impact the next generation and I was happy that he put such great emphasis on education. A focus on starting young should be a priority, as he mentioned, and his request for a clean K-12 education bill that doesn’t take from one district to pay for another is also reasonable and encouraging.
Governor Rauner will deliver his budget address at noon today. You can watch his address by clicking here.
As part of budget cutbacks, the Illinois State Museum closed in September 2016. The State Museum, located in Springfield just south of the State Capitol, was a traditional show place for school groups from throughout Illinois, as well as for individual tourists and families interested in Illinois history and culture. Representatives Tim Butler and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez of Springfield are working with the Rauner Administration to reopen the Museum.

Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of SB 317 could create a pathway to reopen the popular landmark. Under the Governor’s policy amendatory veto message, the State Museum will be green-lighted to develop a new operating plan under which the Museum could resume operations. The proposed new operating plan will include the State Museum’s first-ever admission fee for visitors, and will rely upon increased help from volunteer aides and private-sector donors/friends of the Museum.
The new Illinois law parallels the ban in place for many years on the sale of conventional cigarettes and other tobacco products to children. While the new law includes a wide variety of actual and hypothetical nicotine delivery devices, it is specifically aimed at the sale of e-cigarettes and vaporizers. Possession of tobacco by children under the age of 18 is already illegal, and this new law (effective June 1, 2016) will extend the existing ban to cover newly-invented vape and e-cigarette products.

The bill (SB 32) creating this new law was enacted by the House and Senate in 2015, and was signed by Governor Rauner on Friday, January 29 as P.A. 99-496. Under the new law, the retail sale of alternative nicotine products to a juvenile, and the possession of these products by a juvenile, will become a petty offense punishable by a schedule of fines. For the retailer the statutory fine for a first offense will be $200, and for a juvenile the statutory fine for a first offense will be $50 with a possible additional requirement that the juvenile carry out an imposed sentence of community service. Repeat offenses, by any party, will draw a pattern of increasing monetary penalties. P.A. 99-496 will go into effect on June 1, 2016.
This month, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) asked its members whether the Governor should keep fighting to pass his economic agenda. Seventy-four percent of survey respondents say Illinois’ economy is on the wrong track, together with an overwhelming 88 percent who believe the governor should continue pushing his “turnaround agenda.” 

When asked specifically whether members support the Governor’s plan to repair the state’s workers’ compensation system, repeal prevailing wage and reform our legal system; 88 percent answered yes.  More than 560 owners completed the survey.

Read more on Crain's Chicago Business
President Barack Obama will address the General Assembly today, video will be available starting at 1:10 p.m. You can watch the President's address by clicking here.
Under State and federal law, owners and operators of motor vehicles that are licensed from addresses located in so-called “non-attainment” areas must submit their vehicles to automatic vehicle re-inspections. Most large U.S. urban areas, including greater Chicago and greater St. Louis, are non-attainment areas. The presence in the air of significant products of internal combustion engines – typically ozone – is enough to get a region designated as a non-compliant metropolitan area. Vehicles that fail their emissions inspections must get repaired and re-tested. Presentation of an Illinois emissions pass is required as a condition of renewing a stickered Illinois motor vehicle license plate and being allowed to use the vehicle.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is encouraging women of the 61st District wishing to continue their education to apply for this year’s Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) Scholarship Award Program. COWL is a not-for-profit bipartisan coalition of women legislators in the Illinois General Assembly. COWL created the scholarship program as part of its mission to promote economic independence, community service and leadership development. Scholarships of $2,500 each will be awarded. The scholarships are aimed at helping women 25 and older earn college degrees.

“The Conference of Women Legislators scholarship program is a great opportunity for women who may not have had the opportunity to attend college while they were younger,” said Jesiel. “This program is an investment beyond just helping women advance in their educational and job opportunities - it is also an investment into the lives of families and the community at large and can have a profound impact. I hope those seeking to advance their education will take advantage of this great opportunity.”
Metra commuters can save hundreds of dollars on commuting costs through a pre-tax benefit plan at work. Thanks to a late 2015 Congressional action employers can offer pre-tax transit benefits. The transit benefit is an IRS approved program to reduce costs of commuting and allows employees to set aside up to $255.00 every month for Metrta, bus, vanpool or other public transit method.

Similar to health savings accounts, transit benefit programs allow all employees to opt-in or out according to their needs and never penalizes them for not using the funds.

See how much you can save: www.metrarail.com/calculator.

For more information, please visit Metra's website.
SWALCO, the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, will host two household chemical disposal events in February, see details below:

Saturday, February 13th, 2016
Monday, February 22nd, 2016
SWALCO facility located at: 1311 N. Estes Street Gurnee, IL 60031

APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED for Household Chemical Waste Events located at the Gurnee Facility to ensure safety & efficiency. Collections are for residential waste only. No business waste will be accepted. All SWALCO HCW Collection Events are FREE for Illinois residents ONLY.

Click here to schedule an appointment
Yesterday, Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger described the harsh realities of the state's finances. She said, the state's budget typically acts as a credit limit, and since we don't have a budget, the state is spending more. The state has already spent $1.4 billion more than last year. Combined with the sunset of the state's temporary tax increase, Illinois is faced with a $6.2 billion budget shortfall for this year. The Comptroller put things in perspective. "If you had $6.2 billion, you could buy both of this year’s Super Bowl teams," she said. "You could buy the Willis Tower. You could buy a trip to the moon and back. In fact, you could buy all of these things and you would still have money left over."

Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) said in response, "I hope the comptroller's message today sparks action in Springfield." She continued, "It's time to cut up the credit cards and work together to restore fiscal stability for the people of Illinois."

Click here to watch the Comptroller's press conference.
Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month, a time to recognize the role of African Americans in U.S. history. Below is a partial list of notable African-Americans with ties to Illinois.

1779
Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable
The first settler and resident of Chicago
 Jean Baptiste Point Du Sable was born in San Marc, Haiti, in 1745. Not very much is known about Du Sable's early life. It is known, however, that Du Sable's mother was probably killed by the Spanish when he was ten. In 1764 Du Sable and his friend Jacques Clemorgan moved from Haiti to New Orleans. Du Sable was eventually thankful for moving to New
Orleans because it was here that he and his friend Clemorgan met their future partner of a trading post in New Orleans, and later in what would become Peoria, Illinois. The young man Du Sable and Clemorgan met was Choctaw, a Native American from the Great Lakes. At the time, Choctaw was working at a Catholic mission. Read more.