Recently, I was contacted by some constituents concerned about K-12 education funding. It was apparent that they care very much for their school district and their children, like every parent. These parents were understandably convinced that Senate Bill 1 is the fix Illinois’ education funding system needs because of certain information being distributed and the situation at hand in Springfield. After responding to these constituents, I felt it was necessary to ensure every resident of the 61st District had a better understanding of the controversy surrounding this critical issue and why it so important that we get this right.

Let me be clear, the schools and students in the 61st district are very important to me and I feel a great deal of responsibility for them as Senate Bill 1 has been debated and considered.

As many residents already know from visiting my website, I have spent the last year on a special commission that reviewed school funding, specifically the evidence-based model. I have also spent a good deal of time negotiating the specifics Senate Bill 1, so I am very familiar with the model and many of the arguments for and against it. I support the model itself - I think it is a very responsible way to get funding in a principled and research-based way to students who need it the most. I want to be very clear that the opinions that I hold with regards to SB1 are based on the content of the bill and on my participation over the last year, and not influenced by the Governor, partisan politics or personal preference. My responsibility is to negotiate and support a bill that will help and not hurt the students in the 61st District.

State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) hosted her annual senior fair in Antioch on August 2. The event featured several organizations and local agencies who came together to provide an array of services to residents.
From Governor Rauner's Office: Today, Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto to Senate Bill 1, the school funding bill. The matter now heads to the Illinois General Assembly, where the governor has respectfully requested that lawmakers uphold his changes. If these changes are upheld, Illinois will achieve historic education funding reform.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from or who your family is. With a great education, you can go anywhere in life and be whomever you want to be. You can grow up, get a good job and provide for your family. That’s why the changes I have made to the education funding bill are so important,” Gov. Rauner said. “With my changes, our state ensures that enough resources flow to children in the poorest and most disadvantaged school districts across the entire state. And my changes ensure that the education funding system in our state is fair and equitable to all students in Illinois.”

More than a year ago, Gov. Rauner established the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. This group came together on a bipartisan basis to study the way Illinois funds its public schools, and to chart a path to a fairer and more equitable system.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is hosting her annual senior fair this coming week on Thursday, August 3 at the Antioch Township Building. The fair will be from 10am to noon.

This year’s free senior fair will offer helpful guides, literature and other resources from a variety of state, county and local government agencies. General Assembly staff members will be available to assist constituents with their state government concerns. Attendees are encouraged to sign in for a chance to win a door prize. Refreshments will be served.
Co-sponsored by 20 House Republican members, including Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor), HB 643 amends the Compensation Review Act to prohibit what would otherwise have been automatic pay hikes for State government legislative and executive elected officers and appointees, including members of the General Assembly. The new law also freezes the reimbursements that lawmakers can ask to cover the costs of their lodging, meals, and mileage while on State business.

The freeze on taxpayer-funded pay and benefits covers all of Fiscal Year 2018, and will be effective through June 30, 2018. The pay/benefits freeze bill was signed by Governor Bruce Rauner on Wednesday, July 26.
Governor Rauner called the General Assembly into special session this week to demand action.

Unfortunately, Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton continue to delay sending the education funding bill to the Governor’s desk. It’s been two months. Families and children have waited too long. They need to know their kids will be able to go to school on time.

By holding onto SB 1 for almost 60 days, Democrats have manufactured an artificial crisis and are playing politics with our kids’ education. That’s unacceptable and shameful.

We have a chance to make history with school funding reform and ensure that all students in Illinois receive the education they deserve.
The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) will hold two household chemical waste events this August at their Gurnee facility.

Saturday, August 12th, 2017
Monday, August 28th, 2017

Location: 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
Beginning September 1, 2017, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) will no longer accept paper applications for specific professions that have already been migrated to the Online Services Portal.

Professions impacted by this deadline include:
  • Advance Practice Nurse
  • Barbers, Cosmetologists, Estheticians, Nail Technician
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Massage Therapist
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Medical Corporation
  • Permanent Employee Registration Card
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Professional Service Corporation
  • Public Accounting Firm
  • Registered Nurse
You may have recently received this flyer from a group called "Stand for Children" in your mail. If you have been keeping up with my posts about my involvement with and support for education funding reform, you will also know that of all the bogus and misleading flyers sent out against me over the past few years, this is one of the most laughable.

The items in the blue box on the flyer are fairly straightforward and for the most part I actually agree with them. But what Stand for Children is not telling you is that they, along with numerous other "advocacy groups" pressuring legislators are in the tank for Chicago Public Schools. The school funding model in SB1 as originally drafted needed some work but we thought we were reaching some reasonable agreements until the final amendment - House Floor Amendment 2 - loaded up what was a real opportunity for reform with hundreds of millions of dollars in funds for Chicago that no other school district gets. And it bakes them into the model now and forever.
Antioch’s Taste of Summer. 
Food, carnival, exhibitors & sidewalk sales with crafts!

4 Days of fun in downtown Antioch are a must for summer pleasure. Carnival rides and games add up to fun for the whole family. Enjoy the delectable specialties prepared by top restaurants. Dine in the relaxing sunshine or under the Big Top while listening to top entertainment in the Brook Bandshell. Browse among our Taste Exhibitors, plus find bargains at our Sidewalk Sales with a mix of Crafters too!
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is hosting a free document shredding event on Saturday, July 22 in conjunction with the Townships of Antioch, Benton, Lake Villa, Newport, Warren and Zion. The event will be held at Beach Park Middle School on N. Green Bay Road in Beach Park from 9a.m. to noon.

“For anyone who needs to clean out the file cabinet and dispose of those sensitive documents you can’t safely throw away anymore, this is a great opportunity,” said Jesiel. “My staff and I will be available to unload documents and have them immediately shredded.”

WHO: 
Residents of the 61st District

WHAT: 
Document Shredding

WHEN: 
Saturday, July 22
9 a.m. to Noon
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) says that by overriding Gov. Rauner’s veto of a tax increase and unsustainable budget, the state will continue to be held back by the same failed policies on the past.

“When these pieces of legislation were presented on extremely short notice in the House on Sunday, I understood that many of my colleagues felt compelled to vote for the tax increase because of the desperate circumstances facing Illinois,” said Jesiel. “Yet, countless opportunities prior this point were allowed to pass without taking any action. It should never have been allowed.

“I unequivocally agree that we cannot continue to put our most vulnerable, our school children and our universities at risk because of the lack of a budget, but we cannot keep asking our residents to be an ATM for the same failed policies. No one is protecting the taxpayers - single parents, families and seniors just trying to stay in their homes because their taxes are so high they can barely afford to make ends meet.
Speaking on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) says that residents of Illinois cannot continue to be the ATM for a state that fails to recognize its spending problems and make structural changes.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) explains how reforming Illinois' education funding model to an evidence based structure will lead to better outcomes for all students and taxpayers across the state.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is pushing education funding legislation that will pick up where Senate Bill 1 failed by ensuring new funding for all Illinois school districts, instead of skewing school funding to first drive new money to one school district - Chicago.

Jesiel is Chief Co-Sponsor of House Bill 4069, which is the same as SB 1124 in the Senate. The legislation restores truly equitable funding through an evidence based school funding formula that drives more funding to low income students and to school districts that need it most, along with a hold-harmless provision that prevents any school district from losing funding. The bills include both a base funding and tier funding model that ensures every school district would receive more funding than under SB 1 and was drafted from agreed language in SB 1 before an amendment was added to bail out the Chicago Public School System.

“This legislation creates the clean education funding reform model that students in my district desperately need and represents an opportunity to ensure every child in the state is treated the same, instead of perpetuating an outdated model that picks winners and losers,” said Jesiel.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is pushing education funding legislation that will pick up where Senate Bill 1 failed by ensuring new funding for all Illinois school districts, instead of skewing school funding to first drive new money to one school district - Chicago.

Jesiel is Chief Co-Sponsor of House Bill 4069, which is the same as SB 1124 in the Senate. The legislation restores truly equitable funding through an evidence based school funding formula that drives more funding to low income students and to school districts that need it most, along with a hold-harmless provision that prevents any school district from losing funding. The bills include both a base funding and tier funding model that ensures every school district would receive more funding than under SB 1 and was drafted from agreed language in SB 1 before an amendment was added to bail out the Chicago Public School System.

“This legislation creates the clean education funding reform model that students in my district desperately need and represents an opportunity to ensure every child in the state is treated the same, instead of perpetuating an outdated model that picks winners and losers,” said Jesiel.

She continued, “By using a per-pupil approach to funding, instead of per district approach, and running all funding through the evidence based formula, every district sees more new funding. The State Board of Education has reviewed both plans and their data clearly shows the model in House Bill 4069/Senate Bill 1124 is the most fair and equitable path forward.”

Jesiel noted that the formula in SB 1 builds in perks that only Chicago receives, meaning that Chicago Public Schools would receive a disproportionate share of any new funding that would be run through the model. Under House Bill 4069/Senate Bill 1124, these perks are removed, so that all school districts in the state would receive considerably more of any new funding – in many cases, almost double what would have been received in SB 1. Watch video on the House floor as Jesiel questions school officials on this difference, Click Here and Click Here.
During testimony on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) presses school officials to explain why they will not support education funding reform legislation that ensures more fair and equitable funding for all Illinois students.
Asking tough questions during testimony on education funding reform, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) points out how the alternative proposals to Senate Bill 1, Senate Bill 1124 and House Bill 4069, actually ensure more funding goes to every school district in the state.
Please come to this year’s free senior fair to receive helpful guides, literature and other resources from a variety of state, county and local government agencies. General Assembly staff members will be available to assist constituents with their state government concerns. Attendees are encouraged to sign in for a chance to win a door prize. Refreshments will be served.
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) announced Thursday that the unemployment rate declined -0.1 percentage points to 4.6 percent in May and nonfarm payrolls increased by +2,400 jobs over-the-month, based on preliminary data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and released by IDES. April job growth was revised little to show a decrease of -7,300 jobs rather than the preliminary estimate of -7,200 jobs.

May’s modest monthly payroll gain kept over-the-year job growth well below the national average. Payroll growth has been sluggish thus far this year.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) has said Governor Rauner’s call for a special session to resolve the budget impasse provides an opportunity to reopen the education funding reform debate and fix the problems with Senate Bill 1.

Prior to the Governor calling for a special session to convene on June 21, several pieces of legislation were released to address the budget impasse. One of those pieces of legislation is House Bill 4069, which utilizes the evidence based funding model that was being negotiated in SB 1 before it was hijacked by special interests and filled with special benefits for Chicago.

“Although I wish the Governor didn’t need to call a special session, this represents a good opportunity to move forward,” said Jesiel. “The lack of a budget vote at the end of May risked causing irreparable damage to the state, but now we have a chance to reopen discussions and finally do the right thing. It also gives us the opportunity to reestablish school funding reform discussions and ensure that we pass reform that provides fair and equitable funding for all children in Illinois regardless of zip code.”
Chicago Beyond is looking to support organization’s with ideas/approaches that help youth succeed. They are now accepting applications nationwide for the second annual Go Innovate Challenge. The Go Innovate Challenge is a competition designed to identify and support transformative, innovative programs, ideas and approaches that have the potential to dramatically impact life outcomes for young people. To participate, interested organizations simply need to submit a 90-second video that describes the program, idea, or approach.

Formed in 2016, Chicago Beyond is a venture philanthropy fund that was created to transform the lives of marginalized young people through two critical issues – safety and educational attainment. The Go Innovate Challenge is part of Chicago Beyond’s effort to build a diverse portfolio of great ideas and partners – from established organizations with proven results to the newest and most innovative early-stage programs and organizations.
One day after House and Senate Leaders unveiled a compromise balanced budget plan to end the budget impasse, Governor Bruce Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session from Wednesday, June 21st through the June 30th fiscal year deadline.

"Republicans in the General Assembly have laid out a compromise budget plan that I can sign," Governor Rauner said in a video announcing special session. "It provides a true path to property tax reduction and it reforms the way our state operates to reduce wasteful spending. It will fund our schools and human services, while spurring economic growth and job creation. It is a true compromise - and one I hope the majority in the General Assembly will accept."
House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), Senate Republican Caucus Whip Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles), Assistant Senate Republican Leader Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Deputy House Republican Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) and House Republican Conference Chairperson Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) have introduced a package of bills to end the budget impasse. The bills represent a compromise balanced budget and reforms that address the priorities of both parties, and urged the General Assembly to return to Springfield to vote on this proposal. State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) said she is evaluating the proposal.
Small Business Administration - Prime 2017
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued Program Announcement No. PRIME-2017-01 to provide training and capacity building grant programs to microenterprise development organizations (MDOs). The PRIME Act authorizes the SBA to provide funding to qualified organizations for the purposes of: (i) providing training and technical assistance to disadvantaged entrepreneurs; (ii) providing training and capacity building assistance to microenterprise development organizations (MDOs) and programs; (iii) aiding in Research and development of best practices for microenterprise and technical assistance programs for disadvantaged entrepreneurs; and (iv) for other activities as the SBA Administrator determines. Click Here.
On June 10, 2017, North Point Marina held a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony following an agreement signed earlier this year to put the marina under the private management of Westrec Marinas. The move it expected to provide an economic boost to the surrounding communities. State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) played an integral role in launching the request for proposal by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that led to the private management and was on hand to cut the ribbon for the grand opening.

"It was a great day for a Grand Opening," said Jesiel. "The results of the investment from Westrec are already starting to show."
The downgrades imposed by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, move Illinois to the brink of “junk bond” status. The rating status, which in Moody’s terminology is “Baa3” and in S&P’s wording is “BBB-“, comes with a “negative outlook,” a formal warning by both debt-rating firms that a further demotion of Illinois’ status to non-investment-grade is both possible and relatively imminent. The moves, announced on Thursday, June 1, followed the Democrat-controlled General Assembly’s failure to enact a FY18 budget by the May 31st deadline.
SB 886 contains provisions to allow the State to sell one of its principal pieces of property, the city block in downtown Chicago that currently contains the James R. Thompson Center. The 1.2 million-square-foot office building is currently home to 2,200 State of Illinois workers. However, the 1985 building has not been maintained and requires hundreds of millions of dollars in overdue upkeep and maintenance.

The building’s footprint, which is bounded by LaSalle, Lake, Clark, and Randolph Streets, could be re-used for development. A new building on the site could house private-sector workers, and its owner or operator would pay property taxes to Chicago Public Schools and other public-sector entities that face financial challenges in 2017. As a State building, the Thompson Center currently does not pay property taxes.
On the final day of the scheduled spring session, House Democrats rushed a vote on a new school funding formula, Senate Bill 1, which would provide Chicago Public Schools (CPS) with a $500 million bailout while offering empty promises to the rest of the state’s public schools.

The Democrats’ bailout bill would provide CPS with a more than $500 million windfall that will only continue to grow in future years. With the State already owing Illinois schools more than $1 billion this year and no way identified to pay for the new formula, Republicans stood in opposition to SB 1.
A Letter to the Editor by State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) 
When the month of May began, I was actively involved in ongoing negotiations with colleagues from both sides of the aisle. These negotiations involved rank-and-file members working together to craft legislation to reform Illinois’ school funding formula that would be part a broader budget proposal.

The good faith and cooperation of these negotiations gave me hope that we could actually tackle this critical issue and use it as a catalyst to craft a balanced budget and begin the financial healing process our state so desperately needs. Unfortunately, these final days of session have shown Springfield at its political worst.
Legislation sponsored by State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) to appropriate funding for domestic violence shelters passed the House this week. House Bill 3259 appropriates funding from special funds to aid victims without the need for a tax increase.

“Through House Bill 3259, critical funding will be provided to keep facilities open that care for victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. In Lake County, this includes places like A Safe Place and Haven,” said Jesiel. “Although Springfield has been beleaguered by gridlock lately, the passage of this legislation demonstrates the good that can happen when bipartisan participation is fostered. By working across the aisle, we managed to fund essential services through special funding sources without increasing taxes or adding to the deficit. I hope we can use this approach to solve the wider budget crisis and move Illinois forward.”
A letter to the editor by State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor)
We are days away from the end of the spring legislative session. We cannot allow another session to end without a budget. Illinois’ social service providers, our schools, our universities, and our job creators are suffering and need the certainty of a balanced budget.

Throughout this process, I have argued that we must change direction in crafting a truly balanced budget. We cannot pass an unfunded, loosely organized budget that repeats the mistakes of the past that have led to billions of dollars in debt and unfunded pension liabilities of $130 billion that equate to 10 percent of the entire nation’s pension debt.

How can we say that we care about schools, but refuse to overhaul a funding formula that sees Illinois contribute the least of any state to local schools, leaving our children’s futures overly reliant on severely stressed property taxpayers? This is what the old way has given us and we must change course, so we can provide quality service in a way that improves education and stops the rot of skyrocketing taxes that drive families and job creators out of Illinois. We can change this; we can stop the flow of businesses, seniors, families and college graduates out of Illinois by acknowledging the failures of the past and striving to come together.
From SWALCO: The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) will be hosting a one day only special electronics recycling collection event for broken and unwanted electronics. This one-day special event will be held on Thursday, June 8, 2017 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Gurnee Public Works Facility located at 1151 Kilbourne Road in Gurnee.

Recycling fees will be assessed for televisions and cathode ray tube monitors ($35 for TV’s 21” and larger, $25 for TV’s 20” or smaller, and $25 for each cathode ray tube monitor) all other acceptable electronics will be collected at no cost. Cash, check or major credit cards are accepted for payment of applicable recycling fees.
You may have seen an article circulating in a local paper recently that claims 37 Lake County school districts will lose money under the developing proposal to reform how Illinois funds our schools. Unfortunately, the content of this article was based on inaccurate and misleading information.

As its source, the article cited an Illinois State Board of Education analysis to claim that Lake County schools would lose funding. However, that analysis was not for the proposal currently being developed; it was based on old legislation from a previous General Assembly, Senate Bill 231. I was opposed to that legislation and it was never called for a vote in the House.
In an effort to advance the state budget process, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor), along with 39 other House colleagues, has sent a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The letter, which was sent last week, calls on the Attorney General to use the power of her office to force the Illinois General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate prior to the filing and passage of any spending bills. Jesiel and her fellow signatories are seeking the Attorney General’s action to prevent further damage to the state’s finances and the many social service providers who serve the most vulnerable.

In the letter, Jesiel and her co-signers cite several prior court rulings and instances which set precedent for the Attorney General to intervene to ensure the Illinois Constitution is upheld. Both the Constitution and state law require the General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate on which to base a balanced budget for the forthcoming fiscal year. This action has not occurred in either of the past two years and has not been done for the forthcoming fiscal year either.

“The Illinois Constitution makes it very clear that a revenue estimate must be adopted in order to appropriate funding for a budget,” said Jesiel. “Without an estimate, any proposed budget is merely guess work that further exacerbates our financial problems since we won’t know if we have the funds necessary to meet the anticipated appropriations. This is backward budgeting that will only perpetuate the uncertainly already facing our social services network, taxpayers and job creators.
Every year children die of heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, while unattended in vehicles. Young children are particularly at risk because their bodies can heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults.

The auto industry is spreading the message on the dangers of heatstroke and working to educate parents and caregivers about the risks of leaving children unattended in a vehicle — even for just a few moments.

Together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Safe Kids Worldwide, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers offers information and tips to help prevent these tragedies from happening. Click Here to find out more.
From the Better Business Bureau and ComEd: With the return of warm weather, deceptive door-knockings and utility scams are kicking into peak season.

The Better Business Bureau and ComEd, which have a long standing business alliance of more than 90 years, are teaming up to warn consumers around the Chicago and Northern Illinois areas to watch out for fraud.

According to the Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker Risk Report “Home Improvement Scams” were the #1 riskiest scams in the USA.

Steve Bernas, president and CEO of BBB Chicago and Northern Illinois says, “Consumer safety is at the core of our mission and deceptive door-knockers often con consumers into agreements for shoddy home services or make attempts to steal money and I.D. information with false claims regarding their alarm, cable, or electric services.”
By State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor)
It is time to act on school funding reform before the regular legislative session ends on May 31.



For years, multiple legislative commissions and committees have studied the obvious inequities of Illinois’ school funding system. I served on the two most recent incarnations. What we know for certain, Illinois has the most inequitable school funding system in the nation. Due to this, students are essentially forced to play a zip code lottery that determines whether they learn in a classroom equipped with an iPad for every student or one where students share decades-old textbooks. This zip code lottery is essentially determined by the property wealth of the school district, creating a huge disparity in the quality of education between the property-rich and property-poor districts. The challenge needs to be tackled by the legislature, and there is bipartisan agreement that it must happen soon.

The Illinois House reconvened this week for a two-week period dedicated to the consideration of Senate bills in the House. The Senate has sent 345 bills to the House, less than 16% of the 2,209 bills filed in the Senate this spring. These bills have been assigned to House committees for further discussion and debate. Under normal House rules, Senate bills have to get out of House committee no later than Friday, May 19, in order to be eligible to become law this spring. In a few cases, a few Senate bills may be granted extended deadline consideration, but this should not be counted on. The current status of all of these bills can be tracked on the General Assembly website, ilga.gov.
Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino, age 54, is currently under investigation. Allegations include reports that Mautino, who prior to his appointment was a state representative, used or allowed associates to use campaign funds for non-campaign purposes. 

In order to protect the integrity of campaign funds, substantial reporting requirements are placed on campaign committees. They have to report substantially all of their larger contributions and spending. The reports are contained in mandated filings that must be deposited with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBEL). 

As part of the overall investigation, questions have been asked about the reports filed by former Rep. Mautino and his campaign committee. An ISBEL hearing officer officially found this week that the Mautino committee willfully violated the informational requirements that surround at least one of these required filings. The hearing officer had the right to recommend that the State Board of Elections impose a fine on the campaign committee, which remains in existence pending conclusion of the investigations. The ISBEL will consider this recommendation and take final action. 
A joint statement from the bipartisan group:
"The finances of the state of Illinois are in crisis, and we must do better. The time for resolution is now. We are a bipartisan group of House members committed to seeing that happen.

There have been many ideas submitted both inside and outside the Statehouse. The key question for any of them is 'do they have the votes to pass?' The Senate offers one set of ideas in the form of a grand bargain negotiated by both Democrats and Republicans in that chamber.

We believe a solution that can pass the House and Senate and be signed by the Governor needs to include a package of bills that fundamentally addresses the needs of the state, and most importantly provides a normal, full-year budget for our state agencies, schools, and social service providers.
Governor Bruce Rauner announced today that Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin have filed legislation that will direct all future property tax receipts from the redevelopment of the James R. Thompson Center (JRTC) to Chicago Public Schools. The bill numbers are SB 2209 and HB 4044

"The JRTC is sucking up valuable space, time, and money," Governor Rauner said. "No one likes working here. It's expensive to maintain and it's a drain on taxpayer resources. The legislation introduced today gives us yet another reason to move swiftly in selling this building. Every day of delay just postpones Chicago's ability to earn millions in property taxes."
An Illinois based not-for-profit, the Computer Banc, is an organization that takes donated computers and refurbishes them for low income families, schools, veterans and others in need of digital technology. In the past year, the Computer Banc started a program to work with the State of Illinois to take surplus government computers, refurbish them and sell them to schools at drastically reduced cost for use in the classroom. The pilot program recently provided three central Illinois schools with 140 computers. The state is now working with Computer Banc to provide state and federal surplus computers to expand the program.

For the upcoming 2017-2018 school year, the program is expanding to provide 2,000 computers to schools across the state for only $85 per computer:
  • 2,000 computers at $85 each are available for August 1 delivery. Additional computers will be available on a monthly basis on the first of each subsequent month. Each computer comes with a 1-year warranty. 
  • The computers come preloaded with Google Chrome, Testnav functionality for required assessments, as well as offline curriculum featuring over 1,500 eBooks, Illinois State Museum modules and early learning educational games. 
  • For additional information, visit www.ComputerBanc.org, or contact Executive Director David Fowler at (217) 528-9506 or director@computerbanc.org.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced this week that six firms have responded to their request for information on who would be interested in developing an airfield in southeastern Will County. The initiative, which was not a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) process, was explained as a way for IDOT to gauge continuing interest in the project. Since 2001, the State of Illinois has acquired more than 4,454 acres of land northeast of Peotone, Illinois. Most, but not all, of the land needed to build a modern airport has been acquired at a cost of $95 million. 

While development proponents have long dreamed of reducing Illinois’ air traffic congestion through the construction of a third Chicago-area airport, hopes have faded somewhat during the sixteen years that the “Peotone airport” has been under development. The airline industry has sharply reduced its positive attitudes toward new U.S. airport development. Major passenger carriers operating in Illinois have moved their focuses toward more efficient usages of existing runways and gates at Chicago’s Midway and O’Hare International Airports. 
The “fun state” gauge used aggregated data on the availability of options for entertainment, nightlife, restaurants, and other leisure-time activities, adjusted for population. Tourism-oriented states such as Nevada (ranked #1 of 50) and New York (#5 of 50) tended to do well. Illinois outdid all of the states that border it, with the nearest nearby rival, Wisconsin, scoring 21st. The Prairie State’s overall 16th slot was an aggregate of its score on “entertainment and recreation” (10th of 50) and its score on nightlife (24th of 50). By contrast, Indiana scored 47th in entertainment and recreation, and 45th overall. Numbers were released on Tuesday, May 2.
From SWALCO: The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO) will be hosting a one day only special electronics recycling collection event for broken and unwanted electronics. This one-day special event will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Mundelein Public Works Facility located at 440 East Crystal Street in Mundelein.

Recycling fees will be assessed for televisions and cathode ray tube monitors ($35 for TV’s 21” and larger, $25 for TV’s 20” or smaller, and $25 for each cathode ray tube monitor) all other acceptable electronics will be collected at no cost. Cash, check or major credit cards are accepted for payment of applicable recycling fees.
The new program aims to create home-visiting opportunities for newborn babies and their families. The first support visits implemented by the pilot program will be carried out by the Stephenson County Health Department, which is based on the northwestern Illinois city of Freeport. 

Home visits are a way to help children remain healthy and thrive by providing personal contacts between a mother and a trained professional who can answer questions. The program, which is being coordinated by the Illinois Home Visiting Task Force and by FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport, will be implemented by community nurses. Visitation times will be as soon after birth as possible, to enable these questions to be rapidly asked and answered. Illinois Family Connects also plans to create wellness checks for the baby and family, and to put the family in touch with any supportive resources that may be helpful.
The analysis, by the nonpartisan Civic Federation’s Institute for Fiscal Sustainability, contained severe criticism of HB 109. The emergency appropriations bill, pushed through the House earlier this spring session on a partisan roll call, was touted by its sponsors as a “lifeline” to stretched providers of human services. The bill was supposed to substitute for a full-year, constitutionally balanced budget. Analysts for the Civic Federation, however, discovered that the Democrats’ bill would provide only 27.1 cents on the dollar for the human-services funding shortfall based on FY16 spending numbers. 

The majority party’s “lifeline” plan has been proclaimed as providing rescue money to Illinois institutions of higher education. The Institute’s analysts, after running the numbers, stated that the plan would provide only 56.2 cents of the dollars previously allocated by higher education and not paid in FY16. House Republicans opposed the so-called “lifeline” plan as being both ludicrously inadequate to meet its proclaimed purposes and a distraction from the hard work of generating progress toward government reform and a constitutional balanced budget.

From the Jobs Center of Lake County: job search workshops and career events throughout Lake County in May.


5 Steps to Your Next Job
Monday, May 15 to Friday, May 19 10:00 am to 12:00 pm each day
New Location: College of Lake County, Grayslake, building 4

Attend the 5-day interactive workshop series. This series covers the entire job search process from researching careers to landing your next job. Attend all 5 days to earn a certificate! Register at 847.377.3439 or email elocke@lakecountyil.gov to reserve a seat!
State Representative Sheri Jesiel's (R-Winthrop Harbor) Lakefront Economic Development Group with Beach Park, Winthrop Harbor, Zion and Coastal Management held its first meeting since Westrec took over management of the North Point Marina.

Jesiel said it was a very productive meeting and the group is very optimistic about what the $2 million Westrec has already started to invest into the Marina will mean for future economic development prospects along the lakefront.
From Lake County: Caterpillar has selected Deerfield as home to its new corporate headquarters. Caterpillar initially plans to relocate approximately 100 employees to its new site immediately, but that number is expected to triple in coming years. The move adds high quality jobs and a new global brand to Lake County’s bustling economy. Caterpillar, a Dow Jones 30 company, joins 11 other Fortune 500 companies that call Lake County home.

Lake County Partners and Lake County join the Village of Deerfield in welcoming Caterpillar to the neighborhood and look forward to working together to ensure that the transition is smooth and successful. Lake County Partners is a 501(c)(3) economic development corporation that works to maintain economic vitality in Lake County by creating and retaining quality jobs, stimulating capital investment, and pursuing economic diversity. Read the full news release.
A new study, backed by the Illinois Policy Institute, suggests that the cost of workers’ compensation to Illinois taxpayers is at least $1 billion a year. The total includes at least $727 million/year attributable to local governments and school districts, and an estimated $255 million/year for the State of Illinois. The study was released on Wednesday, April 5.

Workers’ compensation costs are paid by taxpayers as the employers of the thousands of Illinois public sector personnel, including school and university personnel. Under existing law, most employers must cover their employees with workers’ compensation insurance to reflect the actuarial future costs of the employment-related health challenges they may face in the future while employed.
A visitor count carried out during the final six months of calendar year 2016 showed 12.9 million visitors setting foot in Chicago’s iconic park, making Millennium Park the most popular single site in the central region of the United States. The park centers around sculptor Anish Kapoor’s internationally recognized abstract stainless-steel sculpture “Cloud Gate.” Millennium Park topped the Midwest’s second-most-visited tourist attraction, Chicago’s Navy Pier.
The counts carried out by the American Community Survey include movements of former Illinoisans through calendar years 2015. In 2015, 34,220 former Illinois residents moved to the Hoosier State.

Indiana currently possesses features that increase its attractions relative to Illinois. Features of Indiana policy include a working state budget, a statewide property tax limitation law, a “triple-AAA” credit rating, and a job-friendly business climate. More Illinois residents are expected to move to Indiana as these policy factors continue to operate.    
In an executive order, Gov. Bruce Rauner took steps this week to trigger the elimination of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency (IHPA). The Agency operates more than 50 historic and cultural-heritage sites throughout Illinois. Sites controlled by IHPA include the Hotel Florence, an architectural keystone of the Pullman National Monument in Chicago; Lincoln’s Tomb and Lincoln’s New Salem in Central Illinois; and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cahokia Mounds, east of St. Louis. IHPA was separated out from its former parent, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (then called the Department of Conservation) in 1985.

Under the terms of Rauner’s Executive Order, most of IHPA will be returned to what is now the Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). The consolidation of the two agencies is expected to generate significant administrative savings. A key entity within IHPA, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, will be granted its own Board of Trustees and autonomy directly under the Office of the Governor.