(Left to Right) Superintendent Keely Roberts, teacher
Jeff LaBelle and State Rep. Sheri Jesiel.
Recently, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) was given a tour of renovated facilities at Zion Central Middle School by Superintendent Keely Roberts and teacher Jeff LaBelle. Zion Central is part of an innovative learning space redesign undertaken by Zion Elementary District 6 to implement expanded programing designed to prepare students for the changing practical and technological skills needed to succeed in high school and career.

“It’s great to see how District 6 is taking this innovative approach to improving their learning environment for students,” said Jesiel. “Implementing programs focused on the changing practical and technological skills needed to succeed is exactly what is needed as our career environment continues to change so rapidly in the 21st century. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and was excited to observe the enthusiasm that the students and teachers have for these new opportunities to learn relevant skills.”
Former members of the Guard and Reserve who do not have any periods of active duty other than their initial active duty for training and annual training are now eligible to receive “Veteran” on their driver’s licenses. "This bill ensures that every man and woman who has served this state and nation is recognized,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries. "Our veterans have given so much for us, and I am glad Illinois is taking this step to expand designations."

Last year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2173 to allow National Guard members and reservists to obtain the veteran identifier on their Illinois driver's license.
Illinois residents are advised to be on alert for a renewed phone scam in which callers pose as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials in an attempt to scare people into sending money to pay for allegedly unpaid taxes. Consumers report being contacted by scammers pretending to be IRS officials who leave threatening messages that include a number for consumers to call in order to avoid lawsuits or prosecution.

Scammers also “spoof” phone numbers, causing caller ID devices to display what appears to be a legitimate call from the IRS, with identifiers such as “IRS” or the (202) area code for Washington, D.C. The scam artists claim they are representatives of the federal government collecting on unpaid taxes and leave threatening messages or instruct their targets to make a payment to them through a prepaid debit card.

It is critical to know that the IRS does not call and tell people they are under investigation or that they owe money. If you receive a call like this, even if your caller ID shows what appears to be a legitimate name or number, hang up immediately.
From Lake County: The flood of 2017 caused major flooding throughout Lake County resulting in significant property damage. The Stormwater Management Commission of Lake County is hosting a Flood Proofing Expo and Workshop for homeowners and property owners across 52 municipalities on October 19, 2017 from 3-8 p.m. at the Libertyville Sports Complex, 1950 US Highway 45. There is no charge to attend the Flood Proofing Expo. 

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about various products, services, and solutions to minimize flood damages to their homes and properties. The expo portion of this event will provide the opportunity to explore exhibitor tables for companies, vendors, and other resources. Presentations by industry experts will take place every hour, where participants can learn about drainage systems and ask questions about anything from flood insurance to best practices for flood damage protection. 

For more information, Click Here.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is one of four Illinois lawmakers appointed to serve on the Advisory Council on Early Identification and Treatment of Mental Health Conditions. The advisory council will look at how Illinois can increase early detection of mental health and substance abuse conditions and improve access to treatment in Illinois.

“It normally takes around ten years to properly diagnose and treat a mental health condition, particularly in children and young adults,” said Jesiel. “When you factor in how substance abuse can exacerbate a mental health condition like depression, it makes it that much more pressing to improve our ability to more quickly identify when someone needs assistance and ensure they have access to effective treatment.”

Jesiel said she hopes the advisory council will lead to the enactment of legislation or new protocols to saves lives, such as the 2015 law she supported to provide life-saving naloxone for heroin overdoses. Jesiel noted that suicide is the second leading cause of death in Illinois for those 10 to 34 years of age, often a result of untreated depression frequently caused by substance abuse. In addition, since so many recent incidents of violence have been found to have been the result of a mental health and/or substance abuse condition, addressing both conditions in tandem is critical.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Veteran’s Assistance Commission, several local law enforcement agencies and many local high schools to collect coats and outerwear for the Lake County Law Enforcement Veteran's Coat Drive. The collection period run until Wednesday, November 8.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and our law enforcement partners invite you to join them in bringing gently used coats, gloves, hats, socks and scarves to one of the following locations: 
  • Lake County, IL Government, 18 N County Street, Waukegan 
  • Lake County Sheriff's Office, 25 S Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Waukegan 
  • Lake County Sheriff's Office, 1301 N Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville (entrance off Winchester Road) 
  • Bannockburn Police Department, 2275 Telegraph Road, Bannockburn 
  • Deerfield Police Department, 850 Waukegan Road, Deerfield 
  • Gurnee Police Department, 100 N O'Plaine Road, Gurnee 
  • Hawthorn Woods Police Department, 2 Lagoon Drive, Hawthorn Woods 
  • Highland Park Police Department, 1677 Old Deerfield Road, Highland Park 
  • Lake County State's Attorney's Office, 18 N County Street, Waukegan 
  • Lake County Coroner's Office, 18 N County Street, Waukegan 
  • Libertyville Police Department, 200 E Cook, Libertyville 
  • Mundelein Police Department, 221 N Lake Street, Mundelein 
  • Round Lake Park Police Department, 215 E Main Street, Round Lake Park 
From the University Center of Lake County: For the tenth consecutive year, University Center of Lake County has collaborated with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and multiple partners across Lake County to organize a series of workshops at which students and families can electronically submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2017-18 series will begin on October 2. These workshops are held in the computer labs of high schools, colleges, libraries, and nonprofit organizations. Volunteers trained by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission are available to provide assistance; at least one volunteer at each site speaks Spanish.

The FAFSA is required to access any federal student aid and to access the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds. Many colleges and universities also rely on FAFSA data to determine eligibility for the institution’s own financial aid funds. Students seeking financial aid to attend college from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
This week, State Representatives Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) and Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) co-hosted a free Small Business Summit to provide local businesses with helpful advice on workforce development, tax credits and other economic development programs. The summit was held at the College of Lake County in Grayslake.

"Small business is the engine that drives our economy, which is why it is so important to have a strong small business climate in Lake County and Illinois,” said Jesiel. “Lake County has some very useful resources to support our small businesses, but we need to make sure our businesses know about them.”

The Illinois Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the College of Lake County is one of the resources that presented at the summit. The SBDC promotes the creation, expansion and employment growth of small businesses in Lake County by offering free one-on-one advising, low-cost workshops, networking and development expertise, all provided by experienced business professionals. Their services range to everything from the development of start-up business plans and marketing, to expansion into international markets.
Equifax, an Atlanta based credit-rating agency, suffered a security breach on July 29th that exposed sensitive information of millions of Americans. Such information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, birthdays, and addresses. It has been determined that 5.4 million Illinois residents have been affected by the breach. 

The company has set up a website where you can check if your personal information was affected by the breach: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com
From the Lake County Health Department:
The Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center's Animal Care and Control program is offering the last two low-cost pet vaccination clinics of 2017 on the following dates:
  • September 9, from 9:00 a.m. to noon at the Grayslake Police Department (10 South Seymour, Grayslake, IL). Weather permitting, the 4-H dog spin club “K9 Krew” will provide pet nail trims for a $5.00 donation. 
  • October 7, from 9 a.m. to noon at Beach Park Public Works (40185 Glendale, Beach Park, IL). 
These clinics provide a convenient and affordable way for Lake County residents to keep their pets up to date with shots and rabies tags.
State Representatives Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) and Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) are co-hosting a free Small Business Summit to provide local businesses with helpful advice on workforce development, tax credits and other economic development programs. The summit will be held on Wednesday, September 13 at the College of Lake County, located at 19351 W. Washington St., in Grayslake.

"Small business is the engine that drives our economy, employing roughly half of all Americans, so it is essential we have an environment and resources here in Lake County to ensure our small businesses are successful," said Jesiel.

The summit, also co-sponsored by the Lake County Small Business Development Center and Lake County Partners, will include a Springfield update on economic development and job creation initiatives by Jesiel and Sente. In addition, the event will feature Director Sean McCarthy of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), who will speak about how DCEO can help small businesses.
Following a series of last minute changes, the Illinois General Assembly recently approved a major overhaul of Illinois’ school funding formula. State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor), who served on the School Funding Reform Commission and was previously involved in extensive negotiations, expressed concerns about the approved overhaul, House Floor Amendment 5 to Senate Bill 1947:

“For close to a year, I served on the Governor’s commission to review methods to reform Illinois’ school funding formula and subsequently negotiating the creation a new evidence-based funding model. I firmly believe an evidence-based funding model is the responsible and research based approach needed to create a truly equitable funding structure to dramatically improve how schools are funded in Illinois. That being said, most residents know that I opposed Senate Bill 1 for several reasons, primarily because Senate Bill 1 included several provisions that would take funds away from our school districts and send them to CPS. In addition, some of the new provisions had significant shortcomings and virtually nothing in the bill adequately shifted school funding reliance away from local property taxes.

“When news broke last week that a new compromise had been reached to bridge the gap between the original Senate Bill 1, the Governor’s Amendatory Veto and the last Republican proposal, I was hopeful. Unfortunately, while the compromise produced in the amendment to Senate Bill 1947 was certainly an improvement on Senate Bill 1, it still contained a majority of provisions that concerned me, among them a property tax “swap” which will only help 32 of the state’s 852 school districts and is not required to be funded every year, and Illinois taxpayers are still on the hook to help pay for Chicago Public School’s mismanagement of pension funds over the last two decades.
From the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County (SWALCO):
To help tackle the seemingly endless barrage of leaves, twigs, thorny rose trimmings (ouch!), banana peels and that weird collection of egg shells and to supply your fall flowers with a renewable water source, we will be hosting a Compost Bin & Rain Barrel Sale at our Gurnee Facility on Friday, September 15th. Grab a few Compost Bins and/or Rain Barrels to help organize your good intentions. These make wonderful housewarming, hostess & holiday gifts too!

Friday, September 15
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

From the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation:
Illinois condominium owners now have a comprehensive, educational guide at their fingertips
thanks to a recently compiled handbook by the Illinois Condominium and Common Interest Community (CCIC) Ombudsperson, Adrienne Levatino. The Condo Unit Owner’s Rights and Responsibilities Handbook provides an unbiased, objective look at Illinois law governing condominium unit owners and marks the kick-off of the Ombudsperson’s educational program aimed at informing condo owners of their rights and responsibilities. Future publications will address the rights of condominium and common interest association boards and the rights and responsibilities of owners living in common interest communities.
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.
A new program developed by the Illinois Natural History Survey with support from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources aims to encourage more adults to hunt. The Hunter Recruitment Program is offering a series of free workshops around the state, giving new hunters an opportunity to learn from experienced mentors and to get hands-on experience hunting for deer, turkey, squirrels, pheasants, ducks, geese and other game.
From the Job Center of Lake County:
Are you 18 to 24 years old? If you live in Lake County and you are currently unemployed, you may be eligible for a paid internship.

Start by attending an information session:
Job Center of Lake County, 1 N. Genesee St. Waukegan, IL
Tuesdays at 3pm and Thursdays at 11am

Job Center Satellite Office, CLC building 4, 1935 W. Washington St. Grayslake
Wednesdays at 3pm
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.