The service for the 2016 tax filing season, to be offered by tax assistance centers across Illinois in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), is targeted towards families with incomes up to $55,000 and individuals with incomes up to $30,000. The service offices will help Illinois residents fill out and sign their forms in advance of the tax filing deadline of April 18, 2017, but eligible Illinois residents are urged to come in as soon as possible.

People whose incomes make them potentially eligible for this benefit can find the tax assistance centers that offer this free service. They should visit this website and enter their zip code to find a center close to where they live. This service is being targeted towards individuals and households that are potentially eligible for federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs).
Attention all Lake County businesses, schools, churches, non for profits and units of local government!

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, January 31, 2017 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at the Village of Lindenhurst Village Hall Garage located at 2301 E. Sand Lake Road in Lindenhurst.

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.
Statement by State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor):

“I appreciated that the Governor highlighted many of the positives that most of our residents aren’t hearing about, such as a focus on technology initiatives to streamline government, reducing bureaucratic red tape, and for the first time in years, increased education funding. He also made a point about the shared responsibility of passing a balanced budget, which I think is very important. As he noted, it is the moral responsibility owed to all the people of Illinois and I hope his call to work together is taken up soon by both sides.

“I was also pleased by his focus on job creation and economic opportunity. Since my district is on the border of Wisconsin, this is our number one concern, not just for the sake of jobs alone, but from a standpoint of compassion. Generating economic development and more opportunity in Illinois provides stability for families, provides property tax relief and allows us the means to care for our most vulnerable. As he suggested, it’s only when we grow our economy and generate both jobs and additional revenues that we can be a compassionate state.”
Today at noon, Governor Rauner will deliver his State of the State Address, discussing the past two years and the upcoming future of our state.

You can watch like online, Click Here, or live on Facebook, Click Here.
The life of the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program was extended for four months, until April 30, 2017, by SB 513. The passage of SB 513 was made necessary by the inclusion in the EDGE Act of a “sunset date” that causes the program to become inactive at intervals of time. The General Assembly must debate and consider the effect on the State’s economy, and on our State budget, of any law that reduces taxes on the private sector and asks its firms to create new jobs in response. The old sunset date of December 31, 2016 meant that the EDGE program hiccupped briefly and became inactive for a few days. Creation of a new sunset date of April 30, 2017 means that the program has come back to life and can be used once again to create new Illinois jobs.
Are you a female leader on your campus?

Are you interested in pursuing a career in public service?

Do you want to be part of the next generation of leaders who are making a difference in communities across Illinois?

This June in Chicago you can take the first step in gaining the skills and connections you'll need to reach your goals.

NEW Leadership Illinois 2017

June 5-9, 2017

University of Illinois at Chicago

NEW Leadership Illinois provides college leaders opportunities to network with and learn from many of Illinois’ most prominent female leaders. NEW Leadership Illinois is a yearly bi-partisan program that strives to educate and empower the next generation of female leaders. This expenses paid program includes leadership education, hands-on training in public policy, and networking opportunities with leaders from every level of government.
New law to require testing of many Illinois school buildings for lead in tap water. - The poisonous substance could be in water anywhere in a school building or day care center that serves students aged fifth-grade-or-younger, including water fountains installed in school corridors. SB 550 would create a statewide system for all school systems, other than Chicago, to test the water of each school building. The Chicago Public School system says they have tested their schools already. Other school systems that have already tested their water would also be exempted from this state mandate and lead testing results would have to be made public. 

Studies show that Illinois has one of the largest number of lead service lines in the United States. A lead-in-water scandal in Flint, Michigan has earned substantial news coverage throughout the Midwest. Both Illinois and Michigan underwent fast economic development and boom conditions in the first three-quarters of the 20th century. During this period lead pipes and fittings were standard building supplies in building projects of all sorts, including school buildings.
Today, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) took the Oath of Office to begin her second term in the Illinois House of Representatives. Jesiel thanked the residents of the 61st District for the opportunity to serve them once more and noted her continued resolve to see Illinois reform its financial system and pass a balanced budget.

"Now that the 100th General Assembly has officially begun, its time to get back to business representing the great residents of 61st district," said Jesiel. "It's humbling and sometimes daunting given the challenges in this state. A huge thank you to my friends and family for the support that got me here, and to the voters who entrusted me with representing them for another two years. I look forward to tirelessly working to 'leave this place better than when I got here,' in the words today of our minority leader, Jim Durkin."

What the Inauguration of the 100th Illinois General Assembly Live - Click Here.
On January 1, 2017, 191 new laws took effect in Illinois. These new laws either repealed or fixed an old law, or created something new and unique. But these 191 laws are only a fraction of the more than 6,000 pieces of legislation that were filed in the House during the 99th General Assembly.

So what happened to all of these laws that won’t be? House Speaker Madigan used his infamous Rules Committee to prevent many of these pieces of legislation from even being assigned to a standing committee for consideration. Many more that were assigned to a committee were not even allowed to have a hearing and were then sent back to the Rules Committee by Speaker Madigan’s personally selected committee Chairs.

Here is a look at some of the laws most Illinoisans think would be common sense, but won’t be in 2017.

Red light ticket right to due process
House Bill 4041
This legislation allows for due process of a red light camera ticket by allowing a vehicle owner to contest the ticket and also includes a provision that requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the violation occurred.

Legislators pay reduction for not paying bills

House Bill 491 / House Bill 4620 
These bills reduce the salaries for members of the Illinois General Assembly by 10% if the backlog of unpaid state bills is not reduced 10%.