Speaking to a joint session of the Illinois House and Senate on Wednesday, Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual Budget Address, outlining his priorities and introducing his third balanced budget in as many years to be considered by lawmakers. Saying “We must think anew and act anew,” the Governor presented a balanced budget that focuses on the future.

At the request of senators from both parties, Governor Rauner outlined his parameters to the General Assembly on the Senate’s “grand bargain” compromise. He made it clear that the final product must be a good deal for taxpayers and job creators.
The new vaccination and immunization requirements will be enforced when most children are enrolled in child care, public school, or private school in Illinois. Their parents will be required to present either an immunization certificate or a medical form when the child is presented or enrolled in a group environment. The Department is authorized to impose vaccination requirements by rule as part of its overall legal authorization to protect Illinois public health.

The IDPH immunization rule reflects the recommendation of nationwide public-health authorities, including panels convened by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that try to optimize the series of immunizations that most infants, children, and young adults need to have. The complex schedule of windows that open and close is supposed to implement this optimization. In a few cases, some immunizations are contraindicated for some young people. The new IDPH rules contain provisions for a family to seek medical counsel. If a physician has evidence that a child should not get a particular kind of shot or immunization, he or she can sign a contraindication exemption form. A school will be required to accept the form as a valid substitute for certification that the child has been immunized.
House members filed 3,921 bills in January and February 2017. Under the “First Reading” deadline, bills filed by mid-February may be considered in a House committee in the 2017 spring session. House bills filed after Friday, February 10 cannot be considered this spring as independent, free-standing pieces of legislation.

Following the bill introduction deadline, the House schedule has set aside six weeks of session time in February and March for committee action. During this six-week period, House committees will hold hearings, listen to testimony from witnesses, and hold votes on bills to be advanced to the House floor for further discussion and debate. In spring 2017, the House has organized 57 permanent and special committees to hear bills and conduct legislative action. Many of these committees began to meet this week.
This week, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) joined the Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) at Go Red for Women Day. Every year, the American Heart Association partners with groups across the country to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases in women.

In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an older man’s disease. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease & stroke as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association created Go Red for Women, a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

Learn about Go Red for Women and how to get involved, Click Here.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank are pleased to announce that first prize for the 6th Annual James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award is $50,000. Applications are now being accepted for the prestigious award, which is presented annually to a high-growth entrepreneur who is philanthropically active in the Chicagoland area.

The winner, who will be announced at the Chicagoland Chamber’s 113th Annual Meeting on June 6th, must display philanthropic values and be active in the local community.

The open application period runs now through March 17, 2017. During a kickoff reception on Wednesday, April 12 at Mesirow Financial, 12 finalists will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges while a live audience vote determines which finalists advance. A private panel of judges will convene in May to evaluate the remaining finalists.

Click here for to see award criteria and to apply for the award.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) responded to Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget address by echoing his call for a budget that will grow our economy and be good for taxpayers and businesses.

“The Governor touched on two things during his address that I think are especially important: first, growing our economy is the only way to get out of this financial mess, and second, the budget must be a good deal that makes sense for taxpayers and job creators. Soaring property taxes are decimating property values in my district, which is driving residents and businesses across the border to Wisconsin. Add in excessive regulations coming out of Springfield that are driving even more out of Illinois, and we have the perfect storm killing economic opportunity. As the legislature works on a budget, we must consider the impact of our current taxes and regulations, and if a new one will cause more to leave; it will only make our financial problems worse. The people of Illinois deserve better. As the Governor suggested, we need economic growth to outpace government growth to solve our budget crisis.”

Today at noon, Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his annual Budget Address. To watch the address live, Click Here or Click Here
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) has been assigned to several committees for the 100th General Assembly that highlight her experience as a CPA and as a community service advocate.

“I’m optimistic about the opportunity to work on meaningful reform posed by the committees I will serve on this legislative session,” said Jesiel. “Specifically, the opportunity presented through the special committee on business growth and incentives. Illinois’ policies have driven away countless jobs and the businesses that create them; this has exacerbated the tax burden on residents and driven even more people out of the state. For Illinois to again be a compassionate, economic leader where people come to pursue the American dream, we must make it the place businesses want to be.”
The Field Museum of Natural History, in Chicago, announced the free admissions program on Wednesday, February 1. Proof of residency will be required. The basic free admission will not include special ticket exhibits or admission to any 3-D movies that may be screened. Persons given free admission will get the chance to upgrade to an all-access pass with additional payment at the door.

Basic free admission to the Field Museum will include the chance to see a selection of the more than 24 million human and scientific objects and specimens on display. The Museum has collections of cultural history, biology, and geology from all over the world.
State aid to schools is one of the largest appropriations of Illinois’ state budget. The complex formula, which is set forth in Illinois statute and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), includes a wide variety of tweaks and variables. Money that is not provided by federal or State aid must be brought in from property tax levies and concerns about the Illinois school funding formula are increasingly intertwined with concerns about Illinois property taxes and tax rates.

The State of Illinois currently funds 26% of the total cost of Illinois primary and secondary education. It is the Commission’s hope that in the future, the State can be the primary funding source of education. In order to get to that level of funding, the Commission’s framework points to individual “adequacy targets” for each district based on the district’s individual needs, including student enrollment, teacher salaries, low-income students, and English language learners among other factors. This target will help districts and local residents understand how much a school must spend to provide an adequate and equitable education to each student. In addition, the Commission also agreed that any new school funding formula must provide transparency when it comes to local dollars being spent on education in hopes of lessening the State’s reliance on property taxes to fund education.
The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) is performing a Preliminary Engineering (Phase I) study for the intersection of Wadsworth Road and Lewis Avenue in the Village of Beach Park and the City of Waukegan. This study was initiated to study possible intersection improvements to address capacity deficiencies and enhance safety, as well as evaluate pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. Please join us for the final Public Information Meeting for Phase I. The purpose of the meeting is to present the preferred improvement plan, present the project schedule, and to seek public comment.

DATE: Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017
TIME: 5 - 7 p.m.
LOCATION: Village of Beach Park, 11270 W Wadsworth Rd, Beach Park
This week, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) was reappointed to serve on the Legislative Audit Commission by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). The commission serves as the watchdog for how state agencies utilize public funds.

“I appreciate that House Leader Durkin has reappointed me to serve on the Audit Commission,” said Jesiel. “As the Governor noted last week, in the past two years we have been able to move the needle forward to reduce bureaucratic red tape and streamline how some of our state agencies operate. However, the state is still in a dire financial situation and this reality makes the work of the Audit Commission a critical component to reducing wasteful use of public dollars to ensure we can relieve the burden already placed on taxpayers without sacrificing important care for our most vulnerable.”

The Legislative Audit Commission is responsible for the oversight of the State Audit Program, review of the stewardship of public funds, and the monitoring action to correct weaknesses disclosed by the audits of state agencies. The commission consists of 12 legislators appointed by the General Assembly leadership and is equally apportioned between the two houses and political parties.
The suggestions coincide with the annual peak season for flu transmission, which coincides with the winter months from December until February. “It is not too late to get a flu shot,” encourages IDPH Director Dr. Nirav Shah.

Influenza and other acute respiratory illnesses can be serious threats to other patients with health conditions. For example, current guidelines suggest that visitors with acute respiratory illness not visit patients in hospitals. Guidelines like these are suggestions made by IDPH to Illinois hospitals, many of which adopt policies in line with the recommendations. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains overall prevention strategies for healthcare professionals to follow in dealing with seasonal influenza.