This week, key advancements in the plan to turn Illinois into the “next coast” for technology and enterprise creation were released. The progress report was occasioned by news earlier this month that the project was appropriated $500 million by the State of Illinois.

The anchor project in the plan is the Discovery Partners Institute (DPI), an innovation center led by the U of I System intended to be located within The 78, Related Midwest’s 62-acre planned development in downtown Chicago. Bordered by the South Loop, Chinatown, Bronzeville and Pilsen, DPI will be the centerpiece of the Illinois Innovation Network (IIN), a system of research centers across the state tailored to meet the needs of individual regions and lift their economies.
From Lake County's 19th Judicial Circuit Court: 
The 19th Judicial Circuit Court’s Jury Commission received notification of several occurrences where individuals had been contacted via telephone by a male identifying himself as a Lake County Deputy Sheriff. Citizens were told that they had failed to appear for Jury Duty and needed to proceed to the Lake County Courthouse in Waukegan immediately. Once at the Courthouse, they were instructed to call the Deputy Sheriff stating that they had left their residence. Local authorities have verified that the name provided by the caller is NOT a Lake County Deputy Sheriff. 

In response to these events, Chief Judge Jay W. Ukena has issued the following statement. “The Nineteenth Judicial Circuit is appreciative of the service performed by the citizens of Lake County and is committed to protecting their civic right to serve as a juror. The Circuit is issuing a press advisory regarding this matter to all our local justice and media partners today to warn and protect the Citizens of Lake County." 
HB 138, sponsored by Rep. Jesiel and approved by both houses of the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor on Friday, will close loopholes in existing law, especially with relations to the Illinois General Assembly, on issues of sexual harassment. The bill makes the office of Legislative Inspector General a full-time position, lengthens the window of time within which a survivor of sexual harassment may file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights, toughen harassment training for Illinois state legislators and their staff, requires annual reporting of sexual harassment reports, and makes other changes.
One of the largest long-term challenges facing the State is the presence of unfunded pension liabilities in State-managed pension funds. The size of these liabilities, which cover pension payments promised to teachers and other public-sector professional workers, cannot be precisely determined at this time because it is based on future interest rates and prudent anticipated future rates of return on the funds already invested. Based on current estimates of future rates of return, the unfunded pension liabilities of the State and its taxpayers are in excess of $130 billion. $71 billion of this underfunding reflects commitments made by the Teachers’ Retirement System of Illinois.

In the spring 2018 session, the State took significant actions to delineate and reduce the unfunded liabilities on the books of the Teachers Retirement System (TRS) and State Universities Retirement System (SURS). Legislation passed on a bipartisan basis by both houses will reduce these liabilities in two ways. Firstly, school districts will no longer be able to pass on to the State the cost of “spiking” end-of-career educator salary hikes, which are the salary levels on which pension payments are based, at a rate that is higher than the current rate of inflation. Under the 2018 pension reform plan, the State-pension-liable portions of the salaries paid to educators by school districts cannot increase at a rate faster than 3%. Pension costs generated from salary increases greater than 3% must be borne by the school or university that granted the salary hike.
Following the General Assembly’s passage of the first balanced budget in a decade, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) had this to say:

“When I first entered the House in 2014, Illinois had not had a balanced budget in years,” said Jesiel. “I’m glad that is finally going to change. This FY19 Budget is far from perfect, but the common-sense fact that expenditures cannot exceed revenues has finally been recognized.

“This budget agreement demonstrates that we can actually negotiate in good faith without increasing taxes, which is part of the reason I voted for it. I am glad we are providing some stability through increased K-12 and higher education funding, which includes a merit-based scholarship to stop the brain-drain to other states. To help high-tax, low-wealth school districts, this package includes a tax-swap grant to provide property tax relief, something I pushed for in the education funding reform process. This budget also addresses pension spiking and creates a buyout option to reduce our pension liability. In addition, the package addresses unpaid bills from FY17 and FY18, as well as funding for critically needed infrastructure projects.

“However, passing this balanced budget is one small step. The state still needs to get serious about policy reform – we need to shift the local funding burden to reduce the excessive property tax burden on residents and lower the overall tax burden that is driving people out of Illinois. This means we will need to reduce spending next year, and the year after that, and get serious about workers’ compensation reform to make Illinois more desirable to job creators so we can actually grow. This also means taking the pension reform in this package beyond minor adjustments and producing long-term changes to make the system solvent, and pay down all our long-term obligations, not just those from the past couple years. Doing all of this won’t be easy, but finally passing a balanced budget for the first time in a decade is a good place to start,” Jesiel concluded.
This week, the Illinois House overwhelmingly passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) to curtail excessively large severance packages in public employment contracts. Having now passed both Houses of the General Assembly, Senate Bill 3604 will soon be sent to the Governor for his signature.

“This legislation is an overdue win for taxpayers,” said Jesiel. “If a public servant, particularly in an administrative or leadership role, engages in misconduct and loses their job, taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unmerited pay as a result.”
Speaking in opposition to the proposed unfair tax, Rep. Jesiel points out the damage another income tax hike would do to low and middle income earners, particularly in struggling areas that border other states.
Yesterday, the Illinois House unanimously passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) to help ensure tobacco products stay out of the hands of kids. SB2765 has now passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly, making its next stop the desk of the Governor for a signature into law.

“Even though the serious health risks of tobacco use are well known, nearly half of kids report having tried tobacco by the end of high school,” said Jesiel. “Coupled with the fact that 9 of 10 smokers tried it for the first time by age 18, curbing tobacco use by our youth is the key to this serious health dilemma. SB2765 helps us do this by making sure our retailers are not side-stepping the law and selling it to them.”

As Jesiel noted, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) demonstrate that the overwhelming majority of adult tobacco users started before the legal age of 18. While there are many contributing factors, one contributing factor is the illegal sale of tobacco products to minors.
This week, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) filed House Resolution 1076. The resolution cautions the State of Wisconsin to not hastily allow Foxconn Technology Group to establish three new facilities on the Illinois-Wisconsin border without proper environmental and public health impact studies.

“I’m happy to see that a global technology manufacturer like Foxconn is going to setup shop in the Midwest and bring thousands of jobs with it,” said Jesiel. “I would be even happier if it was on our side of the Illinois-Wisconsin border, but it will undoubtedly still have a positive economic impact on both sides of the border. However, I am concerned that Wisconsin is putting the viability of our clean drinking water at risk by allowing Foxconn to bypass the normal permit and impact study process.”

In 2017, Foxconn and Wisconsin announced an agreement for a new manufacturing campus comprised of three facilities in Racine County. As part of the agreement, Foxconn is being provided substantial economic incentives to construct the $10 billion campus, including $3 billion in tax incentives that could rise to as high as $4.5 billion if certain employment objectives are met.
Today, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) welcomed Kaylee Hubly, a sixth grader at Glenwood Intermediate School to serve as her page on the House floor for the day. Kaylee is a bright young lady who aspires to be a future president.

If your son or daughter would like to apply for this up-close experience of the legislative process, contact Jesiel's office in the district or in Springfield - (847) 395-8000 or (217) 782-8151 to learn more.
Today was the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Youth in Care and Alumni Legislative Shadow Day at the Capitol. While General Assembly members attend committee hearings and session, they are joined by a young person who was, or currently is in the foster system.

Pictured with State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is Jeremy Harvey, who used to be a youth in care. Now Jeremy is a Deputy Director with DCFS and is helping Illinois' youth in care find loving, permanent homes and have the same opportunities to succeed.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has published state gross domestic product (GDP) numbers for 2017 as compared with 2016. The federal data table has mixed numbers for Illinois. On the one hand, Illinois’ economy grew in real terms in 2017, with real (inflation-adjusted) GDP rising 1.2% as compared with 2016. The Land of Lincoln’s per capita numbers were even better, with Illinois residents enjoying real GDP in 2017 that was 1.5% greater than that of 2016.

On the other hand, most U.S. states continued to outperform Illinois. The Prairie State scored 33rd in real 2017 GDP growth among the 50 states, with 32 states outperforming Illinois’ growth rate. Furthermore, Illinois’ good per-capita GDP numbers were helped out by our State’s declining population, with a smaller number of people sharing a slightly larger pie.
For more than 24 months, from the end of June 2015 until mid-July 2017, the state of Illinois spent taxpayers’ money without an approved budget. The partial withdrawal of Illinois’ legislative branch from the job of overseeing and controlling Illinois spending effectively kicked this oversight power over to the federal and state judiciary, and created wide gaps between Illinois spending areas. Although the General Assembly maintained partial oversight of state spending through continuous public hearings and discussions of spending programs and issues, this partial oversight fell short of the mandate contained in subsection 2(b) of Article VIII of the state Constitution. This subsection requires the General Assembly to make annual formal appropriations for all expenditures based upon funds estimated to be available in the approaching fiscal year.
FOID cards are required for the legal possession or purchase of a firearm in Illinois. People seeking to renew these cards should submit their applications in a timely manner. Since June 1, 2008, an Illinois FOID card has been valid for 10 years. In the summer of 2008 many Illinois residents applied for 10-year cards, and these cards are all expiring this summer.

The Illinois State Police urges Illinois current and prospective gun owners who are looking towards applying for or renewing a FOID card this summer to submit their application as soon as possible. The vast majority of applications are submitted online. Delays could happen as the State Police works through the statistical bulge of applications that are expected to come in this summer.
From the Lake County Clerk: Door-to-door sales people working in unincorporated Lake County must carry a solicitor’s certificate while on the job.

Every solicitor must:
  • Register annually in-person with our office. Registration is free. 
  • Work only between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm. 
  • Carry his/her own Certificate of Registration bearing the sales person’s name, employer’s name, manufacturer’s name, type of business, and our embossed seal. 
  • Observe any “No Solicitation” signs. 
  • Respect your request if asked to leave. 
If a solicitor comes to your door, ask to see the certificate before conducting any business. You may report unregistered vendors to the Lake County Sheriff’s office (847.549.5200).
From NBC Chicago: The Great Wolf Lodge Illinois announced it will host a week-long job fair in May to fill nearly 600 open positions at its family-friendly resort in Gurnee.

The job fair, which is scheduled to take place May 14-18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., will include opportunities in retail, guest services, housekeeping and food and beverage.

The water park company said interested individuals can attend the hiring events and open interview sessions with no prior application necessary to interview.

According to a press release, Great Wolf Lodge employs more than 7,500 individuals across its growing portfolio of properties.
Public Spaces:
Every Day Capacity Building Grants
With stretched budgets and limited staff, land managers at federal, state, and local public lands need all the help they can get. That help often comes from Friends Groups, nonprofit organizations whose missions focus on serving our nation's public land sites, and the improvement and responsible use of those sites. These nonprofit organizations are sometimes referred to as Cooperating Associations, or simply as partners. While dedicated and passionate, Friends Groups are often underfunded and understaffed. This grant seeks to strengthen these Friends Groups organizations and unleash their potential to serve their public lands by funding projects that build the organizational capacity of Friends Groups. Funding source is the National Environmental Education Foundation.
Last week, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) passed legislation through the Illinois House to ensure medical facilities that provide integral end stage kidney treatment will not be hindered by duplicative state rules.

“Anyone affected by kidney disease, whether personally or through a family member, knows how important it is to have access to dialysis treatment,” said Jesiel. “Through House Bill 5069, we are preventing the implementation of a costly double licensing regulation which would have created an obstacle to this critical care. The last thing any patient needs is something that makes it more difficult to access care and I’m glad my colleagues in the House agreed.”

In 2002, the Illinois General Assembly passed the End Stage Renal Disease Facility Act. The purpose of this act was to establish a committee to create a state licensing standard for end stage renal disease facilities (ESRDF) in Illinois. However, an inability to maintain the committee stalled this process. Fortunately, the federal government already performs specified licensing for ESRDF facilities.
In January of 2016, an important new law to fight human trafficking took effect in Illinois, the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act. This law (Public Act 99-0099), which State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) carried through the Illinois General Assembly, utilizes the business community to ensure human trafficking victims have access to essential services.

“Human trafficking is a much more pervasive practice than many of us realize and it is essential that we increase awareness and engage the public to fight this form of modern day slavery,” said Wheeler. “The Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act makes information about a very important resource available to victims and witnesses, which has taken us another step closer to ending this horrific practice.”

The Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act provides that specified businesses and establishments conspicuously provide information concerning the availability of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC). The law not only helps victims of this heinous crime gain access to the resources they need to overcome the trauma they have experienced, but also acts an avenue for anyone who observes or suspects trafficking the ability to report it to the proper authorities.

To improve the scope and effectiveness of the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act, Wheeler engaged another advocate in the fight against human trafficking, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor). Working across party lines, Wheeler and Jesiel were able to engage additional advocates and unanimously pass House Bill 4340 through the Illinois House of Representatives.
From the Lake County Sheriff's Office: On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is taking back unwanted prescription drugs. Each year, the Sheriff’s Office partners with the DEA on the national ‘Drug Take Back’ program which encourages the public to prevent substance abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

The service is free, anonymous, and offered at the following three locations:
  • Beach Park Village Hall, 11270 W. Wadsworth Road, Beach Park 
  • Long Grove Fire Protection District, 1165 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove 
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 27551 Volo Village Road, Volo
New speed limits are now in effect on several Chicagoland tollways including I-80, I-88, I-90, I-390, I-94, I-294 and I-355.
The House bill voting deadline will come at the end of this week on Friday. April 27 is the cutoff date for bills originating in the House to be favorably considered by the full House in floor debate and sent to the Senate for final passage. Bills that are not passed by the deadline will be sent to the House Rules Committee, which is the primary pathway under the rules of the House to “table” bills that will no longer be considered. 

Following the House deadline for consideration of its own bills, the focus will shift toward consideration of Senate bills. The House will reconvene on Tuesday, May 8 to hold committee hearings for testimony and discussion of bills that originated in the Senate. Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly will have a four-week period to consider the bills passed by the other chamber and reach final compromises on the difficult issues of 2018. The House and Senate are scheduled to adjourn regular session on Thursday, May 31.
This week, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) unanimously passed legislation through the Illinois House of Representatives to ensure a person-centered approach for people with developmental disabilities.

“Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, which is what House Bill 5537 is all about,” said Jesiel. “State and Federal law already calls for a person-centered approach to planning for people with developmental disabilities, but in the past, part of Illinois’ community-integrated living arrangements act contradicted this approach. Passing House Bill 5537 eliminates this contradiction and ensures anyone who has a developmental disability is afforded the dignity they deserve.”
The first hint of warm, spring weather is here and motorcycle riders are looking to rev up and hit the open road. To ensure rider safety, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are reminding motorcyclists to “Ride Smart” before rolling out on the first ride of the season. 

The annual campaign urges riders to take precautionary measures before getting back on their bikes by conducting pre-ride T-CLOCS safety inspections of their equipment and sharpening their skills with a motorcycle training class offered by IDOT. 
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is teaming up with the Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation to help decrease prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.

Governor Bruce Rauner announced at the beginning of April that five ISP District headquarters across the state will house receptacles for people to drop off their unused and unwanted prescription medications.

Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation provided the receptacles for initiative. The foundation was created by David and Gail Katz, whose son died in 2007 from an overdose of prescription medication.
Celebrate Earth Day by checking out these family-friendly events across the county.
  • The Forest Preserves are celebrating Earth Day (April 22) with a week of free nature programs April 16 to 22. Enjoy Acoustic Bat Monitoring, a Guided Nature Paddle, a Woodpecker Walk and more. Locations vary based on program. Learn more.
  • Enjoy a day of fun, free outdoor activities as Lindenhurst celebrates Earth Day from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 21. The celebration will include a 5K run and walk, recycling opportunities, a Concert for the Earth, an Earth Day kite fly and more. Learn more
  • Join the first Earth Day Expo from noon to 4 p.m. April 22 at Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills. Participate in the Cardboard Challenge, enjoy face painting, music and more. Learn more
  • Enjoy a recycling experiment, scavenger hunt, music, recycling opportunities and more at a free Earth Day and Recycling event from 1 to 3 p.m. April 22 at the Dunbar Recreation Center in Mundelein. Learn more
For more information on actions you can take to make a more sustainable Lake County, visit sustainablelakecounty.org.
From Lake County: The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) is gearing up for a busy road construction season. In 2018, Lake County will have nearly $100 million in road projects under construction, including 30 new projects. There will also be several resurfacing projects, culvert replacements, signal modernizations, and enhancements to the non-motorized network.

View the Interactive Construction Map to find a project you are interested in and connect to the latest information and important updates.
Today, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and other House colleagues to file House Resolution 975 to state their opposition to a proposed progressive income tax on Illinois residents. The legislators announced the filing of the resolution at a press conference at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield.

“Since my district is on the Wisconsin border, I am contacted almost daily by constituents and businesses seeking relief from the high cost to live and work caused by the tax burden imposed here in Illinois,” said Jesiel. “The number one issue these people are already facing is not a matter of if they will leave Illinois, but when they will be able to leave.”

Jesiel noted a typical family in her district living in a $250,000 home, earning an average annual income of $55,000 is already paying $10,000 in taxes on their home and their income taxes increased to over $2,700 annually last year due to the state’s income tax increase. If their income taxes increased again by just 1% or 2%, they would be looking at another increase of close to $1,000 or more.

“People simply cannot afford a progressive income tax,” said Jesiel. “If we are serious about being a compassionate state that provides for our most vulnerable, then we need to realize our current tax system is turning ordinary citizens into the vulnerable. Instead of imposing more taxes that drive people out of Illinois, we need to pull back the reins of taxation and live within our means to allow families and businesses to prosper.”
5 Steps to Your Next Job New time and location!
Dates:
Monday, April 16 to Friday, April 20 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm each day
Location:
Round Lake Public Library 906 Hart Rd. Round Lake, IL

Attend a 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! Reservations recommended 847.377.3439 or email elocke@lakecountyil.gov

Additional Featured Events:
Job Searching Over Age 50
April 11 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Cook Park Library
413 N. Milwaukee Ave. Libertyville
847-362-2330
From the Lake County Treasurer's Office: The more than 20,000 Lake County taxpayers who prepaid their property taxes last December are allowed to deduct their prepaid property taxes on their 2017 federal tax return, according to a statement from the U.S. Treasury Department.

“The Lake County Treasurer’s Office is very pleased to be able to provide clarity on this question for local taxpayers,” Lake County Treasurer David Stolman said. “I would like to thank Congressman Peter Roskam (6th District) for his assistance in seeking confirmation that taxpayers in Illinois are not bound by previous IRS guidance regarding the prepayment of property taxes.”
Join State Representative Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) for her next “Java with Jesiel” discussion at the Warren-Newport Public Library on Saturday, April 7. This meet and greet style event is open to 61st District residents who would like to meet Jesiel and chat with her about the issues facing our state and local communities. The discussion will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

WHAT:
“Java with Jesiel”

WHEN:
Saturday, April 7
9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

WHERE:
Warren-Newport Public Library
224 N. O'Plaine Road
Gurnee, IL 60031
*Lobby*

Rep. Jesiel regularly holds discussions with residents at various locations around the 61st District, sign-up for her periodic e-newsletter to stay up-to-date about future discussions, Click Here.
The U.S. commemorative postage stamp had its “First Day of Issue” on Monday, March 5. Sold for 50 cents, the stamp shares the white, yellow, blue, and green colors of the Illinois state flag and the words “Illinois 1818.” It features an outline map of Illinois with the sun rising from the State’s southern tip. Twenty stars in the stamp’s corners reflect the U.S. states that entered the union before 1818, with the rising sun of Illinois being the twenty-first star of the National Union.
Following the adoption of House Resolution 648, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) has been appointed to serve on the Firearm Public Awareness Task Force. This special task force was reconstituted to address the presence of illegal guns in Illinois.

“Illinois’ gun laws are some of the strictest in the nation, yet those determined to circumvent the law continue to find ways to bring illegal guns into the state,” said Jesiel. “Too often, Illinois has responded by rushing to pass sweeping new laws to deal with this problem, but failed to first consider the unintended consequences or even review the effectiveness of existing law. Improving law enforcements ability to enforce current law or addressing a socioeconomic factor may be a better the solution.”

Jesiel continued, “If this task force takes the time to properly evaluate the data, compare our laws to those working in other parts of the country and determine why current law isn’t working, the end result will be much more effective. I have long felt that we need to take this type of holistic approach. If this is allowed to happen, I believe the task force can produce recommendations to address the illegal gun problem without adversely impacting those who lawful own a firearm.”
The first International Summer Games festival held by the Special Olympics movement for challenged athletes was celebrated in Chicago in 1968. Nearly 1,000 athletes, from twenty-six U.S. states, participated in these first Games. Over the past 50 years, the movement has radiated outwards from the South Side’s Soldier Field and now encompasses organizers in 172 countries and territories around the world. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), which rarely grants out the use of its intellectual property to any other body, allows the Special Olympics to share the Olympic name and torch symbol.
The rating was bestowed by “Site Selection” Magazine, a CEO-oriented periodical and database that compiles information on the relative activities of U.S. locations for business relocation and job growth. Illinois ranked third in the number of new and expanded facilities per capita tracked by the periodical database, in a ranking called the “Governor’s Cup” by the magazine.

Commentators said Illinois was honored for its transportation infrastructure and relatively affordable real estate. More than 400 new and expanded facilities were tracked moving to or expanding in greater Chicago, exclusive of Lake County, in the 2017 Governor’s Cup rankings. This benchmark, which made greater Chicago the #1 U.S. metropolitan area tracked by “Site Selection” with a population of 1 million or more, powered Illinois’ overall standings. However, Illinois’ strength was not limited to greater Chicago. Three Illinois areas defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as “micropolitan areas,” population centers in predominantly rural environments with a population between 10,000 and 50,000, also scored highly. Strong Illinois micropolitan areas were Ottawa-Peru, Effingham, and Rochelle. All three regions are places where transcontinental railroad service comes together with two or more U.S. Interstate highways.
Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Deputy Governor Leslie Munger, and leaders from the Illinois Math and Science Academy have launched the three-year Illinois Bicentennial STEM Fusion Campaign. The Campaign will generate enhanced teacher professional development opportunities and student STEM enrichment programs to participants in 25 selected schools across the State. 

The STEM Fusion Campaign pays tribute to Illinois’ heritage in mathematics education. One of the first bills passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 1818 was a measure to set aside a set percentage of the new state’s frontier land as seed money for a public school system to teach English and math. One-thirty-sixth of the new state’s unsettled farmland was set aside for this purpose. Some Illinoisans may still remember hearing that a square mile near their home was once a “school section.”
As part of Illinois' 200 year birthday celebrations, the Office of the Illinois State Treasurer has announced the Bicentennial Coin Contest. The contest encourages individuals to submit a design for the coin that will be created and distributed to commemorate the Illinois Bicentennial.

The treasurer’s office will accept electronic submissions for the Bicentennial Coin Contest from Illinois residents. Each design should depict an aspect of Illinois or Illinois history. One entry, per contestant, can be submitted now through May 1, 2018 at www.IllinoisCoinContest.com. The winning design will be used for the commemorative bicentennial coin. To pre-order a commemorative bicentennial coin, visit www.IllinoisCoinContest.com and click on the “medallion pre-sale” graphic.

The public will have an online opportunity to vote on the top five designs in June. A final winner will be announced on June 18, 2018.
Looking for a fun community project to join? SWALCO's Reuse-A-Shoe program might be the perfect fit for your organization.

Every year, across the globe, millions of pairs of shoes end up in landfills or disposed of in some way, creating a lot of waste. It is estimated that 85% or more of these unwanted items end up in our landfills, which here in the U.S. and around the world, are filling up fast. 

No matter what age we are, most of us have at least a few pairs or more of unwanted shoes hanging out in our closets. Some may be shoes we just don’t wear, shoes we or family members have outgrown, or those that have gotten a little worn around the edges. Much of what we consider unwanted waste can actually be recycled or repurposed. 
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce presents the James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award each year to an entrepreneur or small business in the Chicago region that has demonstrated growth and civic/philanthropic values. The winner of the Tyree Award receives a $50,000 cash prize, courtesy of Mesirow Financial and CIBC, plus business consulting services from the Chicagoland Chamber.

2018 is the 7th year of the Tyree Award. The winner will be announced during the Chicagoland Chamber's 114th Annual Meeting on June 5, 2018.

The Tyree Award application process runs through March 25th.

Click here for to see award criteria and to apply.
This week in Springfield was very contentious, so for anyone who is concerned about the recent gun legislation, from any perspective, I want to make sure you have the correct information. I always approach votes from a measured policy perspective, not a political one, to ensure good policy is enacted.

I voted no on SB1657, the inaccurately named “Gun Dealer Licensing” bill, both yesterday and when it was first called in the fall. There are numerous problems with this bill beyond the fact the ATF already licenses and regularly inspects gun shops - serious concerns for the privacy of private citizens and the exemption for large retailers like Wal-Mart means that all this bill does is drive mom and pop shops out of business. That is not good policy.
The Veterans Creative Arts Festival is the celebration and regional finale stage and art show, which are the culmination of talent competitions in art, creative writing, dance, drama, and music for Veterans treated in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national health care system. All Veterans invited to participate in the national event are selected gold medal winners of year-long, regional fine arts talent competitions across the nation. Our regional center is the Cpt. James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, IL. This will be the VA’s 11 Annual Festival and the 3rd year CLC has collaborated with Lovell FHCC on this event.

61st District State Representative Sheri Jesiel recently interviewed with the "Have All Voted Who Wish" podcast. The podcast follows members of the Illinois House of Representatives. Jesiel represents the farthest northeastern House District in the State of Illinois and is a lifelong resident of the Zion-Winthrop Harbor area where she raised her three children.

Jesiel discussed the new legislative session, her work on property tax relief and pension reform, as well as her personal connection to the 61st District and the most pressing issues impacting the area.

Under existing law, the 45 states that charge sales taxes are not allowed to order retailers to enforce the collection of these taxes on many of the goods and services that cross state lines. In a 1992 federal Supreme Court decision, Quill v. North Dakota, the Supreme Court attached a strict condition upon state attempts to use retailers to charge these sales taxes. The state must present evidence that the retailer has a physical presence, called by lawyers a “nexus,” within the state that seeks to use the retailer to charge the sales tax. 

One of the core arguments set forth in Quill is that the Constitution forbids the states from charging a tax on interstate commerce and that any transaction that lacks a nexus is a pure interstate transaction that falls within the guidelines set forth in this prohibition. Furthermore, mail-order firms at the time of Quill argued convincingly that it would be unreasonably burdensome for them to keep up with sales tax laws in all U.S. jurisdictions in which sales taxes are charged. In Illinois, a multitude of sales tax rates are charged by different counties and municipalities. 
Voting on the first round of the poll opened this week and will conclude on Friday, March 2. Results will be announced on Monday, March 5. The first round of the online survey will measure voters’ support for movies filmed or produced in Illinois. The second round of voting, to begin in March, will give participants the chance to select their favorite Illinois private-sector business firm. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the State Journal-Register and the Illinois Bicentennial Commission are co-producing this set of nonscientific surveys in honor of each fortnight in the State’s bicentennial year. There will be room for as many as 20 online surveys to be run prior to the conclusion of the Bicentennial and celebration of the actual 200th birthday on December 3, 2018.
This week, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual budget address, a speech in which the Governor laid out his proposal for annual state spending. While the Governor proposes a spending plan, it is the General Assembly (GA) that drafts and approves the legislation which actually authorizes the state to spend money.

State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) pinpointed a few broad themes from the Governor’s address as critical to FY19 budget discussions whether or not his specific proposals become law. Jesiel also said it is critical the General Assembly adopt a revenue estimate, a Constitutional requirement that has not been met since 2011.

“The budget address recognized that a rising economy allows us all to rise with it,” said Jesiel. “However, government, in Illinois in particular, has too often forgotten that we need to foster a competitive environment to create this economic rise. Acknowledging this reality is very important to ensuring our economy grows faster than our government. Otherwise, we cannot hope to rebalance our state and provide compassionate services.

“I share this type of approach to the budgeting process and I was glad the budget address focused on these themes to provide a structural framework as a base to build a healthy future for Illinois. My district needs to be competitive with Wisconsin so we can stop the hemorrhage of Illinois residents out of the district and the state.
Gov. Bruce Rauner delivered his Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday. The Governor renewed his call for a $1 billion tax cut for all Illinois taxpayers. He also called for “structural reforms” to Illinois laws that underlie the current patterns of Illinois public-sector taxes and spending. 

Assailing what he called “unsustainable growth in our pension and healthcare costs,” Gov. Rauner stated that more than 25 cents of every dollar the State spends goes to these facets of public-sector employee benefits. These benefits far exceed the benefits paid to workers in the private sector, and the cost of these benefits is driving job growth from Illinois to other states. Rauner pointed to job trends, including manufacturing job growth, in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 
Tomorrow at noon, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his annual Budget Address. The address will provide a blueprint to the General Assembly of how the Governor would like to see the state appropriate taxpayer dollars. 

You can watch it live online, Click Here.
From ABC Chicago: Find out if your school, business or daycare center is closed because of a weather emergency. 

The Emergency Closing Center lists the status of all reported ECC facilities. If you do not see your facility listed it means the facility has not reported a status change to ECC. Click Here.
Join State Representative Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) for coffee and donuts at Warren Township on Monday, February 12. This "Java with Jesiel" will be held from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Township residents are welcome to come at any time and chat with Rep. Jesiel about issues facing the state and local communities.

WHAT:
“Java with Jesiel”

WHEN:
Monday, February 12, 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

WHERE:
Warren Township Senior Center
17801 W. Washington St.
Gurnee, Illinois 60031