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
The office of State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) will host monthly traveling office hours at Zion Township on Wednesday, February 7 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Staff will will be available to meet with constituents and assist them with any matter involving state agencies or programs. Constituents may call Rep. Jesiel’s office at (847) 395-8000 to schedule an appointment, but no appointment is necessary and walk-in visits are welcome. 

WHAT:
Zion Traveling Office Hours

WHEN:
1st Wednesday Every Month
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

NEXT EVENT:
Wednesday, February 7, 2018

WHERE:
Zion Township Supervisor’s Office
1015 27th Street
Zion, IL 60099
Rauner concentrates on health of private sector - Illinois in 2018 represents what would be the world’s 17th largest economy if the Prairie State were an independent country – roughly equivalent, in national terms, to the economies of Spain and Canada. The progress of this economy formed the heart of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s 2018 State of the State address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday.

Rauner reminded the lawmakers that Illinois is the home of 1.2 million job-creating small businesses, 36 Fortune 500 companies and 72,000 farms that plow 27 million acres of agricultural land. Illinois has 12.8 million residents, almost one-half of whom – 6.05 million – are in the nonfarm payroll workforce, making and producing goods and services that are in demand all over the world. Support for public and private education is a necessary part of continuing this record of achievement, and the Rauner administration and the General Assembly have increased funding for K-12 public schools by $1.2 billion. The administration last year proposed, and the General Assembly enacted, the Invest in Kids program to create tax incentives for donations to scholarship granting organizations that help high-achievement students obtain financial help to attend competitive private schools.
The first day of the spring session was Tuesday, January 30. In addition to considering appropriation bills to make up the FY19 State of Illinois budget (for the fiscal year which starts on July 1, 2018), the Illinois House and Senate will consider many substantive bills. With Amazon.com considering Chicago as one possible location as the site for its second headquarters, the lawmakers will be eager to prioritize measures to improve Illinois as a place for job creation and enterprise. Continuing competition from other Midwestern states, especially Indiana, Missouri and Wisconsin, is expected to be a major theme of the session’s substantive bill work.