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.