Statement of Rep. Sara Jimenez on legislative passage today of education funding and a stopgap (temporary) state budget plan:

"Today, we took a positive step forward as we passed a stopgap budget for state services and higher education as well as a full year’s budget for our Kindergarten through High School students. 

While we are far from finishing our work on all of the challenges we face, we must continue to work on compromise solutions with our colleagues in the House and Senate.  Although not perfect, our action today proves that this general assembly and Governor can accomplish reasonable solutions when we work together. 

The stopgap budget measure will provide urgently needed funding for human service providers, social services, and state operations for the rest of this calendar year.  I have said since I took office that the only path forward is for Republicans and Democrats to work together and compromise to put Illinois back on the right track."
"Illinois lawmakers are poised to vote Thursday on a K-12 school budget that will allow schools to open on time this fall and a six-month stopgap spending plan for a variety of other programs to keep state services operating through the end of the year..."

Read Rep. Jimenez's comments and  more in the State Journal Register.
Budget Working Groups continue to meet, Speaker cancels a third week of session

Once again Speaker Madigan has decided to cancel another week of session. With less than 10 days to the beginning of the new budget year, it is disappointing there seems to be no urgency from the Speaker’s office to bring us together to discuss these important, challenging issues. 

If members of the General Assembly are not in session—there is a 0 percent chance that a balanced, responsible budget can be passed that would provide certainty and stability to all of those who rely on state government.

With so much riding on the outcome of the progress of the working groups, I believe we need to return to session immediately and have all the members of the General Assembly have input in ending this impasse. The people we represent expect us to be at work in session, as promised, so we can work toward an agreement that will allow our schools to open on time, provide certainty to the human service community, state employees and operations, businesses and taxpayers.
 
Statement of Rep. Jimenez on Speaker Madigan's Cancellation of Three Session Weeks in a Row:

"Once again Speaker Madigan has decided to cancel another week of session. With less than 10 days to the beginning of the new budget year, it is disappointing there seems to be no urgency from the Speaker’s office to bring us together to discuss these important, challenging issues. 
If members of the General Assembly are not in session—there is a 0 percent chance that a balanced, responsible budget can be passed that would provide certainty and stability to all of those who rely on state government.

 With so much riding on the outcome of the progress of the working groups, I believe we need to return to session immediately and have all the members of the General Assembly have input in ending this impasse. The people we represent expect us to be at work in session, as promised, so we can work toward an agreement that will allow our schools to open on time, provide certainty to the human service community, state employees and operations, businesses and taxpayers."
Here's the latest from the Capitol:

House Session Cancelled two weeks in a row

When Speaker Madigan left Springfield two weeks ago without working out an agreement on a responsible budget, he pledged that we would be in “continuous session” every Wednesday until an agreement was adopted.   Since then, he has cancelled both Wednesday session days.   That brings our cancelled session days this spring to nine.

Illinois has operated without a constitutionally balanced budget since July 1, 2015. While some budget spending has continued uninterrupted through continuing appropriations and court orders, many  institutions an services are suffering, and our state has built up a backlog of unpaid bills that Comptroller Leslie Geissler  Munger estimates at more than $7.3 billion.  We need to be in session working on a budget. If the Speaker continues to delay members coming back in session, I believe the Governor should call all members back to Springfield to work on the budget.
Statement of Rep. Jimenez on the cancellation of yet another week of session as we approach the start of another new fiscal year without a compromise budget agreement:

“I am disappointed that for the second week in a row, the House session has been cancelled. There are now only 2 weeks left before the end of our current budget year and the start of the new fiscal year on July 1. This budget impasse has gone on for far too long. It is shameful that session has been cancelled when the clock is running out on the current fiscal year. While I am hopeful that the bipartisan working groups continue negotiating in good faith, I believe every member of the General Assembly needs to be in Springfield as much as possible, working to find an end to this impasse. I urge the leaders of the House and Senate to return both chambers to session next week and every week until there is a resolution to this budget impasse. If they continue to delay, I believe the Governor should call us back into session.  We cannot wait any longer. The time to act is now. I am prepared to support a solution that includes the combination of reforms, cuts and revenue options that will end the impasse, grow our economy, and create stability and predictability for State government.”
For the second year in a row our scheduled May 31st adjournment date came and went with no agreement on a responsible state budget, and like you, I am extremely frustrated.

In the final weeks of our regularly scheduled session House Republicans filed a budget bill (HB 6585) that would have appropriated badly-needed money to a wide variety of essential and job-creating state agencies and educational institutions, such as state universities and prisons. The appropriations contained in this bill were fully paid for from existing revenues.  We also filed a separate bill to keep our children above the fray by fully funding our schools for the coming year (HB 6583). Neither bill was called for a vote in the House.

With no agreement, the House will remain in “continuous session”, meaning we will convene when called by the Speaker, but the good news is that bi-partisan budget working groups are continuing to meet and discuss areas where we can compromise. I remain hopeful that a compromise agreement can still be reached before the new fiscal year begins on July 1st. 

Study Will Begin Aimed at Returning State Jobs to Sangamon County

The final week of our regularly scheduled session did yield some very positive developments for the 99th district; one of which was final approval of my legislation that may help return state jobs to our area. House Joint Resolution 133 calls on state agencies to produce a workforce report that would include data about state jobs, their locations and an explanation regarding why that job could not be located in the capital city.

Over the years, the capital city has lost thousands of state jobs, and in many cases it just might not make sense economically for the state, or for the employees and their families. It’s important for efficiency and for our bottom line to return as many state jobs as possible to the seat of state government. This has been a priority of mine, and also of Springfield city leaders, including Mayor Langfelder.

The resolution will now go to each state agency which will submit a report to the General Assembly and the Governor by August 31st. I thank Senator Andy Manar for sponsoring this Resolution in the Senate and working in a bipartisan fashion to support the capital city. 
Representative Jimenez today joined a growing group of legislators calling for Illinois Auditor Frank Mautino to take a voluntary leave of absence while state and federal investigations continue into previous campaign expenses and reporting practices.


State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez applauds the Senate for passing legislation this week that aims to ultimately bring state jobs back to Sangamon County.

With the help of Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), House Joint Resolution 133 was approved unanimously by the Senate on Tuesday.  HJR133 calls on state agencies to produce a workforce report that would include data about state jobs, their locations and an explanation regarding why that job could not be located in the capital city.

“Over the years, the capital city has lost thousands of state jobs, and in many cases it just might not
make sense economically for the state, or for the employees and their families,” Representative Jimenez said. “If there’s a compelling reason why a specific state job needs to be located in another part of the state that’s fine, but it’s important for efficiency and for our bottom line to return as many state jobs as possible to the seat of state government. I thank Senator Manar for sponsoring this Resolution in the Senate and working in a bipartisan fashion to support the capital city.”

Jimenez’ resolution calls on agencies under the Governor to compile a report listing the number of state employees in each county, their job description and a justification of why those positions, specifically upper and middle management cannot be located in Springfield. The report would not require detailed information about direct service workers, just the number of such positions by division and facility. The goal of the study would not be to force any state employee to move to Springfield immediately, but to see if a vacated position could be re-located to Springfield in the future.

“This is a priority of city leaders and families here in the 99th district. In fact, Springfield Mayor Langfelder testified on its importance before the House Executive Committee. We need to be able to make good, informed decisions about where state jobs will best be located, and this study will help us do that,” Representative Jimenez said.


HJR 133 passed both the House and Senate unanimously.  The resolution will now go to each state agency which will submit a report to the General Assembly and the Governor by August 31.