Happy New Year to one and all!

This year, the month of January will usher in the 100th General Assembly in Illinois, and 191 new laws. Click here to read about those of which your family should be aware.

Greetings! I hope as we head into the holidays, you are able to spend some good, quality time with your family and friends.

Congratulations LCA Graduates
On Saturday December 17th I had the honor of delivering the commencement address to the
Lincoln’s Challenge Academy’s (LCA) Class 47-16. LCA is a program administered through the Illinois Department of Military Affairs that gives youths a second chance at education. The 22 week academy uses a military style format to give the cadets a chance to be the best they can be. The graduates came from 87 different counties throughout the state of Illinois.

Congratulations to the Lincoln Challenge Academy Class 47-16!

Toys for Tots Collection
Over the past week, State Representative Tim Butler and I have been collecting toys in our office for the Springfield Toys for Tots campaign. A big thank you to everyone who stopped by to donate a toy. These toys will bring a lot of joy to children in the Springfield area this Christmas.

Budget
Unfortunately, not much news to report on a budget compromise- although I am continuing to push the leadership, my colleagues in the House, and the Governor to negotiate a path forward. It is so important for our area. The Speaker of the House plans to have us back in session on January 9th.

This will be my last update for 2016. I just want to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and happy holidays. It is an honor to serve as your State Representative and I am looking forward to a productive and healthy 2017.


No Budget Agreement - Yet

Last Thursday was the General Assembly’s final scheduled day of our fall veto session, and I’m deeply disappointed that Speaker Madigan adjourned the House without addressing the urgent need for a budget for the rest of the fiscal year. As you know, our temporary budget expires at the end of the year, and as I write this the Speaker has not scheduled any additional session days before December 31st.

Families, businesses and vendors in our area are counting on us to get a balanced budget in place so that they can begin to get paid on time for services they provide to the state and our residents. The good news is that the leaders have agreed to continue meeting every day this week to arrive at common ground on ways to make our State’s finances sustainable. That’s reason to be hopeful that we could discuss final proposals yet this month. Our time is running short to get this done.

Proposals to curb spending on automatic payments to legislators stalls

In an effort to cut costs during our fiscal crisis, I filed three bills that would stop automatic payments to legislators.  These bills would stop automatic pay increases for legislators, eliminate per diem and mileage payments to legislators who live in Sangamon County (I don’t take these payments currently), and would make sure legislators are paid only for time worked.  Unfortunately, these bills were not even allowed to be heard in a committee this veto session.  I will continue to push to make these common sense proposals law in Illinois.
Statement of Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez on veto session adjournment without a new budget:

"I’m deeply disappointed that Speaker Madigan adjourned our veto session Thursday with no agreement on a new budget. Our temporary budget expires at the end of the year, and as it stands now, the Speaker has not scheduled any additional session days before December 31st. Families, businesses and vendors in our area are counting on us to get a balanced budget in place so that they can begin to get paid on time for services they provide to the state and our residents.

The good news is that the leaders have agreed to continue meeting for the next week, every day, to arrive at common ground on ways to make our State’s finances sustainable. That’s reason to be hopeful that we could have an agreement emerge this month. Now, we must keep the pressure up on the leaders to ensure the final, difficult decisions are made.  Our time is running short to get this done."