Employee Pay. Committees. Youth.

State Employee Pay
While the Senate is currently in the process of negotiating a budget agreement that includes reforms to our economy, Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit to block state employee pay until a budget is finalized. Throughout the entire budget impasse, I have supported state employees receiving their paychecks on time. It is the right thing to do. That is why I am sponsoring, along with 25 of my colleagues in the House, a bill to ensure that state employees would continue to be paid despite the ongoing budget challenges. HB 1787 would make all state employees part of a continued appropriation that would keep their pay continuing during any budget impasse. This is the same protection that legislators and judges currently receive, so it only makes sense to include state employees in this as well.

 I am committed to working in a bipartisan manner to find an end to this budget impasse. I believe that the path forward is through a combination of cuts, reforms, and revenue. I am hopeful that a framework will emerge from the Senate very soon so we can review and vote on it here in the House.

Committee Assignments
Recently, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin appointed me to several committees that are important to the 99th District. For the 100th General Assembly I will be serving on the following House Committees: State Government Administration, Agriculture and Conservation, Appropriations Higher Education, Mental Health, and Museums, Arts, and Cultural Enhancements.

Each of these committees will allow me to be a voice for our area as important bills move through the House that will reform state government, promote our agriculture industry, and find ways to support our higher education institutions. In addition, the special committees on mental health and museums will give me the opportunity to study these issues that are increasingly becoming important to our area. I am looking forward to serving on all of these committees during the upcoming session.
Student Advisory Committee
This week I was thrilled host local high school students at the Capitol to discuss issues that are important to them in their schools. The students, all juniors, are a terrific group of young people who are passionate about public service and improving education in their schools. This was a great chance for me to listen to their concerns and begin a good conversation over the next year with them on how the State can help make schools the best they can be. Thank you to Peyton (Glenwood High School), Benjamin (New Berlin), Rebekah (Auburn), Jacob (Pawnee), Jack (Springfield), Grace (Pleasant Plains), Mallory (Calvary Academy), Jack (Lutheran High School), and Jaclyn (SHG) for coming to the Capitol this week.

Page for the Day
Special thanks to Sydney Bailey for joining me at the Capitol this week to be a page for the day. Sydney is an 8th Grader at Springfield Christian School and was able to join me on the floor and observe session. Thank you for coming Sydney!

“Under the Dome”
Finally, over the next couple of weeks I will be posting videos here on my website  that give you a behind the scenes look at the Capitol. In our first installment of “Under the Dome” I give you a look at my legislative office and the staff who work with me. Click here to view it.

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