Mom's Fight, Bills Pass, Page for a Day

Grand Bargain Update
The Senate is still in discussions on the grand bargain that could potentially bring an end to the budget impasse. It is so important for our area and the state of Illinois that we end the budget impasse as quickly as possible and get our State on the path of fiscal responsibility. I will continue to press my colleagues in the House and Senate to work together in a bipartisan manner to end the impasse and pass a truly balanced budget that will help grow our economy and put our state on the right path for years to come.

Local, brave mom fights for her family
News Channel 20 did a story this week on a courageous family from the 99th District that is pushing for reforms to the Department of Corrections that will prohibit inmates convicted of sexual offenses against minors from possessing photos and images of minors while they are incarcerated. HB 806 is a common sense bill that will protect families and children from having to continue to be victimized while the offender is in prison. I have been working with the Department to craft language that will allow the Department to enforce this prohibition in a responsible manner. You can view the story here.

Legislative Update
This week the House passed legislation to decline cost of living adjustments for members of the General Assembly. The bill also sets the mileage and per diem rates to be identical to the current rates. At a time of fiscal crisis it is important to show that the General Assembly understands the need to live within our means and HB 643 is an important piece of legislation that will prohibit raises for the General Assembly for FY 18.

A bill that I sponsored passed out of the House this week on a unanimous vote. HB 2782 transfers the Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities Task Force to the Department of Human Services from the Department of Employment Securities. This will allow the folks at DHS who have the experience dealing with this issue to have administrative oversight of the task force.

Another bill that I sponsored passed out of the House on a unanimous vote this week. HB 3899 is designed to promote economic opportunities for persons with significant disabilities. Among other provisions, the update will require the State Use Committee to develop a strategic plan for increasing the number of products or services purchased from qualified agencies that employ persons with significant disabilities.

Page for the Day
I was pleased to welcome two pages this week from the 99th District that came out and were able to join me on the House floor to observe the House in action. Special thanks to Joseph Hendricks and Sam Alexander for joining me this week.

Under the Dome:  House Committees
At this point in the spring legislative session, we're spending most of our time in committees considering bills and hearing subject matter testimony. This week's edition of Under the Dome explains more about the committee process and how you can follow legislation you're interested in and join us at the capitol to testify if you wish. Check out the video below.

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