State Jobs. Kids and Computers. At the Capitol.

Grand Bargain Update
As we are about to end the 22nd month without a full and complete budget, it is more urgent now than ever before for Republicans and Democrats to work together to end the budget impasse by passing a balanced budget. Every day that we fail to act more and more vendors are waiting even longer to be paid for services provided to the State. This is unacceptable. I will continue to call upon my colleagues in the House and Senate and the Administration to negotiate a path to end the budget crisis. We can pass a balanced budget through a combination of cuts, reforms, and revenue.

These are not going to be easy choices, but we must work together in a bipartisan manner so we can end the impasse and put in place pro-growth policies that will allow our businesses to thrive and create good paying jobs for years to come.

Computer Banc
I was honored to join Computer Banc and Governor Rauner on Wednesday to announce a partnership between the Computer Banc and the State of Illinois that will provide refurbished computers to school districts around the state for a modest fee. I have been working with the Computer Banc over the last year to figure out a way to allow Computer Banc access to some of the state's surplus computers for a fee to refurbish them so schools can utilize technology in the classroom. Learn more about this neat, new initiative here.

Committee Action
This week I was able to advance legislation out of the House Business and Occupational Licenses Committee that will help streamline the licensing process under the Illinois Collections Agency Act. HB 2783 will allow for companies that operate in multiple states the ability to apply for multiple licenses in a single location and have that information sent directly to the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation which will then process and approve the application. I was pleased to have been able to come to an agreement between the Department and AFSCME on language that both parties found to be satisfactory.

State Jobs Memo
The Department of Central Management Services has sent out a memo to all State agencies directing agency Directors to decide if vacant positions can be moved to Sangamon County as part of the process to fill jobs. Last year I passed House Joint Resolution 133 which directed state agencies to report the number of jobs that could potentially be relocated to the capital city. The report that was published last summer identified nearly 400 positions that could be relocated to Sangamon County over the next few years. The memo sent out this week gives guidance to State agencies on how best to move forward with this movement of positions. I will continue to advocate for as many state services and resources as possible to operate out of the capital city. This memo is the next step towards bringing jobs back to the Capital of Illinois. Read more about it in the State Journal-Register.

YMCA Youth Government Day
 I really enjoyed the opportunity to visit the Capitol last weekend to meet with students participating in the YMCA Youth Government Day. More than 1,000 kids came to the Capitol to participate.  I even had to opportunity to meet Priyal Patel, who was playing me in the simulation. Great program and great kids!

Under the Dome: Visiting the House
As we finish passing bills out of committee ahead of next week’s committee deadline, most of the bills that come out of committee will be voted on during session over the next couple of weeks. If you are interested in attending and watching a session of the House, take a look at the video below for the best way to catch the House in action.

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