Update from the Capitol: Budget, Local Jobs, Penny Drive

Bringing State Jobs Back to Springfield
Big news for state jobs in Sangamon County, as HB 4295 passed the Senate on a vote of 53-0-0. This legislation will make Sangamon County the default location for State jobs unless the position is required to be in another location due to a facility or constituency. Thank you to Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and Senator Andy Manar for sponsoring this legislation in the Senate and for his support of this important legislation for our capital city. I am honored to represent the capital city in the Illinois House of Representatives. This legislation rightfully recognizes Sangamon County’s unique position in our great state. The legislation will now head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Budget Update
The end of the regular session of the General Assembly is six days away. If a budget is not adopted by that time, it will take a supermajority vote of the House and Senate to pass a budget. Over the last several weeks, a budget working group has been meeting regularly to discuss details about the budget and to craft what I hope will be a bipartisan, balanced budget, that can pass the House and Senate by May 31st. I am hopeful that we will be able to finish their work on time so we can pass a balanced budget and avoid another budget stalemate. Passing a balanced budget is essential for Sangamon County and our whole state. I will continue to have discussions with my colleagues in the House over the next few days to do what I can to ensure that we pass a responsible, balanced budget that will improve the financial condition of our state and provide needed services to the most vulnerable.

Also this week, I passed House Joint Resolution 127 out of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
This resolution was initiated by Vince Speranza, a decorated World War II veteran who lives in the 99th district. HJR 127 designates November 1, 2018 as “Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day” in the state of Illinois and offers a sincere and heartfelt apology to any Vietnam veteran that returned home and faced mistreatment over their service in the Vietnam War. The resolution urges the Governor and Secretary of State to lower the flags to half-staff on November 1 as a show of our respect to all those who served our nation in the Vietnam War.

This week, HB 4309 cleared another important hurdle on its way to passing the Illinois Senate. HB 4309, which will create a pathway for an individual to petition a court for the ability to visit a frail elderly family member when they are being denied visitation, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a vote of 10-1-0. This legislation will help many families in Illinois and I am thankful to my constituent, Sandy Baksys, for not only sharing her story but for advocating on behalf of families all across Illinois for the passage of this important legislation. HB 4309 will now head to the full Senate where it is expected to be voted on before the end of session next week.

A few weeks ago, the House passed House Joint Resolution 127 to designate Illinois Route 4 after US Army Corporal James “Chad” Young. I am pleased that Senator Andy Manar was able to pass that resolution out of the Senate Transportation Committee and will move it to the Senate floor for a vote.

Illinois Proud Penny Drive
A big thank you to all the school kids of Sangamon County who participated in the Illinois Proud Penny Drive. Because of their hard work and the support of our community partners, more than $18,000 was raised in just two weeks to purchase the Sangamon County Minute Book that includes certification that  President Abraham Lincoln had good moral character. I am so proud of our students for their passion and enthusiasm that allowed this important document to be brought back home to Sangamon County in time for Illinois’ 200th birthday in December. Click the video below to learn more.

Youth in Care Day
Last week, I had the pleasure to spend the day at the Capitol with Sarraia for the Department of Children and Family Services’ annual Youth in Care Day. She asked great questions and offered some really good suggestions and was a real inspiration to me. I wish her all the luck and blessings on her path to becoming a lawyer. I have no doubt she has a bright future ahead of her!

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