Latest News

GENERAL ASSEMBLY
State Rep. Chad Hays to step down early. State Representative Chad Hays announced Friday that he will be stepping down from his seat in the Illinois House of Representatives early so he can take a job in the private sector.

Hays, who has served in the General Assembly since December of 2010 and as Assistant Minority Leader since 2013, said he will leave his post in late August or early September, to become the Executive Director of Crosspoint Human Services in Danville. “While my service in the Illinois General Assembly has been the honor of a lifetime and a tremendous privilege, I have decided the timing is right to return to the private sector where my background and expertise in healthcare administration can be put to good use,” said Hays. “I look forward to this next chapter, but will always look back fondly on my time as the legislative voice of the 104th District.”
Sign the Petition to Support Independent Maps
By Rep. David S. Olsen (R-Illlinois) and Sen. Frank LaRose (R-Ohio)

"By designing districts for partisan advantage, we send the message that winning elections is more important than upholding democracy."

On Monday, the Supreme Court kicked back to Wisconsin and Maryland state courts two gerrymandering cases that attempted to establish that legislatures that use gerrymandering to ensure partisan outcomes were acting with unconstitutional bias. In doing so, they have essentially ensured that any constitutional remedies to overly partisan gerrymandering will be years away, if they ever come.

We believe, then, that’s it’s up to us — state legislators — to act on behalf of the constituents that elected us and end partisan gerrymandering on our own.

Partisan gerrymandering has plagued our democracy since the days of the Founding Fathers: The jagged edges of many districts don’t reflect real-life boundaries, like rivers or mountain ranges, but rather exist because someone drew lines with the pernicious purpose of manipulating electoral constituency boundaries to favor one party. Read the entire opinion piece by Rep. Olsen & Sen. LaRose. 

If you agree sign the petition to end gerrymandering support independent maps.
BUDGET
Moody's cites 'positive' moves in new Illinois budget. The fiscal 2019 Illinois budget enacted last week includes a voluntary pension buyout plan and a boost in school funding, which are credit-positive moves for the relatively low-rated state and its school districts, Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday.

The $38.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 incorporates $423 million in savings that would be generated by current or former public-sector workers choosing to accept a buyout of their pensions or a retirement benefit in exchange for cash raised by the sale of up to $1 billion of state general obligation bonds.
The fiscal 2019 Illinois budget enacted last week includes a voluntary pension buyout plan and a boost in school funding, which are credit-positive moves for the relatively low-rated state and its school districts, Moody’s Investors Service said on Monday.

The $38.5 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 incorporates $423 million in savings that would be generated by current or former public-sector workers choosing to accept a buyout of their pensions or a retirement benefit in exchange for cash raised by the sale of up to $1 billion of state general obligation bonds.

“The state’s buyout offer is credit positive because it will generate significant pension liability savings to the extent that employees accept the offer,” Moody’s said, adding that actual savings could fall short if participation fails to meet targets of 22 percent of vested former workers and 25 percent of retiring current workers. Read the rest of the story.

BUDGET
FY19 budget passed with bipartisan support and signed into law. On Monday, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a $38.5 billion bipartisan compromise budget that holds the line on taxes, increases funding for education, curbs spending, and creates a new adoption tax credit that will make it less costly for Illinois parents to adopt children.

“For the first time in years, we have an opportunity to manage our way into balance, and we don’t have to dip into the pockets of overtaxed Illinoisans to do it,” Rauner said. “Balance is in reach because we were able to accomplish $445 million of pension reform and the economy is stronger thanks to federal tax reform, and we are benefiting from an unexpected boost in tax receipts.”
Gov. Rauner signed into law a measure that will increase independence in the investigation of legislative ethics complaints in Illinois. This new law, which makes significant reforms to the Legislative Ethics Commission and Office of the Legislative Inspector General, changes the process of handling ethics complaints to provide those who would come forward greater confidence that their concerns will be reviewed in a timely, transparent manner.

“This bill is a victory for the heroic women who have stepped forward to take on the culture of fear, abuse and retaliation that permeates too much of state government. Illinoisans should applaud this improvement and champion the women who stood up to Illinois’ political power structure in order to make this change happen.” Rauner said in his signing message. “Through their courageous words and actions, they have declared that the culture in Springfield must change.”
On Monday, Rep. Randy Frese applauded the Governor for
including $53 million in the budget for improvements
 at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy.
Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today that Stephen Curda, Ph.D. has been named director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA). He takes over from Elisabeth Pennix, who returns to her duties as IDVA’s General Counsel. The appointment is effective today.

“Stephen Curda is a proven leader with years of experience serving our military and veterans as well as his own deployment to Afghanistan and Iraq,” Rauner said. “He has served over 30 years in the military on active duty, Reserve and the Guard, recently retiring as a Brigadier General. His exceptional work in strategic planning, development and program implementation will positively contribute to the IDVA and provide the best services for our state’s heroes.”