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FY16 Budget Crisis

     Governor Rauner, Republicans fight to prevent Illinois government shutdown.  Without a budget in place for the new Fiscal Year 2016 (which began on July 1), there is a possibility that paychecks could be delayed for approximately 65,000 state employees starting July 15.

Governor Rauner and his staff are examining their legal options.  The governor stated on Monday, June 29 that “Our lawyers are working hard to ensure that all employees will be paid on their scheduled pay dates.”  Speaker Michael Madigan and Attorney General Lisa Madigan continued to assert that paychecks may well be delayed and parts of Illinois’ government shut down. 
This weekend hundreds of millions of Americans will be celebrating America's independence which is Saturday, July 4.

The state of Illinois has banned the following types of consumer fireworks unless licensed:

  • Hand held fireworks
  • Bottle rockets
  • Firecrackers of any size or type
  • Sky rockets
  • Roman candles
  • Chasers
  • Buzz bombs
  • Ground items other than those identified as approved consumer fireworks
  • Helicopters
  • Missiles
  • Pin wheels or any other twirling device whether on the ground or mounted above the ground
  • Planes
  • Sky lanterns - the type of balloon which requires fire underneath to propel

In a new twist to the state’s ongoing budget battle, Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed salary increases for Illinois lawmakers, and other highly paid state employees.

Rauner has already signaled he won’t go along with a one-month budget Democratic lawmakers were expected to push through the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday in an effort to avoid a temporary government shutdown.

Rauner’s budget director, Tim Nuding, said that measure would be unconstitutional. He said, if the $2.3 billion temporary budget plan were applied to a full year, it would be nearly $4 billion short of revenue.  Read the rest of the story in CBSChicago.
State Representative Bob Pritchard (R- Sycamore) was recognized as 'Legislator of the Year' by the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts.

Representative Pritchard was honored at the annual IAFPD conference this past weekend in Peoria. Both will have their names engraved on a patio brick at the Illinois Firefighter Memorial near the state capitol. This is the second time in his 12 years in office that Representative Pritchard has been selected to receive this honor.

"It is a privilege to sponsor legislation that enhances and benefits firefighters and fire protection districts," Representative Pritchard said. "I take the safety and priority of our firemen and first responders very seriously and as such I consider IAFPD to be an important legislative partner. I will continue to collaborate with IAFPD on legislation that assists our Illinois fire services and their abilities to protect citizens."

The Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts represents over 650 fire districts throughout Illinois. Every year the IAFPD honors a legislator who has supported fire service legislation and promoted the interests of fire service personnel. The award is named for Representative Don Moffitt (R- Galesburg), chairman of the fire services caucus.
Gov. Bruce Rauner completed his remake of the Illinois Tollway leadership team Thursday with the naming of Greg Bedalov as the agency's new executive director.

Bedalov was formally nominated by Rauner's choice as chairman, Bob Schillerstrom, and unanimously affirmed by the Tollway's board, which has three new Rauner-appointed members: Joseph Gomez, Craig Johnson and Nick Sauer.

"I'm excited to be part of the (Tollway) team at this point. I've got lots of stuff to learn and lots of new opportunities (ahead)," Bedalov said after his appointment.

 Schillerstrom, former DuPage County Board chairman, said he's worked with Bedalov for many years and described him as a "very talented individual."

"He is expert on economic development," Schillerstrom said. "This is very important to the state, to the Tollway, to the governor and other leaders." Read more by the Chicago Tribune.
FY16 Budget
Governor Rauner signs education budget bill. On Wednesday, June 24, Governor Rauner signed the elementary and secondary education component of the Fiscal Year 2016 State budget, taking our children’s education out of the crossfire in Springfield. While HB 3763 does not increase education spending by as much as the governor’s proposal, it does increase K-12 education funding by $244 million and early childhood education funding by $25 million.
Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the bulk of the Illinois budget Thursday that the Democratic-controlled Legislature sent him, increasing the likelihood that some state services could be disrupted when the fiscal year begins next week.

The new governor, in constant battle with powerful lawmakers for six weeks, announced he had vetoed 19 budget bills because even Democrats acknowledge they fall short on revenue by $3 billion to $4 billion.

"For too long, the state of Illinois has made spending promises that exceed available revenues, relied on accounting gimmicks to make budgets appear balanced, used borrowing and cost deferral strategies to push costs into the future, and delayed payments to vendors," Rauner said in his veto message.

With a June 30 deadline for approving a fiscal year 2016 budget, Rauner continues to insist on "structural" changes to the business and political climates in Illinois before dealing with the opposing party on spending. Democrats want a tax increase, along with strategic spending cuts, in order to continue what they call vital state services.

The mass veto action came just a day after the governor signed into law spending for pre-school, elementary and secondary education, saying he wanted to make sure the schools opened on time. It increases school funding by $269 million. Read more on ABCNews.