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BUDGET
House Republicans Call for No New Taxes, Spending Restraint in FY21 Budget. Governor JB Pritzker gave his second annual budget address on Wednesday to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly. Deputy Republican Leader Tom Demmer responded to the governor’s remarks.

“The General Assembly has some work to do,” said Rep. Demmer. “I disagree with Governor Pritzker’s proposal to spend $1.4 billion of hypothetical revenue, and his threat to cut healthcare and education spending unless voters approve his tax increase. Instead, I’ll work with colleagues on a balanced budget that takes advantage of revenue growth from our strong national economy and low unemployment. We can pass a responsible budget without another tax increase.”
State Representatives Tom Demmer, Tony McCombie and Ryan Spain reject the Governor’s proposed budget, calling instead for a responsible state budget that doesn’t rely on hypothetical revenue projections.


The International Space Station (ISS) has become a fixture in orbit above the Earth. Today it is not uncommon for astronauts to spend as much as a year at a time in space. Supplying these extended missions presented NASA and its international space flight partners with significant logistical challenges, leading to the development of the Cygnus spacecraft, an unmanned cargo capsule which launches atop an Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia to deliver essential supplies to the crew of the ISS.

This Cygnus capsule flying the mission this month bears the name of Robert H. Lawrence, the Illinoisan who was the United States’ first African-American astronaut.
BUDGET
Illinois House prepares for submission of FY21 budget. Illinois enacted a balanced FY20 budget in June 2019 for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2019. International credit-rating agencies accepted Illinois’ FY20 budget, which moved Illinois closer to fiscal stability. The Illinois House must prepare for the challenges of the FY21 budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Governor Pritzker will give his Annual Budget Address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 19.
Assistant Republican Leaders Avery Bourne and Tim Butler talk about the need to eliminate mistakes in Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) and to fix bureaucratic processes causing long delays for Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card applications and renewals.


For most of its first century, organized professional baseball in America was strictly segregated. This shameful era lasted until 1947 when the great Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier as Major League Baseball’s first African-American player.

But though the doors of Major League Baseball may have been closed to them, African-American baseball stars of the early 20th century still found a way to showcase their talents, thanks in part to the work of a Chicago ballplayer who on February 13, 1920, chartered a new league which would change baseball forever.
BUDGET
CGFA releases revenue numbers for January 2020. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) tracks incoming State revenues in order to help lawmakers keep to the balanced budget that Illinois is constitutionally required to maintain.

The January 2020 CGFA revenue report contains a feature article describing the current gambling industries of Illinois, and the numbers they generated in calendar year 2019. Illinois now has more than 33,000 video gaming terminals that generate net income of more than $1.6 billion/year. More than $400 million/year of this money goes to the State to help generate funds for capital and infrastructure reinvestment. Net income from video gaming terminals has now passed the adjusted gross receipts generated from game play at casino riverboat slot machines and table games.