Mayfield Ends First Session After Spurring Local Job Creation and Education
Springfield, IL - State Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan) completed her first spring legislative session having supported legislation to improve education, create jobs, enforce fiscal constraints in state spending and eliminate government waste.
"I began this session with the intention of improving education and finding ways to make state government more efficient," said Mayfield. "The major challenge lawmakers faced was balancing the need to improve state services and programs while ensuring that fiscal constraint did not sacrifice the education and service we provide to our children and communities.
To improve local schools, Mayfield supported Senate Bill 7, which institutes bipartisan reforms to the Illinois education system that were negotiated by teachers unions, reform advocates and legislators. The reforms focus on improving outcomes by identifying and retaining talented teachers.
In her continued efforts to improve classroom education, Mayfield sponsored House Bill 2397 which aims to promote reading improvement for children in grades kindergarten through 3rd. Mayfield was also a chief co-sponsor of House Bill 1256 which creates a program to increase the number of minority and women within civil engineer job classifications inside the Illinois Department of Transportation.
In an effort to give fallen military personnel and their families the respect they deserve, Mayfield supported House Bill 180, which strengthens the "Let Them Rest In Peace Act" by prohibiting protesting during funeral ceremonies. Mayfield also supported House Bill 3787 to increase veteran employment and job opportunities for returning soldiers and House Bill 1260 to prevent an electric or gas public utility from disconnecting service to a member of the armed services.
As a member of the House Human Services Appropriation Committee, Mayfield participated in a new budgeting process which based all state agencies' funding on actual projected revenue estimates. The bipartisan process was successful in responding to taxpayer demands to cut the cost and size of state government and use realistic revenue estimates to help the state live within its means. The House passed a budget that eliminated waste, made difficult reductions, and maintained vital service like the Community Cares Program to provide assistance to seniors who need limited assistance in their homes instead of being moved to costly institutions at taxpayers' expense.
Mayfield also helped to restore $24 million to the Circuit Breaker program and $50 million to the Illinois Cares Rx program to help seniors with the rising cost of prescription drugs and assistance with property taxes. The committee also worked to restore mental health, teen programs, and other needed services for families across the state.
To create new, permanent jobs in the region, Mayfield was a chief co-sponsor of Senate Bill 744 to create a new riverboat casino in Park City. The measure would create hundreds of construction jobs and even more permanent jobs at the casino and in surrounding businesses in Park City, North Chicago and Waukegan.
To attract additional jobs to the Waukegan-North Chicago region, Mayfield co-sponsored House Bill 212 which allows two neighboring municipalities to enter into an intergovernmental agreement to create a business corridor that encompasses undeveloped territory along a shared border. Once established the municipalities would work with other local governments and taxing bodies in the corridor to seek property tax abatements for areas that are unlikely to be developed without the creation of the business corridor and the tax incentives. To spur economic development and help create jobs and small business opportunities in the community, Mayfield sponsored House Bill 1730 allowing corporate authorities of a municipality to appropriate and expend funds for economic development purposes and House Bill 3186 setting a minimum goal of 10 percent of the total dollar amount of state contracts to be awarded to small businesses. Mayfield also sponsored House Bill 2073 to create the Small Business Development Grant Fund to make grants to small businesses in the state that commit to using the grant money to create additional jobs and to help bring out-of-state small businesses to Illinois.
"Throughout the year, I held several town hall meetings to gather input from the community on important issues," Mayfield said. "I plan to continue meeting with community members to be able to lead our state in the direction local citizens want it to go. Our state must live within its financial means, but we also need continued partnerships between private groups and communities in order to redevelop blighted areas and grow the local economy."
For more information please contact Mayfield's Full-Time Constituent Service Office at (847) 599-2800.