This Week In Springfield: March 17th 2017


Legislative Update:

Gun Violence Prevention Funding (Suburbs)

Even as the number gunshot victims skyrockets across the state, the Rauner administration has again proposed eliminating funding for the lifesaving CeaseFire program(a program that places workers in communities to speak with victims and discourage gun violence).

CeaseFire successfully mediates conflicts before they escalate to violence by sending outreach workers and violence interrupters to communities suffering the highest rates of shootings and killings. The program has proven successful in curbing violence in some of our states most at-risk communities.

Former Vice President Joe Biden used to say, ďDon't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.Ē Given Gov. Raunerís latest budget, itís clear he does not value the lives of shooting victims.

Protecting Consumers - HB302 (Chicago/Suburbs/Downstate)

Consumers deserve the peace of mind that their best interests are protected, so I remain committed to serving as a watchdog over the high-paid CEOs and multimillion dollar corporations that only care about their bottom-line. That is why I am cosponsoring House Bill 302, which requires insurance companies to make a good faith effort to locate and pay beneficiaries of unclaimed life insurance benefits rather than keeping the money for themselves.

Reducing the Size of Government - HJRCA5 (Suburbs/Downstate)
Illinois has more layers of government than any other state. That means more municipalities, towns, townships, districts, and park districts, and most importantly, more government waste. House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 5 would help reduce the size of government by eliminating the position of Lt. Governor, saving the state $1.1 million annually and freeing up more funding for vital programs. (,

Gov. Raunerís Unbalanced Budgets (Chicago/Suburb/Downstate)

For the third straight year, Governor Bruce Rauner has failed to do his job by proposing another unbalanced budget. Raunerís recently proposed budget is $7.2 billion out of balance and filled with phony savings, exaggerated projects and other budget gimmicks that will result in massive property tax increases for our families. Simply put, the governorís budget is nothing more than smoke and mirrors designed to distract Illinoisans from his failure to do his job and propose a balanced budget. Itís clear that the governor is more focused on advancing his corporate, anti-working class agenda than proposing an honest budget.

House Democrats call on the governor to reconvene the bipartisan budget working groups and work with all legislators, Republican and Democrat, to craft a real, responsible and balanced budget for the people of Illinois.

Economic Outlook (Chicago/Suburb/Downstate)

Moodyís Analytics, an economic analysis firm widely-respected by both Republicans and Democrats, recently announced that the stateís inability to enact a budget has a greater impact on businesses expanding and relocating than tax rates and other labors costs.

In comparing relative business costs, Moodyís considers overall tax burden, energy costs and labor costs. Surprisingly, when compared to surrounding states (Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin), only one state ranks better in tax burden (Ohio) and energy costs (Iowa), and Illinois ranks 3rd out of 6 for labor costs.

However, the Governor has driven the state to the edge of bankruptcy, forcing social services agencies close their doors, and ruined lives, all for an extreme agenda that is dwarfed by the economic instability he has created.

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