Latest News

JOBS
·        Illinois’ unemployment rate drops to 4.2%.  The numbers also showed that Illinois’ economy created 3,700 new nonfarm payroll jobs in July 2018.  The new 4.2% unemployment figure approaches the 4.0% benchmark traditionally used to signify “full employment,” and come as a signal that Illinois is continuing its recovery from the 2008-09 economic crash and Great Recession.  The numbers were compiled and posted on Thursday, August 16, by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). 

“The state’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend in July and stands at its lowest point in 18 years,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Illinois payroll employment also saw its largest over-the-year gain in more than two years.”

“The Illinois economy continues its comeback,” said Illinois Department of Commerce Director Sean McCarthy. “We are seeing what reduced red tape, a competitive economy, and investment in workforce and career pathways can do to promote growth and opportunity across the state.”

In a change from recent trends, Illinois job creation growth in July 2018 was led by the manufacturing sector, which created 2,400 new jobs in the month.  Leisure and hospitality created 2,000 new jobs, and professional and business services created 1,900 new jobs.  There was a net loss of 1,700 jobs in the Illinois public sector. 
MONTGOMERY - Local residents interested in learning how to save money on their gas, electric and phone bills are invited to attend a free clinic sponsored by State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 23 at Montgomery Village Hall, located at 200 N. River Street in Montgomery.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their gas, electric and phone bills for a free one-on-one consultation with a consumer expert from CUB, who will give tips on how to reduce costs. At clinics across Illinois, CUB has shown consumers how to trim their bills by an average of more than $200 per year.

At the Utility Bill Clinic, guests will also be able to:

Learn how to spot billing errors and avoid common pitfalls and scams.
Hear about consumer choices in the gas, electric, and phone markets.
Find out about utility rebates, programs, and other incentives.

“Helping local residents save money on their utility bills is one of the many ways my office is pleased to serve our community,” Rep. Wheeler said. “I encourage everyone to attend and learn how to apply simple tips to get more for less on every dollar you spend on gas, electric and phone service.”

STATE GOVERNMENT
·        New law brings hundreds of state jobs back to Sangamon County.  Gov. Bruce Rauner followed through with his promise to bring state jobs back to the capital city with the signing of House Bill 4295 Thursday. The legislation moves hundreds of state jobs to Springfield. 

“It is a matter of state pride,” Rauner said. “This bill preserves the heritage of Springfield as Illinois’ capital city while boosting our local economy. It promotes Lincoln’s hometown and his vision as one of the original lawmakers who advocated for making Springfield the capital of Illinois.”

The bill codifies into law that Sangamon County is the default location for most state jobs, unless there is a specific reason the job needs to be in a different location.

LAW ENFORCEMENT
·        New lottery game to benefit families of fallen police officers.  Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill this week to create a new Illinois Lottery scratch-off game from which proceeds will fund police memorials, support for the families of officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty, and protective vest replacements for officers. 

“Our police officers stand in the face of danger every day to keep us safe. We are proud to stand with them and support their families when they are faced with a devastating loss,” Rauner said. “This new ticket will help fund scholarships for their children and honor their bravery at memorial parks across the state.”


NORTH AURORA - State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, was appointed to the post of House Republican Conference Chairman today, a nearly unprecedented recognition for a sophomore lawmaker just completing their second term in the Illinois General Assembly. Wheeler, a 27-year small business owner and sixth generation Kendall County resident, was first elected in 2014 and reelected in November 2016 to represent the 50th District, which includes portions of Kane and Kendall Counties.  

Rep. Wheeler's appointment was announced by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, on Tuesday. "During his time in the General Assembly, Rep. Wheeler has exemplified his commitment to our caucus and to the principles we fight for every day. It is an honor to have him serve on our Leadership team and I look forward to working with him as we continue to fight for what's best for Illinois."
GENERAL ASSEMBLY
·        Deanne Mazzochi Sworn In as State Representative.  Surrounded by family, friends and colleagues, Deanne Mazzochi of Elmhurst was sworn into office Tuesday as the new State Representative for Illinois’ 47th Legislative House District. She took her oath of office outside of Elmhurst College’s Hammerschmidt Chapel, a mere four miles from where she was raised in Villa Park, and six blocks from her Elmhurst home. 
 
Elmhurst College Trustee and 4th Ward Alderman Kevin York welcomed guests, and the Honorable Liam Brennan, 18th Judicial Circuit Court Judge, administered the oath of office. Mazzochi was introduced by State Senator Chris Nybo.
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), formed by Executive Order in 2016, is now officially recognized as a state agency.  Gov. Bruce Rauner signed HB 5611 today, which passed unanimously in the Illinois General Assembly this spring, codifying the agency into law. The bill’s Chief Co-Sponsor was Representative Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego.

Bipartisan support for the legislation reflects the state's commitment to improve cybersecurity, enhance employee work processes, and provide better services to Illinois citizens.

Rep. Wheeler (standing, second from left) watches as the
Governor signs HB 5611 in Chicago.
"When we first came into office, we discovered that our technology systems had been grossly neglected. Employees at multiple agencies relied on manual, paper processes for much of their work. That was extremely inefficient," Rauner said. "We created DoIT, put a team of experts in place and developed a comprehensive approach to modernize our technology. Now, I'm proud to say we are among the nation's leaders when it comes to using smart technology and making sure our citizens' personal information is secure."

"Improving government operations, increasing transparency, and saving taxpayer money are all goals being achieved by DoIT. This is important legislation to ensure we provide a modern and efficient government to our citizens," said Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego.