SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House of Representatives voted 69-48 on Tuesday to approve an Emergency Budget Bill (HB 318) to close a $1.6 Billion funding shortfall for the current FY 15 budget, which runs through June 30. State Rep.’s Keith Wheeler (R-50th), John Anthony (R-75th) and Mark Batinick (R-97th) were among those voting in favor of the bipartisan agreement negotiated between Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders.

Under the provisions of HB 318, over 80% of the funding gap will be filled by utilizing unused money in various special state funds not needed for what they were allocated for during the current fiscal year, amounting to approx. $1.3 Billion. The remaining amount comes from an across-the-board spending reduction of 2.25% across all state programs through June 30; excluding payments for pensions, state employee health care, and funding for services for the mentally ill, developmentally disabled, and autistic children. Child care funding for low-income families will also continue for the duration of the current fiscal year.
ELBURN – Local residents are invited to attend a Town Hall meeting March 23 in Elburn with State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) and State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego).

The Town Hall meeting is scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., March 23, in the loft at Fishermen’s Inn, located at 43W901 Main Street Road in Elburn. The Town Hall Meeting is free and open to the public. 
By Keith R. Wheeler (R-Oswego)
State Representative, 50th District

I am participating in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics Illinois this Sunday, March 8 at Loon Lake in Yorkville. Ours is one of eight plunges across the state to raise money for Special Olympics, a tremendous organization whose mission is to “provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.”

Myself and the other contestants will be braving the icy waters of Loon Lake to support this great cause. This will be my first year as a participant. The plunge starts at 1pm with check-in time starting at 11am. Registration is at the Kendall County Fairgrounds located at 10826 Illinois Route 71 in Yorkville.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House of Representatives adopted a resolution Thursday congratulating the captain and crew of the USS Illinois, the United States Navy's newest nuclear-powered submarine scheduled to be commissioned later this year and the first ship to be christened in the state’s name since 1897. The resolution, HR 200, was introduced and sponsored by State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego).

The USS Illinois, currently under construction in the Electric Boat shipyard in Groton, Connecticut, will be 377 feet long, with a 34-foot  beam and a 32-foot draft; built to sustain dives of more than 800 feet below the surface and armed to engage in both near-shore and deep-water missions and operations. The ship is scheduled to be fully operational and commissioned by December 2015.