FY16 Budget

·         Leaders’ budget meeting with Governor moved to December 1.  The face-to-face meeting is scheduled to bring together Governor Bruce Rauner and the leaders of the four General Assembly legislative caucuses, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.  Originally scheduled to be held on Wednesday, November 18, the meeting has been reset for Tuesday, December 1.  The new time will allow preparations to continue over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

In addition to budget issues, questions dividing Illinois leaders include workers’ compensation, property tax relief, public-sector labor pay and benefits, tort reform, election process reform, and term limits.  Many key items of House Republican advocacy have been barred from discussion and debate within the Illinois General Assembly in recent years.  The role of House Speaker Madigan has come under discussion as an element in the overall operation of Illinois state government, often characterized in recent years as one of the “worst in the nation.”  Illinois currently has the lowest bond and credit ratings of any of the 50 states. 
Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) visited with students at Blackberry Creek Elementary School in Elburn today, describing the role of a State Representative and emphasizing the importance of education and reading. The students asked questions about government and shared some of their class activities with Rep. Wheeler.
Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) joins AT&T's John Quinn in presenting a $1,000 "Investing in Illinois" Award to Countryside Food Pantry in Elburn, represented by coordinator Rita Burnham.
Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) joins AT&T's John Quinn in presenting a $1,000 Investing in Illinois Award to the volunteers and staff of the Kendall County Food Pantry, of which Rep. Wheeler formerly served as Board Chairman.

FY16 budget – CGFA

·         General Assembly watchdogs chart continued budget picture.  The nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the in-house budget agency of the Illinois General Assembly, released their October 2015 fiscal report this week.  The CGFA “Monthly Briefing” covers ongoing State revenues, particularly key State General Funds revenue numbers, and ongoing trends likely to affect future State revenues.  For example, the October briefing includes a discussion, based on nationwide trends and economic models, of the likely health of the 2015 Christmas retail selling season and its expected impact on State sales tax revenues.

CGFA, working in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Revenue, uncovered continued dismal trends in State revenues this October.  Illinois general funds revenues were $319 million lower in October 2015 (fiscal year 2016) than they had been in October 2014.  General Funds revenues come from income taxes, sales taxes, and other sources.  As in previous months, the decline was paced by a year-over-year shortfall in State personal income tax revenues and corporate income tax revenues.  The accumulated deficit for the four months of FY16 so far experienced is $1,456 million.  The current fiscal year began on July 1, 2015.