SPRINGFIELD – Taking aim at costly and burdensome overregulation of small business, the State Senate has given unanimous approval to a bipartisan bill introduced and sponsored in the Illinois House by State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) requiring a full-scale review across every state agency of rules, regulations and permitting processes.

The measure, HB 3887, aims to identify all state regulations that are unreasonable, unduly burdensome, duplicative, or onerous to small business so they can be streamlined or eliminated. The first review would have to be completed within one year of the bill becoming law, with subsequent reviews to take place every 5 years thereafter.
Budget – FY16
·         House, Senate Democrats introduce fake State budget.  House and Senate Democrats introduced a series of spending bills for FY16 (starting July 1, 2015) that spends more than $4 billion what nonpartisan revenue estimates expect the state to bring in.  Ignoring their constitutional responsibility to enact a balanced budget, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate rammed through spending bills they readily admit they cannot pay for, while at the same time walking away from the reform negotiations Governor Rauner has called for.
SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) reacted today following a series of votes in the Illinois House of Representatives to approve a partisan budget advanced by House Democrats that spends $4 Billion more than the state’s revenue projections:

“We heard a lot of rhetoric in Springfield today, but we didn’t hear anything about how to create Illinois jobs for Illinois families. Our colleagues on the other side of the aisle crafted this budget in the back halls of the Capitol without an ounce of input from anyone but themselves. The end result is, by their own admission, an unbalanced budget to the tune of $4 Billion. This ‘spend now, tax later’ approach to budget-making threatens to further drive jobs and opportunity out of state. The people of Illinois deserve and expect better.”
SPRINGFIELD - Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) and members of the House Republican Caucus stand outside the State Armory to observe a moment of silence in honor of Illinois' fallen soldiers this Memorial Day.

Budget – FY16
·         Despite deadline, Democrats again refuse to pass balanced budget for FY16.  The Illinois Constitution requires that the State annually pass a balanced budget in which revenues match mandated expenditures.  One way that Speaker Madigan has been Speaker for 32 of the past 34 years is by passing a series of unbalanced budgets, which have all spent money the State has not had.  He has curried favor with powerful interests and forced Republicans to be the villains whenever steps are taken to prevent the spending of imaginary money.

Strong rumors circulated on Friday, May 22 that Democrats were preparing another unbalanced budget for FY16, the fiscal year starting July 1, 2015.  This budget may get filed in the week starting Memorial Day, May 25.  This phony budget is expected to commit $4 billion that Illinois does not possess to the Democrats’ spending priorities.  Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed a different budget for Illinois and has strengthened his calls for the State’s government to live within its means.
Property Taxes
·         Trick bag; no property tax relief in sight.  Once again the Democrat-controlled House brought sham legislation to a vote for the sole purpose of putting Republican lawmakers in a trick bag and embarrassing the new Governor.

House Republicans have long worked to provide Illinoisans with much needed and deserved property tax relief. Each year members of the House Republican Caucus introduce legislation that would deliver property tax relief and each year the Democrats block those measures. The real roadblock to property tax relief has been the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.
Once again the Democrat-controlled House brought sham legislation to a vote for the sole purpose of putting Republican lawmakers in a trick bag and embarrassing the new Governor.

House Republicans have long worked to provide Illinoisans with much needed and deserved property tax relief. Each year members of the House Republican Caucus introduce legislation that would deliver property tax relief and each year the Democrats block those measures. The real roadblock to property tax relief has been the Democrat-controlled legislature. 

Pensions – Illinois Supreme Court SB 1 Ruling
  • Illinois Supreme Court strikes down pension reform law.  On Friday, May 8, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously reaffirmed a lower circuit court ruling on State pension system reforms contained in SB 1 (P.A. 98-599).  In response to enactment of P.A. 98-599, five separate actions were filed in Cook County and Sangamon County courts to enjoin implementation of the pension reforms, claiming the reforms were unconstitutional due to a violation of the provision in the Illinois Constitution (Article XIII, Section 5) that asserts pensions are a contractual right and cannot be diminished or impaired. The five suits were subsequently consolidated into one action in Sangamon County Circuit Court.
SPRINGFIELD – Today Illinois House Democrats forced a series of partisan votes on a multi-billion dollar spending bill aimed at undermining the budget process. Bypassing the established bipartisan appropriations committees, Democrats brought sixteen amendments directly to the House floor less than a few hours before the vote, denying Republicans, groups impacted by the funding and the general public any opportunity to read or offer input on the amendments before the votes were rammed through on a partisan vote. Republicans, including State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego), voted Present.

“In January, Speaker Madigan pledged to work with us and with the new Governor to solve our budget crisis. Instead, today his caucus jammed through votes on spending amendments totaling hundreds of pages to the tune of $2.6 Billion dollars, forcing us to vote before we even had time to read them. This is not how a democracy is supposed to work. It’s little wonder so many people are fed up with Springfield or why many families and job creators have left Illinois for better opportunities in recent years. We deserve better as a state and must hold ourselves to a higher standard if we are to make Illinois a place where everyone can be proud to live, work and raise a family.”

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Budget – FY15 – Social Services Restored
·         Revenue estimate up; $26 million in State grants to be restored.  The State of Illinois has faced continuous challenges in “keeping the lights on” during the final months of FY15.  When the Governor’s office changed hands in January, Governor Bruce Rauner found that the FY15 budget passed by Democrat majorities and signed by former Governor Pat Quinn was drastically unbalanced.  The General Assembly and the Rauner administration have worked together since that time to shift funds around to cover shortfalls.  In some cases, additional cuts were imposed on some agencies and their spending programs. 

Citing an improving economy, Governor Rauner announced Thursday that he would restore $26 million to social service and public health grants that were frozen earlier this year because of budget constraints.  Grants for autism, addiction prevention, assistance for homeless, teen REACH and other programs were impacted by the freeze. The Governor was able to restore funding to these programs because of better than expected revenues projections.  The bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability expects an additional $300 million to $500 million in tax revenue because of an improving economy in Illinois.