General Assembly Pay
·         House Republicans vote for bill to deny pay increase for selves in FY16. The measure, HB 576, amends State law to block implementation of the automatic pay increases slated to be paid in FY16 to Illinois elected officials. This action is necessary to prevent an annual automatic pay increase from being paid to members of the General Assembly, statewide elected officials, certain Cabinet-level executive branch agency directors and appointees, and county state’s attorneys. Automatic pay increases of this type have been mandated by the Compensation Review Act since 1984.

The increase for FY16, which is designed to help beneficiaries keep up with the level of inflation, is 2.0%. If HB 576 passes through the Senate and is signed by the Governor, this 2.0% pay hike will be blocked for the year. HB 576 also blocks scheduled increases in the legislator per diem and legislative mileage reimbursements that are meant to compensate legislators for their living expenses when living in, or traveling to and from, Springfield and other places of legislative duty. 

The 101-1-0 House vote on HB 576 was held on Tuesday, July 28. Gov. Rauner has signaled his support for blocking these pay hikes, but action on this bill in the state Senate is not certain.  The Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, August 4. 
Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) and Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore) held a coffee for constituents in Campton Hills on Saturday to discuss state issues of interest and concern to local families as well as the status of state budget discussions in Springfield.

As a freshman legislator, Rep. Wheeler remains committed to being accessible and responsive to constituents throughout the Fox Valley. For questions or to share feedback on legislation or current state issues, please call Rep. Wheeler's constituent services office in North Aurora at (630) 345-3464.



FY16 Budget Crisis
·         Budget stalemate continues in Springfield. As the State of Illinois entered the fourth week of the new fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat majority again refused to negotiate in good faith and instead continued their piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

In the House, Democrats again backed a temporary budget to fund certain services at a level that is not sustainable over the course of the entire fiscal year. House Amendment 1 to HB 4143 was adopted by a narrow majority of Democrats, but did not receive enough votes to be passed on Third Reading and was therefore held for future consideration.

The Democrat majority continues to insist on spending levels that are unsustainable.  The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget believes this plan will ultimately require the expenditure of over $36 billion of GRF taxpayer resources for FY16.  The Democrats’ bills march the taxpayers of Illinois toward a $4 billion unbalanced budget one month at a time.

House Republicans continue to stand united in our support for a truly balanced budget that protects the interests of taxpayers, working families and seniors.
GENEVA– Kane County could face nearly $2 million in additional costs because of an extension of the grace-period registration for voters bill.

Signed by then-Gov. Pat Quinn in January, Senate Bill 172 requires same-day voter registration at every polling place for countywide elections if a county’s population is greater than 100,000, or if it has an electronic poll book – an electronic list of all eligible voters in the county.

Kane County has more than 515,000 residents, so it will have to foot the cost of adding two election officials and one voting machine to more than 95 polling places in the county, Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham said...

“This is going to be a very expensive mandate for county governments for counties who fit the criteria, and Kane County is one of them,” said State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego...

Campton Hills, IL…. State Representatives Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore) and Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) are hosting a coffee and conversation at 10:00am on Saturday, July 25 in Campton Hills. They will discuss the Spring legislative session thus far, the 2016 budget and recent bills which will impact the community and the state as a whole. 

The Representatives will also be taking time to hear from local residents about the issues that affect them. The format will be informal so that constituents can interact with legislators and express their ideas and concerns.

“There are a lot of questions out there about what’s going on in Springfield and we want to meet with the community to keep local residents informed,” Rep Wheeler stated.

“These informal coffee settings are great way for residents to communicate to us what we can do in Springfield to help them,” Rep Pritchard followed up.

Your TVs, mailboxes and newspapers have been bombarded recently with information about the ongoing state budget stalemate in Springfield.

As freshmen members of the Illinois House of Representatives, we offer our perspective – hopefully a fresh perspective – on the vexing challenges.

We are certain you would ask yourself, “Why can’t reasonable people come up with a budget that doesn’t spend more than we bring in?” After all, there never will be enough funds for everything. We all live with that reality in our household budgets. We all prioritize our spending and cut where needed. Simply put, we prioritize our spending. Why can’t Springfield?

That’s a fair question. What stops politicians from living within their means? Or more precisely, within your means – because it is your money.
FY16 Budget Crisis
·         Democrats continue push for unbalanced, unconstitutional budget.  As the State of Illinois entered the second week of its fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat majority continued to take a piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

Democrats again backed a temporary budget to fund certain services at a level that is not sustainable over the course of the entire fiscal year.  SB 2040, passed by the bare minimum of 71 partisan Democrat votes in the House Thursday, does not contain one-month spending levels based on the projected FY16 revenue estimate of $32 billion.

The Democrat majority continues to insist on spending levels that are unsustainable.  The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget believes this plan will ultimately require the expenditure of over $36 billion of GRF taxpayer resources for FY16.  The Democrats’ bill marches the taxpayers of Illinois toward a $4 billion unbalanced budget one month at a time.

House Republicans stand united in our support for a truly balanced budget that protects the interests of taxpayers, working families and seniors.
FY16 Budget Crisis
·         Governor Rauner, Republicans fight to prevent Illinois government shutdown.  Without a budget in place for the new Fiscal Year 2016 (which began on July 1), there is a possibility that paychecks could be delayed for approximately 65,000 state employees starting July 15.

Governor Rauner and his staff are examining their legal options.  The governor stated on Monday, June 29 that “Our lawyers are working hard to ensure that all employees will be paid on their scheduled pay dates.”  Speaker Michael Madigan and Attorney General Lisa Madigan continued to assert that paychecks may well be delayed and parts of Illinois’ government shut down.