SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) has filed new legislation, House Bill 6569, to eliminate the statute of limitations on the prosecution of child sex crimes in the State of Illinois, ensuring that future victims will never be limited in coming forward and seeking justice.

"We need to protect every child and every family in Illinois,” Rep. Wheeler said. “Tragically, numerous families in Kendall County have been devastated by the revelation of child sexual abuse committed by former Speaker Dennis Hastert decades ago, crimes for which he cannot be charged with today. Every victim of child sex abuse deserves justice, no matter how long it takes. We need to make absolutely clear to those who perpetrate sex crimes against children that there is no escaping justice.”
House Bill 6569 is awaiting assignment to the Judiciary – Criminal Committee.
# # #
State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) welcomed local students from Serena Grade School to the Capitol on Wednesday during their trip to Springfield. Rep. Wheeler is a strong supporter of fully funding General State Aid (GSA) to local school districts at the 100% level to meet the state's commitment to K-12 education.
FY16 Budget
·        As budget crunch deepens, Republicans offer real solutions.  As of April 2016, the State has entered its tenth month without a balanced budget, making Illinois the only state that has not yet enacted a spending plan for the current fiscal year.  No plans have been enacted to control and continue State spending during this period.  Many providers of essential social healthcare services, including vitally-needed services for seniors, veterans, persons with challenges relating to mental health or developmental disability, and victims of domestic and sexual violence, have been affected by this lack of budget appropriations.  Many of these entities have been forced by cash-flow realities to reduce services.  Some of these service providers have been forced to lay off personnel, and in some cases to completely shut their doors, in the communities they serve or have served. 

In this impasse, House Republicans and House Democrats have responded in different ways.  House Republican Leader Jim Durkin is co-sponsoring HB 6553, the “lifeline” bill, with Senate Republican Leader Radogno.  Supported by members of the House Republican Caucus, HB 6553 would allocate $1.3 billion in funding to providers of community services in areas where the need is most intense.  The measure is backed by transfers of real money, including proceeds to the State from immediate pension reform measures.  HB 6553 is backed by Governor Bruce Rauner, who has assured General Assembly members of both parties that he will participate in negotiations to finalize what spending items should be covered in this measure.  The Governor has told Illinois House Members and Senators that he expects to be able to sign a “lifeline” bill similar to HB 6553 if it conforms to the broad outlines of this proposal, is passed by both houses of the General Assembly, and is transmitted to his desk.
State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) joined Congressman Randy Hultgren (R-Plano) and State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove) on a tour of the Producers Chemical Company in Sugar Grove with owner and President Roger Harris on Friday.

Founded in 1963, Producers Chemical Company provides industrial chemicals and related services in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Indiana. Producers serves a wide range of industrial customers providing products to paints and coatings, printing and printing inks, metal treatment, water treatment, electronics, recreation, agricultural and municipal industries.
“Rally for Lawsuit Reform” brings together grassroots activists and small business owners to deliver the message that lawsuit reforms will create jobs and limit lawsuit abuse in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) today joined small business owners and concerned citizens at the Capitol to talk about the need for common sense lawsuit reforms that will reduce the abuse of Illinois courts by aggressive personal injury lawyers and in turn help create jobs in Illinois.

“The impact of lawsuits on small businesses cannot be understated,” Wheeler said. “Small businesses can adjust to business regulations and higher taxes but lawsuits are the great unknown. One lawsuit can bankrupt a business. It is time we took a stand to protect small business owners by passing meaningful lawsuit reforms into law.”

The press conference today was part of the “Rally for Lawsuit Reform” hosted by Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch (I-LAW), a grassroots, non-partisan legal watchdog group. Participants kicked off the day with a meeting with Governor Bruce Rauner to tell him personally why they support his proposed lawsuit reforms and to encourage him to keep fighting for these reforms in the face of intense opposition from the personal injury lawyers’ lobby.
Budget – FY16

·         Illinois budget impasse sets modern record among 50 U.S. states.  With the coming of April 2016, the FY16 budget impasse entered its tenth month.  According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), which maintains a database of the actions of legislative bodies nationwide, this is the longest time that any U.S. state has gone without a budget in the history of modern governmental activity.  

There has been no state budget in place since June 30, 2015, the last day of FY15.  The General Assembly was not able to pass a constitutional balanced budget in spring 2015 for FY16, and their subsequent meetings have not resolved the impasse.  While some facets of State spending have completely stopped, other areas – especially areas of social spending controlled by court orders, consent decrees, and continuing appropriations – are generating increasing liabilities for taxpayers.   Comptroller Leslie Munger has warned lawmakers that at current rates the State and its taxpayers will face a backlog of $10 billon in unpaid bills by the time the current fiscal year ends on June 30, 2016.