State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) attended Plano High School's AP Capstone Ceremony and Dinner on Thursday, celebrating the academic achievement of our local advanced placement students. Plano C.U.S.D. 88 Superintendent Dr. Hector Garcia (far left) welcomed Rep. Wheeler as the community gathered to congratulate the students.

By Jim Wyman | WSPY News

At its meeting on Wednesday morning, the Kendall County Board heard from 50th District Representative Keith Wheeler, who briefed county board members about the budget situation in Springfield.

Representative Wheeler is in his first term in the Illinois House, and he told Kendall County Board members that he is becoming frustrated with the fact that representatives cannot get together and adopt a budget...
Speaking about Illinois' economic outlook as both a legislator and a 25-year small business owner, State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) joins fellow panelists (from left) Joe Henning, President & CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce; Laura Newman, Vice President of Mitutoyo America Corporation; and Jim Eccher, President & CEO of Old Second Bank at the 2016 Regional Economic Pulse luncheon in Aurora today.

Budget – House in Recess; Republicans Protest

·         House Democrats take month-long vacation while budget impasse continues; Republicans file letter of protest.  Illinois has moved well into its ninth month without a budget plan to control state spending.  More than $7 billion in unpaid bills have piled up, but the Democrat-controlled Illinois House this week completed the first of what are expected to be four weeks of spring recess.  House Republicans have rejected the recess motion made by the majority party and have lodged a demand that the lawmakers stay in Springfield to continue negotiations on a budget compromise.
 
“It’s egregious that the House would take a one-month break in the middle of the heart of our regularly scheduled session, especially when there’s so much work that’s unresolved,” asserted Rep. Tom Demmer.  On the final session day before the recess (March 3), Demmer lodged a motion on the Illinois House floor for the lawmaking body to remain in session.  However, the House Democrat majority presiding officer ruled the motion out of order without a floor vote, and the members of the House Democrat caucus headed for the parking lot.  House Republicans continue to protest the refusal of the majority party members to do their jobs and help solve Illinois’ budget crisis, and have filed an official Dissent and Protest of the ruling of the chair for placement in the House Journal. 

The Illinois House is expected to resume session on Monday, April 4.  House Republicans continue to be willing to work in a bipartisan manner to reach a solution to the current budget impasse and fiscal crisis.  
Illinois House Republicans, furious about the lack of a state budget and seemingly empty session calendar thus far this year, challenged House Democrat leadership today to not adjourn as scheduled for the entire month of March.

“It’s egregious that House Democrats would find it acceptable to take a month off during the heart of legislative session, especially given the challenges we face,” said State Representative Tom Demmer (R, Dixon).  “My motion to stay in session was legitimate, and was made completely in line with the House rules- the Democrats’ own rules.”

Rep. Demmer went on to explain that at the conclusion of session on Thursday, Republicans made a motion to bring the legislature back the following day.  The motion, despite being completely in line with the rules, was ruled out of order with Democrat leadership scurrying quickly from the chamber to prevent debate on the issue.  The video of this exchange can be viewed below.

The photo was taken shortly after the House Democrats cleared out of the chamber despite the requests from Republicans to keep working.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who determines the session schedule, put in place a four week gap in the month of March for what many assume is political reasons.  The House is not set to be back in session until April 4th.

Do you agree with Rep. Wheeler and House Republicans, given the challenges facing Illinois, that the legislature shouldn’t take a month long break during March? Tell us what you think here.