·         Republican Legislators Present Compromise Balanced Budget Plan.  House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), Senate Republican Caucus Whip Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles), Assistant Senate Republican Leader Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Deputy House Republican Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) and House Republican Conference Chairperson Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) have introduced a package of bills to end the budget impasse. The bills represent a compromise balanced budget and reforms that address the priorities of both parties, and urged the General Assembly to return to Springfield to vote on this proposal.

“Time is running out before the fiscal year ends, and we must act now! Where is the sense of urgency with Speaker Madigan to end this stalemate? Lawmakers should be in Springfield working around the clock until our job is finished. This comprehensive budget package with structural reforms that we are proposing today is the path forward to breaking the budget impasse,” said Durkin.

The comprehensive proposal includes a truly balanced budget, a four-year hard spending cap, lasting property tax relief, and changes to our regulatory system that will create jobs and grow the economy. The bills also include a $250 million increase for the new school funding formula, and fulfilling commitments to restore child care eligibility to 185% of the federal poverty level and a wage increase to Direct Support Professionals. It also includes term limits on legislative leaders and constitutional officers.
·         COGFA report shows slight uptick in total Illinois tax revenue.  The monthly report by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) showed State general funds tax receipts up $143 million in May 2017.  The tax receipt increase is independent of “transfers in,” a separate table of non-tax general funds revenues such as profits from Illinois State Lottery ticket sales.  The increase in May 2017 tax revenues was entirely attributed to increased revenues from the personal income tax paid by almost all Illinois employees, with personal income tax receipts up $179 million over comparable figures reported in May 2016. 

Corporate income tax receipts continued to plunge during the 31-day reporting period, with this revenue stream down $72 million.  The decline of almost one-half in year-over-year corporate income tax payments to the State of Illinois reflected the continued movement of U.S. business from C-class corporate taxpayers, which was the dominant business model in former years,  toward the attribution of taxable revenues to pass-through entities, often organized as wholly-owned subsidiaries of holding companies.  The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) has taken account of this change and has re-classified much of its remaining business tax receipts as individual income tax receipts, paid at individual income tax rates.
State Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) joined Rick Pearson on WGN Radio's "Sunday Spin" program on June 4. Click HERE to listen to the interview.

Budget – General Assembly
·         Democrats fail to enact budget.  Here we go again. We've reached the May 31st session deadline and once again, the Democrat-controlled General Assembly has failed to do its job. 

This week marked 700 days without a State budget. This is the longest period without a budget of any state in modern U.S. history. 

No balanced budget, no meaningful reforms to get Illinois back on track.

Democrats have spent months hurling insults and unfounded accusations against Republicans to distract from their own fiscal irresponsibility.

The majority party has blamed the Governor and House Republicans for the lack of a balanced budget. And yet, for the second year in a row, the Democratic-controlled legislature has failed to send a budget, balanced or not, to the Governor.
By Keith R. Wheeler
State Representative, 50th District

When I arrived in Springfield in January of 2015, we had a new Governor, a new class of Senators and Representatives, and a sense of optimism that we were about to turn Illinois around. I was ecstatic to begin enacting the reforms that the incoming class of legislators championed: a property tax freeze, meaningful job creation reforms and fair election maps.

As a freshman legislator, I heard rumors that some Democrats in the House were planning to sabotage Governor Rauner by refusing to pass a single budget during his tenure. The thinking behind that plan is that Illinois would be so drastically harmed during his first term that a second term would be unthinkable. It was dubious to me that anyone would consider that a legitimate plan for our state. I couldn’t bring myself to believe that elected officials who pledged to serve the people of Illinois would be willing to allow such catastrophic suffering in order to maintain their power.

Now in my third year of regular session, I am disgusted and disappointed to see this is indeed the course of action Speaker Madigan has chosen.  While some point their finger at the Governor for the budget impasse, they should take a much closer look in Speaker Madigan’s direction.  The General Assembly hasn’t passed a constitutional (balanced) budget since May of 2013.  That was more than a year and a half before Governor Rauner even took office.  Over the last 20 years, not a single budget proposal by any governor, Republican or Democrat, was passed by the General Assembly.  However, every one of those budgets that became law have the Speaker’s fingerprints all over them.
Kane County Reporter

Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) decried a workers' compensation reform bill that Democrats passed during the final hours of the legislative session on Wednesday.

“There is no savings in this bill," Wheeler said. "Realistically, if you balance out everything in this bill, it’s not going to come out to any real savings."

Proponents of House Bill 2525 say it would help regulate workers' compensation by requiring insurers to submit rates to the Illinois Department of Insurance for examination of potential overcharges, thereby ensuring that employers are paying rates relative to the market. It would also create a Workers' Compensation Premium Rate Task Force to study the extent to which the premiums reflect the recommendation of the National Council on Compensation Insurance...