Budget – Taxpayer’s Fiscal Charter
·        House Republican lawmaker files bill to create Illinois Taxpayer’s Fiscal Charter.  If enacted into law the new bill, filed by Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, will impose controls on the currently out-of-control Illinois budget process.  It will freeze all discretionary, taxpayer-paid State of Illinois spending until the State gets its payment cycle to vendors below 30 days.  The bill bans enactment of new State programs until a full pension payment, based on actuarial requirements, is made.  It will move the State of Illinois towards Pay as you Go budgeting, prohibit the imposition of unfunded mandates, and create a sunshine procedure for future State budgets. 

Rep. Davidsmeyer calls for all legislators who file legislation that creates new spending to file, as part of their bill to create the new program, legal language to raise taxes or cut spending to pay for the new program.  The lawmaker represents a west-central Illinois district centering on Jacksonville.  The Taxpayer’s Fiscal Charter bill was filed on Tuesday, January 9, as HB 4229.
Rep. Wheeler was honored to participate in the 10th anniversary celebration at Heritage Woods of Yorkville on Thursday with residents and staff. Rep. Wheeler noted how Heritage Woods exudes a sense of family and community.

BUDGET
·        Revenues up, but overall budget picture clouded by poor retail spending numbers.  The December 2017 State revenue report by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) shows that State revenues rose by $438 million over comparable levels in December 2016, an increase of 15.4%.  This increase is helping to pay off some of the $8.7 billion backlog of unpaid State bills. 

However, the Commission’s economic team has called the General Assembly’s attention to areas of weakness within the revenue numbers.  Sales tax receipts declined by 4%, or $34 million, on a year-over-year basis within the overall revenue increase.  The poor sales tax numbers were attributed by economists to the continuing challenges faces by participants in the U.S. retail sector.