NORTH AURORA – Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, issued the following statement today in response to the shooting at the Henry Platt Company in Aurora:

“I would like to thank the first responders from Aurora and those from supporting law enforcement agencies in other communities who arrived at the scene quickly and saved countless lives today. They demonstrated bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of utmost danger. These first responders deserve our appreciation and respect. I echo Mayor Richard Irvin’s call to pray for the wounded, pray for those we lost today as well as their families, and to pray for Aurora. People of faith understand how sincere and impactful prayer truly is. Let us come together as a community to focus on caring for the victims of this senseless tragedy and supporting our first responders.”

Rep. Wheeler serves the 50th District, which includes portions of Aurora, North Aurora, Batavia, Geneva, Campton Hills, Elburn, Montgomery, Oswego, Plano, St. Charles, Sugar Grove and Yorkville.

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·        Moody’s Analytics prepares overall State of Illinois economic forecast.  The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA), the General Assembly’s nonpartisan budgetary monitoring arm, asked Moody’s Analytics to describe the current state and forecasts for Illinois’ economy.  The Moody’s numbers and analysis will help the Illinois House and Senate determine the tax revenue numbers for money that will come in during fiscal year 2020, the budget year that begins on July 1, 2019.  

Although unemployment in many local regions of Illinois remains above 4.0%, the Moody’s analysts describe the state’s economy as a whole as enjoying full employment.  Illinois’ economy is characterized by labor supply constraints, with insufficient workers in high-demand subsectors of the economy such as health care and professional services, and in the booming region of greater Chicago.  This, in turn, creates higher pay and income tax payments to the State of Illinois, but also generates wage and cost pressures on the private sector.  The current numbers posted on the Employment Cost Index for Chicago reflect these trends.   

·        Illinois House committees hold first hearings of new session.  Much of the session work of this week was spent in organizing the 39 standing committees of the Illinois House of Representatives.  These are the panels that will hear almost all of the legislation introduced in the House through January 2021.  Many of the committees, such as the House Committee on Labor and Commerce and the House Committee on Personnel and Pensions, took prompt action to set up subcommittees from the members appointed to their membership.

Committees and subcommittees are authorized to hold hearings on the bills and resolutions presented to them.  Subject-matter hearings are hearings in which the members of the panel hear evidence about a pending measure while considering their final action.  Voting hearings are hearings in which the members of the panel hear evidence and testimony, and then vote on the pending measure at once.  In addition to standing committees, House leadership may set up one or more special committees to hold hearings and gather information on specific issues of urgent public interest.  The “ILGA Dashboard” is the public notice board for all posted Illinois House committee meetings and hearings. 

Assistant House Minority Leader Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, has been appointed Republican Spokesperson on the Public Utilities, Executive, and Cybersecurity, Data Analytics and IT Committees, respectively, for the 2019-2021 legislative term.  Committee assignments for the 101st General Assembly were announced today as the Illinois House of Representatives prepares to reconvene on Tuesday, February 5.

The Spokesperson is responsible for leading the efforts of the minority caucus within each committee; including questioning witnesses who provide testimony at committee hearings, being the lead advocate for caucus positions on legislation assigned to that committee, and negotiating with the Committee Chairperson to reach bipartisan consensus on as many bills as possible.

“Serving as Spokesperson on three different committees makes me the point person for our caucus on negotiating legislation and working to achieve bipartisan solutions on issues ranging from utility regulation to cybersecurity,” Wheeler said. “Starting this week, committees will begin their work for the year. I am committed to leveraging my new spokesperson role to deliver results for Fox Valley families and amplify their voice on important legislation while it’s being crafted.”