Brian's Column 04-10-2015

Headed back to Springfield
Spring break is over for the Illinois legislature, and we head back to Springfield early next week. The reprieve from weekly trips downstate was not unwelcome; however, I’m eager to head back to the Capitol to continue to work toward putting Illinois on a path to economic health.

Budget
While we’ve been in session for three months now and while Governor Rauner presented his budget address almost two months ago, we still have not discussed in detail the FY16 Budget in the Illinois House.  Yes, we addressed the pressing FY15 deficit, but the looming FY16 Budget will prove just as important, if not more important than filling the 2015 hole.  I, like you, am concerned with the economic and fiscal environment of our State and know that we can’t push it off until the last possible minute.  The politics behind the many budget bills we will see in the House this spring won’t be pretty, but I am confident that just as we broke down party lines to remedy the FY15 deficit, we too can work together to present a sound and effective budget for the coming year.

Tornados
My thoughts and prayers go out to all the residents of our region that were affected by the tornados last Thursday night.  I am eternally grateful to the emergency response teams that responded immediately to rescue people from damaged buildings, including the team that rescued twelve people from a restaurant in Rochelle.  Many emergency professionals from unaffected areas also responded to the crisis, and I am proud of our area’s EMTs, firefighters, and police officers.

The former Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, said that “while natural disasters capture headlines and national attention short-term, the work of recovery and rebuilding is long-term.”  The small town of Fairdale, the affected areas of Rochelle and the other parts of Ogle and Dekalb counties have made national headlines because of the disaster.  As their friends and neighbors, however, we must purposely not forget them when they are no longer in the headlines.  While they rebuild, we must support them and work with them in the recovery process.

As always, you can reach me or Sally at 815/232-0774 or email us at repstewart@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.repbrianstewart.com or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

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