New Year’s Resolutions & New Laws for Illinois

Happy New Year! I hope 2015 brought you and your families love and joy and that 2016 brings good health and prosperity for everyone.  The change of the calendar year symbolically closes out a period in our lives and begins anew another chapter yet to be written.  As tradition holds, it is proper to partake in establishing New Year’s resolutions to work towards throughout the year.  Instead of heavily weighting short term goals, I’ve always found “working goals” to be more effective guidelines for myself because they allow me to track my progress all year long.  I’ve made several goals this year and I am resolved to improve upon our results from years past.

On January 1, 237 new laws will take effect in Illinois. Unfortunately, a balanced budget is not among them.

Several of the new laws affect children, veterans and the elderly. Others affect drivers and consumers. Below is a quick look at some of the more notable laws taking effect on Friday,
January 1.

For the full list, click HERE.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

The second to last column for the year is at hand, and with the holiday season upon us I’ve been reflecting over the past year in Springfield and the 89th District.  Many happy memories come to mind, yet I am plagued by the worst that came out of Springfield; maybe, I should have said what didn’t pass out of Springfield.  The State budget shenanigans and the general process in Springfield are not even close to good government.  You’ve sent me to Springfield to be your voice, and I’ve seen how the proverbial sausage is made or not made for that matter.  It is not acceptable to me or the citizens of Illinois.  There are a few who relish in the quagmire of Springfield, but I will assure you there are well over 100 House members (118 of us total) that are bewildered by how the General Assembly has kept thousands of Illinois’ families, units of government, and non-profit organizations languishing and awaiting services or funding from the State.

Good bills, good legislation never receives a fair up or down vote on the floor because of the political gamesmanship.  This is not the amateurs, this is professional politicking the likes of which Illinois has seen for decades.  It’s disheartening and disenfranchising that our next generation of leaders hasn’t been instilled with the same sense of public service, duty, and commitment that appears stronger in older generations.
Bipartisanship Wins, More Work to Be Done  

In case you missed it, a lot happened this past week in Springfield. Governor Rauner and the four legislative leaders held a semi-public meeting to discuss the current fiscal woes and the budget impasse.  House members passed a bipartisan appropriations bill that funds critical state services and we reformed the Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act (IUIA) that will help with small business growth.

The meeting between Governor Rauner and the four legislative leaders should have happened a long time ago, but now is better than tomorrow.  Televised live via the internet, the Governor and four leaders made an opening statement, each explaining their position on how to move forward.