Working to create budget parameters
Just a few days ago. the Illinois House took the next crucial step in passing a new state budget that reduces spending and puts Illinois' finances on the path to recovery. House Resolution 706 set a fiscal year 2013 budget at $32.9 billion - less than was spent last year, and less than Gov. Pat Quinn's spending proposal.
House members agreed on a realistic number for how much money we expect the state to take in next year and how much we can afford to spend. Now Appropriations Committees will begin the process of going through agency and program budgets line by line to cut about 5.4 percent. A special committee is also looking at ways to make $2.7 billion in cuts to the state's Medicaid program, one of the fastest growing areas of the state budget. HR 706 also includes language to begin paying off the state's backlog of bills ($1.5 billion in FY13) and ensure the state makes the full pension payment required by law.
Security, ID theft seminar set
Area residents are encouraged join me this week to learn simple and effective ways to safeguard your credit card, Social Security and other personal and financial information. I will partner with the Illinois attorney general and the Illinois comptroller on Tuesday, April 10 to share how you can prevent important, private information from falling into the hands of criminals. These one and one half hour seminars will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Yorkville Senior Center, 908 Game Farm Road and at 1 p.m. at Elburn Lions Park, 500 S. Filmore St. Handouts and refreshments will be provided. RSVP to attend these free events at 630-553-3223. I look forward to seeing you. Bring a friend.
Around the community during session recess
You will find me working out of my district office the next two weeks meeting with organizations and constituents on pending legislative issues. A look at the calendar scheduled thus far: meeting with Child Care Resources, the Sierra Club and Heritage Woods. Spending a half day with the Illinois Education Association in Batavia, participating in Education Superintendent Koch's legislative update, honoring the Illinois Math and Science Academy 25th anniversary, attending the Kendall County administrative center open house, receiving latest growth statistics from the Montgomery Economic Development Commission, meeting with my county chairmen at the Metro West State of the Counties program at Timber Creek, supporting a Yorkville Path gathering and saying hello to the thousands of community members and businesses who attend the Oswego Chamber of Commerce Business Expo. I'll also share a legislative update with the Sandwich Chamber, northern Illinois Credit Unions and the Fox Valley Medical Society. I'll even have a small part in an important program honoring Warrior Dogs.
Who's in Springfield?
The numbers really swelled in the Capitol recently. Illinois Agricultural Legislative Day is always popular because they bring samples of our state's rich food heritage, from apples to corn products to horseradish to information on our growing winery network.
The University of Illinois stopped by with data noting that 586 students and 117 graduates came from the 50th District in 2011. Four hundred Fox Valley businesses do business with the U of I, nearly 50 residents are employees and more than 3,000 residents are alumni association members.
Cross Lutheran School brought 30 visitors and a Sugar Grove family included the Capitol in their Springfield visit. The Premature Infant Health Network, Maternal and Child Health Coalition, ACCESS Community Health Network, Pipeline Safety, Commission to Eliminate Poverty, the Illinois Environmental Council, Trucking Association, Alzheimer's Association, Coin Operators and Child Abuse Prevention advocates all spoke on behalf of their issues. The Association of Realtors brought an entire village.
I write Hatcher's Highlights each weekend to try to provide you with a realistic picture of the complex needs and opportunities facing the residents of our state. Always let me know if there is something you would like to see featured. My next issue will share details on a few pieces of legislation you might find of interest. Have a terrific week.
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