House Rules changed to fix budget errors.
If the rules don’t work for you, just change them… That’s what House Democrats did. After passing a budget of several thousand pages in less than 24 hours with final changes brought to the House floor mere minutes before the vote, unsurprisingly it contained numerous errors that required more legislative action to fix it. However, 71 Democrats didn’t show up to Springfield on June 16 to vote to fix their own mistakes. Instead, the House changed rules of procedure to allow members on vacation to vote remotely. Perhaps if we had a proper and transparent vetting process in the first place, say a 30-day public budget review, like we require of local governments, a budget with hundreds of typos, missing implementation dates, and filled with partisan pork-spending wouldn’t have needed fixing in the first place. And we wouldn’t have wasted even more taxpayer money on travel, per diem, and extra technology needs for remote voting either. Read More Here.
Fremont Center Rd & Route 60 road work.
This week, the Lake County Division of Transportation will be closing Fremont Center Road from Illinois Route 60 to Erhart Road to through traffic for a safety improvement project. The closure is expected to last approximately two months. Local traffic will have access from Erhart Rd north to the construction zone. The road will be closed to all through traffic at the construction zone. Read More Here.
Illinois State fairs set to return after year off.
The two fairgrounds, in Springfield and Du Quoin, will once again welcome people from all states to be a part of Illinois life and culture. The fairs celebrate the culture and agricultural background of Illinois, with an emphasis on music and heritage. The Illinois State Fair, in Springfield, will be held from August 12 through August 22, 2021. The Du Quoin State Fair will be held from August 27 through September 6. Read More Here.
New State holiday.
“Juneteenth” is a holiday of remembrance created to mark adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment and the act of ending American slavery in 1865. A nationwide movement has now made Juneteenth a federal and State of Illinois holiday. HB 3922, which I was honored to co-sponsor, provides that Juneteenth National Freedom Day shall be observed on June 19 of each year as a holiday throughout the state. Illinois was the first state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude throughout the nation. Read More Here.
Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund faces $5 billion deficit.
Unemployment insurance benefits are paid by the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). The program is funded by the Illinois Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund, a rainy-day fund built up though taxes paid by employers. With unemployment spiking at high double-digit rates during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois UI Trust Fund was depleted. Furthermore, the insolvent fund was forced to borrow money from the U.S. Department of Labor in order to enable the continued payout of benefits already promised to unemployed workers. Read More Here.
600+ bills sent to Governor’s desk.
Far away from the headlines, members of both parties in the Illinois House and Senate worked on many pieces of legislation in the first half of 2021. Many of these bills were technical measures designed to implement needed changes in legislative language, or to move a legal process forward after agreements by a variety of stakeholders. More than 660 bills were passed by majorities in both houses and sent to the Governor. Read More Here.