House Bill Tally
The House worked late into the evening last Friday after I sent my last update. Here’s the final tally of House Bills that were passed out of the House by our deadline:
443 total bills passed
384 – Democrat sponsored
59 – Republican sponsored
Rainy Day Fund Surpasses $1.2 Billion
House Republicans have repeatedly urged Illinois, one of the lowest-ranked U.S. states in terms of credit ratings, to change its budgetary ways in preparation for harsh times ahead.
Comptroller Susana Mendoza has announced the payment of $150 million into the State’s Budget Stabilization Fund, a rainy-day fund intended to create a cash cushion in preparation for future changes in the State’s cash flow. With this deposit, the rainy day fund will now have $1.22 billion in it.
Although this is a significant sum of money, Illinois’ high spending could outrun this resource in the next recession. With vast cash flows demanded for health care, education, pensions, and many other spending programs, the current $1.22 billion rainy day fund balance is equal to less than six days of Illinois general funds spending. We need to do better.
Soft on Crime Push Continues
Despite rampant crime as a result of radical Democrat soft-on-crime policies and the people of Illinois understandably worried, Democrats now want to let criminals serving life sentences for violent crime out on parole.
Rallying at the Capitol
Over the past two weeks, the Capitol has hosted several large rallies on key issues…both pro-life and pro-choice protesters joined us at the Capitol, ABATE of Illinois (motorcycle rights), and this week we met with gun owners from across the state (IGOLD) rallying in support of Second Amendment Rights. Whether I agree or disagree with opinions expressed by specific groups, it’s always good to see people who are passionate about issues peacefully express themselves at the Capitol.
Supporting Veteran Owned Businesses
I’m very pleased to say the Illinois House has unanimously passed legislation to improve opportunities for veteran-owned small businesses. The legislation, House Bill 2288, updates the Illinois Procurement Code so veteran-owned small businesses are more able to compete for state contracts.
The number of veteran-owned small businesses who qualify for the Veterans Business Program had fallen to only 15% of previously eligible businesses by FY21. To improve eligibility for the program, HB 2288 increases the limit for a business’s annual gross sales to less than $150 million, rather than less than $75 million as established back in 2011. This change reflects the increase in construction prices of 50-70% that has taken place since 2011.
It was great seeing the future of Illinois Agriculture at the Capitol this week including this FFA group from Quincy! Thank you for your commitment to feeding our country and the world!
“Spring Breaking” in Illinois
The House has adjourned for two weeks for recognition of Easter, Passover, and other religious celebrations. While children are out of school and families are taking a break as well, I want to put in a good word for “spring breaking” here in Illinois. Our state is home to many breathtaking state parks that make for fun outdoor adventures.
Town Hall in Jacksonville
Heads up to those of you in Morgan County – I have a Town Hall coming up later this month in Jacksonville where we can meet and talk. I’m also going to update everyone on the latest developments in Springfield. I hope to see you there!