New Chicago Mayor – Same Bad Policies, Healthcare for Undocumented Immigrants, Agriculture Teachers Needed, and More

New Chicago Mayor, Same Disastrous Policies

Chicago’s Mayor-Elect, Brandon Johnson, addressed lawmakers this week and I must say I am disappointed in the direction he is choosing to lead the city.

The new mayor spoke about tackling crime and providing opportunity, but he supports the continuation of policies put in place by his predecessor that keep police from being able to do their jobs effectively. He is also supportive of additional tax increases.  High crime and taxes are the two main reasons families have been leaving Chicago and Illinois in recent years.

A strong Illinois depends upon a strong Chicago. It is still my hope that we will be able to work with the new mayor to help him change course and revitalize a great city.

House Republicans Call for a Moratorium, Audit of Illinois’ Billion-Dollar Health Benefits Program for Undocumented Immigrants

At a Capitol press conference, House Republicans highlighted a bombshell State report detailing the massive cost and enrollment expansions of Illinois’ health benefits program for undocumented immigrants.

In FY24, which starts in June, Illinois’ program of health benefits for undocumented immigrants is estimated to cost $990 million, which is a $768 million increase (346%) over FY23. The additional Medicaid pressure for these expansions is happening at the same time the State is expected to lose $760 million in additional federal funding through the enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Program (FMAP) that was provided to states during the pandemic.

House Republicans have filed House Resolution 220, which will audit and pause new enrollees in the program. 

Meanwhile, Illinois Democrats have countered with House Bill 1570, which would complete their expansion of health benefits for undocumented immigrants by adding ages 19-41 to the program. If recent history is any guide, the Democrats will again, for the fourth time, add this expansion to the upcoming FY24 BIMP (Budget Implementation) bill or some other massive omnibus bill at the end of our spring legislative session.

Agriculture Teachers Wanted!

The Illinois State Board of Education is looking for career-changers who want to teach agriculture classes in Illinois high schools and middle schools.

Around the District

I enjoyed visiting this week with students from Adlai E. Stevenson High School who represent the Illinois Prevention Network.  Their message is that research shows drug addiction is both preventable and treatable.

Fostering Hope

There’s still time to drop off personal hygiene items at my district office to help foster children who are asked to move from place to place on short notice.  Items can be dropped off through the end of the day Monday at my office located at 3601 East Lake Centre Drive, Suite 200 in Quincy.

Earth Day 2023

Tomorrow is Earth Day, 2023! Let’s celebrate our amazing planet as we work to protect its resources and build a better future for all. Happy Earth Day!