As Illinois passed its 100th day without a state budget, Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan restated bargaining positions that have proven to be major stumbling blocks in the unprecedented budget impasse.
Governor Rauner and Senate Republican lawmakers say reforms are necessary to bolster Illinois’ economy, and drafting a budget without them won’t help the state’s long-term job creation prospects. On October 7, the Governor was joined by Republican legislative leaders in encouraging legislative Democrats to compromise on government and business reforms so budget bargaining can resume in good faith.
However, the House Speaker once again stated he will not consider Republican-suggested reforms.
Governor Rauner noted if Democrat legislative leaders will not compromise, they have the majority and the ability to pass a budget and the revenue to support their ongoing legacy of deficit spending. Republicans have stressed that they will not consider revenue increases without first adopting much-needed government reforms.
Tribune chides lawmakers
In an October 5 editorial, the Chicago Tribune called on Democrat leaders to take responsibility for their role in the current budget impasse.
“They’ve given taxpayers no confidence that they’ll make a serious effort at passing a balanced budget even when they return. The supermajority Democrats in the House and Senate sent Rauner a budget in May, knowing it was wildly out of balance. Like their budget the year before. It was a game of chicken, cavalierly playing with the lives of those who rely on Springfield for help.”
Free Medicare seminar set October 22
Representative Keith Wheeler and I are teaming up with AARP to host a free Medicare Part D Seminar for local senior citizens at 10:00 a.m., October 22, at the City of Batavia building, 100 N. Island Avenue in Batavia.
AARP representatives will explain the finer points of this important coverage and answer questions such as:
• What is Medicare Part D?
• Are there any plan options?
• What are the costs?
• How do I apply?
• How does the Part D or “Donut Hole” coverage work?
For more information, call my office at 630-800-1992 or Representative Wheeler’s office at 630-345-3464.
New contract lowers fees for ‘Bright Directions’ college savings program
Families saving for college will benefit from changes to the contract governing the state’s Bright Directions 529 college savings plan.
The newly negotiated contract eliminates a $10 set-up fee and $3 quarterly maintenance fee for families saving for college through Bright Directions, which means more investment dollars will go to college savings. Management fees also will be slashed by 43 percent. More than 104,000 accounts will benefit from the new terms, which take effect Nov. 15.
Independent rating agencies recognize Bright Directions as a solid investment with a competitive price that offers 55 investment options.