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The heat index is expected to soar this week and so will the need for places to keep cool.

As part of his Keep Cool Illinois campaign, Governor Rauner has made over 120 state facilities available as cooling centers. The cooling centers will provide Illinoisans a place to stay cool and comfortable during hot summer days.

In 1995, 739 people died in Chicago during the deadliest stretch of heat ever recorded. Please share this information with those who do not have air conditioning and need a place to stay cool.

Cooling Centers
Find a cooling center near you by clicking here.

Additionally, Tollway Oasis locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Department of Human Services cooling centers are open during normal business hours from 8:30AM - 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.
Hope you had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. 

Stopgap Budget Alleviates Pressure
       Since the end of scheduled spring session, and in the absence of a state budget, working groups had been focused on K-12 education funding and a stopgap budget to fund state operations until after November elections. The main sticking point was Chicago school funding with the Senate Democrats going so far as to propose sending what would have amounted to nearly $800 million dollars to help out the dysfunctional school system. 
       General Assembly leaders and the Governor met for longer than ever before on Tuesday and Wednesday to come to some sort of middle ground. The resulting agreement was brought to the floor for a vote on June 30th, the end of FY16. House Democrats almost derailed and extorted the process by changing the terms of the deal at the last minute. After passing the Chicago components of the agreement, the main spending portion, SB 2047, was held up when an amendment was added to spend an additional $10 million towards minority teacher education. Eventually, a final amendment restored the original deal and brought a sense of trust back to the process.

Springfield, IL...The House and Senate today passed a stopgap funding plan meant to serve as a bridge to a more comprehensive balanced budget for FY17. SB2047 provides a full year of funding for elementary and secondary education, road construction, federal programs and other non-GRF programs for both fiscal years 2016 and 2017. In addition, GRF money is appropriated to cover utilities, food and medical services at state prisons, mental health centers, veterans’ homes and other 24 hour care facilities as well as critical human services not being paid under consent decrees or court order and continued operations of other key state government services.

State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) issued the following statement after the passage of the bill:

“Intense pressure from the public finally brought the Democrat leadership, previously deaf to the outcry from the Illinois citizens, to the negotiating table. The legislation passed today will give peace of mind to parents and students and the stopgap funding plan will serve as a bridge to a comprehensive balanced budget for fiscal year 2017. Significantly, this plan does not count on enactment of a tax hike. With this bipartisan agreement, like others before it, we’ve proven that good faith negotiations are possible if both sides are committed and serious about acting in the best interests of the state. Using this framework and momentum we should continue to work together to forge a full and balanced state budget.”
To read Rep. McDermed's recap of the spring legislative session, click here.
The General Assembly adjourned on May 31st without a State budget. Since then session has been cancelled by Speaker Madigan three weeks in a row. Without appropriations from the State, many schools are in danger of not opening this fall. In May Republicans filed House Bill 6583 a clean, standalone education funding bill that increases school funding by $240 million dollars. Speaker Madigan has refused to release the bill from the Rules Committee. 

For more information on the bill, click here.

Sign the petition to demand a vote on HB6583 here