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

Regularly scheduled spring session ended on May 31st, but the State of Illinois remains in an unprecedented financial situation. We return to Springfield this Wednesday. 

Still No Budget
        As I’m sure you know by now Speaker Madigan attempted to pass a spending plan that spent $40 billion dollars.  This is the largest spending plan or “budget” in Illinois history and, because it did have attached revenues, would have doubled the state’s backlog of unpaid bills which currently sits at around $7 billion. To pay for such a large increase in spending would have required us to raise the income tax to 5.5%. Legislators had to vote on the 500 page bill just a few hours after it was filed. It passed the House, but then the bill sat in the Senate for several days. On 10pm the night we were scheduled to end spring session it was finally brought to a vote and lost with only 17 of 59 senators supporting it. As a result, despite session going very late in to the night on May 31st, we finished without a budget.
Chicago, IL... State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) joined other lawmakers in calling for Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino to voluntarily take a leave of absence while investigations persist into campaign expenditures and reporting procedures from his time as State Representative. 

Twenty one legislators signed a letter sent to the Auditor General's office on June 2nd stating their concerns for the integrity of office operations while the leader is under state and federal investigation. The office of the Auditor General is responsible for auditing State funds to ensure that State agencies are accountable and taxpayer funds are not being misspent.

Suspicious campaign spending practices came to light late last year and previous letters from legislators requesting more information on the matter have gone unanswered. Auditor General Mautino, who took over the office in January, is currently under investigation from both the State Election Board and federal authorities. The latest letter asks that, for the sake of clean government, he step aside until the investigations are concluded.