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The day of remembrance for those who have served our country, especially those who have fallen in its service, was observed on Monday, May 25. Memorial Day was raised from informal, local day of observance to national holiday through the effort of native Illinoisan General John A. Logan, a veteran of the Civil War and head of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Due to the significant workload facing the General Assembly before its scheduled May 31st adjournment, the Illinois House of Representatives reconvened and resumed its work on Monday.
SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) called another effort by House Democrats to pass a partisan/unbalanced fiscal year 2016 budget a disservice to residents.

“Illinois is in the midst of financial crisis and Illinois residents have unequivocally called for a bipartisan effort to bring our state back from the brink,” said Sullivan. “The budget bills House Democrats brought today spend $4 billion more than our state is expected to take in. Not only was it not created in a bipartisan manner, it breaks our state’s constitutional requirement for a balanced budget.”

Illinois House Democrats have been producing a number of phony budget bills in recent weeks, knowing they would not pass. This week, after pulling away from bipartisan discussions, House Democrats introduced their own budget without input from the other side of the aisle or the Governor.

Sullivan continued, “The bills today were painted to look like they help people, but what about when the money runs out and our most vulnerable are left without anything for weeks or more? It’s a disservice to give people false hope about funding when the promised money wasn’t even there to begin with. I hope Democrats will come back to the table to so we can craft a bipartisan, honest, and most importantly, a funded budget.”
Most Senate bills had to be out of House committee by the end of last week to remain alive. As the General Assembly continues to move towards May 31 adjournment, members of the Illinois House and Senate scrambled to get committee approval for their bills. Today, May 22, is the deadline for Senate bills on the House floor.

Most Senate bills will either have been passed by the House and sent to the Governor for final signature, passed by the House as amended and sent back to the Senate for concurrence, or will have been sent to the House Rules Committee for failure to meet the deadline. Meanwhile, the Senate has a parallel deadline for House bills.
50-state survey shows recent Illinois job growth has underperformed neighboring states. The study, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Charitable Trusts, counted the rates of new job creation in each of the 50 states between January 2008 (marking the start of the 2008-15 downturn) and March 2015. The study was released on Wednesday, May 13.

Study findings indicated that, when measured by percentage, the rate of job growth in Illinois underperformed similar numbers in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Although Illinois’ job growth was significantly slower than that of the nation as a whole, slow rates were also posted by many states in the U.S. Northeast other than New York. Some Midwestern states did well in the Pew study, with Michigan bouncing back significantly from the motor vehicle industry-led crash of the late 2000s. Paced by changes in labor-management law, Michigan added 417,900 jobs since its low point of March 2010, outpacing many of its Rust Belt neighbors.
Both the House and the Senate held repeated budget hearings the past week to discuss estimated FY16 budget shortfalls of $6 billion to $8 billion, depending on how the red ink is counted. 

Governor Rauner submitted a budget for FY16 to the General Assembly in February. Since that time, Democrats that opposes Rauner have repeatedly attacked budgetary adjustments made in this spending plan, but have neither generated a budget of their own nor issued a projection of State revenues from which a budget can be generated. The General Assembly is required to enact a budget for FY16, starting July 1, no later than May 31.
Great turnout at this years shredding event at Fremont Township in Mundelein. The shredding truck was filled to the brim by the time the event ended. See you again next spring! See the Tribune article here. 
Once again the Democrat-controlled House brought sham legislation to a vote for the sole purpose of putting Republican lawmakers in a trick bag and embarrassing the new Governor. 

House Republicans have long worked to provide Illinoisans with much needed and deserved property tax relief. Each year members of the House Republican Caucus introduce legislation that would deliver property tax relief and each year the Democrats block those measures. The real roadblock to property tax relief has been the Democrat-controlled legislature.

It is not without merit that House Republicans question the majority leadership’s commitment to property tax relief, when out of the clear blue sky they embrace so-called property tax freeze legislation that neither includes reforms nor guarantees that property taxes won’t increase. It is not hard to draw the accurate conclusion that it is just more political theatre.