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During the House floor debate on Friday with only 4 days left in the regular session, State Representative Ed Sullivan (R-Mundelein) stood up to join House Republicans in calling for a commitment towards a budget solution and compromise.

Republicans noted that given the limited time remaining during the regular session, the House should remain in session through the weekend and allow the bipartisan budget working groups to craft a compromise.

House Republicans held a press conference immediately following the vote on an appropriation plan that spends $7 billion more in revenue than the state has coming into its coffers.

House Republicans were denied a vote verification for a 500-page bill that was introduced a mere 90-minutes before it was called for debate on the House Floor. Democrats then limited the debate to less than an hour with a parliamentarian move.

SB2048 appropriates $14 billion - that with court orders, continuing appropriations and consent decrees would push state spending over $40 billion.
Today, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office announced a change to Illinois driver’s licenses and ID cards designed to protect against identity theft and to bring Illinois closer to compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. The enhanced security features will include a new photo structure, a design that includes patterns, lines and images to make it more difficult to counterfeit, a laser perforation and an ultraviolet feature.

There’s no need to replace your driver’s license or ID card immediately, but there are a few changes to the process you should be aware of when it comes time to renew your license or ID.
Illinois is the only one of the 50 states that has not enacted a balanced budget to control its spending in FY16. Not surprisingly, Illinois also has the lowest credit rating among the 50 states. On Monday, May 9, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin expressed optimism that current talks going on between partisan budget experts could generate movement towards a solution.

At an educational event in west suburban LaGrange that he attended with Governor Rauner, Durkin discussed the need to reach budget action in order to improve prospects for sufficient school funding for Illinois public schools. While Illinois’ General Assembly enacted full funding for Illinois school districts in FY16, this money was not part of a constitutional balanced budget and does not extend into FY17. The next fiscal year will begin on July 1, 2016, adding to pressure on state negotiators to talk seriously on urgent issues of fiscal reform, budget reform, and Illinois job creation.
After push-back from local governments around the country, the Department of Homeland Security acted to extend the Real ID compliance deadline until January 22, 2018. This means that your Illinois driver’s license will still be a valid form of identification for boarding a plane at the airport, but only at airports and not other government facilities.

It’s been over ten years since the Real ID act was signed into law. Many states resisted and are still resisting the unfunded federal mandate. According to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office, Real ID implementation in Illinois will cost 57.3 million dollars over its first four years.
HJRCA 36 is a response to the lack of an overall State balanced budget and the movement of money from specifically transportation-related taxes and fees to other spending programs. If approved by the voters in November, this amendment will put all revenues from transportation taxes and fees into a “lockbox” that can only be used for transportation purposes.

Under HJRCA 36, the money generated by these taxes and fees could only be spent for road construction and repair, enforcing traffic laws, and paying off transit-related debt. Cash flows that would be affected by this amendment include the state tax imposed on motor fuel of 19 cents per gallon of gasohol and 21.5 cents per gallon of diesel fuel. Sales taxes also imposed on motor fuel are not defined as specifically transportation-related taxes and fees, and would not be affected by this amendment.

The transportation “lockbox” amendment was the only constitutional amendment approved by both houses of the General Assembly in time to be submitted for final action to the voters in November 2016. Other proposed amendments, such as measures to abolish the office of Lieutenant Governor, to legalize a graduated individual income tax rate, or to change the way districts for members of the Illinois General Assembly are drawn on maps, failed to get the required three-fifths approval of both legislative houses by the constitutional deadline, and will not appear on the ballot.

The House vote to approve HJRCA 36 for submission to the voters was 98-4-2. Approval of the amendment by the state Senate on Thursday, May 5, completed the task of clearing this measure for submission to the voters in November 2016.
The symposium brings together those interested in and actively researching Lake County History. Attend a series of presentations on this year’s theme, “Women in Lake County History.”

This year’s topics include: Lake Forest Women Writers, 1889–1941; From Gowns to Gavels: The Life and Work of Virginia Fiester Frederick; The Ryan Sisters of Lake Forest; The Women’s Club Movement; First Women to Vote in Illinois; Wauconda Area Women Who Served in WWII; and Susannah Smith Minto of Millburn.

Saturday, May 14, 2016
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Lake County Discovery Museum