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The measure, HB 576, amends State law to block implementation of the automatic pay increases slated to be paid in FY16 to Illinois elected officials. This action is necessary to prevent an annual automatic pay increase from being paid to members of the General Assembly, statewide elected officials, certain Cabinet-level executive branch agency directors and appointees, and county state’s attorneys. Automatic pay increases of this type have been mandated by the Compensation Review Act since 1984.

The increase for FY16, which is designed to help beneficiaries keep up with the level of inflation, is 2.0%. If HB 576 passes through the Senate and is signed by the Governor, this 2.0% pay hike will be blocked for the year. HB 576 also blocks scheduled increases in the legislator per diem and legislative mileage reimbursements that are meant to compensate legislators for their living expenses when living in, or traveling to and from, Springfield and other places of legislative duty.
The National Federation of Independent Businesses is urging Illinois residents to weigh in on Governor Rauner’s agenda at the request of small businesses from across the state who want to create jobs and put Illinois back on sound financial footing.

Follow the link here to head to their website and sign the petition.
Assessment notices have begun to be sent out and will continue through August. The notices will include important information including a summary of the current year’s valuation charges, property characteristics, homestead exemptions received on the previous tax bill, and more. View Newsletter

Filing An Appeal? Use Our Online System
Over half of all assessment appeals that were filed last year were filed using ourOnline Appeal Filing System! This quick and convenient system allows you to get your appeal information to the Board of Review without the hassle of mailing or hand delivering them to our office in Waukegan. Watch this video for step-by-step assistance for filing an online appeal.
Though budget stalemate grips Springfield, Gov. Rauner pressed forward with the signing of an important piece of legislation authored by State Rep. Barbara Wheeler. House Bill 2556 is a victory in the ongoing fight against human-trafficking.

House Bill 2556 creates the Human-Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act. The legislation provides that specified businesses and establishments conspicuously provide information concerning the availability of the National Human-Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC). Not only will this legislation help victims of this heinous crime gain access to the resources they need to overcome the trauma they’ve experienced, but also be an avenue for anyone who observes or suspects trafficking of occurring to be able to report it to the proper authorities.
July 26, 2015 marked the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Celebrations of the signing of the ADA by President George H.W. Bush on July 26, 1990 took place across the nation.

The ADA and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) give civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. The ADA and ADAAA also assure equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities for access to businesses, employment, transportation, state and local government programs and services, and telecommunications.

To celebrate this 25th milestone, the ADA National Network and its ten regional ADA Centers across the United States offer an ADA Anniversary Tool Kit for use by the public and the media through the ADA Anniversary website (
Forty emerging leaders from throughout Illinois have been selected as 2015 Edgar Fellows in the fourth year of an initiative to inspire bipartisan, inter-regional cooperation in addressing major challenges for the state in the years and decades ahead. Among the leaders selected are Representatives Tim Butler, Tom Demmer, Sheri Jesiel and Grant Wehrli from the House Republican Caucus.

The Edgar Fellows Program is an initiative of the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs. It focuses on developing leadership and governing capacity in Illinois. It emphasizes the need to forthrightly address major policy issues without permitting partisan, ethnic and regional rivalries to trump statesmanship. It is designed to influence attitudes and foster mutual understanding. It holds the promise of facilitating bipartisan and cross-regional cooperation as class participants assume more influential public leadership roles.
Just in time for the 42nd Annual Chatham Sweet Corn Festival, Governor Rauner signed legislation Thursday designating sweet corn as the official state vegetable of Illinois. SB 800 was sponsored in the House by State Rep. Raymond Poe and State Sen. Sam McCann in the Senate. It was brought about through the efforts of the 4th grade students at Chatham Elementary School.

“Sweet corn has been an important part of Illinois agriculture throughout the state’s history,” Poe said. “I am glad to see it get this much-deserved recognition, and am glad to see the hard work of the students from Chatham Elementary pay off.”

A group of Chatham students testified in support of the bill before the House Agriculture and Conservation committee in May. They were on hand in the House chamber when the bill passed 115-0 in May. The students had previously joined Senators for the debate on the bill in that chamber.