In response to the recent court ruling authorizing the prioritization of state legislators’ pay over other outstanding obligations, State Representatives Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) and Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) filed legislation today, House Bill 4026, to give the Comptroller greater discretion when issuing salary payments for members of the General Assembly. Batinick said this would allow the Comptroller to prioritize Illinois’ other fiscal obligations over legislators’ and Executive Branch officers’ pay. The bill follows the introduction of similar legislation filed in the State Senate by Senator Dan McConchie, SB 989.

“There is no reason why we as legislators should be prioritized over the hundreds of vendors, social service providers and agencies who have been waiting months for payment from the state,” said Rep. Batinick. “This bill seeks to right that wrong by allowing the Comptroller to place the interests of vulnerable children, seniors and families ahead of legislators.”

"Yesterday's ruling showed a major flaw in Illinois law," said Rep. Skillicorn, Chief Co-Sponsor of the legislation. "We need to amend the law immediately to put taxpayers and social services before legislators who refuse to pass a budget with any cuts. The fact is, if the political will to make tough choices existed, we could pass a constitutionally required balanced budget in a few days."
Speaking at a press conference at the Capitol, House Republican drew attention to the number one issue for many Illinois homeowners: the need for property tax relief.

A recent poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 47 percent of registered voters in Illinois say they want to move out, with 27 percent of them citing property taxes as their top reason. The Tax Foundation, the nation’s leading independent tax policy nonprofit, reported just this week that Illinois has one of the highest property tax burdens in the country (3rd), which contributes to the 5th highest overall tax burden in the nation.
State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) is inviting constituents to join him for a town hall meeting at his office in Crystal Lake on Saturday, April 8. The event will be held at his district office located at 1500 Carlemont Dr., Suite D in Crystal Lake from 11 a.m. to noon.

“We are facing a number of issues in Illinois, like the need for a balanced budget that cuts spending to relieve the burden on overstressed taxpayers” said Skillicorn. “While the budget is the number one issue, there are many other things we need to address to bring about the transformative reform our state needs. Hearing directly from constituents is the best way to ensure the legislation I support, or oppose, in Springfield will lead to reforms that help our district and our state.”

The town hall on April 8 will give residents an opportunity to speak directly with Skillicorn about what is happening in Springfield and the 66th District.

WHAT:
Town Hall Meeting 

WHEN
Saturday, April 8
11 a.m. to Noon

WHERE
Rep. Skillicorn’s District Office
1500 Carlemont Dr. 
Suite D 
Crystal Lake, IL 60014
Members of the House Republican Caucus called on House Democrats to respect the wishes of Illinoisans by allowing redistricting reform, HJRCA17, to be called for a vote immediately.

HJRCA 17 would allow voters to decide, by statewide referendum, to amend the Illinois Constitution to create the Independent Redistricting Commission for the purpose of drawing legislative districts. A poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute last fall found that 72% of voters, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, supported the creation of an independent commission to draw legislative district maps.

Members noted that redistricting reform is directly tied to the state budget and the failure of having unbalanced budgets for more than 10 years.
The Office of the Comptroller reported this week that Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills has reached $12.8 billion, representing $1,000 for each of the 12.8 million men, women and children who call Illinois home.

Money owed by the State and awaiting payment includes monies to Illinois health service providers, institutions of higher education, providers of social services, and many other program service providers. The last full Illinois General Assembly budget expired on June 30, 2015, and the last partial Illinois budget ceased to operate on December 31, 2016. The Illinois General Assembly is currently debating budget action for FY18, starting July 1, 2017. Challenges facing Illinois budgeteers include a pattern of flat Illinois tax revenues, reflecting few new jobs created, and rising Illinois spending commitments, particularly commitments relating to medical services provided under Medicaid and other programs.
The revised number, from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), indicates that Illinois’ private-sector economy may be in better shape than has been publicly reported. Preliminary figures previously reported by IDES showed a net loss of 16,700 jobs in December, but a revision to these numbers erased this job loss and indicates that Illinois actually gained 2,000 jobs in the same month.

The problems noted by analysts upon release of the initial December 2016 figures remain in place. In particular, the “Christmas sales season” in job-creating retail activity was affected once again this year by the migration of significant transaction volumes to the Internet.
A statewide survey on drug threats was commenced in April 2016 by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (CJIA). CJIA asked a sample of police chiefs and county sheriffs to identify the drugs in their jurisdictions that they saw most frequently trafficked. Eighty-three chief law enforcement officers responded to the questionnaire. In results published this week, the police chiefs identified heroin and prescription drugs (many of them opiate painkillers) as the most-frequently-trafficked substances within their jurisdictions. The illegal sale of these drugs is a criminal offense under the Controlled Substances Act.
The 26-member bipartisan Task Force has been asked to develop proposals that can be offered to the General Assembly as legislative language to implement the recommendations of the Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. Earlier this year, the Reform Commission proposed that Illinois take steps to reduce the dependence of Illinois school districts on property tax revenues. Many Illinois lawmakers, citizens, and taxpayers believe that the current pattern of means used to fund Illinois schools is outdated in relation to other states.

The panel held its first meeting on Tuesday, March 14. Representative Bob Pritchard, the House Republican spokesman on the Task Force, called for key revisions to the Illinois school funding formula. The House Education Task Force is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, March 21.
State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) is sponsoring legislation in the House of Representatives to end the use of a loophole that allows school districts to levy taxes beyond the tax cap. House Bill 773 prevents school districts from levying higher property taxes in a particular fund and then transfer the additional tax revenue to a tax capped fund.

“The Tax Foundation just reported that Illinois has the third highest property taxes in the nation,” said Skillicorn. “In 2015 alone, the Illinois Department of Revenue reported that property owners paid over $28 billion in taxes on property. It is because of loopholes that allow taxing bodies to side-step tax caps by transferring between funds that we have communities that are paying five or six times the national average in property taxes. We have to stop this because property taxes are driving people out of Illinois every day.”
In an effort to make state government and the legislative process more accessible to Illinois residents, State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) is providing a link to translate the Illinois General Assembly website, www.ilga.gov, into various different languages.

The Illinois General Assembly website contains legislator profiles, full text of all legislation introduced in the House of Representatives and State Senate, live audio and video feeds of legislative session and committee hearings; and a wide variety of other legislative information and support services.

Please click any of the links below to translate the Illinois General Assembly website into your preferred language:

Spanish         Español
Arabic          عربي               
Hindi           हिन्दी      
Chinese (Simplified) 中文简体               
Chinese (Traditional) 中文繁體                
Japanese        日本語 
Korean          한국어             
Russian         Русский 
French          Français    
German        Deutsch             
Italian            Italiano           
Polish             Polski        
Greek             Ελληνικά            
State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) is sponsoring a series of bills in the Illinois House of Representatives to cut costs and save taxpayer dollars. House Bill 3790 rejects the automatic pay raise for state elected officials, House Bill 363 prevents new General Assembly members from receiving taxpayer funded pensions, and House Bill 362 prevents local elected officials from also receiving taxpayer funded pensions.

“Illinois’ state officials are some of the highest paid in the nation, but the state can’t even pay its bills. At a time when taxpayers are leaving Illinois in mass numbers, allowing a pay increase for elected officials is ridiculous,” said Skillicorn. “Illinois needs bold transformative reforms that cut spending, lower taxes and bring back businesses and jobs, not more pay and lavish pensions for elected officials."