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FY16 Budget

·         Leaders’ budget meeting with Governor moved to December 1.  The face-to-face meeting is scheduled to bring together Governor Bruce Rauner and the leaders of the four General Assembly legislative caucuses, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin.  Originally scheduled to be held on Wednesday, November 18, the meeting has been reset for Tuesday, December 1.  The new time will allow preparations to continue over the Thanksgiving holiday. 

In addition to budget issues, questions dividing Illinois leaders include workers’ compensation, property tax relief, public-sector labor pay and benefits, tort reform, election process reform, and term limits.  Many key items of House Republican advocacy have been barred from discussion and debate within the Illinois General Assembly in recent years.  The role of House Speaker Madigan has come under discussion as an element in the overall operation of Illinois state government, often characterized in recent years as one of the “worst in the nation.”  Illinois currently has the lowest bond and credit ratings of any of the 50 states. 
Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) shared her expertise on health care policy with women legislators from throughout the country at a Healthcare Summit hosted by Women in Government today. Bellock's landmark legislation – the SMART Act reforming Illinois' Medicaid system and new laws requiring mental health parity and MRSA infection control have all been recognized on a national level.

Women in Government is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization of women state legislators that provides leadership opportunities, networking expert forums and educational resources to address and resolve complex public policy issues to all 1,783 women state legislators across the United States.

By Jonathan Samples | Bugle Staff

Dozens of residents came out to Ty Warner Park last week to honor area veterans, recognize their courage and show appreciation for the sacrifice made by members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“Veterans are our grandpas and grandmas, our dads and our moms, our brothers and sisters, our coworkers, friends and neighbors,” state Rep. Patti Bellock said during the village of Westmont’s Veterans Day ceremony. “They are all our heroes.”
Bellock was among several officials who spoke during the Nov. 11 ceremony, which was hosted by American Legion Post 338...
FY16 Budget
·         House Democrats block budget compromise, put politics above solutions.  For months, the Democratic opposition to change in Springfield has called for “reasonable” discussions and compromise regarding the budget impasse.

It’s clear by their actions this week, with a compromise very much on the table, that majority Democrats in the House have absolutely no intention of compromising and would rather put partisan politics above budget solutions.

The Illinois Democrats who have perpetuated this budget impasse are making promises they can’t deliver. They don’t have the votes to increase taxes, so instead of negotiation and compromise, they’ve again created a spectacle in Springfield. They’ve indignantly demanded we pass a budget we can’t afford and have not once offered a way to pay for it.

Without a budget to restrain out-of-control spending, the State’s financial spigot is wide open. A series of judicial actions accompanied by a reckless, piecemeal approach to appropriations has forced spending at levels higher than we’ve ever seen. When projected out over a year, Illinois is on pace to spend $37 billion, over a billion more than last year and nearly $5 billion more that we are projected to take in.

Illinois needs real reforms along with a truly balanced budget, one that sets our priorities and provides for our most vulnerable citizens, while responsibly spending our tax dollars.

Rep. Patti Bellock joined Mayor Ron Gunter and members of the Westmont American Legion Post 338 at the annual Veterans Day ceremony held at Ty Warner Park on Wednesday. Rep. Bellock spoke about the importance of veterans within our community and honoring their service year-round.
FY16 budget – CGFA

·         General Assembly watchdogs chart continued budget picture.  The nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the in-house budget agency of the Illinois General Assembly, released their October 2015 fiscal report this week.  The CGFA “Monthly Briefing” covers ongoing State revenues, particularly key State General Funds revenue numbers, and ongoing trends likely to affect future State revenues.  For example, the October briefing includes a discussion, based on nationwide trends and economic models, of the likely health of the 2015 Christmas retail selling season and its expected impact on State sales tax revenues.

CGFA, working in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Revenue, uncovered continued dismal trends in State revenues this October.  Illinois general funds revenues were $319 million lower in October 2015 (fiscal year 2016) than they had been in October 2014.  General Funds revenues come from income taxes, sales taxes, and other sources.  As in previous months, the decline was paced by a year-over-year shortfall in State personal income tax revenues and corporate income tax revenues.  The accumulated deficit for the four months of FY16 so far experienced is $1,456 million.  The current fiscal year began on July 1, 2015.
By Jessica Cilella, Daily Herald
You don't take heroin. Heroin takes you.
It's just one of many messages officials familiar with the drug said they wanted to convey to the public during a news conference Wednesday at the Robert Crown Center for Health Education in Hinsdale to mark the state's inaugural Heroin Abuse Awareness Day...
[State Rep. Patti] Bellock, who sponsored the resolution to create a statewide Heroin Abuse Awareness Day, recalled that one of the first task force meetings she attended after signing on to help with the heroin problem was titled "Heroin: The Suburban Secret."
"It's no longer a secret in our county or in our state," she said. "We have faced it."