FY16 Budget
·         Governor Rauner signs education budget bill.  On Wednesday, June 24, Governor Rauner signed the elementary and secondary education component of the Fiscal Year 2016 State budget, taking our children’s education out of the crossfire in Springfield.  While HB 3763 does not increase education spending by as much as the governor’s proposal, it does increase K-12 education funding by $244 million and early childhood education funding by $25 million.

“Education is the most important thing we do as a community.  I would have done more for our schoolchildren, but I am taking action today to ensure our teachers are paid and our schools are open and funded,” Governor Rauner said.  “I refuse to allow Speaker Madigan and the legislators he controls to hold our schools hostage as part of their plan to protect the political class and force a tax hike on the middle class without real reform.”

Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) is a co-sponsor of House Bill 3593, legislation that reforms the employee contract process for Illinois' community colleges in order to ensure transparency and accountability. Rep. Bellock spoke in favor of the proposal during debate on Tuesday. The deadline for the House of Representatives to give final approval to the bill has been extended to June 30.
LOMBARD More than 40 local residents were on hand as the Legislative Advisory Council, created by State Sen. Chris Nybo, State Rep. Peter Breen and State Rep. Patricia Bellock to work on issues being considered in Springfield, convened its first meeting June 17 at DeVry University Campus in Downers Grove.

“Each year, thousands of bills are filed in the General Assembly, but only a small percentage of those bills will make it through committees and into the House or Senate for actual consideration. There are good bills and there are troublesome bills to consider,” Rep. Breen said. “We need to know how these bills are viewed by local residents, and this community input is the Legislative Advisory Council’s most important resource.”
Budget – FY16
·         Comptroller Munger warns of consequences if budget not enacted.  The State’s chief cash flow manager, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger, reported on Wednesday, June 10 on the actions the State will be forced to take if no budget is enacted prior to the end of the State’s fiscal year on June 30, 2015.  

Successive actions the State will be forced to take include delayed paychecks for State workers, unanswered billings from and no payments to new Medicaid and other State-financed health care providers, no new payments to other State vendors, and no general state aid (GSA) payments from the State Board of Education to school districts.  These actions are expected to hit in different ways at different times.  For example, the Comptroller reports that the first scheduled payless payday will be July 15.  The first GSA payment is due no later than August 10.

Munger pointed out that some monies remain in place to pay essential bills under the “lapse period” law.  This law allows leftover money appropriated for use in fiscal year 2015 (FY15) to be spent down during the first 60 days of FY16.  However, funds available under this pathway fall far short of the monies required to keep all of the State’s legal commitments, such as paychecks for State workers and GSA payments to schools.

House Republicans have repeatedly called for the startup of real budget negotiations and the creation of a balanced budget, as demanded by the state Constitution. 
ABC 7 Chicago anchor Judy Hsu poses with the 2015 Class of the NEW Leadership Illinois Program.
Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) is teaming up with her female House colleagues from both sides of the aisle this week to mentor this year's NEW Leadership Illinois class of college women. NEW Leadership  is a non-partisan, week-long residential program for college women designed to increase women's representation in all elements of public life, including elected office. 

The program challenges our brightest students to think critically and creatively about public policy and encourages them to make a commitment to public leadership early in their careers. The 2015 program is being held June 1-5 in Chicago. ABC 7 Chicago anchor Judy Hsu is this year's keynote speaker.