General Assembly Pay
·         House Republicans vote for bill to deny pay increase for selves in FY16. 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 101-1-0 House vote on HB 576 was held on Tuesday, July 28. Gov. Rauner has signaled his support for blocking these pay hikes, but action on this bill in the state Senate is not certain.  The Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, August 4. 
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 101-1 to reject the automatic 2% legislative pay raise scheduled to go into effect at the end of this month. HB 576 was co-sponsored by Deputy House Minority Leader and State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale). The legislation also prevents increases in mileage, lodging and meal reimbursements for the remainder of the new fiscal year that began on July 1.

“At a time when children and families in need are at risk of being cut off from the services they depend on for an extended period and as homeowners continue to bear an increasingly high property tax burden, our focus must be on ending the budget stalemate and enacting bipartisan reforms that will put Illinois back on a path toward job growth and opportunity,” Rep. Bellock said.  “We should not have had to spend one minute of our time debating whether to accept a pay raise while the families and taxpayers of Illinois are waiting for us to get our job done.”
FY16 Budget Crisis
·         Budget stalemate continues in Springfield. As the State of Illinois entered the fourth week of the new fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat majority again refused to negotiate in good faith and instead continued their piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

In the House, Democrats again backed a temporary budget to fund certain services at a level that is not sustainable over the course of the entire fiscal year. House Amendment 1 to HB 4143 was adopted by a narrow majority of Democrats, but did not receive enough votes to be passed on Third Reading and was therefore held for future consideration.

The Democrat majority continues to insist on spending levels that are unsustainable.  The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget believes this plan will ultimately require the expenditure of over $36 billion of GRF taxpayer resources for FY16.  The Democrats’ bills march the taxpayers of Illinois toward a $4 billion unbalanced budget one month at a time.

House Republicans continue to stand united in our support for a truly balanced budget that protects the interests of taxpayers, working families and seniors.
Patti enjoyed the Taste of Westmont Rock 'N Blues weekend, visiting with Mayor and Mrs. Ron Gunther and enjoying the Muddy Waters tribute concert featuring Muddy's son Joe! Special thanks are owed to all the local volunteers who made this event such a terrific success.

FY16 Budget Crisis
·         Governor Rauner, Republicans fight to prevent Illinois government shutdown.  Without a budget in place for the new Fiscal Year 2016 (which began on July 1), there is a possibility that paychecks could be delayed for approximately 65,000 state employees starting July 15.

Governor Rauner and his staff are examining their legal options.  The governor stated on Monday, June 29 that “Our lawyers are working hard to ensure that all employees will be paid on their scheduled pay dates.”  Speaker Michael Madigan and Attorney General Lisa Madigan continued to assert that paychecks may well be delayed and parts of Illinois’ government shut down.