Dear Friends,

May you experience the heart-warming pleasures and cherished memories of special moments shared with the love of family and friends. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday season and a New Year full of joy, health and happiness.

Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in 2016!

Patricia R. "Patti" Bellock
Deputy Minority Leader
State Representative, 47th District

FY16 Budget

  • Legislative leaders meet with Governor Rauner for third time; Madigan a no-show.  The series of budget meetings has brought together Governor Bruce Rauner with Illinois legislative leaders to discuss issues standing in the way of the enactment of constitutional balanced budgets for FY16 and FY17.  The third in this series of meetings was held in Chicago on Thursday, December 17. 

The high-level meeting follows sharp criticisms leveled against the Democrats’ leader in the Illinois House, Speaker Michael Madigan.  The powerful Democratic legislative leader and party chairman had previously told attendees at a gathering, held on Wednesday, December 9 at the City Club of Chicago, that the State needed to look at re-instituting a 5.0% personal income tax rate on individual Illinois incomes.  Madigan’s move in January 2011 to pass a bill to enact the first 5.0% individual income tax rate was the largest tax-hike law in Illinois history.  Speaker Madigan’s spokesman told the press that the House leader would not be able to attend the December 17 meeting and the Speaker was not in attendance.  

State Representative and Deputy House Minority Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) spoke at the recent Illinois celebration of the 104th National Day of the Republic of China (Taiwan), where she greeted Director General Calvin Ho. Bellock's district is home to a large number of Asian Americans of Chinese/Taiwanese descent. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) was also in attendance.
FY16 Budget

·         Legislative leaders meet with Governor Rauner for second round of budget talks.  The second week of budget talks took place behind closed doors in Chicago on Tuesday, December 8.  The meeting yielded some mild optimism and word that more talks — including among the Governor’s and legislative staff — are planned for the near future.

The leaders agreed to meet again next week to further discuss the major outstanding budget and budget-related issues facing Illinois.  The State continues to operate in FY16 (began July 1, 2015) without a constitutional balanced budget. 

·         $3.1 billion “other state funds” appropriation bill signed by Governor.  The enactment of SB 2039 appropriated $3.1 billion in what are called “other state funds” which are funds continue to flow into Illinois from taxes and fees other than sales, income, and other general-revenue taxes.  An example of this cash flow is the hundreds of millions of dollars paid annually by motorists who buy diesel fuel and gasoline for their cars and light trucks in Illinois.  Release of this money has been “frozen” so far this year due to the lack of an approved balanced budget.    

Passage of SB 2039 into law unblocked these program lines and allowed the money to flow.  The move released funds for streets, roads, and highways; 9-1-1 call centers; firefighter training; lottery payouts; and other moneys for local first-responders and local governments.  The bipartisan House vote of 107-1-1 was one of the key moves sending this bill to the Governor for his signature.  Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2039 on Monday, December 7.
Representative Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) celebrates the ribbon-cutting for the new Oak Street bridge in Hinsdale with RTA Chairman Kirk Dillard, village officials and local residents on Tuesday evening. Representative Bellock and then-Senator Dillard were instrumental in securing approximately $9 million in capital funds for the project.
Hinsdale Police Chief Brad Bloom poses with Rep. Bellock and the scissors used for the ribbon-cutting.
Harris Bank in Hinsdale hosted the kickoff for the Ray Graham Association's house walk and bus tour to take a group through town to visit homes that provide services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities . Rep. Bellock got to meet some of the interior decorators for the homes on the house walk, including a home in Downers Grove where some of the adult women with disabilities are local residents enjoying their home in the community.  
FY16 Budget

·         Governor Rauner, legislative leaders hold budget summit; December cash flow affects talks.  The summit, which included House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, was held on Tuesday, December 1 at the State Capitol in Springfield.  There was a frank and full exchange of views on issues dividing the four caucuses, including the need for property tax relief, workers’ compensation reform, public-sector labor-management relations, and a reformed system to elect and re-elect State lawmakers. 

As Durkin, Governor Rauner, and other summit leaders met, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger announced that the State’s revenue picture was improving slightly in December.  Factors affecting State cash flow include the coming of the annual Christmas retail shopping season and larger flows of cash from sales taxes charged on retail goods.  Illinois will be able to make its required December 2015 $560 million contribution to State retirement systems, after delaying the November 2015 pension payment.  However, the Comptroller’s tally of unpaid State bills shows that the State now owes approximately $6.7 billion to providers of goods and services.