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Today, Governor Bruce Rauner issued a state disaster proclamation for Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson, and Whiteside counties in response to the extensive flooding they have experienced. This disaster proclamation will ensure continued state support to these communities to protect their residents and critical infrastructure, fight floodwaters brought on by recent heavy rains, and begin the recovery process.

"We need to #FixSB1 and ensure that we have a school funding formula that is fair to all school districts, not one that gives special preference to Chicago Public Schools alone. This chart illustrates the difference between our plan and the SB1 plan that is currently in the Senate. Our plan results in better funding for every single school in our area!"

Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) reminds grade school students who live within the 90th Illinois House District that the deadline for his Summer Reading Club Program is approaching on August 11th.

“Students who read over the Summer are better prepared to return to school in the Fall.  Reading is fun, as well as being great for education, enjoyment, and lifelong learning.  I am proud to join area schools and libraries in helping promote summer reading to area students,” said Rep. Demmer.

The program is offered to encourage summer reading among local youth and promote the lifelong benefits of literacy.  Free brochures are available for download on Rep. Demmer’s legislative website at or by calling his Rochelle District Office at (815) 561-3690.

Participating students are tasked with reading eight books over their summer break.  Books from local library programs are accepted; and books of 150 pages or more count as two books.  After a student completes his or her reading list, they must have a parent or guardian certify the reading was accomplished and return the signed form on the brochure to Rep. Demmer’s office by the deadline of Friday, August 11th.

Students who successfully complete the reading club will receive a certificate of participation and one reader will be selected to win a party for their entire class during the upcoming fall semester.  Details will be worked out directly with the winning reader and their school.

Dixon… State Representative Tom Demmer issued the following statement regarding tonight’s income tax increase vote in the Illinois House of Representatives.

“As a member of the negotiating team, I know we have been making real progress with Democrats on both a balanced budget and meaningful reforms that would help put Illinois back on the right track.  Instead, Speaker Madigan ended those talks and put a permanent income tax increase to a vote,” said Demmer.

“Illinois is facing an unprecedented financial challenge. We need meaningful reforms to lower the cost of government, attract new jobs, and make Illinois a state where families and businesses can thrive” Demmer continued.

The State revenue plan (Senate Bill 9) passed by a vote of 72 to 45.  Governor Rauner has indicated he will veto the bill, but it received enough votes for an override.
CHICAGO – Upon returning to Springfield for special session on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs),  Senate Deputy Republican Leader Bill Brady (R-Bloomington),  Assistant Senate Republican Leader Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington), Senate Republican Caucus Whip Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles),  Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Deputy House Republican Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), Deputy House Republican Leader Dan Brady (R-Normal) and House Republican Conference Chairperson Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) offered a reminder that a compromise balanced budget with reforms is on the table and ready to be enacted.   

“Last Wednesday we introduced a compromise budget and reform plan that respects the priorities of both parties and puts us on a path to end the impasse, if the Democrats will agree to engage with us.  The provisions included in our plan have been thoroughly vetted.  With only ten days left in the fiscal year, we don’t need more Committees of the Whole.  We need immediate action!” said Durkin.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) called the package “a reasonable compromise that will allow Illinois to move forward. We have to work together to enact a state budget and the reforms necessary to make it work.” Leader Radogno was unable to attend, but urged action in the General Assembly. “The time is now,” she said.

The comprehensive proposal includes a truly balanced budget, a four-year hard spending cap, lasting property tax relief, and changes to our regulatory system that will create jobs and grow the economy. The bills also include a $288 million increase for the new school funding formula, as well as additional funding to fulfill commitments to restore child care eligibility to 185% of the federal poverty level and a wage increase to Direct Support Professionals. It also includes term limits on legislative leaders and constitutional officers. 

“The people of Illinois want a balanced budget, and that is what is on the table here. This isn’t another lifeline, stopgap, or band-aid. This is a real, balanced budget and reforms to grow our economy, create jobs and put Illinois on a more firm fiscal footing going forward,” said Senator Brady. “We’re back in Springfield this week and it’s time to do what is right and pass a balanced budget for the people of Illinois.”

 The summary of the bills are as follows: 
  • Budget Bills (SB 2176, 2214, 2215, 2216, 2217, 2218): Comprehensive budget proposal that includes real spending cuts and a four-year spending cap, while providing funding to state agencies like the Department of Human Services to care for our state’s most vulnerable and the Department of Transportation to continue important infrastructure projects.
  • Property Tax Relief (HB 4066) Four-year freeze for all taxing districts, but would allow residents, through voter referendum, to lower or increase their taxes. Allows for an exemption on existing debt service payments as requested by Senate Democrats.
  • Local Government Consolidation (HB 4067): Strengthens and improves the already passed SB 3, and will allow for citizens-initiated consolidation on units of local government.
  • Education Funding (SB 1124, HB 4069): Changes to the K-12 education funding formula that treats every district equitably that is consistent with the bipartisan framework of the Governor’s School Funding Commission. Funding for early childhood education, K-12 education, community colleges and universities.
  • Workers’ Comp (HB 4068): Uses previously negotiated language between Senate GOP and Senate Democrats, like changes to the medical fee schedule, but does not reduce benefits to workers or include a causation standard.
  • Pension Reform (HB 4064): Accepts SB 16, which has previously passed the Senate, including President Cullerton’s consideration model and the state’s pickup of Chicago Public School’s pension payments.
  • Term Limits (HJRCA 33, HJRCA 2) : Constitutional amendment to impose 10-year term limits on legislative leaders in the General Assembly and eight-year limit on Constitutional Officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State)

“This plan as a whole represents areas of bipartisan consensus and reasonable compromise," said Senator Barickman. "This is largely where we were at before Democrats walked away from the table. We still have time to pass a balanced budget, fix our broken school funding formula, and make State government better for the people of Illinois."

“Putting government consolidation in the hands of local voters is the right thing to do to reduce the cost of government in Illinois.  Unlike so much coming out of Springfield, this is not a mandate but an empowerment tool.  We have over 7,000 units of local government and our property taxes prove unsustainable.  Between pension reform and government consolidation, we can reduce the cost of government for taxpayers and right-size our services and costs,” said Representative Demmer.

“The comprehensive balanced budget we are offering will provide care for our state’s most vulnerable citizens and prevent further erosion of Illinois’ fragile safety net,” said Representative Bellock. “With the recent court ruling on the $2 billion backlog of unpaid Medicaid bills, it is critically important we take immediate action to address this backlog. Our plan includes more than $4 billion in bonding to help pay off old bills. We must address this crisis now. The consequences of not taking action now would be devastating to human services.”