State Employees Authorize Strike
Recently, the union for State employees, AFSCME, voted to authorize a strike if Governor Rauner does not accept their contract offer. The two parties entered a tolling agreement two years ago which provided terms for contract negotiations. If the two sides came to an impasse, the State’s Labor Relations Board would implement the Governor’s best final offer. The two sides met 67 times and made no progress. Therefore, the ILRB declared the negotiations were at impasse.
Illinois State employees currently earn more than any other state. State employees currently pay for Bronze level healthcare, yet receive Platinum level coverage. The Governor’s proposed contract gives employees the option to pay a modest amount to retain their Platinum level coverage. Also, the new contract would replace their automatic pay raises with raises based on an individual’s merit. It also extends the workweek from 37.5 hours per week to a typical 40 hour workweek. The Governor has successfully renegotiated contracts with 17 other unions.
Governor’s Budget Address
Governor Bruce Rauner gave his annual, constitutionally mandated budget address to the sitting House and Senate members. The Governor’s proposed budget invests record funding in education, transforms the state’s ailing pension system and makes Illinois a more attractive place for businesses. During his address, the Governor quoted Abraham Lincoln, saying the legislators must forget the past and act “anew.”
If the Illinois economy would have grown as fast as neighboring states, we would have 8 billion dollars more to invest in schools and other state services, but it’s time to look forward.
My colleagues in the legislature should act anew and work together to grow our economy by creating long-term fiscal stability in state government and reducing the state’s onerous regulations on businesses.
House Democrats acted childlike during the address, hanging signs off their desk to provoke the Governor. Multiple times during the address, the Democrats mocked the Governor by laughing out loud and shouting “Alternative Facts.” In my opinion, it was disrespectful and unproductive. If they truly cared about the people of Illinois, they would put aside partisan politics and work cooperatively so we can resolve this historic impasse.
Concealed Carry Class
The dates have been set for my first sponsored Concealed Carry Class. The course will take place the weekend of April 8-9th. The class will be capped at 15 members so please register early. Those interested can contact my district office for more details.
In the Community
Last week, I had the privilege of meeting with one of my favorite organizations, Big Brothers and Big Sisters. This group was instrumental in my childhood. Big Brothers and Big Sisters is a great organization and I encourage you to visit their website if you are interested in participating.
My Door is Always Open
Please remember that my door is always open to address any of your concerns regarding state legislation. My office also serves as a resource if you need help navigating any state government agency. We are happy to help. If you would like to stop in, our office is located at 1421 N. Division Street in Morris. We can be reached by telephone at (815) 416-1475 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to see you soon! In the meantime, stay well 75th District!