DeWitte Receives Leadership Award From IPPAC
Last week I had the honor of providing a legislative and pension update to the Illinois Public Pension Advisory Committee (IPPAC) at their annual conference in Rock Island. These are the men and women who oversee pension benefits for police and fire personnel across the state, in a variety of scenarios and situations.
While at the event, I was surprised and humbled to receive the group’s IPPAC Annual Flame Award for Vision and Leadership.
The Illinois Public Pension Advisory Committee is an Illinois Not for Profit Organization that was created in 1995 by Police and Fire Pension Fund Trustees who wanted to know about issues affecting public pension funds in Illinois.
Governor Signs $50.6 Billion Budget
Despite warnings that the state’s spending plan is likely unbalanced and sets Illinois up for an unstable future, Governor Pritzker signed the largest budget in state history last week.
While the Governor claimed to prioritize fiscal responsibility, Senate Republicans continue to question hidden spending throughout the budget, including hundreds of millions of dollars the state will likely be on the hook for under its free healthcare program for undocumented immigrants, which is the only one of its kind in the nation.
Senate Republicans also remain wary about how this plan will be sustainable in the years to come. The chart above shows how quickly spending has risen in recent years—$11.1 billion since Gov. Pritzker took office. It’s unlikely the state will be able to sustain this trend without leaving taxpayers vulnerable and at a time of economic instability.
Additionally, there are at least two items in the budget that don’t kick in until halfway through the fiscal year (Jan. 1, 2024) but will require a full year’s appropriation in the fiscal years to follow. These important initiatives include Medicaid rate increases for healthcare providers and wage increases for providers for the developmentally disabled. These costs will have to be doubled in the next fiscal year budget and thereafter; however, the Governor’s signed FY24 budget does not provide for that consideration.
In my view, this is another irresponsible budget. The Majority Party and the Governor had an opportunity to present a plan that was not only balanced and fiscally mindful but also prioritized care and other services for the state’s most vulnerable citizens. Instead, they prioritized non-citizen programs, 5% legislator pay raises (on top of the nearly 17% raise they gave themselves just six months ago), and $200 million in pork projects- only in districts where Democrats were elected.
Upcoming Events in the 33rd District
Thank you to everyone who came out for my recent document shredding event and/or the property tax event I hosted last week with Kane County Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong. Both events were very well-attended. I have several additional events on the calendar for summer and fall, so mark your calendars now for these upcoming outreach events:
- July 26, Mobile DMV Event: 10:00 AM-2:00 PM, DeWitte District Office, 641 S. 8th Street, West Dundee
- September 7, Senior Fair: 10:00 AM-12:00 Noon, Dundee Township Park District Building, 665 Barrington Ave., Carpentersville
- September 19, Senior Fair: 10:00 AM-12:00 Noon, Pottawatomie Community Center, 8 North Ave, St. Charles
- September 26, Fall Coat Drive: Coats can be dropped off at the DeWitte offices, 641 S. 8th Street, West Dundee, or the new St. Charles office (opens July 1), 406 Surrey Woods Drive, St. Charles
- October 14, Document Shredding Event: 9:00 AM-11:00 AM, Elgin’s Gail Borden Library, Rakow Branch, 2751 W. Bowes Road, Elgin
- October 17, Senior Fair: 10:00 AM-12:00 Noon, Grand Oaks Recreation Center, 1401 IL-176, Crystal Lake
Sales Tax on Groceries to Be Reinstated July 1
This year I was the leading sponsor of Senate Bill 1150, which would have made the state’s sales tax exemption on groceries permanent. It would have also exempted prescription drugs and other medical devices from state sales tax. That bill was blocked by Democrats that control the flow of bills, proving what Republicans have been saying all along- that the temporary relief measures put in place by Governor Pritzker and his allies were politically motivated leading into an election.
Illinoisans are still dealing with serious inflation at the grocery store, yet the majority party failed to permanently eliminate or even extend the state’s sales tax on groceries this legislative session. That means that beginning July 1, Illinoisans will again be paying more when they check out at the supermarket. On July 1, Illinoisans will also get hit with their second gas tax hike of the year.
Applications for Governor’s Hometown Awards Closing Soon
This Friday, applications will close for the Governor’s Hometown Awards. Hosted by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) with The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, the Awards program was designed to give formal recognition to those who contributed to projects that improved their community’s quality of life. Interested townships, villages, cities, and counties can start the application online through June 16.
The application process is two-part, with a form submitted online first and a follow-up email containing additional information both submitted by 5:00 pm on Friday, June 16. The specifics of the application process can be found on the Serve Illinois website. Applicants should keep in mind that incomplete applications will not be considered.
Last year’s winner was the O’Fallon Police Department, which participated in a variety of events that raised money for Special Olympics Illinois. They were chosen from four finalists, all of which gave a 45-minute presentation on their contributions for the judges to grade and from which to pick the winner. This year will be the 15th Governor’s Hometown Awards Ceremony.