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Holmes supports consolidating local governments

holmes-locgovsSeeking to eliminate some redundancy from local government, State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, voiced her support for legislation aimed at bringing separate forest preserve districts into county government.

Most of Illinois’ 102 county boards regulate local forest preserves. DuPage County, which includes parts of Aurora and Naperville, has a separate Forest Preserve Board of DuPage County, something local voters have questioned the necessity of in the past.

“Illinois is cited time and again as having too many layers of government, more than any other state in the country,” Holmes said. “We need to find efficiency where we can. If most counties in the state can manage their forest preserves within county government, DuPage County can do the same.”

The legislation, sponsored in the Illinois House by state Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Elmhurst, would mandate that separate forest preserve districts in counties like DuPage become part of county government by November of 2018.

The legislation is House Bill 3099. It awaits debate in the Illinois House.

Hastings makes budget survey available online

hastingsbudget-fy16TINLEY PARK – In response to the budget presented by Governor Rauner, State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) encouraged his constituents to offer their input on how the budget would impact them and their family.

“I know how this budget would impact the 19th district overall,” Hastings said. “But I want to hear first-hand from my constituents how this budget would impact their daily life.”

The survey can be found on Senator Hastings website, www.senatorhastings.com.

Tom Cullerton named vice-chairman of Local Government Committee

tcull-LGDFState Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will serve as vice-chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Local Government Committee.

“Our units of local government are expected to provide services ranging from police and fire keeping us safe to fixing potholes and keeping streets clear in the winter.  I understand the tough balance between providing basic services, meeting standards and balancing budgets,” said Cullerton. “I’m excited to use my background as the former Village President of Villa Park to tackle issues that directly affect municipalities.”

Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget included a 50 percent cut to state funding to cities and villages.

“The governor’s proposal to slash local government funds means cuts in services to our communities and increases in property taxes as our local mayors attempt to provide needed services to residents,” said Cullerton.  “I expect his proposed cuts will raise interesting debates and obstacles as local officials anticipate devastating cuts to funding.”  

Cullerton will also serve on the Appropriations II, Labor, State Government & Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Energy and Public Utilities Committees.

Bennett launches campaign to stop cuts to University of Illinois

bennett-UI-buttonState Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is circulating a petition and collecting stories to stop a devastating $209 million cut to the University of Illinois in Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget.
Bennett launched the petition today to urge the governor to consider the human cost associated with slashing the university’s budget.
“The University of Illinois is a vital resource not only to our community but for the entire state of Illinois. I’m asking the governor to consider the long-term effects of drastic cuts to higher education funding,” said Bennett. “These cuts will result in lost opportunities and students graduating Illinois’ public universities with higher amounts of debt; this is unacceptable.”

The proposed cuts to funding could result in steep decreases to student services, increased time to complete degrees, larger class sizes and drastic increases in tuition costs and fees.  
“We should be looking for ways to make college more affordable for working families and children,” said Bennett. “Education increases opportunities for students and drives our economy. If we want to continue to grow as a state we need to continue to make investments in opportunities for our children.”     
Bennett will be traveling the district this week with a copy of the petition during his town hall meetings and Capitol on Your Corner events in Gifford, Rantoul, Tilton, Champaign, Georgetown and Danville.
If you are unable to make it to one of the events, the petition is available online at www.SenatorBennett.com.

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