Holmes supports override of vetoes on critical budget items

ccap-presser-071515SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Linda Holmes joined her colleagues in the Illinois Senate today to support the override of five pieces of legislation ensuring funding for critical state services, including public safety and health care.

“Our moral duty as a state to ensure public safety and critical care cannot be placed on hold because we continue to argue in Springfield,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “I voted to override these vetoed budget items today because they represent the most urgent needs of Illinoisans: Funding for the police and firefighters who keep us safe and the Departments on Aging, Child and Family Services and Public Health that work to alleviate the hardships of people who suffer the worst during a shutdown.”

“I am willing to continue the debate with Governor Rauner and other members of the GOP on our budget priorities. I am not willing to do so while the ability of those who work faithfully in service to the public is jeopardized because we in Springfield are not doing our jobs.”

Senator Holmes disappointed about state government shutdown

holmes-shutdown-stmtSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Linda Holmes issued the following statement as Illinois state agencies faced shutdown for lack of a 2016 budget.

“I’m disappointed that Illinoisans will go without the services for which they have paid due to needless arguments over issues unrelated to the state budget,” Holmes said. “I have joined my colleagues in the Senate in presenting a budget to Governor Rauner in the hopes of reaching a compromise.”

“I ask the Governor now to set aside political matters and focus on fiscal matters. Every day he does not, our childcare centers face closure, our seniors face the possibility of having to leave their homes and all taxpayers face disruptions in their daily lives.”

Holmes voted in favor of a one-month provisionary budget that would keep essential state services in operation as lawmakers continue negotiating a full 2016 budget. The measure passed the Illinois Senate but failed in the House.

Holmes votes to fund schools at highest level ever

holmes-ed-fundingIncreased MAP grants also passes Illinois Senate

SPRINGFIELD — As Aurora students celebrated the end of the semester, State Sen. Linda Holmes today joined fellow senators in passing a spending plan that would ensure their schools reopen on time this fall, provided Gov. Rauner approves it.

“This spending plan is another step toward adequate, equitable funding for our schools,” the Aurora Democrat said. “I urge Governor Rauner to approve these proposals, and not to play politics with our schools.”

The plan provides for $10 billion in education spending, including roughly $3 billion in federal matching funds. The proposal provides a $295 million increase over the current fiscal year, including $207 million in additional funds to General State Aid and $85 million directed toward schools with low resources.

Holmes also supported an increase in college grant funding that passed the General Assembly. The proposal would increase MAP Grant funding by $32 million to $397 million.

“As the cost of college education is rising, we can’t let some students be left out,” Holmes said. “We’ve known this funding has been inadequate, and I’m pleased to see an increase pass the General Assembly.”

The K-12 spending plan comprises House Bills 3763 and 4151. Legislation regarding MAP Grants is HB 4146.

Holmes votes to fully fund local government

holmes-lgdfSupports full funding of promised state income tax funds to municipal government

SPRINGFIELD — Acting at the urging of local mayors, State Sen. Linda Holmes (D – Aurora) joined her colleagues in the Illinois Senate to vote in favor of full funding for local governments.

“Springfield should not seize the revenue that local governments use to fund vital local services like police and fire protection,” Holmes said. “I’m calling on Governor Rauner to approve a plan that keeps these funds intact.”

Under a budget proposal by Gov. Bruce Rauner, Local Government Distributive Fund payments to municipalities would have been cut by half. Holmes joined Senate Democrats in rejecting that plan earlier this week. LGDF revenue is drawn from the state income tax that workers pay.

“The State is facing a serious budget crisis,” said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico. “As the State continues to work towards solutions, Naperville asks that all municipalities share equally in any proposed reductions to the Local Government Distributive Fund. As a AAA bond rated community, we urge the State not to jeopardize Naperville’s standing by asking our community to bear a larger burden than others across Illinois.”

The funds help to keep Oswego’s budget balanced, said Gail Johnson, Village President.

“Municipalities should be rewarded for sound fiscal practices, tough decisions, and planning for our community's future. The loss of nearly 10 percent of our operating budget will have consequences affecting the services we provide to our residents,” Johnson said. “Oswego has been a fiscally proactive community and we strive to remain a strong advocate for our residents."

Mayor Dale Berman of North Aurora said his village desperately relies on the funds to provide some of the most important services to citizens.

“This money allows us to provide the necessary services to our community. It provides street maintenance, street lighting, snow plowing, police safety and protection, and many other services,” Berman said. “We operate on a very modest budget and monitor our expenses very closely.”

“Nobody can better judge how to provide local services than local government,” Holmes said. “The governor claims to want to reduce property taxes, but this would force our cities to consider raising them just to make up for money they’ve already been promised.”

Sen. Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader
42nd District

Years served: 2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Commerce and Economic Development (Chairperson); Executive; Labor; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology.

Biography: Elected to the Senate in 2006; born March 16, 1959, in Chicago; received a bachelor's degree from the National College of Education (now National-Lewis University); First woman president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Full-time state legislator.

Associated Representatives:
Barbara Hernandez
Stephanie A. Kifowit