Greetings! I hope this update finds you and your family enjoying the start of summer! I would like to take this opportunity to give you a recap of legislative action from the end of the spring session – and invite you to our upcoming events this summer! Please scroll below for news important to local families and taxpayers.
compromises salvage a rough spring session
The key to the success of our state is growth and we can only do that through structural and political reforms. We must stop adding mandates on our schools, our small and large businesses, and our local communities. We concluded our session in the House of Representatives on June 1st. We passed a flurry of bills (good and bad), and I am proud of the few pro-reform initiatives that will spur economic growth and the taxes we delayed to help families.
Many fought hard for these reforms, which are essential building blocks for the future of our state. I look forward to expanding on these initiatives to create more economic stability for our state.
In the last hours of the session, we succeeded in negotiating for some reforms to state law which will help our job creators and our state’s economy. In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to say that in the last 36 hours of session we achieved more pro-jobs reforms than we had in the last several years. But we still have a long way to go.
The compromise bill package passed was not perfect. It has some elements which I do not like. But it also made some important reforms to create jobs. For example:
Leadership negotiated legislation to cut red tape and reduce the costs of running a business in Illinois. There is a credit which will help reinvigorate our manufacturing industry, and a first-of-its-kind in the nation tax credit to spur construction projects and create blue collar jobs. For the long term, this package of bills is good for every part of our state: for schools, for farmers, for businesses, for everyone who uses our roads and for our prospects for creating and retaining jobs in Illinois.
We should all proudly back pro-growth business opportunities and viable solutions to our pension problem. I refused to support excessive spending and voted against the $40.628B budget and the many tax increases creatively tacked onto the much needed infrastructure capital bills. While some thought the budget spent too much and others thought it was balanced, one thing is clear; our caucus stands united in rejecting the notion that the State of Illinois needs ANOTHER income tax increase.
Opposition to salary hike for legislators
Every year, the salary of state legislators automatically increases unless we adopt legislation specifically preventing it. I have voted against this “cost of living adjustment” increase every year I have been in the Legislature. It is ridiculous that the automatic COLA for Illinois legislators was included in the 2020 budget, a budget I voted against.
On the final day of session, Speaker Madigan refused to allow a vote on a bill rejecting the COLA for legislators (HB837). Meanwhile, 43 of the 44 House Republicans cosponsored a separate bill, HB2695, to deny an increase in pay and per diem to legislators.
I call on the Illinois House Democratic Caucus to bring us back into session to approve either of these bills. Outside of that option, I call upon Governor JB Pritzker to issue an amendatory veto of the budget implementation act which to add in a denial of the COLA/pay raise to Illinois House and Senate Members.
How much do we
As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes over $6.6 billion in unpaid bills to state vendors. One year ago, the backlog stood at $7.5 billion. This figure represents the amount of bills submitted to the office of the Comptroller and still awaiting payment. It does not include debts that can only be estimated, such as our unfunded pension liability which is subject to a wide range of factors and has been estimated to be approximately $130 billion.
This year’s session alone, the majority party introduced over $12 Billion dollars in new spending. Why are we introducing new spending? Should surplus be going towards new programs or should it be going towards our “structural deficits” like education, our underfunded pension systems and the backlog of bills? As mentioned, there is currently $6.6B sitting at the Comptroller’s office waiting to be paid, an estimated $1.2B sitting at state agencies to be paid and $6B refinanced in 2018.
Amendment bill stopped in Senate
Senate Bill 1966, an anti-Second Amendment bill which would drive up the cost of FOID cards and require all applicants for a FOID card to be fingerprinted, stalled in the State Senate on the final day of session. I voted against the bill when it passed the House. It was a relief to see this bill stopped. As I’ve said before: when someone commits a crime and has their FOID card revoked, we need to do a better job of enforcing the law, but the other sections of this bill did too much harm to the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Keep your eyes and ears open, however, as Senate Bill 1966 could come back during the Fall Veto Session of the General Assembly which starts on October 28. Our fight to protect our Second Amendment rights will continue.
District Spring Photo Contest!
Calling all photographers! You are invited to share your talent and love of photography in our spring photo contest! Participants are asked to submit a photo that best represents the people and places of the 71st district. The winning photo from each category (people and places) will be displayed in my Springfield and Savanna offices.
I love the 71st district, and truly believe we have the most beautiful scenery and magnificent people. The more submissions we have, the more we can show off the 71st to the rest of Illinois!
We will choose winning entries and invite the photographers for an unveiling at the Savanna and/or Springfield office. The winning photos will be on display for the term of the 101st General Assembly. The contest rules are as follows:
- Participants are asked to submit their photos by email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Photos must be taken in the 71st District,
- Photos must be taken during this spring, March 20th –
- Photos are due June 21st,
- Photos must be sent in high resolution,
- In the email, please include the photographer’s name, home address, email, phone number, and where the picture was taken.
A 71st district map can be found on my website at repmccombie.com. Participants seeking more info can call my district office at (815) 632-7384 or visit our website at repmccombie.com.
Mark your calendars and join us at any one of our upcoming events:
- SENIOR FAIR #1
- Thursday, June 27, 2019
- 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- Challand Middle School
- 1700 6th Avenue
- Moline, IL
- JOB FAIR
- Wednesday, July 31, 2019
- The Spotlight Theatre
- 1800 7th Avenue
- Moline, IL
- SENIOR FAIR #2
- Tuesday, August 6, 2019
- 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- New Hope Foursquare Church
- 2305 7th Avenue
- Moline, IL
- SHRED EVENT (bring your paper documents!)
- Saturday, August 10, 2019
- 9:00 AM -12:00 PM
- Rock Falls Chamber and City Hall Parking Lot
- 601 W 10th Street
- Rock Falls, IL
- CHILDREN’S SAFETY EXPO
- Saturday, September 14, 2019
- 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
- Glenview Middle School
- 3100 7th Ave.
- East Moline, IL
ready for the Census
The next census of the population of the United States and every city, county and state is set for April 1. Efforts are already underway to make sure that everyone is counted. A full and accurate count is essential for each of our communities so that government agencies have accurate information to use when assessing the needs of each area and when it comes to allocating resources of many federal and state programs. The census also determines our representation in the state legislature and in the U.S. House of Representatives, as seats are apportioned based on population. In the last Census, Illinois was undercounted; which cost us billions of dollars in federal aid.
According to the Census Bureau, “a county stands to lose $1800 per person, per year, for every person not counted or not participating in the Census.” One way local leaders and everyday citizens can help is by forming a Complete Count Committee in your local community. More information on ways you can help is available at www.illinoiscensus2020.com.
Did You Know?
It was 100 years ago today – June 10, 1919 – that Illinois ratified the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote. We commemorated this historic anniversary by adopting HR 96 in the Illinois House of Representatives. You can read the text of the resolution by clicking HERE.
As always, feel free to contact my district office at 815-632-8384 or at email@example.com with questions or concerns about legislation, state issues, or upcoming events. I look forward to hearing from you!