Latest News

Budget – Unpaid Bills
Backlog of unpaid bill hits $8.6 billion. The unpaid-bill count, tracked on a day-to-day basis by the office of Comptroller Leslie Munger, hit more than $8.6 billion this week. The red-ink number is closely watched by holders of Illinois debt paper and by international credit rating agencies and firms that rank worldwide debtors by chances of insolvency. For example Moody’s, the world’s largest credit-rating firm, currently ranks Illinois general obligation debt backed by general funds at Baa2, two ranks above “junk bond” level. Moody’s adds that they have a “negative outlook” on Illinois’ current Baa2 rating. Analysts at Moody’s report that Illinois’ “structural budget gap” currently equals at least 15% of Illinois general fund and pension expenditures.

Rep. Winger met new friends at CS Barks, Carol Stream's
annual dog festival, last weekend.
The backlog, counted as of Thursday, September 22, represents more than $8.6 billion in bills payable from Illinois general funds. These bills have either been presented to the Illinois Comptroller for payment, or are known to be waiting in the coffers of various State agencies for presentation and payment. Many of these bills are request for reimbursement to providers of supplies and services to the State and its clients, particularly medical and nursing care provided to Medicaid patients.

The unpaid-bill ledger count reported weekly by Munger’s office is likely to continue to fluctuate in future weeks. However, the overall red-ink trend is expected to continue to go upward, based on tax payments to the State continuing to fall short of monies obligated by continuing appropriations, court orders, and consent decrees.
Dog Days of Summer
Carol Stream Park District’s annual dog festival. One of the largest dog festivals in the Chicago suburbs CS Barks is being held on Sunday. Join thousands of dogs from the area who bring their owners for a day of four-legged fun. Entry is free!  Find out more.

Jobs – Illinois labor force
Illinois payroll drops by 8,200 jobs in August. The monthly jobs and unemployment report from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) showed a 30-day drop of 8,200 in Illinois’ seasonally-adjusted nonfarm payroll jobs. This key employment number declined from 6,016,900 in July 2016 to 6,008,700 in August.
Children – Missing Children
128 Illinois children are missing. This number reflects open police files on missing Illinois children. An online file of Illinois children classified as missing, endangered/missing, or in non-family abduction status can be found here. Cases as recent as August 2016 are included; but one open case, that of Mary Ann Switalski, dates back to July 1963.
New laws, executive order helps 16,000 kids. The laws and executive order are oriented towards 16,000 children under the legal care and supervision of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). It is the universal goal of youth authorities, when a child needs a guardian, to select an adult relative or friend from the child’s background, but this is not always possible. In some cases, a court assigns guardianship over a young person or pre-adult to the State of Illinois. Young people in this category were traditionally called “wards of the state,” and one of the effects of this policy change will be to request that people in this standing now be called “youth in care.” Gov. Rauner signed the executive order on Friday, August 19.
Representative Winger was able to successfully champion important issues this legislative session, from reducing O’Hare Noise and supporting property tax relief to expanding services to veterans and ensuring the health and safety of our children.  

To find out more, click here to read some of the highlights of this year’s legislative session and accomplishments here at home in the 45th District.

As always, your feedback is much appreciated.  For any questions or concerns you may have on state issues, contact Rep. Winger's district office at (847) 252-9311 or visit
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Energy Assistance recently announced that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016.

LIHEAP and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Governor Rauner.
On Friday, Governor Rauner signed two important pieces of legislation sponsored by Rep. Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) that will positively impact children by providing them with new opportunities for positive growth and development.

Identify hearing impairment in newborns

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) two to three out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a hearing impairment. If hearing loss is not identified early, language development is delayed, affecting a child’s ability to learn and develop social skills.