Latest News

In his Budget Address to the 100th General Assembly, Governor Bruce Rauner was optimistic that a bipartisan compromise can be met, and one that will benefit both tax payers and job creators.

The Governor stressed the importance of job creation as an essential part of economic growth, and the key to returning Illinois to a state of prosperity. While noting the difficulties of the last two years in which the state has gone without a budget in place, Governor Rauner encouraged lawmakers to work together to make progress.

The Senate was recognized for their efforts in bipartisan compromise in producing their ‘Grand Bargain.’ Today, Governor Rauner disclosed parameters of his own that he sees essential to a balanced budget agreement. Some of these ideas included a permanent property tax freeze, economic reforms, pension reform, term limits, job creation, workers compensation reform, and a refusal to tax retirement income.
Gambling – Scratch-Off Lottery Tickets
Rep. Christine Winger introduces resolution calling for investigation and audit. Recent investigative reports have revealed that many “scratch-off” tickets for Illinois State Lottery games are pulled from public retail store counters and shredded before the prizes printed on the tickets have been awarded. In response to these reports, Rep. Christine Winger has sponsored HJR 26, which asks the Office of the Illinois Auditor General to audit the ticket-sale cycle and report to the General Assembly, no later than January 31, 2018, on whether buyers of Illinois game tickets are getting the prizes promised.
Each year, The Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) awards college scholarships to women ages 25 years and older to help them attain an undergraduate degree. The purpose of the program is to support women who, for various reasons, have not had the opportunity to begin or complete their education at an earlier stage due to life changes and/or financial difficulties.

The one-year undergraduate scholarship will cover tuition, books and fees up to $2500 per year, including summer school.
Budget – FY17
Fitch Ratings cuts Illinois’ credit rating. The move by one of the “Big Three” debt rating agencies serves as further evidence of the dismal state of Illinois’ public finances. Fitch Ratings cut Illinois’ general obligation bond rating this week from BBB+ with a negative outlook to BBB with a negative outlook. The new rating is only one notch above the lowest possible rating (BBB-) that can be granted to an entity that is viewed as an investment-grade credit risk. Two other bond issues that are tied to the State of Illinois, the bond issued by the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority and the bonds issued by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, also saw cuts in their ratings from Fitch. The New York-based credit rating house added that they believe that the failure of the State to deal with its fiscal challenges “has fundamentally weakened the state’s financial profile.”
State of the State Address
Governor Rauner optimistic about the State of the State. In his third annual State of the State Address, Governor Bruce Rauner indicated that he is optimistic about the future of Illinois and used the opportunity to talk about Illinois’ accomplishments, as well as the work that still lies ahead.

The Governor recognizes the state’s challenges, but with great challenges comes great opportunity. He is optimistic these challenges can be solved by working together to improve the future of Illinois. He discussed the administration’s accomplishments including ethics reform, record education funding, job creation and making government more efficient. While much work lies ahead, we build on the bipartisan agreement that change to the system needs to occur with passing a truly balanced budget.
Governor Bruce Rauner recently gave his third annual State of the State address to the 100th General Assembly. His optimism about the state’s accomplishments over the last two years was evident throughout, as he acknowledged the major improvements made in education funding, ethics reform, job creation, and criminal justice reform.

Representative Christine Winger appreciated the Governor’s noted optimism, and believes that despite the current challenges facing state lawmakers, “positive change has happened for Illinois, and it is encouraging to remember that we can accomplish great things through compromise.”

Illinois’ biggest challenge is the state budget. Yet, working toward a balanced budget agreement to rectify the state’s financial crisis has been no easy feat.

Governor Rauner recognized the Illinois Senate for their work on a budget proposal, most notably for their efforts in compromise, collaboration, and negotiation. Representative Winger is encouraged to see this progress and continued movement in in the right direction.

“As lawmakers we are responsible for making the hard decisions and working to serve our taxpayers,” said Winger. “I hope we can continue to build on the success we had over the last two years to find solutions on our states biggest issues.”

Winger has embraced the optimism in the Governor’s message and is looking forward to getting back to work when legislative session resumes February 8th in the Illinois House of Representatives.
College women looking to learn more about the political process are encouraged to apply for NEW Leadership™ Illinois.

NEW Leadership™ Illinois is a non-partisan, week-long residential program for college women designed to increase women's representation in all elements of public life, including elected office. The program challenges our brightest students to think critically and creatively about public policy and encourages them to make a commitment to public leadership early in their careers.