Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced in September that his office would suspend mailing out vehicle registration renewal reminders to the public due to the lack of a state budget. In order to receive a reminder, you must sign-up to receive electronic notices through the Secretary of State’s website

Click here to sign up, you will need your Registration ID and PIN number found on your current registration card. If you do not have your current registration card, please call the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980 to obtain your Registration ID and PIN number. 

The Better Business Bureau warns consumers to be careful this holiday season and watch out for scammers.  Here are top scams identified by the BBB.

Look-alike websites: When shopping online, make sure to use only legitimate websites. Watch out for URLs that use the names of well-known brands along with extra words.

Fake shipping notifications: These can have attachments or links to sites that will download malware on your computer to steal your identity and your passwords. Don’t be fooled by a holiday phishing scam.
As snow and ice season bears down on Illinois, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police and the Illinois Tollway are teaming up to alert motorists to be prepared and to remember: “Winter Weather – Get it Together.” By taking steps now to be ready to drive in wintry conditions, the traveling public can do its part to ensure a safe and successful winter driving season.

“With temperatures dropping and some of the state already experiencing a first blast of winter, drivers should be aware of what they can do to keep safety their No. 1 priority,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “That means buckling up, slowing down, increasing traveling distances, and preparing to stay home if the weather is bad. By remembering the basic winter driving skills, together we can make this winter the safest one ever on Illinois roads.”
It is that time of year again when the holidays remind us of the importance of family and friends.  It is also a time to reflect, give thanks and count our blessings. My heartfelt thanks and best wishes go out to you and your family this holiday season!  It is a blessing and an honor to serve you.

I wish you health, happiness and peace this Thanksgiving.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is joining Illinois State Police (ISP) and local law enforcement agencies to remind motorists to buckle up and drive sober during one of the heaviest travel periods of the year. With one of the biggest party nights of the year on Wednesday and more people on the roads through Sunday, police throughout the state are stepping up their enforcement of seat belt law violators and impaired drivers during the long holiday weekend.
The holiday season is upon us and shopping is about to commence. Before you head out on Black Friday be sure the gifts you intend to buy are safe for your family.

The Illinois Attorney General’s office recently released the 2015 Safe Shopping Guide to aid you in your gift buying decisions. The guide provides detailed descriptions of toys, baby products, children’s clothing and other items recalled by the U.S. Consumer Produced Safety Commission.

Since technology gifts continue to be at the top of our children’s wish list, the guide also includes helpful information for parents considering the purchase of a smartphone, tablet, video game or other Internet-accessible devices for their children.

Before you shop, arm yourself with the 2015 Safe Shopping Guide.

FY16 Budget
Leaders’ budget meeting with Governor moved to December 1. The face-to-face meeting is scheduled to bring together Governor Bruce Rauner and the leaders of the four General Assembly legislative caucuses, including House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. Originally scheduled to be held on Wednesday, November 18, the meeting has been reset for Tuesday, December 1. The new time will allow preparations to continue over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The Suburban O’Hare Commission (SOC) engaged JDA Aviation Technology Solutions (JDA) – led by Joseph Del Balzo, the former Acting Administrator of the FAA – to conduct a study of a number of technical issues relating to community concerns over noise generated by operations at O’Hare International Airport (ORD).

JDA in turn retained a group of nationally recognized experts in airport noise analysis and air traffic operations to conduct the individual studies. Those experts included Dr. Sanford Fidell, an international author and expert on aircraft noise; Dr. Antonio Trani, an expert in aircraft noise modeling, and former FAA Air Traffic Control experts: Craig Burzych, Jim Krieger, and Rob Voss.
Dueling visions for how O’Hare Airport runways should be used at night were unveiled Monday, with city officials relying primarily on parallel runways and a citizens group preferring heavier use of diagonal ones.

With O’Hare jet noise complaints closing in on 3 million so far this year, two different sets of flight path plans emerged during a sometimes tense meeting of an Ad Hoc O’Hare Fly Quiet Committee.

A consultant for the Chicago Department of Aviation offered some homeowners west of O’Hare — now bombarded with 70 percent of airport departures — an extra layer of relief with one idea. He suggested sending more departing night flights off on an angle right after they leave runways so they could quickly connect into “flight corridors” over less populated areas. Read more in the SunTimes.

FY16 Budget
House Democrats block budget compromise, put politics above solutions.  For months, the Democratic opposition to change in Springfield has called for “reasonable” discussions and compromise regarding the budget impasse.

It’s clear by their actions this week, with a compromise very much on the table, that majority Democrats in the House have absolutely no intention of compromising and would rather put partisan politics above budget solutions.
FY16 budget – CGFA
General Assembly watchdogs chart continued budget picture.  The nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the in-house budget agency of the Illinois General Assembly, released their October 2015 fiscal report this week. The CGFA “Monthly Briefing” covers ongoing State revenues, particularly key State General Funds revenue numbers, and ongoing trends likely to affect future State revenues. For example, the October briefing includes a discussion, based on nationwide trends and economic models, of the likely health of the 2015 Christmas retail selling season and its expected impact on State sales tax revenues.
FY16 Budget
Governor Rauner to chair public meeting with legislative leaders on Nov. 18.  The meeting is expected to examine the delayed FY16 budget process.  Although the FY16 fiscal year began on July 1, 2015, a constitutional balanced budget has not been enacted by the Democrat supermajorities in the Illinois House and Senate.  The State has continued to operate under consent decrees, court orders, continuing appropriations, and school appropriations, but this has created many operational problems.  Recipients of State services, and providers of goods and services to the State, have been affected by the lack of a legal budget document.
Rep. Winger is hosting an Identity Theft Seminar Friday, October 23rd from 1:30pm-2:30pm. at the Hanover Township Senior Center.

This event is an educational program geared toward seniors, who are the most at risk for identity theft, exploitation, and fraud due to their ability to access retirement accounts and pensions.  The hour long program will feature an identity theft expert from the Illinois Attorney General’s office who will explain how senior citizens can protect themselves, and the proper steps to take if your identity has been stolen.
FY16 Budget
Secretary of State suspends mailing motor vehicle registration renewal reminders. Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced Monday that his office will suspend mailing out vehicle registration renewal reminder notices to the public due to the lack of a state budget.

White noted that by suspending this service, which will save approximately $450,000 per month, his office will be able to prolong the ability to mail vehicle registration renewal stickers, titles and license plates to vehicle owners for a few months longer before the postage account is depleted.
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced today that his office will suspend mailing out vehicle registration renewal reminder notices to the public due to the lack of a state budget.

Secretary White encouraged vehicle owners to be mindful of their vehicle registration status to ensure they renew in a timely manner and avoid driving on expired vehicle stickers. He also emphasized that more vehicle owners will be forced to visit facilities to renew their vehicle registration stickers because without a reminder notice they will not have a pin number needed to renew online. However, people who have signed up to receive electronic reminder notices will continue to receive them by email. To sign up for this service, visit
"Ghost" images of planes landing at O'Hare International Airport are helping air-traffic controllers safely stagger jets on converging flight paths in the crowded airspace near the airfield, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The ghost planes are also helping restore some of the efficiency that was lost last year when safeguards were introduced at O'Hare to reduce the chance for a collision on converging flight paths, officials said.

The potentially deadly traffic intersection in the sky is less than 1 mile from the ends of two runways — one for arrivals, the other for departures. Last year, the FAA prohibited the specific runway combination during the busiest daytime hours, when planes are taking off or landing roughly every 20 seconds, until a better plan came along.

The two runways themselves do not physically intersect, but planes could cross flight paths under one scenario:

A plane cleared by O'Hare tower for takeoff on diagonal runway 32 Left, which points to the northwest, could fly too close to or even hit or be struck by a plane landing toward the west on east-west runway 27 Right if, instead of completing the landing, the pilot of the plane needed to execute an unplanned go-around procedure. Read the entire story in the Chicago Tribune.

FY16 Budget
Democrat majority continues piecemeal budget strategy. Although Illinois is close to ending its third month without a spending plan for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2015, the House session this week did not show any signs of progress. On Thursday, Democrats on the House Executive Committee passed a $3.8 billion spending bill without specifying a funding source for the monies pledged by the committee to be spent.
FY16 Budget
Comptroller Munger: Early Intervention payments will be made. Comptroller, DHS agree EI services fall under active consent decree.

Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger announced Wednesday that her office is setting up accounts and will immediately begin making payments to Early Intervention providers as soon as it receives vouchers from the Department of Human Services (DHS).
College of DuPage trustees voted 4-3 Thursday night to void the employment contract of embattled President Robert Breuder and declare him an at-will employee, putting his controversial severance package in jeopardy.

During a meeting of a deeply divided board, trustees also passed a measure that effectively rescinds an agreement to name the school's Homeland Security Education Center after Breuder. The building instead will be named, effective immediately, for Army Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller, who grew up in Wheaton and died in Afghanistan in 2008 while saving his team during a firefight. The measure passed 4-2, with one abstention.

The two decisions are the latest efforts to undo past board actions and change the legacy left by Breuder, who is on paid administrative leave pending termination proceedings. Read the story in the Chicago Tribune.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois Secretary of State and AAA today launched the 2015 National Child Passenger Safety Week in Illinois. The annual safety campaign brings attention to the importance of properly securing all children in car seats, booster seats and seat belts.

“Safety of the motoring public, especially children, is a top priority here at IDOT,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “Making sure your child is in the right seat is an important responsibility that all parents need to take seriously.”
Higher Education 
“U.S. News” sharply increases ranking of SIU Carbondale campus. The national ranking system for institutions of higher education raised the standing of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. The campus, which had been ranked as the 189th best campus in the United States, jumped to 153rd. The upward change of 36 notches was the largest increase seen in Illinois in 2015 and was one of the largest increases on the annual list.

The U.S. News and World Reports Best College Rankings include a widely-followed index of colleges classified as “National Universities.” This classification covers a variety of four-year institutions connected to public and private universities, such as SIU, that specialize in research and high-level professional training.
9-11 Observances
State observes anniversary of 9-11, honors victims and first responders. In Illinois by order of Gov. Rauner, flags flew at half-mast throughout Patriot Day in honor of the victims and heroes of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and rural Pennsylvania.

Leading the way towards observance of the somber day of remembrance were Republican members of the University of Illinois student and teaching community, who successfully advocated for permission to set up a memorial installation on the U of I Quad. After a facet of the university administration temporarily attempted to block organization of the installation, the Illini Republicans led the way in a successful push to reverse the prohibition and allow the placement of 2,977 flags on the Quad. Each U.S. flag will represent one victim of the atrocity.
In Illinois, military veterans are now able to get an updated driver’s license/ID card indicating they are a veteran.

This designation helps ensure military veterans living in Illinois who have received an Honorable or General under Honorable Conditions discharge receive the services and benefits for which they are entitled, including healthcare, education, employment assistance and tax breaks.
HB 1, which was drafted with the active participation of law enforcement, contains numerous changes to State and local programs aimed at heroin and other opiate drugs. The bill strengthens the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, creates a program to move towards universal availability of heroin-overdose-reversal medications (opioid antagonists) in the hands of first responders and in the formularies of health insurance policies, enhances criminal penalties for “prescription shopping,” expands Medicaid to cover opioid dependence medications and opioid antagonists, and makes other changes.
Moody’s warns of consequences if budget stalemate not resolved.  The global bond rating service, which has imposed several cuts on the debt status of Illinois, warned the State of potential further downgrades in a report published on Monday, August 31.  The report called attention to the current budget impasse of the State of Illinois, which is attempting to operate without a legally enacted spending plan for fiscal year 2016.  FY16 began on July 1, 2015.

Changes in the debt rating of Illinois as a whole, and of subsidiaries (such as the University of Illinois) affect interest rates that must be paid by Illinois taxpayers. Rating agencies such as Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings have given Illinois the lowest debt rating of any U.S. state.

Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) issues monthly budget report.  The CGFA report, issued by the General Assembly’s nonpartisan budget office, covers revenue and spending trends in August 2015.  CGFA tracks changes in State revenues, particularly income and sales tax payments, and projects them out for the remainder of FY16.

Changes in State revenues currently reflect two major factors: (a) the drop in State personal and corporate income tax rates that took effect on January 1, 2015; and (b) continued slow growth in the overall U.S. economy.  CGFA has tracked changes in United States gross domestic product in the first half of calendar 2015, and continues to see overall growth rates trending in the band of 2.0% - 2.5%.

New tax revenue is not growing as fast as the cost of expenses mandated upon the public sector of the State, and is not growing fast enough to replace the revenues lost through the January 2015 income tax rate rollback.  CGFA spreadsheets detail the current fiscal situation.  In August 2015, for example, total State general funds revenues fell $194 million short of previous-year revenues.  In August 2014, the State took in $2.38 billion in overall general funds revenues; during the same 31-day period one year later, $2.19 billion came in.        

Disability service providers said to have been paid through August; some providers say money not yet received.  In compliance with a court order issued by federal judge Sharon Coleman, the State indicated it has paid $120 million to disability service providers.  The payment was reported on Friday, August 28.  The creditors, licensed networks of services (particularly residential services) to persons with developmental disabilities, sought up-to-date payments under the “Ligas” consent decree.  Some creditors reported this week that they have not yet received these reported payments.  

Comptroller Leslie Munger has the duty of balancing money coming in with payments going out.  The July-August payments to disability service providers followed a warning in the previous week that because of the State’s current budget impasse, the required funds would not be immediately available.

The Illinois Constitution provides the Governor with four possible veto alternatives, below is a brief description of each:

Total Veto
The Governor can veto an entire bill by returning it with his objections to the chamber in which it originated. The General Assembly can override this veto by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each chamber.

Item Veto
The Governor can veto any item of appropriations in a bill by returning it to the chamber in which it originated. The General Assembly can override this veto by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each chamber. Read more on the Caucus Blog.
Budget – FY16
Many providers of mandated state-financed services report they are not being paid despite court orders. In one case, the operation of networks of residential care services for persons with developmental disabilities, a federal judge has ordered that the state pay the networks and the Comptroller has reported that Illinois does not have the money to immediately carry out this order. Approximately 10,000 persons with developmental disabilities are affected.
When the new runway at O'Hare opens in October thousand of new residents will be impacted by adverse noise. I believe it is important for residents to be armed with information so they can make the best decisions possible for their families. Here are links to resources to help you with decision making:

Soundproofing Your Home
For homes within the current flight contour the FAA and the City of Chicago offers sound insulation grants.
For homes outside of the current contour Rep. Winger has introduced new legislation to provide and income tax credit for soundproofing your homes. HB 4273 is working its way through the legislative process. Unlike a property tax reassessment, the income tax credit will not lower the value of your home and will in fact increase its value when sound insulation is added.

Organizations & Resources 
Here are links to several organizations that are working to mitigate noise or that can provide information:

Report Noise 
It is important that you report excessive aircraft noise. Here are several options:

While the FAA and the City of Chicago have authority over all decisions regarding O'Hare airport including the soundproofing program, I remain committed to putting pressure on them through legislation and grassroots initiatives.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns or suggestions.
State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) has introduced new legislation that would provide an income tax credit for taxpayers who purchase sound-mitigating windows, doors, insulation and other items to alleviate excessive noise from O’Hare’s new runway patterns.

In October of this year, thousands of new households will be blasted with house-rattling, conversation-halting, sleep-depriving jet engine noise they will endure when aircraft begin flying less than a mile over their rooftops. In spite of the new flight patterns for takeoffs and landings at O’Hare, these residents do not qualify for federal grants to assist with soundproofing projects. Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), who set the parameters for access to the grant money, excluded this new group of property owners, saying that as long as the airport expansion progresses as planned, their exposure to excessive noise would only last six years. According to the FAA, that is when another new runway is scheduled to be operational.
Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2042 today, which appropriates money for the pass through of federal dollars without adding to the state’s budget deficit. The clean bill allows the state to provide some services to the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Governor Rauner supported and signed this clean pass through bill because it will help those in need without adding to the state’s budget deficit,” Director of Communications Lance Trover said. “While the Governor continues to work on passing a balanced budget with structural reforms to maximize how much we can invest in our schools and important social services, some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens will be able receive additional support.”

After Debbie Roe of Bartlett ran through a row of sprinklers with a 7-year-old pug on a pink leash, the volunteer with Northern Illinois Pug Rescue described the day as "great" and went to play with three more pugs in the shade.

It was all part of Pet Rescue Fair Sunday at James "Pate" Philip State Park in Bartlett. More than 150 guests stopped by despite high temperatures and humidity. For nearly three hours, volunteers from area pet rescue organizations showcased the dogs they foster, and the services they offer.

Volunteers Tom and Ryoko Fujikawa of Naperville visited with guests about the pugs on site, all available for adoption. The couple also shared their own experiences as pug owners who foster with Northern Illinois Pug Rescue.

Carol Ewert of South Elgin has worked with Northern Illinois Pug Rescue for six years. She said no adoptions are processed at events like the one Sunday, as the get togethers are designed for awareness of more animals than just those at the event. Read the rest of the story in the Chicago Tribune.

Governor Rauner signed legislation on Tuesday, sponsored by State Representative Christine Winger that targets allegations of abuse at state-supported youth residential facilities.

Rep. Winger’s initiative specifically acts on a recommendation of a former ward of the state who testified at a legislative hearing that having the ability to submit complaints, concerns and suggestions anonymously would help improve the safety of state wards living in residential treatment centers regulated by DCFS. Anonymity in reporting wrongdoing was paramount to prevent retaliation from abusers.
General Assembly Pay Freeze
House Republicans unanimously co-sponsor bill to block pay increase for FY16; General Assembly approves measure. The automatic 2% “cost of living” pay increase was scheduled to automatically go into effect for the State fiscal year starting July 1, 2015. Many House Republican members do not think the General Assembly deserves to enjoy a pay hike at a time when many Illinois workers have their pay and benefits frozen or cannot find work at all. HB 576 freezes cost-of-living adjustments and other benefit compensations for General Assembly members and other high-ranking elected and appointed State officials in FY16. The bill received final General Assembly approval on Wednesday, August 5, and was sent to the Governor.

House Republicans unanimously supported and helped pass HB 576, and all 47 Republican members were co-sponsors of the measure in the House. The Governor has expressed support for the concept of freezing the pay of Illinois’ top elected officials, and is expected to sign the bill.

Have you ever thought about adopting a pet but didn't know where to begin?

Rep. Christine Winger is making it a little easier by hosting a Pet Rescue Fair where you will learn about animal rescue and meet some very adorable and adoptable animals. Several area rescues and shelters are participating and will be at the fair with information, applications and, most important, dogs, cats and other small animals that need a good home. 

Confirmed rescue/shelter participants include:

In addition to the above organizations, representatives from Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger’s Comptroller’s Critters program and other exhibitors will also be on hand to provide pet-related information, including  7 Paws a Week.  Invisible Fence and Suburban K9 will also be in attendance and will offer dog obedience-training demonstrations beginning at 1:00 PM.

Children will have an opportunity to participate in a scavenger hunt where they will learn about caring for pets and win prizes, too. Attendees are encouraged to come hungry, because hot dogs will be available for a donation, with proceeds supporting Bruno’s Pro Bone-O Pet Food Pantry.

The event is free and fun for the whole family. 

Pet Rescue Fair
Sunday, August 16, 2015
12:30 pm to 3:00 pm
2054 W Stearns Rd, Bartlett, IL 60103

Some GPS apps won't get you there. The state park is located on W. Stearns Road just west of Rt. 25 and a little over 2 miles east of Rt. 59. Here is a link to directions.

Please note: Rescue and shelter organizations have their own adoption processes and fees. While you may not be able to take an animal home on August 16th you will meet prospective new pets and can begin the adoption process. 

For more information call Rep. Winger at (847) 252-9311 or contact her here.

General Assembly Pay
House Republicans vote for bill to deny pay increase for selves in FY16. The measure, HB 576, amends State law to block implementation of the automatic pay increases slated to be paid in FY16 to Illinois elected officials. This action is necessary to prevent an annual automatic pay increase from being paid to members of the General Assembly, statewide elected officials, certain Cabinet-level executive branch agency directors and appointees, and county state’s attorneys. Automatic pay increases of this type have been mandated by the Compensation Review Act since 1984.
Legislation cosponsored by Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) and signed into law today by Governor Rauner will enhance noise monitoring at O’Hare airport and potentially increase the number of households eligible to receive federal assistance for soundproofing. Additionally it authorizes O’Hare to operate up to 10 runways without needing to obtain a certificate of approval. This would permit O'Hare to continue using the current diagonal runways when it is safe and appropriate. It also removes the urgency to dismantle the diagonal runways to keep to the eight-runway requirement.

Public Act 099-0202 (SB636) gives Chicago and Illinois standing to work with the FAA to move from a 65 DNL standard to a CNEL metric, based on “smart” noise monitoring machinery. The sponsors of SB 636 believe that because CNEL numbers are more sensitive to human noise perceptions than DNL numbers, that data gathered through this process can be used to generate one or more federal administrative rulemakings that will lead to an improved soundproofing outcome for neighbors of O’Hare Airport.

“I am proud to be part of the bipartisan group of legislators who have been working together on behalf of constituents to improve their quality of life,” said Winger. “People’s lives are profoundly impacted by the adverse noise from the airport and we will continue our efforts to provide them relief.”

FY16 Budget Crisis
Budget stalemate continues in Springfield. As the State of Illinois entered the fourth week of the new fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat majority again refused to negotiate in good faith and instead continued their piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

In the House, Democrats again backed a temporary budget to fund certain services at a level that is not sustainable over the course of the entire fiscal year. House Amendment 1 to HB 4143 was adopted by a narrow majority of Democrats, but did not receive enough votes to be passed on Third Reading and was therefore held for future consideration.
State Representative Christine Winger is gathering more than 80 employers in one place and inviting residents who are looking for a job or career change to meet with them on Wednesday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Itasca Park District, 350 E. Irving Park Road in Itasca.

Rep. Winger is encouraging job seekers to dress to impress and bring plenty of resumes to the jobs fair. Admission is free and so are the informative workshops that will help you create a resume that gets read, ace the interview and network your way to the job you want.

Here is the schedule of events for Rep. Winger’s Jobs Fair:

9:00 a.m. Doors open
9:30 a.m. Stand Out Resumes Workshop
10:30 a.m. Successful Interviewing Workshop
11:30 a.m. Networking Your Way to a New Job Workshop

“I hope to make it a little easier for residents to get the good paying jobs they deserve by bringing hiring managers to them,” said Winger. “I will do everything I can to get Illinoisans back to work.”

For more information about the jobs fair please contact Representative Christine Winger at 847-252-9311 or go to her website at

Rep. Winger serves the 45th District that includes part or all of Addison, Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Hanover Park, Itasca, Medinah, Roselle, Wayne, West Chicago & Wood Dale.  

FY16 Budget Crisis
Democrats send unbalanced partial-month budget to the Governor. As the State of Illinois entered the third week of the new fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat majority continued to take a piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

On Wednesday, the Illinois Senate concurred with House changes to SB 2040, an unbalanced partial month budget set to expire on August 1. The Democrats’ plan passed the House by the bare minimum of 71 partisan Democrat votes in the House the previous week. SB 2040 does not contain one-month spending levels based on the projected FY16 revenue estimate of $32 billion.
Schools now will have a larger selection of teachers from which to choose to educate Illinois children under a new law sponsored by State Representative Christine Winger.

Winger’s measure, PA 099-0058, signed into law Thursday adjusts and extends the timeframe in which out-of-state teacher applicants may take Illinois teacher licensure tests. Rigorous licensure standards remain in place only the timeframe for completing the process is extended to accommodate as many applicants as possible.

“Our children deserve the best education possible,” explained Winger. “Creating a larger pool of excellent educators means schools have the option to select the right teachers for their students.”

Winger introduced the legislation because the State Board of Education (ISBE) was concerned that too many qualified out-of-state applicants were not submitting their credentials to obtain Illinois teaching licensure. ISBE determined the reason for this lack of participation was the short timeframe in which out-of-state applicants were required to submit their credentials and take required tests.

As a former financial planner I helped clients understand the factors that affected their financial futures. I counseled them to take advantage of all the options available to improve their bottom lines. As State Representative I feel it is important to do the same thing for constituents, especially when it comes to property taxes.

To help constituents find answers to their property tax questions, I am hosting this special program in cooperation with local assessing officers:

Property Taxes: Explaining the Assessment Process
Monday, July 27, 2015
6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Bartlett Chamber of Commerce 
138 S Oak Ave # 3, Bartlett, IL 60103.

It is free and open to all residents of the 45th District.

Please join us for this interactive program where you'll hear from experts and learn:

  • What variables affect your tax bill
  • How the assessment process works
  • What exemptions are available to you
  • How to appeal an unfair assessment

Please bring your tax bill and questions to the event.

Don’t hesitate to contact my office at 630-252-9311 for more information.

FY16 Budget Crisis
Democrats continue push for unbalanced, unconstitutional budget. As the State of Illinois entered the second week of its fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat majority continued to take a piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

Democrats again backed a temporary budget to fund certain services at a level that is not sustainable over the course of the entire fiscal year. SB 2040, passed by the bare minimum of 71 partisan Democrat votes in the House Thursday, does not contain one-month spending levels based on the projected FY16 revenue estimate of $32 billion.
The Federal Aviation Administration is holding four public meetings in August regarding the new O'Hare International Airport runway scheduled to open later this year.

The fifth parallel runway at O'Hare is slated to open October 15 on the far south airfield. The meetings will address the anticipated noise and air pollution issues associated with the runway.

According to the FAA, the meetings will be workshop style with a separate room for the public to ask questions of the FAA and its consultants directly, with presentation boards depicting information contained in the Draft Re-Eval.

There also will be a room with multiple court reporter stations for the public to provide verbal comments, on the record, after participating in the workshop. Comment forms will be available for use at the workshops.

Here are the four locations for the O'Hare sessions:

Monday, August 10, 2015 
1:00 to 9:00 p.m.
White Eagle Banquets
6839 North Milwaukee Avenue,
Niles, Illinois 60714

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
1:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Taft High School
6530 West Bryn Mawr Avenue
Chicago, Illinois 60631

Wednesday, August 12, 2015
1:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Monty's Elegant Banquets
703 South York Road
Bensenville, Illinois 60106

Thursday, August 13, 2015
1:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Belvedere Events and Banquets
1170 West Devon Avenue
Elk Grove Village, Illinois 60007

More information can be found on the FAA's website at

Please feel free to contact Rep. Winger with any questions.
Former Army Pvt. First Class Jessica Lynch, the first successfully rescued POW since World War II, entered the sun-filled Veterans Resource Center in Gary wearing a friendly smile and olive green sweat pants that reveal the brace she wears on her lower leg.

As special guest for the "Celebration of Life" dinner and program to honor area veterans Monday night at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, Lynch, along with the keynote speaker Dr. Irene Trowell-Harris, hope to bring more attention to the plight of female veterans.

Trowell-Harris, a retired major general with 38 years in the U.S. Air Force, was the first African-American woman to be promoted to general in the National Guard. She is also the former director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Women Veterans.

On hand at the Resource Center to greet the women was Robert Farmer, executive director of The Webb House, a Gary-based non-profit organization that supports the Resource Center and provides housing and other assistance to area veterans.

Female veterans make up just about 2 million of the 22 million veteran population. There are 35,569 female veterans in Indiana and 54,707 in Illinois, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"One of the biggest problems with female veterans is that they do not self-identify as veterans. They do not speak up about their military service, " Trowell-Harris said. As a result, they often are not referred for veteran's healthcare, employment and loan services, she said. Read the rest of the story in the Chicago Tribune.

Since state employees may have questions on how their benefits will be impacted as the state budget is no longer in place beginning July 1. The following Q&As were designed to help answer any questions you may have.
Employee Benefits
Q.  Will an employee's health, dental or life insurance be affected?
A.  No. Group insurance coverage during a budget situation will not be impacted. If paychecks are delayed, and as long as the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, insurance premiums will be taken accordingly. The missed payroll deductions will be taken once paychecks are issued.
Q.  What will happen to an employee's contributions to any flexible spending accounts (i.e., MCAP, DCAP) during the budget situation?
Ø  Employees enrolled in MCAP will not be impacted. ConnectYourCare debit cards will continue to work. If the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, deductions should be taken accordingly. If MCAP deductions are missed, they must be made up when the budget situation is resolved.
Ø  Employees enrolled in DCAP may be impacted as reimbursements are limited to the available account balance contained in their DCAP account. If the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, and once all payroll deductions are deposited into the DCAP account, reimbursements can be made for eligible expenses up to the available account balance.
Q.  What will happen to an employee's Commuter Savings Program benefit?
A.  Employees enrolled in the Commuter Savings Program will continue to receive the benefit under this program. Employees will owe any underpaid amount upon their return to payroll.
Workers' Compensation Program
Q.  Will an employee's Workers' Compensation benefits be affected?
A.  No. In the event of a budget situation, Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Total Disability (PTD) and survivor death benefit payments under the Workers' Compensation Act will continue through July. Work-related injuries should continue to be reported through the procedures in place today.
Deferred Compensation Program
Q. What will happen to an employee's Deferred Compensation contributions during the budget situation?
A.  As long as the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, payroll deductions for Deferred Compensation should be taken accordingly. Deferred Compensation contributions can only be made through payroll deduction. The employee cannot deposit money directly to his or her fund to catch-up the contributions.
Q.  If an individual is currently receiving a distribution from their Deferred Compensation account, will that distribution continue during the budget situation?
A.  Yes. Current distributions and changes to distribution amounts will continue to be processed. To make any changes in distribution, call T. Rowe Price at 1-888-457-5770.
Q.  Will hardship distributions/loans from an employee's Deferred Compensation account be available during the budget situation?
A.  A loan provision is available at any time and allows a participant to have one outstanding loan and borrow a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $50,000 or 50% of their account balance over a five year period. The interest you pay goes back to your account along with the principal amount each month as you repay the loan through Automatic Clearing House (ACH) deductions from your bank. Employees would likely not qualify for a hardship distribution as they will be made whole of any missed payrolls when the budget situation ends.
Q.  How do I borrow from my Deferred Compensation account?
A.  To apply for a loan from your account over the phone, call T. Rowe Price at 1-888-457-5770 to speak to a Representative. There is a $75 processing fee and you will need to supply bank routing and account information for your checking/savings account numbers to set up the automatic ACH deduction. Participants are allowed one outstanding loan at a time. You may repay the full loan balance amount at any time through the same phone number at T. Rowe Price.
State Employee Compensation
Q. What options exist if certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees?
A. State employees will be paid for their work. If certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees, there may be an opportunity for employees to get bridge loans from local financial institutions. Credit Union 1, for example, has already agreed to offer no-interest loans for qualifying members of the credit union should salary payments for state employees be delayed. To be eligible to receive 0% interest loans from Credit Union 1, participants must have been members on or before May 1, 2015. Employees who have become members of Credit Union 1 since May 1, 2015, can apply for a loan, subject to normal criteria, rates and terms.