Citing an improving economy in Illinois, Governor Rauner announced today that he would restore $26 million to social service and public health grants that were frozen earlier this year because of budget constraints.

“Residents should be encouraged by the upturn in Illinois’ economy and the positive impact it has had on the state budget, stated Rep.Winger in response to learning the news. "I am pleased that the Governor is using that revenue to restore funding for autism, early childhood intervention, addiction prevention and other important programs through the end of FY15. While this is heartening news, we cannot lose sight that the FY16 budget is $6 billion out of balance and there is still much work to be done.”


Budget – Infrastructure 
Statewide discussion on capital spending begins. Governor Bruce Rauner announced on Tuesday, April 21 that he will soon start an infrastructure Listening Tour in which the Governor will talk to local leaders in at least 30 separate Illinois communities to hear their needs for additional help in maintaining vital local infrastructure. At the same time, Illinois House budget working groups will be meeting on FY16 budget challenges, including issues of public infrastructure.
Road construction projects are popping up all over Illinois along with work zone designations.

Here are FAQ's about the laws behind all those signs:

Do workers have to be present to receive a speeding ticket in a work zone?

Workers do not have to be present for a motorist to receive a speeding ticket in a work zone.

Regulatory construction speed limit signs are erected in construction work zones lowering speed limits, i.e. from 65 mph to 55 mph or from 55 mph to 45 mph, and apply when normal conditions do not exist (narrow lanes, edge drop-offs, lane reduction, etc.) for the motorist. This could also apply when construction equipment or a temporary obstruction is within close proximity to open lanes of traffic.
SPRINGFIELD – Representative Christine Winger (R—Wood Dale) passed legislation out of committee today which is the first step in obtaining data necessary to implement noise reduction processes at O’Hare Airport, a measure that would finally bring some relief to area residents.

Winger testified in the House Committee on Transportation that HB 3251 requires the State of Illinois to collect airport noise complaints. The complaint data will be used by the experts hired by the Suburban O’Hare Commission (SOC) in their analysis and in making recommendations for improvement to airport operations and processes.
Rep. Christine Winger passed legislation out of the House today that will help Illinois schools attract and retain high quality teachers.

The bill was introduced 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.

HB 2657 adjusts and extends the timeframe in which out-of-state teacher applicants may take Illinois teacher licensure tests. Under HB 2657, rigorous licensure standards remain only the timeframe for completing the process will be 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.”

Tornado Outbreak – Rochelle Area
Tornado that hit Rochelle and Fairdale classified as EF-4 twister. The classification placed the deadly April 9 Fairdale tornado in the next-to-the-highest category of storm severity. As of Wednesday, April 15, two persons were confirmed dead. Massive property damage was being inventoried assessed. Governor Bruce Rauner has mobilized the State of Illinois’ emergency-response efforts and declared DeKalb and Ogle Counties to be disaster areas.
Rep. Christine Winger is urging residents impacted by adverse aircraft noise from O'Hare Airport to file electronic witness slips for two bills designed to help provide relief. Those bills will be heard in a House Committee in Springfield on Tuesday, April 21 at 10 a.m.

"The committee hearing is an important opportunity for those impacted by O'Hare Noise to voice their concerns to state lawmakers," explains Winger. "However, not everyone can drop everything on a moment's notice to come to Springfield. Filing a witness slip online is the next best thing."

Representative Winger will present testimony to members of the House Committee on Transportation: Vehicles & Safety on HB 3251. She is the chief sponsor of this legislation that requires the state of Illinois to provide a mechanism for residents to file a complaint with the state rather than compelling residents of the suburbs to submit complaints to Chicago authorities. The purpose of the legislation is to add accountability measures to the reporting process and ensure impartial authorities will hear suburban residents’ concerns.

The committee will also hear testimony on HB 1340, co-sponsored by Rep. Winger. HB 1340 changes the way and types of air traffic noise data that is collected and reported. It also adds the concept of community noise equivalent levels. Data will show noise level experiences in and around O'Hare Airport during different hours of each of the days that make up the 12-month period. 

Additionally, the noise levels collected will be weighted to reflect the greater impact of noise experienced after 7:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. in each 24-hour day: and data collected in each 24-hour cycle is then aggregated into a 12-month community noise equivalent level for each community. 

Filing an online witness slip is simple and does not require those who complete the form to attend the hearing. Individuals will need to complete a witness slip for each piece of legislation they support. 



In an effort to protect wards of the state, State Representative Christine Winger (R-Bloomingdale) passed legislation out of the Illinois House today that initiates a recommendation made at a legislative hearing scrutinizing the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Rep. Winger’s legislation specifically targets allegations of abuse at state-supported youth residential facilities.

At the hearing, a former ward of the state testified 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. She explained that oftentimes residents felt they needed anonymity to report wrongdoing or risk retaliation from their abusers.
Today we remembered the life and death of Abraham Lincoln with a gathering at the Lincoln Statue and with speeches on the House Floor.

Here is the transcript of Rep. Winger's Speech:

Illinois’ Abraham Lincoln left a legacy that has lasted 150 years after his death and I have no doubt it will linger 150 more. 

His legacy is one of fearlessness, commitment to principals and love of country. And, while history has made Lincoln a hero, he was not always valued in his lifetime.  

When I was a child, like all Illinois children, I was inspired by the 16th president of the United States. Inspired by his resilience and integrity. By his battle to abolish slavery. By his masterfully strategic efforts to unify a torn nation. By his love and adoration for his family. 

And, he was one of us, an Illinoisan. 

Now that I’m an adult, I admire him for precisely all the same reasons. 

Lincoln frequently asked himself: “WHAT has God put me in this place for?” He strove to live a meaningful life and followed a path that would ultimately lead him to his calling.

“How hard – Oh how hard it is to die and leave one’s Country no better than if one had never lived for it,” Lincoln once lamented to his law partner, William Herndon. 

To that I say:  Mr. Lincoln, you lived your life admirably. And, when you died you left your country appreciably better off. 

We are a grateful nation.

A kinder, gentler Suburban O’Hare Commission Wednesday unveiled the team of experts it has hired to find ways to reduce airport jet noise — a group that makes it clear they want to work with the city, not against it.

Former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) official Joseph Del Balzo said during a committee meeting in Elk Grove Village that he is not out to shut down airport operations.

“There are no villains here,” he said.

Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson hosted the meeting and for years was one of the most vocal critics of the O’Hare expansion plan. But he said the consultants are trying to convey a new attitude when requesting information, and a combined effort.

“The letters they sent out to Chicago and the FAA are very conciliatory. It’s, ‘Let’s work together,'” he said.

Johnson said the team has short-term and long-term goals.

“We’re not looking to cut operations,” Johnson said. “We’re not looking to hurt the airport financially. What we’re just trying to do is make some minor operational changes that can help minimize the impact.” CBS Chicago has the story.