Budget – FY16
House, Senate Democrats introduce fake State budget. House and Senate Democrats introduced a series of spending bills for FY16 (starting July 1, 2015) that spends more than $4 billion what nonpartisan revenue estimates expect the state to bring in. Ignoring their constitutional responsibility to enact a balanced budget, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate rammed through spending bills they readily admit they cannot pay for, while at the same time walking away from the reform negotiations Governor Rauner has called for.
Calls for a balanced and responsible budget went unheeded this week by Illinois House Democrats who passed a budget that spends $4 billion more than the state receives in revenue. In response, State Representative Christine Winger issued the following statement:

“The residents of this state deserve more than this.  They called for bipartisan solutions in the last election, and are not getting what they asked for. Instead politics as usual prevailed and once again an unbalanced budget was adopted by the House majority.”

“It is shameful that the Constitutional provision requiring a balanced budget can be so blatantly disregarded by the majority party with no consequence.”
Representative Christine Winger introduced HR500 this week, a measure that would reward airlines for utilizing voluntary federal Fly Quiet protocols when landing at and departing from O’Hare International Airport.

The Fly Quiet Program was adopted by the City of Chicago in 1997 to reduce the noise impact on residents living around O’Hare airport. Currently, pilots and air traffic controllers are encouraged, but not mandated, to use Fly Quiet designated runways and flight tracks during nighttime hours. These routes direct aircraft over less-populated areas, such as forest preserves and highways, as well as commercial and industrial areas to reduce the impact of noise on residential neighborhoods.
Representative Christine Winger joined fellow Republican freshman legislators today to share their frustration with the repressive partisan environment in Springfield. Calling for term limits, Winger and the other lawmakers expressed disgust with the current situation.

“Status quo is rampant in the state of Illinois. For far too long Illinois has suffered at the hands of entrenched politicians stifling new ideas and solutions,” said Winger. “That’s why I am joining my Republican colleagues today to call for a constitutional amendment for term limits on members in the General Assembly.”
Yesterday, I joined with colleagues who represent communities surrounding O’Hare airport in sending a letter to the Attorney General asking her “to intervene on behalf of those Illinois residents directly affected by the unbearable noise coming from the airport due to horizontal runways.”

This bipartisan effort comes on the heels of news accounts that the City of Chicago was planning to prematurely decommission diagonal runways at O’Hare. All the lawmakers who are referenced on the letter are cosponsors of legislation designed to ensure at least two diagonal runways remain intact until further studies about reducing noise are completed.
O’Hare International Airport was the site of 881,993 aircraft movements in calendar year 2014, making O’Hare the world’s busiest airport in terms of takeoffs and landings.

Homeowners who live near the newly expanded airport are affected by airport noise, especially noise from aircraft as they take off and climb into the sky. SB 636, legislation co-sponsored by State Rep. Christine Winger was amended in House committee on Thursday, May 14 and was passed to the House Floor. As amended, the bill will require O’Hare Airport to change the way it measures airport noise and gathers data to respond to noise complaints.

The language of SB 636 as amended will require that these noise monitors be loaded with software that will enable them to differentiate between different sound pressures, gauge what time of day the aircraft noise is heard, and gather other data. If the bill passes in the House it will be sent back to the Senate for concurrence.
Property Taxes
Trick bag; no property tax relief in sight. Once again the Democrat-controlled House brought sham legislation to a vote for the sole purpose of putting Republican lawmakers in a trick bag and embarrassing the new Governor.

House Republicans have long worked to provide Illinoisans with much needed and deserved property tax relief. Each year members of the House Republican Caucus introduce legislation that would deliver property tax relief and each year the Democrats block those measures. The real roadblock to property tax relief has been the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.
Taxpayers won a victory this week when the House of Representatives approved a resolution that will launch a detailed performance audit of the College of DuPage to be conducted by the Illinois Auditor General.

House Resolution 55, co-sponsored by State Representative Christine Winger, was filed in response to the decision of the College of DuPage Board of Directors to provide outgoing College President Dr. Robert Brueder with a $763,000 severance package in exchange for his early departure.

Attention All Employers!

State Rep. Christine Winger is encouraging area employers looking for job applicants to participate in a District 45 jobs fair:

Wednesday July 29, 2015

Itasca Park District
350 E. Irving Park Rd., Itasca, IL

Click below for more information, and to reserve your spot today!

Pensions – Illinois Supreme Court SB 1 Ruling
Illinois Supreme Court strikes down pension reform law. On Friday, May 8, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously reaffirmed a lower circuit court ruling on State pension system reforms contained in SB 1 (P.A. 98-599). In response to enactment of P.A. 98-599, five separate actions were filed in Cook County and Sangamon County courts to enjoin implementation of the pension reforms, claiming the reforms were unconstitutional due to a violation of the provision in the Illinois Constitution (Article XIII, Section 5) that asserts pensions are a contractual right and cannot be diminished or impaired. The five suits were subsequently consolidated into one action in Sangamon County Circuit Court.
Easy, quick fixes could start minimizing noise from reconfigured runways at O’Hare Airport immediately without impacting airport operations, aviation and public affairs experts hired by the Suburban O’Hare Commission (SOC) say.

On the job only a month, consultant Joseph Del Balzo, president of Maryland-based JDA Aviation Technology Solutions, and representatives of Lockridge Grindal Nauen (LGN) Aviation Policy Group brought some early suggestions to SOC’s Wednesday, Apr. 1 meeting, which aim to lessen airport noise and better track specific aircraft that might be violating fly quiet areas or other rules.

Suggestions included starting takeoffs at the very start of runways, climbing steeper from a 3-degree ascent to a 3.5-degree ascent and landing with a steeper descent further down the runway. Other suggestions included having the airport offer aircraft tracking software on a public website. Read more on Journal & Topics online.
State Representative Christine Winger joined colleagues today at a press conference in Chicago to address adverse noise from O’Hare airport. Officials spoke about the need to provide relief for residents who are experiencing excruciating noise levels from aircraft departures and low landing approaches at O’Hare.

The Illinois General Assembly is currently considering legislation co-sponsored by Winger that will ensure all remedies for reducing noise at O’Hare Airport are on the table for discussion. Together SB636 and SB637 would allow for future consideration of runway options that could reduce noise for the more than one million people who live in the shadow of O’Hare airport.
Budget – FY15 – Social Services Restored
Revenue estimate up; $26 million in State grants to be restored. The State of Illinois has faced continuous challenges in “keeping the lights on” during the final months of FY15. When the Governor’s office changed hands in January, Governor Bruce Rauner found that the FY15 budget passed by Democrat majorities and signed by former Governor Pat Quinn was drastically unbalanced. The General Assembly and the Rauner administration have worked together since that time to shift funds around to cover shortfalls. In some cases, additional cuts were imposed on some agencies and their spending programs.
State Representative Christine Winger is sponsoring a Summer Reading Club, a program that encourages fun and educational reading for young people during the summer months. Studies have shown that reading just 5 books can prevent summer learning loss for students returning to school in the fall.

Rep. Winger's reading program challenges students in kindergarten through fifth grade to read at least eight books on their own during the summer break. Participants choose their own books and keep track of their reading. The students have until July 31 to complete the program.

Those who read all eight books and submit their forms will be invited to a special recognition event in August.
There are challenges facing the state and many tough decisions to be made. As your voice in Springfield it is important I hear from you on the issues of the day. That is why I am asking you to take a few minutes to answer a brief constituent survey. 

Your responses to the survey questions are very valuable and will be my guide in representing you in Springfield.

As aways don't hesitate to contact me by phone at (847) 252-9311, through my website or on Facebook.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Illinois House of Representatives.