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 RepWinger.com.



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 http://www.faa.gov/airports/airport_development/omp/eis_re-eval/

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?
A.
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.