FY16 Budget
Governor vetoes unfunded MAP grant bill. SB 2043, passed by legislative Democrats on partisan roll-calls, is a $721 million appropriations bill for higher education, without a funding source to pay for the appropriations. The bill “would explode the State’s budget deficit,” Governor Bruce Rauner explained in his veto message. SB 2043 purported to appropriate FY16 money for Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants and community college programs, but was not backed up by new or existing revenues to the State.
This year Rep. Christine Winger has sponsored and co-sponsored several pieces of legislation to help constituents impacted by O'Hare Airport. Here is a brief synopsis of each.

Ensuring Fly Quiet Compliance
HJR128 (Winger, McAuliffe) – Urging Chicago Airport officials to use latest technology to measure noise and compliance of airlines to Fly Quiet protocols. Also, urges the consideration of Fly Quiet compliance in the allocation of departure gates and support facilities. Calls for a measurable improvement in Fly Quiet compliance by January 1, 2017.

HR1023 (Winger, McAuliffe) – Urging the Chicago Department of Aviation to adopt the Suburban O’Hare Commission Recommendations for Fly Quiet enhancements.

Soundproofing Assistance 
HB4396 & HB5917 (Winger, McAuliffe)– Creating an income tax credit for the purchase of soundproofing materials for eligible homeowners. 

HR960 (McAuliffe, Winger) – Calling upon the Federal Aviation Administration to assist the City of Chicago in the implementation of the provisions of SB636 and to use new CNEL data to promptly redraw contour maps as new airport noise data is submitted. 

Ensuring Safety of Families
HB5040 (Winger, McAuliffe) – Requiring the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a study on the environmental and human health impact of runways and air traffic at O’Hare Airport.


State Rep. Christine Winger (R-45th) of Wood Dale, whose constituents are in the suburbs immediately west of the airport, was joined at the James Thompson Center by State Rep. Michael McAuliffe (R-20th), State Sen. John Mulroe (D-10th), both of Chicago’s Northwest Side, and State Sen. Laura Murphy (D-28) of Des Plaines.

“We are committed to working together to find solutions,” said Winger. “Our constituents deserve no less.”

She is responsible for introducing four of the five legislative efforts.

The shift of air traffic around the airport to a primarily east-west series of runways, through the O’Hare Modernization Program (OMP), has placed increasing noise burdens on communities in their districts. Not all of the areas impacted have been promised any airport-funded soundproofing.
“Every day I hear from my constituents about the difficulty of living near O’Hare because of recent moves being made beyond their control,” McAuliffe said. “We’re calling on our friends in the legislature to help us fight on their behalf.”

The group has been working with legislators of other noise-impacted districts for nearly a year to develop legislative strategies to help meet their goals. Read the story by Anne Lunde in Journal &Topics.

More stories on the topic:
Lawmakers Seek Relief For Homes Plagued By Increased O’Hare Noise
Measures aim to reduce impact of O'Hare's jet noise
Bipartisan effort to help families impacted by O'Hare unveiled
O'Hare-weary homeowners could get insulation tax credits



Illinois lawmakers on Tuesday will outline legislation aimed at offering relief to residents east and west of O’Hare International Airport hard hit by new flight paths.

The package of at least four bills or resolutions includes an attempt to give residents living 20 miles east or west of the airport’s busiest runways tax credits for insulating their homes against the barrage of new jet noise.

Its sponsor, State Rep. Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale), estimated that hundreds of homes outside the current “noise contour” would be eligible for tax credits under the bill. Only houses within the contour currently can receive free sound insulation. Read more by Roslind Rossi in the Chicago SunTimes.
Today Representative Winger hosted a Senior Advisory Council meeting that featured special guest, Bloomingdale Police Chief Giammarese, who led an in depth discussion on safety issues affecting the community. Chief Giammarese touched on a variety of safety related topics such as home burglaries, identity theft, as well as mental health and drug addiction.

Deputy Police Chief Roberts from the Bloomingdale Police Department was also in attendance to answer questions from the group. Both officers emphasized the importance of residents to communicate any concerns or issues with the police department so they can best protect the neighborhoods and make them as safe as possible for residents.

Rep. Winger also took time to answer questions and concerns from the group, as well as discussing legislation pertaining to safety that she is currently working on.

“Today we were able to hear from our local Police Department and learn more about the roles they play to keep our neighborhoods safe. Meeting with this group is always helpful for me to gage their concerns on issues happening in Springfield and at home in our community. It’s a great opportunity to continue to get to know area residents who share valid concerns for our state and community, and I look forward to our future meetings together.”
FY17 Budget Address
Governor delivers budget address to General Assembly. Governor Bruce Rauner addressed a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 17. In his address, the Governor called for “major structural reforms to lower the cost of government, while generating economic growth.” Workers’ compensation reform, lawsuit reform, State and local government consolidation, and reform to the processes used when the public sector negotiates with labor unions, continue to be key planks of the Governor’s Turnaround Agenda. The text of the Governor’s address can be found here.
Weigh-in

When Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his budget address to the Illinois legislature he made it clear he wanted to work across party lines to enact a balanced budget that is "responsible and compassionate." He stated the budget must include reforms that will grow the economy and benefit taxpayers. He offered two directions that would lead to a balanced budget and urged the legislature to choose: Work together to enact cost saving reforms, grow the jobs market and enhance state revenues or drastically reduce spending to bring it in line with revenue.

Weigh-in on the Governor's budget plan.
Economy – Illinois Layoffs
Illinois employers to cut more than 1,100 jobs. The layoffs were made public as part of the WARN Act, a nationwide federal law that requires public notices for a significant subset of job closures. The impending February-March layoffs come on top of a stagnant job climate that saw Illinois suffer a net loss of approximately 3,000 nonfarm payroll positions in calendar year 2015.
Budget – Comptroller’s Report
Comptroller Munger warns of $6.2 billion price for budget gridlock. In a report to Illinois residents on Tuesday, February 2, the Illinois Comptroller projected that Illinois will fall $6.2 billion further behind on its “unpaid bills” in FY16 unless a solution to the budget crisis can be found. Leslie Munger’s office oversees the cash flows of Illinois state government, particularly the “general funds” cash flows that are at the heart of the current crisis. Many of these cash flows are related to State-financed health care, education, and other government services classified as essential.
The Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) has established a scholarship fund to assist mature women (age 25 and older) who wish to continue their undergraduate education. The goal of the scholarship is to focus on deserving, qualified women whose educations were interrupted due to family concerns and economic problems. Particular consideration will emphasize women who have shown leadership promise through community service.

The one year undergraduate scholarship will cover tuition, books and fees up to $2500 per year, including summer school. Applicants for the scholarship must meet certain requirements to be eligible. In addition to being a woman 25 years of age or older, she must be an Illinois resident and plan to attend an accredited on-campus school in Illinois for at least six semester hours (online college are not eligible).

The scholarship application instructions,  application & Waiver of Confidentiality can be downloaded from the COWL website.

Application materials must be postmarked no later than April 15, 2016 to be considered and all applicants will be notified by May 31, 2016. COWL Scholarship Program is for the 2016-2017 Academic Year.
Representative Christine Winger welcomed six students from Westfield Middle School in Bloomingdale to her District Office to celebrate their art work, which proudly hangs in the Representative’s Student Art Gallery. The student’s work was carefully selected by their art teacher, Deyana Matt, and included a great variety of pictures and paintings displaying various mediums and lots of color.

Representative Winger’s Student Art Gallery rotates art every quarter, and each time new art is hung, the students and their families are invited to a special party to celebrate, see their artwork displayed and meet their Representative.

“I always enjoy meeting students in our community. To see the work and creativity that went into these pictures is truly remarkable. Art is so important to education and student development, I think celebrating these artists is a great motivator and helps them learn to create and appreciate visual aesthetics. Being able to celebrate these very talented students is such an honor and something that I look forward to doing every quarter.”