Normalcy for kids in Foster Care
Rep. Winger advances bill to improve lives of youth in care of the state. Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Christine Winger (R- Wood Dale) that would instill a little normalcy in the lives of Illinois foster children passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives late last week. 

With the permission of their parents, spending the night at a friend’s house, going on a school field trip and holding a summer jobs are all normal activities for most Illinois children. It is not the case for children in the state’s Foster Care system who must get the permission of bureaucrats before they engage in these and many other activities.
Legislation sponsored by State Rep. Christine Winger (R- Wood Dale) that would instill a little normalcy in the lives of Illinois foster children passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives late last week.

With the permission of their parents, spending the night at a friend’s house, going on a school field trip and holding a summer jobs are all normal activities for most Illinois children. It is not the case for children in the state’s Foster Care system who must get the permission of bureaucrats before they engage in these and many other activities.
Veterans
Winger bill establishing more Veteran Treatment Courts is headed to the Senate. Legislation sponsored by State Representative Christine Winger to increase the number of Veteran Treatment Courts in Illinois overwhelmingly passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday.

“Veterans risked their lives to protect our nation, we owe them the opportunity for rehabilitation,” explained Winger. “It’s our responsibility to take care of our servicemembers when they return from duty especially when minor offenses are often attributed to trauma from their time in service to our country.”
Legislation sponsored by State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) to increase the number of Veteran Treatment Courts in Illinois overwhelmingly passed out of the Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday. 

“Veterans risked their lives to protect our nation, we owe them the opportunity for rehabilitation,” explained Winger. “It’s our responsibility to take care of our servicemembers when they return from duty especially when minor offenses are often attributed to trauma from their time in service to our country.”
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) and the Illinois Secretary of State’s office recently announced the resumption of vehicle emissions test notice mailings following a previous suspension due to the budget impasse.

In February, Illinois EPA and the Secretary of State’s Office made an announcement regarding vehicle emissions test notices and vehicle (license plate) renewal procedures. Illinois EPA was forced to suspend the mailing of vehicle emissions test notices beginning December 2015 due to the budget impasse. Vehicle owners whose license plates expire at the end of March 2016 were the first motorists who will not receive the vehicle emissions test notice.
Budget – Auditor General report
Comprehensive annual financial report for FY15 released. The report, generated by the office of Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino, showed continuing deterioration in the ability of the State to meet its general funds cash flow needs through tax payments and other cash flow intake transfers. The cumulative Illinois general fund deficit grew in FY15 from $6.7 billion on June 30, 2014 to $6.9 billion on June 30, 2015. This cumulative deficit reflects the fact that Illinois’ budget has run in the red each of the past 14 years.
Rep. Winger appeared before the House Revenue Committee on Wednesday to provide testimony on HB 4396 a bill she sponsored to help residents impacted by noise caused by the expansion of O'Hare airport.

The legislation would provide an income tax credit for residents affected by the expansion of O'Hare airport who soundproof their home but who don't qualify for the federal grant program.

Watch video from  her testimony.


Rep. Christine Winger advanced legislation on Tuesday that would instill a little normalcy in the lives of Illinois foster children.

Spending time at a friend’s house, taking school trips, attending prom, holding a summer job, even having a Facebook page are normal activities for many Illinois youth. “Most would agree these experiences help young people develop interests, acquire skills, understand cultural differences and build relationships,” explained Winger. “While we take these experiences for granted, it is not the case for Illinois foster kids.”
Budget – FY16
Illinois budget impasse sets modern record among 50 U.S. states. With the coming of April 2016, the FY16 budget impasse entered its tenth month. According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), which maintains a database of the actions of legislative bodies nationwide, this is the longest time that any U.S. state has gone without a budget in the history of modern governmental activity.

There has been no state budget in place since June 30, 2015, the last day of FY15. The General Assembly was not able to pass a constitutional balanced budget in spring 2015 for FY16, and their subsequent meetings have not resolved the impasse. While some facets of State spending have completely stopped, other areas – especially areas of social spending controlled by court orders, consent decrees, and continuing appropriations – are generating increasing liabilities for taxpayers. Comptroller Leslie Munger has warned lawmakers that at current rates the State and its taxpayers will face a backlog of $10 billon in unpaid bills by the time the current fiscal year ends on June 30, 2016.