With the arrival of the New Year comes a series of new laws enacted by the State of Illinois. This year, over 200 new laws will take effect on January 1. These include bills for small technical corrections as well as major pieces of legislation.

Click below for a recap of these new laws which will be on the books next year.  For more information on all the bills in the General Assembly, visit www.ilga.gov.

This week the effort to reduce the noise in the communities surrounding O’Hare Airport made significant progress with the approval of the Fly Quiet Plan. The plan calls for a greater use of the diagonal runways that run northeast and southwest, which will help alleviate jet traffic noise in the areas east and west of the airport.

Various runway configurations would be used and alternated in eight-week rotations to more fairly distribute jet noise when airplanes fly in and out of the airport. Fly Quiet gained much support from neighboring airport communities, which have experienced the most noise and would get some much needed relief under this plan.

The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, which is comprised of representatives of more than 50 area municipalities and school districts, voted and passed the plan on Friday. There was strong support for the Fly Quiet plan, and the momentum of this decision will move it forward to the Chicago Department of Aviation for further approval.

The final decision before implementation would be presented to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The House of Representatives voted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of SB1351, a bill that would create the Student Loan Servicing Rights Act. This was an initiative of the Illinois Attorney General’s Office to help address the growing problem of student loan debt and the alleged abuse by student loan servicing companies.

In 2017 the Attorney General’s Office sued Navient, the largest student loan servicer in the country over allegations of abuse on student loan servicing and student loan debt collection. The Attorney General backed this legislative measure to create a student loan bill of rights, so that borrowers can have a greater understanding of the payment processing, billing statements, payment histories, and an overall more transparent process to all aspects of student loans.

This legislation also creates the position of Student Loan Ombudsman within the Office of the Attorney General, which will help provide timely assistance to student loan borrowers who are experiencing problems with loans. In addition, every student loan servicer must be licensed with IDFPR, who are charged with overseeing, investigating, examining, and disciplining servicers for any violations of the Act.

Representative Winger voted in favor of the veto override, recognizing the necessity of providing many Illinois residents and students with more understanding of their rights, responsibilities, and options when it comes to loans.

“Student loans are a heavy burden to bear, and many students after graduating college have trouble navigating their loan debt, as well as understanding the process,” said Winger. “This bill will help ensure that no student is defrauded by loan servicers. It provides a clear process so students understand their rights and know where to turn to for help along the way.”

Rep. Winger was one of 98 lawmakers supporting the measure in the House, allowing the initial veto of the bill to be successfully overridden.
During legislative veto session in the House of Representatives, a measure to amend the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act was brought forward for consideration. The bill, HB302, is an initiative of State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, to provide beneficiaries with the benefits of all insurance plans that have lapsed, and encourage insurance companies to more aggressively search for beneficiaries following the death of policy holders.

After finding that nearly $550 million was unclaimed in death benefits between 2011 and 2015, Frerichs backed this legislation to ensure money is rightfully paid to family members from life insurance policies. Under this measure, it would make it easier to claim life insurance benefits when a policyholder dies.

According to the bill, life insurance companies would be required to compare electronic records of its policies in force since 2000 with the Social Security Administration’s list of deaths to determine whether a life insurance policy should be paid. Current law only calls for companies to make payments when requested by the beneficiaries.

Representative Winger stood in support of this measure when it was presented during veto session, recognizing the need to put more pressure on life insurance companies to pay what is rightfully owed to beneficiaries.

In the House of Representatives, the veto was overridden with 71 members voting in favor of the bill. The bill will now move to the Senate for consideration, and if the motion to override receives the required votes in that Chamber, HB302 will become law.

Click the above button to view State Representative Christine Winger's 2017 Legislative Newsletter. 

The Drug Enforcement Agency is sponsoring the 14th annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which will be held nationwide on Saturday October 28th.

The DEA started National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to ensure residents can have free access to safe and secure disposal, while also educating the public about the potential for drug abuse through prescription medications. With drug abuse rates at record-highs, this is also an organized effort to relieve prescription drug abuse, especially from opioids, that are used medically but become additive- and can lead to further drug abuse.

Overtime, people acquire prescription drugs, but do not know how to discard of them properly. When these types of prescription drugs are sent to an insecure landfill, or flushed down the toilet, they can cause dangerous contamination. Unneeded or expired prescription drugs should be placed in secure, monitored landfill storage sites that do not leach into groundwater.

Law enforcement agencies around the country are participating to further encourage the safe disposal of prescription drugs. All drugs and containers will be incinerated. Participants do not need to take labels off drug containers before bringing them to the collection sites.

Find the nearest Illinois collection site to you here.

State Representative Christine Winger is hosting a Family Wellness Fair on Saturday October 28th. The event will be held at the Carol Stream Park District, Simkus Recreation Center, 849 Lies Road, from 9:00am-noon.

Admission is free and the event is open to the public. Representative Winger is excited to present this great opportunity to her constituents, and encourages all area residents and their families to attend to learn more about health, wellness, and safety—and to meet their Representative.

“This fair will have many different organizations giving information, free screenings, and help to those looking to learn more about health and wellness,” said Winger. “This event covers a variety of areas necessary to living a healthy life, and is focused on families. From children to seniors, this event will bring together the various resources families should know about in the community, so they can live a healthy lifestyle and make wellness a priority.”
Some of the screenings available include free flu shots for Medicare B recipients, blood pressure, hearing, and more. In addition to health screenings, representatives from state agencies will be at the event to provide resources on state services. Resources and information on nutrition, college savings plans, senior services, and safety will also be available.

For more information on the event, contact Rep. Winger’s District Office at (847) 252-9311.
State Representative Christine Winger visited the Elmer H. Franzen School in Itasca to serve as the school’s Principal for the Day. The Principal for the Day program is an initiative of the Illinois Principals Association, and provides opportunities for school principals and administrators to build relationships with their State and Federal lawmakers. Lawmakers visit local schools to serve as principals in a variety of capacities, like interacting with educators, students, speaking to classes and performing administrative duties throughout the visit. 

Representative Winger was excited to participate in this year’s program at the Elmer H. Franzen school, and spent her time there meeting students, receiving a building tour, and even testing her four square skills at recess.

Rep. Winger met with the third grade class at the school to spend time discussing state government and her role in the House of Representatives. She especially enjoyed answering their questions about the House of Representatives.

After the historic education funding agreement was passed in the legislature this summer, Winger was eager to visit schools in her 45th district. “Visiting the local school districts and talking with educators is important to gaining a better understanding of what our students need and how current resources are being used,” said Winger. “The students I met today at the Franzen School were impressive and asked intelligent questions on state government, and I was happy to spend my time listening and learning with them.”

Winger also had time to sit down with school principal, Jason Taylor, to learn more about the school administration, history, and concerns for the upcoming school year.

The Representative hopes she will be able to again serve as a Principal for the Day throughout her district, and is looking forward to some students visiting her in Springfield during session.

The effort to repeal the sweetened beverage tax levied on residents of Cook County culminated in a vote today, after 15 Cook County Commissioners stated their support to eliminate it.

State Representative Christine Winger has been a strong opponent of the pop tax since it took effect on August 2nd. Like many lawmakers at the state and local level, Rep. Winger believed the new tax put an unfair burden on Cook County, and stood in support of legislation in the Illinois House of Representatives to repeal it.

Many residents in the county have been unhappy about the added financial cost of buying sweetened beverages, and the movement to repeal the tax has gained momentum over the summer.

Rep. Winger’s legislative district encompasses a portion of Cook County, and she heard first-hand the opposition to the penny-per-ounce tax from residents and businesses alike. She was relieved that Cook County finally took the appropriate action to repeal the tax, especially after the strong opposition only continued to escalate.

“Today’s repeal of the pop tax was the right move. Now our residents and businesses can rest assured that there is an end in sight to this unfair and unnecessary tax,” said Winger.

The Representative heard from local businesses that were severely impacted by the tax, which caused residents in the area to travel a short distance out of the county to not pay the extra price for sweetened beverages and goods.

“This tax was an unfair disadvantage for businesses in the area. With the repeal, the playing field is level again for the businesses on the collar of Cook County.”

The tax will officially end starting December 1st, making it one of the shortest taxes in history.

59 people were killed and at least 527 injured in Las Vegas Sunday night after a mass shooting tragedy occurred at a country music festival. This is the largest mass shooting in history, and the Las Vegas community as well as Americans nationwide have rallied to help those in need following the attack.

State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale), released the following statement:

“The recent tragedy in Las Vegas is devastating. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families and I will continue to keep them in my prayers. It is heart breaking to continue to see this type of tragedy and my thoughts are with the entire Las Vegas community. We are here for you and we are thinking about you.”

Rep. Winger also noted several organizations that are mobilizing to help victims of the shooting, like Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada, the American Red Cross (Southern Nevada Chapter), and the National Compassion Fund.

Steve Sisolak, the Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas, has also set up a GoFundMe page for victims of the shooting. His goal is to provide relief and financial support to the victims and families of the horrific Las Vegas mass shooting, and the fund has already raised over $3 million dollars.
Rep. Winger pictured at the Shred Event with
volunteer, Gus Mehilos.
State Representative Christine Winger recently hosted a paper shredding event sponsored by the Village of Bloomingdale and DuPage County.

The Bloomingdale event drew a crowd of area residents, who dropped off documents to be safely shredded and discarded on site. Representative Winger has sponsored a local paper shred event every year to conveniently provide residents with an easy opportunity to ensure documents with sensitive information are discarded in the right way—to prevent personal information being stolen and used for fraud or identity theft.

“Every year I like to sponsor a paper shredding event,” said Winger. “It is so important to protect your information, and hosting this event gives residents the peace of mind, knowing papers with sensitive information are discarded the right way to prevent any wrongdoing.”

Shredding documents to ensure personal information and data is destroyed is now more important than ever. Identity theft is on the rise, with last year 15.4 million American’s information being used fraudulently. This was a 16% increase from the previous year, and one of the reasons Rep. Winger likes to remind her constituents to take the extra step to protect their information.

Identity theft is the most common through the loss or theft of a purse or wallet, mail theft, and fraudulent address changes. Online identity theft is also an increasing threat, and it is important to stay vigilant and take the necessary precautions to ensure you and your family’s information remains secure.

Should you feel your information has been compromised, the Illinois Attorney General has created an identity theft hotline. You can call the hotline number, 1-866-999-5630, should you have concerns, or visit the website for more information on identity theft in Illinois.

When not in Springfield, Rep. Winger is out in the community listening to constituents and learning about issues important to the district. Below are just of few of the people she had the honor od meeting with in the last 30 days:

Residents of the Ray Graham Association for People with Disabilities in Bloomingdale met with Rep. Winger to discuss issues important to them.
Rep Winger and volunteers from Fetching Tails Foundation at the CS Barks Festival in Carol Stream to promote pet adoption and the humane treatment of animals. 
Rep. Winger participated in the annual Northeast DuPage Special Recreation Association Golf Outing to benefit children and adults with disabilities.
Each year Rep. Winger sponsors a summer reading club for area students and brings the readers together for an ice cream social at the end of summer.

Equifax, an Atlanta based credit-rating agency, suffered a security breach on July 29th that exposed sensitive information of millions of Americans.   Such information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, birthdays, and addresses. It has been determined that 5.4 million Illinois residents have been affected by the breach.

The company has set up a website where you can check if your personal information was affected by the breach: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has opened an investigation into the recent security breach, and called on Equifax to provide free credit freezes to all Illinois residents in the wake of the breach. She urges Illinois residents to take the Equifax breach seriously and take steps to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft:

· Seriously consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reports with all 3 consumer reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax;

· Regularly request your free credit reports, inspect them closely, and promptly dispute any unauthorized accounts;

· Inspect all financial account statements closely and promptly dispute any unauthorized charges;

· Consider placing alerts on your financial accounts so your financial institution alerts you when money above a pre-designated amount is withdrawn;

· Beware of potential phishing emails; don't open any email messages or attachments from unknown senders and do not click on any unknown links. Fraudsters will frequently send coercive and misleading emails threatening account suspension or worse if sensitive information is not provided. Remember, businesses will never ask customers to verify account information via email. If in doubt, contact the business in question directly for verification and to report phishing emails; and

· Be on the lookout for spoofed email addresses. Spoofed email addresses are those that make minor changes in the domain name, frequently changing the letter O to the number zero, or the lowercase letter l to the number one. Scrutinize all incoming email addresses to ensure that the sender is truly legitimate.

With questions on the data breach, you can contact Equifax at 866-447-7559, or the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630.
Representative Winger’s legislation to allow premium finance companies to send notices or documents electronically was recently signed into law. While previous legislation provides for insurance companies to do so, this bill extends this option to include premium finance companies. 

Delivering notices and important documents by electronic means provides for more efficient communications between consumers and companies. The legal effectiveness, validity, or enforceability of any agreements in documents sent electronically is to be considered the same as if sent in another manner. Some exclusions apply, but this will largely improve efficiency.

The need for this legislation was brought to Representative Winger’s attention by a local business, who recognized the necessity of providing this means of document transfer to a larger scope of businesses.

The bill, HB3244, passed smoothly with wide support in both the House and Senate and was signed by Governor Rauner on September 8th, becoming Public Act 100-0495.

State Representative Christine Winger is a sponsor of this year’s CS Barks Dog Festival which is held annually by the Carol Stream Park District.

This year’s festival will be held on Sunday September 10th from 10:00am-3:00pm at the Carol Stream Town Center.

The Festival is filled with dog performances, demos, and contests. There will be Frisbee dog demonstrations, K-9 Noseworks demonstrations, Canine Good Citizens and Trick Dog testing and much more. Vendors will also be present for dog owners at the nearby Fido Shopping Mall, and a trolley will be in service to shuttle both dogs and their owners around the site.

All dogs and their owners are welcome to attend this free event, but must all dogs must be leashed and vaccinated.

Rep. Winger has participated in this event for years, and this year is a proud sponsor. With questions, feel free to contact Rep. Winger’s District Office at (847) 252-9311.

As we watched the devastation in Houston unfold, we’ve tried to figure out how to harness the power of our own community to be a positive force for change and today we’re asking for your help.
Whether it’s just a few items or a whole pallet of supplies, we welcome individuals and fellow businesses in our community to drop off whatever you can manage to:

This community has shown we are capable of amazing things, now let’s help another community to build itself again.
We can accept donations from September 1st through September 18th
10:00 AM – 8:00 PM Monday – Friday
Noon – 7:00 PM – Saturday

Bath Soap
Smoke Detector
Pine Sol
Flashlight with Batteries
Disposable Razors
Bleach Wipes
Heavy Duty Garbage Bags
Shaving Cream
Bottles of Bleach
Garbage Cans
Dishwashing Liquid
Laundry Basket
Nail Clipper
Laundry Detergent
Aluminum Foil
Hand Sanitizer
Broom and Dustpan
Light Bulbs
Towels & Washcloths
Paper Towels
Duct Tape/Scotch Tape
Feminine Hygiene Products
Sealed Dry Storage Containers
Heavy Duty Work Gloves
First Aid Kits
Disposable Gloves
Contact Solution/Cases
Disposable Face Masks
Sledge Hammers
Cases of Water
Shower Curtain
Baby Diapers/Wipes
Toilet Paper
Gas Gift Cards
Toilet Brush
Dog/Cat Food
Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Blankets/Bed Sheets

For additional information, contact Bill Wolff @ 630.363.4560
Today the Illinois House of Representatives approved SB1947 which will allocate necessary state funding for education to school districts state-wide. The bill represented a compromised agreement from legislative leaders to reform school funding in Illinois. Special session convened today in Springfield for a vote on the bill, which passed with bipartisan support.

State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) supported the measure that utilizes an Evidence-Based Funding Formula to adequately and equitably fund Illinois schools.

“The funding formula has been broken for too long,” said Winger. “Today’s agreement is a historic step forward for education funding, one that will help our students have the opportunities they deserve to succeed while also ensuring all school districts are treated fairly.”

This model creates an adequacy target for each school district to prioritize funding. Under this bill, no school district will lose money, but rather it secures historic funding levels for all Illinois school districts.

Rep. Winger noted the mandate and property tax relief provided in the bill as extremely beneficial as it “provides greater flexibility for school districts, and also more opportunities for students,” said Winger.

The bill replaces the daily Physical Education requirement in schools with a minimum requirement of three days per week. It also allows 7th-12th graders to be exempt from Physical Education if they participate in athletics. Also included is a property tax referendum to give certain homeowners the ability to reduce their property taxes with a property tax relief provision.

Effective immediately, the passage of SB1947 allows funding to be allocated to school districts.
The Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test program was created by the Chicago Department of Aviation to determine whether alternating flight patterns across different runways at night would better disperse noise and reduce noise levels experienced by residents impacted by O’Hare Airport.

The third O’Hare Fly Quiet Runway Rotation Test began the evening of July 23, 2017 and continues for 12 weeks, through the Week of October 8th. Each new week, the tests will begin on Sunday evening at 10 p.m.or after, when demand allows for one arrival and one departure runway.

The purpose of conducting a third test is to test in real time a runway rotation without the use of diagonal runway 15/33, which is slated to be decommissioned in the spring of 2018.

You can find more information on the Fly Quiet program here, and to view the entire schedule for the current 12-week test click here.

Representative Winger has diligently worked to provide noise relief for area residents through legislative initiatives in the General Assembly. “Hearing feedback from area residents on these tests is vital to their success and to finding the best solution that will provide the most relief,” said Winger. The Representative encourages residents to fill out the brief survey about the current Fly Quiet runway test to provide their feedback.

The survey will be available until October 14th. All questions must be answered in order to complete the survey.

Two of State Representative Christine Winger’s bills were recently signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner.

HB3240 and HB3251 are now public acts. The bills represent two important initiatives Rep. Winger worked on this year in the General Assembly, to better provide for the safety and well-being of the 45th District community.

HB3240 sets a deadline for implementation of the O’Hare noise monitoring upgrade already approved and mandated by the Illinois General Assembly. The community has been largely affected by adverse effects, especially increased noise, from O’Hare Airport. This bill will provide for the necessary noise monitoring upgrades—and ensure they are implemented by June 30, 2018.

HB3251 creates the offense of illegal electronic monitoring in the statute concerning cyberstalking. Rep. Winger filed this bill to help protect citizens’ privacy and safety from spyware and tracking software being unknowingly installed or downloaded onto cell phones for the purpose of harassment or stalking.

Both bills became effective as law when they were signed by the Governor on August 18th, 2017.

Chicago, IL – State Representative Christine Winger (R- Bloomingdale) stood alongside House Republican colleagues Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), Peter Breen (R-Lombard), Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), and Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) today to introduce legislation, House Bill 4082, to immediately repeal the one-cent-per-ounce Cook County Sweetened Beverage Tax.

The tax, which went into effect on August 2, will result in Cook County consumers having to pay on average 67 percent more for a 2-liter of pop, 43 percent more for a gallon of juice drink or sweetened iced tea, and 29 percent more for a 12-pack.

“Longstanding small businesses that have been pivotal in the community are going to suffer, especially when residents can walk less than a mile to a different store in a county that isn’t affected by the tax to buy their goods,” said Rep. Winger. “Residents will choose a different store over one they have gone to for years to avoid paying this. I have heard first-hand the severity this tax has already had in its first two weeks. Some say sales have already dropped 80% on certain products.”

Specifically, House Bill 4082 would prevent any home rule county from imposing a tax on sweetened beverages based on volume sold. It applies to any county ordinance adopted on or before the effective date of the bill, repealing the existing Cook County ordinance.

The City of Philadelphia recently enacted a similar, 1.5-cent-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages to pay for universal preschool. Following the implementation of the tax, beverage sales fell by as much as 50 percent and more than 400 jobs were lost. Additionally, actual beverage tax collections for the first six months are $6.9 million below the city’s estimate of $46.2 million.

The impact on Cook County is expected to be even more devastating. An economic analysis in 2016 found that the beverage tax, which Cook County estimates to provide $67.5 million in new revenue in 2017 and $200.6 million in 2018, could result in a loss of 6,100 jobs, $321 million in lost wages and $1.3 billion in lost economic activity. There have already been a number of complaints and lawsuits as retailers struggle to comply with the implementation of the tax.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently notified Cook County that portions of the tax were illegal and that the state could stand to lose more than $86 million in federal funding if the problems are not resolved.

Additionally, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission has voiced its concerns with Cook County as well, stating that the new tax “may lead to practices that violate the Illinois Liquor Control Act.”

Today Governor Bruce Rauner issued a proclamation calling for Special Session in Springfield, to further urge action on school funding reform.

SB1 is the current education funding reform bill that passed both Chambers in the General Assembly on May 31st, but since then, no further action has been taken on the bill due to a procedural move by Democrats in the Illinois Senate.

As is, schools cannot open in the fall. While $778 million in funds for K-12 education were allocated in the budget passed earlier this month, they cannot be distributed until a new evidence based education funding model is passed.

Governor Rauner has stated his plans to issue an amendatory veto of SB1, and remove the Chicago Public Schools’ pension bailout within the legislation. The bill currently gives CPS $221 million for their pension costs through the school funding formula. While other school districts are funded through the state pension code, CPS is the only school district that pays the employer contribution for their teacher pensions.

In its current form, SB1 directs 64% of all new funds for education to Chicago Public Schools, which represents $495 of the $778 million--despite the fact that CPS has only 19% of the state’s student population. The evidence based funding model uses tiers to determine the schools that are in the greatest need; money is given first to the neediest school districts. Yet because of distortions, CPS was moved to a tier one school district allowing them to get a larger share of new money.

The alternate plan to school funding reform would fairly distribute new money to all schools statewide, instead of favoring one district over all the rest. Governor Rauner recently launched a website to help calculate individual school district’s school funding under SB1124. Using this model, more funding would be given to every school district.

Special session will convene Wednesday in Springfield where lawmakers will continue to work toward an agreeable solution.

House Bill 4069 is good for all the state’s 852 school districts. Unlike Senate Bill 1, the legislation does not single out one district to pit students from different regions against each other. Instead, all schools are all treated the same under a formula that is the same for everyone regardless of their zip code.
State Representative Christine Winger recently held an informational property tax seminar, where she gathered local tax assessors to help explain the property tax assessment and appeal process. The event helped area residents understand how their properties are assessed and provided information about the appeal process, should they find their assessments unfair.

Property tax assessors from Bloomingdale, Addison, Wayne and Hanover Townships helped give a detailed presentation. During the event, Rep. Winger also addressed the state’s property tax issue and discussed legislation considered in the general assembly on the matter. “This event gives area residents the necessary information, resources and tools to understand exactly how their property tax bills are calculated,” said Winger. With the event held just after area property tax bills were mailed, it gave residents the perfect opportunity to ask any questions about the process specific to their community.

The Representative has hosted this event annually, and each year the event draws a full crowd. “Property taxes are a top issue for my constituents and hosting this event at this time is a priority so everyone in the area has access to the right information,” said Winger.

For questions on the seminar or to request information, please contact Rep. Winger’s District office at (847) 252-9311.
Last week, the House of Representatives adjourned without reaching a budget agreement. The fiscal year deadline was extended to June 30th, giving lawmakers a few more weeks to come to an agreement on the state budget, and a solution to Illinois’ fiscal crisis.

This year the House did not address any budget proposals that make any effort to pay down the state’s massive backlog of bills. Instead, the proposal considered in the Senate proposed to spend $5 billion more than revenue forecast of $32 billion for the fiscal year 2018.

State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) voiced her concern about the lack of a state budget after the close of the spring legislative session in Springfield last week:

“The state budget crisis continues as we concluded legislative session. Continuing to operate without a budget is damaging to all residents and the future of our state. We need a budget that will address the true obligations of our state, and this will only happen through genuine compromise.”

With the unfunded pension liability nearing $130 billion, inadequate and inequitable school funding, and the highest property taxes in the nation, much needs to be accomplished to move Illinois forward. The House of Representatives should continue to meet throughout the month of June in the hopes of reaching a balanced budget agreement.
The O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission (ONCC) will be voting on a third test schedule to measure noise from O’Hare Airport. They will meet on June 3rd to decide the nature of the third test.

The first two testing initiatives used alternate methods to help reduce noise levels surrounding residential communities experience from the airport. The first test began in 2016 and for 25 weeks it tested noise relief efforts by alternating arrival and departure runways for overnight traffic. Due to the popularity of the first test amongst area communities, a second test was commissioned. This second initiative began in late April and for 12 weeks, has incorporated new combinations and patterns for flight arrivals and departures. Still ongoing, this test will conclude in mid-June, and will help improve existing runway rotation plans.

It has since been determined that a third test is needed, which will incorporate a new model. There have been several different suggested plans as to what runways will be used. Such proposals have suggested hybrid pairings of different runways, or alternating between east/west and diagonal runways for nighttime traffic.

Should the ONCC approve the third test for airport noise relief, it is likely to last much longer than the previous two test schedules. Read more on the potential test schedule and plans here.

State Representative Christine Winger has launched her third annual summer reading program.

The program is open to K-5th graders who live in Rep. Winger’s 45th District. Students are asked to read 8 books of their choice, and send their completed reading list form back to Rep. Winger to be invited to a special party in the fall! You can find the brochure here that includes information and instructions on how to participate.

Winger holds her reading program every summer to encourage students to keep learning during their time away from school. “Reading during the summer months is important so students can continue learning and thinking creatively,” said Winger. “This program is a fun opportunity, to keep students engaged and on track, and something that I hope they look forward to participating in every summer,” said the Representative. Rep. Winger wants every student to enjoy their summer vacation, and have fun choosing good books to read!

The program is officially open and will run through August 21st, when forms are due back in Rep. Winger’s District Office. Click here to find out if you live in Rep. Winger’s 45th Legislative District.

Should you have any questions about the program, contact Rep. Winger’s office at (847) 252-9311.
State Representative Christine Winger recently welcomed students from Westfield Middle School to her district office to celebrate their accomplishments in art.

Twice a year, pieces of artwork completed by the Westfield students is hand selected to hang in Rep. Winger’s Student Art Gallery in her district office.

The students are invited to Winger’s office to see their artwork in the gallery, meet their Representative, and celebrate their artistic talents with the fellow artists and their families. Each student that was honored was presented with a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives.

Winger encouraged each artist to speak about their work, and say a few words about their process and final product. “Every piece of artwork chosen this time is very colorful, and adds a great touch to the office” said Winger. “It is wonderful to be able to display the talents of local students’ right here for all to see, and a pleasure to be able to meet each artist in person,” she added.

The student art gallery gives the Representative a unique opportunity to connect with young students in the community, and celebrate their creative learning.

Rep. Winger’s student art gallery incorporates a new group of student art twice a year, something the Representative looks forward to every time, to not only meet with students and hear about their creative learning but also celebrate the great talents in the community.
State Representative Christine Winger passed a consumer protection bill this week in the House. HB3251 aims to prevent cyberstalking, or the electronic monitoring of an individual using spyware or electronic tracking software. 

This offense is committed when a person knowingly installs, conceals, or otherwise places electronic tracking software on an electronic device without the consent of the owner for the purpose of monitoring and following the user.

Current law does not mention this type of electronic tracking or monitoring under the existing criminal offense of cyberstalking. HB3251 extends current law to include the offense, a first violation of which would be declared a Class 4 felony and a second or subsequent conviction is a Class 3 felony.

Thousands of cases of cyberstalking are reported to local police departments each year, with women being the victim in the majority of these cases. Rep. Winger believes this legislation is necessary to protect every citizens’ privacy and safety. When spyware or tracking software is installed, it often is done so for the purpose of harassment or stalking. Winger believes the extension of this bill will specifically help protect victims of domestic violence who are trying to conceal their locations from their abusers.

“With the increase in technology and countless software systems available at our fingertips, we need to increase security and protections in response,” said Winger. “A person should not have to worry about their safety, and this will help provide some assurances. This bill will help prevent any malicious tracking and harassment that unfortunately has become all too common in today’s world.”

HB2351 moves onto the Senate where it will continue to proceed through the legislative process.
State Representative Christine Winger passed House Bill 3244 in the House of Representatives this week. The bill will allow premium finance companies to send notices or documents electronically. While previous legislation provides for insurance companies to do so, this bill extends this option to include premium finance companies.

Delivering notices and important documents by electronic means provides for more efficient communications between consumers and companies. The legal effectiveness, validity, or enforceability of any agreements in documents sent electronically is to be considered the same as if sent in another manner.

This bill was brought to the attention of Rep. Winger by a local business, which recognized the need for this option to be extended to include a larger scope of businesses.  HB3244 passed smoothly in the House and is now under consideration in the Senate.
Another runway rotation test is set to begin on April 30th, in order to further determine the best way to mitigate airplane noise from O’Hare Airport on the surrounding community. This plan will alternate the use of diagonal and parallel runways over a period of 12 weeks.

The new runway rotation plan was approved on March 10th by the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission. This is the second runway rotation test, and has addressed several issues that stemmed from the original test. The Suburban O’Hare Commission analyzed data from the first runway rotation test, sorted out any problems and created an improved runway rotation test. This rotation plan will run over a period of 12 weeks, half the time of the previous test, and it is hoped that this method of testing will be more efficient and effective.

The goal of the newest initiative is to provide relief to the surrounding communities who are the most affected by the airport noise at all hours of the day and night. The data from the new tests will be used to create a new Fly Quiet program that will be implemented in 2018. Beginning at the end of the moth, the new test will run through July 22nd. Learn more about the upcoming test and find the 2017 runway rotation schedule here.
Representative Christine Winger filed several bills in the 100th General Assembly to advocate for those communities in her district who are adversely affected by the noise from O’Hare Airport. Two of her bills on the matter, HB3248 and HB3240 recently passed out of the House and are being considered in the Senate.

HB3248 concerns both the safety and quality of life for residents living nearby the airport. The expansion of O’Hare Airport has only exacerbated such concerns, and this bill calls for the IEPA and IDOT to monitor noise and air pollution over the next two years and produce a written report to the General Assembly by October 31st, 2019 on their findings.

The second piece of legislation, HB3240, mandates the city of Chicago’s Department of Aviation to implement an upgraded noise monitoring system by June 30th, 2018. This system is new smart meter technology so that the airport noise can be measured in real time, to more accurately collect data to gauge the overall impact airport noise has on the surrounding communities.

Rep. Winger’s bills continue to proceed through the legislative process after receiving bipartisan support in the House and moving forward.
State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) led a subject matter hearing today to fight for property tax rights for veterans. The hearing was held in front of the Property Tax Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, where Rep. Winger explained the need for her legislation, HB3195. This legislation would give any veteran who returned from an armed conflict prior to 2007 a homestead tax exemption for the 2017 and 2018 tax year.

While recent veterans are given a onetime property tax exemption, Winger’s bill would extend this exemption to include veterans who returned from active duty prior to 2007.

“This property tax exemption is a small effort we can make to help benefit our veterans who have already given so much for our country,” said Winger. “It is important to equalize this exemption so that all veterans—no matter the war or generation in which they fought can benefit.”

The tax exemption in the current law provides a $5,000 reduction in the EAV of a veteran’s principal residence upon returning from active duty in an armed conflict beginning in the year 2007. The exemption is for two consecutive years, the year the veteran returns from active duty and the following year.
State Representative Christine Winger filed a series of bills concerning the noise from O’Hare Airport and the effects the noise has on the surrounding areas. Today, Rep. Winger moved two bills from this O’Hare Airport Noise initiative forward. Both bills are part of the package of legislation introduced in the 100th General Assembly to bring relief to area residents in the surrounding area from the airport noise, and find more answers to the longer term effects of the airport on the surrounding area.

Today, both pieces of legislation, House Bill 3240 and House Bill 3248 were presented by Rep. Winger to the Transportation Committee in the House, where both passed with no opposition.

House Bill 3240 is an extension of a previous bill passed during the 99th General Assembly, and enforces the measures created in that legislation. The bill mandates the city of Chicago’s Department of Aviation to change and modernize the way it conducts noise monitoring around O’Hare Airport. Winger’s legislation adds a deadline of June 30, 2018 for implementation of an upgraded noise monitoring system. The previous network of noise-monitoring machines will be replaced with new smart meter technology so that airport noise can be measured in real time. The data collected by these noise-monitoring machines will be run through an algorithm that can weigh airport noise by sound pressure and time of day. This number will be calculated to gauge the overall impact the airport noise has on the surrounding communities. HB3240 will move the process along, and urge the city to comply with state law.

The constant expansion of O’Hare Airport and the changing of the airport’s runway layout has not only created noise but also had other adverse effects on the surrounding communities and residents. Representative Winger’s second bill, House Bill 3248, will conduct a study to measure these environmental effects. The bill directs the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA), and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), to study the noise around the airport and determine the environmental side-effects. Not only does this legislation require an environmental study, but it calls for a report to be presented to the General Assembly no later than October 31, 2019.

In this legislation, the specific environmental concerns that will be assessed include air pollution, gas and fluid emission by aircrafts, and the quality of life, health and property values of the residents living nearby.

HB3240 and HB3248 will move forward to the House for further consideration.
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