Fun fall celebrations like Halloween and Harvest Day are great times for children, who can dress up in costumes, enjoy parties, and go trick-or-treating. To help ensure adults and children have a safe holiday, check out these safety tips ahead of Halloween: 


  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant
  • Avoid masks, which can obstruct vision
  • Remind children never to enter a stranger's home or car
  • For trick-or-treating, only travel in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with friends
  • Children and adults are reminded to put electronic devices down, keep heads up and walk, don't run, across the street
  • Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and curbs. Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than on any other day of the year
  • Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully
  • At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in dark clothing
  • Halloween can be tricky for children with food allergies. It's important that parents closely examine Halloween candy to avoid a potentially life-threatening reaction. Tell your children not to eat any treats until they return home
Have fun! Happy Halloween!

Representative Winger and daughter Samantha attend the First Annual West Chicago Food Festival, with food and entertainment, in downtown West Chicago.
Representative Winger visits a community recycling event in Carol Stream, sponsored by the Village of Carol Stream, SCARCE, and CoreCentric Solutions Inc.

Illinois Department of Insurance Releases ACA Exchange Health Care Insurance Rates for 2019
On Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) released its on-Exchange health care rate and plan analysis for Plan Year 2019, showing that rates have stabilized for the first time in recent years.

Average rates for the 2019 lowest cost silver plans decreased four percent and the lowest cost gold plans decreased by six percent from last year. Overall, rates for the lowest cost bronze plans modestly increased approximately six percent, far less than the 20 percent increase reported for 2018 rates. "Illinois consumers will finally have some relief after facing years of on average double -digit increases in health insurance premium rates," DOI Director Jennifer Hammer said. "We are starting to see signs that the Exchange is stabilizing given this year's rates, a new insurer entering the on-Exchange market in 2019, and no insurers from last year exiting."

Illinois consumers in all counties will have options to purchase health insurance coverage on the Exchange.

Get Covered Illinois (GCI) is the official health marketplace or "exchange" for health insurance for all Illinoisans. Individuals and small businesses can purchase their health insurance on the GCI website. Because GCI facilitates the federal subsidies, consumers are able to see their monthly premium at the discounted price.

DOI is advising consumers enrolling or re-enrolling in coverage to start shopping early, due to the six week enrollment period set by the federal government, and to look at all options available to them on and off the Exchange, from November 1, 2018 to December 15, 2018. "We continue to focus on our core mission - to protect and educate consumers," Hammer said.

"We recognize some families may have to face difficult decisions this fall, and we will be visiting all 102 counties for the second year in a row to discuss coverage and answer questions about mental health and substance use disorder treatment. We want to make sure consumers are aware of all their options."

Consumers are encouraged to visit DOI's GCI website at: https://getcovered.illinois.gov for further information and assistance, or to contact their trusted licensed insurance agent. The Get Covered Connector on the website allows consumers to search for options by zip code to find local, free application help in English or Spanish. Consumers can also use this tool to schedule in-person assistance appointments with navigators and certified application counselors. Anyone may call DOI at 866-311-1119 for additional resources and information regarding health insurance.

Illinois Department of Revenue Launches New Website
The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) is inviting taxpayers to explore the new look of its redesigned website; tax.illinois.gov. The new mobile-friendly website features simplified site navigation and enhanced functionality to provide businesses, tax professionals, and the public easier access to the information needed most.

"As times have changed, so have the ways taxpayers access and consume information," said Connie Beard, IDOR Director. "With this website redesign, we make it easier for the public to navigate our information, no matter what device is utilized."

Key features of IDOR's new website include encrypted security, better accessibility, a drop-down menu system at the top of every page, and real-time traffic-driven listings showing users what questions, forms, and tax types are currently garnering wide interest.

Visitors accustomed to the former IDOR website at http://tax.illinois.gov will be automatically redirected to the new website located at https://www2.illinois.gov/rev. IDOR advises anyone with previously saved bookmarks to visit the new website to update their favorites.

Department of Homeland Security Approves Illinois Drivers’ Licenses for One More Year of Air Travel 

Illinois’ drivers’ licenses are out of compliance with various REAL-ID mandates intended to maintain and increase security of U.S. air travel. The federal agency has granted Illinois a further extension of almost one year, until June 1, 2019, to move further towards compliance with these mandates. During this extension period, federal agencies will be allowed to accept currently valid Illinois drivers’ licenses as adequate ID-card identification for admittance to federal buildings, nuclear power plants, and commercial aircraft takeoff and landing space. Illinois drivers’ licenses are printed and issued by the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State.

As part of its movement towards REAL-ID compliance, the Secretary of State’s office has already consolidated the way that it produces and prints out the license cards. The cards, which were once printed and handed out on the spot to applicants at local Secretary of State Driver Services offices statewide, are now manufactured in a secure facility and mailed to approved applicants. Illinois is being urged to adopt further components of the REAL-ID Act. These additional mandates impose separate sets of additional verification information that (a) new drivers’ license applicants, and (b) applicants for license renewal, will be required to provide. All applicants, including renewal applicants, may soon be asked to bring in a Social Security card, a passport or other form of secure supplemental personal identification, and proof of current address such as a utility bill that has been computer-addressed and mailed to their place of residence. In addition, new applicants may be asked to submit additional information.
Representative Winger visited "Build Day" at Oak Brook Elementary School, Wood Dale. Wood Dale School District 7 received a grant from Discover Financial Services to build a new playground for the students at Oak Brook Elementary. The program is in partnership with KaBoom!, a nonprofit dedicated to giving kids great, safe places to play.

Illinois K-12 High-Speed Internet Connectivity Rises to 96%
It was announced this week that 96 percent of K-12 school districts in Illinois can access the internet at speeds of 100 kbps per student, a substantial improvement from 71 percent just three years ago. Median bandwidths also have markedly improved, increasing 2.5 times since 2015.

High-speed connectivity ensures that students have access to more digital resources, which in turn expands learning opportunities. By making high-speed internet accessible, educators and students gain the benefits of greater interactivity, collaboration, engagement and personal instruction.

Illinois’ digital advances were reported by the EducationSuperHighway which tracks progress toward K-12 connectivity across the United States. The national nonprofit advocates for upgrading internet access in every public school classroom in America.

While Illinois has advanced its school digital resources, work remains. EducationSuperHighway says that 407,093 students in 32 school districts across the state still need adequate bandwidth for digital learning. There also are 136 school campuses that lack scalable fiber-optic broadband connections.

The Illinois Classroom Connectivity Initiative, launched by the Rauner administration in 2016, is an effort to ensure that all districts receive the support and funding to close this school broadband gap. The FY19 education budget includes a $17 million Broadband Expansion fund to help cover costs of fiber upgrades for school districts. There is also provision for free technical assistance.

Illinois State Fire Marshal Wants You to Have a Fire Free Fall
Fall is officially here and so are cooler temperatures. The Office of the State Fire Marshal is offering a few tips that will help Illinoisans stay safe as temperatures continue to drop.

This Fall, be sure to remove leaves and debris such as sticks, branches and shrubs from the roofs and gutters of homes as they act as fuel to a fire. These items should also be cleared before lighting a bonfire. It is recommended that all recreational fires, such as bonfires, be contained in a pit, with sidewalls, and do not exceed 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall.

Avoid burning leaves and debris on windy days, as wind can cause a fire to get out of control quickly. Always follow your local ordinances when burning and disposing of yard waste and remember, embers from burning leaves can spread and start a larger fire. All fires are recommended to be a minimum of 15 feet from structures and combustible materials and should remain attended at all times. This helps ensure the fire is controlled and prevents it from spreading.

Make sure all Fall and holiday decorations are flame retardant and use a battery light instead of a candle in jack o' lanterns.

Anyone opting to use a space heater to keep warm should be sure it is placed at least three feet away from other objects, such as curtains, and always be sure to unplug it when it's not in use. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) space heaters account, annually, for 43 percent of U.S. home heating fires.

All fireplaces should be cleaned and inspected before use to ensure everything is in proper working order. Utilize a fireplace screen to keep sparks from floating out of a fireplace and always put out a fire before going to bed or leaving the house.

Additional fire safety tips can be found on the NFPA website or on the Office of the State Fire Marshal website.

Representative Winger tours Superior Ambulance in Elmhurst, a local provider of emergency medical services.

Illinois Pioneers Community College Pathway to Professional Status
In these times of soaring tuition bills and increased costs of residential campus living, many Illinois families are finding increasing challenges in helping their loved ones afford four years of attendance at a traditional college or university. Many students are responding to these challenges by starting out their higher education in one of Illinois’ 48 community colleges. There, they take courses that build up credits that can be transferred to a four-year institution.

This week, data released by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) shows that many of these students have a bright future. Among all 50 states in the calendar period studied, Illinois now ranks #1 in terms of the rate of bachelor’s degree completion among community college students that transfer to four-year colleges and universities.

Illinois, the state with the first community college in the nation (Joliet Junior College), has worked intensively to coordinate community college credits with a baccalaureate pathway that a student can follow to a four-year degree and eventual professional status.

The study tracked a group of first-time college students who enrolled in Illinois community colleges in 2010, and then subsequently transferred to four-year schools. The students were tracked through 2016; by that year, 53.8% of them had earned a bachelor’s degree. This was the highest four-year transfer completion rate of any U.S. state with community colleges.

Representative Winger attends an open house celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Roselle History Museum. The Roselle History Museum provides a dynamic historical and educational resource for residents and visitors.
REMINDER: September Supply Drive
State Representative Christine Winger has joined a group of DuPage County State Representatives and Senators through the entire month of September to help Loaves & Fishes obtain personal care items.

Loaves & Fishes is a not-for-profit food pantry that feeds up to 800 DuPage County families per week. Last year it served 7,607 children and 1,238 senior citizens. Families in need can shop for free in a grocery store-like setting.

According to Loaves & Fishes President and CEO Mike Havala, the pantry is experiencing a shortage of personal care items to supplement the food staples families need. Items needed include diapers and wipes, laundry detergent, toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste and household cleaning products.

Representative Winger will be collecting needed items through the end of September. Those who wish to donate may drop items off at Rep. Winger’s District Office in Bloomingdale: One Tiffany Pointe, Suite G3, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. Please call the office before drop-off at (847) 252-9311. The drive will end on September 28th.

Representative Winger traveled to the White House and met with U.S. Department of Transportation official Anthony Bedell. At the meeting, she discussed what could be done by the Federal Aviation Administration to help decrease noise levels from airports and airplane flight patterns. Noise from planes and has been a constant issue in Rep. Winger’s 45th District especially for those neighborhoods that fall under O’Hare Airports flight patterns.
NEDSRA

Representative Winger with Rick Poole (Executive Director, NEDSRA) and Maryfran Leno (Executive Director, Itasca Park District) at the NEDSRA Special Recreation Golf Classic at White Pines Golf Club, Bensenville. NEDSRA provides recreational and social programs to improve the quality of life for children and adults with disabilities.   

Winger Concludes Fourth Annual Summer Reading Program
State Representative Christine Winger recently celebrated with students who participated in her 2018 Summer Reading Program. 
The program invited students in grades K-5 to read 10 books over the summer, and with the completion of their reading lists, they were invited to celebrate with their State Representative.

This is the fourth annual summer reading program that Rep. Winger has hosted. Providing this program every summer has been important for the Representative, to provide a fun way for students to continue learning during the months away from school. In fact, research has shown that children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.

The Representative always loves to hear each student’s favorite books, and encourages the summer readers to keep up the good work throughout the school year.

“In the reading program, the kids get to choose the books they want to read—which helps motivate them to want to read,” said Winger. “Making this program fun and ending the summer with a celebration, makes students eager to read more and be a part of this.”

At the party, the summer readers received Certificates of Recognition from the House of Representatives and enjoyed frozen custard provided by Culvers.

Rep. Winger looks forward to hosting another successful program next year!

State Representative Christine Winger recently celebrated with students who participated in her 2018 Summer Reading Program.

The program invited students in grades K-5 to read 10 books over the summer, and with the completion of their reading lists, they were invited to celebrate with their State Representative.

This is the fourth annual summer reading program that Rep. Winger has hosted. Providing this program every summer has been important for the Representative, to provide a fun way for students to continue learning during the months away from school. In fact, research has shown that children who read four or more books over the summer fare better on reading comprehension tests in the fall than their peers who read one or no books over the summer.

The Representative always loves to hear each student’s favorite books, and encourages the summer readers to keep up the good work throughout the school year.

“In the reading program, the kids get to choose the books they want to read—which helps motivate them to want to read,” said Winger. “Making this program fun and ending the summer with a celebration, makes students eager to read more and be a part of this.”

At the party, the summer readers received Certificates of Recognition from the House of Representatives and enjoyed frozen custard provided by Culvers.

Rep. Winger looks forward to hosting another successful program next year!

BLOOMINGDALE . . . State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) was recently recognized as a Champion of Free Enterprise by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

This recognition was awarded to Rep. Winger based on her votes on the key business legislation of the 100th General Assembly and their impact on the business community.

Legislators with a favorable Illinois Chamber rating over the previous two General Assemblies demonstrated their commitment to legislation that frees the entrepreneurial spirit qualified for the award.

Representative Winger, a member of five local chambers in the 45th District, was honored to receive this recognition. “I am proud to support our local businesses and be an active member in our chambers of commerce throughout my legislative district,” said Winger. “Supporting our business community both at home, and legislatively in the General Assembly is important to the economic success of our State.”

The Champions of Free Enterprise Awards are given biennially. The Chamber will be presenting the awards to lawmakers in their districts at local chamber events in the coming weeks. Representative Winger looks forward to receiving her award in person.



Representative Winger attends the Ribbon Cutting of Drama Kids program at the Arts in Bartlett. Drama Kids is a unique organization offering drama programs for children and young adults to develop confidence and creative thinking. 

DuPage Lawmakers Start Supply Drive to Help Area Food Pantry
Representative Christine Winger is joining a group of DuPage County State Representatives and Senators through the entire month of September to help Loaves & Fishes obtain personal care items.

Loaves & Fishes is a not-for-profit food pantry that feeds up to 800 DuPage County families per week. Last year it served 7,607 children and 1,238 senior citizens. Families in need can shop for free in a grocery store-like setting. According to Loaves & Fishes President and CEO Mike Havala, the pantry is experiencing a shortage of personal care items to supplement the food staples families need.

“I am happy to join forces with my neighboring lawmakers to bring necessary supplies to those that need it the most,” said Rep. Winger. “As a lawmaker, I want to do my part to help out an organization that already does so much to help others—and this is a great opportunity to give back.”

Rep. Winger will be collecting items in her district office that Loaves and Fishes is most in need of. These items include: diapers and wipes, laundry detergent, toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste and household cleaning products.

Those who wish to donate may drop items off at Rep. Winger’s District Office in Bloomingdale: One Tiffany Pointe, Suite G3, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday.

With questions about the supply drive, feel free to contact Rep. Winger’s district office at (847) 252-9311.

Healthy Revenue Numbers Posted in August 2018

The new numbers reflect taxes paid into our State through key State revenue pipelines in August 2018. The figures were posted this week by the Committee on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the nonpartisan budget watchdog arm of the Illinois General Assembly. Measured on a year-over-year basis, August 2018 personal income tax revenues were up $127 million, sales tax revenues were up $54 million, and corporate income tax revenues rose $35 million.

The Illinois private sector makes goods and services that are sold all over the world. After studying current Illinois exports, CGFA summarized the picture in this month’s revenue report. Illinois residents may be surprised to learn that facilities within our State sell almost $6 billion worth of goods and services every month to buyers outside our American borders. The U.S. dollar is an expensive currency for many of our international customers, and so many of these Illinois exports are not commodities: they are specialty goods and services produced by highly trained Illinois workers who are working as team members for an enterprise that enjoys a global high or dominant market share.
State Representative Christine Winger (R-Wood Dale) is joining a group of DuPage County State Representatives and Senators through the entire month of September to help Loaves & Fishes obtain personal care items.

Loaves & Fishes is a not-for-profit food pantry that feeds up to 800 DuPage County families per week. Last year it served 7,607 children and 1,238 senior citizens. Families in need can shop for free in a grocery store-like setting. According to Loaves & Fishes President and CEO Mike Havala, the pantry is experiencing a shortage of personal care items to supplement the food staples families need.

“I am happy to join forces with my neighboring lawmakers to bring necessary supplies to those that need it the most,” said Rep. Winger. “As a lawmaker, I want to do my part to help out an organization that already does so much to help others—and this is a great opportunity to give back.”

According to Havala, items needed include diapers and wipes, laundry detergent, toilet paper, shampoo, toothpaste and household cleaning products.

Those who wish to donate may drop items off at Rep. Winger’s District Office in Bloomingdale: One Tiffany Pointe, Suite G3, from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Monday through Friday. 

Other participating legislative offices that are also open for item donations include:
  • State Rep. Peter Breen- 929 S. Main St. Suite 105A, Lombard, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm M-F 

  • State Senator Michael Connelly- 552 S. Washington St., Suite 104, Naperville, 8:00 am to 5:00pm M-F 

  • State Senator John Curran- 7501 South Lemont Road, Suite 315, Woodridge, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm M-F (please call prior to drop off) 

  • State Rep. Jim Durkin- 16W281 83rd St. Burr Ridge, 8:30am to 5:00 pm M-F 

  • State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi- 1 S. Cass Avenue, Suite 205, Westmont, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm M-F 

  • State Senator Jim Oberweis- 959 Oak Street, North Aurora, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm M-Th, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm M- F 

  • State Rep David Olsen- 633 Rogers Street, Suite 108, Downers Grove, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm M-F (please call prior to drop off) 

  • State Rep. Grant Wehrli- 55 S. Main Street, Suite 383, Naperville, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm M-Th 

With questions about the supply drive, feel free to contact Rep. Winger’s district office at (847) 252-9311.
DuPage Emergency Communications Center Now Open
Representative Winger recently participated in the dedication ceremony of DuPage County's new DU-COMM 9-1-1 Communications Center in Wheaton.

DuPage Public Safety Communications (DU-COMM) is an intergovernmental agency that was formed in 1975 to provide emergency communications services to police, fire, and emergency medical services for 44 police and fire agencies in DuPage County. The new facility in Wheaton has been upgraded to more adequately facilitate the needs of DU-COMM and the county.

2018 Session Review

Every year Representative Winger produces a newsletter to provide information on what was accomplished in the District community and in Springfield. You can now access this year’s newsletter here.

State Representatives from DuPage and Will Counties recently met with members from local health departments, law enforcement agencies and hospitals for a roundtable discussion on how to coordinate efforts to combat opioid abuse.

Representative Winger attended the discussion to learn more about the efforts focused on DuPage County, which encompasses the majority of her 45th District.
Rep. Winger is pictured with Dr. Dianna Bottari, Medical Director of Pediatric Pain Management at Advocate Children’s Hospital & Crystal Olsen, Government Relations, Advocate Healthcare.


New Business Opens in the 45th District

On August 16th Andigo Credit Union opened its doors in Carol Stream and celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Rep. Winger's office attended the grand opening, and the Representative is happy to welcome Andigo Credit Union to the community!

State of Illinois Sells $965 Million in Bonds
On Wednesday, the State of Illinois sold $965,770,000 in General Obligation Refunding Bonds, Series A and Series B of September 2018. The $641,160,000 Series A of September 2018 were a takeout of the State’s $600 million in 2003B variable rate bonds and the termination of five swaps associated with those bonds.

The refunding will eliminate all the variable rate exposure and remove the highest-cost debt from the State’s capital market programs. Proceeds from the $324,610,000 Series B Bonds of September 2018 will be used to refund several series of previously issued general obligation bonds of the State. Total debt service savings of $33,643,047, or 5.89 percent of present-value savings were derived from the Series B Bonds, and each individual bond selected for refunding in this series had in excess of 3 percent present-value savings to the State. The State received bids from 87 institutional investors totaling $4,166,070,000 in orders, or a 4.3 times subscription for the bonds.

This bond issue has an all-in borrowing cost for the combined series of 4.19 percent. The bonds are being issued as fully exempt from federal taxation and are rated BBB by Fitch Ratings, Baa3 by Moody’s Investor Service and BBB- by S&P Global.

“We are very pleased with the strong investor response to today’s bond sale. By refunding the $600 million in variable-rate debt, the State eliminates its highest-cost debt and replaces it with traditional fixed-rate bonds carrying a much lower overall rate of interest,” said Hans Zigmund, budget director for the State. “By refunding other outstanding bonds with higher fixed rates as part of the same bond sale, we maximized savings and minimized the costs of the sale. Taxpayers will realize these savings for years to come.”

Rep Winger recently attended a Veteran’s Pinning Ceremony in Elk Grove Village. Below she is pictured with Congressman Krishnamoorthi, and veteran Eric Shawger of Roselle at the ceremony. 

Vietnam Veteran's Pinning Ceremony at Elk Grove Village VFW. 

Military Veteran Angelo Treslo (uncle of Representative Winger) receives a Veteran's Pin in recognition of his service at the ceremony. 

Rep. Winger holds the Veteran's Pin at the ceremony on August 14th. 


Rep. Winger visits the Itasca Cares charity at National Night Out in Itasca on August 7th!


Praise for Illinois High Schools 

14 of the top 100 public high schools in the U.S. are located in Illinois, according to an annual ranking by “Niche.” High-ranking Illinois public high schools include the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora; Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago; and the Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

The “Niche” website provides reviews of schools across the U.S. Their 2019 report, which uses data compiled by the U.S. Department of Education and its user base, ranks the Illinois Math and Science Academy as the top public high school in the U.S. More than half of the data used to generate the rankings was generated from academic numbers and competition, including SAT/ACT standardized test scores.

Illinois high schools made up five of the “Niche” top 20 and eight of the top 50. Students from schools such as Northside College Prep High School in Chicago were highly ranked for their ability to move from high school graduation into attendance at America’s finest colleges and universities.

New Law Authorizes Police to Take Action to Protect Pets 

Many Illinoisans have been saddened to see companion animals trapped in overheated vehicles. SB 2270, which became law this week, authorizes law enforcement to take temporary custody of a dog or cat if the companion animal is exposed to extreme temperature conditions for a prolonged period of time. The new law is worded so as to apply not only to companion animals trapped in motor vehicles, but also to animals forced to stay outdoors in conditions of extreme cold.

After unanimous House passage, the measure was sent to Gov. Rauner for his signature. The bill was signed and became law on Tuesday, August 7.

Illinois State Fair Underway

The Illinois State Fair opened on Thursday, August 9, and will continue until Sunday, August 19. Fair events will include concerts, races, carnival rides, judging competitions, children’s events, and festival food. Grandstand concerts will kick off with Boy George and Culture Club on Friday, August 10. Other events will fill every night of the Grandstand’s Fair schedule. The State Fair has drawn as many as 350,000 visitors in recent years. The State Fairgrounds, located on the north side of Springfield, have been the headquarters of the State Fair since 1894.

Representative Winger recently attended a Car Seat Check-Up Event in Itasca hosted by the National Safety Council. Proper use of a child restraint can lower a child’s risk of injury or death in most car crashes. You can find out more about child passenger safety resources here.
Representative Winger is greeted by Itasca Fire Department Deputy Chief John Radzinski at the car seat safety check on August 4th. 
Thank you to the Illinois State Police who partnered with the Village of Itasca to check child car seats for proper installation. 

New Diabetes Solution Center
A new Diabetes Solution Center will be available August 1st of this year. The new helpline, to be launched by Eli Lilly and Company, will assist individuals who need help paying for their insulin. Through customized solutions that meet an individual’s personal needs, including increased financial assistance, multi-lingual operators will provide short- and long-term options for diabetes patients so we never again hear of diabetes patients that cannot access life-saving insulin.

The goal of this new initiative is to help increase affordable access to care for patients. Additional information on the new Diabetes Solution Center can be found here.
The Illinois State Police Merit Board is currently processing applications for Cadet Class 129, tentatively scheduled for April, 2019. In order to be considered for Cadet Class 129, the Merit Board must receive a completed application and required documentation by August 15, 2018.

You can apply online at: https://www.illinoistrooper.com

The Illinois State Police has fostered and served with a reputation for integrity, service and pride. This includes working to protect life and property, enforcing both criminal laws and motor vehicle safety laws, responding to emergencies and disasters and providing a myriad of diverse specialized services to both the public and the criminal justice community.

You can read more about the recruitment process on their website, and to watch the ISP recruitment video click here.



July 28th at Bartlett Village Hall. Representative Winger and the Bartlett Police Department are excited about the 35th Annual National Night Out on August 7th. Hope to see you there!


Disability Independence Day 


Last week Representative Winger recognized Disability Independence Day, a day of celebration in honor of the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This law was passed on July 26th, 1990 to prohibit discrimination and guarantee equal rights to those with physical and intellectual disabilities.
Not too long ago, inaccessibility was all too common, making today an important celebration of how far we’ve come to provide the same access to services, businesses, buildings, and employment opportunities to all Americans.


Governor Signs Bill Expanding Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program
Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed SB 3527, a bipartisan bill improving and expanding the River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERZ) Historic Tax Credit. The successful economic development incentive now will be available to communities statewide.

“This legislation opens up millions of dollars in economic incentives in the form of tax credits for historic preservation projects throughout Illinois,” Rauner said after signing the bill at the Peoria Riverfront Museum Plaza. “It is imperative that we add jobs and fuel economic development. This bill will help Illinois achieve those goals while also preserving our past and making our state even more beautiful to visit.”
Established in 2012, the RERZ originally was a five-year pilot program allowing a 25 percent state income tax credit for qualifying projects in blighted, historic riverfront areas in Peoria, Rockford, Elgin, East St. Louis and Aurora.

SB 3527, which passed both Houses in May, expands availability of the historic tax credits to similar projects across the state. It also adds a new Illinois Historic Preservation Tax Credit with $15 million in credits to be administered by the Historic Preservation Division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources each year between January 2019 and December 2023.

Legislators joined business officials and leaders from Landmarks Illinois and the American Institute of Architects-Illinois in applauding the bill action, which they said will not only revitalize historic structures that are falling into disrepair, but also will spur job growth and boost tourism.

Representative Winger attended the bill signing ceremony for legislation that makes the Department of Innovation & Technology an official State Agency. 

The Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), formed by Executive Order in 2016, is now officially recognized as a state agency. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed HB 5611, a bill which passed unanimously in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly this spring, codifying the agency into law. Bipartisan support for the legislation reflects the state’s commitment to improve cybersecurity, enhance employee work processes, and provide better services to Illinois citizens.

“When we first came into office, we discovered that our technology systems had been grossly neglected. Employees at multiple agencies relied on manual, paper processes for much of their work. That was extremely inefficient,” Rauner said. “We created DoIT, put a team of experts in place and developed a comprehensive approach to modernize our technology. Now, I’m proud to say we are among the nation’s leaders when it comes to using smart technology and making sure our citizens’ personal information is secure.”

“Illinois’ digital transformation is being realized as a result of Gov. Rauner’s vision and leadership,” said DoIT Acting Secretary and State Chief Information Officer Kirk Lonbom. “We’re making rapid strides toward improving operational efficiencies and offering state services through the convenience of mobility, while placing the security of data and operations at the foundation of all initiatives.”

Cybersecurity has been a priority for DoIT. Since its inception, the agency has encrypted more than 5.8 billion records, protecting the personal and private information of Illinois citizens. DoIT launched the first statewide security operations center with 24/7 monitoring aimed at identifying risk and proactively responding to cyberthreats.

Staff members at DoIT also have focused on streamlining state operations and improving efficiencies across state agencies. Over half of the state’s financials are now managed on a common system to address decades of lack of interoperability and financial management challenges. Infrastructure and network unification efforts in Illinois have already resulted in savings and cost-avoidance of over $20 million.

“This legislation creates a necessary department that will be able to efficiently handle the magnitude of information gathered by state agencies in the safest and most secure way possible,” said Rep. Christine Winger. “DoIT will transform the antiquated nature of the state’s systems, and help protect Illinois residents and their information efficiently. I am pleased to see this initiative move forward, especially one that will support the infrastructure and future of Illinois.”

Through its Smart State initiative, DoIT also is helping local governments use SMART technology (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) on things like street lighting — which cuts down on energy costs and saves taxpayer dollars.

For additional information, please see the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology strategy at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/doit/Strategy/EnterpriseStrategies/Pages/default.aspx.

Illinois Created 18,100 Jobs in June; Unemployment Rate Held Steady 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has announced jobless numbers for June 2018. As with the May 2018 numbers, the State’s economic status continued to approach 4.0% “full employment.” In addition, nonfarm payrolls increased by 18,100 month-over-month, based on numbers submitted by employers to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“June’s payroll gain is the largest in 12 months and the third largest in 24 months,” said IDES Director Jeff Mays. “Illinois’ unemployment rate held steady in June and stands at its lowest point in 12 years.”

The net gain of 18,100 payroll jobs in June 2018 was greater than any monthly Illinois hiring increase credited to the second half of calendar year 2017 or the first five months of 2018. When all 12 months are counted, over the past year the Illinois economy has created 58,300 net new nonfarm payroll jobs. The 4.3% unemployment rate, which tied with the May 2018 mark, was the lowest unemployment rate enjoyed by Illinois in the past 12 years.
Today HB5611 was signed into law, which officially recognizes the Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) as a state agency.

DoIT is a comprehensive approach to modernizing Illinois’ technology. Cybersecurity will be the new agency’s top priority, and since its inception, the agency has encrypted more than 5.8 billion records, protecting the personal and private information of Illinois citizens. DoIT has also launched the first statewide security operations center with 24/7 monitoring aimed at identifying risk and proactively responding to cyber threats.
State Representative Christine Winger was a co-sponsor of the legislation and was present for the bill’s signing. 

“This legislation creates a necessary department that will be able to efficiently handle the magnitude of information gathered by state agencies in the safest and most secure way possible,” said Rep. Winger. “DoIT will transform the antiquated nature of the state’s systems, and help protect Illinois residents and their information efficiently. I am pleased to see this initiative move forward, especially one that will support the infrastructure and future of Illinois.”

Through its Smart State initiative, DoIT is also helping local governments use SMART technology (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) on things like street lighting — which cuts down on energy costs and saves taxpayer dollars.

For additional information, please see the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology strategy here.  

Rep. Winger celebrates the Grand Opening of Metro Self Storage in Addison alongside Mayor Veenstra.


Report Shows Relatively Strong FY18 Budget Numbers
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the nonpartisan budget accounting arm of the General Assembly, tracked State tax and other receipts throughout FY18, the fiscal management period that ended on June 30, 2018. The monthly report for June 2018 contains final CGFA numbers for the year. General funds receipts totaled almost $42.5 billion for the twelve-month period.

More than half of the receipts were derived from personal income tax receipts ($20.8 billion) and federal reimbursements through Medicaid and other programs. Illinois has to raise and spend Medicaid money in order to get matching funds from the federal government. $5.2 billion in federal matching funds and other federal funds were included in Illinois general funds accounts in FY18.

Illinois’ FY18 sales tax revenues of more than $8.2 billion could be augmented in FY19 by a recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court. In the June 2018 decision cited as South Dakota v. Wayfair, the federal high court upheld the rights of the states to work with interstate retailers (such as firms that sell goods over the Internet) to enforce the collection of sales taxes that are being sent to an end-user in that state. The State’s FY19 balanced budget includes a projected $150 million annual cash infusion from sales taxes that will be charged on goods sold to Illinois residents. As an increasing percentage of consumers buy goods online, CGFA staff believes this could be a conservative estimate.
 


Rep. Winger and daughter Sammy participate in “Saturday Stories” and Open Playtime for kids and parents at the Carol Stream Public Library on July 7th.


Honor 200
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Illinois Bi-Centennial Committee will honor the work of 200 veterans from across the State of Illinois, whose contributions are above and beyond the call of duty as they dedicate their time and energy to assist their fellow veterans and service members. Nominees are evaluated based on their achievements, and on the extent to which their contributions have aided, benefited and provided inspiration to their community at large. Additionally, nominees must have received an honorable discharge from the U.S. military and reside in Illinois. 
This award has a very special meaning for our state. It provides us the opportunity to showcase the value of community service as exemplified by our Illinois Veterans. Whether it’s service to one’s country, one’s family, friends, neighbors or community, the example set by our veterans illustrates how far individuals are willing to go, to help their fellow citizens. Both on and off the battlefield, veterans exemplify the meaning of selfless service, courage and compassion.  In this way, they are the exact role models we need in our communities! 
To access the nomination form, visit https://illinois200.com.


Rep. Winger was honored to attend the opening of the annual Marklund "Summer Games" in Bloomingdale on June 23. Marklund is a non-profit provider of services for individuals with profound disabilities. Marklund's promise is to "make everyday life possible for individuals with profound disabilities."

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Decision in Janus Case 

In a 5-4 decision, the court sided with Mark Janus, who contended his free speech rights were violated by being forced to pay fair share dues to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Janus works as a child support specialist for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The job is a union position represented by AFSCME. 

The opinion will mean immediate changes for Illinois state workers. Gov. Bruce Rauner said the state will stop withholding fair share fees from non-union member paychecks. He also said state workers will be notified of the ruling and “be given an opportunity to modify their union status.” He said the average unionized state employee pays more than $900 a year in fees.

The case, which was pursued by conservative organizations and originally launched by Rauner, involved fair share fees. Fair share fees are charged to people in union jobs who do not wish to join the union and pay full union dues. The fees are supposed to help cover the union’s costs in negotiating contracts on behalf of workers in union jobs.