Winger's Weekly Wrap-Up for July 23rd

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

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.

Quincy Veterans’ Home Bills
Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation Tuesday that expands the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy and cuts the red tape on future construction projects, allowing the administration to move quickly to build a new state-of-the-art facility at the campus.

“We’re building a brand new facility and making sure our veterans have a safe place to call home,” Rauner said. “Building this new facility should not be caught up in the bureaucratic process. Our veterans deserve the best. They have fought to secure our freedom and we’re fighting to make sure they have the care they need for generations to come.”

Rauner signed Senate Bill 3128, allowing the state to use the design-build delivery method to renovate, rehabilitate and rebuild the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy. This method will eliminate redundant steps in the traditional state construction process, shave months off the overall project time and save taxpayer dollars.

“More than 360 veterans call the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy home and we’re excited about moving forward with this project,” said Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs Acting Director Stephen Curda. “This home is a staple in the community and we hope that never changes. We are all proud of this home and just last week, we gave Quincy residents an opportunity to learn more about the new home development process and provide ideas on what it could look like.”

Rauner also signed House Bill 5683, which makes the recently purchased Sycamore nursing facility an official part of the Illinois Veterans’ Home at Quincy. Renovations are already underway on the Sycamore unit and are expected to be complete by the end of the year. Securing this unit will ensure continuity of care and temporary housing for veterans while construction on the new facility at the existing campus is ongoing.

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