Winger's Weekly Wrap-Up for August 6th

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.

New Lottery Game to Benefit Families of Fallen Police Officers
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill this week to create a new Illinois Lottery scratch-off game from which proceeds will fund police memorials, support for the families of officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty, and protective vest replacements for officers.

“Our police officers stand in the face of danger every day to keep us safe. We are proud to stand with them and support their families when they are faced with a devastating loss,” Rauner said. “This new ticket will help fund scholarships for their children and honor their bravery at memorial parks across the state.”

House Bill 5513 creates the police memorial instant ticket and requires that net proceeds go to the Criminal Justice Information Projects Fund. The funds are then to be divided equally among the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation Fund, the Police Memorial Committee Fund, and the Illinois State Police Memorial Fund.

The three designated police memorial funds provide support to families of officers who have been killed or severely injured in the line of duty.

The funds raised through this new scratch-off ticket will be used to build and maintain police memorials and parks, hold annual memorial commemorations, give scholarships to children of officers killed or severely injured in the line of duty, provide financial assistance to police officers and their families when a police officer is killed or injured in the line of duty, and provide financial assistance to officers to purchase or replace protective gear. The new law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

FY19 Budget Summary
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the nonpartisan budget watchdog arm of the Illinois General Assembly, released its FY19 Budget Summary on Wednesday, August 1. The FY19 appropriations bill was enacted as HB 109, and the FY19 Budget Implementation Act that amends State statutes to align with the appropriations numbers was enacted as HB 3342. The two bills, together, constitute the State’s budget for the current fiscal year.

The Illinois Constitution requires the State to annually enact a balanced budget in which spending does not exceed projected revenues. Fiscal problems have resulted as the State has, in recent year, failed to strictly enforce this mandate. For FY19, however, CGFA finds that projected State revenues and projected State spending closely match each other, fulfilling the balanced budget mandate. CGFA will, however, closely monitor State revenues on a 30-day basis from now until the end of FY19 to review whether the cash flows of money coming in match the projections made when the budget was adopted.

Overall base receipts grew year-over-year by $342 million in July 2018. Income taxes performed well, still reflecting the timing of receipts related to last year’s July rate change. Sales taxes however were weaker, as were federal sources. Numbers compiled by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability were published in their July 2018 Monthly Briefing, released on Thursday, August 2.

Sales tax revenues from goods purchased at traditional “brick-and-mortar” physical retail locations continue to decline in Illinois. The Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) will soon take action to increase enforcement of State sales tax collections on goods purchased online by Illinois residents if they are shipped to an Illinois address.

In a special section of the report, CGFA staff asked lawmakers to pay close attention to trends in Illinois video gaming. The video game industry has enjoyed serious growth in Illinois since the first terminals went online in September 2012, with the number of licensed game terminals increasing to 29,283 as of June 2018. In the recently-concluded FY18, licensed Illinois video game terminals generated $422 million in tax revenues for State and local governments.

The Illinois Gaming Board has reported to CGFA, however, that growth is beginning to slow in the Illinois video gaming market, possibly reflecting potential long-term saturation in the Illinois gaming marketplace. Video gaming tax revenues are, by law, placed not in general revenues but in a separate family of capital-infrastructure funds operated by the State. Much of the money is used to repair and rebuilt transportation roads, bridges, mass transit resources, and school buildings and facilities.

New Nationwide Ranking Gives Above-Average Overall Score to Illinois Schools
The 50-state WalletHub survey ranked public school systems for performance, funding, safety, class size, and instructor credentials. Illinois schools were ranked 21st overall. The WalletHub overall score of 54.20 placed Illinois above the scores posted by most other large U.S. states (New York: 53.36; Pennsylvania: 51.36; Texas: 46.90; California: 46:33) and above the scores posted by several states that border Illinois (Indiana: 52.69; Missouri: 51.20).

Illinois’s above-average score was driven by a very high “quality” rank of 15th among the 50 states. This quality ranking was by far the highest among the 10 largest U.S. states as measured by population. The high quality ranking was tempered by a challenged ranking for school safety, with Illinois schools ranked only 40th for school safety. Illinois House Republicans continue to urge the State Board of Education to work closely with local school districts to enforce requirements that school buildings be refitted to make them as safe for students as possible. The WalletHub ranking table was published on Monday, July 30.

Route 66 Centennial Commission
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Tuesday creating the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission.

The commission will develop plans for celebrating the famous road’s 100th anniversary in 2026. Also known as The Mother Road, Route 66 put Illinois on the national numbered highway network map in the late 1920s as the state became the first to pave the entirety of its share. The route took travelers between Illinois and California at a time when traveling by car was just beginning to overtake rail travel. Route 66 became renowned for its over-the-top roadside attractions and plethora of conspicuously neon-lit motels — resulting in the “Get your kicks on Route 66” song lyrics of 1946.

“Illinois has a distinct place of honor in this famous road’s history. Not only is Chicago its starting point, our people were the first to pave it from end to end as it wound southwest toward St. Louis and on to the Missouri border,” Rauner said after signing HB 66. “This made it easier for motorists to travel and sparked a golden era of fun family road trips, with plenty of places to stop and enjoy along the way.

“Although it appeared destined to fade from history for a time after the new interstate highway system was built, today the route is once again a popular and enduring tourist attraction in our state,” he continued. “Illinois Historic Route 66 is a nationally designated scenic byway. This commission will put together events and programs worthy of our state’s place in Route 66 history, and I look forward to the celebration in 2026.”

Route 66 originally ran 2,448 miles from Michigan Avenue and East Adams Street in Chicago through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona en route to Santa Monica, California.

The highway was decommissioned in the mid-1980s, and across many states only a ghost of it remains. In 1989, Illinois was among the first states to create a Route 66 Association, and in the late 1990s, it was made a State Heritage Tourism Project. In 2005, Illinois Historic Route 66 gained National Scenic Byway status, the first state attaining that designation.

Illinois Veterans Home must-notify bill signed
A new law will require State-run veterans homes to notify residents and their emergency contacts within 24 hours if two or more facility residents are diagnosed with an infectious disease within a 30-day period.

The General Assembly passed this bill in the 2018 spring session as one of the State’s responses to the recent outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy, Illinois. The House and Senate also enacted a budget for FY19 that includes $53 million intended to carry out planning and design work for a complete rebuild of the care facility’s current infrastructure. $6.4 million has already been spent on a water purification system within the existing veterans’ home.

Passage of the must-notify bill will give residents and their loved ones fair warning should a dangerous situation recur at the Quincy veterans home. HB 4278 was signed into law on Friday, July 27.

No comments :