Winger's Weekly Wrap-Up for September 10th

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.

College Planning Tool Launched
For the first time, Illinois high school students will have access to data which shows how much they might earn if they graduate from colleges and universities located in the state., unveiled Thursday at Gov. Bruce Rauner’s quarterly Children’s Cabinet meeting, links employment and higher education data so users can compare the relative earnings value of college degrees. The data is broken down by schools and area of study, so that students can compare the earnings potential of business degrees, for example, from different public and private institutions in the state.

The idea is to help students and parents make college decisions based on an evaluation of real-time successes of a school’s graduates, in addition to other factors such as cost, average debt levels, and likelihood to graduate on-time. The tool will also show the benefits of investing in higher education, as it demonstrates how connected our thriving higher education system is to the workforce development of our state.

“ is groundbreaking for our state,” Rauner said while introducing the tool to Cabinet members at the meeting at Springfield High School. “Education has been my top investment priority for many years. In order to grow our economy, we need to give our young people the best education system possible, so they will choose to live, learn and work here in Illinois. This multi-agency effort is making it easier for our students to be informed about their higher education choices and illustrates the competitiveness of our schools right here in the state.” is the product of collaboration between the Governor’s Office, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

This announcement follows a number of recent education achievements in the state including:

• $25 million allocated for higher education in FY19 and merit-based scholarship program AIM HIGH to encourage our best and brightest high school grads to stay in Illinois for college;

• Newly signed Senate Bill 2559 requiring ISAC to develop a three-year pilot program to better educate students on loan amounts, repayment and interest;

• House Bill 4781 creating a task force to study how student college or career interest data can be collected and shared between high schools and colleges so higher education institutions will be able to enhance their programs and services to support the specific needs of their incoming student body;

• HB5020 that revises the Monetary Award Program (MAP) to prioritize access for existing grant recipients, and;

• SB2354 increasing degree-advising services and making it easier to transfer credits between Illinois schools.

Technical assistance for this project came from the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab (GPL).

“Our goal is to do what we can to keep our best and brightest talent home,” Rauner said. “Illinois is a large and diverse state. So if a student lives in one college town and wants to go elsewhere, we can show them they have a broad choice of college towns to choose from in Illinois. Those kids who want to go to the ‘big city’ can see that one of the greatest cities in the world is a short car or train ride from home and has a broad offering of quality colleges and universities to choose from. Once those students have graduated, they may be more open to looking to stay ‘home,’ whether that is in Chicago or another part of our wonderful state.”

Illinois National Guard Units Return from Summer Training at Fort Polk
More than 4,000 soldiers from across Illinois were assigned during the month of August to the Army training ground in central Louisiana, where they exercised field deployments and operations. The fort’s grounds include heavy brush, woodlands, and wetlands, and the summer 2018 mock deployments included many logistical challenges meant to game out real-life field situations. Members of Illinois units that have trained at Fort Polk are now experienced participants in exercises intended to establish and maintain conditions in which their units can participate fully in operations that necessitate cross-unit coordination, command, and control.

Fort Polk, now designated as the Joint Readiness Training Center, became a legendary training ground for the U.S. Army during the Louisiana Maneuvers of September 1941. In this exercise, General George Patton and future General Dwight D. Eisenhower led Army units in war games in preparation for combat. Starting with this 1941 operation, the Louisiana site has had the capability of handling full-scale war games in which units are pitted against each other in a challenging deployment.

Illinois 200 – Bicentennial
The renovated Governor’s Mansion, open to the public in central Springfield, has been refitted in such a way as to make museum-quality custodial space for Illinois-made artwork and artifacts. Tours are free during hours of operation. The Mansion’s inaugural “Art of Illinois” exhibition, to be on view until January 2019, features paintings, furniture, and musical instruments from the early 1800s to 2016.

The new Bicentennial Plaza, adjacent to the Mansion, also borders on the Sixth Street segment of historic U.S. Highway 66. Built with help from the Illinois Realtors, the plaza has been fitted with many historical markers that set forth the challenges that faced many groups of Illinoisans as they strove for full citizenship and equal rights. The pedestrian plaza is built on top of a segment of historic Jackson Street, the city thoroughfare on which Abraham Lincoln lived with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln and their family. The Lincoln Home National Historic Site is located one block east from the Plaza.

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