I want to extend my best wishes to you and your family as we begin the holiday season. There is so much to be thankful for, and I am grateful for you and to serve as your State Representative. Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

-Christine Winger

Illinois State Fairgrounds’ Historic Coliseum to Get New Name Following Renovation Effort

The century-old centerpiece of the Illinois State Fairgrounds, an oval arena with Illinois-style clerestory windows, is being re-roofed and partly rebuilt. The Coliseum was temporarily closed to the public in 2016. The building’s original ceiling beams, which were part of the first generation of steel-building technology when the Coliseum rose in 1901, have reached the end of their useful life. The project is being funded with donations of $7.5 million from the private sector. When rebuilt, the Coliseum will resume its role as a place to show horses in saddle and in harness.

As part of the celebrations that will be held when the renovated Coliseum is reopened for a new century of use, the building will get a new name. The Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation is hosting a naming contest for participation by eligible Illinois young adults. Current members of three groups – Illinois 4-H, Illinois FFA, and the Illinois Junior Horsemen’s Council – are eligible to submit naming ideas. The Foundation will accept naming ideas through Friday, December 14. A winner will be announced on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

In Quality-of-Life Ranking, Illinois Rated Above Average at #22 of 50 U.S. States

The rating was based on a wide variety of metrics that included household income, state unemployment and percentage of state residents with four-year college degrees. The rating was compiled by Delaware-based website 24/7 Wall St.

Illinois was highly rated for its household income. The state’s current population decline and unemployment rate – both of them reflections of Illinois’ current slow speed at private-sector job creation – dragged what would otherwise have been a healthy Illinois score back towards the median. The 24/7 ranking criteria tended to favor Northeastern states. The website ranked Massachusetts highest, and gave six of its top 10 state rankings to neighboring states on the East Coast.

Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Debated

A bill is being considered by the General Assembly to strengthen regulations on car sharing, including enactment of legal language specifically adapted towards this fast-growing industry. Illinois already regulates and taxes conventional rental cars, phone-app taxicab services such as Lyft and Uber, and the leasing of cars from car dealers to individual households.

In the case of what is called “car sharing,” the motor vehicle is not really “shared.” It is rented by the owner to a user, with the owner of an intellectual-property phone app serving as the car finder and go-between. The app operator locates the car, tells the prospective driver where to find it, bills the driver, and takes a profit percentage. Many consumer advocates believe that car-sharing services need to be regulated to ensure the safety and drivability of the cars being rented out. At the same time, critics point out that enactment of this bill will create a new set of taxes and regulations. The car sharing regulation bill, SB 2641, may be discussed by the Illinois House in the second week of veto session starting on Tuesday, November 27.
Representative Winger joins Mayor Rodney Craig of Hanover Park in a Veterans Day observance to honor and recognize Hanover Park veterans.

Veto Session Begins in Springfield

The 2018 Veto session has begun. The General Assembly is scheduled to be in the Capitol for six days throughout this month. We will meet Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, and then three additional days after Thanksgiving. During this time, the General Assembly will have the opportunity to review 83 bills that Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed this year. Of the 83 bills, 53 of those were total vetoes, meaning that the veto must be overridden with three-fifths majorities in both the House and the Senate in order to become law. Thirty additional bills were given an amendatory veto by Governor Rauner, which means the Governor suggested additional, amendatory, or supplementary language to change a bill. In the case of those thirty bills, both houses of the General Assembly can accept the Governor’s language by simple majority.

Honor 200
The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs and the Illinois Bicentennial Office recently announced the recipients of Bicentennial HONOR 200 to honor the work of 200 veterans who continue to make extraordinary contributions to the people of Illinois.

"America is the greatest nation on earth because of the sacrifice of our veterans," said Governor Bruce Rauner. "We are proud to honor these 200 men and women as part of our Bicentennial celebration. Their service didn't stop when they took off their uniforms. They continue to be heroes among us by going above and beyond the call of duty to take care of the people in their communities."

"The Bicentennial HONOR 200 campaign is one of the most important commemorations of the yearlong Bicentennial Celebration," said Stuart Layne, Executive Director of the Bicentennial Commission. "These 200 Illinois veterans truly make us Illinois Proud."

All the Honor 200 recipients have been invited to attend the state's official 200th birthday celebration at the United Center in Chicago on December 3, 2018.

"Honor 200 provides us with an opportunity to showcase our veterans and the values they have when it comes to serving our communities," said IDVA Director Stephen Curda, Ph.D.

The recipients represent more than 50 counties across the state of Illinois. Nominees were evaluated based on their achievements, and on the extent to which their contributions have aided, benefited and provided inspiration to their community at large. In addition, nominees must have received an honorable discharge from the U.S. military and reside in Illinois.

There are Honor 200 recipients from the 45th District, which I would like to especially recognize:

Robert A. Arciola, Bartlett 

Timothy George O’Neil, Roselle 

William Wolff, Bloomingdale 

Thank you to our veterans for all that you do! You can find out more information on the Honor 200 and the Illinois Bicentennial at www.illinois200.com.

Veteran's Day 2018 is on Sunday, November 11, 2018 and designated as a Federal Holiday on Monday, November 12, 2018. Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans -- who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. Learn more about Veterans Day here.

Illinois Report Card Released
The figures for 2018 were presented as part of the current school-accountability push championed by the Illinois General Assembly. School reform measures, including the school funding formula rewrite of 2017-18, include a massive increase in the metric data that Illinois parents, taxpayers, employers, and educators can use to gauge the effectiveness of individual schools and the state school system as a whole. The Illinois Report Card, released every year since 1996, contains reports on the overall performances of Illinois schools and school districts. Since 2014, the Illinois Report Card has contained enhanced metric data intended to provide a comprehensive look at the productivity and success of Illinois schools and school districts. Data within the Report Card is sorted by school, school district, city, or county.

Illinois Report Card data indicates record Illinois school performance on a variety of measures. Data from a record number of enrolled students was reported, and subgroups also showed record high numbers. More Illinois students are heading to four-year and community colleges than in any previous year in which this data was compiled. In data collected on the Illinois high school Class of 2017, compilers followed how many of these graduates had gone on to college. Twelve months after high school graduation, the Report Card shows that nearly three-fourths of Illinois’ young adults had enrolled. In addition, more students took high school Advanced Placement (AP) courses, which include potential college credits, in 2017-18 than in any previous year.