Winger's Weekly Wrap-Up for December 10th

Funeral Services Held, National Day of Mourning for President George H.W. Bush

George Herbert Walker Bush, the 41st President of the United States, passed away at his Houston home on Friday, November 30th at the age of 94.

President George H.W. Bush was the last veteran of World War II to serve as president. Bush spent decades in public service, as a congressman, ambassador, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Vice-President for two terms under Ronald Reagan, then President of the United States from 1989-1993.

In addition to serving as president, George H.W. Bush was the father of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States. They were the only other father-son duo to serve terms as president besides John Adams and John Quincy Adams in the nation’s infancy.

President George H.W. Bush’s flag-draped coffin lied in state at the U.S. Capitol from Monday through Wednesday morning. Wednesday, December 5th was a National Day of Mourning and the date of President Bush’s State Funeral at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Thousands of mourners attended the State Funeral, including the five surviving presidents: Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Last Thursday, funeral services were held at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston. Following the service, President Bush’s coffin was transported via a special train that carried him to his burial plot near his presidential library, on the grounds of Texas A & M. He was buried next to his wife of 73 years and daughter Robin, who died in 1953 at age 3 of leukemia.

November Revenue Report Issued by CGFA

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability issued its November Monthly Briefing detailing revenue receipts for the month. As expected, November 2017's surge in reimbursements resulted in large monthly federal sources decline in 2018.

Excluding $250 million in interfund borrowing, as well as $2.500 billion which was deposited into the GRF stemming from the $6 billion bond sale executed in November 2017, base monthly receipts fell $1.738 billion. The significant drop in revenues was not a surprise and merely reflects last year’s reimbursable spending surge made possible as a result of the bond sale. That important item aside, most of the other revenue sources showed mixed results this November. The month had one less receipting day compared to the prior year.

Sales taxes increased $105 million on a gross basis, or $100 million net of the direct distributions to transportation funds. Gross personal income taxes grew $47 million, or $37 million on a net basis. Public utility taxes posted a gain of $9 million, while cigarette taxes moved up $6 million as a result of receipt timing. Interest income reflected higher rates of return and advanced $6 million. Corporate franchise taxes rose $2 million, and liquor tax as well as vehicle use tax each eked out a $1 million increase.

Illinois Celebrated its 200th Birthday with Grand Bicentennial Party
Two hundred years ago Illinois became the Union’s 21st state, and on Monday, Dec. 3rd, Illinois celebrities, dignitaries, veterans and citizens came together to celebrate at the Bicentennial Birthday Party on Chicago’s Navy Pier.

Legendary journalist Bill Kurtis hosted the program, which opened with Wayne Messmer belting out the national anthem and Gov. Bruce Rauner welcoming a crowd of more than 2,300 party-goers.

“Tonight, we recognize some of the great contributions Illinois has made to society and the world,” said Gov. Rauner. “The milestones featured during our 200th birthday represent opportunities to reflect on our past and understand the great assets our state has to build on for the future. We have a lot to be proud of … and lot to build on.”

Rauner noted the contributions of Bicentennial sponsors who made it possible to conduct a year’s worth of Bicentennial activities without spending taxpayer money. The key sponsors included Wintrust, which served as the Official Bank of the Bicentennial, Walgreens, Abbott, Boeing, BMO Harris, Illinois Office of Tourism, Comcast and United Airlines.

Act 1 of the program started with features to establish the Bicentennial theme of things Born, Built and Grown in Illinois. While members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra performed Happy Birthday, Gov. Rauner joined Eli Cheesecake’s Mark Schulman to cut a 1,000-pound Honest Abe Apple Cheesecake that was shaped like the Illinois State Capitol. Chicago vocalist Simone Green added a stirring rendition of the Illinois state song.

Governor-elect JB Pritzker also addressed the crowd. “We are celebrating our bicentennial as one Illinois,” he said, “ringing in our third century with hope and optimism to build on the progress of our first 200 years.”

On Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are Illinois Proud.  

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