Springfield, IL.... Today State Representative Bob Pritchard (R- Hinckley) filed legislation aimed at creating a path towards funding all of higher education in light of the budget stalemate in Springfield.  The proposal is contingent on providing the Governor the tools to secure revenues and support existing spending.  House Bill 4359 also includes modest, but necessary cuts.  The total spending package is approximately $1.68 billion and would come from general funds.  The higher education appropriations bill includes funding for universities, community colleges and Monetary Assistance grants (MAP) for low income students.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed Executive Order 16-01 on Monday to create the new Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) to accelerate Illinois’ modernization. The new state agency will transform and consolidate the state’s information technology functions into one agency. 

While there has been some consolidation of IT services under CMS, each agency has been left in charge of developing its own technology solutions. That created a patchwork of systems that were often redundant, vulnerable to cyber attacks, and unable to share data easily across agencies. This new agency will be able to make state government more efficient and accountable while saving taxpayer money.

On Monday January 18th, Rep Pritchard spoke at the grand re-opening of the DeKalb Public Library. The Haish Memorial Library building was built in 1930. The $25.3 million project broke ground in July 2014 and by the project's end in late summer, the library will have more than tripled its original size. A major part of the renovation plans were to increase access to the library by bringing it in to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and be a better resource for the community in the 21st century with increased technology.
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com
January 18, 2015
In This Issue:
  Ø  2016 Session Off to Stuttering Start
  Ø  Criminal Justice Reform Takes Time
  Ø  Illinois Bonds are Hot Commodity
  Ø  Focus on Local Government Mandates, Consolidation
  Ø  Workshop Moves Residents Toward Citizenship
  Ø  Join the Discussion on Education Issues
  Ø  Good News Abounds

2016 Session Off to Stuttering Start
With all the critical issues facing Illinois one would think the House would be in session every week.  Politics and campaigning for the March Primary Election are more important, apparently, since Speaker Madigan has only scheduled 10 days of meetings until April. 
The first House session will be January 27 when the Governor will give his “State-of-the-State” address.  If you would like tickets to the chamber for the speech, please contact my office today.  Meanwhile, legislators have been busy drafting legislation before the deadline this Friday.  I will be filing nearly a dozen bills—many at the suggestions of constituents--on a range of issues.  More about them at a later time, but you can view the bills here.
The contract negotiations between Central Management Services (CMS) and the state’s largest labor union AFSCME are also going at a slow pace.  After 67 days of negotiations over the past year and with little agreement, CMS on Friday requested the Illinois Labor Relations Board to determine if the parties are at impasse. 
The request initiates a formal process of fact finding that may take months meanwhile pausing further negotiations.  The Governor again pledged not to lock out employees despite the lack of negotiation progress.
Rep Pritchard hosted a citizenship drive on Saturday, January 16th, with the help of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Family Focus of Aurora. The drive, designed to help legal residents navigate the complex application process to become a US citizen, helped 21 immigrants complete their applications. Volunteers from various organizations were on hand to help assist applicants in filling out the necessary forms and documents.
After push-back from local governments around the country, the Department of Homeland Security acted on Friday to extend the Real ID compliance deadline until January 22, 2018. This means that your state driver’s license will still be a valid form of identification for boarding aircraft.

It’s been over ten years since the Real ID act was signed into law. Many states resisted and are still resisting the unfunded federal mandate. According to the Secretary of State’s office, Real ID implementation in Illinois will cost 57.3 million dollars over its first four years.

Read below for a full report from the Secretary of State's office: 

The Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates, led by Lt. Governor Sanguinetti, has released their final report. Early last year Governor Rauner issued executive order 15-15, creating the task force to help tackle Illinois' bloated local government system and high property taxes. Illinois has more local units of government than any other state in the nation at 6,963 and the second highest effective property tax rate. The task force also worked on addressing Illinois' growing unfunded mandate burden; 266 new unfunded mandates have been imposed on municipalities since 1982 and 145 mandates have been imposed on schools since 1992.