State Rep Pritchard spoke to 3rd graders from Hiawatha Elementary on the importance of an educated society

State Representative Pritchard visited Northern Illinois University Tuesday night to host a townhall style event with students. He spoke with them about MAP grant funding and the current budget mess as well as answered all of their questions about his role as a State Representative. Rep. Pritchard is a member of the Higher Education Committee and the Higher Education Appropriations Committee in the House. 
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to
March 7, 2016
In This Issue:
  Ø  Compromise Improves Chicago School Board Proposal
  Ø  Election Fuels More Spending Bills
  Ø  End to Paper Licenses
  Ø  Groups Educate Legislators
  Ø  Higher Ed Compact Helps All Units of Government
  Ø  NIU Recognizes Impressive Scholars
  Ø  House Ignores Work, Goes on Recess

Compromise Improves Chicago School Board Proposal
Unlike much of the legislation we’ve been voting on in the past year, a bill went through the negotiated process and this past week received bipartisan, near unanimous support in the House.  This gives hope that the legislature can still pass a budget if it allows both parties to participate.
The bill at issue reverses the appointed Chicago Public School Board (CPS) back to an elected board.  Since the 1995 School Reform Act, members of the current 7 member board have served at the appointment of the mayor.
House Bill 557 creates a 20 member elected school board, with an at-large elected president, beginning in 2018.  The board districts will be created through the same process that the legislature uses to draw its own legislative maps.
To the Editor,

Without a state budget, the General Assembly continued to vote on spending bills last week just as it has done since last May.  The bills, drafted by the majority party with no input from the minority, seemed to fund important programs including higher education, grants for students and human services.  One thing is always missing in these bills, however--an adequate source of funding. 

On the day before adjourning for a month, the House was asked to vote on a surprise spending bill that included nearly $3.7 billion for all manner of programs and services that had yet to be funded.  This bill was introduced after most members had gone home for the evening and thus avoided any public comment.  Despite being presented as a “compromise effort,” no members of the minority party were at the negotiating table. 
Illinois House Republicans, furious about the lack of a state budget and seemingly empty session calendar thus far this year, challenged House Democrat leadership today to not adjourn as scheduled for the entire month of March.

Read more on the Caucus Blog.

State Representative Pritchard was joined in Springfield today by students from the Somonauk-Leland-Sycamore FFA. More than 1,000 FFA members came down to Springfield on Tuesday for the 46th annual Agriculture Legislative day. They were down to speak with legislators on the role that agriculture plays in our state's economy and the importance of agriculture education.