Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
November 21, 2016

In This Issue:
  Ø  Veto Over-rides Attempted
  Ø  Negotiating Impasse Declared
  Ø  State to Get New Plates
  Ø  A Conversation With NIU Students
  Ø  Incomes of Departing Citizens a Major Loss
  Ø  Unfunded Pension Liability Skyrockets
  Ø  Energy Bill Pushed Forward, as Negotiations Continue
  Ø  Attend the Inauguration
  Ø  Remember Your Blessings

Veto Over-rides Attempted
As the legislature meet in session last week to consider the Governor’s 33 vetoes to legislation, it also passed a number of noncontroversial bills on their way to become law.  While the Senate over-rode the vetoes in a number of cases, the House failed to over-ride four of the bills it considered.
The veto to House Bill 4351 was sustained because it would restrict the state’s flexibility in assessing and serving Illinois’ elderly and physically disabled residents.  As the number of older residents grows, the bill would have locked methods of caring for them into statute that would prevent the state from making any changes or ways to manage cost of these programs.
HB5104 dies because the House failed to over-ride the Governor’s amendatory language.  The bill would have ignored an agreement regarding the number of nurses at the Department of Corrections. 
The veto to HB5931 was sustained because of its $330 million cost impact and no way to pay for it.  The bill would have raised the minimum wage for direct support personnel for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to $15 per hour. 
HB6299 also died when the House failed to over-ride the veto.  The bill would have imposed mandates on how a school district manages its employees and their benefits.
A number of non-controversial bills passed by the Senate in the spring were approved in the House last week.  Among them were bills dealing with extending the medical practice act, mercury switch recycling, out-of-state teacher licensing, tax credits for affordable housing, licensure of boiler repairers and extending the insurance code.  Another bill dealt with the valuation for property taxes on farmland grass filter strips.
The General Assembly will convene again on November 29 for the final veto session. 
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com
November 14th, 2016

In This Issue:
  Ø  Civics and Civility
  Ø  Looking Ahead in Illinois
  Ø  Volunteers and Private Interests Fight Hunger
  Ø  Trimming the Bureaucracy
  Ø  Major Energy Bill in the Works
  Ø  New Steps to Reduce Uninsured Motorists

Civics and Civility     
Millenials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation and this year for the first time they now hold an equal share of the electorate.  Both generations comprise roughly 31 percent of the voting-eligible population.  Despite being such a large growing demographic, estimates show that only about 24 million people under the age of 29 voted last Tuesday.
To spur youth investment into politics and government, a recent state law now requires high school students to take a civics class.  The course is meant to teach young people how to be responsible citizens who take an active role in the democratic process and translate their ideas and feelings in to political action.
In addition to service projects and simulations of the election process, students must also research and discuss current events and controversial topics.  It is the hope that with classroom practice, students will develop the interest and skill to discuss public issues with civility and not avoid them.
In its first school year and a most unusual Presidential election, there were no shortage of issues or debates surrounding the election.  Now that the election is over and we understand the nation is widely divided, we must find a way to look for common ground and seek to preserve our tradition of peaceful acceptance of the election outcome.  Perhaps we adults should look to the high school civics class for guidance.