In this Issue:
Survey: How to Manage Surplus?
Legislative Update: Unemployment Insurance and Debt Payments
DuPage River Access
Women’s History Month Illinois Honor Flight Recap
March Virtual Food Drive for Loaves & Fishes
History Ahead at Naper Settlement
April Coffee & Conversation
May Shred Event
Dear Friends, We’re in the final stretch of the regular 2022 legislative session, and there are a number of issues working through the Illinois General Assembly. From budget negotiations to public safety legislation, expect to see major progress on many of these and other fronts as we work toward the April 8 close of session. One area my colleagues and I have spent much time is negotiating how to manage our state’s expected surplus for this current 2022 fiscal year. Your input on this would greatly aid how I would represent our district, so please consider taking this survey to let me know how you would prefer to manage this surplus. We also continue to hold regular district events and serve constituents in the 41st district. I would love to meet with and chat with you at these events. You can also always contact me and my office directly by phone or email: 630-296-4157 or Info@RepYangRohr.com. Sincerely, Janet
Survey: How to Manage Surplus? At the beginning of February 2022, Illinois was projected to close out our current fiscal year (ending June 30, 2022) with a surplus of $1.7 billion. As additional months of actual revenue have come in over the ensuing months we’re now expecting that surplus to grow by more than $200 million. My previous newsletter outlined some of the ways my colleagues and I in the General Assembly are considering managing this surplus. Finding a balance between fiscal discipline and providing relief to Illinois families remains my top priority. We’ve already passed elements of the former via Senate Bill 2803 (more details in the next section). On the latter, I would very much appreciate your taking the time to let me know your specific preferences in the types of relief you would like to see for our community. Below are some the main options we’re discussing, and you can register your preferences via this survey.
Direct payments (such as checks or electronic deposits) to residents, with minimal to no income restrictions to qualify
Direct payments (such as checks or electronic deposits) to residents, with certain restrictions (such as households with incomes under $400,000) to qualify
One-year suspension of 1% state grocery tax
One-year suspension of scheduled $0.03 gas tax increase
Property tax rebate of 5%, up to $300
Springfield Legislative Update: Unemployment Insurance and Early Debt Payments Last week, the House and Senate passed and Governor Pritzker signed SB2803, which took a number of important steps to shore up our state’s finances and will have notable effects on businesses and families throughout the state:
$2.7 billion to Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. The COVID-19 pandemic’s disruption of our economy caused record-level unemployment and greatly depleted Illinois’ unemployment insurance trust fund. In-line with many other states, we took action to shore up this fund with a $2.7 billion infusion from ARPA funds. Negotiations with businesses and workers continue as we determine how to replenish the remaining $1.8 billion in unemployment debt. This action was necessary to meet various deadlines set by federal laws and allows us to keep all options open as negotiations continue.
$230 million to College Illinois Fund. With this payment, Illinois’ pre-paid tuition trust fund becomes fully funded. This will save Illinois taxpayers $75 million over the remaining life of the program and provides peace of mind to the 25,000 Illinois families and students currently in this program.
$300 million in additional funding for state pensions. This infusion is in addition to the state’s annual legally obligated pension payments, which will save taxpayers $1 billion over the next 23 years through 2045.
$898 million payment to group insurance fund. This additional payment to the Department of Central Management Services for state employee group insurance allows the state to pay off outstanding healthcare bills, saving an estimated $100 million in late interest penalties.
In all, the early payments outlined above saves taxpayers almost $1.2 billion.
DuPage River Access Questions have arisen in the past year surrounding the public’s right to access the DuPage River. For example, you can see news stories here and here, as well as our district’s August 2021 newsletter. The issue has re-emerged with recent stories regarding the expectation of the Illinois Supreme Court weighing in on the topic. My office and I have been working with representatives from other affected districts, as well as the Illinois Environmental Council, local landowners, and local business owners to find solutions that provide access to the DuPage River while also respecting the rights of property owners. Although legislation to remedy the issue is an option and remains ready to be filed, we’ve also known that the Illinois Supreme Court was likely to rule on the issue in the near term. As a result, it is strategically best at this point to see the Court’s decision and file legislation only if necessary. In the meantime, leadership at the Nature Conservancy has been hard at work with stakeholders to ensure that the DuPage River is open to the public for this 2022 season. I will be sure to share additional details of these plans in coming district communications.
Women’s History Month Illinois Honor Flight Panel Replay. Senator Laura Ellman and I were honored to be recently joined by Master Sergeant Ginny Narsete, co-founder of Operation HerStory, an organization to serve women veterans and highlight their often forgotten contributions. MSG Narsete organized the first all-women veterans flight to Washington D.C., providing women veterans an opportunity to visit the war memorials built in their honor. Watch the recording of the panel here. Last week, MSG Narsete (pictured second from the right, below) also joined us as special guests of the General Assembly, and I had the privilege of hosting and recognizing her on the House floor.
March Virtual Food Drive for Loaves & Fishes. Thank you to all for your generosity in donating to our virtual food drive for Loaves and Fishes. Please consider donating and help address hunger and poverty throughout the Naperville and DuPage community.
History Ahead at Naper Settlement. Join us on April 13 at 7 pm as we highlight Naper Settlement’s newest exhibits, such as Innovation Gateway, which were made possible by state and local grants. Our expert panel includes:
Rena Tamayo-Calabrese, President & CEO
Donna Sack, Vice President & Chief Program Director
Jeanne Schultz Angel, Associate Vice President
April Coffee & Conversation. Join us on the last Saturday of each month as we review Springfield and district activities and talk about any concerns or questions that you have. In April, we’ll be chatting via Zoom on April 30 at 10 am.
May Shred Event. Save May 7 on your calendars for our district’s document shredding event, from 9 am to 11 am at the 95th Street branch of the Naperville Library.