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  • Writer's pictureJanet

Veto Session, Credit Upgrade, Humane Society Drive, and Lots More

In this Issue

  • 2024 Veto Session Wrap-Up

  • Latest Credit Rating Upgrade

  • Congrats to Mr. Brady!

  • Photo Contest Voting

  • Veterans History Project

  • Humane Society Supply Drive

  • Coffee & Events


 

Dear Friends,


My colleagues and I in the General Assembly wrapped up the 2023 legislative session last week with the end of the fall veto session. The veto session weeks generally allow lawmakers to address vetoed bills and other time-sensitive matters. It also sets the stage for the 2024 session. I’ve highlighted some of these efforts, including those that address nuclear power, school vouchers, and gun violence prevention. I’m a finance person, so I also had to make sure to include lots of details on Illinois’ latest credit rating upgrade 😊. 


In our community, a lot has been going on, too! From a local teacher receiving the prestigious Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence to our district photo contest, Humane Society supply drive, and open house, there’s much to be proud of and much to do in our district.


Please always feel welcome to join us at any or all of these district events, and don’t hesitate to contact me or my office if we can be of service to you.


Sincerely,


Janet


 

2024 Veto Session Wrap-Up

Each year, the Illinois legislative calendar follows a generally set path: Legislators introduce and pass bills throughout the first half of the year, the Governor reviews and signs bills throughout the summer, and the General Assembly reconvenes for a few weeks in the fall to address vetoed bills and other time-sensitive issues. Here are some of the more notable bills that we did (and didn’t) take up in the fall veto session:

 

  • Nuclear Moratorium, HB2473: Governor Pritzker vetoed the original bill, SB76, citing concerns about safety oversight of nuclear power plants. This negotiated bill addressed those issues, resulting in the Illinois Environmental Council being neutral on the legislation. This bill lifts the more-than-three-decades-long ban on the construction of new nuclear reactors.

  • Business Licensing/Procurement, HB2394: We spend much of our time in the district office assisting constituents with obtaining the professional licenses crucial to their livelihoods. These include professions such as speech therapists, nurses, and hair stylists. The agency responsible for these licenses, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, is long overdue for system upgrades to speed up their license-issuing processes. This legislation will allow the department to build the system they need and get more Illinoisians to work more quickly.

  • Mental Health Boards, SB690:  In the 2023 general election, voters from various townships, including those in our district, voted to support the creation of mental health boards. This legislation validates the approved tax levies to create those community mental health boards.

  • School Vouchers/Invest in Kids Program, HB4194: My colleagues and I did not take action on the Invest in Kids school voucher program, which means that this 75% tax credit will end at the end of 2023. While some of my colleagues in the General Assembly supported the program, most, including me, believe strongly that public dollars need to fund public schools. This is particularly true given that we have school districts in our 41st district that are below adequacy funding levels. Those wanting to support private schools can still fund private scholarships and receive regular tax deductions.

  • Karina’s Bill/Gun and Domestic Violence Prevention, HB676: One of the more disappointing outcomes of the veto session was the failure to pass Karina’s bill, which would strengthen our laws protecting against domestic and gun violence by making sure guns are removed from homes when survivors are granted an order of protection. The bill is named in remembrance of Karina Gonzalez, who was allegedly shot and killed, along with her daughter, by her husband after he was ordered to stay away from them. I’m committed to continue supporting this legislation so that it passes in 2024.



Latest Credit Rating Upgrade

On November 7, Illinois received its ninth credit rating upgrade in a row. Our state is now rated A by all three of the major credit ratings agencies, Moody’s, S&P, and Fitch. For context, bonds rated BB or lower are considered “junk” or “high yield” bonds, and investors require higher interest rate payments to compensate for the increased risk of default that they take on when buying those bonds. Each credit rating notch upgrade results in savings of millions of dollars in interest rate payments by us as Illinois taxpayers.


In this latest upgrade, the Fitch Ratings agency report cited “…the state’s ability to execute on significant planned reserve contributions and maintain improvements in budget management…” Fitch also highlighted Illinois’ broad revenue base and deep and diverse economy as strengths that could continue to propel Illinois’ rating higher.


Below is a historical view of our state's credit rating history since 1970.


Source: Hannah Meisel and Andrew Adams, Capitol News Illinois, as of November 7, 2023



Congrats to Mr. Brady!

My office and I want to send a special congratulations to Seth Brady, social studies teacher at Naperville Central High School, on his recently announced Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence. This incredible recognition honors only five teachers across the country each year. The NEA Foundation says, “They are among the best and brightest in public education and reflect the diversity of the teaching profession. Their stories inspire and their impact in their school communities reverberates.”


I have seen firsthand how Mr. Brady empowers students to address problems through research and to take action on solutions. Many of his students have introduced legislation and laws that I have sponsored for them. Below are some of the behind-the-scenes photos from a short documentary that will be presented when Mr. Brady receives his award in 2024.




Photo Contest Voting

Thank you to all who submitted entries to our district’s inaugural community photo contest! We've loved looking at all the beautiful photos you've taken and are excited to share the entries with you.

 

Now we need your input, and you can use the link and button below to vote for your favorites by November 30th.

Winners will be announced at the December 16 Winter Open House, with winning entries displayed in Springfield Capitol Complex and made into canvas prints for winners.





Veterans History Project

We wanted to make sure you knew that the Secretary of State’s Office is launching a new effort to encourage Illinois military veterans to share their stories, photos and mementos for future generations. This initiative is part of the Illinois History Project, which the Secretary of State’s office oversees and

administers in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias encourages veterans and their family members to submit materials so his office can digitize them and make them available online. 

 

To submit an entry, visit www.ilsos.gov/veteranshistoryproject and fill out an Illinois Patriot Information Form to the Illinois State Library. Completed forms can be submitted electronically to ilvhp@ilsos.gov or by mail to the Illinois State Library, 300 S. Second St., Springfield, IL 62701−1796.

 

For more information about the Illinois Veterans History Project, call (800) 665-5576 – ext. 4, email ilvhp@ilsos.gov or visit the website at www.ilsos.gov/veteranshistoryproject. The public can visit www.idaillinois.org and search Veterans History Project to view submissions, which can be searched by name, war and hometown of veterans who have submitted materials. Oral history interviews are also available on the project’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/user/ilveteransproject.




Humane Society Supply Drive

The Naperville Humane Society was started in 1979 by caring citizens dedicated to helping homeless companion animals. Today, the animal shelter offers dog and cat adoption, foster care, and owner surrender for Chicago’s western suburbs. 

 

Please join us in supporting the Naperville Area Humane Society by purchasing from their wish lists for dogs, cats, and other office needs. You can view a list of items and Amazon wish lists by clicking on the link/button below.




Coffee & Events

My office hosts monthly coffee and conversations open to all constituents across the district. We usually hold these on the last Saturdays of each month, but we’re rearranging our timing for November and December to accommodate the holiday season.

 

For November, we’re meeting this Saturday, November 18. With veto session just finishing, we’ll have lots of legislative updates to talk about. In December, we’ll have our annual holiday office open house on Saturday, December 16. Join us for special baked treats, the unveiling of our photo contest winner, and a peek at the coming 2024 legislative session.

 

You can find the details for these and all our events at www.repyangrohr.com/events.



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