Wednesday, July 20, 2016

34th Legislative District Weekly Newsletter

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Representative's Corner

Dear Mary Ellen,
In my continuing effort to keep you informed regarding developments affecting the residents of the 34th District, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support.
My mission as your State Representative is to improve the quality of life for the communities we serve. We continue to work collectively with the communities making up the 34th District in order to strengthen community and governmental relations as we continue to put our families and communities first.
The work I am doing in Springfield seeks to improve the quality of our schools, strengthening the middle class by creating good jobs, bringing fiscal discipline to Springfield, and passing common sense public safety initiatives to make our streets safer.
Again, thank you for entrusting me with this great responsibility, and supporting the work that we do here in the 34th District.
Warmest regards,
State Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr.
8658 South Cottage Grove
Suite 404B
Chicago, IL 60619

Rep. Sims Statement on Stopgap Budget

Springfield Legislative Update

On June 30, 2016, the Illinois General Assembly passed and the governor signed into law, SB 2047, the stopgap budget plan. While NOT a budget, this stopgap plan is a good first step towards a full budget. The stopgap plan ensures our schools will open on time, vital social services and other state services are funded through the end of the calendar year. The details of the plan are as follows:
Elementary and Secondary Education
  • Education funding is provided for all of Fiscal Year 2017
  • General State Aid increased by $361 million
  • $250 million provided to high poverty schools
  • Early childhood education funding increased by $75 million
Higher Education
  • $1 billion in funding for state universities, community colleges, MAP grants, adult education, career and technical education, and the Illinois Math and Science Academy.
  • Funding provides for the remainder of FY 2016 and beginning of FY 2017
Human Services
  • Provides $667 million in funding for programs not currently operating under court order.
  • Funds programs currently suspended, including autism programs, breast cancer screenings, in-home healthcare for seniors and services for victims of domestic violence
Capital funding
  • Funding for projects in IDoT's 5 year plan, EPA projects and other projects suspended mid-construction
Additionally, two pieces of legislation were passed to address the serious fiscal challenges facing Chicago Public Schools.

Dedicated funding for Chicago Teacher Pensions (SB 318)
  • The bill authorizes a dedicated stream of revenue to address and fund Chicago Teacher pensions
  • The bill also allows the Chicago Board of Education to levy taxes above the tax cap limit to address funding shortfalls
Chicago Teacher Pension Funding (SB 2822)
  • This legislation provides $215 million to the Chicago Teachers Pension Fund to address fiscal demands on Chicago Public Schools related to teacher pensions
For information on other legislation see:

Upcoming Events

Merchant Street Music Festival: 7/29 - 7/30 Learn more
Back to School Health& Wellness Festival: 7/30
Time: Festival 11am-4pm Health Screenings 10am-2pm
Where: 1021 E. 83rd St. Chicago, IL
C Major 7 & WWCA Jazz on the Grass: 7/31 Learn more

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