The McDermed Dispatch for October 26th

Illinois’ New Auditor General
         Unfortunately, not much happened regarding the legislative impasse when the House and Senate met for the first time in almost a month last Tuesday. However, both chambers did approve of the bipartisan Audit Commission’s recommendation to make State Representative Frank Mautino of Spring Valley the next Auditor General. William Holland, who has been the state’s auditor for over 20 years, is retiring at the end of this year. The commission accepted applications from around the country and chose from candidates with a variety of backgrounds.
         I voted against this appointment. While I think that Rep Mautino is a good person and a good legislator, I think we should have looked outside Illinois State Government to fill the position. Illinois is a countrywide punchline when it comes to corruption and mismanagement of state funds. I think the position would have benefited from an outside and assuredly unbiased eye. I wish the best of luck to Rep Mautino as he fills the big shoes of Bill Holland who served the state with great character.

Education Bills Filed

         After holding a town hall to hear the concerns of constituents about the Lincoln Way School district’s financial situation and the closing of Lincoln Way North, I filed a few bills that will hopefully help put some transparency in the school closing process and can help monitor school board activity.
         House Bill 4309 creates an Inspector General position at the Illinois State Board of Education. The Inspector General at ISBE will have the authority to conduct investigations into allegations of, or incidents of, waste, fraud, and financial mismanagement in public education by a school district or its school board or by an employee, contractor, or member of the school board. The position will be appointed by ISBE, but the office will remain independent of the state board.
         House Bill 4322 would impact the process by which school closures occur. School boards would need to appoint a district advisory committee to advise and make recommendations to the school board before they make any decisions on whether a school closes. The bill also outlines the different information that the committee must gather including enrollment projections, capacity and conditions of the district schools, per-student operating costs at each school, and the different programs offered among the schools.

Principal For a Day

mokena_elementary.jpg         Mokena Elementary bestowed upon me the honor of being principal for a day last week. Being Principal for a day was eye opening. I visited several classrooms, read to kindergartners, and took questions from some of the kids. I was pleased they were not shy and asked interesting questions. They had a pretty good idea about state government and the 3rd graders all knew the capitol and many had been there. TI admired all the hard work the teachers put in and the great spirit at Mokena Elementary.

Senior Fair

          Thank you to all the service providers who took part in my senior fair on October 15th and thank you to all the seniors who attended! I thought it was very successful. I hope it was informative and plan to do it again next year.