‘Quit Exploiting Will County’
A recent Chicago Tribune Editorial discussed the practice of dumping construction debris in to old, unused quarries. Will County has 9 such quarry sites that accept debris, the most in the State. Many of our local communities rely on groundwater for drinking and given recent national concerns about contaminated water I filed a bill to ensure that the water near these sites is properly monitored. Read the editorial here.
Republicans Offer New Pension Reform Proposal
I joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, and a number of other colleagues in filing legislation to address Illinois’ staggering pension crisis. The pension reform would save taxpayers an estimated $2.25 billion dollars in the short run and grant Chicago the one time pension pickup of $215 million they need to finish the school year as part of a bipartisan good faith effort. The legislation uses Senate President John Cullerton’s “consideration model” that would require members of TRS, SURS, SERS, GARS, and CTPF to exchange their Tier 1 COLA for the right to have future raises to be counted as pensionable, or keep their COLA and sacrifice future raises as pensionable. In addition it would close new member participation in GARS, the pension system for General Assembly members.
Chicago, Illinois Population Continues to Decline
Chicago, one of the nation’s largest cities, was the only top ten city to see a drop in population between 2015 and 2016, losing 19,570 residents. In addition, for the third straight year Illinois has lost more residents than other state. In 2016 there was a net loss of 37,508 people. The decline coincided with patterns of stagnant job creation in Illinois. Groups leaving Illinois include young adults searching for employment elsewhere. While the unemployment rate is down -0.7 percentage points from a year ago, at 5.4% it is still above the national average (4.7%) and monthly payroll gains continue to significantly lag behind the rest of the country.
I am hosting a town hall next month in Frankfort. This will be the first of several townhalls I will hold over the course of the year. I will be available to hear from constituents on all issues, but each townhall will focus on a particular topic. The focus of this first townhall will be transportation issues. The 37th district is an important transportation crossroads between Chicago and the rest of the state and I serve as the minority spokesperson on the House Transportation; Roads and Bridges Committee. The townhall will be held on Tuesday, April 18th at 6:30pm in the old blue Frankfort Township building, 11008 W Lincoln Hwy.