News from Rockford, IL Democrats – more news at WinnDems.org.

Wallace Supports Stopgap Budget, Calls for Continued Action on Challenges Facing Illinois

FROM THE OFFICE OF STATE REPRESENTATIVE LITESA E. WALLACE

For Immediate Release: For More Information:
June 30, 2016 State Rep. Litesa E. Wallace
815-987-7433

Wallace Supports Stopgap Budget, Calls for Continued Action on 
Challenges Facing Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, issued the 
following statement after Thursday's passage of Senate Bill 2047, a 
stopgap spending plan that will bring additional funding to Rockford 
public schools, as well as fund higher education, cancer screenings and 
other essential services that had been impacted by the state budget 
impasse:

"Over the past year, residents across our state and the city of Rockford 
have been forced to bear the consequences of an unnecessary budget 
impasse. I have repeatedly called for a responsible resolution to this 
stalemate, and today's vote is an important first step toward that goal.

"Through this legislation, Rockford public schools will receive 
additional funding and will open on time this fall. I have repeatedly 
supported plans to increase resources for our students and teachers, and 
am glad that negotiations with the governor were able to make this 
priority a reality. This is an important commitment to our community's 
youth, who deserve the opportunity to recognize and achieve their full 
potential in the classroom.

"This bill also addresses the need to prioritize essential, life-saving 
services that should never have been used as political bargaining chips. 
Disability care, breast cancer screenings, rape crisis counseling and 
senior services are some of the many important programs that are 
representative of how our state treats the well-being of our residents. 
After taking multiple votes over the past year to fund these critical 
services, I am encouraged to finally see them receive the bi-partisan 
support they always deserved.

"It will take a lot of effort to reverse the damage of this budget 
impasse, but I am encouraged by today's action. As we move forward, I 
remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the 
aisle in a responsible manner to address the challenges that face 
Illinois and the city of Rockford."

For more information, please contact Wallace's constituent service 
office at 815-987-7433, or email litesa@staterepwallace.com.

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Sen. Stadelman – Stopgap budget a good start, but not the permanent solution




 
Stadelman: Stopgap budget a good start, but not the permanent solution
 
Legislation that would keep schools open, get funding to Rock Valley Community College and keep government agencies and construction projects operating received State Sen. Steve Stadelman's (D-Rockford) vote today.
 
"This is only a temporary budget and not a permanent solution, but it gets more funding to schools throughout my district and ensures they will open on time," Stadelman said.
 
Under the plan, Rockford School District gains almost $6.5 million more than what it received last year and Harlem School District gains $880,000 more than last year.
 
The higher education portion of the legislation provides funding for state universities, community colleges, grants for low-income college students and career and technical education programs.
 
"This proposal should help alleviate some of the funding issues Rock Valley Community College has faced during the budget impasse," Stadelman said. "Funding higher education should not be a partisan issue, and today is an example of the positive things the legislature and governor can do when they work together."
 
The proposal backed by Stadelman also includes stopgap fudding to keep state agencies and road construction projects operating. Additionally, it invests in human services programs that help seniors, the disabled and other vulnerable populations.
 
With Stadelman's support, Senate Bill 2047 was approved by the Illinois Senate and will now head to the governor for final approval.
 
 
 
 

Illinois Senate Democratic Staff
 
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The mission of the Illinois Senate President's Staff is to provide the best possible service and professional expertise to members of our caucus. We seek to empower our senators to advance the values of the Democratic Party and to provide the best possible service and representation to the people of Illinois.

Frerichs for Illinois – The fight goes on!



Dear Friend, 

Every day I get to fight for hard working Illinois families to ensure they are financially secure. Over the last few months, I have been fighting to ensure that corporations provide consumers with the benefits they paid for and rightfully deserve. The Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act (HB4633) is a bipartisan initiative that passed unanimously in both chambers and awaiting the Governor's signature. The bill requires insurers to use the federal Death Master File to determine if the policyholder has passed away and if the benefits have not been paid out. 

It is a basic principle that if you pay for a service to protect your family, then your family should receive the benefits that are guaranteed to them. I am honored to take on the insurance industry to ensure that Illinois families are protected. 
I need your support so I can continue to fight corporations and stand tall for working Illinois families! It is crucial we have a strong showing by the end of the night and we are just short of our goal for this quarter. 


Thank you for your support!
Paid for by Friends of Frerichs
Friends of Frerichs
PO 386
Savoy IL 61874 United States

Save the Date – July 30th, Democratic Fundraiser Breakfast


WINNEBAGO COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CENTRAL COMMITTEE
Invites you to a 

SUMMER BREAKFAST FUNDRAISER
START THE ELECTION SEASON WITH A BIG BREAKFAST

DATE: JULY 30, 2016
TIME: 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
LOCATION:
UAW HALL, 112 North Second Street,  Rockford, IL 61104

REQUESTED DONATIONS:
 $25.00 per person
$15.00 for precinct committeeman
$50.00 per family

Sponsorship Opportunities
$1,000.00 Platinum 
$500.00 Gold
$250.00 Silver

SILENT AUCTION AND OTHER SURPRISES!!!!!

Send your checks to: 
Winnebago County Democratic Central Committee
P. O. Box 23
Rockford, IL  61105-0023

See you there!

###

Angelique Bodine for State Representative Campaign Update

From Angelique Bodine for State Representative...

Now that summer is in full swing, it is time to celebrate the birth of our nation!  And how does America do that best?  With PARADES!  Last weekend, we had our wonderful Heritage Days Celebration in Belvidere.  Thank you to all who came out for that!  

Our next events will be in Candlewick and Rockford.  If you are able, please join us!  Please wear anything purple and/or yellow (my campaign colors) or anything Democratic.  I will also have campaign shirts available for a $15 donation each.

We are also accepting donations of candy for the parades (It can't be home-made, sorry!). 

Details are as follows:

Candlewick Lake Parade 
Come out and support your candidate for 69th District State Representative, Angelique Bodine, and march with her in her delegation in her home neighborhood!
  • Parade begins at 11:00am
  • LINEUP is at 10:15 at Friendship Park
  • In the evening, there will be live music from the band Power Trip from 6-11pm, and fireworks at 9:15 over the lake.  

  • Parade begins at 7:00pm
  • LINEUP is at 6:00 PM at 7th St. and 6th Ave.

  
Warmest Regards, Angelique Bodine
Democratic Candidate for
69th District State Representative
  

"Civilization is a method of living and an attitude of equal respect for
all people." - Jane Addams

June 30 – Fundraiser for Victory Bell
, 17th District Delegate for Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention

Fundraiser for Victory Bell
,
17th District Delegate for Hillary Clinton at the 2016 Democratic National Convention


Come join us as we raise money to our 17th District Hillary Clinton Delegate go to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 25-29.

Guest Speaker:
Former Congressman John Cox, Jr.


Date: June 30, 2016

Time: 6:00 p.m
Location: Lithuanian Social Club, 716 Indiana Ave. Rockford, IL

Suggested Donation: $35.00

Make Checks Payable to:
Victory Bell Committee
2597 Meadow View Ln
Rockford, IL 61102

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Wallace Prioritizes Rockford Area Schools in Education Funding Debate -- Press Release Attached

FROM THE OFFICE OF STATE REPRESENTATIVE LITESA WALLACE

For Immediate Release: For More Information:
June 27, 2016 State Rep. Litesa Wallace
815-987-7433

Wallace Prioritizes Rockford Area Schools in Education Funding Debate

ROCKFORD, Ill. – Reiterating her belief that Rockford schools deserve
additional funding, state Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, called for
support of a spending plan that would allocate more dollars to the
area's public schools.

"In May, I voted in support of Senate Bill 2048 because it would send
needed dollars and resources to our region's school districts," Wallace
said. "The governor and his allies introduced an education proposal of
their own, which in comparison falls woefully short of fairly funding
schools in the Rockford area."

Under the proposal Wallace voted for, Rockford School District 205 would
receive over $13 million more than the plan put forth by the governor in
House Bill 6583. Nearby Harlem School District 122 and Belvidere
Community Unit School District 100 would also receive more money through
the appropriations outlined in Senate Bill 2048. In a recent visit to
Peoria, the governor acknowledged that he would refuse to sign a
critically needed emergency human services stop gap bill unless his own
education plan was passed.

"As we've seen time and again, the governor would rather use serious
issues as bargaining chips instead of putting Illinois first," Wallace
said. "Every legislator should want to make sure that schools open on
time and that human service agencies are responsibly funded. I hope that
my colleagues in this region recognize and support the plan that will
bring dollars home and help their students."

For more information, please contact Wallace's full-time constituent
service office at 815-987-7433, or email Litesa@StateRepWallace.com.

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Wallace Again Calls on Governor to Sign Bi-Partisan Human Services Emergency Funding Bill

FROM THE OFFICE OF STATE REPRESENTATIVE LITESA WALLACE

For Immediate Release: For More Information:
June 24, 2016 State Rep. Litesa Wallace
815-987-7433

Wallace Again Calls on Governor to Sign Bi-Partisan Human Services
Emergency Funding Bill

ROCKFORD, Ill. – More than a month after an emergency human services
funding bill was delivered to the governor's desk, state Rep. Litesa
Wallace, D-Rockford, is again urging the governor to put Illinois
residents first and sign the stopgap bill which passed with overwhelming
bi-partisan support.

"While I continue to prefer a more permanent spending solution, this
bill passed with bi-partisan support because both sides realized the
immediate need to provide a lifeline for human service providers that
were on the verge of closing their doors," Wallace said. "This need
continues to get worse. Despite the calls of desperate providers who are
on the verge of laying off staff and turning away those who need care,
Gov. Rauner has refused to act and would rather use the bill as a
negotiating chip for his non-budgetary special interest agenda."

Senate Bill 2038 passed both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly
without opposition before being delivered to the governor on May 18. The
bill was a compromise to allow partial funding for service agencies that
provide work for the developmentally disabled, seniors, children and
low-income individuals in need of care. Under the plan, approximately
$700 million would be distributed statewide to programs and
organizations that have gone without funding since the budget impasse
began last summer.

"Since the governor took office, his decision making has created
unparalleled gridlock and put thousands of seniors, children and
developmentally disabled at risk of losing critical and sometimes
life-saving services," Wallace said. "This was one of the few examples
in which members on both sides of the aisle were able to come together
and pass a reasonable plan of action. Instead of taking notice of this
cooperation, the governor decided to continue to hold human service
agencies hostage and force a crisis. This is not a responsible way to
govern. The residents of Rockford deserve better."

For more information, please contact Wallace's full-time constituent
service office at 815-987-7433, or email Litesa@StateRepWallace.com.

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Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - June 22, 2016




Stadelman joins Treasurer in calling for Rauner to close insurance loophole

State Senator Steve Stadelman, State Rep. Litesa Wallace and Terri Worman of AARP joined Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs at a news conference in Rockford to urge Gov. Rauner to sign the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act.

The bill, which passed with bipartisan support in both houses of the General Assembly, would require insurance companies to do the right thing -- pay death benefits when they know or should have known that a policy holder has died. If signed into law, Illinois insurers must routinely check the federal Death Master File and make good-faith efforts to locate beneficiaries of policy holders who have died.

"It's a disappointing fact, but some life insurance companies admit that they avoid paying death benefits to increase their profit margins," Frerichs said Monday at the Zeke Giorgi Center in downtown Rockford. "Governor Rauner has an opportunity to sign into law a measure to ensure Illinois residents are not victimized."

Since 2011, Frerichs said, the state has used its auditing authority to identify more than $550 million in life insurance proceeds that should have been paid to beneficiaries in Illinois



Women adversely affected by Rauner's budget impasse
 
Women disproportionately are affected by Gov. Rauner's budget stalemate with the Legislature, a new Chicago Tribune report says.
Rauner has blocked funding for child care, college tuition assistance, health care screenings for women and children, rape crisis centers, domestic violence programs, disabled children, teen parents, homeless services and prenatal and family care management for at-risk mothers.
In addition, women predominantly make up the workforce of human service providers that have had to cut programs and lay off employees to make up for the absence of state payments during the budget impasse.
Women also account for nearly two-thirds of college tuition MAP grant recipients, which has been devastated by Rauner's budget stalemate. Figures released Thursday show a 13 percent decline in the number of students applying for MAP grants, leaving many to wonder if it's an indicator that low-income students simply are dropping out of college.
"We are faced with making some very tough decisions," Kris Salyards, program director at The Harbour Inc. in Park Ridge, told the Chicago Tribune. The agency will not be able to operate its housing assistance program beyond the end of July without state support. "This isn't just impacting 12 young moms who are working and paying rent, who are being a family own their own, but it also impacts about 20 little kids who will become homeless."

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Wallace Joins State Treasurer in Urging Governor to Sign Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act

FROM THE OFFICE OF STATE REPRESENTATIVE LITESA WALLACE


For Immediate Release: For More Information:
June 21, 2016 State Rep. Litesa Wallace
815-987-7433

Wallace Joins State Treasurer in Urging Governor to Sign Unclaimed Life
Insurance Benefits Act

ROCKFORD, Ill. – State Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, joined Illinois
Treasurer Michael Frerichs Tuesday to advocate the signing of
legislation that would require life insurance companies to review the
federal Death Master File and administer death benefits when a
policyholder passes away.

"Under current law, insurance companies can willfully ignore the fact
that a policyholder has passed away and hold on to money that otherwise
should have been paid to the family," Wallace said. "This bill, which
passed unanimously in the House and Senate, will help ensure that
Illinois residents receive the benefits that were promised to them in a
timely manner."

Wallace was a cosponsor for House Bill 4633, which requires insurance
companies to periodically review the federal Death Master File and
compare it to their current list of policyholders. If the company finds
that a policyholder has passed away, and that no beneficiaries have
filed a claim within 120 days, the insurer is responsible to make a good
faith effort to find the proper beneficiaries. After five years, if no
claims are made and no beneficiaries are located, the insurance company
is required to turn over the policy's benefits to the state treasurer's
office, which will continue to seek beneficiaries.

According to the state treasurer's office, audits since 2011 have
indicated that there has been more than $550 million in life insurance
benefits that should have been distributed to Illinois residents.

"This piece of legislation was supported by the AARP and Veterans of
Foreign Wars, and I call on the governor to join our seniors, veterans
and working families in supporting this common sense measure," Wallace
said. "We have an obligation to ensure that the final wishes of
policyholders are fulfilled in a responsible and timely manner."

For more information, please contact Wallace's full-time constituent
service office at 815-987-7433, or email Litesa@StateRepWallace.com.

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Today – Angelique Bodine Fundraiser, June 18, 2016

Please join and support Democrat Angelique Bodine for Illinois State Representative, 69th District at her meet-n-greet Pig Roast Fundraiser,  TODAY, Saturday, June 18, 2016. I have it on good advice that Angelique is a strong, solid Democrat with a focus on healthcare, education and jobs. She is the "Working Families' Candidate!"

Requested donation:
Adults - $25

Veteran or Active Duty - $20


LOCATION
VFWJohn Hugo Kaiser Post 1461
Boone County Veterans' Club
1310 W. Lincoin Avenue

Belvidere,IL 61008



Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - June 14, 2016



Blame game won't break budget stalemate
 
As pressure builds across the state in the absence of a budget deal, State Senator Steve Stadelman and school superintendents independently called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to rise above political games and personal attacks and work with lawmakers on an emergency, short-term budget and funding for schools.
"Let's stop the name-calling and finger-pointing," Stadelman said."Attacking those on the other side of the bargaining table generally doesn't make it easier to reach a deal. Instead of focusing on the November election, we need to agree on a budget now."
Without a budget, school superintendents across Illinois are left wondering if they'll have the resources to open and stay open when the school year begins at the end of summer. They also want the governor to work with Democrats on a school funding formula overhaul that takes into consideration factors like student poverty rates and local property tax wealth.
"The No. 1 issue at hand is equity, and we need an equitable distribution of the dollars that are allotted in this next budget year, and we need a budget in place by July 1," David Lett, superintendent of the Pana School District, said at a Statehouse news conference last week.
In addition, a coalition of statewide transportation professionals, warned last week that an entire road construction season will be lost – and with it 25,000 middle-class jobs – if Rauner and lawmakers do not come to an agreement on a stopgap budget by July 1.



Wallace: Rauner’s Budget Plan Prioritizes Politics over People -- Press Release Attached

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
June 16, 2016 Rep. Litesa Wallace
815-987-7433
Litesa@StateRepWallace.com

Wallace: Rauner's Budget Plan Prioritizes Politics over People

ROCKFORD, Ill. – State Rep. Litesa Wallace, D-Rockford, on Thursday was
critical of funding left out of Gov. Bruce Rauner's stop-gap budget
proposal that would sacrifice critical funding for Illinois' working
families, children and senior citizens while sparing the wealthiest
Illinoisans, and prioritizing expenses like office supplies for state
agencies over domestic violence shelters, breast cancer screening
programs and financial aid for college students.

"Illinois has gone nearly a year without a state budget and that is
simply unacceptable," Wallace said. "Now, the governor wants legislators
to vote for a budget that massively underfunds programs that keep
seniors in their own homes and provide essential services for disabled
children and those with mental illness. The governor has been holding
Illinoisans hostage so that he can get his agenda of hurting working
families put into place. He needs to stop playing games and focus on
getting Illinois back on track."

Wallace pointed out that within the governor's budget proposal is nearly
$5 billion for operational expenses within the state bureaucracy for
items such as the state's vehicle fleet and the purchase of office
supplies, yet zero funding or massive cuts for breast cancer screenings
for women, services for children with developmental disabilities, autism
and epilepsy, youth job and mentoring programs, job training, veterans'
homes, and programs for senior citizens, such as meals for the homebound
and health screenings. In addition, the spending plan Wallace supported
would boost funding by nearly $18 million over last year's level for
Rockford School District 205, while the governor's bill invests $13
million less than the Wallace-backed proposal.

"Our organization is in an extremely difficult financial position, with
services being in complete jeopardy," Epilepsy Foundation Executive
Director Ben Slack said. "We need a budget—a responsible budget that
doesn't result in more harm than has already been done. Additionally, I
urge the governor to take immediate action and sign Senate Bill 2038, a
bi-partisan, life-saving bill on his desk right now."

Wallace was joined by advocates from Rockford University, the Federation
of Independent Colleges and Universities, Rosecrance, RAMP Center for
Independent Living, the Epilepsy Foundation and the Northwestern
Illinois Area Agency on Aging.

Those in attendance also urged the governor to sign the emergency human
services budget, which would keep the doors open at various human
service agencies in Northern Illinois. The bill passed without
opposition from Republicans and Democrats and has been awaiting Rauner's
signature for nearly a month.

# # #

Senator Stadelman's Weekly Bulletin - June 7, 2016





Stadelman calls on governor to release $700 million for human services

Human service providers joined State Senator Steve Stadelman last week in a news conference to call on Gov. Bruce Rauner to release $700 million in funding for some of Illinois' most vulnerable citizens -- children, the elderly and those who are mentally ill or homeless.

Senate Bill 2038, which Republicans and Democrats passed unanimously in both chambers of the General Assembly nearly a month ago, is still sitting on the governor's desk. The bill would appropriate funds from a rainy day account established by the legislature in 2010 and have no effect on the current budget impasse.



Representatives from the YMCA, Rosecrance and Shelter Care Ministries spoke about the dire consequences political gridlock in Springfield has had on those who are less fortunate in our community. The news conference took place in front of a four-unit apartment building, which Shelter Care Ministries was forced to convert from housing for families who were homeless to market-rate rentals because of delays in state funding.

Money from SB 2038 would go to after-school and senior programs such as Meals on Wheels among other popular programs that save taxpayer dollars in the long run by the elderly out of nursing homes and kids off the streets. In many instances, the state owes money to private business that provide human services such as in-home health care.

· WIFR Report

Senate Democrats continue to champion fair funding for education

School funding remains the top priority for Illinois Senate Democrats as lawmakers and the governor continue trying to negotiate a balanced budget.

"The students and parents of our state should not have to stress out all summer about schools opening this fall," Senator Steve Stadelman said. "Eliminating the uncertainty around education funding is the first step toward economic stability in Illinois."

Stadelman's comments came as Senate Democrats pushed a clean state budget for public schools. The legislation, HB2990, had no financial strings attached and, unlike many other budget proposals, was not part of any outside political agenda. While endorsed by Senate Democrats, the plan didn't clear the Illinois House before lawmakers adjourned and now is among proposals on the negotiating table.

The clean education budget favored by Senate Democrats would ensure no school gets less state funding than it currently receives and guarantees the state's "foundation level" for adequate funding is fully funded. An additional $700 million in funding would targeted for schools in communities including Rockford that face the greatest economic and social challenges in providing educational excellence.

Stadelman said he is hopeful lawmakers and the governor can agree on a stopgap budget that not only funds schools but keeps state government operating for six months from the end of the fiscal year June 30 through the end of 2016.

Bill requiring insurance coverage of contraceptives goes to governor

Insurance companies would have to provide coverage for most FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products under legislation supported by State Senator Steve Stadelman.

"Women utilize contraceptives for many different reasons," said Toi Hutchinson of Chicago Heights, who advanced the bill in the Illinois Senate. "The most obvious reason is for birth control, but for many women, contraceptives play a key role in our overall health. Government should ensure that women have access to all forms of contraceptives without intrusion by insurance bureaucrats or politicians."

The bill, which now sits on the governor's desk awaiting his signature, additionally would require insurance companies to provide up to 12 months of contraceptives at one time. Currently, they're only required to cover one contraceptive in each drug class, leaving out a host of medical options for women who must try multiple forms of birth control before finding the right one.

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This Rockford Democrat blog features news and press releases from Rockford, IL Democratic officials and candidates for office.
It is a "lite" version of WinnDems.org.
Paul Gorski is the editor and posts the content. More information about local Democratic officials and candidates can be found at WinnDems.org (http://www.winndems.org)
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