Much of our time was spent in committees this week as a series of “subject matter only” hearings were held on elements of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget proposal. Gov. Rauner has consistently advocated for a multi-pronged approach to getting Illinois to a balanced budget, stressing that a combination of budget cuts and reforms to fix Illinois’ broken system would have to be in place before even considering asking taxpayers to pay more. As I have said before, my colleagues remain committed to working toward a truly balanced, sustainable budget, and are continuing to work on a compromise plan.
Also during the week, the Senate Criminal Law Committee heard testimony on a controversial criminal justice reform proposal that combines elements of the City of Chicago’s “mandatory minimum” firearms sentencing bill with drug penalty reductions.
Illinois got some good news on March 8, when the Illinois Science and Technology Coalition (ISTC) reported an increase in entrepreneurial activity at Illinois’ universities. Over the past five academic years, students and faculty at the state’s universities have created more than 800 startup companies.
Several Illinois communities continue to clean up damage left behind after strong storms and tornadoes came through last week. Several local organizations, including the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation and the Southern Illinois Community Foundation, have stepped up to aid in these efforts.
It is important as a public servant to obtain feedback from constituents, so please let us know how we can best keep you informed as we move forward in the legislative session. Updates are available on my website (http://brady.senategop.org), Facebook and Twitter.
And as always, if you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our offices in Bloomington or Springfield.
Senator Bill Brady