As lawmakers and government officials, we must set priorities and make sure the state’s basic needs are met. We must not increase the financial pressure on the citizens and businesses which pay the taxes that fund so many state programs.
I will continue to work for business and economic development. Our future must focus on job growth.
STATE CELEBRATES CENTENNIAL OF REAGAN’S BIRTH
February 6 marks the centennial of the birth of Ronald Reagan, Illinois’ only native-born president. Born in Tampico on February 6, 1911, Reagan spent his formative years in Illinois –growing up in Dixon and graduating from Eureka College before traveling west to explore a career in broadcasting and acting.
As the two-time governor of California (1967-1975) and President of the United States (1981-1989), Reagan was a clear and decisive voice for many of the priorities Republicans continue to fight for today: lower taxes, a smaller and more responsible government and individual freedom.
President Barack Obama’s recent guest editorial in USA Today said, in part: “When the future looked darkest and the way ahead seemed uncertain, President Reagan understood both the hardships we faced and the hopes we held for the future. He understood that it is always ‘Morning in America.’ That was his gift, and we remain forever grateful.”
In addition to a new commemorative postage stamp, celebrations and events are being held around Illinois to honor the President remembered for his role in restoring American pride and winning victory over communism in the Cold War. More information about Reagan events is available at http://www.discoverdixon.org.
COURT GRANTS STAY ON CAPITAL PLAN RULING
Early in the week, the state’s high court granted a stay allowing capital improvement projects to continue while the Illinois Supreme Court begins a review of a recent Appellate Court ruling against funding streams for the state’s 2009 capital construction program.
On January 26, the Illinois Appellate Court ruled that legislation containing the funding sources necessary to finance the construction plan violated a legal “single-subject” rule that requires each bill to only address a single subject. Some of the revenue streams ruled unconstitutional include the legalization of video gaming, tax hikes on liquor, and increased sales taxes on soft drinks, candy and health and beauty products.
Also impacted by the Appellate Court ruling is the legislation allowing the state to hire a private manager to oversee the state’s Lottery program. Illinois’ plan to privatize the Lottery is now in flux, as the future of the capital funding measure remains uncertain.
The state recently came to an agreement with Northstar Lottery Group to take over management of the Lottery. Though Northstar had not yet undertaken substantial changes of the Lottery, the court’s ruling has effectively halted momentum on the privatization until the Supreme Court rules on the case.