SENATOR BRADY WELCOMES NEW LEGISLATIVE CHIEF OF STAFF
I have hired a new Chief of Staff for my legislative office in Bloomington.
Abby Walsh of Bloomington is in charge of constituent services and scheduling in my district office, and will be working closely with my legislative staff in Springfield. She formerly worked as Sales and Catering Manager at the Interstate Center in Bloomington.
Abby is a real go-getter. She grew up in east central Illinois and graduated from Illinois State University. She has worked in Bloomington for seven years and has been involved in a number of local organizations. She knows the kinds of issues that are important to this region and is interested in all aspects of government. Her education, her work ethic and her outgoing personality will be a real asset to me and the citizens of the 44th District.
With a degree in Agribusiness from Illinois State University, Abby currently serves as Vice President for neXt professionals, serves on the Government Affairs Committee for the McLean County Chamber of Commerce, and served on the McLean County Republican Central Committee.
Abby replaces Mike Levin, who is now working with the Illinois Soybean Association.
RESTORING CITIZENS’ FAITH IN STATE GOVERNMENT
Legislative leaders announced this week that the newly-formed Joint Committee on Government Reform will hold public meetings at the state Capitol every week from February 18 to March 31. The Committee will consider four specific topics during the course of seven weeks – open government, outside influences on government, campaign reform, and procurement issues.
The Committee will receive testimony and insight from experts and the public on how to best repair Illinois’ reputation, which has been tarnished by years of backroom deals, nepotism and pay-to-play scandals.
In April, the Committee will use the information gathered from the hearings to develop legislation targeting these abuses.
GOVERNOR ASKS AGENCIES TO CUT SPENDING
Though good government initiatives have received a lot of interest following Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment and trial in January, the state’s budget crisis continues to be a primary concern in the Capitol.
Governor Pat Quinn has begun tackling the massive task of trying to balance the state budget in the face of a deficit that some speculate could reach $9 billion by next year.
The Governor has told state agencies to reduce spending by one percent by the end of the state’s fiscal year on June 30. It is estimated that the budget cut of one percent would be approximately $165 million.
Governor Quinn also said that vacant jobs will not be filled, and instructed government agencies to cut back on travel and hold off on contracts and significant purchases.
DEADLINE TO INTRODUCE BILLS IS FEB. 20
More than1,500 bills have been introduced to date, as Illinois lawmakers begin the 96th General Assembly in earnest.
On February 10 and 11, Senate and House of Representative committees began considering legislation, though lawmakers will continue to file bills until the February 20 deadline.