Senator Steans

June 19, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Illinois’ credit rating currently sits just a step above junk-bond status and important trigger dates in the impasse are looming. I need your help to encourage the governor to sign a full-year budget and end the impasse. The Senate passed a balanced budget solution on May 23. Since then, it has been in the House under consideration while the governor has threatened to veto it.

 

Moody’s Investors Service as well as S&P Global Ratings have warned that Illinois could fall into junk-bond status on July 1, 2017. No state in the history of the nation has ever been downgraded to junk-bond status.

 

On the governor’s watch, our universities and our social service agencies have been decimated. Our state’s bond rating has been downgraded seven times since Gov. Rauner took office.

 

Senator Steans in a budget hearingThough the governor walked away from budget negotiations on Dec. 7, 2016, the Senate worked tirelessly to pass a complete and balanced budget on May 23 that would provide fiscal stability and certainty.

 

The Senate Democrats’ budget plan includes the same spending level as the governor proposed and nearly $3 billion in spending reductions without jeopardizing the future of our universities and schools nor the vital work that human services provide. Our plan also balances Rauner’s nearly $5 billion out-of-balance budget.

 

With less than two weeks until the end of the fiscal year, time is running out to end the budget impasse before serious trigger points are reached. Those dates are:

• On June 30, the Illinois Department of Transportation will halt all work on existing projects if a budget is not passed. This will come as a huge expense to the state. According to the Transportation for Illinois Coalition, shutting down job sites will cost more than $3 million a day and will force approximately 30,000 Illinoisans to be laid off across the state.

• The first payment to state workers for the next fiscal year is due on July 7. State workers have continued to receive payment in the absence of a budget due to a court order.

• Without a budget, the state won’t be able to pay schools in August, which may delay their opening in the fall. As of May 31, the Chicago Tribune reported that the state is nine months behind on payments to CPS and owes the school district $467 million. CPS currently owes creditors $9 billion.

• Social service agencies in the district and across the state have been forced to bear much of the burden of the budget impasse. After months of delayed payments, many have been forced to reduce services, cut back on staff or close their doors entirely. More social service agencies will suffer if the impasse continues and will no longer be able to provide their vital support to our communities. Increasingly, social service agencies have come forward stating that they will not be able to make payroll by the end of the summer.

 

Several of our institutions of higher education received a further downgrade earlier this month, including five to junk-bond status. Illinois universities and community colleges have not received a full year of funding since 2015. Since then, universities have been forced to cut programs, implement furlough days and lay off staff. Moody’s noted that consistent state support could improve the universities’ credit rating.

 

I encourage you to reach out to the governor’s office to let him know that you want him to sign a complete budget that will set us on a path to fiscal stability. He needs to hear from you.

 

Tell him by email: http://bit.ly/EmailGovRauner
Tell him on the phone: 217-782-0244
Tell him on Twitter: @GovRauner
Tell him in a letter: Office of the Governor, 207 State House, Springfield IL 62706
Tell him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GovRauner/

 

I will continue to do my part to end the budget impasse. As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather A. Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Upcoming Coffee and Conversation postponed

 

The Coffee and Conversation initially scheduled for June 24 at Budlong Woods Library has been postponed due to the special legislative session. We will work to reschedule the event later this summer.

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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Senator Steans

June 12, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Join me and Rep. Kelly Cassidy tomorrow night, June 13, at Charmers Café, 1500 W. Jarvis Ave., from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for a meet and greet. This is an opportunity to hear more about the balanced budget that the Senate passed, get updated on legislation we’ve been working on and get your questions answered.

 

Due to the size of the location, this will be a much smaller event. Please reserve your seat here if you haven’t already.

 

If you can’t make it tomorrow night, I hope that you’ll be able to join me for Coffee and Conversation at the Budlong Woods Library, 5630 N. Lincoln Ave., on June 24 from 1 to 2 p.m. Refreshments and parking will be available. Please let us know if you can attend here.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

I hope to see you tomorrow or at another event throughout the summer.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

Coffee and Conversation flyer

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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www.SenatorSteans.com

 

Senator Steans

June 5, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

I know that many of you are frustrated about the budget impasse and have lots of questions. I share your frustration and want to help answer your questions.

 

Join me and Representative Kelly Cassidy for an inside look at the impasse and budget proposals on Thursday, June 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at St. Andrews Church, 5649 N. Sheridan Rd. We will provide an overview of the balanced budget that the Senate Democrats passed and how it differs from the governor’s plan. We will also discuss reforms and important legislation that was passed this session.

 

This event is free and open to the public. Please click here to reserve your seat. Free parking will be available.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

I hope to see you Thursday evening.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather A. Steans
7th District – Illinois

Budget town hall flyer

Tune in tonight

 

This evening I will be interviewed on Chicago Tonight on WTTW at 10 p.m. Tune in for a discussion of the budget impasse and the legislative session.

 

Upcoming events in the district

 

From street fairs to concerts and movies in the park, there are numerous free upcoming events in our community. For a complete list, click here.

 

There are also several farmers’ markets in the district throughout the summer and fall. Click here for the details and to find the closest one to you.

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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www.SenatorSteans.com

 

Senator Steans

June 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

I am incredibly disappointed and frustrated that I cannot begin this email with the announcement that the legislature sent a balanced budget to the governor last night. Despite the fact that the Senate passed a complete and balanced budget with spending reductions and revenue reform, the House did not approve our plan. And the governor certainly didn't help, with his constantly shifting demands and veto threats.

 

We now enter the 701st day without a full budget. Our state and institutions are suffering while efforts to repair what has been broken have not been taken up.

 

Senator Steans on the Senate floorThe balanced budget that the Senate passed last week is the result of months of discussion and compromise. The Senate budget plan includes spending at the level the governor proposed as well as a number of measures and reforms that were negotiated with Senate Republicans.

 

Our budget plan would provide the fiscal stability and certainty that our state needs. It provides increased funding for P-12 education and ensures that schools would open on time. It provides our institutions of higher education with a full-year budget for the first time in two years and fully funds MAP grants. The Senate Democrats’ budget supports vital social service programs, such as the Community Care Program, domestic violence shelters, and breast and cervical cancer screenings.


Senate Democrats' balanced budget versus the governor's budgetThe Senate Democrats’ budget reduced government spending by $3 billion and implemented revenue reform to ensure that our state moves forward in a fiscally responsible manner. It included a 5% cut to most state agencies and programs, $1.25 billion in savings due to pension reform legislation, $70 million in savings from procurement reform, and other spending reductions. Our budget and revenue package is balanced, unlike the Governor’s plan, which is $5 billion out of balance.

 

In addition to our efforts on the budget, the Senate also passed a number of reforms that were top priorities for the Governor. This year, we implemented term limits on Senate leadership. We passed bipartisan procurement reform to help save universities and state agencies money. We passed pension reform and we approved legislation to allow counties to dissolve duplicative units of local government. We passed a two-year property tax freeze to provide some relief to home owners.

 

My colleagues in the Senate have gone back to the negotiating table numerous times and have debated multiple spending plans. Many of these discussions were genuine and moved us closer to agreement. At this point, though, we are past the point of discussion. It is time for action.

 

Though the legislative session ended yesterday, there are still 30 days until the end of the fiscal year. The legislature can still pass a budget, but it will require a three-fifths majority. This means that it will need support from both parties. Time is running out, but I will do everything in my power to right the ship and set Illinois on a path toward fiscal stability.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

 

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Contact Us

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
623 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492