Saturday, February 28, 2009
The Illinois House will return to Springfield on Tuesday, March 3rd at noon. The Illinois Senate
will return on Wednesday, March 4th at noon. As a general reminder the deadline to get bills out
of committee is Thursday, March 12th, and in the Senate the deadline is Friday, March 13th.
Friday, February 27, 2009
Your response to last Friday's survey on whether we should hold special elections for open U.S. Senate seats was strong. During the week the survey was open 1,417 people responded to the question and 821 of you provided clear, interesting ideas on how we should address this issue.
Once again, I am impressed how much Illinois voters not only care about good government, but also that so many of you take the time to provide thoughtful feedback. I read every last message and share the results with my legislative colleagues.
Here's how you answered the survey:
If there is a vacancy for the U.S. Senate what should Illinois do?
838 We should have a special election.
395 We should NOT have a special election.
182 We should not change our Illinois law and should wait for the proposed change to the U.S. Constitution
for consistency in all states.
Your personal responses were also very helpful. Many of you expressed deep concern with the cost of a special election - potentially as much as $50 million. But overall most of you told me that future vacancies should be filled by the will of the voters.
Looking towards the future, I am listening to you and I agree that we should ensure that any future U.S. Senator from Illinois should be selected by the voters. The only way to guarantee that is to conduct a special election if there is a vacancy. On Thursday I introduced legislation in Springfield, HB 3793, that amends the election code by requiring a special election within 120 days of a vacancy, allowing a Governor to make a temporary appointment only until the election is held.
Last week Governor Quinn expressed support for this idea and within a day of introducing the bill I have signed on eight co-sponsors. You can learn more about the bill, including a summary, by clicking here. I will be sure to keep you up-to-date as this legislation moves forward.
Thank you again for your thoughts and responses on this issue. If you were forwarded this message, or you're not sure you're not on my list, please complete this form. And, because I would like to get as much input as possible, please pass the word along about my updates.
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Saturday, February 21, 2009
Jack Lavin – Chief Operating Officer
Carolyn Brown Hodge – Dep. Chief of Staff
Robert Reed – Director of Communications
Michelle Saddler – Director of Policy
LaDawn Burnett – Senior Policy Advisor
Cory Foster – Director of Community Affairs
Jennifer Hoelzle – Dir. of Scheduling & Advance
Jay Stewart – Senior Counsel
Sean Vinck – Chief Legislative Counsel
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes on Thursday became the first statewide constitutional officer to join the growing list of people calling on U.S. Sen. Roland Burris to resign amid questions about how Burris got appointed to the Senate.
"Sadly, I believe it is in the best interests of Illinois that Roland Burris resign from his seat in the U.S. Senate," says Hynes' letter, sent to The State Journal-Register by the comptroller's press office on Thursday afternoon.
"As a part of the process leading to Senate confirmation, Burris went before the House Impeachment committee in Springfield to clarify his contacts with former Governor Rod Blagojevich and his advisors prior to the Senate appointment. The purpose of that appearance was clear. If Burris made the case that there were no improper communications, his Senate appointment would be approved. In fact, that’s the sequence of events that followed.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Citizens for Giannoulias Newsletter
February 13, 2009
ALEXI'S POLITICAL WEBSITE GETS A MAKEOVER
New for 2009, we've redesigned the Citizens For Giannoulias website - alexiforillinois.com - to provide you with updated information about policy initiatives as well as the latest political news. The revamped and streamlined site also allows you to view articles and videos, sign up as a volunteer and make online contributions. You can link to our Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube pages as well. Please take a look and let us know what you think by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate your feedback.
LET'S GET BACK TO WORK!Two weeks ago, the Illinois Senate took the appropriate and responsible step to unseat the Governor who squandered his opportunities to help the people of Illinois and flagrantly abused his power for personal gain.The former Governor's tenure was marred by ethical abuses, political infighting, legislative gridlock and grandstanding at the great expense of people in need. But it also marks a new beginning. For the first time in six years, we will have a Governor who values collaboration over combativeness and public service over lip service.You can characterize the former Governor's problems and legal issues many ways. But more than anything, the events during the past month have served as a distraction from the business of the state.We are now free to concentrate on what's truly important and confront the challenges of our state during these uncertain economic times. We need to find workable ways to balance the budget, create new jobs, attract new businesses and improve the overall financial health of the state.It goes without saying we need to implement wide-sweeping ethics reforms. But we also need to unify and demonstrate integrity in our actions to restore the public's confidence and trust in government. I look forward to working with Governor Pat Quinn, the other constitutional officers and the Legislature to get the state back on track and move in a direction that serves the interest of Illinois residents.As President John F. Kennedy once said, "Great crises produce great men and great deeds of courage." I am confident Illinois will rebound from this low point in history thanks to the will of hardworking men and women who understand how to put their constituents before themselves.
Sunday, February 8, 2009
out with the state’s FY 2010 Budgetary
Outlook on Wednesday. The
Comptroller reports a budget
deficit of approximately $8.95
billion. Even with potential money
coming from the Federal
Economic Stimulus Package the
State would still face an
approximately $6 billion shortfall.
The report stated that no
action taken by the Federal
Government can rescue Illinois
from these financial difficulties.
The State must take action
to eliminate the debt.
According to the Governor’s Office
of Management and
Budget (GOMB), the General Assembly authorized
spending in excess of $2.1 billion over
then anticipated revenues and
former Governor Blagojevich
cut approximately $1.5 billion,
leaving a $600 million debt. Since then Illinois’
revenues have declined due to the national
recession. Estimates from
GOMB and the Commission on
and Accountability show a fiscal
year 2009 General Funds
forecast that is lower than the
actual 2008 revenues, and
$1-1.3 billion below the
unofficial budget assumptions.
Revenue collections over the past two
months and a significant decrease in expected
gaming license proceeds indicate
that lower than expected revenues
are anticipated. The report stated that without
a major infusion of money
from borrowing or another source,
the state will be virtually insolvent.
This will come with dire consequences to the
state’s healthcare infrastructure,
educational community and
law on Wednesday. The legislation
has an immediate effective date and
is P.A. 95-1035. It appropriates:
• $35 million to the Department of Commerce and Economic
Opportunity (DCEO) for the purposes of a seed study on the
Tenaska Energy Center;
• 3.125 million to the DCEO for grants associated
with theEmployment Opportunities Grant Program;
• $696,000 for Job Training and
Economic Development Grant Program;
• $11.3 million was appropriated to the Secretary of State
• $6.75 million to the Attorney General; and
• Approximately $1.8 million to the State Treasurer for ordinary and
The Illinois Senate released the
committee assignments for
members for the next two years.
The Senate Labor Committee saw
changes in membership. Previously
the committee consisted of six
Democrats and four Republicans.
It will now consist of seven
Democrats and four Republicans.
The listing is as follows:
Senator Gary Forby (Chair)
Senator Linda Holmes (Vice Chair)
Senator Maggie Crotty *
Senator Toi Hutchison *
Senator Emil Jones III *
Senator Kimberly Lightford
Senator Ed Maloney
Senator Carol Pankau
Pamela J. Althoff
Randall M. Hultgren
* Indicates New Member
Friday, February 6, 2009
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