Rep. Wheeler Encourages Citizen Testimony for SB16 Subject Matter Hearing on November 18

Concerned about the impact the passage of SB16 would have on suburban school district revenues, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is encouraging citizens from District 64 to go on line and submit written testimony stating their opposition to the bill.

“In addition to testimony that can be given in person at the November 18 hearing, the General Assembly allows for testimony that can be submitted through email, fax and U.S. mail,” said Wheeler. “Citizens who value the quality of our schools need to band together and submit witness slips that show our adamant opposition to this bill that would divert millions in General State Aid away from our schools.”

According to Wheeler, the school districts located within the boundaries of the 64th legislative House district would lose the following amounts of GSA if SB16 is passed as written and approved in the Illinois Senate:

· Nippersink District 2: 79.5%

· Johnsburg District 12: 32.6%

· McHenry District 15: 85.5%

· McHenry District 156: 38.4%

· Richmond Burton District 157: 58.1%

· Crystal Lake District 47: 72.6%

· Crystal Lake District 155: 17.2%

· Grass Lake District 36: 77.5%

· Lake Villa District 41: 1.8%

· Fox Lake District 114: 86.5%

· Antioch District 117: 25.0%

· Grant District 124: 13.0%

· Wauconda District 118: 79.7%

“School funding reform is an important issue that should be addressed, but SB16 does not solve the problem,” said Wheeler. “It merely creates new funding winners and losers by taking funding away from school districts whose taxpayers already shoulder a disproportionate share of the cost of educating kids in this state. We all need to work together to derail this horrible bill.”

Citizens may provide testimony by following these steps:

1. Go to www.ilga.gov

2. Scroll down the page and click on GA Dashboard (in red ink along the left side of the page)

3. Click on the Register icon and fill in your information (registration is recommended but not required)

4. Click on House, Committee Hearings, and then on the “Month” tab

5. Click on the piece of paper icon to the right of the listed hearing (November 18th, Appropriations- Elementary & Secondary Education)

6. Click on Create witness slip

7. Fill out the form

8. In the “subject matter” portion click “opponent”

9. Under “Testimony” you can have your written comments supplied to all board members. This is optional. Interestingly, they do not accept emailed testimony. You may fax your written statement to 217-557-2165 or you may mail it to Illinois State House, Room 426, 401 S. Second Street, Springfield, IL 62706. Make sure that your written testimony is clearly marked at the top of the page: SB16 Testimony, and your name.

10. Fill in verification code

11. Click the box to accept the terms

12. Click Submit

A “Frequently Asked Questions” document is available for those who have additional questions about the process. That document is available at: http://my.ilga.gov/Home/FAQ .

“Residents in suburban McHenry and Lake Counties have every reason to be concerned about SB16,” said Wheeler. “The fact that a hearing has been scheduled now rather than waiting until the new General Assembly is seated in January suggests that we may see movement of this bill during a lame duck session, when outgoing lawmakers are enticed to make unpopular votes.”

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