Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) recently chief co-sponsored legislation to enact term limits for Illinois lawmakers and put a stop to gerrymandering by removing the process of incumbents drawing their own legislative districts to ensure their re-election. The two reform proposals if approved by the legislature would send a signal to Governor Rauner that the legislature is ready to solve the current budget impasse.

“Since I first took office in January 2013 I have been advocating for term limits and redistricting reform,” said Rep. Barb Wheeler. “These are two very simple reforms which deserve an up or down vote in the legislature. At the very least we owe it to the people of Illinois to allow their lawmaker to vote on term limits and put a stop to gerrymandering.”
Are you interested in joining the fight to end human trafficking in our communities? State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is encouraging local residents to join the effort to end sexual exploitation in our suburbs by attending Refuge for Women’s Spring Fundraiser, titled: “Welcome Home …Let The Healing Begin.” The event will be on May 14 at the Crystal Lake Country Club.
Illinois has moved well into its ninth month without a budget plan to control state spending. More than $7 billion in unpaid bills have piled up, but the Democrat-controlled Illinois House this week completed the first of what are expected to be four weeks of spring recess. House Republicans have rejected the recess motion made by the majority party and have lodged a demand that the lawmakers stay in Springfield to continue negotiations on a budget compromise.

“It’s egregious that the House would take a one-month break in the middle of the heart of our regularly scheduled session, especially when there’s so much work that’s unresolved,” asserted Rep. Tom Demmer. On the final session day before the recess (March 3), Demmer lodged a motion on the Illinois House floor for the lawmaking body to remain in session. However, the House Democrat majority presiding officer ruled the motion out of order without a floor vote. House Republicans continue to protest the refusal and have filed an official Dissent and Protest of the ruling of the chair for placement in the House Journal.
As her office begins issuing state income tax refunds, Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger urged taxpayers to register online to check the status of their refunds and sign up for text message and email payment notifications.

The easy-to-use Tax Refund Alert System allows taxpayers to visit and enter their name and Social Security Number to see if the Comptroller's Office has processed their refund. Taxpayers also can enter an email address and phone number to receive a notification when the payment has been made.

In addition, Munger announced her office will include inserts with all tax refunds detailing where the State of Illinois spent $35.6 billion in 2015, information on the state's bill backlog, and other tools to help taxpayers learn about state and local finances. Those who receive their tax refunds through Direct Deposit may view the tax insert digitally if they register for the Tax Refund Alert System.
State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is sending a notice to residents about the upcoming 2016 Governor’s Conference on Affordable Housing. The event will take place on March 29th and 30th at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Chicago and feature a wide array of topics and panelist on how affordable housing is implemented and its impact in Illinois.

“Affording housing is a topic that draws a lot of different impressions from people, but most don’t realize how important it’s become for many Illinois seniors,” said Wheeler. “The Governor’s Conference is a great opportunity to learn about affordable housings impact.”

The conference will feature several sessions on topics ranging from the common perception of affordable housing, the impact on seniors and hospitals, and how lenders and investors can get involved, among others. The keynote speakers include Peter Sagal of NPR and Rev. Jeffrey Brown of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, which played a major role in the “Boston Miracle” that saw Boston’s violent crime rate drop by 79% in the 1990s.
With Illinois facing increasing challenges to fund existing defined-benefit pension commitments, some House members are looking at potential constitutional alternative policies. In some cases, these proposals could reduce current costs and future unfunded pension liabilities borne by Illinois’ five state-managed pension systems. Illinois’ unfunded pension liabilities currently top $110 billion.

Of the five state-managed pension funds, the largest is the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS), a quasi-state agency that manages pension funds for Illinois teachers, educators, and employees of local school districts and makes payouts to eligible pensioners. Other funds benefit state employees, the employees of state universities, judges, and legislators.
Illinois House Republicans, furious about the lack of a state budget and seemingly empty session calendar thus far this year, challenged House Democrat leadership today to not adjourn as scheduled for the entire month of March.
Today, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) expressed her bewilderment and dissatisfaction at an attempt by House Democrats to override the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2043. A piece of legislation she deemed a lie to college students who depend on MAP Grants to attend college.

“I’m shocked and upset that so many of my colleagues would seek to override the Governor’s veto and knowingly lie to students who depend on MAP Grants,” said Wheeler. “I said it last fall, I said it last month: without a means of funding, we can’t actually pay the money in this bill and without a budget in place it’s just another lie. We need a budget!”
Last week, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) announced a new streamlined process for professionals regulated under the Division of Real Estate and Professional Regulation to quickly renew their license online. Approximately 100 regulated professions. The move to this online, paperless program is part of the Department’s effort to modernize the regulatory process in Illinois and reduce unnecessary costs. IDFPR said the online renewal program will save $3 million over five years in reduced postage, paper and printing costs.

Under the online renewal process, once a licensed professional completes the renewal, the licensee will receive an email as proof of licensure and also access their proof of licensure via IDFPR’s license lookup system. Printable copies for licensees will be available soon.

Click here to access the new online license renewal.

Click here for proof of licensure.