The new vaccination and immunization requirements will be enforced when most children are enrolled in child care, public school, or private school in Illinois. Their parents will be required to present either an immunization certificate or a medical form when the child is presented or enrolled in a group environment. The Department is authorized to impose vaccination requirements by rule as part of its overall legal authorization to protect Illinois public health.

One problem with vaccination requirements is that they have become much more complex over the past thirty years. Many older Illinoisans remember getting a measles shot and then a polio shot. The simple progression of shots that many parents remember from their own childhoods have been replaced by a complex schedule of immunizations in which a lengthy list of contagious conditions, many referred to by acronyms, are merged into a complicated schedule of immunization windows that open and close at different times as an infant grows into childhood and young adulthood. For example, here is an immunization chart for children from birth to 6 years of age.
House members filed 3,921 bills in January and February 2017. Under the “First Reading” deadline, bills filed by mid-February may be considered in a House committee in the 2017 spring session. House bills filed after Friday, February 10 cannot be considered this spring as independent, free-standing pieces of legislation.

Following the bill introduction deadline, the House schedule has set aside six weeks of session time in February and March for committee action. During this six-week period, House committees will hold hearings, listen to testimony from witnesses, and hold votes on bills to be advanced to the House floor for further discussion and debate. In spring 2017, the House has organized 57 permanent and special committees to hear bills and conduct legislative action. Many of these committees began to meet this week.
Join Refuge for Women for an extraordinary evening of inspiration May 6th at the Boulder Ridge Country Club in Lake in the Hills, IL from 6pm to 9pm

You will experience moving stories of transformation and hear how Refuge is helping residents through a 3-phase program that lasts up to 12 months to recover from human trafficking and exploitation.

Special guest will be Julianna Zobrist.

Enjoy a silent auction, dinner and program in the beautiful surroundings of the Boulder Ridge Country Club. Your attendance at "Freedom...Living A New Story", will help support the newly established restorative home in McHenry County.

Your registration includes: Silent Auction, Dinner, Complimentary Valet Parking, Stories of Inspiration and More.
State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) takes part in "Shine A Light On Slavery" Day to raise awareness about the more than 27 million people across the world who are victims of the modern day slavery that is human trafficking.

Share your red X to join the fight to #EndIt here in Illinois. Click here to learn more.
The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, Mesirow Financial and The PrivateBank are pleased to announce that first prize for the 6th Annual James Tyree Emerging Business Leadership Award is $50,000. Applications are now being accepted for the prestigious award, which is presented annually to a high-growth entrepreneur who is philanthropically active in the Chicagoland area.

The winner, who will be announced at the Chicagoland Chamber’s 113th Annual Meeting on June 6th, must display philanthropic values and be active in the local community.

The open application period runs now through March 17, 2017. During a kickoff reception on Wednesday, April 12 at Mesirow Financial, 12 finalists will pitch their businesses to a panel of judges while a live audience vote determines which finalists advance. A private panel of judges will convene in May to evaluate the remaining finalists.

Click here for to see award criteria and to apply for the award.
This week, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) joined the Conference of Women Legislators (COWL) at Go Red for Women Day. Every year, the American Heart Association partners with groups across the country to raise awareness about cardiovascular diseases in women.

In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an older man’s disease. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease & stroke as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association created Go Red for Women, a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

Learn about Go Red for Women and how to get involved, Click Here.
State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) responds to Governor's budget address:

“I was glad the Governor used his address to provide feedback on the proposal being worked on in the Senate. He made it clear that previous attempts to balance the budget by raising taxes didn’t work and we need to cut spending, provide property tax relief and make Illinois a competitive place for job creators. As with his State of the State, he emphasized criminal justice reform is an important component of his budget recommendations, I completely agree. If we reduce recidivism and get more people working and contributing to the state, it will not only reduce costs to the state, but provide the positive economic impact the state desperately needs.”

Today at noon, Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his annual Budget Address. To watch the address live, Click Here or Click Here.
State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has filed legislation to consolidate the number and type of electoral boards in Illinois to save taxpayer dollars and reduce the confusion caused by the convoluted process. Under House Bill 2472, electoral boards for municipalities, townships and community college boards will be consolidated under county electoral boards.

“Having separate electoral boards for these local governments adds unnecessary cost and confusion for taxpayers,” said Wheeler. “Since our county electoral boards are already designed to hear objections for multiple offices for election, like school districts and special districts, this is a simple and logical change.”
State aid to schools is one of the largest appropriations of Illinois’ state budget. The complex formula, which is set forth in Illinois statute and administered by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), includes a wide variety of tweaks and variables. Money that is not provided by federal or State aid must be brought in from property tax levies and concerns about the Illinois school funding formula are increasingly intertwined with concerns about Illinois property taxes and tax rates.

In July 2016, Governor Rauner and the four legislative leaders created the bipartisan, bicameral Illinois School Funding Reform Commission. The 25 members of the Commission were asked to revamp Illinois’ education funding formula to provide a more equitable and adequately funded system for all students. The Commission met for a final time on Wednesday, February 1 to finalize a report to submit to the Governor and General Assembly. The final report provides a framework on how to move forward in establishing an equitable school funding formula. It is the hope of the Commission that the General Assembly and the Governor’s Office can work together to put this framework into legislation to create a new, more equitable and adequate funding system for FY18.
The additional 7-cent-a-shopping-bag tax in Chicago for household foodstuffs and other goods, and asking for a bag, was imposed by the Chicago City Council and Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The tax is aimed at disposable bags given away for free by many retailers. After one-time use many shopping bags are immediately disposed of as landfill garbage, and some are let go to blow around.

The seven-cent tax replaces an earlier Chicago ban on lightweight plastic bags, which city officials characterized as only partly effective at best. Various bags used by shoppers inside supermarkets, such as lightweight bags used by shoppers to wrap produce or baked goods, are exempted from the tax. Shoppers who bring reusable bags woven from plastic fiber or canvas, as many shoppers do in Europe and on the U.S. West Coast, will not need a plastic bag and will be exempted from the tax.

The new Chicago tax does not apply to retail purchases made outside Chicago. It went into effect on Wednesday, February 1.
The Field Museum of Natural History, in Chicago, announced the free admissions program on Wednesday, February 1. Proof of residency will be required. The basic free admission will not include special ticket exhibits or admission to any 3-D movies that may be screened. Persons given free admission will get the chance to upgrade to an all-access pass with additional payment at the door.

Basic free admission to the Field Museum will include the chance to see a selection of the more than 24 million human and scientific objects and specimens on display. The Museum has collections of cultural history, biology, and geology from all over the world.
This week, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) appointed State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) to the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA). The commission is tasked with providing economic and financial forecasting information and recommendations to guide policy decisions that will impact Illinois.

“I want to thank House Leader Durkin for selecting me for this responsibility,” said Wheeler. “Due to Illinois’ current financial mess, it goes without saying that the recommendations from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability are hugely important. I hope the work of the commission isn’t merely seen as an arbitrary information source, but used to produce tangible policy that will lead to long-term financial health for our state.”