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April 2009 Newsletter

Springfield Update

During last week’s three day session, I was in more meetings with Governor Quinn than I attended in any two years during the Blagojevich administration.  Whether it was a Holocaust Memorial event, a meeting on intercity passenger rail or a dinner with the Respiratory Health Association of Illinois, it is clear that an engaged and hard working Governor makes a big difference!

That being said, we still having a looming budget mess.  And I do not see that there is a straight path out of the fiscal difficulties in which we find ourselves.  If the General Assembly tries to cut programs, some constituency and influential legislators will come to their defense.  If we try to find new revenues, such as the income tax proposal proposed by Governor Quinn, it is difficult to find the votes in support.  If we seek to change the pensions (and I recognize that it was decades of chronic underfunding by the State that got us to this point), that raises more objections.  So putting together the package that constitutes a balanced budget is not easy.

With five weeks to go in the legislative session, I cannot predict how it will work out.  I do know, however, that I am committed to doing whatever it takes to reach a reasonable, rational balanced budget.  And I welcome your input on what that should look like.  Feel free to let me know where you think we should be making cuts and what revenues, if any, could be helpful.

Northfield & Wheeling Township Appeals Are Now Open

Those who reside in Northfield and/or Wheeling Township can now appeal their property taxes with the Cook County Board of Review.  The Cook County Board of Review is the second level of appeals in appealing your property taxes.  It is a complimentary service for those who reside in Cook County.  If you believe you have an unfair tax assessment, the Board of review is here to help.

The Board of Review’s website, www.cookcountyboardofreview.com, provides you with tools to begin your search on evaluating whether or not your property has been over assessed.  You can contact The Cook County Board of Review’s office with any further questions at 312-603-3644.

Budget Hearing Wrap-Up

As some of you may already know, the House Democrats have been holding budget hearings throughout theChicagoland area over the past few weeks to address the need for a statewide infrastructure bill.  On April 6th, people representing various organizations came to Northbrook Village Hall to testify in hopes of providing legislators information so we can construct a well-balanced and fair capital plan.  Rep. Julie Hamos, Karen May, Eddie Washington, Kathy Ryg and I received much fruitful and sometimes shocking information from different constituents.  It was crucial to hear from constituents and various organizations regarding our crumbling infrastructure and what their top priorities are.  I plan to bring these ideas to Springfield and include as many of them as I can in our capital bill.

 

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