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January 2012 Newsletter

Advantage Illinois

I wanted to let you know about a new program here in Illinois to assist small businesses. Advantage Illinois is intended to increase small business lending here in Illinois. The funds can be used for (but are not limited to) start-up costs, working capital, business procurement, franchise fees, equipment, or inventory. Even the purchase, construction, or renovation of a place of business could qualify for one of these programs.

Participating lenders can access Advantage Illinois funds to:

• Lend to small and start-up businesses that don’t qualify under conventional lending policies
• Provide term loans for small businesses seeking medium to long-term financing, including revolving lines
• Supplement loan collateral for small businesses while providing a source of deposits for lenders
• Finally, there is a venture fund, Invest Illinois, that is designed to augment private sector venture capital investments
Ask your lender if Advantage Illinois can benefit your business financing.

The program’s page, , includes links to an overall fact sheet and to each different program (Capital Access, Participation Loan, Collateral Support and Venture). Under the Lender’s link you can print out one-page “Banker’s Guides” that include some additional details on each program.

A Promotion….I Think

I recently accepted a volunteer appointment to Governor Quinn’s newly formed bipartisan pension panel tasked with reviewing and making recommendations on the state’s pension system.
This new panel will be made up of lawmakers, union groups and other stakeholders to look at how state pensions are awarded. Recent news reports have uncovered cases of private employees receiving public pensions through Illinois’ public universities, despite not working on campus, and lobbyists receiving state teacher pensions after substitute teaching for only one day.
I have always been an outspoken advocate of fiscal responsibility and transparency, especially when it comes to our pension system. I look forward to this opportunity to save the state money by closing abusive loopholes in the existing system, and to make sure that the public interest is being served.
Along with this volunteer assignment, I have also been promoted to the Chair of the Personnel and Pensions Committee in the Illinois House of Representatives where I will continue to work on legislation related to reforming pension policies. I was previously the Vice-Chair of the committee.

House Bill 3944 – Eavesdropping Bill

As I am forming my legislative agenda for 2012, I wanted to let you know about a bill I very excited to sponsor. The eavesdropping bill I am introducing would decriminalize the recording of a police officer in Illinois. Several Illinoisan’s have recently been charged with a felony because they recorded –either audio or video – an exchange they had with a police officer. A recent new story about one of those cases is at:,0,436968.story.

The legislation I am promoting, along with the Illinois State Bar Association, the Illinois Press Association, and the ACLU, would make it legal to record an officer on duty and on public property.


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