SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, has joined the Illinois General Assembly’s commission to audit government activity.

“As a public servant, I have always sought to make our state’s government more transparent,” Holmes said. “On the Legislative Audit Commission, I get to work with Democrat and Republican colleagues from the Senate and the House to root out waste, fraud and abuse. I take this opportunity very seriously and I look forward to getting started.”

The Legislative Audit Commission is a bipartisan group of twelve legislators from the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives. The commission oversees audits of state agencies, holds public hearings and makes recommendations to the General Assembly on how to correct weaknesses.

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SPRINGFIELD — In a senate hearing with Acting Director Anna Hui of the Illinois Department of Labor, State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, asked what cuts could be made in the Department of Labor to balance the $4.6 billion out of balance budget.

“Being that the governor’s proposed budget was $4.6 billion out of whack and we’re now finding that that number might be more optimistic than it’s going to be, I would appreciate hearing from the department itself where you would be most willing to make those cuts,” Holmes said. “Where would you like to see those cuts if we are in a position where they have to be made?”

“We are not in the position to speculate about where those cuts might come from,” Hui said, to which Holmes replied: “Okay. Let’s call that nonresponsive.”

This week, Sen. Holmes and her fellow Democrats in the Senate have asked more than ten heads of state agencies what they would do should they be asked to cut their agencies’ budgets. In this year’s budget proposal, Gov. Rauner put forward a plan that spends $4.6 billion more than it collects in revenue. Rauner’s FY 18 budget proposal relies on the General Assembly to close this $4.6 billion gap by proposing new revenues or making cuts to programs.

“Gov. Rauner has been asking the General Assembly to give him the authority to make budget cuts for months. I would expect the governor’s agency heads to have some cuts already in mind,” Holmes said. “Clearly that is not the case.”

Director Hui is one of at least sixteen other state agency directors who have appeared before the Illinois Senate this week. None have suggested cuts to their departments’ budgets.

 

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Dec. 20, 2016 - The Rockford Advocate | Original article

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, on Tuesday, signed Senate Bill 1488, legislation to extend the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program. The program allows for an income tax credit to be awarded for the restoration and preservation of a qualified historic structure located in a River Edge Redevelopment Zone.

Senate Bill 1488 is effective immediately and extends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program for one year, to sunset on January 1, 2018. A River Edge Redevelopment Zone is a specific area designated by the State of Illinois in cooperation with a local government to safely revive and redevelop environmentally-challenged properties that will stimulate economic revitalization and create jobs in Illinois. River Edge Redevelopment Zones are located in Rockford, Aurora, Elgin, Peoria and East St. Louis. The program is administered at the state level by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

“The Rivers Edge program has already helped preserve a local landmark in Aurora,” said State Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). “This program spurs economic development, repurposes historic structures, and creates jobs in the community. I am glad this important plan will be extended and know it will create even more opportunities for development.”

Read more ...

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Holmes 7.1.2015Aurora Beacon-News - June 1, 2016 | Original article
By Steve Lord

Legislation awaits Gov. Bruce Rauner's signature that would give the city of Aurora, Sho-Deen Inc. and ComEd more time to relocate an electric substation along the Fox River downtown that could pave the way for new development.

The bill passed the Illinois Senate this week unopposed, after previously passing the Illinois House. It is a specialized piece of legislation giving Aurora, developer Sho-Deen Inc. and ComEd until Aug. 1, 2020 to relocate a substation that sits in the middle of about a 30-acre piece of property along the river that Sho-Deen intends to develop.

The entire 30 acres is south of Benton Street downtown. The city and Sho-Deen have a development agreement on the property signed almost 10 years ago. The development came to a halt due to the recession and the housing market bust, but Sho-Deen and the city have been talking recently about starting the project up again in some fashion.

[The legislation] was sponsored in the Senate by state Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, and was co-sponsored in the House by state Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) and Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego).

"The River Edge Redevelopment Zone program was designed to help developers take old, unused property and renovate it to meet today's needs," Holmes said. "We're simply making sure developers have enough time to make use of these incentives."

The relevant section of the law was set to expire in July 2017 and is would be extended to Aug. 1, 2020 under the new bill.

The legislation does not address extension of the River Edge Redevelopment Zones altogether. Those expire at the end of 2016, and Holmes has another bill in the Senate to extend that deadline, too. Chapa LaVia and Kifowit have supported similar legislation in the House.

Read the full article here.

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