SPRINGFIELD – Responding to Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s announcement that she will seek to lift the court order that mandates payment of state employees, State Senator Linda Holmes (D- Aurora) expressed her own frustration at the state’s lack of a budget.

“It seems that Governor Rauner, who made $188 million last year, does not understand the devastating impact that his decisions have on the people of Illinois,” Holmes said. “Instead of governing, he has waged an endless campaign against unions and the middle class. The governor has neglected his constitutional duty to present the legislature with a budget and he has vetoed every budget that we have presented him with, creating the ongoing crisis.”

Holmes refers to Article VIII, Section 2(a) of the Constitution of the State of Illinois, which states: “The Governor shall prepare and submit to the General Assembly, at a time prescribed by law, a State budget for the ensuing fiscal year.”

“Governor Rauner has placed our state in this precarious situation by holding the budget hostage to further his partisan agenda,” Holmes said. “With Attorney General Madigan’s announcement, we find ourselves heading toward a government shutdown if there is not a budget by February 28. The governor should start governing and do what is asked of him in the Illinois Constitution.”

The lack of a state budget has already had serious consequences for Illinois’ social service providers. Smart Steps, a community-based early childhood education organization with over 20 years of experience serving families in Aurora, was almost forced to close because the state government could not provide them the funding that they needed to pay their bills without a budget.

“After over two years, I'm still upset that Springfield has no budget,” said George Jones, a Smart Steps board member. “I hope that a budget can be approved soon, because social service providers have little to no financial reserves to wait seven or more months to be paid for vital services."

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Category: News

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.”

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Category: Latest

2016 02 05 Holmes groundbreakingAURORA — A plan that would extend an economic development program that this year aided in the rehabilitation of the old St. Charles Hospital in Aurora will become law. Put forth by State Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia and Stephanie Kifowit and advocated in the Illinois Senate by State Sen. Linda Holmes, the legislation was signed today by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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

The Rivers Edge Redevelopment Zone program designates areas in several cities throughout Illinois, including Aurora, as marked for tax credits tied to redevelopment. Developers used the program this past year as they repurposed the historic St. Charles Hospital for use as a new senior living center.

The legislation was Senate Bill 1488. It extends the sunset for the Rivers Edge program to the end of 2017.

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Category: New Releases

Rep. Kifowit and Sen. HolmesSPRINGFIELD — To provide more protection for persons with autism spectrum disorders and greater ability for medical personnel to quickly assess patients who have them, the governor signed legislation last week by Aurora-area lawmakers State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit and State Sen. Linda Holmes that would issue informational wallet cards.

“This is good legislation that will be beneficial for first responders as they engage with individuals who may have developmental disabilities such as autism,” said Kifowit, D-Aurora. “It came from a concerned parent who was able to foresee how we can avoid some of these concerns. The main goal is to reduce conflicts and bring awareness of individuals with the special needs that came with autism.”

“This is another means of using a little forethought and preparation to help people (and help the people that help people),” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “I thank the governor for signing it into law and want to remind family members of those with disorders on the autism spectrum that you, too can get a card to have handy to provide to medical personnel in an emergency.”

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White commended Holmes and Kifowit’s efforts to raise autism awareness in a statement Monday.

“Providing these new cards to eligible drivers is a service that can help both emergency responders and law enforcement officials when they must be able to quickly assess a situation and the individuals involved,” White said. “It is my hope that by doing so we can avoid some unpleasant and unfortunate misunderstandings.”

Much like medical bracelets, the wallet cards are designed to convey crucial personal medical information to first responders and hospital personnel in situations when a person may be incapacitated or otherwise incapable of communicating to the people treating him or her. Cards will be available from the Secretary of State’s Office to drivers who have an annotated disability on their licenses.

The legislation was House Bill 4257. It becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.

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Category: New Releases

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