EIU Waives Application Fee

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An Illinois university is taking aggressive measures to recruit new high school students to its campus

.

 

Eastern Illinois University announced Thursday that it will open its application process next week for the fall 2018 semester and waive its $30 application fee for incoming freshman and transfer students until Oct. 2.

 

Josh Norman is the university’s associate vice president for enrollment management. He says research indicates the most successful schools are those that act early in the application process. He says public universities in Indiana that implemented the early application process last year saw success.

 

Eastern Illinois University has seen a slide in enrollment over the last nine years, during which its total number of students has dropped from more than 12,000 in 2007 to more than 7,000 in 2016.

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May 29, 2017 at 01:43AM

EIU Waives Application Fee

Caterpillar turns to students for fresh ideas

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Wearable tech for worker safety. A smart lock to secure equipment. With UIC partnership, the company seeks to tap the creativity of a generation not steeped in Caterpillar’s culture.

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May 27, 2017 at 05:20AM

Caterpillar turns to students for fresh ideas

Voters take out anger on ‘dirt bag’ lawmakers over budget impasse

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SPRINGFIELD — Minutes after state Sen. Toi Hutchinson helped to pass a controversial revenue bill that was met with major Republican resistance, she was inundated with harsh words on her Facebook page.

“No more takes [sic] you dirt bags stop screwing the taxpayers!!!!!!!!” one Facebook user wrote.

“How dare you raise my taxes in this corrupt state. You are ruining people’s lives with your tax and spend ways. I literally hate you,” another person wrote.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson said she has been getting lots of negative comments on Facebook. | Screenshot

Illinois lawmakers — many of whom face uncertain re-election possibilities next year — are being inundated by comments, insults and suggestions as the clock ticks toward the end of the legislative session amid a historic and politically driven budget impasse that’s left the state in the lurch.

State universities and social service agencies haven’t received funds since Jan. 1 when a partial budget expired.

Lawmakers say constituents are amping up the pressure to stop the bleeding.

“People are so angry. And if they’re not impacted by any of the hard stuff, they zero in on the things that they hate the most. It’s in the midst of the environment that we’re in. It’s the . . . trash comments and the people who try to hijack my Facebook page,” Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, said. “Go to my state Facebook page. Just take a look. It is cruel, absolutely cruel.”

Hutchinson said she receives “constant” calls about MAP college grants. She represents Governors State University, Kankakee Community College and Prairie State College.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson said she has been getting lots of negative comments on Facebook. | Screenshot

“Not only did the lack of MAP grants wreak havoc over these institutions, but I can’t tell you how many calls I get from people who say ‘I can’t finish this semester,’” Hutchinson said.

In Democratic State Sen. Heather Stean’s 7th district, which encompasses North Side and Northwest Side Chicago neighborhoods, a non-profit plans in June to close some of its facilities that help take care of people with disabilities and mental-health issues if there’s no budget. Another organization which helps to provide shelter for domestic-violence victims called to tell her they’re planning layoffs because they haven’t been able to pay employees all year.

Despite this, Steans says her constituents aren’t paying attention to the barbs being thrown in the political war between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. They just care about the results of it.

“I think people are really frustrated and fed up and to some extent don’t even know what to do with the fact that we don’t have a budget. I don’t think they want to hear about the pointing and blaming. They want us to all step up and do our job,” Steans said.

State Sen. Chris Nybo, R-Westmont, says his constituents are largely calling, emailing and stopping by to complain about their property taxes.

“Nobody is happy. The constituents I represent, they don’t care about scoring political points and so they don’t think it’s good when you make a good argument or when we really stick it to the speaker or the Democrats,” Nybo said. “They just want to see things get done. They’re practical people. . . . I don’t think they’re going to put up with it anymore.”

At baseball, games, hockey games, and when he’s dropping his kids off to school, State Rep. Michael McAuliffe, D- Chicago, said he’s hearing it all.

“They’re telling me how desperate they are, in my suburban areas as well as the city. They’re at wits’ ends. They don’t know what else to do,” McAuliffe said.

Constituents are asking for cuts, not new taxes, McAuliffe says. And many on fixed incomes are worrying if they’ll lose their homes: “Someone who lives in the city of Chicago, last year they saw their water rates go up. They saw a garbage tax. Everywhere you look there’s a new tax. And they’re squeezed all the way to the end.”

State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, says he’s getting an earful, too.

“People don’t understand why we’re not funding social-service agencies and higher education,” McSweeney said, adding he’s receiving calls about the Pioneer Center for Human Services in McHenry County. “There is no good explanation.”

He’s also hearing complaints from school superintendents worried about whether their schools will be properly funded. And they ask some political questions too.

“People ask me, ‘Why hasn’t the governor been meeting with the leaders?’” McSweeney said. “I don’t have a good answer.”

House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, D-Skokie, says he’s getting calls from parents of high school students asking whether they should send their kids to an Illinois school or out-of-state.

“It’s hard to give them an answer when we treat higher education the way that we do,” Lang said.

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May 26, 2017 at 12:21PM

Voters take out anger on ‘dirt bag’ lawmakers over budget impasse

Voters take out anger on ‘dirt bag’ lawmakers over budget impasse

http://ift.tt/2rHMIyc

SPRINGFIELD — Minutes after state Sen. Toi Hutchinson helped to pass a controversial revenue bill that was met with major Republican resistance, she was inundated with harsh words on her Facebook page.

“No more takes [sic] you dirt bags stop screwing the taxpayers!!!!!!!!” one Facebook user wrote.

“How dare you raise my taxes in this corrupt state. You are ruining people’s lives with your tax and spend ways. I literally hate you,” another person wrote.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson said she has been getting lots of negative comments on Facebook. | Screenshot

Illinois lawmakers — many of whom face uncertain re-election possibilities next year — are being inundated by comments, insults and suggestions as the clock ticks toward the end of the legislative session amid a historic and politically driven budget impasse that’s left the state in the lurch.

State universities and social service agencies haven’t received funds since Jan. 1 when a partial budget expired.

Lawmakers say constituents are amping up the pressure to stop the bleeding.

“People are so angry. And if they’re not impacted by any of the hard stuff, they zero in on the things that they hate the most. It’s in the midst of the environment that we’re in. It’s the . . . trash comments and the people who try to hijack my Facebook page,” Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, said. “Go to my state Facebook page. Just take a look. It is cruel, absolutely cruel.”

Hutchinson said she receives “constant” calls about MAP college grants. She represents Governors State University, Kankakee Community College and Prairie State College.

State Sen. Toi Hutchinson said she has been getting lots of negative comments on Facebook. | Screenshot

“Not only did the lack of MAP grants wreak havoc over these institutions, but I can’t tell you how many calls I get from people who say ‘I can’t finish this semester,’” Hutchinson said.

In Democratic State Sen. Heather Stean’s 7th district, which encompasses North Side and Northwest Side Chicago neighborhoods, a non-profit plans in June to close some of its facilities that help take care of people with disabilities and mental-health issues if there’s no budget. Another organization which helps to provide shelter for domestic-violence victims called to tell her they’re planning layoffs because they haven’t been able to pay employees all year.

Despite this, Steans says her constituents aren’t paying attention to the barbs being thrown in the political war between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. They just care about the results of it.

“I think people are really frustrated and fed up and to some extent don’t even know what to do with the fact that we don’t have a budget. I don’t think they want to hear about the pointing and blaming. They want us to all step up and do our job,” Steans said.

State Sen. Chris Nybo, R-Westmont, says his constituents are largely calling, emailing and stopping by to complain about their property taxes.

“Nobody is happy. The constituents I represent, they don’t care about scoring political points and so they don’t think it’s good when you make a good argument or when we really stick it to the speaker or the Democrats,” Nybo said. “They just want to see things get done. They’re practical people. . . . I don’t think they’re going to put up with it anymore.”

At baseball, games, hockey games, and when he’s dropping his kids off to school, State Rep. Michael McAuliffe, D- Chicago, said he’s hearing it all.

“They’re telling me how desperate they are, in my suburban areas as well as the city. They’re at wits’ ends. They don’t know what else to do,” McAuliffe said.

Constituents are asking for cuts, not new taxes, McAuliffe says. And many on fixed incomes are worrying if they’ll lose their homes: “Someone who lives in the city of Chicago, last year they saw their water rates go up. They saw a garbage tax. Everywhere you look there’s a new tax. And they’re squeezed all the way to the end.”

State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, says he’s getting an earful, too.

“People don’t understand why we’re not funding social-service agencies and higher education,” McSweeney said, adding he’s receiving calls about the Pioneer Center for Human Services in McHenry County. “There is no good explanation.”

He’s also hearing complaints from school superintendents worried about whether their schools will be properly funded. And they ask some political questions too.

“People ask me, ‘Why hasn’t the governor been meeting with the leaders?’” McSweeney said. “I don’t have a good answer.”

House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang, D-Skokie, says he’s getting calls from parents of high school students asking whether they should send their kids to an Illinois school or out-of-state.

“It’s hard to give them an answer when we treat higher education the way that we do,” Lang said.

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May 26, 2017 at 12:21PM

Voters take out anger on ‘dirt bag’ lawmakers over budget impasse

IVCC to reduce operating costs

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Illinois Valley Community College’s is expected to reduce operating costs 3.7 percent next year, members of the board’s audit-finance committee learned Tuesday night.

“We have reduced operating costs and used zero-based budgeting to the point where there are few areas to make reductions other than in personnel,” said Vice President for Business Services and Finance Cheryl Roelfsema.

Since 2012, IVCC has reduced personnel costs by about $1.5 million by not filling 33 vacancies following resignations and retirements, she said.

The last time it passed a budget in 2015, the state appropriated IVCC $2.7 million. The $21.4 million 2018 operating budget anticipates just 50 percent of that appropriation or about $1.3 million.

“We will work with budget officers over the next six months on an expenditure plan should state funding fall below 50 percent,” Roelfsema said.

Zero-based budgeting is a method of accounting in which all expenses must be justified and start from a “zero base,” Roelfsema said, adding, every line item is analyzed for its needs and costs.

The college anticipates the current budget ending June 30 will have a deficit of $305,000, which will be covered by reserves.

“It is a credit to staff, faculty and our board that for two years we have carefully monitored spending and reduced costs while continuing to provide high-quality education and services to our students,” said President Jerry Corcoran.

The full board will review the tentative budget at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13.

Audit-finance also reviewed the Information Technology Services strategic plan for 2017-20 that includes expansion of the virtual desktop initiative, website redesign and enhanced document imaging.

In other business, the committee:

  • Heard from Gary Gauger of Midwest Energy regarding potential savings in electricity purchasing. If IVCC contracted with MidAmerican (also known as Homefield Energy) or Constellation Energy, the college could save up to $8,500 per year, Gauger said.
  • Learned dual credit enrollment continues to account for about 10 percent of overall enrollment. The Free and Reduced Lunch waiver generated additional credit hours and provided access to college for a greater number of capable students. Students qualifying for the Free and Reduced Lunch in district high schools took 678 credit hours over the two semesters combined.

The full board meets next at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 8.










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May 24, 2017 at 03:14AM

IVCC to reduce operating costs

Our View: Unacceptable

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That one word perfectly sums up the pain, dysfunction and instability Capitol politicians have inflicted on Illinois by their failure to provide a permanent balanced state budget for two years.

As the state’s credit ratings have been repeatedly downgraded, as residents sought greener pastures elsewhere, as community colleges and universities have been gutted, as businesses closed up shop and as social service agencies turned away the most vulnerable residents … elected officials have failed to do their job and show political courage to make the necessary painful decisions.

Who they blame is determined by whether a D or R follows their name. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is to blame. No, it’s Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Don’t forget the decades of politicians who made terrible financial decisions based on what would get them re-elected, not what was fiscally prudent.

The finger-pointing has gone on for far too long.

The state’s fiscal problems have created a crisis throughout Illinois — except in the state Capitol. Maybe the dome deflects the misery that permeates the rest of Illinois. But it can no longer shield elected officials from accepting the blame each member of the House and Senate, and the governor, bears for the atrocious state of the state.

The stack of unpaid bills climbed above $14 billion last week. The 2016 fiscal year, which ended last June, had a budgetary deficit of $9.6 billion; we shudder to think of what it’s going to be at the end of next month. The five state-funded pension systems are short about $130 billion. Each new financial report paints an even bleaker picture.

Still, every time progress seemed to have been made this year, it faded as quickly as it emerged because the need for a political win was more important. Because most Illinoisans have not been directly inconvenienced by the lack of a budget, it’s been easy to ignore.

But the impasse affects all of us. In order for the state to pay off its unpaid bills, shore up the pension systems and eliminate its deficit, it would cost every man, woman and child who lives in Illinois roughly $12,000 each.

Here’s how you calculate your share of the bill:

  • If every one of the state’s 12.8 million residents kicked in $1,094, we could pay off the $14 billion in unpaid bills.
  • The unfunded pension liability is an estimated $130 billion, due over the next 30 years. If we wanted to ensure today that it will be solvent, each resident would need to contribute $10,156 so state retirees will get their retirement benefits.
  • Don’t forget the $9.6 billion structural budget deficit at the end of fiscal year 2016; add in $750 more per person.

The ugly truth is, we are all going to pay for it somehow. And because politicians have abdicated their most basic duty for two years, the necessary cuts will be deeper and tax hikes will be higher than they should be.

Good. Now get informed on issues, and encourage others to do the same. There’s a reason that millions get spent on relentlessly nasty political ads — they work. They sway the casual voter who doesn’t care enough to dig for facts, or they leave others too disgusted by the spectacle and negativity to participate. Elections shouldn’t be decided by who can throw the most cash at attack ads. It’s up to all of us to keep that from being the determinant.

Next, get involved. Pick up your phone and call your state representative, senator and the governor’s office. Tell them how they have made it an embarrassment to be from Illinois. Share your anger that the significant issues that need attention — school funding reform, creating a thriving economy and building public universities into centers of innovation, to name a few — have been ignored.

A year ago we declared “Enough.” The day after, the governor and lawmakers passed a six-month stopgap spending plan that did not provide lasting stability. That’s not good enough.

It’s time to demand that Governor Rauner and our lawmakers do what is right. It’s time for the budget to come first. To not do so will cement their legacy with one word that encapsulates the sorry condition of our state.

Our View: Time to take action

If you don’t depend on the state for health care, social services or for business, it can be easy to ignore the nearly budget impasse that has created the sorry state Illinois is in.

But it’s reached the point where that cannot continue: The gridlock will endure unless residents become engaged in the political process. It is time to sound the alarm on how dire the situation is and how much worse the costs will become the longer Illinois does not have a permanent spending plan.

We want you to be informed. We want you to ask questions and demand better when a politician’s answer is to blame the other party.

More importantly, we want you to take action.

Here’s how to contact the governor, House and Senate leaders and your local senators and representatives. We encourage you to reach out to any and all of these politicians to express your frustration.

We have even included a “postcard” that you can clip, copy and send to the politicians who represent you.

Illinois’ current fiscal state is unacceptable. It’s time we demand our elected officials did something about it.

It’s time to demand a change. Tell our elected officials it’s time to get to work:

State officers

207 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0244;

House Speaker Michael Madigan

300 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-5350.

Senate President John Cullerton

327 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-2728.

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno

309G Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-9407

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin

316 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0494

103A Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-6216.

Bloomington district office: 2203 Eastland Drive, Suite 3; (309) 664-4440.

119A Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0228.

Decatur district office: Macon County Building, 141 S. Main St.; (217) 429-8110.

103C Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-5755.

Vandalia district office: 310 W. Gallatin; (618) 283-3000.

309M Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-6674.

Mattoon district office: 88 Broadway Ave., Suite 1; (217) 235-6033.

108E Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 558-1006.

Decatur district office: 5130 Hickory Point Frontage Road, Suite 103; (217) 330-9356.

227N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-8071.

Litchfield district office: 301 N. Monroe; (217) 324-5200.

1128E Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0053.

205N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0066.

Salem district office: 1370 W. Main St., Suite A; (618) 548-9080.

204N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-8398.

Shelbyville district office: 203 N. Cedar St.; (217) 774-1306.

632 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-8163.

Decatur district office: 5130 Hickory Point Frontage Road, Suite 100; (217) 876-1968.

200-1N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 558-1040.

632 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-2087.

Olney district office: 219 E. Main; (618) 392-0108.

E-2 Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 524-0353.

Decatur district office, 1301 E. Mound Road Suite 270, (217) 877-9636.

The lack of a state budget for nearly two years has made it embarrassing to be from Illinois.

The self-created crisis by politicians has caused a huge deficit that is accompanied by an even larger stack of unpaid bills. It has harmed the most vulnerable of the state’s residents, crippled our higher education system and caused businesses to hesitate to plan for the future.

I’m tired of our politicians putting their party first. Please work in a bipartisan manner to pass a permanent balanced state budget for Illinois.

To not do so is unacceptable.

Don’t miss another special section.








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May 23, 2017 at 12:14PM

Our View: Unacceptable

Our View: Unacceptable

http://ift.tt/2qTmjwo




That one word perfectly sums up the pain, dysfunction and instability Capitol politicians have inflicted on Illinois by their failure to provide a permanent balanced state budget for two years.

As the state’s credit ratings have been repeatedly downgraded, as residents sought greener pastures elsewhere, as community colleges and universities have been gutted, as businesses closed up shop and as social service agencies turned away the most vulnerable residents … elected officials have failed to do their job and show political courage to make the necessary painful decisions.

Who they blame is determined by whether a D or R follows their name. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is to blame. No, it’s Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. Don’t forget the decades of politicians who made terrible financial decisions based on what would get them re-elected, not what was fiscally prudent.

The finger-pointing has gone on for far too long.

The state’s fiscal problems have created a crisis throughout Illinois — except in the state Capitol. Maybe the dome deflects the misery that permeates the rest of Illinois. But it can no longer shield elected officials from accepting the blame each member of the House and Senate, and the governor, bears for the atrocious state of the state.

The stack of unpaid bills climbed above $14 billion last week. The 2016 fiscal year, which ended last June, had a budgetary deficit of $9.6 billion; we shudder to think of what it’s going to be at the end of next month. The five state-funded pension systems are short about $130 billion. Each new financial report paints an even bleaker picture.

Still, every time progress seemed to have been made this year, it faded as quickly as it emerged because the need for a political win was more important. Because most Illinoisans have not been directly inconvenienced by the lack of a budget, it’s been easy to ignore.

But the impasse affects all of us. In order for the state to pay off its unpaid bills, shore up the pension systems and eliminate its deficit, it would cost every man, woman and child who lives in Illinois roughly $12,000 each.

Here’s how you calculate your share of the bill:

  • If every one of the state’s 12.8 million residents kicked in $1,094, we could pay off the $14 billion in unpaid bills.
  • The unfunded pension liability is an estimated $130 billion, due over the next 30 years. If we wanted to ensure today that it will be solvent, each resident would need to contribute $10,156 so state retirees will get their retirement benefits.
  • Don’t forget the $9.6 billion structural budget deficit at the end of fiscal year 2016; add in $750 more per person.

The ugly truth is, we are all going to pay for it somehow. And because politicians have abdicated their most basic duty for two years, the necessary cuts will be deeper and tax hikes will be higher than they should be.

Good. Now get informed on issues, and encourage others to do the same. There’s a reason that millions get spent on relentlessly nasty political ads — they work. They sway the casual voter who doesn’t care enough to dig for facts, or they leave others too disgusted by the spectacle and negativity to participate. Elections shouldn’t be decided by who can throw the most cash at attack ads. It’s up to all of us to keep that from being the determinant.

Next, get involved. Pick up your phone and call your state representative, senator and the governor’s office. Tell them how they have made it an embarrassment to be from Illinois. Share your anger that the significant issues that need attention — school funding reform, creating a thriving economy and building public universities into centers of innovation, to name a few — have been ignored.

A year ago we declared “Enough.” The day after, the governor and lawmakers passed a six-month stopgap spending plan that did not provide lasting stability. That’s not good enough.

It’s time to demand that Governor Rauner and our lawmakers do what is right. It’s time for the budget to come first. To not do so will cement their legacy with one word that encapsulates the sorry condition of our state.

Our View: Time to take action

If you don’t depend on the state for health care, social services or for business, it can be easy to ignore the nearly budget impasse that has created the sorry state Illinois is in.

But it’s reached the point where that cannot continue: The gridlock will endure unless residents become engaged in the political process. It is time to sound the alarm on how dire the situation is and how much worse the costs will become the longer Illinois does not have a permanent spending plan.

We want you to be informed. We want you to ask questions and demand better when a politician’s answer is to blame the other party.

More importantly, we want you to take action.

Here’s how to contact the governor, House and Senate leaders and your local senators and representatives. We encourage you to reach out to any and all of these politicians to express your frustration.

We have even included a “postcard” that you can clip, copy and send to the politicians who represent you.

Illinois’ current fiscal state is unacceptable. It’s time we demand our elected officials did something about it.

It’s time to demand a change. Tell our elected officials it’s time to get to work:

State officers

207 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0244;

House Speaker Michael Madigan

300 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-5350.

Senate President John Cullerton

327 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-2728.

Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno

309G Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-9407

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin

316 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0494

103A Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-6216.

Bloomington district office: 2203 Eastland Drive, Suite 3; (309) 664-4440.

119A Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0228.

Decatur district office: Macon County Building, 141 S. Main St.; (217) 429-8110.

103C Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-5755.

Vandalia district office: 310 W. Gallatin; (618) 283-3000.

309M Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-6674.

Mattoon district office: 88 Broadway Ave., Suite 1; (217) 235-6033.

108E Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 558-1006.

Decatur district office: 5130 Hickory Point Frontage Road, Suite 103; (217) 330-9356.

227N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-8071.

Litchfield district office: 301 N. Monroe; (217) 324-5200.

1128E Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0053.

205N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-0066.

Salem district office: 1370 W. Main St., Suite A; (618) 548-9080.

204N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-8398.

Shelbyville district office: 203 N. Cedar St.; (217) 774-1306.

632 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-8163.

Decatur district office: 5130 Hickory Point Frontage Road, Suite 100; (217) 876-1968.

200-1N Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 558-1040.

632 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 782-2087.

Olney district office: 219 E. Main; (618) 392-0108.

E-2 Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706; (217) 524-0353.

Decatur district office, 1301 E. Mound Road Suite 270, (217) 877-9636.

The lack of a state budget for nearly two years has made it embarrassing to be from Illinois.

The self-created crisis by politicians has caused a huge deficit that is accompanied by an even larger stack of unpaid bills. It has harmed the most vulnerable of the state’s residents, crippled our higher education system and caused businesses to hesitate to plan for the future.

I’m tired of our politicians putting their party first. Please work in a bipartisan manner to pass a permanent balanced state budget for Illinois.

To not do so is unacceptable.

Don’t miss another special section.








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May 23, 2017 at 12:14PM

Our View: Unacceptable