House and Senate Vote on Appropriation Authority
Last week the House overwhelmingly passed SB 2039, a bill which authorizes appropriations from a number of funds, including the motor fuel tax (MFT) fund, to local municipalities and state agencies. On Monday, the Senate reconvened to vote for the bill. The Governor acted immediately and the bill has now been signed in to law.
Without a budget in place, the State has not had the authority to appropriate even non General Revenue Fund (GRF) money. This bill will allow transfers out from various funds that will have a tremendous impact social services, public safety, and public health. The largest transfers authorized will impact MFT, which is given to counties and municipalities and is spent on public safety, local road projects, and 911 centers. Other large transfers include the State Low Income Energy Assistance fund, which will be able to help keep families warm this winter, and the State Lottery Fund. The lottery has been unable to pay winners of over $600 for months and it has negatively impacted sales revenue for the State. This bill comes just in time to add lottery scratch offs to your list of stocking stuffer gift ideas. Other notable transfers include money from the Mental Health Fund, the Local Tourism Fund, and money to the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
All told, the bill authorizes the release on just over $3 billion dollars from various non-GRF funds. Additionally, SB2039 appropriates $28 million in GRF money to the Secretary of State’s office and domestic violence shelters.
Winter Emergency Preparedness Guide
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has posted their annual winter guide to Christmas, holiday, and winter safety. The Holiday Safety Tips list includes homeowner maintenance of flashlights with fresh batteries in your house and car, a vehicle preparedness kit, a battery-powered radio that can access weather alerts, and other items. You can read the winter weather guide here.
Thank you for the honor of serving as your State Representative. Stay safe this winter and have a happy holiday season.