Today, Representative Steve Andersson visited the Northern Illinois Food Bank to listen to a panel discussion on “The True Cost of Missing a Meal.”

The panel featured speakers from various nutrition and health backgrounds, and was extremely informative in educating the group on hunger based issues that are affecting the community.

So many families, students, and children face the challenge of hunger every day. Talking about hunger, listening to panelists, and visiting the food bank has been important to Rep. Andersson, to continue to engage with the Food Bank and support their mission to end hunger.

“It is important to listen to these panels, to understand what issues are impacting our communities, and to learn what can be done in order to help fight hunger in our area.”

The Northern Illinois Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that works to solve hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships. Through the Food Bank’s initiatives, the organization has helped provide food to over 71,000 people each week.

Today, the panelists stressed the food bank’s dependence on the generosity and support of individuals, foundations, corporations and manufacturers in order to provide charitable food relief to thousands of families each year. To learn more and to find out how you can help contribute, click here.

Representative Steve Andersson recently hosted his “65th District Dialogue” meeting, where a small group of constituents gathered with the Representative to voice their concerns about local and state issues and ask questions about policy and legislation being pursued in Springfield.

The group had an in depth discussion, and one in which the Representative looks forward to having with constituents in order to truly gauge their thoughts and opinions, and help him determine how to act to best serve the community.

“While I originally wanted to grow this advisory council, I ultimately decided to put a cap on the number of people attending individual meetings so we could have in depth conversations, and really get to the root of the concerns constituents have in our community—and state wide. I always enjoy this opportunity to listen, so I can accurately represent my constituents and the 65th District.”

Representative Andersson hosts his 65th District Dialogue meetings quarterly. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the District Office for more information at (630) 457-5460.

Last week, Governor Rauner addressed a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly on the State Budget. In his address, the Governor called for “major structural reforms to lower the cost of government, while generating economic growth.” Workers’ compensation reform, lawsuit reform, State and local government consolidation, and reform to the processes used when the public sector negotiates with labor unions, continue to be key planks of the Governor’s Turnaround Agenda. Governor Rauner made it clear that he is ready to work across party lines to enact a balanced budget, one that includes reforms that will grow the economy and benefit taxpayers.

He stated his preferred budget is one that is “responsible and compassionate,” but also stressed it had to be balanced. Governor Rauner promised to work with lawmakers to enact cost saving reforms, grow the jobs market and enhance state revenues.

What do you think? Click here to Weigh-In on the Governor’s Budget Plan.
Today the Governor vetoed Senate Bill 2043 which purported to appropriate funds for higher education in Illinois.  It was the correct decision. During the debate on this bill on the House Floor, we Republicans pointed out that passing this bill would be a fraud on the people of the State of Illinois and would be particularly cruel to those students who might believe that passing this bill would fund their MAP grants and educational institutions. My objection to the bill was, and continues to be, that while it would authorize spending; it did not provide the revenue necessary to fund it. It is irresponsible to continue to spend money we simply do not have.

However, my objection to this bill goes far beyond the fraud that would be worked upon Illinois students. During the 8 month budget impasse, most state programs have been operating on auto-pilot; State employees have been paid, many government programs are funded through court ordered decrees and some departments are funded through continuing appropriations. Also the K-12 education funding bill was approved. This means that the pressure to negotiate a budget deal has fallen upon two groups: 1) higher education and 2) social services.

While I was initially pleased that K-12 education was funded, I came to realize that this funding of education is actually prolonging our budget impasse. I have said for a long time that had K-12 education funding not been approved, this stalemate would have never gone on this long. Why? Because virtually all Illinois families rely on public education in their daily life. People from all parts of the state would have demanded a resolution so that schools around the state would open. The pressure on the legislature would have been too great not to negotiate a resolution. That pressure, quite simply, does not exist, because education was funded.
Today Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual Budget Address to members of the General Assembly. With no budget agreement in place yet, Governor Rauner called upon the legislators to come together in the spirit of compromise, to do what is right for the tax payers of Illinois. He stated that he is ready to negotiate, and the time for action is now.

Representative Andersson thought the Governor’s message today was honest and direct. Andersson found the Governor’s assessment of the current situation to be quite accurate, and hopes it will motivate legislators to get to work.

“Today the Governor presented us with a realistic approach to the State budget. I support his call for action, and agree that it is time to act—it is our responsibility to have a balanced budget, to help move the state forward and responsibly address our situation. We cannot go on like this, and do nothing like we have done this past year. We must pass a balanced budget and create reforms that will grow the economy and increase revenues.”
Today Representative Steve Andersson presented House Resolution 840 to the Kane County Cougars in honor of the team’s 25th anniversary in Geneva. The resolution, initiated by Representative Andersson and approved by the 99th General Assembly House of Representatives, celebrates the Cougars’ history and achievements on their 25th season of baseball in Geneva. Curtis Haug, Vice President and General Manager of the Cougars met with Andersson and his staff to receive the Resolution.
Governor Rauner recently signed an executive order to create the Illinois Business and Economic Development Corporation, a nonprofit group that will work with an existing state agency to jumpstart job growth in Illinois. The Kane County Cougars is an excellent example of what can be accomplished with a private-public partnership (P3). As has been the case with the Kane County Forest Preserve and the Cougars, Representative Andersson supports Governor Rauner’s expanded use of the P3 concept to boost economic development efforts for Illinois, make our state more competitive and draw in more business opportunities.

The Kane County Cougars, a Class A minor league baseball team that plays in the Midwest League, is housed in Geneva, Illinois, about 35 miles west of Chicago. The Cougars have had many great players go on to play Major League Baseball, and more than 130 former Cougars have reached the Major Leagues.
A comprehensive procurement reform package that was developed collaboratively by Governor Rauner and legislative leaders was revealed today, and filed concurrently in both the House and the Senate.

In his State of the State Address, Governor Rauner discussed the need for Illinois to become competitive again, and his desire to help Illinois businesses and residents by providing more efficient government services. To do so, we must change the way our state purchases goods and services. This procurement legislation will do just that, and aims to maintain the necessary ethics and transparency safeguards, while streamlining bureaucracy and offering greater flexibility to state agencies.