Today Representative Steve Andersson visited Prairie Knolls Middle School in Elgin, where he spoke to an assembly of 7th grade students, and received a tour of the school.

During his visit, Rep. Andersson was also able to see science projects that were created by other Prairie Knolls students, who were learning about environmental sustainability initiatives.  Andersson, who is on the Renewable Energy and Sustainability Committee in the House, was intrigued by the various projects on display and enjoyed looking at each project and hearing the explanations from the students on their work and findings.

“I loved hearing how collaborative the science projects were,” said Andersson.   “The students worked together in groups, and put in a lot of hard work and research.  To see their dedication and excitement with their findings was inspiring.”

After walking through the gallery of student science projects, Andersson met the group of 275 7th graders to speak with them on government, and explain his role as a State Representative of the 65th District.  The assembly of students was interested to know what the General Assembly has accomplished thus far, and what the biggest upcoming obstacles will be for this legislative session—including what the most debated bills in the House of Representatives were.

“I always like to hear students’ questions to see what areas of government they are most interested in learning more about.  Having an opportunity to give them more insight into Illinois government and the House of Representatives is an honor and one I love having.”
Representative Andersson recently visited several veterans in the 65th District to present them with Certificates of Recognition from the House of Representatives, to honor their military service and time spent serving our country.

His first stop was at the Del Webb Sun City Huntley community, where he met with two veterans to present them their certificates.  The veterans discussed their military experiences, and Rep. Andersson thanked them for their service.

Andersson enjoys meeting with veterans in the 65th District community, and hearing about each of their experiences.  “Our veterans are so important and have given so much for us and our country,” said Andersson.  “It is important to remember and recognize them.”

Rep. Andersson also visited The Holmstad, a retirement community in Batavia, to visit with five more veterans.  There he hand-delivered 5 Certificates of Recognition to veterans of the US Army and US Air Force.  Rep. Andersson felt it was an honor and a pleasure to present each veteran with their certificates, and to spend a little time with each of them to learning more about their military experiences.

If you know of a veteran who has not received a Certificate of Recognition, feel free to contact the District Office at (630) 457-5460.
Today Representative Steve Andersson celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a visit to HC Storm Elementary School in Batavia. 

Rep. Andersson spoke with 4th Grade students who are currently studying Illinois government.  They were eager to hear Rep. Andersson talk about his role as a State Representative, and learn more about the inner workings of the General Assembly and the House of Representatives.  

While Rep. Andersson spoke about representing the 65th District, the students interjected with a wide variety of questions about the election process, the bills he is working on, how a bill becomes a law, and even wanted to know what the security in the state capitol building was like.

The students are focusing their studies on Illinois government and are even planning a trip to Springfield to see the capitol, and will be visiting Rep. Andersson while he is in session. 

“Today’s visit was a great introduction for the students to understand the process of government, and how laws are enacted,” said Andersson.  “I was impressed with the detailed questions they asked, and am excited to have so many bright students here interested in government.  I am looking forward to seeing these students in the Capitol to give them the opportunity to see our State’s government in action.”

Representative Steve Andersson introduced a bill yesterday to create a Gold Star Family to honor the families of men and women who gave their lives while serving in the military. House Bill 4389 was presented by Andersson to the Veteran’s Affairs Committee in Springfield. 

Andersson initiated this bill to recognize the families who have lost loved ones in the military, for the loss they suffered has forever changed their lives. This bill would add to an already existing commemorative day in Illinois, Gold Star Mother’s Day.  Andersson filed this bill with the support of his constituent, Angel Collins, who testified on behalf of the bill in the Committee.

Angel’s son, Jonathan, served in the Marine Corp as a Lance Corporal and was killed in combat in Iraq.  Collins believes that suffering the loss of her son not only affected her as a mother, but also all the people and family in his life that loved and cared for him.  Andersson was inspired by Collins, and agreed that it would only be fair to also recognize all of the people and family that gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The Committee voted unanimously in favor of the bill, and were also all added as co-sponsors of the legislation.  The bill will continue to move on through the legislative process.  Below is a video of the bill being introduced in Committee, as well as Angel Collins’ testimony. 

Today, House Democrats again introduced two unfunded appropriations bills, Senate Bill 2990 and House Bill 648, which would authorize over $3 billion in spending— and greatly exceed available state revenues.

While Republicans have proposed several alternatives that are properly funded, and have been prepared to compromise for some time, these efforts have been ignored. Instead, the bills presented today were passed after a contentious and thorough debate.

Representative Andersson found these appropriations bills to be just another example of the unwillingness of Democrat leaders and legislators to compromise. Needs are not being met and there are critical state services that are not yet funded. Andersson recognizes the seriousness of the situation, and is ready to work to find a serious yet realistic solution.

“In order to compromise, to reach a reasonable solution, we need discussions. This proposal was pieced together without dialogue, compromise, or negotiation. Once again it’s an irresponsible effort that not only excluded House Republicans, but is unfunded. These bills allow expenditures to exceed revenues, and it’s unrealistic to think that this proposal would be fair, adequate, and substantial for our state and the people of Illinois. We cannot spend money that we don’t have, we as legislators are better than that, and Illinois families, taxpayers and students deserve better.”

Rep. Andersson went on to express his disappointment in the budgeting process with the excessive over-appropriation that has become common practice.

“It is our job to balance the budget. We cannot pass on this crisis to the Governor and the Comptroller, but together we must make the hard choices. I am an optimist and believe we can solve this this problem, but only if we talk and have discussions to promote the long term predictability and sustainability of our state.”
Today, Senate Bill 2043—an unfunded MAP and higher education funding bill—was presented and debated in the House in an attempt to override the Governor’s recent veto of this bill. While the Senate did manage to override the veto, after spirited debate in the House, the bill failed to garner the necessary votes to do so. As it was after the initial veto of Senate Bill 2043, House Republicans still stand ready to compromise and work toward a realistic solution to fund higher education in Illinois. 

Representative Andersson voted against this measure again today, and is ready to work with his colleagues to properly fund higher education, MAP grants, and state universities with a genuine funding solution that will benefit both students and higher education institutions.

“It is cruel to pretend this bill would fund anything. The reality is that there is no money to fund this bill, which truly makes this bill a false promise. While this bill would appropriate funds, it authorizes money to be spent when our state simply does not have it—and that is unfair; to promise hard working students in Illinois something that does not exist, and let them believe that this bill will help fund their MAP grants. As legislators it is our duty to responsibly fund higher education programs and institutions within our state’s means, and I stand ready to compromise for a feasible solution to this problem.”