Happy New Year!
January marks the beginning of the 2018 Spring session, and I wanted to provide a brief update as to what I will be working on in the coming months.
As you may recall, the end of the year saw a flurry of veto session activity – including legislation to address sexual harassment in the Capitol and the establishment of a Sexual Harassment Task Force to explore what legal and policy changes should be considered at the state level. We next meet this Thursday, January 11th. Additionally, a bipartisan group of legislators voted to override the Governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act, to ensure Illinoisans have access to the most up to date information on the state’s financial picture. Today, I attend a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs committees regarding the tragic deaths at the Quincy Veterans Home following an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease. All hearings can be viewed live at www.ilga.gov.
My focus this legislative session will be to pass a complete and responsible state budget and fulfill our commitments to neighborhood schools and social service providers. We cannot afford another budget impasse, which resulted in the accumulation of billions of dollars in additional debt, jeopardized our state’s credit rating, starved our public schools and left the most vulnerable among us without a safety net. As always, I remain strongly committed to advocating for environmental protections, women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, consumer data privacy and civil liberties for all Illinoisans. I expect to be a part of continued efforts on the state level to push back against attempts by the Trump administration to erode these important protections.
Despite the many challenges we have faced over the past year, there has been a silver lining – and that is the increased engagement and activism which has led to the creation of many new and energetic grassroots organizations, such as Indivisible and many others, and reinvigorated longstanding organizations working on an array of critical issues. I look forward to these continued partnerships and hope you will continue to stay engaged by reaching out to me at any time with questions, concerns or comments. It is important to me to hear from you.
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as your Representative in the General Assembly and am looking forward to working with you to make 2018 a great year for Illinois.