Update from Senator Plummer: March 11

In the wake of Gov. JB Pritzker’s proposal for $1 billion in tax hikes on Illinois families, members of the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus are once again asking for greater fiscal transparency about the Pritzker Administration’s migrant crisis, so lawmakers have a clearer idea about how much is really being spent on state programs for noncitizens. Republican Senators also fought back against a gerrymandered school board map pushed by special interests and the Mayor of Chicago. Elementary students visited the Capitol to testify on behalf of legislation that they helped craft. Meanwhile, women’s accomplishments and achievements are in the spotlight during the month of March.
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Senate Republicans Push for Transparency on Noncitizen Spending Governor JB Pritzker’s non-citizen welfare policies have exhausted state resources and helped create the largest migrant crisis in the Midwest. The Governor’s financial gimmicks and loopholes make it impossible to know exactly how many taxpayer dollars he has used to fund his invited migrant crisis. This lack of transparency is even more egregious considering Governor Pritzker has proposed nearly $1 billion in tax hikes on Illinois families to continue to pay for the migrant crisis he created. In response, Senator Plummer cosponsored legislation to give Illinois taxpayers much-needed transparency on the migrant crisis Governor Pritzker has created. Senate Bill 3170 would require the Illinois Department of Human Services to work with relevant State agencies, to prepare an annual report to the General Assembly identifying all state spending on services and resources for migrants. It would also be available to the public on the department’s website. The report would include details of services and resources provided by various state entities, including but not limited to the State Board of Education, Department of Human Services, Department of Public Health, Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security, Department of Central Management Services, Department of Labor, and Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The report is required to include the following information concerning expenditures: Total amount spent on noncitizen and asylum-seeking populations in the previous fiscal year. Specific appropriations authorizing the spending. Any transfers among line-item appropriations associated with noncitizen and asylum-seeking populations. Total number of families or individuals impacted by each service or resource. Funding sources of the service or resource. Contracts awarded to organizations providing services or resources in various categories such as emergency shelter, food, health screenings, legal services, job readiness support, enrollment in public schools, long-term housing, mental health assessments, and other related spending. Further, the legislation requires the Governor to include a detailed accounting of all proposed spending on noncitizen populations in future state budgets, providing an additional layer of transparency to the people of Illinois. Senator Plummer says that the people of Illinois deserve to know how much of their tax dollars are being spent on migrant services, especially when the Governor is trying to raise their taxes by $1 billion. You can watch the press conference discussing this new legislation HERE. Join us in saying NO to Governor Pritzker’s tax hikes by signing Senator Plummer’s pettion here: https://senatorjasonplummer.com/demand-transparency-on-pritzkers-migrant-spending/ 
Republicans Push Back Against Another Gerrymandered Map This week, Illinois Senate Republicans stood up against the unfair process of gerrymandering by unanimously voting against legislation to enact a gerrymandered Chicago School Board map favored by Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and his special interest allies. Senate Republican members heard from concerned parents and Chicago community activists who testified against a map that they said empowered special interests instead of Chicago students, especially those from minority communities. The witnesses raised concerns about a lack of transparency in the map process that they believe will disenfranchise voters in their community. Senate Republicans also joined opponents in voicing concerns about the influence that Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and other special interests had in the map process.  Senator Plummer says that he supports maps drawn by independent commissions as they do in many other states, rather than politicians influenced by special interest groups.
Students Help Advance Legislation to Create New State Symbol Twenty-five students from the Prairie School of DuPage got a hands-on lesson in law-making recently, as they helped to pass legislation through a Senate committee. Senate Bill 3514, filed by State Senator Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett), designates the Calvatia Gigantea as the official state mushroom. Elementary student Charlotte DiGangi testified on the bill during the hearing and said the idea for a state mushroom came from a question she asked during a classroom discussion on state symbols. “We were talking about all of the different state symbols, and I asked if there was a state mushroom,” said DiGangi. “I said we should have a state mushroom and now here we are.” Elementary Teacher Erin Hemmer testified before the committee and explained that students compiled research and held a “primary” election that brought the list of mushroom choices down to two, and then the students made campaign signs for their favored choice prior to a “general” election to determine the winner. As the bill was presented, committee members learned that 174 witness slips in favor of the bill had been properly filed by students, parents, and others in support of the idea. Legislators in the committee voted unanimously to approve the legislation.
March is Women’s History Month The month of March is designated to acknowledge and commemorate the many great achievements made by women. This month-long celebration is also used to inspire and encourage the next generation of female history makers. In 1982, Congress requested that President Ronald Reagan declare Women’s History Week as the second week in March. The idea of expanding this to Women’s History Month was petitioned to Congress by the National Women’s History Alliance in 1987. Lottie Holman O’Neill, a Republican, was the first woman elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1922. She served a total of 40 years, and her service has been commemorated with a statue in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol. The Illinois Senate Republican Caucus was the first caucus in Illinois to elect a woman to its highest position, with former Senator Christine Radogno serving as Minority Leader from 2009 until 2017. The women of the caucus continue to work to pass important legislation, from advancing the state’s energy sector to protecting the rights of citizens and families. For ways to celebrate women-owned business in Illinois, visit the Enjoy Illinois website at https://www.enjoyillinois.com/travel-illinois/how-to-celebrate-womens-history-month-in-illinois/
Jason Plummer

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