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In an effort to end a rigged system and advance good government policy, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has passed Senate Bill 666 through the Illinois House of Representatives. The legislation ends the use a misinterpreted section of the Township Code that led to vastly reduced voter power in Township elections through the use of the caucus system.

“This legislation is good government policy that seeks to end the manipulation of township elections,” said Wheeler. “It is never good when a political party has the ability to limit the participation of voters due to the misinterpretation of the law. This change will ensure township voters in McHenry County have the same freedom of participation as those in any other county.”

Due to a vague section of the Illinois Township Code concerning the caucus process (alternative to a primary election), some townships in McHenry County were using a weighted voting system during caucus votes. This weighted voting system would give preferential treatment to Republican or Democrat township committee members when casting votes in a public caucus to determine candidates for election to township offices. Due to this, one committee member would be given dozens, or even hundreds, of votes compared to only one vote for any other registered voter participating in the caucus. Wheeler’s legislation guarantees every voter in a given party, regardless of committee membership, will have one vote, thus ending the manipulation of the caucus system.
In an effort to move the state budget process forward, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has joined 39 House colleagues in sending a letter to Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The letter calls on Attorney General Madigan to use the power of her office to compel the Illinois General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate prior to the filing and passage of any spending bills to prevent further damage to the state’s finances and the many social service providers who serve the state’s most vulnerable.

In the letter, Wheeler and her co-signers cite several prior court rulings and instances which set precedent for the Attorney General to intervene to ensure the Illinois Constitution is upheld. Both the Constitution and state law require the General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate on which to base a balanced budget for the forthcoming fiscal year, an action which has not occurred in either of the past two years and hasn’t yet occurred for the coming fiscal year.

“Every day this budget impasse continues, the social service providers who care for our most vulnerable are placed in a more and more dire situation,” said Wheeler. “Illinois’ families, taxpayers and job creators are not immune to the situation and time is running out to resolve the problem.”
Every year children die of heatstroke, also known as hyperthermia, while unattended in vehicles. Young children are particularly at risk because their bodies can heat up 3 to 5 times faster than adults. 

The auto industry is spreading the message on the dangers of heatstroke and working to educate parents and caregivers about the risks of leaving children unattended in a vehicle — even for just a few moments. 

Together with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Safe Kids Worldwide, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers offers information and tips to help prevent these tragedies from happening. Click Here to find out more.
The Illinois House reconvened this week for a two-week period dedicated to the consideration of Senate bills in the House. The Senate has sent 345 bills to the House, less than 16% of the 2,209 bills filed in the Senate this spring. These bills have been assigned to House committees for further discussion and debate. Under normal House rules, Senate bills have to get out of House committee no later than Friday, May 19, in order to be eligible to become law this spring. In a few cases, a few Senate bills may be granted extended deadline consideration, but this should not be counted on. The current status of all of these bills can be tracked on the General Assembly website, ilga.gov.
Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino, age 54, is currently under investigation. Allegations include reports that Mautino, who prior to his appointment was a state representative, used or allowed associates to use campaign funds for non-campaign purposes.

In order to protect the integrity of campaign funds, substantial reporting requirements are placed on campaign committees. They have to report substantially all of their larger contributions and spending. The reports are contained in mandated filings that must be deposited with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBEL).

As part of the overall investigation, questions have been asked about the reports filed by former Rep. Mautino and his campaign committee. An ISBEL hearing officer officially found this week that the Mautino committee willfully violated the informational requirements that surround at least one of these required filings. The hearing officer had the right to recommend that the State Board of Elections impose a fine on the campaign committee, which remains in existence pending conclusion of the investigations. The ISBEL will consider this recommendation and take final action.
State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is offering a program to keep children intellectually engaged over summer vacation. The Summer Reading Club offers children in kindergarten through 5th grade the opportunity to keep their minds active during summer vacation, while also providing the chance to have some fun for participating. Participation brochures are available at Wheeler’s District Office in Crystal Lake.

“As a former teacher, I know how important it is to keep the mind active over summer vacation, so I hope lots of kids will take part in this year’s reading club,” said Wheeler.

To be a member of Rep. Wheeler’s Summer Reading Club, children are asked to read eight books (books over 150 pages count for two) between the time school ends and the program deadline of July 25. Children who achieve this goal will be invited to join their fellow classmates and Wheeler at an ice cream social in August that will offer games and prizes. This program can also be done in conjunction with any program already in existence at a child’s school, or offered through the public library in their community.
A joint statement from the bipartisan group:
"The finances of the state of Illinois are in crisis, and we must do better. The time for resolution is now. We are a bipartisan group of House members committed to seeing that happen.

There have been many ideas submitted both inside and outside the Statehouse. The key question for any of them is 'do they have the votes to pass?' The Senate offers one set of ideas in the form of a grand bargain negotiated by both Democrats and Republicans in that chamber.

We believe a solution that can pass the House and Senate and be signed by the Governor needs to include a package of bills that fundamentally addresses the needs of the state, and most importantly provides a normal, full-year budget for our state agencies, schools, and social service providers.