Wow! It is so good to see the community pull together for a fun event, come rain or shine . . . and it did rain! Thanks to everyone who came out and supported Masonic Lodge #867 at their Chadwick Days food stand. We hope you all enjoyed the pulled pork, hamburgers, brats and nachos.
Special thanks to Nelson’s Electric of Morrison for their help. Because of this great community, the Masons can sponsor scholarships, run the IL-CHIP program and support the academic bowl.
Thanks so much-
Chadwick Masonic Lodge #867
The Tea Party
The major point of the Tea Party seems to be that our government is responsible for our nation’s problems. They have directed their anger toward “big government.” Instead, they should be angry with big corporations that have corrupted our government with their money and lobbyists, destroyed our environment, exported our jobs, and damaged our economy with their shortsighted quest for quarterly profits.
What a great community we have!!!! What a pleasure to help those who need just a little assistance! The 36 member (ages 10 thru 80 plus) of the First United Methodist Church Mission Team donned our green T-shirts and set out on Monday June 7 thru June 12 to complete the 30 projects we had targeted. 800 volunteer hours were expended. We topped off the week with a bonfire and s’mores. Lunches were donated to the team by Sullivan’s, Pizza Hut and Casey’s. Salads, desserts, water and watermelon were donated by some of our church members. The Savanna Ambulance Assoc. donated towards the handicapped ramp we built and Tru Valu helped us with the needed supplies.
To name those who assisted in anyway would be difficult, because we probably would inadvertently leave someone out and that would be unforgivable. So to ALL of you, and you know who you are, a big THANK YOU!!!!! To those who allowed us to work for them, a big THANK YOU!!!!. So in Christian love, we hope this becomes a yearly event because as we all know “Charity begins at home”.
The First United Methodist Church of Savanna
Mission Team - 2010
SENATE WEEK IN REVIEW: June 14-18, 2010
Illinois’ credit rating took another hit this week and several bills were signed into law, including measures that will overhaul the state’s archaic telecommunications act and put Illinois residents to work.
State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) said Senate Bill 107 (P.A. 96-0927) will modernize Illinois’ existing telecommunications law, which had been implemented before the prevalent use of cell phones. The law will continue to safeguard consumers by extending affordable package options to those who still use landline services, while also lifting unnecessary regulations to promote companies’ investment in wireless and broadband technology.
The measure also encourages market competition by allowing telephone companies to alter price and phone package details without approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission, which often took weeks.
Another measure, House Bill 6349 (P.A. 96-0929), puts Illinoisans to work when they need it most. The bill requires that at least 90 percent of workers hired for construction and hazardous waste clean-up on public works projects must be workers from Illinois, if the state unemployment rate is over 5 percent for two consecutive calendar months.
The measure seeks to create job opportunities for Illinoisans during tough economic times and instances of significant unemployment.
In other news, Bivins said Illinois’ credit rating was downgraded once again, based primarily on the state’s continuing budget deficit. Fitch Ratings recently downgraded Illinois, which now has the second-lowest rating in the nation after California. The downgrade comes on the heels of a Moody’s Investors Service downgrade, which tied Illinois with California for the worst-rated state in the nation.
The two downgrades bring the total number of downgrades under Gov. Pat Quinn to eight—almost triple the three downgrades Illinois received under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Illinois has only been downgraded 17 times in its history, and almost half of those occurred during Quinn’s one-and-a-half years in office.
Credit downgrades serve as independent “report cards” of the state’s finances. The lower the state’s credit rating, the more it costs when the state tries to borrow money. It’s likely that these downgrades will lead to hundreds of millions of dollars in higher interest costs in the future.
Senate Republicans noted that the common theme in the downgrades reflects a lack of political will to take action on the state’s budget problems. Fitch noted that the Fiscal Year 2011 budget failed to address the state’s massive operating deficit and “relied almost exclusively on borrowing to close its sizeable budget gaps.”
The Fitch analysis also refutes the argument that the national recession is the primary cause of Illinois’ current budget deficit. Instead it points to the state’s failure to build a nest egg when the economy was robust: “Illinois entered this economic cycle with little financial flexibility to handle a downturn. It came out of the last recession relatively late and did not take actions to build its reserves or restructure its finances as its economy and the national economy grew over the five years leading into this recession.”
Despite downgrades by Fitch Ratings and Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s has retained Illinois’ rating—also second worst in the nation—but said that the rating could be lowered if structural changes to the budget are not made soon.
Legislation signed into law this week includes:
Dental services (HB 5859/P.A. 96-0926): Authorizes the Department of Healthcare and Family Services to develop a system allowing the state to reimburse dental clinics for volunteer care, so that a volunteering dentist does not have to personally enroll as a participating provider in the medical assistance program.
Prohibition exemptions (SB 3288/P.A. 96-0928): Exempts certain liability, indemnification claims and final judgment settlements from the prohibition against expenditures in a fiscal year of moneys appropriated the previous fiscal year.
Seth’s Law (HB 5764/P.A. 96-0925): Requires hospitals to have policies and procedures for readily gaining access to a locked bathroom in a patient’s room.
Veterans’ courts (HB 5214/P.A. 96-0924): Allows for the creation of specialized veterans’ and service members’ courts with the necessary flexibility to meet the specialized problems faced by veteran and service member defendants.
By Jim Sacia, State Representative, 89th District
The Budget, where does it really stand today? Both sides of the aisle in Springfield are blessed with talented and remarkable staff. Our senior “budgeter”, Kent Gaffney, has laid out some facts that explain it in simple terms: “First there is the appropriated amount which is contained in the budget bills that were passed and sent to the Governor. Second is the amount that will actually be spent by state government. This includes the required payment to Illinois’ pension systems and ‘transfers out’ to local governments, both of which are mandated by law. What is unknown at this time is whether the Senate will pass the pension bonding plan and how the Governor will utilize his Emergency Budget Act Powers.”
You will recall that prior to leaving Springfield on May 7th, the House passed a bill allowing the Governor to borrow $3.8 billion in order to make the afore-mentioned pension payment. Action in the Senate is pending. I am adamantly opposed to more borrowing because it continues to dig the hole deeper.
The Emergency Budget Act gives the Governor the authority to make significant cuts and allocate moneys as he sees fit. Yes, it gives him authority to even tap programs such as domestic violence, child sex abuse, aid for the developmentally disabled, etc., etc. The appropriated budget passed by the legislature does not include some important and very substantial expenditures such as “transfers out” to local governments, the FY 2011 pension payment, and the amount to be held in reserve by state agencies.
Here is where the craziness enters - the pension payment must be made whether or not the Senate passes the legislation to borrow the money. Approximately $6 billion dollars in FY 10 bills remain unpaid. Our own Malcolm Eaton Enterprises in Freeport is owed nearly $2 million. When the $6 billion in FY10 unpaid bills are added to the projected $4.2 billion shortfall in the FY11 budget the deficit totals $10.2 billion. We must pay our local governments as mandated, so the deficit will actually be far greater than the $10.2 billion. This is absolutely nuts.
You mark my words, here is what will happen: we’ll muddle along through the summer. The Governor has the Emergency Budget Act of 2011 to allow him to rob Peter to pay Paul. No one had to take the hard votes to cut entitlements or raise taxes (that helps us to get reelected you know). Shortly after the election, though, there will be a huge awakening. Governor Quinn or Governor Brady will inherit a monster. Then and only then will this monster be addressed. You are right to call and demand that we fix this problem. I am a loud voice, but I am still only one vote of 118 in the House. It turns my crank every bit as much as it turns yours.
We will be scheduling our mobile office to be in your community soon.
As always, you can reach me, Sally or Barb at 815/232-0774 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit my website at www.jimsacia.com. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you.