69th District Photo Challenge
For my 2nd Annual 69th District Photo Challenge, four lucky winners were selected. Congratulations to Gordon Ellingson, Sharon Thomas, Karen Snyder, and Loreen Burton. Their photos will be displayed at the Springfield capitol. Winnebago and Boone counties have a lot to be proud of. I am thankful to serve the constituents of the 69th District and will continue to show how our community is strong, vibrant, and unique.
Gordon Ellingson, Midway Village in Rockford (above)

Sharon Thomas, River in Belvidere Park (above)
Karen Snyder, Old Mill in Belvidere Park (above)

Loreen Burton, Big Thunder Park in Belvidere (above)
Labor Board Declares Illinois Contract Talks at Impasse

Illinois Labor Relations Board declared an impasse in a 5-0 vote. This decision could open the door for Governor Rauner to declare an end to contract talks with AFSCME and impose his last, best, and final offer upon AFSCME members. AFSCME members could then accept these terms or undertake further litigation options.

Governor Rauner's spokesperson, Catherine Kelly, says that acceptance of the terms offered by Governor Rauner would save State taxpayers $3 billion over a four-year period. Major elements of these savings would be through a merit pay system and employees providing additional financial resources to their health insurance benefits. 

Illinois Budget Woes Continue
The budget impasse has caused an unprecedented backlog of unpaid bills in the Office of the Illinois Comptroller, with more than $10.6 billion in unpaid vouchers and commitments awaiting payment. The Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) projects, based on current spending and revenue numbers, that this outstanding total could reach more than $13.5 billion by June 2017. Hypothetically, the bill backlog could reach $47 billion by 2022.