I hope you were able to spend some special time with your family, community, and those you love over the Easter Weekend.
In the District:
Since the legislature is not scheduled in Springfield this week, I have been busy working in the district. I thought I would share a couple pictures of what I have been up to. Last Wednesday, I was able to attend the 91st Annual Highland FFA Banquet.
And, on Thursday I donated my 135th pint of blood. As always, there is an urgent need for blood donors. To find a blood drive near you or to schedule an appointment, you can visit: https://www.redcrossblood.org.
Although the legislature was not scheduled to be in Springfield this week, the process of crafting a budget is ongoing. Typically the budget process begins by establishing the amount of revenue the state expects to take in throughout the next year. Then, committees charged with different areas of the state budget begin meeting formally and informally to discuss budget priorities throughout the next year.
Unfortunately, often this budgeting process, which should be bipartisan, is derailed by the majority party who end up writing their own state budget behind closed doors. This twisting of the process in favor of the majority party’s priorities alone does a disservice to every taxpayer in Illinois. The way that Illinois State Government spends taxpayer dollars should be transparent, fair, and accountable.
I have proposed two house bills that would change this budget process to better represent every taxpayer in the state.
House Bill 1157 – One common sense proposal that I introduced says that Illinois cannot create a new tax or increase a tax until the General Assembly passes a budget that includes a reduction in spending from the previous year. It also requires that every state agency provides the General Assembly a list of possible cuts within their agency. Currently, it seems that every year agencies come before the legislature only asking for increases. Our laws should prioritize finding efficiencies and cuts within government. This proposal would require that.
House Bill 2986 – Another proposal that I am co-sponsoring requires that the Illinois State Budget may not increase or grow year-over-year more than the growth of the median household income of the state. It makes sense that our government spending should not grow if the average taxpayer is making less.
I will continue to fight for balanced budgets, cutting taxes, and these common sense budget process changes. However, the majority party has shown no interest in making these changes. So where does the budget process go from here?
I get to serve on the Appropriations Committee that oversees Health & Human Services agencies and programs. My priorities within this committee is to make sure that our taxpayer dollars are spent efficiently and effectively to serve the most vulnerable within our state. We must also hold our state agencies accountable to make sure they are providing the best possible services.
As this budget process progresses, I will keep you updated. If you have budget priorities or ideas, please let me know.
Illinois State Trooper Day:
Last Saturday marked Illinois State Trooper Day. We are lucky as a state to have such dedicated public servants working every day to make sure we are safe. It is a difficult time to serve as a member of law enforcement. I would like to extend a big thank you to all of our men and women who serve as members of the Illinois State Police.
This Week on the Farm:
It has been a busy week on the farm hauling grain, working on equipment, and remodeling the hallway in the house. Plus we are continuing to welcome more calves to the farm.
The Week Ahead:
- This week, the Illinois House is not scheduled for legislative session in Springfield. However, there will be some committee hearings scheduled.
- I try to make it to as many local events as I can. If you have an event coming up in your community that you’d like for me to attend, please let my office in Highland know: 618-651-0405.
Stay Up To Date:
Was this update informative or helpful? Please share this newsletter with your friends and family. If someone forwarded this e-mail to you, please sign up for my newsletter or send me a message by clicking here: http://www.ilhousegop.org/contactmeier. With this weekly newsletter, I aim to give you a quick update on what is happening at the State Capitol, the top issues in our area, and how you can get involved.