On Friday, June 16, LWVIL sent this message to your local League Leaders, which we hope has been shared with you, however in the event they were not available to send it along, the LWVIL Issues Committee repeats the message here:

A special legislative session by the Illinois General Assembly has been called and your legislators must hear from as many people as possible that a budget must been passed immediately, with no more stop gap budgets. Please share the message below today with your family, friends, and community leaders asking them to contact their legislator today. The short message to share widely is:

"We need a fully funded, year-long budget with new, permanent revenue that will stop the cuts, repair the damage that has been done, and make smart investments for the future."

Call your State Representative today and insist that she/he vote to pass a budget for FY 2017 and to make whole schools and social service providers which did not receive appropriations in FY 2016. Find contact information for your state legislators here: 

To raise money to fund the budget ask them to:

  • Raise state income tax rates
  • Expand the sales tax base to include services
  • Refinance the state's debt and pension obligations
  • Tax retirement income
  • Impose a tax on financial transactions.
  • Ask them to oppose a property tax freeze for local governments and school districts. 

If you want to share additional information, here are facts about the impact of having no budget for the last two years:

The State of Illinois does not have a budget for Fiscal Year 2017, except for General State Aid for education which has run out. It does not have enough money to pay its bills and currently has $14.5 billion in unpaid bills. Dire consequences could result if the current crisis is not quickly addressed, including:

  • Many public school districts, Kindergarten through Grade 12, do not have enough money to provide adequate and equitable education for their students.
  • School districts may not receive all of the money that was appropriated for this school year. Categorical spending must wait in line with all of the other requests for payment that the state receives.
  • Where will school districts find revenues to replace the missing state appropriations?
  • The lack of a state budget results in suffering for the neediest Illinois citizens because service providers are forced to shrink services, lay off employees, or shut down altogether.
  • State schools of higher education will not receive state payments. Students who need financial aid from the state will not receive MAP (monetary award program) grants.

Public schools and other local governments rely on the property tax for an adequate and dependable source of revenue. Unless the state provides adequate and sufficient replacement monies, these taxing bodies will suffer great harm.

Your local League Leaders received this letter from our newly elected LWVIL President. 

Please share widely on social media, with your local press and local leaders.  Thank you and please let us know at the outcome of your advocacy.

League Statement on the Paris Climate Agreement

06/01/2017 | by Sarah Courtney

Washington, DC – The League of Women Voters president, Chris Carson issued the following statement in response to President Trump's announcement that the United States will leave the global Paris Climate Agreement: 

“Withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement is a giant step in the wrong direction for the health of the planet and all living beings. President Trump’s decision today will undermine global cooperation and have a harmful impact on U.S. relations with our most trusted world allies. The long-term effects of this decision will make more people sick, especially children and the elderly. The League of Women Voters is gravely disappointed to see the United States on the wrong side of history in the fight to protect our planet.”

Something You Should Know:

League Sends Memo to U.S. Senate Regarding Healthcare  

The League sent a memo to members of the U.S. Senate regarding essential elements that need to be provided for any forthcoming legislation on healthcare. The League maintains that any legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act must include elements to cover preventive care, pre-existing conditions, support funding for Medicaid and must not discriminate against women.

League Joins Brennan Center on Public Records Requests

The League of Women Voters in Kansas, Maine, New Hampshire, and Alabama joined with the Brennan Center to request all communications and documents related to the Secretary of States in these states that may have discussed the activities of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Secretaries of State have all been appointed to serve on the commission.

League Joins Letter to EPA Secretary Pruitt

The League expressed deep concern over the EPA's recently noticed process for evaluating existing regulations that can be "repealed, replaced, or modified". The letter was joined by environmental, public health and public safety groups from around the country.

League Opposes H.R. 806

The League urged Senators and Representatives to oppose H.R. 806 the "Ozone Standards Implementation Act". Despite its name, the legislation would systematically weaken the Clean Air Act without a single improvement, undermine Americans’ 46-year right to healthy air based on medical science, and delay life-saving health standards already years overdue.

League Opposes Expansion of Offshore Drilling

The League has joined with 132 organizations to state our opposition to the Trump Administration's plan for expansion of offshore drilling—which brings unacceptable risks to our oceans, coastal residents, communities, existing economies, and our climate.

League Health Care Discussion List Open

Challenges to the Affordable Care Act continue with an uncertain future and League efforts for health care reform are needed more than ever. What are the next steps for health care advocates? How can League members make an impact in their communities with education and action items? A Google Group for Health Care Reform is a national discussion and sharing group for League members on health care reform, including behavioral health. We welcome ideas, resources, successes and questions. To receive an invitation to join the group please contact Linda Hawkins or Linda Mahan.

2017 Annual Meeting

Greetings from our Membership Team!

We will miss you Syvia!!

Co-President Erin Roeper

Michael Jasso, Bureau Chief of Econ Dev For CC

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HF Area Co-Presidents'

Erin Roeper & Syvia Tillman

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.