Saturday, Jan. 11
Mitchell takes oath for
Reopening LDC a top goal
[JAN. 11, 2003]
SPRINGFIELD -- In taking the oath of
office for the third time, state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth,
renewed his dedication to working for a balanced budget. Mitchell
has long been a proponent of cutting waste and limiting growth of
state spending from year to year.
"The budget will
certainly be our biggest challenge this session," said Mitchell. "We
will once again be faced with some tough decisions to make about
where to cut spending."
Last year, Mitchell
introduced legislation for a state constitutional amendment that
would limit the annual growth of state spending to the rate of
inflation. Had this practice been adopted years ago, the state would
not facing a financial crisis, Mitchell said. We only need to look
to Colorado, which controls its state spending, to see a successful
A longtime advocate
of agriculture, Mitchell stated that he would continue his support
of ag programs and farm-related sales tax exemptions.
agricultural economy is the cornerstone to economic growth
statewide," said Mitchell. "With nearly all the constitutional
officeholders as well as a good portion of the General Assembly from
Cook County, downstaters are going to have to stick together."
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Another of Mitchellís
top goals is the reopening of the Lincoln Developmental Center.
Mitchell fought hard last year to prevent the facility from being
closed. The closure forced its residents to be relocated and
eliminated hundreds of jobs supporting central Illinois families.
"I have felt all
along that there was never a sound reason for singling out LDC for
closure," said Mitchell. "I will work hard this session for the
restoration of funding, so that important services for the
developmentally disabled and hundreds of vital central Illinois jobs
are not lost."
the newly formed 87th District, which includes all or parts of seven
central Illinois counties: Christian, DeWitt, Logan, Macon, McLean,
Sangamon and Tazewell.
"Iím certainly excited to represent the
new 87th District," declared Mitchell. "In the 93rd General
Assembly, I will continue to fight for downstate values. Serving the
people to the best of my ability will always remain my top
Education remains priority
for Senate Republicans
[JAN. 11, 2003]
SPRINGFIELD -- Sen. Larry Bomke,
R-Springfield, took steps Tuesday to restore nearly $22.2 million in
education funding that would be lost to school throughout Illinois.
One of the last acts
of the 92nd Illinois Senate was to reaffirm its commitment to
education. Without this funding, schools across the state could
receive fewer state funds than expected when the districts crafted
their own budgets for the school year. House Bill 3439 simply
restores their funding to the promised level.
"We made a commitment
to education when we passed the budget last year," Bomke said. "Now
itís time to follow through on that commitment and give Illinois
public schools the $4,560 per student that we promised them in
approved the budget last spring, based on attendance estimates, the
legislature passed the amount of funding estimated to provide $4,560
per pupil in state funds. Once the average daily attendance and
equalized assessed valuation estimates were calculated and plugged
into the funding formula, it became clear the budget would not
provide the promised foundation level per pupil.
offered and approved House Bill 3439 to correct the funding
discrepancy, but the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives
failed to act on the legislation before adjourning indefinitely for
the 92nd General Assembly, effectively killing the legislation.
"Itís out of our control now," Bomke
said. "We will do what we can to follow through on our commitment,
but it requires legislative action. If the Democrats refuse to call
the legislation, local schools could be hit hard by the lower
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