With the session about half over, State Rep. Mike Tryon tells what’s happening:
This morning I, along with House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and State Representative Jim Durkin (R-LaGrange) announced the formation of a bipartisan legislative Diabetes Caucus. Diabetes is a disease that affects a growing number of Illinois families each year. Today almost 10% of Illinoisans suffer from either Type I or Type II diabetes, and this new caucus will bring a bipartisan approach to diabetes prevention, awareness and treatment.
The steering committee for the caucus includes eight members, and for most of us the issue of diabetes is a very personal one. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2006 and living with diabetes has been life-changing. Through my own research I have found that many Illinois families struggle to find sufficient information and resources that can help them manage symptoms and maintain a maximum quality of life. For Leader Cross and Representative Jim Durkin (R-LaGrange), diabetes affects family members. Both have children with Type I diabetes. Representative Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago) is also on the steering committee. She represents District 4 which includes Humboldt Park. According to Soto, Humboldt Park has been identified as the community with the highest percentage of people living with diabetes in the state.
We have been meeting regularly since January and have been approached by many corporate and non-profit agencies that are willing to help with outreach efforts.
The steering committee’s goals include:
* Seek needed legislation and evaluate filed legislation that affects people with diabetes
* Promote prevention education, available treatments and public programs that assist people with diabetes
* Reach out to agencies that assist people with diabetes
* Engage in outreach efforts between the caucus, its supporting agencies and people who suffer from diabetes
I also want to take this opportunity to provide an update on important financial legislation that is moving through the House of Representatives.
Last week I wrote about how the House unanimously passed House Resolution110 establishing a conservative revenue estimate of $33.2 billion, $2 billion less than Governor Quinn is proposing to spend. To get our state’s fiscal house in order we must start by enacting a truly balanced state budget. Passing House Resolution 110 was an important first step.
I also wrote about House Bill 197 which was passed by the House Revenue and Finance Committee. It is a great next step in developing a plan to pay our bills and meet expenses without exceeding our limit. Yesterday several additional pieces of legislation establishing a framework for reducing spending and paying down bills advanced in the House:
* House Resolution 161 (passed by the House): urges the Governor to require Directors and Secretaries of state agencies to provide a report to each legislative caucus with their recommendations to reduce their agencies’ spending 10% for fiscal year 2012
* House Resolution 158 (passed by the House Revenue and Finance Committee): specifies that any revenue the State receives exceeding the estimate adopted in House Resolution 110, will be directed to pay past due bills
* House Resolution 156 (passed by the House) divides up general fund revenues for FY 2012 as follows:
* 28.742% to Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriations
* 5.158% to General Services Appropriations
* 8.761% to Higher Education Appropriations
* 50.361% to Human Services Appropriations
* 6.978% to Public Safety Appropriations.
For years House Republicans drove the discussion on the need to rein-in spending and live within our means. The fact that these measures passed the House with strong bi-partisan support is a hopeful sign that some House Democrats are ready to join us in passing a responsible, balanced budget.
As always, do not hesitate to call or email me if you have additional questions or if you would like to discuss this or any other issue. I can be reached at (815) 459-6453 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael W. Tryon
State Representative, District 64