Harvard Walmart Shoplifting, Theft Continues

From the Harvard Police Department:

RETAIL THEFT / WARRANT ARREST

On 12-30-18 at 0800 hrs, a Walmart Employee (m-52 yoa), 21101 McGuire Rd, Harvard reported an unknown male subject had removed a battery, oil pan and several unknown food items from the store without paying.

Harvard’s Walmart

As a result of the investigation at 1125 hrs, Shawn A Bridgeman (m-30 yoa), 11416 Rt 14, Harvard was arrested for Retail Theft.

Bridgeman was also arrested on a McHenry County Failure to Appear Warrant for a previous Driving While License Revoked charge.

Bridgeman posted $150.00 bond for the Retail Theft charge and was released with a court date of 01-30-19 at 1330 hrs and posted $300.00 bond for the warrant and was released with a court date of 01-24-19 at 0900 hrs.

THEFT

On 01-02-19 at 1358 hrs, a Walmart Employee (m-52 yoa), 21101 McGuire Rd, Harvard reported over the past few weeks two unknown males have purchased several big screen TV’s, removed the electronic components from inside and return the TV stating it does not work. Under Investigation

= = = = =
Of possible interest is that while Harvard reports stores from which stuff is stolen, Crystal Lake and Huntley do not.

Contributions to Jack Franks from Business

A Friend of McHenry County Blog has put in a LOT of work on categorizing the campaign contributions to Jack Franks.  What you see below is a best effort to extract the names of businesses other than lobbyists from filings made with the Illinois State Board of Elections.

If you see any that are not businesses, please identify them in the comment section.

COMPANY TOTAL CITY ST
1350 N Bosworth LLC $450 Chicago IL
1376 N Dean LLC $200 Chicago IL
2 Musketeers Inc $2,800 Palatine IL
2225 W Homer LLC $250 Chicago IL
3M $500 St. Paul MN
A and A Magnetics $185 Woodstock IL
A OK Inc $1,900 Harvard IL
Abbott Contractors LLC $200 Bartlett IL
Abbott Laboratories $200 Abbott Park IL
Action K-9 Security Inc $4,500 Chicago IL
AGL Resources $1,000 Atlanta GA
Ailied Benefit Systems Inc $250 Chicago IL
Albertsons $775 Glendale AZ
Alliance Consulting Group LLC $250 Park Ridge IL
Alliance Contractors Inc. $21,090 Woodstock IL
Allied Benefit Systems Inc $3,250 Chicago IL
American Airlines PAC $500 Washington DC
American Heritage Protective Svc, Inc $23,600 Alsip IL
American Quality Industries DBA Main Street Towing $200 Richmond IL
American Stores Company $200 Glendale AZ
AMGEN USA $250 Thousand Oaks CA
Amp Electric Inc $200 Janesville WV
Ampac Flexicon, LLC $761 Cary IL
Anderson Bros Drywall $2,000 Harvard IL
APCOA Standard Parking $500 Chicago IL
Applied Telecommunications LLC $2,500 Crystal Lake IL
Aristocrat Accounting Service $250 Chicago IL
Associated Electrical Contractors $600 Woodstock IL
Assurance Agency, Ltd $500 Schaumburg IL
Astellas Pharma US Inc $2,900 Deerfield IL
ATM Aggregate Logistics Inc $500 Saint Charles IL
B Sittard Equipment Co $1,000 Woodstock IL
B&D Hotel Corporation d/b/a Central Plaza Nursing Home $250 Chicago IL
B&K Power Equipment $250 Marengo IL
Barton Management Inc $21,750 Northfield IL
Baxter & Woodman Inc $1,000 Crystal Lake IL
Benoy Motor Sales Inc. $700 Woodstock IL
Berger Excavating Contractors Inc $500 Wauconda IL
Bigfoot Construction Equipment $1,000 Woodstock IL
Black Dog Petroleum $500 Westchester IL
Bless & Associates, LTD $250 Arlington Hts IL
BlueStar Energy Services $2,000 Chicago IL
Bluff City Materials, Inc. $5,638 Bartlett IL
BNSF Railway Company $20,104 Fort Worth TX
BP Amoco Corporation $1,000 Tulsa OK
Breaker Press Co. Inc $200 Chicago IL
Bricton Group Inc $1,900 Mt. Prospect IL
Bronner Group, LLC $250 Chicago IL
Brown Bear Daycare $250 Harvard IL
Browning-Ferris Industries $200 Chicago IL
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway $2,306 Fort Worth TX
Caremark RX INC $500 Phoenix AZ
Carey Electric Contracting Inc $200 McHenry IL
Carmichael Construction, Inc $750 Marengo IL
CBLS Corp $1,000 Chicago IL
CenterPoint Properties Trust $450 Oak Brook IL
Centerville Management $250 Woodstock IL
Chicago Development Partners LLC $500 Chicago IL
Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LTD. $5,750 Rosemont IL
Christopher Mullen Realty Tax LLC $3,800 Chicago IL
Civiltech Engineering, Inc $1,000 Itasca IL
Clayton Residential Home Inc $250 Chicago IL
Cmte On Home Builder Issues $200 Oak Brook IL
Comm 2 Inc. $350 Chicago IL
Comprehensive Consulting Inc. $800 Mt Prospect IL
Comprehensive Health Mgmt Inc $1,000 Chicago IL
Crandalls $1,750 Hebron IL
Cronan Bull Valley Ford $4,250 Woodstock IL
Crossroads Care Center of Woodstock $3,750 Woodstock IL
Crystal Lake Crysler Plymouth $1,000 Crystal Lake IL
Cullen Inc. $2,386 Springfield IL
D Construction, Inc. $4,000 Coal City IL
Daiichi Sankyo, Inc $1,000 Parsippany NJ
Dallas George D. D.D.S. $200 Marengo IL
Damen II LLC $200 Chicago IL
Dan Shomon Inc $700 Chicago IL
Del Webb Communities of Illinois $300 Huntley IL
d’Escoto Inc. $2,750 Chicago IL
Design Temperature Corporation $450 Chicago IL
Development Specialists INC. $3,000 Chicago IL
Dinos Restaurant $500 Marengo IL
Dominicks Finer Foods $300 McHenry IL
Donley’s Village Hall Banquets $1,600 Union IL
D’Signs of All Kinds Inc $290 Richmond IL
Dujmovich, DVM $300 Marengo IL
Ed’s Rental $1,000 Crystal Lake IL
Electronic Knowledge Interchange Company $250 Chicago IL
Elisco, Drew $250 Chicago IL
Environmental Power and Control $6,500 Richmond IL
Environmental Systems Products Holdings Inc. $850 East Granby CT
Epstein $200 McHenry IL
Eslick Trucking $250 Woodstock IL
Express Scripts Inc. $1,600 Maryland Heights MO
Facilities Management Group LLC $1,200 Chicago IL
FanDuel Inc $500 New York NY
Fast Eddies Car Wash Inc $1,000 McHenry IL
Feather Loft LLC $450 Chicago IL
Fidelity Consulting Group $250 Chicago IL
Foresight Energy Services $1,000 St. Louis MO
Forest Hospital $1,000 Des Plaines IL
Fox Lake Chrysler Dodge $250 Fox Lake IL
Francisco Construction Inc. $2,500 Chicago IL
G A F Cook Terrace Inc $250 Northbrook IL
The Gardens of Woodstock $500 Woodstock IL
Gary Lang Auto Group $7,250 McHenry IL
Genentech $2,750 S. San Francisco CA
Globetrotters Engineering Corp $16,500 Chicago IL
Golfview Developmental Center Inc $500 Des Plaines IL
Gonzalez & Associates $500 South Chicago Height IL
Government Navigation Group $250 Chicago IL
Government Solutions LLC $2,000 Chicago IL
Governmental Consulting Solutions Inc. $2,330 Springfield IL
Great Lakes Medicaid Inc. $2,200 Chicago IL
Greeley and Hansen LLP $600 Chicago IL
GRO Horticultural Enterprises Inc $750 Union IL
H S Crocker Co Inc $28,500 Huntley IL
H.W. Lochner, Inc $2,750 Chicago IL
Harmony Health Plan of Illinois Inc $1,000 Tampa FL
Harmony Oaks Stables $200 Marengo IL
Harry Caray’s $500 Chicago IL
Harvard Building Products $200 Harvard IL
Health Alliance Medical Plans $500 Urbana IL
Heartland Solutions Group Inc $7,000 Lake Barrington IL
Hebron Disposal Service Inc $200 Hebron IL
Heritage Title Co. of McHenry $1,500 Crystal Lake IL
Hewlett Packard $1,000 Pontiac MI
Hilton Chicago $350 Chicago IL
HLR Service Corporation $300 Nutley NJ
Home Towne Electric Inc. $200 Lake Villa IL
Homes Heart Designs Inc $300 Crystal Lake IL
Horizon Group $250 Skokie IL
Horizon Group Management $250 Chicago IL
Hubbard Inn $3,928 Chicago IL
Huemann Joseph H & Sons Inc $250 Ringwood IL
Humana Inc $750 Springfield IL
Innovative Component Sales, Inc (Skala) $500 Woodstock IL
Inside Research $500 Barrington IL
Intercounty Judicial Sales Corporation $500 Chicago IL
Interior Construction Management $5,000 Chicago IL
International Profit Associates $1,000 Buffalo Grove IL
Intren, Inc. $39,650 Union IL
Jacobsen Reporting Service $450 Spring Grove IL
JC Power & Control Inc $200 Elk Grove Village IL
Joan of Arc Insurance Service Inc $750 Lake Barrington IL
Joe’s Place $600 Marengo IL
Johnsburg Bowl Inc. $2,050 Johnsburg IL
Johnson Farm Development LLC $1,000 Richmond IL
Johnston and Pena $200 Chicago IL
Jude Schmidt Custom Construction $200 Marengo IL
Just Rite Acoustics $1,500 Elk Grove Village IL
Kavlec Electric Inc $1,000 Elgin IL
Kenmore LLC $400 Chicago IL
Kiferbaum Construction Corporation $1,500 Deerfield IL
Kilkenny Real Estate Services, LLC $250 Woodstock IL
Kraft Foods Global, Inc $10,390 Northfield IL
Krimson Valley Landscape Inc $250 Woodstock IL
Kuna (Raymond’s Bowling) $1,450 Spring Grove IL
Kurup Inc. $250 McHenry IL
Kwas Consulting Services $500 Lemont IL
Kwik Kopy $181 Crystal Lake IL
Lake County Grading Company LLC $750 Libertyville IL
Lake Streets LLC $500 Woodstock IL
Landscapes By Gary Weiss Inc. $250 Woodstock IL
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises $6,750 Chicago IL
Lexington Square Inc $1,250 Lombard IL
Lori Borhart Petty Cash Custodian Citizens $- Woodstock IL
LSN Partners LLC $1,000 Miami Beach FL
M H C LTD 113 R d/b/a OLD OAKS $500 Chicago IL
Mackey Landscapes Inc. $250 Libertyville IL
Magnum Transportation, Inc $500 Chicago IL
Majeski Media Inc. $250 Chicago IL
ManagCare Inc. $500 Chicago IL
Maries Touches of Class $232 McHenry IL
Material Service Corporation $4,950 Chicago IL
McHenry Heating & Air, Inc $1,000 McHenry IL
McKeon & Associates $18,000 Joliet IL
McMahon Electric Inc $450 Cary IL
McNulty Brothers Company $1,500 Chicago IL
Mecum Auction Inc $3,750 Marengo IL
Medco Health Solutions Inc. $500 Amherst VA
MedImmune Affairs Inc $250 Gaithersburg MD
Meijer $500 Grand Rapids MI
Merch Care Insurance Company $1,000 Janesville WI
MercyCare Insurance Company $18,250 Janesville WI
Merrick Ventures LIC $5,000 Chicago IL
Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council $500 Chicago IL
Metropolitan Fire Restoration Inc. $1,500 Libertyville IL
Meyer Material Company $250 Des Plaines IL
Miceli Drapery Company $1,000 Marengo IL
Michael P. Vondra (Properties Account) $250 Bartlett IL
Michele Weiner-Davis Training Corp $200 Woodstock IL
MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co $5,000 Davenport IA
Mid-American Heating & Air Conditioning Co. $250 Spring Grove IL
Mobile Management Co Inc $1,000 Chicago IL
Moe’s Cantina $2,640 Chicago IL
Morse Electric Inc $200 Freeport IL
Motorola $4,500 Schaumburg IL
Napoli Pizza $300 Marengo IL
NE Illinois Land Management Inc $300 Richmond IL
NeuroSource Inc $250 Chicago IL
Newell Rubbermaid $180 Oak Brook IL
Newsweb Corporation $10,800 Chicago IL
Night & Day Restoration Services, Inc. $3,500 Addison IL
Niko’s Red Mill Inc. $1,000 Woodstock IL
Nippersink Properties Inc $250 Richmond IL
Northwest Imaging Associates $400 Woodstock IL
Oasis Legal Finance Co LLC $500 Northbrook IL
O’Brien Farms Inc. $29,900 River Forest IL
Orthogo Traveling Physical Therapy $400 McHenry IL
Par Solutions LLC $2,000 Chicago IL
Parr Electric Inc $500 Elgin IL
Passages Hospice LLC $250 Elgin IL
Paulina LLC $1,250 Chicago IL
Peter Baker & Son Co. $500 Lake Bluff IL
Peterson & Jannotta O.D. $1,150 McHenry IL
Pfizer Inc. $1,250 Memphis TN
Pickering & Associates LLC $5,500 Elgin IL
Plote Construction Inc. $250 Hoffman Estates IL
Plumtree Country Club LLC $500 Harvard IL
Potomac II LLC $200 Chicago IL
Price $204 Lakewood IL
Prime Commercial Corp $250 McHenry IL
Prime Site Group LLC $500 Rolling Meadows IL
Primera Group Inc $500 Chicago IL
Proactive Strategies, Inc $500 Chicago IL
Professional Towing & Recovery PAC $250 Northbrook IL
QC Holdings Inc. $750 Overland Park KS
Quaker Oats Company $250 Chicago IL
RAI Services Company $250 Winston-Salem NC
Ralph’s General Rent-All Inc. $162 Woodstock IL
Reil Construction Inc $1,700 Union IL
Reliable Materials Lyons LLC $3,875 Bartlett IL
Resolute Consulting LLC $250 Chicago IL
Restore Masonry LLC $500 Chicago IL
Reynolds American $1,500 Winston-Salem NC
Richmond Development Inc $500 Richmond IL
Ridgeview Electric Inc $300 McHenry IL
Rockford Carpetland USA, INC $2,000 Rockford IL
Rosenmayer (Intren) $2,000 Lake in the Hills IL
Route 12 Auto Parts & Salvage Inc $500 Richmond IL
Royal Management Corp $250 Lombard IL
Ryan Building Group $250 Schaumburg IL
S & K Aviation, Inc $1,000 Elk Grove Village IL
Samco Enterprises Inc $250 Chicago IL
Sanctuary Farms $1,200 Woodstock IL
Scot Forge Inc. $10,750 Spring Grove IL
Sears Roebuck and Co. $550 Hoffman Estates IL
SEC Group Inc. $4,250 McHenry IL
Sedco Shamrock Electric Inc $300 Elk Grove Village IL
Select Management Resources, LLC $4,250 Alpharetta GA
ServiceMaster $2,000 Memphis TN
Sexton Sand & Gravel $4,600 Bannockburn IL
Sheridan Health Care Center $250 Zion IL
Skinners’ Amusements Inc $1,900 Harvard IL
Smith, Daniel M. $450 Chicago IL
Solarcrete Energy Efficient Bldg Systems Inc $250 Huntley IL
Southwind RAS, LLC $4,438 Bartlett IL
STATE Testing $750 East Dundee IL
Stevens & Associates $750 Woodstock IL
Stricklin $250 Winnetka IL
SuiteOne $156 Portland ME
Superior RX Inc. $500 Chicago IL
Taft/ $500 Chennal OH
Takeda Pharmaceuticals $500 Deerfield IL
Target $250 Minneapolis MN
The 409 Group Inc. $250 Lake Forest IL
The Gambler Bar & Grill $200 McHenry IL
The Heritage House Inc. $200 Harvard IL
The Hubbard Inn $901 Chicago IL
The Seneca Group, LLC $500 Washington DC
The Strategy Group Inc. $500 Evanston IL
Thelen Sand & Gravel Inc $18,900 Antioch IL
Three Brothers Restaurant $500 Woodstock IL
Tivoli Enterprises Inc $900 Downers Grove IL
Twentieth Century Services Inc $250 Chicago IL
Tyler Lane Construction Inc $250 Chicago IL
Unicare Life and Health Insurance Co $1,750 Cincinnati OH
Unicome Corporation $500 Chicago IL
Union Pacific Railroad $9,970 Chicago IL
United (Continental Airlines Employee Fund) $250 Houston TX
United Airlines $2,490 Chicago IL
UST Public Affairs Inc $1,000 Stamford CT
Van Weelden Disposal Inc. $700 Crystal Lake IL
Walgreens Deerfield $3,125 Deerfield IL
Weaver Boos Consutants Inc. $1,000 Chicago IL
WellPoint Health Networks $500 St Louis MO
Wight & Company $1,000 Darien IL
William Ryan Homes $500 North Barrington IL
Woodland Farm, Ltd $11,000 Barrington IL
Woodstock Hotel Inc $500 Woodstock IL
Woodward $550 Bloomington IL
Worker’s Comp Chicago, LLC $2,000 Chicago IL
Z Consulting LLC $2,375 Chicago IL
Zeman Realty Inc $500 Chicago IL
     

Governor Amendatorily Vetoes Abolition of McHenry County Townships by Referendum Bill Killing Vote This Year

Guaranteeing that no referendum will be on the ballot to abolish any township in McHenry County this spring is an amendatory veto of State Rep. David McSweeney’s House Bill 4637.

The General Assembly which could address the veto has already adjourned.

The message from Governor Bruce Rauner was filed with the Secretary of State’s INdex Division at 3:20 this afternoon.

His basic argument is that incremental change is bad.

To put it the words of the Governor who made consolidation of governments a major part of his rhetoric:

“While I applaud the effort to create a clear process that aligns with the Illinois Constitution’s vision that townships may be dissolved if approved by referendum, this is a process that should be available with equal clarity across the state.”

Bill sponsor McSweeney had this reaction:

“Failed Governor and hypocrite Bruce Rauner showed his true colors again by vetoing my bill that would consolidate unnecessary levels of government and cut property taxes.

Bruce Rauner and David McSweeney at Irene Napier’s Pro-Life Pig Roast in 2013 where Rauner was courting conservatives.

“The people of Illinois rejected phony, incompetent Raunerism in a landslide.

“Bruce Rauner leaves office with zero accomplishments and is widely regarded as the worst Governor in the history of Illinois.

“Good riddance to Rauner and his endless stream of lies! I look forward to passing my bill again during this General Assembly.”

State Senator Craig Wilcox sent the following press release:

Gov. amendatorily vetoes government consolidation bill

Springfield, IL… State Senator Craig Wilcox (R-McHenry) applauded Gov. Rauner for taking amendatory veto action on House Bill 4637—a measure that would have allowed for the abolishment of townships in McHenry County, but could leave taxpayers potentially subject to debt transfers or abuse of liquidating assets for county-wide motives.

The amendatory veto would apply the bill statewide and not just to McHenry County.

Since HB 4637 was passed by the 100th General Assembly, which concluded its work on Jan. 9, the bill is effectively dead under this amendatory veto.

A new consolidation bill could be introduced in the new 101st General Assembly, which also began its work on Jan. 9.

Craig Wilcox

“While I am a supporter of government consolidation, I’m more strongly an advocate for taxpayers.

“I had some concerns about HB 4637 because it left too many issues unaddressed,” said Wilcox.

“I am appreciative of the Governor’s action to alter the language in the legislation.

“Doing so gives my colleagues and me the opportunity to bring a more comprehensive bill forward that better protects taxpayers.”

One of Wilcox’s main concerns about HB 4637 is the fact that if a township decides to dissolve itself into the county, its contractual obligations, including its debt, could be thrust onto the people of the entire county. Meaning, voters in a particular township can decide to dissolve their township and hand over all its debt to the rest of the county.

Wilcox hopes to address that issue, among others, in new legislation:

  • Only taxpayers within the dissolving township boundaries are responsible for paying any debt transferred to the county.
  • All park and cemetery land, buildings and facilities within the geographic area of the dissolving township must be utilized for the primary benefit of the geographic area of the dissolving township. Furthermore, any proceeds from the sale of these assets after dissolution must be utilized for the sole benefit of the geographic area of the dissolving township.
  • Ensures that counties will receive Motor Fuel Tax dollars that were dedicated to a dissolving township based on lane miles. Under the flawed HB 4367, a dissolved township’s lane mile Motor Fuel Tax funding would be redistributed state-wide and not to the county or municipality taking over the road responsibility.

“This amendatory veto now gives us an opportunity to start fresh and improve upon the legislation,” said Wilcox.

“Government consolidation is an important issue that has the potential to save taxpayers money, but it’s also one we have to tackle thoughtfully.”

Senators are scheduled to be back at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Zinke Saved by Private Citizen with Gun

KY3 out of Springfield, Missouri, reports that former McHenry County Undersheriff Andy Zinke, now an officer in that town’s police department, escaped being shot when a private citizen with a gun intervened.

Here’s part of the story:

Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams congratulates new hire Andrew Zinke.

Then another officer, Officer Andy Zinke found himself face to face – and seemingly alone – with a man who had already tried to kill an officer.

“After I shot this guy I went to re-load and my gun jammed, and I looked down at my gun and I turned and there’s Jerry standing there with his gun. It bought me that second,” said Officer Zinke.

That second was all it took for the armed suspect to draw his weapon again and point it right at Zinke. But Jerry’s gun was not jammed.

“That guy sat back up on his knees and looked directly at me and that’s when I was telling him hey stop, hey stop– you can live. I mean it doesn’t have to end here. You can live,” [Jerry] Pendergrass yelled.

“There is an ambulance in front of the house that can get you help right now. He looked at me, looked at his gun and I said no don’t look at the gun. With me saying that, Zinke was able to stop moving around and bring his attention back and it was at the same time that he brought his attention back that we both ended up–the man reached for the gun and we shot him.”

Jeanne Ives Offers Observations, Advice

From former State Rep. Jeanne Ives, the woman who almost beat Governor Bruce Rauner in last years Republican Primary Election, wrote this on her last day in office:

Six Years in Springfield

Jeanne Ives at a spring 2018 campaign event in McHenry.

Today ends my six years in office as State Representative of the 42nd District located in the heart of DuPage County.

It has been an honor to serve you and advocate for not only the taxpayers in the suburbs but for the rest of the constituents in the great State of Illinois.

Today and over the next five days, a new Illinois legislature will be seated and a new administration will take over the State of Illinois.

I wish them well.

This is my final email as a state representative.

After six years, I leave having taken on our toughest financial problems – state pensions, local pensions, unbalanced budgets, local debt, transparency, and accountability.

There have been only minor successes and little real results other than to have raised awareness about how the political class that has been running the state for decades have failed so many of us.

Illinois has some of the highest paid legislators in the nation.

The most powerful political machine in the nation. Where has it gotten us?

Six years ago our official state pension debt was about $100 billion, now officially it stands at nearly $134 billion – or a 33 percent increase. (Moody’s pegs the pension debt at $234 billion.)

Illinois has the slowest income growth in the mid-West and while public sector salaries have climbed since the 2008 recession, the median household income in Illinois has actually fallen.

In six years, my property taxes have increased over 13 percent.

I bet for most of you that is also true, if not even higher.

Property taxes have forced seniors out of their homes, stressed family budgets, and destroyed people’s wealth as many sell their homes for less than they bought them for because of the high taxes.

For certain, property taxes helped create the flight of businesses and residents out of the state.

In the last 6 years, roughly 600,000 people have left Illinois.

In the last five years the net outmigration is 157,000 people.

Bye, Bye the entire population of Rockford or Naperville.

We are one of only three states to lose population every year for the last 5 years.

Last year we lost a record 45,116 residents according to US Census data, even as every one of our neighboring states gained population.

When I took office we were the 5th most populous state.

Now we are 6th, behind Pennsylvania.

This is the biggest indictment that the economic policies in Illinois are not working to grow our state naturally.

This story does not end well for taxpayers that are on the hook for $50,800 in state debt and unfunded liabilities according to Truth in Accounting.

Illinois government is one bloated mess.

Every year for the last 18 years your state government has spent more than we have taken in.

Six year ago our unpaid bill backlog stood at $9 billion.

The 2011 tax increase put in place to pay off bills did nothing long term to help.

Now after borrowing $6 billion, 18 months ago to pay off the mountain of bills we had, our unpaid backlog of bills is still over $7 billion – so all we did was increase our debt load.

Illinois must reform its spending habits.

In the six years I have been here, I never voted for a budget.

Every single budget was out of balance, did not set priorities in line with what we could afford, did not reform spending, and were nothing more than documents prepared by insiders in both parties with little to no input by rank and file members.

This year, after spending a record amount of money last year, the budget was unbalanced by over $1.2 billion, and the new legislature must wrestle with the following problems:

  1. The pension systems are asking for an increase of $845 million. You are going to have to sell a lot of pot and lottery tickets to pay for that. Meanwhile, the first reform that must happen is to move new hires to a 401k-style retirement plan like the private sector taxpayers have. I wrote a bill to do so 4 years ago and it never got a full hearing and vote. We have such a plan that has been successful for over 20 years – so it is constitutional and solvent.
  2. The education funding formula demands another $350 million. This figure if approved will have added over $1 billion more to general state aid in three years and additional hefty spending at the local level where most, if not all, will have also seen record spending from property taxes and debt. Meanwhile less than 40 percent of students statewide meet or exceed grade level expectation in English or Math. We have school districts where less than 5% of the children read or do math at grade level and yet those same school districts claim high school graduation rates of over 70%. On national exams, our NAEP scores have been flat for years and are not significantly different than the national average. Our cost per student however is in the top 25%. We are failing our children and families.
  3. Higher education is asking for over 16% increases in state funding. That’s $314 million more. At the same time many of our best students are rejected from our top public university to make room for foreign students.
  4. Are they really going to sell the Thompson Center this year and count it as revenue for the 4th year in a row? Including it as revenue this year would mean that over the last 4 years, this fake revenue stream would be responsible for $1.2 billion of overspending if they once again don’t sell it.
  5. People are clamoring for a capital bill, but paying for the debt service will be costly. Six years ago Illinois had the worst credit rating of any other state. That is still true today. And we are an extreme outlier. Servicing our debt is two times more expensive that the next worst state. Our nearly junk credit rate affects local governments too that get assessed the “Illinois Penalty” when they go out to borrow even if they have otherwise stellar credit ratings. Giving Illinois the highest gas tax in the nation with a 20-30 cent per gallon tax increase will not solve the problem. We just had a 32% permanent income tax increase. For my district in the suburbs where the toll roads are mostly located, we are already double taxed to get around our area.

The Illinois economy is chugging along and the most recent revenue reports from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability show that both income and sales tax revenue are up over the last six months compared to last year by about $1.5 billion.

Good news.

It is because of the federal action on tax cuts and regulatory reform.

It is because we are an energy producer.

It is not because state and local government has made reforms.

Our state is the biggest player in the mid-West.

Our state GDP is the 5th highest in the nation – we should be killing it.

And the growth we have had shows that if we attracted even more business, the natural growth in revenue would be the biggest help to solving our fiscal problems.

Any tax increase at this point will stall growth. Additionally, over the last 12 months growth in government jobs lead every other category of jobs.

Illinois has more government jobs than manufacturing just to give you a comparison – that wasn’t always the case.

The last thing I want to address is the rampant corruption that goes on in this state. Here is just a sampling of the latest problems:

The indictment and arrest of Madigan’s fellow property tax attorney and Democratic scion Alderman Ed Burke.

He was arrested on allegations of extortion. Read more about that here.

Chicago Alderman Ed Burke

His power is legendary and yet there has been no statement from Democrat boss Madigan, the Dem Party Executive Director Christian Mitchell, or any of the Democratic rank and file legislators.

Close ranks and everyone keep your mouth shut is the standard procedure.

Republicans would have been forced to resign by now and statements put out all around.

Here’s hoping Burke is just the first to fall.

The JB Pritzker tax fraud.

He knowingly scammed on his property taxes.

This Bull Valley resident wishes Scott Walker were Illinois Governor. Mike Madigan’s face appears on the standing creature.

It tells you all you need to know about his character.

The wealthiest individual elected to office in the nation – a multi-billionaire – cheated taxpayers.

No ordinary Illinoisan does that.

They don’t even think of such a scam. And they are worried what would happen if they got caught.

Justice has not been served.

As a percent of home value Illinois is number two for the highest property taxes in the nation.

Chicagoans, though, have much less effective here property taxes, than most of the rest of the state.

Read Tax Facts here for more details. Governor-elect Pritzker already under pays compared to other Illinois homeowners.

Low income Park Forest has the highest effective tax rate.

[The Taxpayers Federation of Illinois pegs Woodstock’s Effective Tax Rate at 3.54% for taxes collected in 2017.]

Homeowners there pay 6.89% effective tax rates – a $250,000 home pays over $17,237 in property taxes.

Pritzker, and all Chicagoans pay some of the lowest rates only 1.61%, much lower than homeowners in Lake County where Zion pays 4.98%, and those in East St. Louis pay 5.37%.

The fact that a Cook County Inspector General report states his dismantling of the toilets in his second mansion was fraud and still his fellow Democrat States Attorney has not prosecuted him is shameful.

Peter Breen

State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit issues a death threat on the House floor to Republican Peter Breen and the Democrats say nothing.

Read here. I was the only one to come to my colleague’s defense, in the moment.

Alderman Ricardo Munoz arrested for domestic violence this week.

Haven’t heard the outrage from all those Democratic women, especially, standing up for women rights. Read here.

And then, of course, the David Krupa story.

The Madigan Democrat machine trying to force a 19-year old off the ballot in a race against Madigan’s top General, Marty Quinn, who protected his brother Kevin in a sexual harassment case.

That story went national and over 2600 residents who signed false affidavits should be prosecuted for voter fraud. Read more here.

I didn’t come to Springfield to entertain fantasies, but to address political and economic realities.

Illinois is insolvent.

We should be the economic powerhouse of the Midwest, but we are losing to our slimmer, sexier sister Indiana – to Iowa – to every neighboring state.

To the people who have decided to locate businesses here, raise families here, build your lives here:

YOU are the people who have built Illinois.

It is your blood, sweat and tears that have powered this state.

The people in Springfield have no stake in that. They just siphon off of that.

In order to turn that around you must demand accountability from your government.

It is your money, your homes, your businesses and your futures at stake.

You are in charge of this state.

It may not seem like it with all the special interest, billionaires and power-brokers at the helm, but it is you who must step up and take charge of this state.

Until you do, there cannot be real change in Illinois.

God Bless the People of Illinois.

Eight Years in Prison on Heroin Charges for Wonder Lake Man

A press release from the McHenry County State’s Attorney:

SHAWN BRAND SENTENCED TO EIGHT YEARS IN THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS FOR THE OFFENSE OF DELIVERY OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

Patrick D. Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney, announces that 35 year-old Shawn Brand of Wonder Lake, IL, was sentenced to eight years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the offense of delivery of a controlled substance.

On July 5 th, 2017, the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department responded to the home of Jeremy Caccamo located at 4517 East Wonder Lake Road.

Mr. Caccamo had died as a result of a heroin overdose.

The Sheriff’s Department recovered multiple bags of heroin from Mr. Caccamo’s room.

Some of the bags bore the imprint of an orange basketball, while other bags were stamped with the insignia of the Duke University “Blue Devil” basketball Mascot.

A search of Mr. Caccamo’s cell phone revealed communication with Shawn Brand.

The Sheriff’s department interviewed the defendant, Shawn Brand, and he admitted that on July 4 th he had delivered two
bags of heroin with the “Blue Devil” logo to Mr. Caccamo in exchange for 20 dollars and some hypodermic needles.

The defendant stated that Mr. Caccamo bought the bags with the orange basketball logos from someone else.

This case was investigated by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department and prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorneys Michael Combs and Rita Gara.

Rolling Meadows Couple Arrested after Investigation Prompted by LITH Traffic Stop

A press release from the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department:

Two Arrested for Weapons and Drug Charges

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Task Force (which includes Task Force Officers from Woodstock PD, McHenry City PD, and Lake in the Hills PD) arrested

  • Michael Pozsgay, 29, and
  • Toni Josephson, 19,

both of Rolling Meadows, following a week-long investigation.

On January 9, 2019, Task Force members arrested Pozsgay and Josephson after conducting a traffic stop in Lake in the Hills area.

A search was conducted and

  • cannabis
  • two firearms
  • ammunition

were among the items located inside the vehicle.

At the conclusion of the investigation, detectives seized

  • approximately 1,750 grams of Cannabis;
  • two semi -automatic handguns with magazines and ammunition; and
  • $5,237 in cash.

The estimated street value of the illegal drugs seized is $35,000.

The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone with information regarding criminal activities to contact either the McHenry County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-762-STOP (7867), the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at (815) 338-2144, or the tip line email address: [email protected] Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a
reward up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of an offender(s).

Arrested: Michael T. Pozsgay, Male, 29, Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Charges:

  • Unlawful Possession of a Cannabis with Intent to Deliver (class 2)
  • Unlawful Possession of Cannabis (class 3)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm without a FOID (class A)
  • Unlawful Possession of Ammunition without a FOID (class A)

Next court date: January 15th, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Bond: $40,000

Arrested: Toni R. Josephson, Female, 19, Rolling Meadows, Illinois

Charges:

  • Unlawful Possession of a Cannabis with Intent to Deliver (class 2)
  • Unlawful Possession of Cannabis (class 3)
  • Unlawful Possession of a Firearm without a FOID (class A)
  • Unlawful Possession of Ammunition without a FOID (class A)

Next court date: January 15th, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. Bond: $40,000

The charges against these individuals are merely allegations against them. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Bob Anderson Criticizes Pam Althoff for New Lobbyist Career

Wonder Lake’s McHenry Township Trustee Bob Anderson wrote the following letter to the Northwest Herald.  It is republished with Anderson’s permission.

Althoff and townships

Bob Anderson

Pam Althoff

Former 32nd District State Senator Pamela Althoff, presently a highly paid state lobbyist, received her lobbyist training from the 11,500 member Township Officials of Illinois (TOI).

Pamela Althoff recently received the 2018 President’s Award from TOI President Danny Hanning.

Note: There’s a total of 177 members in Illinois’ General Assembly.

Althoff was recognized for her commitment and support of Illinois’ 1,433 township governments.

“Throughout the fifteen years she was a senator, Althoff was always there for townships.” President Hanning said.

“She would meet with township officials and be in communication with our TOI lobbyist staff.

“This was ever so apparent this past year when Althoff ran interference for TOI when there was a very strong push this past year for some anti-township legislation.

“Althoff worked both sides and was able to convince a fellow senator to not call this bill that would be very harmful to townships.”

Source: TOI’s Township Perspective monthly magazine sent to state-wide elected officials with the purpose of protecting outdated townships.

It’s no secret, township government in Illinois is a political establishment of patronage, nepotism, cronyism and waste. Pamela Althoff, have you no shame?

37-Year Old Man Guilty of Grooming

A press release from the McHenry County State’s Attorney:

MARKUS HUBBELL FOUND GUILTY OF GROOMING

Patrick D. Kenneally, McHenry County State’s Attorney, announces that 37 year old Markus Hubbell, of McHenry, Illinois, was found guilty of grooming, by jury verdict, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

Hubbell was convicted of attempting to entice a 16-year old child to send him explicit photographs in March of 2016.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 1, 2019 in front of the Honorable Judge Sharon Prather.

The case was investigated by members of the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant State’s Attorneys Rita Gara and Randi Freese.

Four Losing Campaigns, Silent on the Issue of Abortion Beyond Identified Pro-Lifers

Published first by Illinois Family Action, the political arm of the Illinois Family Institute:

Republicans Ignore Abortion as a Wedge Issue

Written by Cal Skinner
McHenry County Blog – Former Illinois State Representative

In 2010 State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) lost the gubernatorial race to Pat Quinn by 31,834 votes–less than one percentage point. Brady took a pounding from the pro-abortion Personal PAC’s television ads starting in early August.

Unlike Bill Clinton in his 1992 contest against George Bush, Brady never responded when he was attacked. On the abortion issue, he stood there like a punching bag and took the blows.

I talked to him at the Family PAC cruise in the week after the devastating TV ads first appeared. My advice was that he had to do more than ignore the ads and hope for the best. Bill’s response was that his poll numbers had gone up since the ads began. (I believe that might have occurred because a small number of pro-lifers did not know he was pro-life.)

In any event, it appears Brady followed the typical advice of GOP Establishment political consultants. He did what Republicans traditionally do: let pro-lifers know you are pro-life, but otherwise ignore the abortion issue. And, he lost the gubernatorial race to Pat Quinn by 31,834 votes.

Former Illinois State Representative Penny Pullen (R-Park Ridge) used that approach in her 1990 GOP Primary against Personal PAC candidate Rosemary Mulligan. That was the very close election that put “hanging chads” in the political lexicon. The same approach on abortion was taken by Pullen in 1992. Pullen mobilized the pro-lifers she could identify and let Mulligan paint a picture of her supposed “extremism” on abortion to the rest of the electorate.

Just like Brady, Pullen lost.

Then she and Texas political consultant Kevin Burnett formed Life Advocacy, an organization that teaches seminars to pro-life candidates on how to address the abortion issue. They advised a more aggressive approach to the issue.

Now, let’s look at the Joe Walsh re-election bid against Tammy Duckworth. Anyone who watched the 2012 WTTW debate would have had no doubt as to who the better candidate was in that Duckworth fumbled many questions. Then, in an email to the Chicago Tribune, Duckworth said she did “not support any restrictions on a woman’s right to choose or her access to safe, affordable reproductive health services.” That truly extreme position appeared in print editions. Just as with the Brady gubernatorial campaign, Personal PAC viciously attack Walsh as an “extremist.”

“Joe Walsh, too extreme, without exception.”

That was the pitch.

But, who was the extremist in 2012? Was it not Duckworth with her support for abortion even up to the day before delivery?

Brady, Pullen and Walsh were all branded “extremists,” did nothing to defend themselves and lost.

Walsh’s margin of almost 10 percentage points in this 8th Congressional District race probably means that even going on the offensive on the abortion issue would likely have not garnered him enough votes to win, but we’ll never know.

Now, let’s look at last year’s suburban congressional debacle. We lost two usually outspoken pro-life U.S. Congressmen: Peter Roskam (R-6th District) and Randy Hultgren (R-14th District). Roskam came up 22,556 votes, while Hultgren lost by 15,871 votes. And what was their pro-life strategy? The same as Pullen’s in 1990 and 1992, Brady’s in 2010 and Walsh’s in 2012. Their strategies were anemic.

My wife received a letter from Roskam telling her he was pro-life, and Hultgen held a lunch in Crystal Lake for pro-lifers. Neither did anything like what Personal PAC did in opposing my campaigns for state representative. Personal PAC called all women in the district asking if they were pro-choice and then called back every woman who had answered in the affirmative to remind them to vote appropriately.

Did Roskam and Hultgren spend any part of the millions they had available on TV ads trying to identify more pro-life constituents? Not to my knowledge.

So, will aggressively addressing the abortion issue by highlighting the extremist nature of Democratic positions work? There is no way to know until some well-funded candidate tries it.

If Susan B. Anthony List had enough money, it could try branding a pro-abortion Democrat as an extremist, just as Personal PAC has done to Republicans in the Chicago media market. Or Republican legislative candidates can continue following the cowardly recommendations of traditional Republican political consultants and continue losing.

How many Americans want abortion to be legal throughout the entire nine months of pregnancy? According to a May 2018 Gallup Poll, only 13% of Americans support abortion in the last trimester, and only 29% believe “abortion should be legal in any circumstances.” It is Duckworth’s position–not Walsh’s–that is extreme and non-representative of the views of most Americans.

What if a statewide candidate targeted black media with the racist background of Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger? What if a candidate shared that although blacks constitute 13.3% of the population, 36% of abortions were performed on black women? As a state representative, I once heard on the Illinois House floor a liberal, white Republican woman comment on a bill that was aimed at increasing the opportunities for abortion. “Too many black babies,” I heard this woman say as I walked past her. Without identifying her, I conveyed the racist motivation behind the bill to a female black Democratic Party colleague. That colleague then circulated among the other black women on the floor and votes started changing to the extent that the bill failed.

What if a candidate were bold enough to create an ad campaign that showed babies in the womb or featured Down Syndrome children who were spared the usual fate of babies with Down Syndrome, while casting pro-abortion candidates as extreme, lacking in compassion, and opposed to the inclusion of the least of these in our communities?

It’s time that Republicans speak the truth. It is those who support the intentional killing of humans in the womb who are extremists. Saying nothing in the face of being labeled “extremist” has proven to be electoral suicide.

Bill Paid By Algonquin Township Board of Trustees Improper?

Algonquin Township Trustees Melissa Victor and David Chapman.

Did the Algonquin Township Board of Trustees pay an improper bill put forward by the Road District?

A friend of McHenry County Blog was just given a bill which shows outgoing Supervisor Diane Klemm and Highway Commissioner Bob Miller threw an $1,100 party back in April.

Documents recovered show that the township paid $550 and the road district paid $550.

However, what makes this more intriguing is that the actual receipt from the eatery, Brunch Cafe in Fox River Grove, itemized $130 dollars worth of product.

Yet, the total bill was for $1,000. (Click to enlarge documents.)

Only current board member and long time friend of Bob Miller Dan Shea could have voted for the party.

Adding more to the drama was tonight’s Algonquin Township Board Meeting.

Trustee Melissa Victor dominated the board questioning bills from the road district often referring to having a bad feeling about certain bills.

The current board refused to pay for a new truck purchased through the Illinois State Bid purchasing system and to defer payment on the road salt.

Strange times in Algonquin Township.

After speaking to Highway Commissioner Gasser he is confident we have enough salt to get through February.

Daily Herald Puts Pressure on County Board Members Getting Health Insurance

In an editorial today, the Daily Herald calls for an end to health benefits for suburban county board members.

Kane County Democratic Board member Mo Iqbal brought up the subject two years after Republican Chairman Chris Lauzen got no positive response when he asked at a meeting for a show of hands of those willing to give up health benefits to help cope with financial problems.

With a possible $25,422 per member health insurance subsidy, Iqbal argues the fringe benefit cannot be justified when other part-time employees are not eligible.

He calls it “an outrageous amount of compensation” onn outrageous amount of compensation of Kane County Board members’ $25,000 a year salary.

The Daily Herald editorial concludes:

“…the issue should be brought back promptly to the full board, where, at the very least, every member can be put on record regarding whether taxpayers should underwrite full-time health insurance benefits for their part-time job or whether board members should get their insurance through the exchanges, their business or their employer, as any other regular citizen would have to do.

“And then, wouldn’t we love to see a similar show of accountability from every elected board and commission in the suburbs that permits such a perk?”

= = = = =
And, again, it is worth noting that in 2014, McHenry County Board candidates David Stieper and Andrew Gasser had abolition of County Board health insurance as part of their platforms.

David Stieper’s 2014 GOP County Board gravy train campaign piece attacks County Board health insurance and pensions.

When serving on the County Board, Gasser did not avail himself of that fringe benefit. He does not take health benefits from Algonquin Township either.

New State Rep. Tom Weber Takes Office

A press release for newly-sworn in State Representative Tom Weber:

Weber Takes Oath of Office to Join Illinois House

SPRINGFIELD – Today, State Representative Tom Weber (R-Lake Villa) took the oath of office to represent the 64th District in the Illinois House of Representatives. Weber, who won the November 6, 2018 election, will replace the retiring Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake).

Tom Weber

“It is a high honor for me to represent the people of the 64th District and I want to thank my fellow residents for this opportunity,” said Weber.

“Being a suburban district on the Wisconsin border that is split between Lake and McHenry Counties, easing the burden placed on property taxpayers is my top priority.

“The incoming Governor has said he wants to work across the aisle to stop the flow of people out of Illinois and I stand ready to work toward common-sense solutions to improve our state.”

Weber, a life-long resident of the Lake Villa area, is a small business owner and prior to being elected to the Illinois General Assembly served on the Lake County Board and Forest Preserve Board since 2012. He and his wife have two adult children.

The 64th House District is split between Lake and McHenry Counties, from Crystal Lake in the south and stretching northeasterly to cover the communities throughout the Chain O’Lakes up to the Wisconsin border.

Thinking of a Couple of my Legislative Ideas Related to Housing and Senior Citizen Tax Relief

Looking at affordable housing statistics for yesterday’s story reminded me of a bill introduced by Eddie Kucharski back in the 1970’s to help veterans purchase their first home.

He figured many would need help with their downpayment, so introduced a bill to address that problem.

That was back when I had time to read the short descriptions in the Legislative Digest.

It occured to me that veterans were not the only renters with that problem, so I suggested that he broaden the language in his bill to allow anyone to apply for such aid.

He agreed and we passed the first first time homeowner assistance program.

When I was running for Governor as a Libertarian in 2002 against Rod Blagojevich and Jim Ryan, I thought the idea was good enough to put on the campaign website.

Researching the subject, I discovered that our bill had been repealed and replaced with different language.

Same idea, just different implementation.

When I went to the Illinois Housing Development Authority website to find the percentages of affordable housing for McHenry County municipalities, I found a link right on top for those seeking up to $10,000 in downpayment assistance.

Later the same day, I was reading the links to political articles that Dave Diersen sends out twice a day and read one concerning the idea I imported from Oregon that allows seniors to defer paying their real estate taxes until they die.

I was able to get the bill passed the House, but it died in the State Senate.

Later, at the State Republican Convention, I convinced State Senator Doc Davidson of Springfield to insert it in the Party Platform.

During the last years of Governor Richard Ogilvie’s term (1069-73), he supported the Circuit Breaker Property Tax Relilef program.

I still remember the 1972 TV ad of the older couple driving a Model A Ford with an Ogilvie bumper sticker.

No benefits had been delivered by election day, as I remember the timing of the Circuit Breaker’s implementation, but I promoted it in my first run for State Representative, getting a really good article in the Belvidere Daily Republican.

One of my incumbent opponents, Les Cunningham (“Get More with Les”), had been a former Mayor of Belvidere.

It, plus a full-court press at Boone County Fair and knocking on a lot of doors there helped me come in second.

In fact, I spent election night in the Boone County Clerk’s Office.

When I saw that was placing second, I figured I had won a spot in the Illinois House.

I figured out that not all of the $28 million budgeted to finance the Circuit Breaker program has been claimed by seniors, so I introduced a bill to increase its benefits.

Producing a multi-page explanation of why my bill made sense, I presented my bill to the Illinois Revenue Committee.

Chairman Tet Clarke (R-Western Springs) commented that it was the first time a House member had gone to so much trouble to pass a bill.

It was voted out of committee and was signed into law in 1977 at the State Fair’s Senior Citizen Day by Governor Jim Thompson.

But back to the senior tax deferment idea.

I figured that those with incomes low enough to qualify for the Circuit Breaker were taken care of, but what of those owning large homes, but being short on income.

Then I read about the tax deferral ’til death program in Oregon.

I was out of office before the bill passed in the early 1980’s.

To my disappointment, there was an income cap included.

Since those participating would be paying six percent interest, I saw no reason for that limitation.

Governor Pat Quinn refused to fund the Circuit Breaker program and I have lost track of it.

The senior citizen real estate tax deferral program, however, costing State government nothing, is alive and well as Dave Diersen’s Saturday email points to the following article from Kane County Connects:

Kane County Treasurer David Rickert is reminding taxpayers that information and forms for the Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral program are now available in the Treasurer’s Office.

The program allows qualified senior citizens to defer all or part of their 2018 property taxes up to $5,000 on their personal residence.

Applications must be filed with the Treasurer’s office by March 1, 2019, in order to defer 2018 taxes billed in 2019.

To qualify, a person must be 65 or over by June 1, 2019, have a total household income of $55,000 or less, and have lived in the property for at least three years.

In addition, there must be no delinquent taxes on the property.

Also, if the property is subject to a mortgage then your mortgage company would also have to approve your participation in the program.

Qualified taxpayers can defer taxes totaling up to 80 percent of the equity interest they have in the home.

The program provides funding at a six percent simple interest rate which doesn’t require repayment until the taxpayer sells the property or until after the taxpayer’s death.

Allen Skillicorn Takes House Seat for Second Time

A press release from State Rep. Allen Skillicorn:

Skillicorn Begins Second-Term in Illinois House

Allen Skillicorn

SPRINGFIELD – Today, State Representatives Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) took the oath of office for his second-term to represent the 66th District in the Illinois House of Representatives.

“I want to thank the people of the 66th District for again entrusting me to represent you in Springfield,” said Skillicorn. “Illinois government is broken, but when we the people work together we can affect change.

“Our recent success to defeat a massive motor fuel tax hike in the waning moments of the 100th General Assembly that appeared to be a sure thing just a month again is proof of that.

“If the Governor-Elect holds to his word to work in a bipartisan manner, then I am optimistic we can find common ground to tackle issues like non-partisan redistricting, crippling pension debt and serious property tax reform to stop the exodus of people and businesses from our state.”

Craig Wilcox Sworn into the State Senate

Craig Wilcox was appointed to the State Senate to replace outgoing Senator Pam Althoff.

Today he took his seat in that body as a result of being elected in November.

Here is his press release:

Senator Craig Wilcox sworn in as 101st General Assembly convenes

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Sen. Craig Wilcox (R-McHenry) was sworn in as State Senator for the 32nd District on Jan. 9 as the 101st General Assembly convenes. This will be Wilcox’s first full term as State Senator.

Craig Wilcox

“I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity to serve the constituents of the 32nd District as their State Senator.

“I’m focused on making sure that I continue to represent them and their beliefs to the best of my ability.

“It’s imperative that this General Assembly provides residents with the necessary tax relief that will make them want to stay in Illinois.

“For too long, Illinoisans have not been getting the government they deserve for the amount of money they’ve been sending to Springfield.

“The 101st General Assembly will provide us the opportunity to rein in spending and reduce the tax burden placed on residents.

“These goals are possible if we work together in a bipartisan manner to promote fiscal responsibility, and an economic climate that will boost jobs and restore prosperity to Illinois.”

President Donald Trump’s Border Wall Address

I didn’t get to hear the President’s address last night, but found a transcript, which is posted below for others who missed it:

My fellow Americans:

Tonight, I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border.

Every day, Customs and Border Patrol agents encounter thousands of illegal immigrants trying to enter our country. We are out of space to hold them, and we have no way to promptly return them back home to their country.

America proudly welcomes millions of lawful immigrants who enrich our society and contribute to our nation. But all Americans are hurt by uncontrolled, illegal migration. It strains public resources and drives down jobs and wages. Among those hardest hit are African Americans and Hispanic Americans.

Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine, and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. More Americans will die from drugs this year than were killed in the entire Vietnam War.

In the last two years, ICE officers made 266,000 arrests of aliens with criminal records, including those charged or convicted of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and 4,000 violent killings. Over the years, thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country, and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.

This is a humanitarian crisis — a crisis of the heart and a crisis of the soul.

Last month, 20,000 migrant children were illegally brought into the United States — a dramatic increase. These children are used as human pawns by vicious coyotes and ruthless gangs. One in three women are sexually assaulted on the dangerous trek up through Mexico. Women and children are the biggest victims, by far, of our broken system.

This is the tragic reality of illegal immigration on our southern border. This is the cycle of human suffering that I am determined to end.

My administration has presented Congress with a detailed proposal to secure the border and stop the criminal gangs, drug smugglers, and human traffickers. It’s a tremendous problem. Our proposal was developed by law enforcement professionals and border agents at the Department of Homeland Security. These are the resources they have requested to properly perform their mission and keep America safe. In fact, safer than ever before.

The proposal from Homeland Security includes cutting-edge technology for detecting drugs, weapons, illegal contraband, and many other things. We have requested more agents, immigration judges, and bed space to process the sharp rise in unlawful migration fueled by our very strong economy. Our plan also contains an urgent request for humanitarian assistance and medical support.

Furthermore, we have asked Congress to close border security loopholes so that illegal immigrant children can be safely and humanely returned back home.

Finally, as part of an overall approach to border security, law enforcement professionals have requested $5.7 billion for a physical barrier. At the request of Democrats, it will be a steel barrier rather than a concrete wall. This barrier is absolutely critical to border security. It’s also what our professionals at the border want and need. This is just common sense.

The border wall would very quickly pay for itself. The cost of illegal drugs exceeds $500 billion a year — vastly more than the $5.7 billion we have requested from Congress. The wall will also be paid for, indirectly, by the great new trade deal we have made with Mexico.

Senator Chuck Schumer — who you will be hearing from later tonight — has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past, along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected President.

Democrats in Congress have refused to acknowledge the crisis. And they have refused to provide our brave border agents with the tools they desperately need to protect our families and our nation.

The federal government remains shut down for one reason and one reason only: because Democrats will not fund border security.

My administration is doing everything in our power to help those impacted by the situation. But the only solution is for Democrats to pass a spending bill that defends our borders and re-opens the government.

This situation could be solved in a 45-minute meeting. I have invited Congressional leadership to the White House tomorrow to get this done. Hopefully, we can rise above partisan politics in order to support national security.

Some have suggested a barrier is immoral. Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences, and gates around their homes? They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside, but because they love the people on the inside. The only thing that is immoral is the politicians to do nothing and continue to allow more innocent people to be so horribly victimized.

America’s heart broke the day after Christmas when a young police officer in California was savagely murdered in cold blood by an illegal alien, who just came across the border. The life of an American hero was stolen by someone who had no right to be in our country.

Day after day, precious lives are cut short by those who have violated our borders. In California, an Air Force veteran was raped, murdered, and beaten to death with a hammer by an illegal alien with a long criminal history. In Georgia, an illegal alien was recently charged with murder for killing, beheading, and dismembering his neighbor. In Maryland, MS-13 gang members who arrived in the United States as unaccompanied minors were arrested and charged last year after viciously stabbing and beating a 16-year-old girl.

Over the last several years, I’ve met with dozens of families whose loved ones were stolen by illegal immigration. I’ve held the hands of the weeping mothers and embraced the grief-stricken fathers. So sad. So terrible. I will never forget the pain in their eyes, the tremble in their voices, and the sadness gripping their souls.

How much more American blood must we shed before Congress does its job?

To those who refuse to compromise in the name of border security, I would ask: Imagine if it was your child, your husband, or your wife whose life was so cruelly shattered and totally broken?

To every member of Congress: Pass a bill that ends this crisis.

To every citizen: Call Congress and tell them to finally, after all of these decades, secure our border.

This is a choice between right and wrong, justice and injustice. This is about whether we fulfill our sacred duty to the American citizens we serve.

When I took the Oath of Office, I swore to protect our country. And that is what I will always do, so help me God.

Thank you and goodnight.

Reserved Bill Numbers for High Priority Legislation

When I went to the Illinois General Assembly web site today to find out what, if anything, Governor Bruce Rauner had done with State Rep. David McSweeney’s abolition of McHenry County townships by referendum bill, I notice something out of the ordinary.

Numbers 77 and 171 through 180 have been reserved.

If bills lower numbered than 77 had been introduced, they had not yet show up on the system.

If you are interested in what seem to be his highest priorities, here they are:

Don DeWitte Sworn into State Senate

Having taken office when State Senator Karen McConnaughay resigned early last fall, Don DeWitte assumed office in the new General Assembly today. Here is his press release:

Senator Donald P. DeWitte sworn in as 101st General Assembly convenes

Springfield, IL… State Sen. Donald P. DeWitte (R-St. Charles) was sworn in as State Senator for the 33rd District on Jan. 9 as the 101st General Assembly convenes. This will be DeWitte’s first full term as State Senator.

Don DeWitte

“I cannot express enough how grateful I am to serve in the Illinois State Senate and to represent the great people of my district.

“I look forward to working together with my colleagues, on both sides of the aisle, on reforms and policies that move our state toward prosperity.

“Some of my top priorities while serving the next two years in the 101st General Assembly will be infrastructure and transportation improvements, property tax relief and fiscal responsibility.

“While working together in a bipartisan manner will be the key to a successful Illinois future, I will continue to uphold and reflect the ideals and values of the 33rd District.”