• RSS News – Lou Lang

    • On Mike Madigan's watch... - Chicago Tribune August 3, 2017
      Chicago TribuneOn Mike Madigan's watch...Chicago TribuneIllinois House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie). (Posted by David Ormsby, Community Contributor). Eric Zorn. For my Friday, Aug. 4, 2017 column, I reached out to the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates to ask for their responses to ...and more »
    • What Happened to Illinois's Medical Cannabis Advisory Board? - Chicagomag.com August 10, 2017
      Chicagomag.comWhat Happened to Illinois's Medical Cannabis Advisory Board?Chicagomag.comLast spring, three advocates for the state's medical marijuana program received a call from Democratic State Representative Lou Lang, the architect of Illinois's medical cannabis pilot program. Lang told the group, which included Leslie Mendoza Temple ...an […]
    • Special Session Day 3: Education funding bill sets up another tax increase, lawmaker warns - Illinois News Network July 29, 2017
      Illinois News NetworkSpecial Session Day 3: Education funding bill sets up another tax increase, lawmaker warnsIllinois News NetworkLou Lang, D-Chicago, said after the House adjourned for the weekend. "Some schools in the state will open for a few months without state money, some may open all year. Some won't open at all." Lang blamed Rauner f […]
    • Postcard to Boston: Wish you were here, legislators - Chicago Tribune August 7, 2017
      Chicago TribunePostcard to Boston: Wish you were here, legislatorsChicago TribuneEmanuel Chris Welch, D-Hillside, in a Twitter post with a photo of him and Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, inside the Boston Red Sox's famed stadium Sunday. Yet the public schools in Welch's and Lang's districts likely won't receive timely payments from the ...and m […]
    • Illinois Democrats rally at Chairman's Brunch at State Fair - WLS-TV August 17, 2017
      WLS-TVIllinois Democrats rally at Chairman's Brunch at State FairWLS-TV"This group of 1800 would tell you that we've had no organizers ever that have been as good to the Democratic Party as Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump," said Illinois Rep. Lou Lang (D) of Skokie. Part of that effort clearly will involve trying to ...and more »
    • Morning Spin: Rauner repeats erroneous tax assessment charge against Speaker Madigan - Chicago Tribune August 15, 2017
      Chicago TribuneMorning Spin: Rauner repeats erroneous tax assessment charge against Speaker MadiganChicago TribuneRep. Lou Lang, a Democrat from Skokie who serves as a top deputy on Madigan's leadership team, called the allegation “a huge stretch.” “The levy is the levy. This does not take away a single dollar from the school district,” Lang said. “It […]
    • New Do Your Job, Inc. digital ad: “Serious people are questioning whether Governor Rauner has lost it” - The Capitol Fax Blog (blog) August 1, 2017
      New Do Your Job, Inc. digital ad: “Serious people are questioning whether Governor Rauner has lost it”The Capitol Fax Blog (blog)As Senate Bill 1 heads to Governor Rauner's desk, Do Your Job, Inc. is asking him to get a grip, do his job and sign the bill. After decades of talks around reforming the state's education formula, Senate Bill 1 is the on […]
    • David Ormsby - Suburban Chicagoland August 18, 2017
      Suburban ChicagolandDavid OrmsbySuburban Chicagoland... Home Association, Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association, TASC, Inc., United HealthCare Illinois, Goldberg, Weisman & Cairo, LLC, DelGaldo Law Group, City of Chicago Heights, City of Berwyn, House Deputy Majority Lou Lang, State Rep.
    • Education Funding Reform Bill Sent To Governor Rauner - eNews Park Forest August 1, 2017
      eNews Park ForestEducation Funding Reform Bill Sent To Governor RaunereNews Park ForestSchool District 163 average property tax bill, education funding reform A breakdown of the average property tax bill for Park Forest residents of School District 163 shows that 55% of taxes collected go to school districts. (Park Forest 2017-2018 Budget).and more »
    • Representative Lou Lang on the Illinois budget impasse: “It's part of an orchestrated decision by the Rauner ... - WGN Radio June 15, 2017
      WGN RadioRepresentative Lou Lang on the Illinois budget impasse: “It's part of an orchestrated decision by the Rauner ...WGN RadioSome are embarrassed that the state of Illinois is being pulled from the lottery. And the Illinois Department of Transportation has announced that all construction in Illinois may stop if there is still no budget by the end o […]
  • RSS Blogs – Lou Lang

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Governor Quinn Makes Good Start, Faces Perilous Budget

Governor Pat Quinn marked his 30th full day in office day in office on March 1st.

And he has been busy since day one repairing a tattered state government.

Quinn has quickly attempted to repair executive branch relationships with the legislature and the public

Governor Pat Quinn

Governor Pat Quinn

battered by his disgraced predecessor Rod Blagojevich. Quinn has met with state lawmakers—both Democrats and Republicans, held an open house at the governor’s mansion, and, unlike Blagojevich, actually moved into the residence.

Personally, I have had more conversation with the new Governor in the last 30 days than I had in the previous six years with Blagojevich. Virtually every lawmaker is breathing a deep sigh of relief.

In addition to his legislative outreach, Quinn is busy cleaning house and preparing to address the critical budget issues facing Illinois.

To begin, Quinn replaced former Blagojevich officials. He fired newly-appointed Department of Natural Resources Director, Kurt Granberg; Blagojevich spokesman Lucio Guerrero, and Deputy Governor Louanner Peters; and ousted Clayton Harris as chief of staff.

However, the biggest issue facing Quinn is Illinois’ massive budget deficit. And the Governor has been a whirl of behind-the-scenes activity preparing a budget and budget message to present to a joint session of the legislature on March 18th.

The message won’t be pretty.

Based on current revenue and expenditure estimates, the current state budget faces
a deficit of approximately $8.95 billion to 11.5 billion. Billion. The federal stimulus money may push that number down to $6 to 8.5 billion, but that still a staggering figure.

This is a grim situation for the new Governor to face.

To his credit, upon taking office, Quinn ordered all state agencies under his control to cut 1% from their current budgets—effective immediately. This cut will shave $250 million off the deficit this year. However, more needs to be done.

The budget that Quinn will present on March 18th will likely contain a combination of spending cuts and tax increases. No politician likes to raise taxes. None. But Illinois—like the rest of the country—faces a fiscal disaster. The state cannot simply cut its way out of the deficit.

The bulk of state spending is on education, healthcare, and public safety. To cut our way out the deficit, the state would need to close prisons and turn thousand criminals back to communities, eliminate health care to at least 10,000 children, and slash state aid to schools which could bankrupt local school districts, forcing them to fire thousands of teachers.

Lawmakers are not going to slash and burn our state. We are going to work with Governor Quinn to prudently manage the state’s finances and find the money to pay for services—education, healthcare, and public safety—that our constituents demand.

Quinn is aggressively establishing relationships with the legislature that his predecessor spurned.  Lawmakers appreciate those efforts and are ready to work with him. Those relationships will be crucial—and tested—when Quinn makes some painful but necessary decisions to confront the state budget peril.

Illinois House Panel Approves Lang Bill to Boost Foster Parent Reimbursement by One-Time $24 Million Grant

(Springfield, IL) – An Illinois House legislative panel on Thursday endorsed a one-time $24 million grant to reimburse foster parents for increased expenses related to caring for the state’s abused and neglected children.

The Illinois House Human Services Appropriation Committee voted 19-0 to include the money in the state’snew Fiscal Year 2010 budget.

Marge Berglind, President, Child Care Association of Illinois

Marge Berglind, President, Child Care Association of Illinois

“Foster parents have had only two increases in eight years to pay expenses to feed, clothe, house, and transport foster children and inflation has deeply eroded the value of the state reimbursement,” said Marge Berglind, the President and CEO of the Child Care Association of Illinois, the bill’s chief supporter.

Berglind noted, on average, an Illinois foster parent spends $703 per month—of that $281 comes out of the foster parent’s pocket.

A national report on foster parent under-funding released two yearsa go by two national organizations and the University of Maryland said Illinois’ average rates (for children 2, 9, and 16) were $380, $422, and $458 per month and they needed to be raised to $661, $757, and $830 to meet actual costs.

The legislation, House Bill 83, sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), provides a one-time payment this year of $24 million to the state’s 7,500 foster parents. The payments would average $145 per foster child.

“It’s an embarrassment that DCFS seeks volunteer foster parents to care for abused and neglected children and then refuses to pay the full cost of care,” said Lang. “This one-time $24 million grant attempts to address DCFS’ negligence.”

“We applaud Rep. Lang for his leadership and willingness to address the state’s under-funding of foster children care,” said Berglind.

State Representatives Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), Deb Mell (D-Chicago) and Eddie Washington (D-Waukegan) are the bill’s co-chief sponsors.

The measure now moves to the full House floor.

House Ok’s Bill to Fire State Education Board, Curtail Gov’s Power to Appoint Board; Superintendent Could be Booted

(Springfield, IL) – The Illinois House yesterday approved legislation, 91-24, that would end the terms of the current nine-member Illinois State Board of Education, strip the governor’s power to directly appoint board members, and curb the governor’s power to propose a state superintendent to the board.

State Rep. Lou Lang

State Rep. Lou Langboard.

Sponsored by State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), the bill creates a new and permanent seven-member nomination panel that would identify, evaluate, and submit a list of qualified education board candidates to the Governor for his or her consideration.

““This bill would reform the State Board (of Education) by taking it farther away from the political system,” said Lang.

Lang’s proposal empowers a new state board of education to fire the current superintendent if it chooses.

The House approval of Lang’s proposal is a dramatic reversal for the legislature.

In 2004, lawmakers gave the Governor’s authority to bring the state board more directly under the office’s control, granting former Governor Rod Blagojevich the power to immediately appoint seven board members.

Lang said he has no opposition to the current board.

“I just want to get to a point where this board is no longer beholden to the governor in any way, shape or form,” he said.

State Board of Education board is neutral on Lang’s bill.

Last year, the House approved a nearly identical measure 86-21.