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Homer Junior High School’s Natural Helpers are ready to assist others

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 21, 2017

 

 

Natural Helpers ready to assist others

Return from weekend retreat with new insight, strategies

 

Homer Junior High School’s Natural Helpers are ready to assist others.

 

The seventh- and eighth-grade students recently attended a three-day Peer Helping Retreat in Oregon, IL where they explored strategies for listening, supporting and assisting fellow students.

 

They were accompanied by Staff Leaders Laura Collins, Tiffani Stark, Shannon Schroeder and August Deuser.

 

At the retreat, students learned how to be even better at having a friend, being a friend and helping a friend.

 

They will apply their new knowledge when addressing concerns with among peers.

 

 

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

 

Source: Will County News

Let’s Trump Addiction

Let’s Trump Addiction

Let’s Trump Addiction

After one month in office, we see that President Trump is a man of action who keeps his promises to the American people. And while there is deep division in Washington, ending the opioid epidemic is one part of Trump’s agenda on which Democrats and Republicans can come together.

Opioid addiction impacts us all. Patrick Kennedy, Van Jones and I are advisors to Advocates for Opioid Recovery. “Let’s Trump Addiction” is our latest effort to build support for ending the opioid crisis in America by promoting medication-assisted treatment. We are raising awareness on this issue leading up to February 28 when President Trump will detail his agenda before a Joint Session of Congress for the first time. We are certain to hear more about President Trump’s bold plan to make America great again, and I expect breaking down barriers to successfully treating opioid addiction will be a part of it.

But we need your help. I encourage you to visit https://www.opioidrecovery.org/lets-trump-addiction and urge President Trump to take action and end the opioid crisis in America.

Addiction is a disease to which many are genetically predisposed. For far too long, the health care system has treated physical health and mental health differently. Despite two parity laws in 1996 and 2008 – the first of which I was able to help pass as Speaker of the House – the disparity in treatment still exists. Insurance companies are still skirting these laws by restricting patient access to medication-based treatment by forcing them to get preauthorization first or requiring them to “fail first” – in other words, overdose – before being eligible for medication. But insurance companies aren’t the only hurdle. The federal government unfairly caps providers on the number of opioid addicted patients they can treat with medication for fear the medication itself will end up on the streets. The reality is there are new injectable and implantable medications that render these concerns nearly obsolete.

Ninety-one Americans lose their battles with opioid addiction every day. For the first time since the invention of the automobile, car accidents are not the number one cause of accidental death in America—that distinction now belongs to drug overdoses. While medication is the standard treatment for nearly every other disease, only 3 percent of people receive medication-assisted treatment for opioid addiction. This is profoundly wrong. But there are solutions – and actions President Trump and the Congress can take – which can make an immediate difference. Every day counts.

Watch this video to learn more about what is wrong with the system and how we can fix it. And please, join me in supporting President Trump on his mission to solve the opioid crisis.

Join us! #LetsTrumpAddiction.

Your Friend,
Newt

Source: Will County News

Homer School District 33C Finance & Operations Committee Meeting February 21, 2017

Summary of the Homer School District 33C

Finance & Operations Committee Meeting

February 21, 2017

_____________________________________________________________________

            Barb Wilson, President      Angela Adolf, Vice President      Amy Blank, Secretary

    Deb Martin, Member    Ed Campins, Member    Elizabeth Hitzeman, Member    Russ Petrizzo, Member                                                                                       

 

 

At the February 21st Finance & Operations Committee meeting:

 

  • Christi Tyler, Interim Assistant Superintendent for Business, presented the Committee with a list of February invoices and bills that were greater than $5,000 each. The majority were for utilities and out-of-district placement.

 

  • Tyler updated the Committee on a bus leasing option that would enable the district to avoid a large capital outlay; refresh its entire fleet every 5 years; and reduce maintenance costs. The District received three quotes. Midwest Transit was the lowest bidder at $11,064 per 71-passenger bus and offered the District the most for its trade-ins ($2.23 million). The bid is slightly higher than preliminary estimates, but those estimates did not include GPS software, cameras or custom special education buses that enable users to remove all seats to accommodate wheelchairs. The Board will vote on the leasing option at its February 28, 2017 meeting. If the lease option is approved, administrators recommend the District update its eight remaining buses (which are not being traded-in) with GPS software and cameras.

 

  • Tyler reviewed two software programs by SchoolDude that would simplify the District’s inventory system and streamline the way it schedules building usage by outside groups as well as teachers and staff. The inventory module would tie-in with the District’s current work ticket module and set minimum levels for re-ordering maintenance parts and cleaning supplies while tracking unit cost, vendor and location. The facility scheduling module would enable community groups and staff to reserve a room for meetings and/or activities electronically. Currently, facility usage requests are submitted via written applications.

 

  • Jim Petrokas from TRIA Architects was present to answer questions regarding a facility audit proposal. If the Board decides to proceed with the facility audit, work will begin over Spring Break.

 

  • Tyler presented an update on the District’s new food service program with Quest Food Management Services. Despite a few challenges in the beginning, including staffing, moving children through the lines quickly, purchasing a delivery truck that was not part of the original proposal and absorbing the delivery driver’s salary, the program is running smoothly. Participation has been greater than anticipated with 30.7 percent of students participating in November; 30.6 percent in December; and 28.7 percent in January. Nonetheless, the District often spends more than it takes in each month. Since August, when the program first began, the District has spent $48,308 more than it has taken in. It hopes to see that number go down — and even break even — as the program continues to develop and grow. It also hopes to recoup the $180,766.35 it spent up front on equipment (including ovens, refrigerators and delivery truck) in the next four to five years. In the meantime, it is working with Quest to address concerns that have arisen with some of the options — namely boxes of sugary cereal. Even though the cereal meets National School Lunch Program (NSLP) nutritional guidelines (with its sugar content falling below the limit of 35 percent) the District is working with Quest to reduce the sugary items and replace them with healthier options.

 

  • Tyler presented an update on the FY17 Budget and compared expenses to this time last year. Overall, the District is performing under budget, spending $654,000 less than this time last year. It is halfway through the fiscal year and showing great fiscal responsibility by expending less than budgeted.

 

  • Tyler reviewed a more robust finance/human resources software package that would simplify the process for monitoring department/building budgets; encumber expenses related to salaries and benefits; and make information more readily available for data analysis. The system is more expensive than the District’s current system (which dates back to 2008) but offers more flexibility and greater ease at gathering/tracking data.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Next Regular School Board Meeting is February 28, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

 

Source: Will County News

Dan and Amy discuss why Illinois is the worst governed state in the nation.

Dan and Amy discuss a story that is a microcosm of why Illinois is the worst governed state in the nation. The story is found in the Algonquin Township Highway Department. Multiply this 7,000 times and scale it.

Source: Will County News

Homer 33C offers early bird discount to families of returning students

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 21, 2017

 

Homer 33C offers early bird discount to families of returning students

Register online by April 28 to receive $30 discount per student

 

Don’t miss out on Homer School District 33C’s early registration discount for the 2017-2018 school year.

 

If you have a child who is currently enrolled in the district — or have an incoming kindergartner who has completed the pre-registration process — you qualify!

 

Visit https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9yx_hJfWdejY1RENUJ3Qjl5TWM/view for more information.

 

Those who qualify and register online by April 28 will receive a $30 discount per student.

 

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

 

Source: Will County News

Paul Ryan Budget Cuts

https://i0.wp.com/a.abcnews.go.com/images/ThisWeek/140202_tw_ryan_1006_1280x720.jpg?w=730

Paul Ryan Budget Cuts

http://paulryan.house.gov/issues/issue/?IssueID=9974

The uncertainty of the economy continues to be a drag on job creation in southern Wisconsin.  The fiscal situation in Washington has not been helpful either.  Some in Washington are calling for tax increases, but the last thing our local communities need right now is a tax increase.  It will make it tougher for hard-working families to make ends meet and stand in the way of allowing Wisconsin small businesses to maintain or create new jobs.  Rather than raise taxes, Washington needs to stop spending money it doesn’t have, and both sides of the aisle need to work together to get spending under control and prevent taxes from increasing.

A Balanced Budget For A Stronger America: The Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Budget Resolution

It has been more than six years since the financial crisis rocked our nation’s economy, but the fiscal challenges our nation still faces are innumerable.  Economic growth is underwhelming, families’ homes remain in foreclosure, paychecks cannot keep up with rising costs, students continue to struggle with skyrocketing tuition, and millions of hardworking taxpayers are seeing their medical costs increase as a result of President Obama’s health care law.  Regrettably, the President and his party have turned to more taxes, more spending, and more regulation in an attempt to address these issues.

The President demonstrated his inability to put forth real solutions to our nation’s most pressing fiscal problems with the submission of his FY 2016 budget proposal to Congress.  Budget proposals help resolve conflicting judgments about our nation’s priorities.  They also serve to help reconcile divergent views of our country’s future.  In this sense, it is clear that the President’s priorities are to tax more, spend more, and regulate more.  His budget calls for a $2.1 trillion increase in taxes, a $2.4 trillion increase in spending, and would add $8.5 trillion dollars to the debt between FY 2016 and FY 2025.  Furthermore, the President’s budget does not balance – ever.

Conversely, House Republicans have introduced and passed budget resolutions for five consecutive years that would tackle the looming debt crisis and restore economic growth.  The budget that was introduced for FY 2016 by Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price, “A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America,” is a serious budget that addresses our needs and our overwhelming debt by achieving balance, repealing the Affordable Care Act, ensuring a strong national defense, and cutting waste while improving accountability.

In stark contrast to the President’s budget, the “Balanced Budget for a Stronger America” would balance in less than 10 years.  In addition to achieving balance, it would cut $5.5 trillion in federal spending and call for a fairer, simpler tax code that would promote job creation.   It would also place the country on a path to pay off the national debt by growing the economy and making government more efficient, effective, and accountable.  Most importantly, it would accomplish all of this without raising taxes.

This budget also offers a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has cost millions of hardworking taxpayers their insurance and spends trillions of dollars that we do not have.   It would repeal all of the ACA’s taxes, regulations, and mandates, and return the balance of power to patients when it comes to making decisions regarding their healthcare.  Lastly, it would eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a group of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats responsible for making cost-cutting decisions that will lead to restricted access to critical care for seniors on Medicare.

A priority of this budget is to ensure that our military has the funds needed to train, equip, and fairly compensate the brave men and women who serve our country, while also ensuring that the interests of the United States, both abroad and here at home, are furthered.  In a world as volatile as ours, it is imperative that our national defense has the resources it needs.  The Republican budget boosts defense spending above the President’s levels while putting in place a plan to responsibly address the current spending caps and the threat of sequester.

Lastly, the “Balanced Budget for a Better America” would secure our future by strengthening Medicare.  It would accomplish this by ending the ACA’s $716 billion raid on Medicare, making structural improvements to Medicare to make sure it is available for future generations, eliminating the “double dipping” of Disability Insurance and Unemployment Insurance, and preventing the President’s plan to raid the regular Social Security Trust Fund.

This budget came before the House on March 26, 2015, and was passed with my support by a vote of 228 to 199.  I was encouraged that my colleagues chose to support a budget that would result in common-sense spending restraints and much-needed economic growth.  Ultimately, a budget is more than just a list of numbers: it is an expression of our governing philosophy.  This budget offers the American people a brighter future.  It would stop spending money we do not have, create jobs, and expand economic opportunity.

H.R. 2029, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016

Like any family or business, the federal government must set a limit on what it can spend.  Each year, Congress must pass a budget agreement to set overall spending levels and 12 individual appropriation bills to fund the federal government.  As you may know, Congress passed H.R. 1314, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which the President signed into law on November 2, 2015.  This bill set the top line spending levels for the federal government for FY 2016.

With this budget agreement in place, members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees worked to draft an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government.  After passing a number of short-term bills to keep the federal government funded while negotiations were nearing completion, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for FY 2016 was introduced on December 15, 2015.  This omnibus bill combines the 12 separate appropriations bills in a single bill and provides funding for the government through September 30, 2016.  This $1.1 trillion appropriations bill represents a bipartisan compromise produced within an imperfect budget framework.  It is the product of a process that I have long criticized, a process that is too closed and driven by crisis and brinksmanship instead of by collaboration and big ideas.  That said, as speaker, I had a duty to take ownership of the process that I inherited and, in doing so, I worked hard with my colleagues to make the best of the situation that process created in order to produce a bill that will allow the House to return to regular order this year with a clean slate, which will allow us to put forward a bold vision for a better direction for our country.  In addition to clearing the way for a more productive legislative process, this bill lays the foundation for a stronger, more prosperous, more confident America by accomplishing numerous priorities in a variety of important areas that affect the lives of Americans, including reforms to energy, tax, health care, and military policies.

Here is a list of some of the key accomplishments of the Omnibus Bill:

  1. Repeals the antiquated oil export ban. This provision would end the 1975 ban on the export of American crude oil.  Domestic energy production is booming in the United States, and lifting the ban will help create jobs, grow our economy, reduce the world’s dependence on OPEC and Russian oil supplies, and promote greater exploration of our natural resources.
  2. Increases resources for our military. The arbitrary spending cuts in the sequester have depleted the resources our armed forces need to carry out their mission.  This bill restores funding for our military to ensure our troops can confront today’s challenges and defeat ISIS.
  3. Strengthens the Visa Waiver Program to protect the homeland. The Visa Waiver Program presents one of the most urgent threats to our homeland from radical Islamic terrorism.  This agreement includes the House-passed bill to tighten the security requirements under the program.  It would also deny visa waiver status to any individual who has traveled to certain terrorist hotspots, including Syria and Iraq, in the last five years.
  4. Prohibits new funding for Obamacare. The bill contains no new funding for Obamacare and continues to prevent a taxpayer bailout of Obamacare’s risk corridor program.
  5. Prevents the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to American soil. The bill prohibits funds from being used to transfer terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States, and prohibits the construction or acquisition of a facility in the United States to house detainees.
  6. Blocks EPA overreach. The bill contains no funding for new or expanded EPA programs, holding the agency to its lowest funding levels since 2008 and its lowest staffing levels since 1989.
  7. Reins in the IRS. The IRS continues to act with impunity against the interests of hardworking taxpayers. This bill freezes most IRS operations and maintains budget cuts necessary to ensure this agency roots out wasteful spending and redirects resources to better serve the American people.
  8. Maintains strong protections for life. The bill maintains important pro-life provisions, including the Hyde Amendment, and prohibits taxpayer funding for abortion. It also includes a ban on FDA approval for genetically modifying human embryos and cuts funding for a program involved in abortion-related activities, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), by seven percent.
  9. Honors our commitment to our veterans. The bill ensures our veterans receive their much-deserved health benefits, speeds up VA claims processing, prioritizes modernizing the VA’s electronic health care record system, and tightens oversight of construction projects.
  10. Provides critical health care benefits for 9/11 first responders. More than 30,000 first responders continue to suffer from injuries or illnesses sustained during the 9/11 attacks. The bill contains a bipartisan measure to permanently reauthorize critical health care benefits for these brave men and women—and it does so in a fiscally responsible way.

This bill is far from perfect.  It includes a number of provisions that I oppose, and it excludes a number of reforms and policy changes I would have liked to have seen become law.  While this bill provides much-needed funding increases for national defense, border security, and counterterrorism activities, a great deal of work remains to tackle the looming debt crisis and restore economic growth.  On December 18, 2015, in strong bipartisan fashion, the House passed H.R. 2029 by a vote of 316 to 113 with my support—and that of 149 other Republicans and 166 Democrats.  Also on December 18, 2015, and in bipartisan fashion, the Senate passed a larger legislative package containing the omnibus bill by a vote of 72 to 26.  That same day, the President signed this bill into law.

When we have divided government, as we do now, no one will get precisely what they want.  However, as elected representatives, it is important for Congress to make the difficult decisions that allow our federal government to have the necessary resources to operate.  Wherever possible, we must find common ground and build consensus on how to confront the serious fiscal issues facing our nation.

Additional Information

– See more at: http://paulryan.house.gov/issues/issue/?IssueID=9974#sthash.lbVDOufX.dpuf

Source: Will County News

WILL COUNTY BOARD MEMBER UNDER SEIGE FROM LOCAL LEFTIST WOMEN’S GROUP

ILLINOIS REVIEW 

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2017

Source: Will County News

Court denies Madigan petition to stop state worker pay

Illinois Policy  February 16, 2017

Lisa Madigan lost the first round in her quest to stop state worker pay during Illinois’ budget impasse. But that doesn’t mean the matter is settled. The attorney general could take this issue all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

 

A St. Clair County Court judge ruled Feb. 16 against Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s request to stop state worker pay during the budget impasse. Madigan took Illinois by surprise Jan. 26 when she filed a petition seeking court approval to stop paying state employees.

But as with other matters rife with political implications in Illinois, there will be a lot more to come. The court’s decision doesn’t settle the matter. Madigan can appeal all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court.

The legal background

In 2015, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees sought a court order to ensure state employees would keep getting paid during the budget impasse. St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Robert LeChien complied, and since then, state employees have been paid under that court order.

But in the meantime, the Illinois Supreme Court issued a decision holding that the state could not pay AFSCME workers raises promised by former Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration because the General Assembly had not appropriated funding for this. The court specifically tied its decision to pay promised to state workers through collective bargaining.

Madigan pointed to that Supreme Court decision and asked LeChien to reverse course in the AFSCME case. She argued that because the General Assembly has not appropriated funds for state worker pay, the state can’t pay.

Unlikely allies

Madigan’s petition created an unlikely situation in which AFSCME and Gov. Bruce Rauner are arguing on the same side. Both opposed Madigan’s petition and vowed to fight against an order stopping state worker pay.

It also created an interesting schism between Madigan and AFSCME, two parties that traditionally are allies in state worker matters.

What’s next

Madigan can accept Judge LeChien’s decision and drop her petition or she can appeal the decision all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. And with one decision already on the books denying state worker pay that has not been appropriated, the court may side with the attorney general. On other hand, Madigan is asking the court to deny pay to all state workers, which arguably goes beyond the scope of the Supreme Court’s original decision. That decision focused on collectively bargaining, but not all state workers are covered by collective bargaining agreements.

In the meantime, the General Assembly doesn’t need to rush into a bad budget deal to avoid a government shutdown. Lawmakers can pass an appropriations measure to fund state worker pay without a full budget.

In response to Madigan’s petition, at least two state representatives – Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, and Sue Scherer, D-Decatur – introduced bills that would ensure state workers get paid even during the budget impasse. Both bills – House Bill 1787 and House Bill 1798 – remain pending in the Illinois House of Representatives.

A continuing appropriations measure for state worker pay would not be unprecedented. In 2015 and 2016, the General Assembly passed an education appropriations measure that would keep K-12 schools open and operating during the budget impasse. In 2015, Rauner expressed support for a continuing appropriations measure for state worker pay.

Throughout Illinois’ budget gridlock, politicians have been immune to worries about their pay. In 2014, the General Assembly passed a law ensuring that legislator salaries are funded.

TAGS: AFSCME: American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, Bruce Rauner, budget, Lisa Madigan, state worker pay

 

Source: Will County News

Is a coup is underway


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The CIA is famous for toppling foreign governments in order to install puppet regimes the U.S. can control or exploit on behalf of the corporatocracy and military-industrial complex.

The CIA’s first victim was Iran’s Mohammed Mossadegh in 1951. Mossadegh was the democratically-elected prime minister. He ran afoul of Great Britain’s and America’s powerful oil interests when he nationalized his country’s petroleum assets, which cut out the British petroleum company that would later become BP.

In order to avoid provoking a military confrontation with the Soviet Union if England and America resorted to a military option to settle the Iran problem, the CIA sent Theodore Roosevelt’s grandson, Kermit, with wads of cash and the imprimatur to use threats of violence. With payoffs and threats he organized a series of street protests which led to the toppling of Mossedegh’s government. The U.S. then installed Mahammed Reza Shah as Iran’s dictator.

The CIA used similar methods to topple regimes in Central and South America over the years,  as well as in Egypt in 2011, in Libya in 2011 and  in the Ukraine in 2014.

In 1963, the CIA pulled off its first coup in the U.S. with the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was targeted because he failed to support the CIA’s operation at Bay of Pigs, because he wanted to pull the U.S. out of Vietnam, and because of his Executive Order 11110 which returned the power to create and issue currency from the Federal Reserve back to the federal government.

Now the CIA is attempting another U.S. coup, and it just gained its first victim, Donald Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Trump had been warned by Senator Chuck Schumer not to take on the Deep State intelligence agencies because they had many ways of retaliation. The CIA had its long knives out for Flynn from the beginning. He was seen as one intelligence officer with the guts to blow the whistle on catastrophic intelligence and operation failures.

But Flynn is only the first step. The main target of the CIA and Deep State is Trump. Some smaller fish may fall along the way, but Trump poses the greatest threat to the establishment and MIC.

He must drain the swamp before the Deep State finishes its coup.

Source: Will County News

Incorporating music into World Read Aloud Day

News Release

Homer CCSD 33C

Goodings Grove   Luther J. Schilling   William E. Young   William J. Butler

Hadley Middle   Homer Jr. High

 

Contact: Charla Brautigam, Communications/Public Relations Manager

cbrautigam@homerschools.org | 708-226-7628

 

For Immediate Release:

Feb. 17, 2017

Incorporating music into World Read Aloud Day

Butler School students learn rhythm while reading aloud with their music teacher

 

Butler School music teacher Joel Huffman wasn’t about to let his colleagues have all the fun on World Read Aloud Day.

 

While they were making preparations to open a cozy campsite (complete with pop-up tents and a flameless fire pit) in one of the classrooms and inviting students down to “Camp Out With a Good Book,” he was adding his own twist to a few children’s books.

“I wanted to celebrate World Read Aloud Day in a way that was different and unique while still teaching to the district music curriculum,” said Huffman, who created a rhythm to go along with each book he read aloud.

 

Students followed along eagerly, echoing the rhythm with their voices, then their hands and, finally, on a xylophone or tubano drum.

 

He had the third-graders do the same on their recorders.

 

“My objectives with the lesson were to play the instruments correctly, play specific rhythms on the instruments and to have fun!” he said.

 

Like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/homer33c?fref=ts&ref=br_tf

 

Source: Will County News