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Even If You Voted, Your Job’s Not Over

Even If You Voted, Your Job’s Not Over  By Grant Spooner 4/13/2016

By the time many of you read this, you would have had the opportunity to vote April 4, or before, for one or more races in your communities.

I would like to say, “many of you voted,” but, generally that’s not the case in a consolidated election, which features the most local races you can get: sanitary districts; lighting districts, townships, school districts and park districts, as well as municipal elections.

I always found that interesting: The races that have the most direct influence on our everyday lives often have the lowest turnout – by far.

Let’s look at it another way: Each of these races often has a line on your property tax bill, meaning they get a share of the pie each tax season. They use those tax revenues to operate for the year, and even though each of them has meetings open the public, again, we often are sitting at home watching talent shows or binging on Netflix feasts.

When we get our bills, we shake our heads and say, “This is outrageous! My taxes are too high!” Or at least we did before the recession hit and put many of our bank-owned homes underwater financially.

Even now, I hear commercials and see stories about groups urging people to vote against tax increases. Then I’ll think, OK, yeah, taxes are too high, but what is the choice? Cutting things like crazy? I’m certain there is waste is just about any taxing body. But enough to hold or even cut taxes? http://willcountynews.com/2017/04/13/rauner-attempted-to-bring-union-costs-more-in-line-with-what-illinoisans-can-afford/

Could I tell you where? If we paid attention to every taxing body, we probably could. If we found the waste, would cutting it be enough to hold down our taxes? Or, would increases in the cost of doing business – labor, insurance costs, general cost of living – mean we need to ante up a little more, or at least explain why taxes are what they are?

The point here is we often say taxes are too high, government is wasting, etc., without any real knowledge of what the heck they are doing and why. One of the best posts I saw on Facebook recently was a response to an official saying government should be run by like a business, and constituents are the customers.

The response? We, the constituents, are the BOARD OF DIRECTORS, not customers. And you, government dude, work for us.

The problem is, once we vote – or worse, don’t vote – we turn over the reins, and let them do whatever they want.

On a local level, that means we don’t attend meetings, and often, we don’t let our representatives know if we disagree, at a meeting or otherwise. Can you imagine hiring a contractor do redo your home and giving them free run of the place?

But we have. Do you know how we got into a pension crisis in the state? The state Legislature set up the rules for local school boards, which then voted on pension amounts for teachers and administrators, and sent the bill back to Springfield.

I know, right? http://willcountynews.com/2017/04/09/illinois-has-a-74-billion-debt-hole-for-teacher-pensions-and-the-third-party-payer-problem-helps-explain-why/

But do you attend your local school board meetings to see them vote on such things? Even though school districts generally account for the highest portion of your tax bills? Do you know why?

Do you know why your son or daughter comes home the first day of school with yet another new way of doing math? You ask the teacher, and many times, they just throw up their hands and say, it’s the will of federal and/or state government officials, many who have not been in a classroom since they graduated.

Now, here’s a question: If you voted in the April 4 election, do you know how the person you voted for will represent you on issues such as these? I hope you do.

If you didn’t vote, I’ll assume you don’t care. If not, you’ll be getting those property tax bills in several weeks. Have fun with that. http://willcountynews.com/2017/04/12/property-taxes-increase-property-value-decrease/

 

 

 

Source: Will County News

Trump News April 13, 2017

The White House 

WHITE HOUSE MEMO
Today, President Donald J. Trump will meet with first responders who courageously jumped into action during the I-85 bridge collapse in Atlanta, and thank them for their service. Our first responders are the bravest among us, and President Trump is behind them 100%.
MORNING:

  • 11:00AM: President Trump signs H.J.Res. 43

AFTERNOON:

  • 2:00PM: President Trump meets with the I-85 bridge first responders – Watch LIVE
GET INVOLVED
President Trump is committed to making our government more accountable to you, the American people. President Trump wants to hear your ideas on how government can be more efficient and effective.
Give YOUR input here.
OVAL OFFICE HIGHLIGHTS
President Trump holds a joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg.
Read More
WHITE HOUSE UPDATES
Photo of the Day:

President Donald J. Trump and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg walk along the Colonnade at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead).
View Photo


Retweet

President Trump: Creating an Efficient, Effective and Accountable Federal Government.
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WHITE HOUSE HISTORY

The White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that dates back to 1878, making it one of the oldest annual events in White House history. This year’s Easter Egg Roll will be held on Monday, April 17th. Tune in here on Monday to watch all the festivities of the day as the White House hosts the 139th Easter Egg Roll.
(President Harding at the South Portico of the White House attending the Easter Egg Roll. Library of Congress Online Catalog). View Photo
PRESS ROOM
Today’s press briefing will take place at 1:00PM ET in the White House Briefing Room with Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Watch it LIVE here.
NEWS REPORTS
  • Washington Examiner: “NATO chief: Allied spending up $10 billion because of Trump”
    Read More
  • Breitbart: “Trump Admin Releases ‘Drain the Swamp’ Guidance to Restructure the Federal Government”
    Read More
  • Washington Examiner: “Gorsuch begins first day at Supreme Court”
    Read More

Source: Will County News

Rauner attempted to bring union costs more in line with what Illinoisans can afford

Illinois Supreme Court’s denial of quicker AFSCME appeal means taxpayers still on the hook for millions each month

A recent Illinois Supreme Court order allows AFSCME to continue to stall implementation of a contract for state workers. For each month the contract is not in effect, taxpayers pay an additional $35 million to $40 million in health care costs alone.

AFSCME obstructed progress for months on a new contract for state workers. Whether AFSCME and the state are at impasse in negotiations now sits with the Illinois courts – and the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision not to take a direct appeal of the case means taxpayers must continue to pay an additional $35 million to $40 million each month in health care costs alone.

A recent Illinois Supreme Court order allows the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to continue to stall implementation of a contract for state workers, and it will cost state taxpayers millions. For each month the contract is not in effect, taxpayers pay an additional $35 million to $40 million in health care cost alone.

Those burdensome costs led Gov. Bruce Rauner to file a motion asking the Illinois Supreme Court to more quickly determine whether the state and AFSCME are at impasse in their negotiations over a new contract.

The state labor board determined in November 2016 that contract negotiations between the state and AFSCME were at impasse, or deadlock. That meant the governor could implement his last, best offer to the union.

But instead, AFSCME ran to multiple state courts, seeking a decision to overturn the labor board’s impasse determination. The case currently sits before the Fourth District Appellate Court, and it could be months before that court decides whether the parties are at impasse.

In the meantime, the court has stayed the labor board’s decision, meaning the governor cannot implement his contract offer. This means the state is forced to continue paying AFSCME workers under the terms of the expired contract, which includes monthly health care costs $35 million to $40 million higher than under the state’s proposed contract.

Seeking a more timely resolution, Rauner filed a motion requesting a direct appeal to the state Supreme Court. Instead of waiting for the Fourth District to issue an opinion, the case would be transferred immediately to the state’s highest court.

A quicker resolution of the appeals process potentially would have saved the state millions of dollars and put an end to the union’s stall tactics. But despite the fact both parties know the state Supreme Court will ultimately decide the case, AFSCME opposed Rauner’s motion for a direct appeal to the Supreme Court.

Obstructionist tactics were the theme of the union’s “negotiating” strategy. According to an administrative law judge with the Illinois Labor Relations Board, AFSCME’s approach to negotiations was “atypical.” She added, “… the [u]nion’s conduct calls into question its commitment to reaching an agreement through bargaining.”

Throughout negotiations, Rauner attempted to bring union costs more in line with what Illinoisans can afford. But AFSCME refused to compromise and instead continued to demand wage and benefit increases that would cost the state an additional $3 billion.

The longer it takes for the impasse decision to move through the courts, the longer Illinois taxpayers will be on the hook for millions of dollars the state simply does not have.

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

Source: Will County News

Illinois revenue free fall: Fiscal year-to-date -8.1 percent and worsening

From Illinois Policy April 2017

Illinois’ revenues are falling each month of this fiscal year, and it will be difficult to change course.

Illinois’ fiscal condition is in bad shape and worsening. Jim Muschinske, revenue manager for the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, notes a “February Free fall.” Compared to last year, February income taxes are down 12.1 percent, sales taxes are down 7.5 percent and public utility taxes are down 34.3 percent.

Two-thirds through Fiscal Year 2017, general revenues are down a whopping 8.1 percent.

Overall base revenues fell $423 million in February. Like a broken record, monthly declines reflected weaker income taxes along with poor federal sources. Unfortunately, February’s lackluster performance was widespread with only a couple sources managing to show gains. One less receipting day likely contributed to the decline, though certainly not the primary culprit.

Through the first two-thirds of the fiscal year, base receipts are off $1.453 billion, or 7.5 percent. Weakness is widespread, and has resulted in year-over-year losses in key areas such as income taxes and federal sources. With renewed uncertainty of sales tax performance, and with only four months left in FY 2017, it will be very difficult to alter the trajectory of what has turned into a dismal year for revenues.

TAGS: budget, COGFA

Source: Will County News

Illinois State Rifle Association Thursday Bullitin

Letterhead

ISRA Thursday Bulletin – April 13, 2017

 

Executive Director’s Message
The Illinois Legislature has recessed until April 25th.  When they return, there will be 28 action- packed days until the spring session ends on May 31st.  Be prepared for legislative alerts.  Top on the list will be Gun Dealer Licensing (SB1657), Lethal Order of Protection (HB2354) and the Lead Ammunition Ban (SB1985).  Please take this time to look up your State Representative and State Senator’s Springfield phone number and email so you will be prepared to contact them quickly.  Findyour legislator here.
In one week, the NRA Annual Meeting will take place in Atlanta, Georgia.  I urge all of you who can attend to make every effort to be there.  Last year, history was made when Donald Trump received his first endorsement at the NRA Annual Meeting.  The NRA was the first to take on Hillary Clinton’s corrupt political machine.  Law abiding gun owners and other deplorables led by Donald Trump’s tenacity, fought a ferocious fight to save the Constitution of the United States and prevent us from slipping into the crevasse of eternal mediocrity.  Don’t be fooled; it isn’t over yet.  It’s never going to be over.
Spring has finally arrived and with it, the spring and summer shooting leagues.  There are all kinds of leagues being shot at ranges all over Illinois and the United States.  Make every effort to participate in one or two of your choice.  For those who like to shoot trap, skeet or sporting clays, there are many opportunities out there.  The Grand American has really spurred the shotgun sports since their move to Illinois earlier this year.  If you are a trap shooter you should try to make it to the “Grand”.
Spring leagues at the ISRA Range have already begun.  The Black Powder League is shot the first Sunday of the month.  May 7th will be the next Black Powder league date.  The Combat League will have its orientation on Sunday April 30th.  This will include the addition of the introduction of the IDPA qualifiers and you will need to have attended the orientation for the first Combat/IDPA summer program on May 7th.
Our oldest pistol league, the Bullseye League, will hold its first competition on April 23rd.  Bullseye is the queen of the shooting sports.  If you want to learn to be an excellent pistol shot, Bullseye is the place to start.
The Tuesday Night Irregular Rifle League (service rifle) will have its organizational meeting on April 18th.  The first shoot will be on April 25th.
The F Class League will begin on Wednesday May 3rd.  F Class uses bolt action rifles, telescopic sights, rests or bipods and is fired from the prone position. This league is fired at 300 yards and is designed for those who like the challenge of long range accuracy.
The Bench Rest League, which has regulation benches, will start on Wednesday, April 26th.  For those who love hyper accuracy, this is the league for you.  Because it is shot from the bench, the physical challenges are not as great.  The league is shot at 100 yards (and once a month, moves to 300 yards).
The Smallbore (.22 rimfire) League has a new wrinkle with the addition of Smallbore F Class.  A Smallbore F Class rifle is any .22 rimfire rifle that weighs less than 18 pounds, including the scope.  The F Class rifles may use a bipod or rest.  The Smallbore League begins on Thursday, May 11th, with orientation on May 11th, 18th, 25th, and June 1st, for new league members.
The new ISRA Marksman League is designed for new shooters.  This league requires .22 center fire pistols, or .22 rifles.  If you are new to shooting and want to improve your marksmanship skills, this is the league for you.
The Glock and Springfield Leagues will start later in the summer.  The Air Gun winter league will begin in October.
There is plenty to do at the ISRA Range and the leagues are all reasonably priced.  See you at the range. For more information on our leagues, please visit our website range calendar.
The number of active FOID card and ICCL’s for the end of March, 2017:
FOID: 2,144,057
ICCL’s: 229,732
Thanks for being a member.
To keep up with current legislation, please follow this link:http://www.isra.org/Advocacy/Legislation.aspx
Please remember: when you click on a particular bill, it will take you directly to the State of Illinois General Assembly website (ilga.gov).  The ISRA has no control over the ilga.gov website.
Check out ISRA’s website at www.isra.org! Tell us what you think!
Follow the ISRA on Twitter and Facebook.

Give the gift of an ISRA membership.   Not an ISRA Member?  Join Today!

Illinois State Rifle Association, PO Box 637, Chatsworth, IL 60921

Source: Will County News