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200 years ago on this day in 1818, Illinois entered the Union as the 21st state. At the time, Illinois’ population of about 35,000 was mostly concentrated in the southern part of the state (the capital was in Kaskaskia). Today Illinois is a sprawling, diverse state with nearly 13 million residents. Over the past two hundred years Illinois has produced award-winning writers such Lincoln biographer Carl Sandburg and playwright Lorraine Hansberry (A Raisin in the Sun); a treasure trove of military heroes, entrepreneurs and exceptional athletes. Illinois has hosted major events like the World’s Fair in 1893 and launched world renowned companies like McDonalds which reshaped the American economy in the 20th Century. Here’s to the next 200 years of a thriving Illinois that continues to make a positive impact on the world!

Governor Rauner and Governor-Elect Pritzker are scheduled to make a joint appearance at the State’s birthday party tonight at Navy Pier. The event will bring together singers, dancers and athletes with connections to Illinois for a celebration of our state’s triumphs and heritage. Colors and trophies will be presented as reminders of the achievements of these men and women on behalf of all Illinoisans. With a focus on entertainment, sports, and life, the event will be a fast-forward way for Illinois celebrants to experience the past two hundred years in the Land of Lincoln.

To learn more about the Illinois Bicentennial, please visit  

The Illinois House of Representatives is back in session today. Session is scheduled to begin at 12:00pm. You can watch or listen LIVE online by visiting the Illinois General Assembly website HERE. Several House Committees are meeting this morning while others will convene this afternoon following session.  

Residents of the 42nd District are invited to attend Representative Ives' final Town Hall Meeting on the "State of the State". The Town Hall Meeting will be held at 7:00pm on Tuesday, October 30 at the Wheaton City Hall Council Chambers, located at 303 W. Wesley Street in Wheaton.

Learn the truth about the Illinois state budget, what it means for taxpayers, and the outlook for Illinois' future. Representative Ives will also be discussing legislation she has worked on. Come out and join the conversation and make your voice heard.

Please be aware this is NOT a political or campaign event. No political materials of any kind will be permitted. We will not be discussing the upcoming election or candidates. This Town Hall Meeting is being held as an opportunity for residents of the 42nd District to hear directly from Representative Ives on state issues, legislation, and the Illinois state budget.

The 42nd District includes portions of Wheaton, Winfield, Warrenville, West Chicago, Naperville, Carol Stream and Lisle. Please call Representative Ives' office at (217) 558-1037 with any questions.

WHEATON – In the wake of a Cook County Inspector General report that J.B. Pritzker engaged in a “scheme to defraud” taxpayers when he sought and received $330,000 in improper tax breaks on one of his Chicago mansions, State Representative Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, has sent a letter to the Illinois Department of Revenue requesting a complete and immediate evaluation of all Pritzker-owned properties to ascertain whether the tax assessments were made accurately. 

“When people like J.B. Pritzker hide their property wealth, public schools around the state are shortchanged and Illinois taxpayers are left holding the bag,” Representative Ives said. “Illinois’ education funding formula relies on a fair system to assess property statewide in order to fund K-12 education. Illinois’ working families deserve to know whether an individual who expects to be Governor has gamed the system on any of his other properties to benefit himself at the taxpayers’ expense.”  
The following PowerPoint was prepared for small group presentations and town halls.  I am happy to share this in person with your organization or neighbors and explain the details and answer any questions.  Please call my assistant Nicole at 217 558-1037 if you would like me to present my State of the State Brief to your business, non-profit or other community group.  I am also trying to schedule a District 42 Town Hall and an email and press release will be sent out on the date when that will occur.

Thank You

Take a few moments to check out the latest headlines impacting Illinois taxpayers, along with my view:

My Perspective: I predicted this and said so during the school funding debate. Now that state taxpayers must pay the normal cost of Chicago teacher pensions, required by the passage of SB1947 – the new school funding formula – lowering the interest rate means state taxpayers will pay even more towards Chicago teacher pensions leaving less for the classroom. In 2000, the CTPF was nearly 100% funded. Then the politicians, in concert with the union, failed to pay in for 13 years. They asked for a further reprieve from funding for 3 more years but I was able to kill that bill on the House floor in 2013. CTPF is about 50% funded with unfunded liability around $11 billion.

CHICAGO – The Illinois House Committee on Tourism has decided to postpone a hearing scheduled for Friday, October 12 to review allegations of financial mismanagement on the part of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, the nonprofit entity tasked with raising money for the taxpayer-supported Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

Representative Ann Williams, D-Chicago, Chairperson of the Tourism Committee, informed Representative Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, of her decision this afternoon, hours after the October 12 hearing date was posted on the Illinois General Assembly website.

“It is imperative that we hold public hearings as soon as possible on this very important issue that has received national media attention,” Representative Ives said. “Back in the August the Foundation Board voted in a private meeting to begin the process of finding an auction house to sell off artifacts in the Museum’s collection. Public hearings are essential to get to the bottom of all the unanswered questions about how the Foundation has managed their funds and how they intend to pay off their debt.”

Representative Ives has filed legislation, House Bill 5958, to make the ALPLF subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Open Meetings Act laws. Doing so would disclose all the Foundation’s financial records and meetings to the public.

Please call Representative Ives at (217) 558-1037 for more information. Background information concerning this matter can be found HERE.