Today House Democrats began bringing budget bills and amendments to the House floor for discussion and votes. In response to the Democrats’ decision to push forward a FY16 budget plan that is close to $4 billion out of balance, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has issued the following statement:

“I find it incredibly irresponsible that the House Democrats have brought forward a FY16 budget they know is unbalanced. They are promoting their spending plan and they have offered absolutely no information as to how they will fund it.”

“The majority party has a history of wreckless spending with no regard for how it impacts the citizens whose taxes fund our government. They have not earned the right to even one more cent of the public’s money.”

“At a time when we should be discussing fundamental reforms that will cut waste, fraud and abuse from our government and maximize efficiencies in how we do business, the House Democrats have instead presented a FY16 budget that shows once again that they have no interest in reining in their spending or seeking any reforms.”
On May 20, State Representative Jeanne Ives was a guest on CNBC's "Squawk of the Street" news program, where she discussed the gridlock in Springfield and the lack of progress toward fixing the State's financial crisis. You can watch a video of her interview here.
State Representative Jeanne Ives was recently interviewed by a national on-line education news source about her role in addressing malfeasance and financial mismanagement at the College of DuPage. “Inside Higher Ed” is an independent journalism organization that publishes news and opinions of interest on topics affecting higher education in the United States. You can read the article, which was published on May 19, here.

In a unanimous showing of support for the taxpayers who fund the College of DuPage, members of the House of Representatives approved a resolution on Thursday that will launch a thorough performance audit of the college.

HR55, Sponsored by State Representative Jeanne Ives, was filed in response to the decision by the COD board to provide outgoing College President Dr. Robert Breuder with a $763,000 severance package in exchange for his early departure as College President. Through the language in HR55, the COD will assume the costs associated with a detailed audit the covers the following:
  • The College of DuPage’s sources of revenues
  • College expenditures, by category
  • Whether the Board is carrying out its responsibilities required by Board policy
  • Whether the Board is meeting its fiduciary responsibilities and ensuring compliance with the Public Community College Act and Board Policies
  • Whether the compensation and severance packages provided to the COD president are comparable to compensation and severance packages provided to Presidents of other Illinois Community Colleges
  • Whether changes to the College President’s compensation package were property approved
An amendment approved prior to the final vote expanded the scope of the audit to include the COD Foundation’s actions in the investigation.

“The majority of the trustees were making some very bad decisions at the expense of the taxpayers who support the College of DuPage,” said Ives. “With the recent election, we now have several concerned taxpayers serving as COD trustees, and they are committed to unearthing the extent of the malfeasance and taking steps to prevent these types of problems from occurring in the future. I expect they will cooperate fully with the investigation.”

In addition to the lucrative contract buyout for Breuder, the media also uncovered information that showed that trustees, administrators and Breuder had enjoyed close to $200,000 in high end dining at the on-campus restaurant, and also spent more than $250,000 on a public relations blitz in the wake of the negative media coverage.

“When the COD trustees made that sweetheart deal with Dr. Breuder, they triggered a public outcry over the manner in which they were making decisions with taxpayer resources,” Ives said. “This detailed and comprehensive audit is an appropriate legislative response to what appears to be a long list of unethical decisions by that board. I look forward to reading the Auditor General’s final report.”
This week State Representative Jeanne Ives sat down with Eddie Arruza of Chicago Tonight to discuss the May 8 Illinois Supreme Court Ruling that the 2013 pension reform law approved by the General Assembly was unconstitutional. You can watch Representative Ives' interview here.

On May 11, State Representative Jeanne Ives joined area legislators at one of The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Capital Development Board series of listening sessions. These sessions aim to to discuss and seek input on the state’s infrastructure needs. At the conclusion of these meetings, Governor Rauner will be presented with a comprehensive package of recommendations.
As House Democrats last week undermined the legislative committee process by bringing a spending bill and several amendments directly to the House floor for votes, State Representative Jeanne Ives railed on the majority party for accusing Republicans of not prioritizing funding for programs that assist Illinois' vulnerable citizens.

As rank and file Democrats this week turned the House Chamber into a political theatre and showed they have no interest the turning the state's finances around, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) urged Democrats to take responsibility for their votes in previous years.
This week while Governor Rauner was in Chicago telling City leaders he won't bail them out of their fiscal mess and urging folks to work together to make tough decisions, Democrats in Springfield were busy telling voters they have no plans to get the budget under control and change the way business is done in Springfield.

State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) called the House Democrats out on their political games in comments made on the House floor.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, in cooperation with the Illinois Capital Development Board is sponsoring a series of listening sessions across the state to discuss and seek input on the state’s infrastructure needs. At the conclusion of the meetings, Governor Rauner will be presented with a comprehensive package of recommendations.

Citizens of DuPage County are invited to attend a local meeting on Monday, May 11, at 10:00 AM in the DuPage Chamber of Commerce Conference Room, 306 Main Street in West Chicago. State Representative Jeanne Ives and other DuPage legislators will participate in the panel discussion.

“I strongly encourage the people of DuPage County to attend this meeting,” said Ives. “Valuable information will be shared, and the public will have an opportunity to let leaders from IDOT know what projects are priorities here in DuPage.”
This week in Springfield the majority Democrats who created a financial mess over the last decade showed they are more interested in playing political games than working together to solve the major structural challenges that are holding Illinois back. State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) spoke on the House floor about her desire to prioritize spending to "right-size" our government.

On April 29, crew and commissioning team members for the new USS Illinois nuclear submarine were at the Capitol showcasing a replica model of the Virginia-Class vessel. State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) introduced the group to the Representatives on the House floor.
On April 29, crew members and commissioning team members for the new USS Illinois nuclear submarine were welcomed to Springfield. They were recognized in the House of Representatives and also had a display and replica model of the vessel in the rotunda for the day.

The submarine is approaching two significant milestones in its service life.  The vessel, which will operate as SSN 786, is approaching its launch date on the East Coast.  Following launch, the submersible will be carefully fueled and fitted out for service; when the fitting-out process is complete, the vessel will enjoy a second ceremony, that of being commissioned as an active warship on the rolls of the Navy.  At that time the vessel will be entitled to the full name of “U.S.S. Illinois.”

Friends of the “Illinois” have set up a committee to support the vessel and the personnel that have built and will man it.  By custom, civilian committees like this one are responsible for much of the financial support necessary to celebrate the vessel’s launch and entry into active service.   HR 200, sponsored by State Representatives Keith Wheeler and Jeanne Ives, applauds the approaching entry of the “Illinois” into service.

The Committee told House members they will not only help organize and raise money for events surrounding the launching and commissioning, but also provide ongoing support for the ship and its crew after commissioning. As a nuclear-powered submarine, the vessel will be available for three-month tours of duty, during which time the vessel may not touch the surface of the water.