With its adjournment deadline fast approaching, the Illinois General Assembly is still in negotiations over the looming Fiscal Year 2012 budget, Sen. Althoff says.

The Illinois House and Senate have both passed competing budget plans in recent days. In the House, Republicans and Democrats came together to pass a $25 billion fiscal plan that cuts $600 million from the current budget, containing across-the-board spending reductions. Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have approved a budget plan along partisan lines that would result in a net spending increase from the current budget, with $1 billion more spending than the House plan.

As the Republican Spokesperson of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Althoff is committed to pursuing a budget that includes real and meaningful cuts that forces state government to live within its means. Across the country, states are making substantial spending reductions and Illinois must do the same – not only to bring our fiscal house in order today but to make Illinois financially sound for the taxpayers of tomorrow.

Also this week, the Illinois Democratic House and Senate caucuses released their suggestions for the upcoming remap of legislative districts. A hearing will be held in Chicago this weekend to consider the proposals and get feedback from lawmakers and the public.

Sen. Althoff, who has been appointed as a temporary member of the Redistricting Committee, will be present at the hearing, which will be held on Saturday, May 21 at noon at the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle St., Committee Room C-600 in Chicago.

Finally, the Illinois Senate has approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Althoff that would improve access and quality of Illinois residents’ healthcare. Senate Bill 1305, which passed the chamber without opposition, would make Illinois the 25th state to join the Nurse Licensure Compact, which allows nurses in a Compact state to treat patients in other Compact states either electronically or in person without having to apply for a separate state licensure.

The move will be a big step forward in improving patient access by allowing for a greater use of telehealth, e-care and other electronic medical services, while preserving the quality of the nurses giving the care – nurses in Compact states must abide by the nursing-related laws of the state in which the patient is being treated.

If you have concerns about the budget, redistricting process or other state issues, please don’t hesitate to contact Sen. Althoff and let her know by emailing her at pamela@pamelaalthoff.net, or calling her district office at 815-455-6330.

 

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