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House Downstate Democrats work for the good people of Illinois

Ammons won’t run for Davis’ seat

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Photo by: Holly Hart

Holly Hart/The News-Gazette State Representative Carol Ammons hosts a “listening session” at the Champaign Public Library, while exploring a bid for U.S. 13th Congressional District seat currently held by U.S. Representative Rodney Davis. Sunday, June 4, 2017.

URBANA — Saying it was “one of the hardest decisions of my life,” State Representative Carol Ammons has decided not to run for Congress.

“With my deepest appreciation for your support and encouragement, I have decided not to run for the 13th Congressional District in 2018,” Ammons posted on her Facebook page on Monday night.

Ammons, D-Urbana, had been considering challenging incumbent Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, for the past two months and held several “listening sessions” throughout the district during that time.

“Across the 13th Congressional District, from Champaign-Urbana to Edwardsville, I heard you say that the issues and policies impacting your lives on a day-to-day basis, the ones pushing you into survival mode, crushing your families and dampening your children’s dreams, are primarily state issues,” Ammons said. “What I heard at the listening sessions, loudest and clearest, is that right now I am needed most in state government, fighting for Champaign-Urbana and all of Illinois in 2018.”

Ammons, a two-term state representative and former Urbana City Council and Champaign County Board member, said she intends to continue to serve in state government.

“Although many have asked me to run for Congress, many more have asked me to remain a voice in Springfield,” she said. “Right now, Springfield is where I need to be and I promise to continue to be your voice when you’re not there to speak for yourselves.”

Ammons said that, just because she is not pursuing a Congressional seat, she will continue her criticism of Davis.

“Make no mistake — I will still be using my voice to hold Congressman Davis accountable in the coming election,” Ammons said. “He voted to take health coverage away from more than 50,000 of his constituents and has refused to honor his constituent’s requests for town halls.”

During an appearance at the Champaign Public Library in June, Ammons had expressed concerns over raising enough money to challenge Davis.

“What prevents me from declaring tomorrow is the big dollar sign we’ve got to raise,” Ammons said. “If we can’t raise enough money to outspend Americans For Prosperity, which is supporting Rodney Davis and giving him the money, it makes it difficult for me to be competitive.”

The 13th Congressional District extends from Champaign-Urbana on the northeast to Collinsville and Edwardsville on the southwest. It includes all of Champaign-Urbana, Decatur and Springfield and parts of Bloomington-Normal.

Ammons did not immedately return calls from The News-Gazette for comment.

Ammons’ husband, Aaron Ammons, serves on the Urbana City Council.

Protecting Southern Illinois Transportation | Alton Daily News

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State Representative Dan Beiser of Alton is urging Governor Rauner to sign a bill to protect funding designated for downstate transportation funding. The downstate transportation funding would ensure roads, bridges, and other parts of the transit system are protected.

click here for Beiser’s comments

Beiser says quote “Too often downstate Illinois loses out on money that gets redirected to Chicago and this measure would stop it.” The funding will be generated automatically through the state sales tax and put into a separate fund.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ http://ift.tt/19rx5wC)

Protecting Southern Illinois Transportation | Alton Daily News

http://ift.tt/2tTKvfQ

State Representative Dan Beiser of Alton is urging Governor Rauner to sign a bill to protect funding designated for downstate transportation funding. The downstate transportation funding would ensure roads, bridges, and other parts of the transit system are protected.

click here for Beiser’s comments

Beiser says quote “Too often downstate Illinois loses out on money that gets redirected to Chicago and this measure would stop it.” The funding will be generated automatically through the state sales tax and put into a separate fund.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ http://ift.tt/19rx5wC)

Beiser highlights efforts to protect services that help seniors

http://ift.tt/2uAtdZn 42816100234-Dan-Beiser.png ALTON – Continuing his efforts to provide vital services to seniors, state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, is highlighting programs designed to help seniors that were fully funded in the balanced budget

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Beiser votes to protect funding for families of fallen police officers, firefighters

http://ift.tt/2ujZPqc Bruce Rauner vetoed funding for this program every time it was included in a budget that went to him for approval. In the balanced budget that Beiser …

Lawmakers finally pass state budget: Chancellor, students discuss effects on university

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With the state of Illinois passing its first budget since 2015, there are a lot of questions to be answered, specifically questions regarding funding for higher education.

The state went 736 days without a budget and SIUE kept open with 29 percent of the state appropriation for the ‘15-‘16 fiscal year and 53 percent of the state appropriation for ‘16-‘17 fiscal year, according to Chancellor Randy Pembrook.

“We crossed over from June 30 to July 1 and we thought that was the end of the ‘16-‘17 situation, and so when they passed the legislation, they not only acted on ‘17-‘18 funding, but they restored the entire budget for ‘16- ‘17,” Pembrook said.

Katie Stuart, state representative for the 112th district, which emcompasses SIUE, voted against the override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 9, but clarified she voted to override Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 6, which includes the funding for higher education.

“I want to note the importance of higher education statewide and in the area. SIUE is one of the largest employers and having it in a crisis situation wasn’t helping anything,” Stuart said.

Senior accounting major Blake Bamper, of Maryville, also expressed concern about the tax icrease negatively affecting a lot of people, but said the benefits make up for the negatives.

“It’s going to be a tough one to swallow for some people. I think overall, the benefits are gonna outweigh the negatives of the tax hike. The benefits of just having budget outweigh that,” Bamper said. 

Because the bill passed, SIUE will now be able to operate within the original outlined budget, provide Monetary Award Program funding and continue to work on building projects, Pembrook said.

“The backfill for ‘16-‘17 is about 27 to 28 million, the MAP funding for ‘16-‘17 will be between 6 to 7 million dollars. The 90 percent [allocation for] ‘17- ‘18 will be about 53 million dollars and we expect MAP funding for about 7 million dollars,” Pembrook said. 

One of the immediate changes students, faculty and staff will see is the completion of construction on the Science East building, which will be done in the coming Fall.

“The reappropriation for Science East is a 26 million dollar project. They had done about 20 million, so the last, between 6 and 7 million dollars will be coming forward on that,” Pembrook said.

According to Pembrook, Alumni and Founders halls will see renovations after the Science East building is done, and they hope to have two auditoriums up and running in about a month or so. 

The expansion of Dunham Hall to include two new performance facilities, is also on the list of projects to be completed. Because of the state funding and private gifts, they can now move on to the next stage of planning for that renovation.

Senior secondary education and biology major Heather Kotlarczyk, of Hazlewood, Mo., said she can’t think of much that needs to be changed at SIUE, regarding the funding from the budget pass.

“I feel like they should talk to professors about what they want see and that would be a good idea. I like so much about this school I don’t know what I would change or want to see changed,” Kotlarczyk said.

As far as new projects go, Pembrook said there are 8 or 10 things that the he and the budget committee discussed in their meeting Thursday, July 6.

Pembrook said they talked about salaries, marketing and branding, retention initiatives, new programs that could help offer cutting edge things and an innovation fund. They also talked about the teaching excellence center in the library, new staffing and the IT department.

“This isn’t to say that we are going to be able to afford and do all of these, I want to be clear on that, but [these are] things we discussed that maybe can be part of a discussion now,” Pembrook said.

Senior computer science major John Scheibal, of Edwardsville, said he would like to see the school use its funding to bring more professional degrees to the campus.

“I think it needs to have more masters and doctorate like programs. Like if you could go to SIUE and get a degree in law it would draw in so many people. They should focus on making sure people have the opportunity to do what they want and not have to go somewhere else afterwards,” Scheibal said.

SIUE’s Edwardsville campus is not the only place to see continued improvement.

Pembrook said we should see continued improvement on the East. St. Louis and Alton campuses as well, and the progress will move faster because of the funding.

Even though there is now a budget,  Pembrook said they  don’t plan on restoring everything they cut in face of the budget crisis. 

“As the institution begins to evolve, we are trying to make sure that all of things we do have a real purpose and we are efficient in doing them,” Pembrook said.

According to Pembrook, the budget committee has agreed to meet again in about a month and should know more about of distribution of funding and the time in which it will happen.

 

© 2017 AlestleLive.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Lawmakers finally pass state budget: Chancellor, students discuss effects on university

http://ift.tt/2sPHkq4

With the state of Illinois passing its first budget since 2015, there are a lot of questions to be answered, specifically questions regarding funding for higher education.

The state went 736 days without a budget and SIUE kept open with 29 percent of the state appropriation for the ‘15-‘16 fiscal year and 53 percent of the state appropriation for ‘16-‘17 fiscal year, according to Chancellor Randy Pembrook.

“We crossed over from June 30 to July 1 and we thought that was the end of the ‘16-‘17 situation, and so when they passed the legislation, they not only acted on ‘17-‘18 funding, but they restored the entire budget for ‘16- ‘17,” Pembrook said.

Katie Stuart, state representative for the 112th district, which emcompasses SIUE, voted against the override of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 9, but clarified she voted to override Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 6, which includes the funding for higher education.

“I want to note the importance of higher education statewide and in the area. SIUE is one of the largest employers and having it in a crisis situation wasn’t helping anything,” Stuart said.

Senior accounting major Blake Bamper, of Maryville, also expressed concern about the tax icrease negatively affecting a lot of people, but said the benefits make up for the negatives.

“It’s going to be a tough one to swallow for some people. I think overall, the benefits are gonna outweigh the negatives of the tax hike. The benefits of just having budget outweigh that,” Bamper said. 

Because the bill passed, SIUE will now be able to operate within the original outlined budget, provide Monetary Award Program funding and continue to work on building projects, Pembrook said.

“The backfill for ‘16-‘17 is about 27 to 28 million, the MAP funding for ‘16-‘17 will be between 6 to 7 million dollars. The 90 percent [allocation for] ‘17- ‘18 will be about 53 million dollars and we expect MAP funding for about 7 million dollars,” Pembrook said. 

One of the immediate changes students, faculty and staff will see is the completion of construction on the Science East building, which will be done in the coming Fall.

“The reappropriation for Science East is a 26 million dollar project. They had done about 20 million, so the last, between 6 and 7 million dollars will be coming forward on that,” Pembrook said.

According to Pembrook, Alumni and Founders halls will see renovations after the Science East building is done, and they hope to have two auditoriums up and running in about a month or so. 

The expansion of Dunham Hall to include two new performance facilities, is also on the list of projects to be completed. Because of the state funding and private gifts, they can now move on to the next stage of planning for that renovation.

Senior secondary education and biology major Heather Kotlarczyk, of Hazlewood, Mo., said she can’t think of much that needs to be changed at SIUE, regarding the funding from the budget pass.

“I feel like they should talk to professors about what they want see and that would be a good idea. I like so much about this school I don’t know what I would change or want to see changed,” Kotlarczyk said.

As far as new projects go, Pembrook said there are 8 or 10 things that the he and the budget committee discussed in their meeting Thursday, July 6.

Pembrook said they talked about salaries, marketing and branding, retention initiatives, new programs that could help offer cutting edge things and an innovation fund. They also talked about the teaching excellence center in the library, new staffing and the IT department.

“This isn’t to say that we are going to be able to afford and do all of these, I want to be clear on that, but [these are] things we discussed that maybe can be part of a discussion now,” Pembrook said.

Senior computer science major John Scheibal, of Edwardsville, said he would like to see the school use its funding to bring more professional degrees to the campus.

“I think it needs to have more masters and doctorate like programs. Like if you could go to SIUE and get a degree in law it would draw in so many people. They should focus on making sure people have the opportunity to do what they want and not have to go somewhere else afterwards,” Scheibal said.

SIUE’s Edwardsville campus is not the only place to see continued improvement.

Pembrook said we should see continued improvement on the East. St. Louis and Alton campuses as well, and the progress will move faster because of the funding.

Even though there is now a budget,  Pembrook said they  don’t plan on restoring everything they cut in face of the budget crisis. 

“As the institution begins to evolve, we are trying to make sure that all of things we do have a real purpose and we are efficient in doing them,” Pembrook said.

According to Pembrook, the budget committee has agreed to meet again in about a month and should know more about of distribution of funding and the time in which it will happen.

 

© 2017 AlestleLive.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

RSVP to this FREE Resume Workshop presented by Rep. Sue Scherer. July 12, 2pm, Shilling Center. Call 217.877.9636

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Richland
@RCCDecaturIL

RSVP to this FREE Resume Workshop presented by Rep. Sue Scherer. July 12, 2pm, Shilling Center. Call 217.877.9636

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Yingling guest at next Round Lake Beach fireside chat

http://ift.tt/2ub9u2X State Rep. Sam Yingling will join Round Lake Beach Mayor Rich Hill for a “Fireside Chat” from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, at the Round Lake Beach …

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