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SPRINGFIELD – Retiring K-9 police dogs can be offered for adoption to their handler under a new bill sponsored by State Rep. John Anthony (R-Joliet), in an effort to ensure the humane treatment of dogs upon completion of their public service.

The bill, SB 3129, specifically provides that a police dog which is deemed no longer fit for public service may be offered by the county, municipal, or State law enforcement agency to the officer or employee who had custody and control of the animal during its service. If the officer or employee does not wish to keep the dog, it may be offered to another officer or employee in the agency, or to a non-profit organization or a no-kill animal shelter that may facilitate an appropriate adoption of the dog.
State Rep. John Anthony (R-Joliet) sponsored a town hall meeting on property taxes at the Kendall Township building on Thursday. Homeowners learned about the process by which property taxes are assessed and how to appeal if they believe they may have been over-assessed. Kendall Township Assessor Michael Hardecopf was also in attendance and helped answer constituent questions.
 
FY16 Budget

·        As budget crunch deepens, Republicans offer real solutions.  As of April 2016, the State has entered its tenth month without a balanced budget, making Illinois the only state that has not yet enacted a spending plan for the current fiscal year.  No plans have been enacted to control and continue State spending during this period.  Many providers of essential social healthcare services, including vitally-needed services for seniors, veterans, persons with challenges relating to mental health or developmental disability, and victims of domestic and sexual violence, have been affected by this lack of budget appropriations.  Many of these entities have been forced by cash-flow realities to reduce services.  Some of these service providers have been forced to lay off personnel, and in some cases to completely shut their doors, in the communities they serve or have served. 

In this impasse, House Republicans and House Democrats have responded in different ways.  House Republican Leader Jim Durkin is co-sponsoring HB 6553, the “lifeline” bill, with Senate Republican Leader Radogno.  Supported by members of the House Republican Caucus, HB 6553 would allocate $1.3 billion in funding to providers of community services in areas where the need is most intense.  The measure is backed by transfers of real money, including proceeds to the State from immediate pension reform measures.  HB 6553 is backed by Governor Bruce Rauner, who has assured General Assembly members of both parties that he will participate in negotiations to finalize what spending items should be covered in this measure.  The Governor has told Illinois House Members and Senators that he expects to be able to sign a “lifeline” bill similar to HB 6553 if it conforms to the broad outlines of this proposal, is passed by both houses of the General Assembly, and is transmitted to his desk.
State Rep. John Anthony (R-Joliet) joined thousands of Second Amendment advocates at the Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) rally in the Capitol Rotunda on Wednesday. Rep. Anthony spoke about recent achievements and the need for continued bipartisan cooperation to preserve the Constitutional freedoms of Illinois families. Rep. Anthony has sponsored several bills over the past three years to strengthen and expand Second Amendment rights in Illinois.
YORKVILLE – Local homeowners interested in learning about the process for determining property taxes and how to appeal if they believe they may have been over-assessed are invited to attend a free outreach forum on Thursday, April 28 sponsored by State Rep. John Anthony (R-Joliet) entitled “Understanding and Appealing Your Property Tax Assessment”.

The forum will be held at 10:00am on Thursday, April 28 at the Kendall Township Town Hall in Yorkville, 9925 Illinois Route 47, (just north of Walker Road).
The forum will include a presentation about the property tax assessment process followed by a question-and-answer session with staff knowledgeable about property tax policy. Free informational brochures will also be provided.
Budget – FY16

·         Illinois budget impasse sets modern record among 50 U.S. states.  With the coming of April 2016, the FY16 budget impasse entered its tenth month.  According to the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), which maintains a database of the actions of legislative bodies nationwide, this is the longest time that any U.S. state has gone without a budget in the history of modern governmental activity.  

There has been no state budget in place since June 30, 2015, the last day of FY15.  The General Assembly was not able to pass a constitutional balanced budget in spring 2015 for FY16, and their subsequent meetings have not resolved the impasse.  While some facets of State spending have completely stopped, other areas – especially areas of social spending controlled by court orders, consent decrees, and continuing appropriations – are generating increasing liabilities for taxpayers.   Comptroller Leslie Munger has warned lawmakers that at current rates the State and its taxpayers will face a backlog of $10 billon in unpaid bills by the time the current fiscal year ends on June 30, 2016.