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MORRIS –State Rep. John Anthony (R-Joliet) issued the following statement on submitting his resignation as State Representative of the 75th District on Friday, June 17:

“It is with a heart full of gratitude to the people of Kendall, Grundy, LaSalle and Will Counties that I announce my resignation from the Illinois House of Representatives today. It has been the greatest honor of my career to serve our community in the General Assembly the past three years. I would like to thank everyone who gave me their trust and their support throughout my incredible experience as a legislator. I would like to particularly thank Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Randy Hultgren, Senator Sue Rezin and all local officials for their partnership and support. I enjoyed working with them on outreach events in the community.

I have accepted a new position as Executive Assistant to the Director of the Illinois Department of Corrections. My new role will enable me to continue serving the people of Illinois by utilizing my law enforcement experience and my legislative accomplishments in the area of criminal justice reform to help make the state’s correctional system more efficient and accountable. This is a big task, and one that will allow me to make a positive impact in the lives of families all across the state. I thank my constituents for their support and look forward to serving you in my new position with the Department of Corrections.”

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Burr Ridge, IL… Reacting to the official notice that State Rep. John Anthony (R-Joliet) is resigning his position as State Representative of the 75th District, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) today is praising Anthony for his service and accomplishments. 

“When John was appointed in August of 2013 he immediately hit the ground running and was able to accomplish much in a very short time frame. A former law enforcement officer, John quickly became a go-to guy on issues related criminal justice and corrections. His expertise and insight on these matters will be missed.”  

According to Durkin, Rep. Anthony’s biggest achievement was chief co-sponsorship and passage of a bipartisan, comprehensive heroin reform package. House Bill 1 (Lang-Anthony) includes provisions for a prescription return program, expanded use of drug courts, improved data collection, and providing a drug that counteracts heroin overdoses to first responders. 

“John Anthony worked collaboratively with Republicans and Democrats from both chambers to craft and pass meaningful legislation to combat the growing epidemic of heroin and opioid abuse in Illinois,” said Durkin.  “His effort is saving lives.”

“The next chapter in John’s public career will be in the Illinois Department of Corrections. I know he will approach his new position with the same passion and determination he exhibited in the House of Representatives. My best to John and his family.”

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Budget – Ratings Cut
·         Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s cut Illinois credit rating one notch.  The Moody’s Investors Service ratings cut, from Baa3 to Baa2, together with the Standard & Poor’s ratings downgrade  to BBB-plus, brings Illinois one notch closer to “junk bond” status.  As Illinois’ credit rating declines, Illinois taxpayers must pay higher interest rates.  In addition, the State faces the prospect of substantial supplemental penalties should credit ratings further decline, with borrowing covenant clauses in effect in which the State promised to lenders who have already lent the State money that it would maintain the value of its debt at investment-grade levels.  

Moody’s accompanied the ratings cut with a reaffirmation of its longstanding “negative outlook” statement on Illinois general-obligation (GO) debt, signaling the firm’s belief that further ratings cuts may be imposed on the Prairie State in the relatively near future.  Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s are the world’s #1 and #2 providers of credit ratings to public and private entities.  A third firm that competes with and operates in close affiliation with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, Fitch Ratings, may also soon cut its ratings of Illinois debts. 

The credit ratings posted by Moody’s and its competitors are meant to gauge the probability that a piece of debt paper will go into default.  Credit rating cuts have preceded many of the major public-sector defaults of the recent past, including the city of Detroit and the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.  Governor Bruce Rauner responded to the debt downgrade on Thursday, June 9, with a call for “real structural changes to repair the years of unbalanced budgets and deficit spending.”

By Dan Petrella | Bloomington Pantagraph

SPRINGFIELD — Amid Illinois’ year long budget standoff, only a few issues have brought lawmakers together across party lines.
One is the state’s heroin and opioid crisis. Major legislation aimed at combating addiction and stemming the tide of overdose deaths passed unanimously in the House...
Rep. John Anthony (R-Joliet) speaks on heroin bill.
Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is at right.
State Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, the No. 3 Democrat in the House, championed the bill.“I had read one too many reports about heroin taking over Illinois,” said Lang. “For Illinois to be ground zero in the heroin and opioid problem in this country made me stand up and take notice.”
Lang worked closely with state Rep. John Anthony, R-Joliet, a former Kendall County sheriff’s deputy, in drafting the legislation.

“We’ve moved from crisis to epidemic,” said Anthony. “I don’t know any neighborhood that’s unaffected by heroin.”...

Budget – FY16/FY17
·         Second straight year without a State budget.  As the end of fiscal year 2016 (FY16) approached, House Republicans filed a budget bill, HB 6585, to cover both FY16 “stopgap” expenditures and some urgently-needed FY17 expenditure areas.  It would have appropriated badly-needed money to a wide variety of essential and job-creating state agencies and educational institutions, such as state universities and prisons. The appropriations contained in this bill were fully paid for from existing revenues.  HB 6585 was filed by House Republican leader Jim Durkin on Tuesday, May 31. 

However, the majority House Democrats refused to hear Republican budget bills. To add to the chaotic scene in Springfield’s State Capitol on the final night of the 2016 spring session, the majority Senate Democrats refused to pass the $7.5 billion out-of-balance “budget” approved by the House Democrats.  The supermajority party in the two chambers could not even agree on fake numbers for a massively-unbalanced spending plan for FY17, which will start on July 1, 2016.  In an unprecedented failure to govern, the Democrat supermajority did not pass a state budget by the May 31st deadline.  Entities that have been left waiting for more than 11 months for payment from the State were left in no doubt which party was at fault for the debacle.  Illinois’ public schools were also left unfunded as Democrats left town, pointing fingers at each other. 

A series of special sessions are expected to be held in June for lawmakers to make additional attempts to reach a budget and policy compromise.  Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger has warned lawmakers that some state payments will end, and others will be delayed as long as eight or nine months, unless a budget deal that matches expenditures to revenues is reached prior to the start of the new fiscal year on July 1.   
Budget – FY17
·         $7 billion out-of-balance budget passed by House Democrats.  Illinois House Democrats introduced their own “budget” for FY17, contained in House Floor Amendment #2 to SB 2048, undermining the work of the bipartisan budget working groups that had been making progress toward achieving a compromise to end the budget impasse.

The House Democrats’ budget weighs in at approximately $40 billion in spending with only $33 billion in estimated revenue.  The Democrats unbalanced, unconstitutional proposed budget is $7 billion out-of-balance and would require a 47% tax hike to pay for all the additional spending.

House Republicans were denied a vote verification for a 500-page bill that was introduced a mere 90-minutes before it was called for debate on the House Floor. Democrats then limited the debate to less than an hour with a parliamentarian move. The first vote on Wednesday, May 25, was 63-53-1.  There was a second vote on Thursday and the measure was passed again by a vote of 60-53-1. 

By spending at least $7 billion more than Illinois expects to take in during the spending period, the measure is seen as likely to raise the count of unpaid Illinois bills up to or above $15 billion.  Illinois is already the lowest-ranked of the 50 states in terms of credit rating.  The controversial measure was sent to the state Senate for further discussion and debate.  Governor Rauner has pledged to take veto action on the SB 2048 “budget” bill, should it get to his desk.