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Springfield…On Wednesday, State Representative Jerry Long (R-Streator) cosponsored House Resolution 360, calling for the House to adopt a resolution that contains a fiscal year (FY) 2017 revenue estimate. An estimation of the state’s revenue is the first and most important step in the budget-making process as it gives them the framework for what they are allowed to spend. Lawmakers passed a budget that was nearly $7 billion out of balance for the FY 2016 so pressure is mounting with the May 31st deadline looming around the corner. Rep. Long was found for comment after session concluded Wednesday afternoon.
“The opportunity to come together and end the budget impasse is right now,” stated Long. “That is why I am joining fellow Republicans in urging our colleagues to adopt one of the resolutions containing a revenue estimate. Illinois has gone nearly two years without a budget, and in the meantime, our schools and universities, social service providers and those most in need are struggling. Every day that goes by without honest negotiations and discussions is a wasted opportunity. Neither side of the aisle can fix the budget stalemate by themselves so it’s time to come together and give the taxpayers what they deserve.”
The resolution now awaits approval from the Rules Committee. Constituents that would like to follow this resolution or any other legislation introduced or sponsored by Rep. Long are urged to contact his office at either 815-510-9689 or via email at Long@ilhousegop.org. 

When I was elected on November 8th, 2016, I knew that I was walking into a political hotbed, but I didn’t fully realize how bad things actually were until I stepped foot in Springfield. The problems facing our state have been decades in the making. For example, Illinois’ pension liability represents 10 percent of the entire nation’s pension debt, the overall tax burden for families and businesses is the 5th highest in the nation and we have the 48th worst business climate in the country. These statistics aren’t the result of the last two or three years. They are the direct result of years upon years of failed policies and false promises.
It’s important to know that Michael Madigan and the Democrats have long been in control of the General Assembly and currently have a majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate. Due to these majorities, the Democrats have complete control of the legislative process.
In the House, the majority party alone decides which bills are allowed to move through the legislative process through the powerful Rules Committee.  And after that, it is up to the sole discretion of the Speaker as to which bills are allowed to be called for a vote and when. I have seen this first hand with some of my bills. The majority party didn’t like them, so they refused to call them for a vote. But don’t just take my word on it, last week, the House passed 179 pieces of legislation. Of those, 133 bills were Democrat bills and only 46 were Republican bills.
This concentration of power in the legislature leads to a much larger problem facing Illinois though, and that’s the budget stalemate.
A balanced budget is required in the state of Illinois by our constitution, and there are a number of steps that must be completed in order to make this happen. First, the legislature is required by law to pass a revenue estimate. Then the Governor and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) present their budgets.
The next step is for Senate and House Appropriations Committees to meet, hear testimony from state agencies, and determine the funding levels for those agencies based on the previously approved revenue estimate. Finally, the budget bills are filed, receive votes and move on to the Governor’s desk to be signed. 
If it’s really that simple, what’s the hold up? The fact is, the majority party in the legislature has failed to complete step one. As a reminder, the Illinois Constitution states in Article VIII, section 2, Paragraph b that, "The General Assembly by law shall make appropriations for all expenditures of public funds by the State. Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.
So instead of focusing on step one, the majority party has decided to focus on passing bills totaling $295 million last week alone without identifying how we’re going to pay for it. This has to stop. 
My Republican colleagues and I stand ready and willing to negotiate on a balanced budget that will lead to economic growth in all corners of the state. But we can’t negotiate alone. In a divided government we all have to come together and compromise for the people we represent. 
I remain optimistic about our future because I believe that the people of the 76th District, as well as the people of Illinois, know that we can't keep doing the same thing time and time again while expecting different results. Reckless spending plans, insurmountable debt, and other burdensome legislation have been the norm for too long.  I will continue to push to grow our economy and make Illinois a friendly state to do business in so that we can bring good-paying jobs back to our hard-working families. 
For all the people that I have come to know, and the ones that have expressed concerns about the future of our state, I can't think of a better place to be able to help than fighting for them in Springfield. The opportunity to turn our state around and bring the certainty that families, businesses and future generations deserve is upon us. I hope that my colleagues recognize this opportunity and join me in making Illinois a national leader again and a state for which we can all be proud.
Springfield, IL… State Rep. Jerry Long (R-Streator) today released the following statement following the passage of House Bill 40, a piece of legislation that would expand state employee insurance as well as public aid to cover the expenses of obtaining an abortion or assisted miscarriage:

“Regardless of my personal opinion or religious beliefs, HB40 is an example of the lack of responsibility held by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle when it comes to the job of drafting a constitutionally-mandated, balanced budget.  It is one more assault upon our ability to dig our way out of a deep financial hole that the Democrats put us in in the first place. HB40 will have a $60 million impact on our budget when it is completely unnecessary. I have heard from the people of my district and they very clearly told me not to vote in favor of this legislation. It is deeply concerning that we can’t come to a conclusion on the budget and instead are forced to discuss taxpayer funding of abortions.”

HB40 will now move to the Senate for deliberation.  For any more information regarding legislation passing through the house, Rep. Long urges constituents to check ilga.gov or to contact his office at long@ilhousegop.org or (815)-510-9689.


State Representative Jerry Long announced today that he will be hosting a writing contest for area high schoolers for an opportunity to serve as an honorary page for a day. Students will get an opportunity to serve their state, observe the work that takes place on the House floor, and participate in the Legislative Session.

            Rep. Long is looking for students to write a short, 200-word essay about a law they think would benefit the state of Illinois. Essays should be mailed to Rep. Long’s district office at 201 Danny’s Drive Suite 2 in Streator. Essays will be accepted up until May 9. 
Springfield…. State Rep. Jerry Long (R-Streator) today issued the following statement in reaction to Speaker Madigan’s latest attempt to postpone the passage of a full year budget by simply proposing yet another stopgap spending plan:

“It has been clear for a long time that Speaker Madigan’s plan was to only pass stopgap spending plans,” stated Long. “This is how his side of the aisle works. Right as we are approaching a break, the Democrats push through a spending plan that never balances and ultimately fails to fix the real problems affecting our state.

It seems that the legislature has forgotten that we are bound by the Illinois Constitution, Article VIII Section 2 Paragraph B, to require that we ensure that our expenditures do not outpace our total revenue. The Democratic majority has chosen to ignore this simple fact and pass legislation that does nothing to pay down our $13 billion bill backlog, our $130 billion pension liability, or address any other long term problems for that matter. We have to stop doing the same thing time and time again. By kicking this can down the road, they have directly endangered the future of this State.”  


The bill will now move to the Senate for deliberation. Constituents interested in details regarding any legislation should either visit ilga.gov or contact Rep. Long’s office via email long@ilhousegop.org or by phone at 815-510-9689.
Springfield, IL…State Representative Jerry Long (R-Streator) had his first bill pass through the house, today.  House Bill 3189 repeals the Specialty Farm Product Buyers Act and passed with unanimous, bipartisan support.

The Specialty Farm Product Buyers Act made buyers register with the state and pay an annual renewal fee.  Rep. Long was reached for comment after session concluded for the day.

“Administrative costs to collect these annual fees exceeded the amount of money we were collecting from them.  The goal here in the General Assembly these days should be to make our government run more efficiently and save taxpayer dollars by eliminating waste and fraud, so I will continue to seek reforms that cut back on spending.”


The bill will now be sent to the Senate for deliberation. Constituents that wish to learn more about legislation sponsored by Rep. Long should visit www.ilga.gov
State Representative Jerry Long's legislative survey for the 76th District is available for constituents to take online. Rep. Long's legislative survey is eleven questions and constituents can click HERE to take the survey.

Residents of the 76th District can learn more about all legislation sponsored by Rep. Long during the spring legislative session on www.ilga.gov or by calling his legislative office at (815) 510-9689.