Rep. Miller’s Weekly Newsletter (5/20/23)

It’s Not Over

Back in Session Next Week

  • Democrats in Disarray
  • Session to Continue Past May 19th End Date
  • No Budget Yet 
  • No Extension for Invest in Kids Act 
  • More Bills Under Consideration

Friday May 19th was the scheduled date for regular session to be over. The Democrats though have yet to presenta budget or even include all but a small number of Republicans in budget discussions. Here’s what Politico reported in their daily email this morning, and it mirrors what we are hearing as well:

Here’s the hangup: A state program that offers health benefits to undocumented adults is ballooning. When it was started a few years ago, lawmakers estimated it to run from

$2 million to $4 million. Now health officials say the state needs more than $1.1 billion to keep it running because the number of participants far exceeds what the state had planned on.

Finding the dollars: The governor’s budget had accounted for $220 million of that. Now, House and Senate leaders must figure out how to make up the rest.

And here’s a twist: Advocates and supporters are trying to expand the program to even more people, but that would cost hundreds of millions more on top of the $1.1 billion cost for the current population served.

To add to the hang up on the budget, Democrat leadership in the House is having a problem with staff. Welch’s staffwants to unionize and Welch, despite this March receiving the President’s award from the Illinois EducationAssociation – the most powerful union in the state, is not in favor of having his staff in a union.

On the Budget, a few bullet comments:

  • Last month’s revenue is down $1.8 billion compared to the same month last NO agreed revenue number yet.
  • Rumors are that DEMOCRAT members will receive $1 million in member initiative projects to hand out in their Noword on if Republican members will get anything. I don’t favor earmarks, but if they have them, Republicans should get them as well.
  • Big fight over non-citizen healthcare cost as noted Add to that the request from Chicago to help fund services for the illegal immigrants that have shown up after crossing the border illegally.
  • There has been over $1 billion in new programs suggested just for the state government administration budget
  • Schools/Preschools/Childcare – all want more money
  • Another LEGISLATOR PAY RAISE has also been That would be the 5th year in a row.


1. HB 1286 – Equitable Bathrooms. This bill allows for multi-gender, multi-stall restrooms. It Requires certain newly constructed or previously existing restrooms to be designated as all-gender multiple-occupancy restrooms.

Big fight in the Senate on the bill. Senator Neil Andersen is quoted in Politico as saying, “he would “beat the living piss” out of any man who walked into a restroom with his daughter.”

2. SB 850 – Taxpayer Funded Grocery Stores. Estimated First Year Cost – $20 million. This Bill willestablish a Grocery Initiative to expand access to healthy foods in food deserts in Illinois by providing assistance to independently owned for-profit grocery stores, as well as grocery stores owned and operated by local governmental units.

This bill comes after Walmart decided to close half of their stores in Chicago. There was a big outcry that people would have to travel far to get groceries. Here’s the problem, grocery stores make very little profit onindividual items. Their profit comes from volume. If they don’t sell a lot stuff, they can’t turn a profit. The regulations on employers are enormous. The property taxes and business taxes are another hurdle forbusiness in Illinois, especially small grocers. But, the taxpayers funding a grocery store takes us one more step to SOCIALISM. This is such a bad idea.

3. SB3500 – Local bill to allow a Joliet school district to exceed their debt limit. These happen nearly every year. The debt limit was put in place for a reason – to limit property tax hikes for property But, instead of forcing the schools to pay off their current debt before asking for more, legislators simply override the law. Another injustice in this state.

4. SB 1818 – NEW STATE FLAG! Because we need one?

Creates the Illinois Flag Commission for the purpose of developing new State flag designs and making recommendations to the General Assembly concerning whether the current State flag ought to be replaced with a redesigned State flag.

5. SB 1526 – Requires IDOT to develop a mobile app to track traffic This is redundant as other apps on the market already do this. A Fiscal Note was file on the bill and the cost to develop it was over $2 million with recurring costs of $775,000.

6. HB 218 – Catchall bill that allows gun manufacturers to be sued in a variety of Interesting thing about the bill is that when the Democrats passed and Governor Pritzker signed the “Protecting Our Communities” bill that banned commonly used firearms, that bill specifically allowed gun manufacturers to still make their product in Illinois and then sell it in other states. They could have banned the production of these weapons but they didn’t. Now they are coming back around to allowing Manufacturers to be sued for various advertising and even straw purchases.

7. SB 58 – Getting rid of polystyrene in state government. Basically, tracking and ratting on State agencies who don’t procure contracts for one year for their single-use plastics until they are banned altogether. Yeah…

8. HB 2392 – Teacher Union Reps Get a 10-Day Pass with No Pay Docking. Amends the Employment of Teachers Article of the School Code. Provides that any teacher who is a member of a statewide association representing teachers and who is elected by the association’s membership to represent the association in federal advocacy work may spend up to 10 days during a school term representing the association in federal advocacy work. Provides that no deduction of wages may be made for such absence, and the statewide association shall reimburse the employing school district for the cost of the need for a substitute teacher as the result of the teacher’s absence.

9. HB 2396 – Mandates Schools Provide Full-Day Kindergarten. beginning with the 2023-2024 school year, each school board must establish a kindergarten with full-day attendance

10. HB2862 – BIG LABOR mandates for temporary hires during a strike. Employers can’t pay replacement workers any less than what the striking workers were receiving.

Illinois Poised to End Scholarships for Low-Income Students,

Force Them into Failing Schools

Charleston, IL:  Republican members of the House circulated a letter supporting the extension of the Invest in Kids scholarship fund which is slated to sunset at the end of 2023. The program currently gives over 9,000 kids hope for a better education and a better life through tax-credit scholarships when the traditional public school system fails them. If the program is not extended Illinois will be the first state in the nation to kill a school choice program. This year neighboring states of Iowa and Indiana have made school choice universal or nearly universal.  

“Three out of four legislative leaders have chosen private school for themselves or their children, so has the Governor and numerous other legislators. It is unbelievable that they would deny low-income kids the same opportunity they availed themselves to. How can anyone send a student back to a school where no kids are at grade level in math or reading?  And yet, those are the types of schools we have and these children need an escape from.” said State Representative Chris Miller.

“Misinformation is now circulating that the legislature can act later to extend the program. Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch’s office, either ignorantly or deceptively, put out a statement that legislators have until the end of the year to extend the Invest in Kids Program- this is blatantly FALSE. The Illinois legislature must act before regular session ends to extend this program. For the 2023-24 school year families and scholarship granting organizations must know if an extension of the program will be approved now in order to register students and align scholarships with students and schools. This activity all happens over the next two months.” Miller further explained.

To date, 32 members have signed the letter.  A copy of the letter is below.

This scholarship program has helped thousands of deserving Illinois students living in under-resourced communities to access a high-quality education, and this is what genuine school choice looks like.

 Watch My Recent Videos Here:

  • Support For The Illinois ‘Invest In Kids’ Scholarship Fund
  • Lack Of State Budget:
  • Consequences of Democrats Ending Title 42

Don’t Believe Your Lyin’ Eyes

While Illinois schools continue to lose enrollment due to their jaw-dropping inability to actually educate students, Democrat lawmakers are pulling every stunt they can to eliminate the last shred of school choice (AKA hope) for the most vulnerable children in the state. Illinois government schools lost 0.8% of their enrollment last year compared to 2021. Only Hawaii lost more, shrinking by 1.7%.

Check out this PARTIAL list of sitting Illinois rule-making-hypocrites who have had the privilege of a private education while simultaneously robbing those in need of the same opportunity:

  • Democrat State Representative Jamie Andrade received an excellent education from Gordon Tech (which was an all-male Catholic school at the time). The public school district he represents is producing only 5 percent of students proficient in math and English.
  • Democrat State Senator Elgie Sims attended Quigley South, a private Catholic school. In the district he represents NO student in the public high school is proficient in math.
  • Republican State Representative Jackie Haas attended St. Patrick’s grade school and Bishop McNamara High School, and she is one of the people who removed her name from Amy Grant’s bill. Her district’s public high school can only report 7 percent of students proficient in math.
  • Governor Pritzker and his children are all beneficiaries of a quality private education. Illinois Attorney General, Kwame Raoul- private education. Illinois Secretary of State, Alexi Giannoulias- private education.
  • Current Speaker of the House Chris Welch sends his children to private school, but the public high school where he served as Board President for 12 years can only claim that 12 percent of their students read at grade level. AND YET, he received the President’s Award from the Illinois Education Association earlier this year.

We all see what’s going on here.

Will Brandon Johnson Make Lori Lightfoot Look Like A Conservative?

The last thing the City of Chicago (henceforth, Illinois) needs is another incompetent, left-wing goose-stepper. But it appears that’s just what we’re getting  in newly-sworn-in Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson.

In his first speech as mayor, he demoralized Chicago police and reinforced why he thinks Chicago should be a sanctuary city.

Ending On A High Note…

Illinois may be known for its prairies and farmland, but nestled in the northwest corner of the state is Illinois’ highest point- Charles Mound. It is a hidden treasure that is surrounded by scenic routes that are a pleasure to drive through.

Here is a map of the new 101st House District. Use this link for a clearer picture and to enter your address to see if you live in the district:

As your state representative, my office is available to assist you with any issues you may have when interacting with a state agency.

Please call our office at (217) 508-4108 to get help or schedule an appointment to see me.

The office is located at 1113 Lincoln Ave., Charleston, and is open Monday-Friday from 9am to 4 pm.