Tag Archives: Kay Hatcher

Dave Anderson, Village President

Officials celebrate Anderson bridge groundbreaking

ELBURN—Decades in the planning, construction is set to begin on the Anderson Road bridge as public officials put shovels in the ground on Monday.

The shovels symbolized breaking ground on the project that will provide an overpass to the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. Officials from all levels of government, from village to federal, gathered at the construction site near the intersection of Anderson Road and Prairie Valley Street in Elburn for Monday’s ceremony.

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said reaching this point in the project is the result of hard work, cooperation, collaboration and compromise, along with a heavy dose of federal, county and state funding.

The project will extend Anderson Road, which currently ends at Prairie Valley Street, to Keslinger Road to the south, as well as build the bridge, which will provide an alternate to crossing the railroad tracks on Route 47 through Elburn.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson, Lauzen, Kane County Board member/Transportation Committee Chair Drew Frasz and Kane County engineer Carl Shoedel were among those who spoke at the event.

State Rep. Kay Hatcher, ShoDeen Inc. president Dave Patzelt, Kaneland School District Superintendent Jeff Schuler and Elburn trustee Bill Grabarek were among those in attendance.

Elburn Village President Dave Anderson said he could remember when there were no bridges over what was then the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad. There was just a rickety old bridge over Harley Road, he said.

The progress that the Anderson Road bridge exemplifies is the result of the foresight and cooperation of governmental partners, Anderson said.

Kane County Engineer Carl Shoedel earned a round of applause when he said that, while happy to see this progress, he will be even more excited when the road and the bridge is open to traffic, and the project is completed on time and under budget.

Martam Construction, Inc., together with Herlihy Mid-Continent Company, was awarded its $14.4 million bid on the project, approximately 25 percent less than the engineer’s original project estimate of $19.8 million.

Breaking ground this fall will give it time to freeze and thaw throughout the winter, leaving it ready for construction to begin by spring, Frasz said. He anticipates the project to be completed by late 2014 or early spring 2015.

Frasz said that there was a time in the past year when completion of the project was in question. Patzelt owned the property necessary for the right-of-way for the bridge, and annexation of this land for ShoDeen’s Elburn Station development was a prerequisite to the construction of the bridge.

But Frasz said that in the end, Patzelt and the village were able to come to an agreement on the development. He credited village trustees, and Grabarek in particular, for their careful consideration of the details of the project.

Anderson extolled the positive outcomes that will take place as a result of the bridge, including increased connectivity and accessibility to the Metra station, the industrial park and the downtown area, as well as the safety and welfare of the people within the community.

Anderson said that when the bridge is finished, a bike and pedestrian pathway will provide access to county forest preserves Elburn Woods and Johnson’s Mound.

He reflected that the project had involved generations of elected officials.

“It was all of us,” Anderson said, mentioning the Kane County Board, the Transportation Committee with Frasz’s leadership and Jan Carlson before him, former Elburn Village President Jim Willey, as well as former Speaker of the U.S. House Dennis Hastert, who brought the federal dollars home to Kane County.

“This was started before us,” Anderson said. “We were fortunate enough to be a part of it.”

The build-out of the Elburn Station development will begin once the bridge has been completed.

“The bridge will provide for the efficient movement of traffic, and will be a catalyst for positive development of the entire region,” Anderson said.

Twenty years from now, we’ll be astounded how much activity and how much traffic this bridge will have,” he added.


Photos by Patti Wilk

Hatcher hosts identity theft protection events for seniors

YORKVILLE—Fox Valley seniors are invited to learn more about how to protect themselves from scams and identity theft at a pair of events—one in Kendall County and one in Kane County—hosted by state Representative Kay Hatcher.

The Senior Protection Seminars will both be held on Tuesday, April 10:
• 9:30 a.m., Yorkville Senior Center, 908 Game Farm Road in Yorkville.
• 1 pm, Lions Park, 500 S. Filmore St. in Elburn.

The seminars will include informative presentations from representatives of the Illinois Attorney General’s office and the Illinois Comptroller’s office on how to safeguard your credit card, social security and other personal and financial information to prevent it from falling into the hands of criminals. Handouts and refreshments will also be provided.

“Identity theft is the fastest growing crime in the nation, and many of these thieves specifically target seniors,” Hatcher said. “I hope all area seniors concerned about keeping their personal information and their financial accounts safe will join us on the 10th.”

Seniors wishing to attend are asked to RSVP to Hatcher’s office at (630) 553-3223, or e-mail info@kayhatcher.us.

Rep. Hatcher to host local traveling office hours

YORKVILLE—To continue reaching out to citizens of the 50th District, state Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) has scheduled traveling office hours in communities including Elburn, Maple Park, North Aurora, Sugar Grove and Big Rock.

“A lack of time or transportation makes it difficult for some constituents to visit my district office when they have a problem,” Hatcher said. “To make it easier for them, I have scheduled a number of traveling office hour visits in communities across the 50th District. I hope you will swing by, whether you have an issue you would like to discuss with me or if you just want to say ‘hello’.”

Hatcher or a member of her staff will be available at each traveling office stop:

• Maple Park—Friday, Aug. 19, at the Maple Park Civic Center, 302 Willow St., 9 a.m to noon.
• Elburn—Friday, Aug. 19, at the Elburn Village Hall, 301 East North St., 1 to 3:30 p.m.
• North Aurora—Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the North Aurora Village Hall, 25 E. State St., 9 a.m. to noon.
• Sugar Grove—Thursday, Aug. 25, at the Sugar Grove Village Hall, 10 South Municipal Drive, 9 a.m. to noon.
• Big Rock—Tuesday, Sept. 6, Big Rock Village Hall, 408 Rhodes Ave., 9 a.m. to noon.

No appointments are necessary, and walk-ins are welcome.

Constituents can reach Hatcher’s Yorkville office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at (630) 553-3223, or by e-mail at info@kayhatcher.us.

Rep. Hatcher named to New Youth Development Council

YORKVILLE—State Representative Kay Hatcher has been named to a new state council that will oversee funding and program recommendations for after-school activities for youth.

The Illinois Youth Development Council was created by a new state law last year to oversee the use of state funds and set goals and policies to promote positive youth development programs and activities.

Rep. Hatcher (R-Yorkville) was named to serve as the House Republicans’ representative on the council by House Republican Leader Tom Cross.

“Representative Hatcher’s background in recreational programs through her involvement with local park districts and the Kendall County Forest Preserve make her a perfect fit for this council,” Cross said.

“Participating in after-school activities makes children more likely to succeed in their schoolwork, and later, in the workforce. It also encourages them to get more involved in their community,” Hatcher said. “I’m very pleased to have a seat on a council created to help facilitate quality after-school programs.”

Illinois Youth Development Council responsibilities will include establishing an annual plan that sets goals for after-school funding, advising other state agencies, constitutional officers and the General Assembly on after-school related activities and awarding grants to “demonstration projects” that promote academic support, arts, music, sports, health promotion or life skills and career development activities.

Hatcher noted that the legislation creating the commission is subject to appropriation. However, the state Department of Human Services will be permitted to accept private funding or private resources at any time to help promote and fund after-school activities.

Protecting community funds—for now

Mayors visit capitol to keep state from cutting village funds
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—With Local Government Distributive Funds (LGDF) in jeopardy of elimination, a group of mayors and village presidents made a show of force in Springfield to urge lawmakers not to eliminate the distribution of that money to municipalities. They succeeded in that the issue was never brought up to the Senate in this session.

The money in these funds is income tax collected from residents of each municipality, a portion of which is sent back to the towns to be used to pay for crucial services like snow removal, police protection, and other daily services. According to Village President Dave Anderson, the LGDF monies make up 30 percent of Elburn’s budget.

Two weeks ago, Anderson and three other village presidents from the Metro West Council of Government, from Kane, Kendall and DeKalb counties, drove to Springfield for a press conference at the Capitol. They met with 35 other mayors and village presidents in the Illinois Municipal League office before going before the cameras and reporters.

“A potential cut in LGDF would affect every municipality in the state of Illinois,” Anderson said. “There were (mayors and village presidents) from Springfield, Rock Island—from all over the state.”

The idea to eliminate LGDF was first brought up last summer, and the group wanted to let legislators and the public know what could happen if it was eliminated. Anderson wrote letters to both state Sen. Chris Lauzen (R-25) and state Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-50) to get their support.

Minutes before the press conference began, Anderson said the chairman of the group of municipal leaders that set up the press conference tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he would speak.

“She said, ‘You’re not from a home-rule community, so why don’t you get up and speak?’” Anderson said.

A home-rule community is one with a population of at least 25,000 that thereby has the authority to establish additional taxes to help make up for the loss of funds like LGDF. A community like Elburn cannot establish additional taxes without an election.

“It would be a double whammy for communities that are not home-ruled. If this goes through, we lose 30 percent of our operating funds. And we have no way of making that up,” Anderson told the press in Springfield. “We have already made our cuts.”

Both the police and fire unions stood side by side with the group of municipal leaders. Their departments would be some of the first to be cut if the funds weren’t available.

Ultimately, the issue never came to a vote because it never was brought up. But the victory for municipalities is tenuous.

“What I’m scared of is that this is ‘for now,’” Anderson said.

Rep. Hatcher advances protections for grieving families during funeral services

Springfield—State Rep. Kay Hatcher advanced legislation last week protecting grieving families from protests and other disrespectful conduct during funeral services for a loved one.

Hatcher (R-Yorkville) won overwhelming House approval of House Bill 180, which prohibits disorderly conduct near a funeral site while a funeral or memorial service is being conducted.

“This is a simple issue of respect and consideration owed to families saying goodbye to a loved one,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher’s legislation was inspired by hurtful protests at funeral services for fallen soldiers. It prohibits protests and disorderly conduct within 1,000 feet of a funeral site (currently 200 feet) and also prohibits protests from 60 minutes before the funeral begins to 60 minutes after the service ends (currently 30 minutes).

“A student from Northern Illinois University came to me with the realization that the current guidelines for conduct during funerals are just not adequate to ensure families can say goodbye in peace,” Hatcher said. “Our new restrictions won’t eliminate anyone’s freedom of speech rights, but they will help protect grieving families from having to unnecessarily endure additional stress and pain.”

Having passed the House, House Bill 180 now advances to the Senate for further consideration.

Hatcher introduces bill to amend the IL pension code

by Lynn Meredith
Elburn—Illinois House Rep. Kay Hatcher may have introduced a bill that would save money for taxpayers in small towns, but she credits Elburn Village President Dave Anderson with the idea.

House Bill 1901 amends the Downstate Police and Downstate Firefighters articles of the Illinois Pension Code. Currently, once a municipality reaches a population of 5,000—which Elburn has now done—it is required to pay into the downstate fund. This bill gives first-time eligible municipalities a choice: either follow the statute and pay into the Downstate Police and Downstate Firefighters pension fund, or stay with their current fund, the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF).

“This gives local communities, in cooperation with fire departments and police departments, a chance to temporarily stay with IMRF, rather than (be required to) move to the downstate pension fund,” Hatcher said. “It’s a chance for everyone to take a deep breath and look if this is the way to go.”

Anderson said that he asked her to sponsor a bill that would allow communities like Elburn to have an option in regards to their police and fire pensions. This bill would only affect the police and not the fire because the fire is a separate taxing district, not a department.

Hatcher said that with the economy tight, communities that break the 5,000-population mark will be helped in their transition, adding that it’s a smart way to handle a crisis.

“It’s a win-win for everyone,” she said. “The best part is that it can be reversed whenever (the municipality) wants to. It’s a smart way for the community and its employees to plan for retirement.”

On Feb. 22, the bill was assigned to the Personnel and Pension Committee for consideration.

Anderson said the bill, if passed, will benefit Elburn.

“It will cost taxpayers less money,” he said.

Rep. Hatcher: New committee assignments reflect local needs

YORKVILLE—State Representative Kay Hatcher secured positions on key House Committees that will tackle issues most important to local families, including expanding job opportunities and helping prevent home foreclosure, she announced.

Hatcher (R-Yorkville) said securing a coveted position on the House Financial Institutions Committee was a top priority this spring.

“Unfortunately, the Fox Valley has the highest home foreclosure rate in the state of Illinois,” she said. “Securing a position on the House committee that deals with banks, mortgage companies and other lenders provides families in our district a seat at the table on legislation that may enable them to work through their mortgage difficulties and keep their homes.”

Hatcher said she is also very pleased with her new assignments to committees dedicated to helping create jobs and expand employment opportunities: the House Small Business Empowerment and Workforce Development Committee and the Special Committee on Tourism and Conventions.

“Both of these key committees are dedicated to the same goal: creating good job opportunities for our families and boosting our local economies,” she said. “The Fox Valley has a lot to offer entrepreneurs looking to start or relocate their business, and we have a lot to offer visitors, as well.”

During the 97th General Assembly, Hatcher will also serve on the House Counties and Townships, Public Utilities, and General Services-Appropriations committees.

Letter: I oppose the state income tax increase

A recent writer left the impression that legislators ignored their constituents’ pleas for fiscal sanity and voted for the largest tax increase Illinois has ever endured. The majority of the legislature did. I did not.

Seeking the opportunity to serve the public is serious business, and I have done my best to earn your trust.

The Illinois Policy Institute, a non-partisan budget watchdog, has given my voting record a 100 percent rating, reflecting my efforts to represent my constituents’ best interests through responsible decision making.

I strongly opposed the recent tax increases and believe that any budget solution needs to include a line-by-line review of state spending with significant reforms to prove to our taxpayers that we are spending their hard-earned money wisely. The tax increases are only adding to our burden. That’s why I’m co-sponsoring House Bill 175, which would immediately repeal the increases passed by lame-duck legislators in January.

Repealing these hurtful increases will be an uphill battle, but it’s a battle that can be won if we work together. Please contact my office at (630) 553-3223 to sign a petition, or contact kay@kayhatcher.us to help circulate these petitions in our communities.

With your support, I and fellow legislators will present the petitions to Speaker Madigan and Governor Quinn and seek legislation to repeal the increases.

State Rep. Kay Hatcher
Serving Kane, Kendall
and LaSalle counties

Community servants seek seat representing 50th District

In the race for state Representative of the 50th District, a pair of long-term community activists will face each other on Tuesday, Nov. 2. Incumbent Republican Kay Hatcher seeks her second term, while Democrat challenger Linda Healy is running for her first elected office.

Republican
Kay Hatcher, Incumbent
Age: 64
Family: Husband, Steve; four adult children, plus six grandchildren
Hometown: Yorkville
Education: Boston College Carroll School of Management; Management Certificate Program, Corporate Communications
Employment: Full-time legislator, State Rep. 50th District
Political Background:
• Oswego School Board 1985-1991
Kendall County Board 1991-1996, 2002-2008 Economic Development and Zoning Chair.
• President, Kendall Forest Preserve 2002-2008
• Member of the General Assembly 2008-Present
• Illinois Lincoln Series: Lincoln Fellow 1999
• State President, Illinois Federation of Republican Women 2004-2005
• Governor, Illinois Lincoln Series 2006-2008
• Precinct Committeeman: 1996-2008
Community Involvement: Decades of service on numerous boards of many organizations. Received the 2009 Legislator of the Year Award from the Metro West Council of Government

Kay Hatcher said she is running for her second term to continue to fulfill the pledge she made after her initial run.

“As a brand new legislator, I pledged to residents two years ago that I would work to restore ethics, grow jobs and return fiscal responsibility to our state. I have kept that promise,” Hatcher said. “I’m running to continue the fight to create a job-friendly state that pays its bills on time and crafts a responsible, balanced budget that treats our residents with dignity. I’m running to advance a well-educated workforce that thrives—and in turn helps bring Illinois back to solvency.”

To help accomplish that, she sponsored HB1173, a bill that requires line-by-line approval of any appropriations.

“This Pay As You Go fiscal tool is just what it says: If you are going to implement a new program, remove a nonperforming program with the same funding requirements,” Hatcher said. “It makes government more efficient at many levels, and reflects what each of us is doing in our own families. Don’t spend what you don’t have.”

While it may be tempting for lawmakers to raise taxes to help the state begin to resolve its budget woes, Hatcher said that should not be a legitimate consideration. Armed with a lifetime of economic development experience working in the private sector, as well as her time working with taxing bodies and nonprofit organizations, Hatcher said she learned an important lesson.

“Raising taxes may have a small initial revenue increase, but ultimately will have a negative impact on the very entities paying those taxes,” Hatcher said.

She said the state needs to reform state pension and Medicaid programs, freeze new programs and stick with a dedicated debt repayment program.

“Revenue modifications absolutely must not even be considered unless there are significant and quantifiable reforms,” she said.

During her first term, Hatcher said she saw why reform is difficult to achieve.

“A huge issue is political partisanship blocking needed reforms: I was named Legislator of the Year for my ability to bring both sides of the table together to solve problems,” she said. “Many years of working one-on-one with our municipalities, townships and counties on the DuKane Valley Council fine-tuned that ability.”

According to Hatcher, Advance Illinois, a bipartisan education group, recently issued a scathing statement on Illinois’ education system, issuing a “D” rating.

“Billions of federal dollars for education have been provided to Illinois in stimulus money,” she said. “That funding was dumped into the budget rather than dedicated to education programs. Ensuring our schools are paid all of their state funding and budgeting to offset the loss of these dollars has to be a top priority if we are to succeed.”

Democrat
Linda Healy, Challenger
Age: 67
Family: Widowed, married to Mark Healy Jr. for 42 years, three children, three grandchildren
Hometown: Aurora
Education: B.S. in Education from Illinois State University, Certificate of Business Administration from University of Illinois, Chicago
Employment: Five years as a teacher in Batavia schools, 25 years as executive director of Mutual Ground, Inc. the domestic violence and sexual assault agency
Political background: First-time candidate
Community involvement: Past member of American Association of University Women, Zonta and Women in Management, and member of New England Congregation Church in Aurora

For first-time candidate Linda Healy, the decision to run for office was born from witnessing the partisan bickering that has damaged the entire state.

“I have been the recipient of the decisions being made in Springfield for the past 25 years,” she said. “I am so frustrated with the partisan politics that is happening.”

She said her experiences have taught her how to work with people of all political viewpoints.

“I have worked with and respected legislators on both sides of the aisle,” she said. “I have a track record of working with people who share opposing viewpoints and yet got the job done. If elected I will push for an end to partisan politics and put ‘people over politics.’”

While Healy may be a newcomer to politics, she is no stranger to Springfield. Through her role as executive director at Mutual Ground, she has spent two days each month in the state’s capitol working with other directors from around the state.

“I have testified at hearings for the legislators and worked on getting bills passed that dealt with domestic violence and sexual assault. I will be a watch dog for social service and education. I will be an independent voice and not be led by party politics or leaders.”

She said the state’s fiscal situation is so dire that while unpopular, a tax increase ultimately will occur.

“We must be sure all of this money goes into social service and education and not the black hole of Springfield,” Healy said. “We need to make some cuts and changes in the pension system, but that is a long-term solution, not short term.”

She said that a forensic audit should be the first step in showing the legislators the full scope of the budget and how it is set up; something she said would help the legislature take a more active role than it has in the recent past.

“I was so disappointed when the legislators sent the budget back to the governor after 12 hours and told him to set it,” Healy said. “Now they are going to gripe about what he did and say they were not responsible for the decisions—that’s exactly what happened last year.”

As a former educator and someone who has spent decades working with children and families, she said that education must be a priority. Healy said she is well aware of the importance of programs like music, art and athletics, the positive impacts of having smaller classroom sizes, adequate staffing levels, and access to early education programs and technology.

“I will utilize my experience in the classroom and my community involvement to communicate with parents and fight for local control to ensure that children in the 50th (District) have access to every opportunity available,” Healy said.

ReadOut for Freedom

Event highlights previously banned, challenged books
by Lynn Meredith
SUGAR GROVE—The Sugar Grove Public Library on Saturday, Oct. 2, will celebrate the freedom to read books without censorship.

From a podium in the library entryway, participants will read aloud from their favorite classic books, many of which were on lists of banned or challenged titles in the past.

The hour-long ReadOut coincides with the 2010 Banned Books Week, an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.

“This is an opportunity to share with others books that have been challenged,” library director Beverly Holmes Hughes said. “Open access to information is available and should be available to everyone.”

The ReadOut reading list includes 100 classic titles from which participants may choose one to read for five to 10 minutes during the event (see list).

Rep. Kay Hatcher will kick off the ReadOut as the first reader. She said reading is one of the most important civil liberties people have and that speaking out ensures freedom of access.

“The banning of books keeps us mindful that sometimes we have to go over and above to make sure individual freedoms are respected,” Hatcher said

Hatcher plans to either read from “The Catcher in the Rye” or “Of Mice and Men,” by John Steinbeck.

Books are considered challenged when a parent, teacher, school district, school board member or anyone else questions whether a particular title should be on a library shelf or taught in a classroom. A book is “banned” when a school district removes it from circulation or curriculum.

“Of Mice and Men” has a long history of challenges and banning. Beginning in 1953 and continuing to the present day, it has been banned in several communities due to its “profanity and using God’s name in vain.” Wheaton-Warrenville Middle School in Illinois banned the book in 1988.

Also on the ReadOut list and another past target of censorship was “The Catcher in the Rye,” by J.D. Salinger. In 1960, a Tulsa, Okla. school district fired a teacher for assigning the book to an 11th-grade English class, according to the American Library Association’s website on the history of banned books. The teacher appealed, and the school district reinstated her but removed the book from the student curriculum. In 1982, a district in Morris, Manitoba, banned “The Catcher in the Rye” for “excess vulgar language, sexual scenes, things concerning moral issues, excessive violence, and anything dealing with the occult.”

Inspiring the ReadOut was Judith Krug, founding executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, Holmes said.

The Sugar Grove Library Friends and Sugar Grove Online partnered to present the Oct. 2 event. They will donate a video of the ReadOut to the Freedom to Read Foundation.

Reading slots still are available from noon to 1 p.m. Interested readers should contact call (630) 466-1448 to reserve a reading time.

On the reading list

• The Great Gatsby
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
• The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger
• The Grapes of Wrath
by John Steinbeck
• To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
• The Color Purple by Alice Walker
• Ulysses by James Joyce
• Beloved by Toni Morrison
• The Lord of the Flies
by William Golding
• 1984 by George Orwell
• The Sound and the Fury
by William Faulkner
• Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
• Of Mice and Men
by John Steinbeck
• Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
• A Portrait of the Artist as
a Young Man by James Joyce
• Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
• Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
• Animal Farm by George Orwell
• The Sun Also Rises
by Ernest Hemingway
• As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
• A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway
• Heart of Darkness
by Joseph Conrad
• Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

State revenue cut would hit villages hard, officials say

Proposal would reduce municipalities’ income tax share
by Martha Quetsch
ELBURN, MP—A proposed reduction in state income taxes disbursed to municipalities would cause more financial challenges for the revenue-strapped villages of Elburn and Maple Park.

The 2010-11 state budget draft proposed by Gov. Pat Quinn in March calls for cutting municipalities’ share of their residents’ state income tax from 10 to 7 percent.

Under Quinn’s proposal, Maple Park’s revenue would drop by about $30,000 and Elburn’s would decrease by an estimated $100,000, village officials said.

“This deep of a cut would put us into a situation potentially using reserve funds,” Village President Kathy Curtis said.

To deal with its budget crunch, Maple Park already has frozen employee raises for the past two years and drastically cut its engineering and legal costs, Curtis said.

Elburn also has slashed its budget to cope with revenue constraints. The village did not give employee raises this year and reduced its staff. If the state income-tax disbursement drops, the village will have to look at other ways to reduce expenses, and also would likely have to dip into its reserve funds, Elburn Village President Dave Anderson said.

“We’re at the bare-bones end of things now,” he said.

The villages set money aside in reserve funds to use for emergency infrastructure projects and other unexpected expenses. Those funds currently total about $5 million in Elburn and $740,000 in Maple Park. Village officials are concerned that those monies could quickly be depleted if they have to use them for operating expenses. State income tax money benefits the villages’ general operating fund.

“God forbid that we have a catastrophe—where is the money going to come from?” Anderson said.

State lawmakers are expected to vote next month on a final budget following a legislative review including House and Senate appropriation committee meetings.

Hearings are in full swing in Springfield this week, said Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Dist. 50-Yorkville), who strongly opposes Quinn’s proposed cut in income tax disbursements to municipalities.

“It (the proposal) is really even more onerous than it seems at first sight,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher said that because of the economy, local funding already is down 40 percent.

“That is more than any municipality can handle,” Hatcher said.

For 2008-09, the village of Elburn received $437,931 in income taxes from the state; that represents 10 percent of income taxes collected by the state from Elburn residents. The 10-percent disbursement dropped to about $375,000 for 2009-10.

“And if they (state lawmakers) decide to diminish the 10 percent to 7 percent, that’s another whack,” Anderson said.

Hatcher does not believe the Senate and House will approve a budget that includes Quinn’s proposed cut in income taxes for municipalities.

“There are going to be a lot of negotiations going on,” Hatcher said. “The state can’t cut that (income tax to municipalities) without General Assembly approval, and I don’t see that happening,” Hatcher said.

Gov. Quinn’s
proposal

Under Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed state budget for 2010-11, the amount of state income tax that goes to local governments will decrease by 3 percentage points.

Currently, the state disburses to each municipality 10 percent of income taxes from its residents. Quinn proposed decreasing the disbursement to 7 percent. That represents a 30-percent reduction in local tax revenue.

Maple Park is receiving up to $101,000 in income taxes from the state for this fiscal year 2009-10, which ends April 30, said the village’s accounting clerk, Cheryl Aldridge. Under the proposed state cut, the village’s share next year would be about $70,000.

Elburn is receiving about $375,000 in state income taxes this fiscal year, and under the proposed cut would receive approximately $275,000 in 2010-11.

Letter: New legislation will improve accountability

Republicans in both the House and Senate have been consistently communicating with Governor Quinn to bring his attention to public opinion on the state budget and other critical issues.

Their ideas, combined with your suggestions submitted through www.reinventillinois.com, have identified hundreds of key proposals that could help restore fiscal responsibility to our state.

I’d like to share one of my pieces of legislation that I believe will change the financial face of our state.

Each year, the Illinois Comptroller is mandated to provide a report to the General Assembly and the people of Illinois on expenditures made by each state agency. This Comprehensive Annual Financial Report covers July 1 to June 30, and is printed and filed once all department reports are received and audited by the auditor general.

The report that covers July 2008 to June, 2009 has not yet been filed. That’s right—funds spent 20 months ago are still not publically accounted for. Why? Because all departments do not provide their information in a timely manner for audit. Could you balance your checkbook not knowing what you had spent for nearly two years? My bill will change that.

This week, House Bill No. 6267 received unanimous approval from the House of Representatives. It creates specific deadlines; all reports must be received for review by the auditor general by Oct. 31, and the Comptroller must provide an official report by Dec. 31. To encourage a timely response, state agency directors’ salaries may be withheld until they submit the required information. Government must be accountable to the people.

The budget deficit in Illinois is not simply a result of the national economy. We must work in a bi-partisan manner and find common sense solutions to get our state back on the right track. That means reforming government and retooling how this state does business. It means creating a budget that is both responsible and treats our residents with dignity; not an easy task.

It is an honor to serve as your State Representative. I welcome and encourage additional suggestions at info@kayhatcher.us.

State Rep. Kay Hatcher
50th District
Yorkville

State: ‘There is no money’

Kaneland, state officials discuss financial woes
KANELAND—A meeting with State Representative Kay Hatcher (Dist. 50) on Monday confirmed what Kaneland School District officials already knew—school funding from the state will be severely cut.

“The legislators used the word ‘insolvent’ to describe the state’s financial situation,” Kaneland School Board president Lisa Wiet said. “They said, ‘There are no miracles. There is no money.’”

School Board member Diane Piazza said that the state’s deficit equals 40 percent of its budget, which will have a huge impact on schools and other recipients of state funding.

“Unfortunately, it simply reinforced that our Phase Two plan is not only practical, but needed,” District Superintendent Charlie McCormick said. “It continues to look like a realistic plan.”

Hatcher and State Rep. Roger Eddy, who is also a part-time superintendent of a small rural school district, met with school district superintendents, board members and other school officials within Hatcher’s district to make sure that districts were not ignoring the reality of the situation.

“She (Hatcher) said, ‘You need to plan for a loss in state revenue,’” Wiet said.

Hatcher confirmed that there is the potential of up to a $2.2 million shortfall from the state for the Kaneland School District, Wiet said.

“They are aware of the difficulty it puts us in, but they didn’t do anything to suggest a solution to that,” Wiet said.

Associate Superintendent Jeff Schuler said that Hatcher and Eddy do not expect anything to change prior to the elections in November. Their recommendations for school districts included borrowing money, cutting expenses, and doing whatever necessary to prepare for the shortfall in funding.

Kaneland administrators have begun working on what they are calling Phase Two of the cuts to address the shortfall in funding from the state. While they are analyzing staffing needs in various areas of the district, they will move forward to release 110 first-, second-, third- and fourth-year teachers to provide them with the flexibility they will need.

The Phase Two reduction has to be finalized by May 24, he said. That gives the School District 45 days prior to the end of the school year to notify teachers.

Schuler said that, ultimately, approximately 30 teachers will lose their jobs. The administration will be able to call back the remaining teachers once they understand the impact of the state’s shortfall, which he said could take them into the summer.

Letter: Thank you for your trust, 50th District residents

Public service is both a fulfilling and humbling experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity to represent others, and am constantly reminded that there are many voices, and many choices, that enter into each decision.

Representing the 50th District means balancing the needs of over 100,000 residents at a pivotal time in Illinois history. It’s never been harder, and there’s never been more opportunity to make our state better. Thank you for your trust.

It all starts with those who participate in the election process. Every vote is important, whether given to me or another. It’s the first step toward making our state one we can be proud of again.

The primary is complete, and I think everyone won. Good ideas were fleshed out by thoughtful candidates. Every election success truly belongs to the many friends and volunteers who gave their time, talents and trust to every campaign. The patient family that continues to stick by a candidate is important. Mine is priceless.

During my first year, the state’s books were opened for public review. We cleaned up campaign loopholes and helped a lot of people live better lives. Local residents saw their ideas become legislation.

The state is turning around. It’s because so many of you took the time to participate. Keep doing it. Call our office with your ideas, (630) 553-3223, or go online to ReinventIllinois.com. Thanks again for the opportunity to serve.

Kay Hatcher
Yorkville
State Representative

Feb. 2 Election Results

Below are the local unofficial results from the Feb. 2, 2010 primary election. Winners names are in bold.

District Representative 14th Congressional District

Democratic candidates
Bill Foster—25,071
Republican candidates
Randall M. “Randy” Hultgren—34,472
Ethan A. Hastert—28,575

State Senator 25th District

Democratic candidates
Leslie N. Juby—8,492
Republican candidates
P. Sean Michels—9,444
Chris Lauzen—22,110

State Representative 50th District

Democratic candidates
Linda Healy—4,435
Republican candidates
Keith R. Wheeler—7,344
Kay Hatcher—8,468
Bob McQuillan—2,462

Kane County Clerk

Democratic candidates
Ghafran Chishti—12,242
Republican candidates
John A. “Jack” Cunningham—30,139

Kane County Treasurer

Democratic candidates
None
Republican candidates
David J. Rickert—24,125
Bob Kovanic—7,347

Kane County Sheriff

Democratic candidates
Pat Perez—13,435
Republican candidates—too close to call, awaiting absentee count
L. Robert Russell—15,531
Donald E. Kramer—15,570

Kane County Board District 5

Democratic candidates
None
Republican candidates
Bill Wyatt—1,152
Melisa Taylor—1,332

Kane County Board District 25

Democratic candidates
None
Republican candidates
Bob Kudlicki—1,447
Thomas (T.R.) Smith—1,863

16th Judicial Circuit (Grometer Vacancy)

Democratic candidates
None
Republican candidates
Fred M. Morelli—17,910
Kevin T. Busch—28,050

16th Judicial Circuit (Kane County Vacancy)

Democratic candidates
John G. Dalton—7,584
Michael C. Funkey—5,407
Republican candidates
Thomas Patrick Rice—5,841
Robert L. Janes—4,115
D. J. Tegeler—3,065
Leonard J. Wojtecki—5,374
David R. Akemann—12,880

Referendum

Sugar Grove Library Proposition to increase the limiting rate
Yes—925
No—1,920

Letter: Spelling Bee a success

The Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging and I recently teamed up to sponsor a centuries-old celebration, a community spelling bee. A large room full of people cheered the friendly rivalry between the contestants, many of whom remembered the glory of grade school successes and just wanted to see if they were still on top of their game. Boy, were they ever!

American Idol had no edge on the tension that grew as the words became increasingly more difficult. Open to those 50 and over, the event was a testament to the importance of a strong, core education and life-long learning.

There are many folks to thank for the day’s success. All the brave contestants, of course; Bob Ament, Ruth Cleary, Pat Feeley, Bob Jones, Susan O’Neill, Kathleen Ramsey, Bette Schoenholtz, Barbara Weber, Bob Wyngard and Claudia Wyngard.

Chief Marty Kunkel welcomed us to the Sugar Grove Fire Station. Librarian Beverly Hughes provided the largest dictionary ever seen. Jenkins Trophy provided the awards. Superintendent Dr. James Rydland taught us all the many pronunciations of every word.

It was a great event, and everyone agreed we’d do it again in 2010. First place winner Susan O’Neill and second place winner Barbara Weber will advance to a regional competition. Those winners then have a mega spell-off at the Illinois State Fair.

I’ll be rooting for them.

Kay Hatcher
50th District State Representative

Hatcher helps defeat proposed income tax increase

STATE—State Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville) on Sunday voted “No” to plans to increase state income taxes by 50 percent.

Hatcher (R-Yorkville), the state representative from the 50th District—which includes the Elburn Herald coverage area— stressed that in tough economic times, state government needs to live within its means.

“Families in our area are struggling,” Hatcher said. “They have been forced to tighten their belts to make ends meet. Government must do the same.”

Hatcher said a 50 percent state tax increase proposed would also impact businesses who have already been forced to cut jobs to keep afloat.

“Our state unemployment rate hit 9.4 percent in April,” she said. “We now have 620,000 people out of work. How could we even think about increasing taxes on families and businesses already hard-hit by our slumping economy to bail out a state government that has not spent our tax dollars wisely?”

Governor Quinn’s proposed income tax increase failed in the Illinois House on Sunday in a vote of 42 “yes,” 74 “no” and two “present”.

Rep. Hatcher announces Legislative Scholarships

State Rep. Kay Hatcher announced that she will be able to circulate applications for the Illinois General Assembly Scholarship.

“I have received many phone call and e-mails about this program and am delighted we are now able to begin the application process,” she said.

State law dictates scholarship eligibility. Eligible applicants must have already been accepted to a state university and reside within the boundaries of the 50th district, which includes parts of Kane, Kendall and LaSalle counties. You can determine if you live in the 50th district by phoning Hatcher’s district office or by using the “Legislator Lookup” section of the Illinois General Assembly’s website, www.ilga.gov.

A total of eight one-year scholarships will be awarded by Rep. Hatcher’s Scholarship Advisory Committee. Applicants will be reviewed based on academic achievement, financial need and community involvement. The committee will make their decisions no later than June 15, 2009.

The submission deadline is April 24, 2009. For more information or to receive a scholarship application, please call Hatcher’s district office at (630) 553-3223.