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Representative Phillips today joined a growing group of legislators calling for Illinois Auditor Frank Mautino to take a voluntary leave of absence while state and federal investigations continue into previous campaign expenses and reporting practices.

State Representative Reggie Phillips this week filed a bi-partisan plan to provide emergency state funding for four-year universities, including Eastern Illinois University, and community colleges. While the state’s budget stalemate continues, Representative Phillips (R-Charleston) stressed that Higher Education cannot wait any longer for state funding.

“This impasse has gone on for more than eight months…that’s two thirds of a year that Eastern and other colleges and universities have struggled without funding. They can’t go on any longer. We need to provide emergency funding, and we need to do it now,” Phillips said.

This week Representative Phillips along with State Representative Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) filed legislation providing $160 million in emergency funding for Universities like Eastern, and an additional $40 million for community colleges. Phillips’ House Bill 6409 would be funded by redirecting dollars currently earmarked to repay excess fund balances swept last year.
State Representative Reggie Phillips is taking his office on the road to meet with local residents in communities throughout the 110th district. On Wednesday, January 20th, the Village of Ashmore will host Representative Phillips’ traveling office hours at their village office located at 10 E. Ashmore Street.

“In a district as large and diverse as ours, traveling office hours helps me to keep in touch with constituents from each of the communities, and helps residents who may find it difficult or inconvenient to travel to my district office in Charleston,” Representative Phillips said. “I hope everyone in the Ashmore area who would like to speak with me or my staff about a problem or idea, or just wants to say hello, will stop by the Ashmore Village Office on January 20th.”
Office of the Governor
Bruce Rauner

Governor Rauner Adds 11 Counties to State Disaster Proclamation for Flooding

State Continues Supporting Communities Dealing with Flood         Impacts

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner today added 11 counties to the state disaster declaration for widespread flooding. Those counties include Cass, Cumberland, Iroquois, Lawrence, Marion, Menard, Moultrie, Pike, Richland, Sangamon and Vermilion. 

 Last week, Gov. Rauner declared Alexander, Calhoun, Christian, Clinton, Douglas, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Morgan, Randolph and St. Clair counties state disaster areas after heavy rains caused several rivers and waterways to surge to record or near-record levels.  Today’s announcement brings the total number of declared counties to 23.

“The impacts of this flood event have been felt in many communities across the state,” said Gov. Rauner. “We’re continuing to provide personnel and resources communities need as they battle flood waters and begin their recovery process.”
This week Governor Rauner received approval to declare counties in the 110th district  Agricultural Disaster Areas due to crop losses caused by the recent rain and flooding.

Farmers who believe they may be eligible for assistance should contact their county Farm Service Agency office. Loan applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions you should contact the state FSA office at 217.241.6600. For more information, click here.
While the state of Illinois languishes through the summer without a budget in place, State Representative Reggie Phillips said it’s unconscionable that Democrats in the General Assembly are preparing to give themselves a pay raise. Representative Phillips (R-Charleston) today said that if he and fellow House Republicans can’t stop the legislative pay raise outright, he will donate his to a local charity.

“We’re in the middle of the worst budget crisis in state history. We have more than $5 billion in unpaid bills and we can’t make payments to daycare providers, those that work with the disabled and others. Attorney General Madigan is going to court to try to stop pay for state employees while we don’t have a budget in place... and Speaker Madigan and the Democrats think they deserve a raise?! That’s almost beyond belief,” Phillips said.

Under state law, the Compensation Review Board regularly recommends cost of living adjustment pay increases for members of the General Assembly and other state elected officials. Those pay raises go into effect automatically unless the General Assembly passes legislation to specifically reject them.

House Republicans have introduced House Bill 4225 which will do just that. For weeks House Republicans have attempted repeatedly to adopt the bill to reject the pay raises, but have been blocked each time by the Speaker and House Democrats who refuse to allow the issue to even be debated.
The information below was put together by the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) to answer state employees' questions about pay and benefits while no state budget is in place.

FAQs for Budget Situation

We understand state employees have questions on how their benefits will be impacted as the state budget is no longer in place beginning July 1. The following Q&As were designed to help answer any questions you may have.

Employee Benefits

Q.  Will an employee's health, dental or life insurance be affected?
A.  No. Group insurance coverage during a budget situation will not be impacted. If paychecks are delayed, and as long as the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, insurance premiums will be taken accordingly. The missed payroll deductions will be taken once paychecks are issued.

Q.  What will happen to an employee's contributions to any flexible spending accounts (i.e., MCAP, DCAP) during the budget situation?
 Employees enrolled in MCAP will not be impacted. ConnectYourCare debit cards will continue to work. If the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, deductions should be taken accordingly. If MCAP deductions are missed, they must be made up when the budget situation is resolved.
 Employees enrolled in DCAP may be impacted as reimbursements are limited to the available account balance contained in their DCAP account. If the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, and once all payroll deductions are deposited into the DCAP account, reimbursements can be made for eligible expenses up to the available account balance.

Q.  What will happen to an employee's Commuter Savings Program benefit?
A.  Employees enrolled in the Commuter Savings Program will continue to receive the benefit under this program. Employees will owe any underpaid amount upon their return to payroll.

Workers' Compensation Program

Q.  Will an employee's Workers' Compensation benefits be affected?
A.  No. In the event of a budget situation, Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Total Disability (PTD) and survivor death benefit payments under the Workers' Compensation Act will continue through July. Work-related injuries should continue to be reported through the procedures in place today.

Deferred Compensation Program

Q. What will happen to an employee's Deferred Compensation contributions during the budget situation?
A.  As long as the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, payroll deductions for Deferred Compensation should be taken accordingly. Deferred Compensation contributions can only be made through payroll deduction. The employee cannot deposit money directly to his or her fund to catch-up the contributions.

Q.  If an individual is currently receiving a distribution from their Deferred Compensation account, will that distribution continue during the budget situation?
A.  Yes. Current distributions and changes to distribution amounts will continue to be processed. To make any changes in distribution, call T. Rowe Price at 1-888-457-5770.

Q.  Will hardship distributions/loans from an employee's Deferred Compensation account be available during the budget situation?
A.  A loan provision is available at any time and allows a participant to have one outstanding loan and borrow a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $50,000 or 50% of their account balance over a five year period. The interest you pay goes back to your account along with the principal amount each month as you repay the loan through Automatic Clearing House (ACH) deductions from your bank. Employees would likely not qualify for a hardship distribution as they will be made whole of any missed payrolls when the budget situation ends.

Q.  How do I borrow from my Deferred Compensation account?
A.  To apply for a loan from your account over the phone, call T. Rowe Price at 1-888-457-5770 to speak to a Representative. There is a $75 processing fee and you will need to supply bank routing and account information for your checking/savings account numbers to set up the automatic ACH deduction. Participants are allowed one outstanding loan at a time. You may repay the full loan balance amount at any time through the same phone number at T. Rowe Price.

State Employee Compensation

Q. What options exist if certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees?
A. State employees will be paid for their work. If certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees, there may be an opportunity for employees to get bridge loans from local financial institutions. Credit Union 1, for example, has already agreed to offer no-interest loans for qualifying members of the credit union should salary payments for state employees be delayed. To be eligible to receive 0% interest loans from Credit Union 1, participants must have been members on or before May 1, 2015. Employees who have become members of Credit Union 1 since May 1, 2015, can apply for a loan, subject to normal criteria, rates and terms.