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Moody’s Investors Service labels current Illinois budget situation “unsustainable”
The globally-followed credit-rating firm Moody’s, which has downgraded debt securities issued by the state and its affiliates in the recent past, has issued another warning. In the most recent caution issued to Springfield, Moody’s indicated that if the state does not enact a budget by May 31, Illinois will be on a pathway to “unsustainable fiscal challenges.”


State Representative Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) was honored to be joined in Springfield by students from Eastern Illinois University and Lake Land College. The students visited Phillips at the Capitol on Wednesday April 5.

Pictured with Rep. Phillips are representatives of the Student Advisory Group at EIU: Morales Newton, Zachary Cohen, Lucas Johnson, Alleluia Musabayimana & Randy Prince.


Joining Rep. Phillips from Lake Land College Student Government were (Back Row) Chandler Ballinger, Blake Durham, Brock Hammond, Charles Meeker, Jensyn Morrison, Kaitlin Slider, Rep. Phillips, (Front Row) Orlando Walters Campuzane, Taylor Higgins, Cassandra Hall, Kristen Morben, Melanie Adams, Lina Ngcopos
House observes deadline for moving bills out of committee
As of this week, more than 4,000 bills have been filed by House members for the 2017 spring session.  Only a fraction of these bills can be approved in House committee and sent to the House floor for further discussions and debate, and House members learned this week how many of their bills have survived this stage of the process.

COGFA presents budget projections and revenue estimate
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) presented FY17 and preliminary FY18 budget projections to the House Revenue and Finance Committee last week.  COGFA presented a revised revenue estimate of $33.1 billion in FY17 general funds inflows, representing a significant reduction from the FY17 preliminary estimate of $33.9 billion published by COGFA in July 2016.

In an effort to make state government and the legislative process more accessible to Illinois residents, State Representative Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) is providing a link to translate the Illinois General Assembly website, www.ilga.gov, into various languages.

The Illinois General Assembly website contains legislator profiles, full text of all legislation introduced in the House of Representatives and Senate, live audio and video feeds of legislative session and committee hearings; as well as a wide variety of other legislative information and support services.

Please click any of the links below to translate the Illinois General Assembly website into your preferred language:

Spanish         Español
Arabic          عربي              
Hindi           हिन्दी     
Chinese (Simplified) 中文简体              
Chinese (Traditional) 中文繁體               
Japanese        日本語
Korean          한국어            
Russian         Русский
French          Français   
German        Deutsch            
Italian            Italiano          
Polish             Polski       
Greek             Ελληνικά

Dear Constituents:

In reaching out to you in recent weeks, I have heard concerns from you about the County School Facility Occupation Tax supplemental sales-tax referendum. Some people are concerned that the debt authorization that would be created by the approval of this new tax could, in term, be used to break the PTELL property tax cap in Coles County.

These concerns are understandable. The PTELL property tax cap has been in place in Coles County since 2002. It has become an essential part of the battle that we continue to fight against out-of-control property tax extensions and property tax bills. Furthermore, because this is a very hard-fought battlefield, the sponsors of the original PTELL property tax cap law had to yield some ground to their adversaries when this law was first considered and passed into law. Some of the debt-service cash flows that were already in place in 1991 when this law was first being considered, and some strictly defined categories of future debt service cash flows, are specifically exempted by the PTELL tax cap.

The PTELL tax cap is a “hard cap” on the ability of a future property tax extension to cover most future debts issued by school districts. A new debt issuance will not break the cap unless there is specific language in the PTELL tax cap law exempting this cash flow and authorizing that this cap be broken for this category of debts. There is no such language that enumerates the County School Facility Occupation Tax, and its cash flows, in the current PTELL law.

The battle to defend PTELL, and to prevent future compound increases in property tax extensions, will continue. It will not end. It is possible that if Coles County voters adopt a supplemental school infrastructure sales tax, and if sales tax revenues then fall short, then there might be significant efforts to take another look at the existing language of this State law.

Based on the language of current State law, however, there is nothing in the commitments a school district or districts would make under a County School Facility Occupation Tax that would break or weaken Coles County’s PTELL tax caps.
 
Reggie
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.