With the New Year upon us, State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) wants to make the public aware of several new laws scheduled to take effect January 1, 2018.  214 new laws will take effect this New Year.
Of the 200 plus new laws scheduled to take effect, Rep. Meier highlighted several new laws which may be of interest to the region. New laws include but are not limited to; enhancing and protecting Illinois’ military bases, changing the organ donor registration to age 16, banning part-time elected officials from receiving a pension, requiring MRIs to be included with Mammograms, a police training program in Madison and St. Clair Counties, helping our military veterans, and increasing the loan amount for the purchase of fire trucks.
Enhancing and protecting Illinois’ military bases

To help prevent future closings of military bases and other military infrastructure located within Illinois. Public Act 100-144 creates the Military Economic Development Committee (currently, the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee) as an entity within the Office of the Lieutenant Governor (currently, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.) It also makes changes to the composition and rules of the Committee including increasing the membership from 8 to 10, and ensuring up to four members have a military background in Illinois.

“The more stakeholders we have advocating on behalf of Illinois’ military bases is certainly helpful,” said Rep. Meier. “According to data provided to my office, the military and the defense industry directly and indirectly contribute nearly 150,000 jobs and $13.3 billion in economic activity across Illinois. Scott Air Force Base is a major contributor to our state and local economy, most importantly SAFB plays a major role in our national security. This new law will help enhance and protect our military bases.”

Organ donor registration to age 16
Public Act 100-41 requires the Secretary of State to begin to offer each applicant for a driver's license or identification card who is 16 years of age or older (rather than 18 years of age or older) the opportunity to have his or her name included in the First Person Consent organ and tissue donor registry. Allows the parent or guardian of the donor to amend or revoke the anatomical gift of the donor's body.

Ban on part-time elected or appointed officials from IMRF

The new law (Public Act 100-274) prohibits part-time officeholders (elected or appointed) from participating in or receiving benefits from the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). The officeholder’s position is deemed to be part-time if it normally requires the performance of duty during less than 1,000 hours a year for the governing body of the participating unit of local government.

Mammogram coverage to include MRIs

Public Act 100-395 amends sections concerning coverage for mammograms, the Illinois Insurance Code, the Health Maintenance Organization Act and the Illinois Public Aid Code to require that MRIs of an entire breast or breasts shall be covered if a mammogram demonstrates heterogeneous or dense breast tissue, when medically necessary as determined by a physician licensed to practice medicine in all its branches.
The State of Illinois on December 20th officially reduced multiple fees placed on small businesses. The new law supported by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) and recently signed by Governor Bruce Rauner will reduce startup, annual filing and other fees for limited liability companies (LLCs), the organizational structure preferred by many of Illinois’ 1.2 million small businesses.

“This new law should help create more jobs in our state as small businesses employ the majority of employees in Illinois,” said Rep. Meier. “Anytime we can help reduce the cost of doing business in our state, it’s good for jobs and customers. Before December 20th, Illinois’ cost for entrepreneurs to open their business was among the highest in the country. I think this new law will certainly help put our state another step towards prosperity.”

Public Act 100-0571 will encourage more businesses to form in Illinois rather than go to other states to escape high fees. The filing fee for new LLCs drops to $150 from $500 and annual report fees drop to $75 from $250. Previously, Illinois charged fees that were among the highest in the nation.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017…Carlyle High School Senior James Biggs learned more about the role of State Representative by job shadowing State Representative Charlie Meier for the day. Pictured from left to right is Rep. Charlie Meier, James Biggs, and Rep. Meier’s Legislative Aide Diane Rakers.

The Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) recently sponsored a resolution to welcome and encourage Amazon to consider locating their second company headquarters (HQ2) in Illinois.

On September 7, 2017 Amazon announced plans to open a second company headquarters in North America known as HQ2. Amazon requested proposals from state and local governments for HQ2 and have received 238 proposals from state and local governments from throughout the North America, including multiple bids from Illinois and the St. Louis region.

According to State Representative Charlie Meier, “I truly believe Illinois and the bi-state region can meet the needs of Amazon’s second headquarters. We have everything Amazon is looking for in terms of location to an International airport, railroads, public transit, roads and land for HQ2 to meet their needs and wants.”
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) co-sponsored the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” to prohibit units of government in Illinois from using taxpayer funds for elective abortions, reversing key provisions of the recently enacted House Bill 40.

“I’m opposed to taxpayer funding of abortions and I support the right to life,” said Rep, Meier. “It is estimated that Illinois taxpayers could end up paying 75% of the state’s 40,000 annual elective abortions. The state can’t even pay its current bills, we should not spend $30 million in tax dollars on 30,000 abortions annually.”

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is modeled after the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions, other than for abortions sought in connection with pregnancies that result from rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. Abortions under these circumstances constitute roughly 1% of all abortions. Federal law already requires states to provide Medicaid abortions under these three conditions, and the proposed Act recognizes those federal provisions. Furthermore, while the federal government typically matches a state’s Medicaid expenses, it will not do so for elective abortions.
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) recently chief co-sponsored legislation (HR 627) opposing the use of an estimated $100 million in state tax dollars to fund the Obama Presidential Library in Illinois.

“Our hard earned tax dollars in southern Illinois should not be used to fund the Obama Presidential Library in Chicago,” said Rep. Meier. “Obama should be able to raise enough private funds without having to rely on state tax dollars to fund a library touting his eight years in office. I can’t and will not support a bill in the General Assembly that funds the Obama library.”

The last two Presidents of the United States have used private donations to build their libraries. No presidential libraries overseen by the National Archives and Records Administration have received direct funding from either the federal government or their respective states.

President Barack Obama concluded his second and final term as President of the United States of America on January 20, 2017, and has announced plans to build a presidential library and museum in Chicago. A recent legislative initiative proposes to allocate $100 million from Illinois capital spending funds for the construction of President Obama's Presidential Library and Museum. This proposal comes at a time when the State's budget condition continues to worsen and economic growth continues to lag behind national recovery trends.

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) would like to see Amazon call Illinois home by choosing the Metro East as their second headquarters in North America (HQ2).

Earlier this month, Amazon announced plans to open its second headquarters by a Request for Proposal (RFP) from state and local government leaders. The RFP from government leaders is due by October 19, 2017.

On Thursday, Rep. Charlie Meier sent a letter and e-mail to both Madison and St. Clair County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler and Mark Kern offering his support to both counties if they need assistance from the State of Illinois to help attract Amazon’s second corporate headquarters.

“I think the Metro East can meet the needs of Amazon and I think it’s safe to say we can agree on this,” said Rep. Meier. “Our region desperately needs more jobs and opportunity. If we are successful in bringing Amazon’s second corporate headquarters to the Metro East, it would certainly prove positive for our region.”

According to Amazon’s announcement on September 7, 2017, “Amazon expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.”

The official letter Representative Charlie Meier sent to Chairman Prenzler and Chairman Kern can be found here.
I am writing to inform you that my office is available to assist with anything your county may need from the State of Illinois to help the Metro East attract Amazon’s second corporate headquarters.

If we are successful in bringing Amazon to the Metro East, we have an opportunity to gain up to 50,000 new full-time jobs with average salaries exceeding $100,000 over the next ten to fifteen years. Plus, the Amazon project is expected to have over $5 billion in capital expenditures invested in our region.

Amazon’s ideal site and building requirements are as follows:

30 miles from a population center
Within 45 minutes of an International airport
1-2 miles from major highways and roads
Access to on-site mass transit (i.e. direct access to rail, train, subway/metro bus routes)
500,000 square feet of building space for Phase 1 in 2019 and up to 8,000,000 square feet beyond 2027
Amazon recently announced plans to open a second headquarters in North America. Their Request for Proposal "RFP" can be found here.

According to Amazon, "Amazon HQ2, a second company headquarters in North America. Amazon expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community. Amazon is opening the Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposal (“RFP”) now, and local and state government leaders interested in learning more about how they can bring Amazon to their community can visit www.amazon.com/amazonHQ2."
Equifax, an Atlanta based credit-rating agency, suffered a security breach on July 29th that exposed sensitive information of millions of Americans.   Such information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, birthdays, and addresses. It has been determined that 5.4 million Illinois residents have been affected by the breach.

The company has set up a website where you can check if your personal information was affected by the breach: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has opened an investigation into the recent security breach, and called on Equifax to provide free credit freezes to all Illinois residents in the wake of the breach. She urges Illinois residents to take the Equifax breach seriously and take steps to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft:

· Seriously consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reports with all 3 consumer reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax;
· Regularly request your free credit reports, inspect them closely, and promptly dispute any unauthorized accounts;
· Inspect all financial account statements closely and promptly dispute any unauthorized charges;
· Consider placing alerts on your financial accounts so your financial institution alerts you when money above a pre-designated amount is withdrawn;
· Beware of potential phishing emails; don't open any email messages or attachments from unknown senders and do not click on any unknown links. Fraudsters will frequently send coercive and misleading emails threatening account suspension or worse if sensitive information is not provided. Remember, businesses will never ask customers to verify account information via email. If in doubt, contact the business in question directly for verification and to report phishing emails; and
· Be on the lookout for spoofed email addresses. Spoofed email addresses are those that make minor changes in the domain name, frequently changing the letter O to the number zero, or the lowercase letter l to the number one. Scrutinize all incoming email addresses to ensure that the sender is truly legitimate.

With questions on the data breach, you can contact Equifax at 866-447-7559, or the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630.

"Thank you to Beckemeyer's Village President Josh Mensing for inviting me to his meeting where they honored Jim Nettles and Josh Schniers for their heroic actions during a house fire. Thank you Jim and Josh for your fast action in saving lives from this fire. I always say we have the greatest people living in the 108th District and here are two of the fine examples." -Rep. Charlie Meier

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Highland) released the following statement after the House of Representatives approved historic education funding reform:

“I voted in favor of the bipartisan compromise to provide fair and equitable funding for K-12 schools. The education funding reform plan approved secures historic funding levels for all 852 Illinois school districts. No school in my district will lose funding under this education funding plan. I anticipate the education funding compromise we sent the Senate will be approved and signed into law quickly.”
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) will host his fourth annual Senior Citizen Health fair Wednesday, September 6 at the Weinheimer Community Building, located at 1100 Main Street in Highland, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The fair is free and open to the public.

Attendees at this year’s free Senior Fair will receive helpful guides, literature, and other
resources from various government agencies and local businesses. Staff from the General Assembly
will be available to talk with constituents about their questions. Refreshments will be provided and
attendees are encouraged to sign–in for a chance to win a door prize at the end of the event.

Who:    State Representative Charlie Meier
What:   Senior Citizen Health Fair
When:  Wednesday, September 6 9am -11am
Where: Weinheimer Community Building, located at 1100 Main Street in Highland
As promised, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner issued his amendatory veto of SB 1 to protect the state from sending additional dollars to Chicago’s pension system at the expense of Illinois’ 851 schools districts. State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Highland) released the following statement:

“I’m glad Governor Rauner took swift action in order to keep the schools open on time,” said Rep. Meier. “The Governor’s amendatory veto removes additional funds that would have bailed out Chicago Public Schools at the expense of schools downstate. I will support the Governor’s amendatory veto and I will not vote to override his veto.

I have been against SB 1 from day one due to the fact the education bill included a Chicago bailout. Treating our schools equally and the same is the goal. I support the Governor’s plan to fairly fund our schools.”
With back to school approaching in August, the Democrat controlled legislature has delayed sending Governor Bruce Rauner their school funding bill Senate Bill 1 (SB1). The Illinois General Assembly approved SB 1 in late May, yet as of July 19th, the Illinois Senate has placed a hold on sending SB 1 to the Governor as a way to leverage funding to pay for Chicago teacher pensions. According to State Representative Charlier Meier (R-Okawville), “a funding plan that gives a special benefit to Chicago at the expense of schools in my district is a plan I will not support.”

“SB 1 in its current form is nothing more than a bailout for Chicago schools at the expense of schools in our region,” said Rep. Meier. I support the Governor’s plan to fix SB 1 because his plan will provide more funding for downstate schools and it will not bailout Chicago. Governor Rauner’s fix for SB 1 will provide $3.6 million for schools in my district.”

According to the Governor’s office, when SB 1 reaches his desk, Governor Rauner plans to issue an amendatory veto that will result in higher state funding for almost every school district in Illinois. The bill includes a bailout of Chicago’s broken teacher pension system, so Governor Rauner plans to amend SB 1 to remove this from the bill.

SB 1 directs millions of dollars to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and away from school districts in southern Illinois. Under SB 1, the other 851 school districts in the state will receive less funding while Chicago schools would receive a $506 million historical pension payment, resulting in less funding for downstate schools. To make matters worse, CPS recently disclosed they anticipate 8,000 fewer students attending the city’s public schools this fall, making the Governor’s fix to SB 1 even more necessary to make sure downstate schools receive their fair share of school funding.

Rep. Meier added, “I stand in strong support of the Governor’s plan to fix SB 1. I urge the Senate to send their education funding bill to the Governor’s desk immediately in order for the Governor to fix the bill in time for our schools to receive the funding they need to open as scheduled in August.”

To find out how much more your school will get under Governor Rauner’s school funding plan, click here. Enclosed is a chart illustrating how much schools will gain under the Governor’s plan to FIX SB 1 supported by Rep. Meier:
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Highland) released the following statement after voting against Mike Madigan’s 32 percent permanent income tax hike:

“I listened to my constituents and voted against the permanent income tax hike. The people I spoke with want to see more reforms and cuts before any talk of increasing taxes. I voted against the tax hike since zero reforms came back from the Senate. I supported the Governor’s veto and the taxpayers’ wishes.”
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Highland) released the statement below following Governor Rauner’s proclamation calling lawmakers back to Springfield for special session June 21st through June 30th:

“It’s time for lawmakers to get back to work by ending this budget impasse. I’m glad Governor Rauner has called a special session in order to jumpstart budget negotiations. For two years in a row the General Assembly has failed to send the Governor a budget which is why we are being called back to work until a bipartisan solution is reached. I am ready to work each day this month until we pass a balanced budget.

Before I was elected to serve in the legislature, Governor Blagojevich called several special sessions which resulted in no action by the General Assembly. I hope the outcome will be different this time due to the fact Speaker Madigan is working with a different Governor. A Governor that actually has a plan to improve our state instead of digging our state deeper into debt.”
"The recent shooting of Jerseyville's police officer reminds me of the sacrifices our men and women in blue give to keep us as safe as possible. I pray for the officer wounded and pray for his recovery. I am close friends with the officers family, they were in my thoughts and prayers when I heard of the tragic news this morning and will continue to pray for the family during this difficult time. Thank you to all of our men and women who serve and protect, your sacrifice does not go unnoticed because you put your life at risk for us all."

-Charlie Meier, State Representative 108th District

With 21 days left until the Illinois General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 31st. State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) recently co-sponsored a legislative package to encourage lawmakers to adopt a revenue estimate for Fiscal Year 2018. According to Rep. Charlie Meier, “adopting a revenue estimate is an important step in the budget making process.”

Rep. Charlie Meier co-sponsored House Joint Resolutions 49, 50 and 51, to provide realistic revenue estimates for the upcoming fiscal year 2018 set to begin July 1, 2017.  HJR 49 uses the non-partisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) FY2018 revenue estimate of $31.147 billion, HJR 50 uses the FY2018 estimate published by the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) of $31.476 billion, and HJR 51 utilizes an average of the COGFA and GOMB revenue estimates, or $31.312 billion, as the starting point for the creation of a balanced state budget.

According to Section 2, Article VIII of the Illinois Constitution, “Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year. Pursuant to this constitutional mandate, it is the duty of the Illinois legislature to adopt a revenue estimate for each and every fiscal year in order to have a basis from which to design a budget that is balanced.” Which means the legislature can’t spend more than what the State will have in the bank account.

Rep. Meier added, “the legislature has yet to agree on a revenue estimate. A revenue estimate will help the legislature craft a balanced budget as required by the Illinois Constitution which is why I agreed to co-sponsor this legislative package. If the legislature adopts a revenue estimate, than it will certainly help steer lawmakers in the right direction towards approving a balanced budget. With less than 21 days until adjournment, the clock is ticking. It’s time to get to work on passing a revenue estimate so we can adopt a balance budget now.”
The Illinois House of Representatives recently adopted House Resolution 327 to congratulate the Chicago Tribune for receiving the 2016 Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism for its three-part series “Suffering in Secret.” The investigative stories identified 1,311 cases of documented harm occurring in state funded group homes for the developmentally disabled since July 2011 and determined at least 42 deaths linked to abuse or neglect in group homes or their day programs over the last seven years.

According to State Representative Charlie Meier, “The three-part series published by the Chicago Tribune which exposed the abuse and neglect that unfortunately occurred in group homes throughout the state was  in part due to the Murray Parents Association bringing their concerns to light. The story had to be told in order to further prevent these incidents of abuse and neglect from ever happening again.”

The Bingham Prize honors investigative reporting of stories of national significance where the public interest is being ill-served. These stories may involve state, local or national government, lobbyists or the press itself, wherever an “atmosphere of easy tolerance” exists, as journalist Worth Bingham himself once described public misconduct in his reporting on the nation’s capital.

Rep. Meier added, “This Worth Bingham Prize for Investigative Journalism will help ensure the story of abuse and neglect that occurred is not forgotten as it will be printed in newspapers throughout the country. I am hopeful this story will cause other states to reevaluate how they care for the developmentally disabled by making sure what happened in our state doesn’t occur in their state.”
Cardinals Opening Day against the Chicago Cubs is on the horizon, which is something most baseball fans can all look forward to. But there is something else I look forward to happening, and that is for both Democrats and Republicans to work together and approve a balanced state budget.

The Illinois General Assembly held its version of Opening Day on January 11, 2017 when all 118 representatives and 59 senators took the oath of office, marking the first day of business for the new legislature following the November election. It was a fresh start, a new year, and a real opportunity to accomplish what many promised to do after the election – pass a balanced budget. Yet here we are today, halfway through the season we call ‘session’ and the legislature has accomplished little to brag about in the record books except more losses and less victories for the taxpayers.

To make matters worse, two Senate Democrat Leaders recently went on the record to say they don’t believe we will have a budget until after the Governor’s election in November 2018. The unpaid bills are stacking up, our universities and community colleges are exhausting their emergency funds to stay open, healthcare providers are not getting paid. The lack of a state budget is continuing to harm our most vulnerable. The fact that some Democrats are already signaling they are giving up on the taxpayers and giving up on bipartisanship is outrageous.

House Republicans have repeatedly called for action on issues Illinois residents care about such as property tax relief for homeowners, redistricting reform that will give more power to the voters, not the politicians, and furthermore my Republican colleagues introduced a plan to ensure our State can pay down its massive pension debt. Unfortunately, the majority of House Democrats have not shown a willingness to work together on a balanced budget or compromise on any of the issues Illinois residents care about. Instead we are faced with silence and talk of giving up from the other side of the aisle.
The Illinois House of Representatives recently approved legislation directing the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit of the Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs) program administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS). The resolution (HR 34) sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) was introduced in light of the abuse and neglect which took place throughout the state in group homes for the developmentally disabled dating back to 2011.

The tragic reports of abuse and neglect came to light thanks to the Murray Parents Association’s work with the Chicago Tribune, sparking an investigation by the newspaper, then followed by the Tribune publishing its story earlier this year titled SUFFERING IN SECRET: Illinois hides abuse and neglect of adults with disabilities,” in which the newspaper “identified 1,311 cases of documented harm since July 2011 and determined at least 42 deaths linked to abuse or neglect in group homes or their day programs over the last seven years.”

“The audit unfortunately can’t undo the abuse and neglect which occurred, however this audit will help us learn more about what went wrong and how Illinois can improve the quality of care for our most vulnerable,” said Rep. Meier. “DHS has already made improvements, though I am optimistic this audit will further improve how the state properly cares for the developmentally disabled.”

The Illinois Department of Human Services has seven State-operated developmental centers (SODCs) serving approximately 1,800 residents. Individuals also receive services in community-based settings through Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs), which house one to eight residents each otherwise called “group homes”. In 2012, then-Governor Quinn announced a "rebalancing initiative" with the goal of moving individuals from SODCs to community settings. In 2012, the SODC in Jacksonville was closed and the majority of its residents were transitioned to CILAs. Followed by the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia being slated for closure, resulting in some residents being transitioned out of their home they call Murray and being placed into group homes. However, as it stands today, Murray Center is and will remain open.

Rep. Meier added, “There are good CILAs and there are some bad CILAs. My goal is to help make sure unsafe CILAs are a thing of the past.”

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Highland) released the statement below following Governor Rauner’s annual budget address before the General Assembly:

“I agree with Governor Rauner when he said we must ‘think anew and act anew’. It’s time to look forward instead of what’s behind us. We have an opportunity today to fix our broken state by growing our economy, paying down our debt and passing a balanced budget. We must work together. If so, we can move Illinois forward.”
Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) was recently chosen by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin to serve as Republican Spokesman for the Agriculture and Conservation Committee. The Spokesman role serves as the top spot for a republican member serving on the important house committee. Rep. Meier replaced retired State Representative Don Moffitt who was appointed assistant director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture effective January 17th.

“I look forward to representing the agriculture and conservation community while serving as spokesman of the committee,” said Rep. Meier. “I grew up on my family farm which is over 112 years old - parts of my family have farmed in America for 200 years. I till the same land my great grandparents tilled years ago. To this day, my family farm is very diverse, we produce corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and raise beef cattle. It is very important to me to ensure Illinois Ag continues to be a leading producer of corn, soybeans and swine.”

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, marketing of Illinois' agricultural commodities generates more than $19 billion annually. Illinois' 74,300 farms cover nearly 27 million acres - about 75 percent of the state's total land area. Furthermore, Illinois ranks third nationally in the export of agricultural commodities with $8.2 billion worth of goods shipped to other countries.
On Thursday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a motion in St. Clair County court to stop the Comptroller from sending paychecks to all state employees effective February 28, 2017.

Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) today released the following statement:

“This is just another political stunt by a Madigan from Chicago. If she really wants to help the legislature pass a budget, then I ask her to please call Speaker Madigan and ask him to sit down and negotiate a balanced budget with both Republicans and Democrats. The state does not have a budget because Speaker Madigan has not shown the willingness to negotiate.

“Lisa Madigan’s attempt to prevent all state employees from receiving a paycheck is foolish and irresponsible. We all want to pass a state budget, but shutting government down and putting lives at risk is not the way we reach an agreement towards a balanced budget.”
Governor Bruce Rauner presented his third annual State of the State today before members of the Illinois General Assembly at the state capitol in Springfield.

Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) released the following statement:

“Over the last two years Governor Rauner made several notable accomplishments such as delivering $700 million more for our schools, restoring ethical standards to the Governor’s office, creating new jobs, and streamlining state government. The Governor recognized challenges still exist and I agree with him that both Democrats and Republicans must work together. By working together we can get Illinois back on track by increasing jobs and growing our economy. 2017 marks a new session and a new General Assembly, I look forward to working with both parties and the Governor to make Illinois a better state to live and work.”
Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) was sworn into office as State Representative of the 108th District at a ceremony held Wednesday, January 11 at the University of Illinois – Springfield. The year 2017 is important for the legislature as it begins the 100th Illinois General Assembly.

“I’m grateful to return to the House of Representatives for another term,” said Rep. Meier. “I strive to do the very best I can for the individuals and families I represent. Today we are faced with many challenges ahead and passing a balanced budget will be at the forefront.”

Over the last 18 months, the Democrat controlled legislature has failed to pass a balanced budget by only passing unbalanced budget proposals which spend anywhere from $4.5 billion to $7.5 billion more than what the State has in the bank. In 2016, Governor Rauner presented the legislature with two options in order to pass a state budget – work with the Democratic majority on reaching a balanced budget or give the Governor the authority to fashion a balanced budget.

Rep. Meier added, “In addition to passing a balanced budget. I will continue to support legislation that creates more jobs, delivers property tax relief, fully fund our schools, and be a strong advocate for the safety and well-being of our developmentally disabled.”

Rep. Meier is a lifelong resident of Washington County who lives on his family’s Centennial Farm outside of Okawville. A farmer and real-estate developer, Meier has previously served as an elected member of the Washington County Board.   Additionally, Meier has served as a board member for Southwestern Illinois RC&D (a conservation-focused organization), the Vice-Chair of B.C.M.W. (a multi-county social services organization), a longtime member of the Addieville Area Jaycees, and multiple other local organizations.