State of the State offers opportunity for honest assessment from the governorTomorrow, Governor Rauner will deliver his second State of the State address, an annual speech to the General Assembly highlighting the previous year’s accomplishments. 

With Illinois still mired in a financial crisis, leaving college students without the ability to utilize state grants and seniors losing vital services, Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) is looking to the governor to provide an honest assessment of the state of Illinois absent a budget.

Click below to hear Senator Hutchinson’s full remarks:

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement after news the governor declared an impasse in negotiations with the state’s largest employee union:

Hutchinson: “How much collateral damage is all of this chaos worth?”“Today’s decision by the governor affects tens of thousands of Illinois workers who protect our children and our seniors and keep our streets safe at night. They are our home health care workers, child care providers, state troopers and corrections officers. They are real people doing the work we need them to do to function as a state. A labor stoppage is truly frightening especially in light of the fact that our social safety net has been pushed to the brink of collapse.

“I don’t understand why the governor insists on pushing our state closer to complete chaos. What’s the point? This is not new. We have spent the last seven months at impasse without a budget. The irony is that there is no impasse if you decide not to be at impasse.  These are the moments when you must keep trying.

“How much collateral damage is all of this chaos worth?”

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State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement after voting in support of a proposal that will distribute state funds to a variety of programs and services that keep Illinoisans safe and protect seniors and working families:

Hutchinson supports local funding for road salt, human service programs“Yesterday's vote is a win for Illinois. It is a win for our communities that are preparing plans to keep our roads safe during winter weather. It is a win for domestic violence shelters that are struggling each and every day just to keep the doors open for victims in desperate need of care.  And it is a win for seniors who need a little extra help paying their heating costs over the next several months. This win is only possible because everyone came to the table and worked together.

“While this week's vote is a step forward, we cannot lose sight of how much there is still to be accomplished. There are countless non-profit agencies struggling to care for the homeless, victims of rape and individuals suffering from mental illness. They are on the front lines of this budget impasse, and we cannot forget them. We must continue working together like we did today, putting aside our political differences and ideologies, and do what is best for everyone in this state.”

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Local dollars being held in SpringfieldSPRINGFIELD - Every year, Kankakee-area motorists pay thousands of dollars in state gas taxes that help pay for road salt, snowplow repair, patching potholes and other road projects and maintenance. Since July 1, however, Springfield has not distributed this money back to local governments.

“It’s ridiculous,” said state Sen. Toi Hutchinson, a Chicago Heights Democrat who also represents a majority of Kankakee County in the Illinois Senate. “State government’s role is simply to collect the money and send it back.”

The problem, Hutchinson explained, is that the money can’t be sent to communities without some kind of official authorization. In May, Hutchinson supported a proposal that contained that authorization. While the plan passed the Senate, Governor Rauner unfortunately vetoed it, leaving municipalities without vital funding as the winter season quickly approaches. The system has been at a standstill ever since.

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