public pensions
Task Force on Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates
On December 17 I attended a Final Report meeting for the Task Force on Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates in Chicago. The Task Force’s purpose is to study issues of local government and school district consolidation and redundancy, and to make recommendations that will ensure accountable and efficient government and education in the State of Illinois.
The goals of this Task Force fell right in line with my own legislative initiatives, as they address the nitty gritty issues that shackle our local governments and our local education systems. After offering up many initiatives that aim to make Illinois more efficient, it is very important that I contributed to this unique Task Force.
With this Task Force we:
•  Conducted a comprehensive review of State laws relating to local government and school district consolidation;
•  Conducted a comprehensive review of State laws relating to unfunded mandates on local government bodies and school districts;
•  Identified opportunities to consolidate, streamline, or eliminate duplicative governmental bodies, school districts, and taxing authorities;
•  Identified opportunities to replace, revise, or repeal unfunded mandates placed on local governments and school districts;
•  Discussed solutions and impediments to consolidation of local governments and school districts;
•  Analyzed the success of programs and legislation with similar goals implemented in Illinois and other states; and
•  Prepared a final report to the Governor and the General Assembly making specific recommendations to consolidate local governments and school districts.

Thompson Center, Chicago

The Task Force held 16 meetings across the state and has heard testimony from 33 experts representing government associations, nonprofit think tanks, researchers, and state agencies. It also received more than 85 proposals and endorsed 27 recommendations on topics relating to local government consolidation and unfunded mandates.
Over 100 Seniors Attended the Holiday Luncheon at Plainfield FD Training Center
I was honored to help serve over 100 seniors at the Holiday Luncheon held on December 7. The event was hosted by the Plainfield Park District and Plainfield Township, at the Plainfield Fire Department’s Training Center. This is always a big event and I was thrilled to say hi to so many people in our local community, and also serve up some lunches. Thank you to all that volunteered and participated, and thank you to the Park District and Township for hosting.

Plainfield Fire Department Training Center

Self Defense Class
Starting in late January, I will be sponsoring self-defense seminars across the District with One-Light Self Defense. Participants will learn avoidance tactics, self-defense misconceptions, offensive techniques, and defensive techniques. Every workshop can help all ages and needs. All donations go to help Women at Risk, International, for their fight against human trafficking, rehabilitating victims, and giving a voice to the silently oppressed. Please visit to learn more about their cause, and please consider coming out to learn how to better defend yourself if you have to, and also help an extremely honorable group.
As always, if you ever have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (815) 254-0000, or visit
It has been such a privilege to serve our communities this past year, and I will continue to bring my forward-thinking initiatives to Springfield on behalf of our State’s children and their education, its workers, and its retirees. There is much work to be done, yet nothing we cannot accomplish together.
From my family to yours, please have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!