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Tom Kacich

SPRINGFIELD — Not only would the closing of the Clinton nuclear plant west of Champaign damage the central Illinois economy, legislators said Thursday, but it also would result in higher electric bills.

About a dozen community leaders from DeWitt County and the surrounding area met Thursday morning with Gov. Bruce Rauner at the governor's Capitol office, explaining how the loss of 700 jobs and the nuclear plant's assessed valuation would be harmful to the region.

Rauner was unavailable for comment but state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forysth, said Rauner listened and said he is studying a Senate bill that would give Exelon, the owner of the Clinton plant and a second endangered nuclear plant near the Quad Cities, financial assistance to continue operating the units.

"It's a large bill and they're looking at it," Mitchell said of the 613-page proposal. "That's all that we could hope for."

Springfield – Legislation to protect patients from life-threatening sepsis infections is making its way through the Illinois House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 2403, aka “Gabby’s Law,” is named in honor of Gabriella Giada Galbo of Monticello, who passed away from sepsis at the age of 5. Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection. Anyone can develop sepsis; however it is most common and dangerous in older adults and those with weakened immune systems. 

“Gabby’s Law” requires Illinois hospitals to implement evidence-based protocols for the early recognition and treatment of patients with sepsis. It further requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to establish a sepsis information collection and reporting procedure.

State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) is sponsoring “Gabby’s Law” in the House and presented the bill Wednesday to the Human Services Committee, where it was unanimously passed. Gabby’s parents, Tony and Elisabeth Galbo, were with Rep. Mitchell at the committee hearing and Mr. Galbo gave heart-wrenching testimony about the medical complications and lack of action taken early that could have prevented Gabby’s death.

“I am thankful to the Galbo family for bringing awareness to this issue and for showing great strength in their testimony to the committee today,” Rep. Mitchell said. “Illinois hospitals need to implement sepsis protocols to help ensure that no other family has to go through the pain and loss the Galbos suffered. Senator Rose and I are hopeful that our legislation will help advance medical treatment to prevent sepsis deaths.”

Senate Bill 2403 (Rose/Mitchell) is modeled after legislation in New York, which is the first state to require all hospitals to adopt best practices for the early identification of sepsis. Illinois does not currently have a sepsis reporting law for hospitals.
Monticello, IL – With last month’s announcement that the State of Illinois has overpaid $168 million in tax revenue to local governments since 2014, State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) is sponsoring legislation to forgive the overpayments.

A recent tax system modernization initiative at the Illinois Department of Revenue (IDOR) has uncovered a misallocation to the Personal Property Replacement Tax (PPRT) Fund that began under the Quinn administration. The error has resulted in overpayment of an estimated $168 million to the taxing districts that receive PPRT disbursements. Approximately 6,500 districts are impacted by the misallocation that began in 2014. Monticello CUSD 25 owes the State $830,884. The City of Monticello owes $153,806 and Piatt County owes $222,537.

Representative Mitchell was in Monticello Monday to announce his legislation with local school officials.

“Today is the 300th day of the State of Illinois not having a budget. We have $7 billion in unpaid bills, owe 50,000-plus vendors and are pro-rating funding for our schools. We have no business demanding repayment of millions of dollars from local governments and schools already facing financial difficulties. The State messed up and misallocated PPRT funds, through no fault of our local officials. My legislation forgives the overpayment, allowing local districts to keep the funds, rather than having to repay the State,” said Rep. Mitchell.

With the future of the Clinton Power Station in question, area legislators and local officials met in Clinton Thursday to discuss efforts to protect the continued safe operation of the nuclear plant.

State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) is backing legislation that would provide a market-based solution to protect the future of the Clinton Power Station and other nuclear plants in Illinois.

“The Clinton power plant is a major economic engine for Central Illinois,” Mitchell said. “Families throughout the area depend on it for good-paying jobs and our schools and other units of local government receive significant tax revenues from the plant. Not only are the jobs important, but with Illinois’ nuclear plants producing about half of our state’s power, this is about maintaining our energy independence.”

Despite the ongoing budget impasse and billions of dollars in unpaid bills, the Illinois House voted Tuesday to continue a controversial program that provides welfare benefits for illegal immigrants.

Covering ALL KIDS, a remnant of disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration, provides health care coverage for children, regardless of immigration status. Undocumented enrollees are not eligible for federal Medicaid funds, so the entire cost of providing health insurance to illegal immigrants is paid for by Illinois taxpayers.

The ALL KIDS program was set to expire on July 1, 2016. House Bill 5736 would continue the program for another three years. State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) stood in strong opposition to the legislation, voting against HB 5736, which passed the House on a vote of 77-38.

“ALL KIDS has been a fiscal disaster for Illinois taxpayers, costing us more than $500 million,” Mitchell said. “If you ever want to know why we’re broke, just look at ALL KIDS. Illinois is drowning in a sea of red ink, with $7.6 billion in unpaid bills. We have no budget. Our universities and community colleges aren’t being funded. Vitally important services for seniors and our most vulnerable citizens aren’t being funded. The State of Illinois has no business providing welfare benefits to people who are in this state and country illegally, especially when we can’t even take care of our own citizens.”

ALL KIDS program audits conducted by the Illinois Auditor General show that nearly 70 percent of the enrollees and 65 percent of the total cost comes from undocumented immigrants. Between Fiscal Years 2009 and 2014 (latest audit available), Illinois spent $320 million on health coverage for undocumented immigrants under the Expanded ALL KIDS Plan. None of these costs were matched by the federal government. Illinois taxpayers paid the entire cost for these non-citizens.

“Working families in my district want to know why the State is using their tax dollars to provide free health care to illegal immigrants,” Mitchell said. “Illinois has become a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants. We give them health care coverage, drivers’ licenses and in-state tuition. All I can say is ‘if you subsidize it, they will come.’ I warned against this when ALL KIDS originally passed. Here we are, a decade later, having spent half a billion dollars, and the Chicago politicians want to continue this failed program for another three years? I remain absolutely opposed to this giveaway to illegals.”

House Bill 806 (P.A. 94-693) created the Covering ALL KIDS Health Insurance Act. Rep. Bill Mitchell was one of 28 House members to vote against the Blagojevich initiative when it originally passed in 2005.

With the Illinois House of Representatives in the midst of a month-long break, a group of Downstate GOP lawmakers want the House to return to session to work on a compromise to end the nine-month long budget impasse.

State Representatives Bill Mitchell, C.D. Davidsmeyer, John Cavaletto, David Reis and Avery Bourne held a press conference in Decatur Wednesday to urge Democrat leaders to call the General Assembly back into session.

“The sad fact is Illinois is broke. Our colleges, students and human services are suffering because of the Chicago politicians’ refusal to compromise on desperately-needed economic and spending reforms. We are nine months into Fiscal Year 2016 without a budget and the House has only been in session nine days this entire year. What are we doing? Speaker Madigan needs to end this month-long break and get back to work,” said Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth)

Decatur… With the State’s budget impasse entering month seven, State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) is calling for passage of new legislation that will require lawmakers to pass a budget that is truly balanced – or not be paid.

Speaking at Richland Community College Tuesday, Representative Mitchell discussed the negative impact the lack of a state budget is having on Richland.

“We’re in our seventh month without a budget. Illinois is a dysfunctional state. The lack of a budget, along with years of unbalanced budgets, is hurting our schools, colleges and providers. Here at Richland, the lack of a budget has had a profoundly negative impact. Millions of dollars in grants have been lost, tuition has been increased and there’s no MAP funding for students this semester,” said Rep. Mitchell.

“Our current balanced budget provision in the Illinois Constitution has no ‘teeth’, and as a result, some General Assemblies and Governors have used budget gimmicks and accounting tricks to get around it, or simply ignored it altogether with no real consequences to themselves. The consequences to our communities, however, have been devastating,” said Mitchell.