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Springfield….On day 2 of 4 scheduled Special Session days, State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) is urging Senate President John Cullerton to send SB 1, the revamped school funding formula bill, to the Governor’s desk. The Senate has been holding on to the bill for more than 6 weeks, something Cavaletto says is a purposeful manipulation of the democratic process.

“The Chicago politicians that run the House and Senate are putting pressure on school districts and families and trying to create a crisis of schools not opening on time to score political points,” Cavaletto said. “They are using school kids as pawns in a high stakes political blame game.”

Cavaletto says the Senate is holding on to the school funding bill instead of sending it to the Governor because the Governor has pledged to take out a provision in the bill that allows Chicago to move to the front of the line to receive money to bailout Chicago public schools’ underfunded pensions.

“SB 1 as it currently is written would prioritize paying Chicago pension debts over increasing funds for schools in southern Illinois. That isn’t fair. That money should be going to classrooms in southern Illinois,” Cavaletto said. “Governor Rauner has promised he will fix SB 1 using his veto power. We want to make sure that all districts in Illinois receive equitable and adequate funding. That’s what the Governor’s amendatory veto will accomplish and I fully support him.”

After two press conferences on Wednesday where Governor Rauner singled out Chicago Democrat Senate President John Cullerton for holding back the school funding bill, Cullerton said he plans to send SB 1 to the Governor on Monday, July 31, which is also the final day of 4 planned Special Sessions.

“This is a completely avoidable crisis that the Senate President and Speaker Madigan are causing,” Cavaletto said. “Why are they waiting? People are tired of this. I’m tired of this. Our children don’t deserve to be treated this way. I’m calling on Senate Democrats to do what’s right and send SB 1 to Governor Rauner so he can fix it now.”

The Illinois State Police Merit Board is currently processing applications
for Cadet Class 127, tentatively scheduled for February 4, 2018. In order
to be considered for Cadet Class 127, the Merit Board must receive your
completed application and required documentation by July 15, 2017.

Education Requirement Update
Effective July 1, 2017, Any person who has been honorably discharged who
served in a combat mission by proof of hostile fire pay or imminent danger
pay during deployment on active duty, or has served 3 years of full
active and continuous military duty and received an honorable discharge,
meets the collegiate educational requirement of the Department of State
State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem), a member of the Cost Benefit Analysis Committee, today voted to support the Governor’s veto of the budget plan that raises the state income tax rate from 3.75% to 4.95%.

“My vote on Sunday for the proposal in front of us was based on the ‘junk bond’ rating threat to the State of Illinois and that huge negative impact on borrowing and the cost to Illinois taxpayers,” said Rep. Cavaletto. “But I found out this morning directly from Moody’s that this budget plan doesn’t seem to help and they are still considering a downgrade from Baa3 rating level because Illinois’ debt obligations does not have stable funding to meet our obligations, even with this tax increase,” Cavaletto continued.

“The more than one thousand calls, emails and Facebook messages I have received have been about 10 to 1 opposed to any more taxes. The message from my constituents has been loud and clear that they do not want a tax increase so I had to oppose this plan with a permanent tax increase,” Cavaletto said.

As part of this plan there is a 5% across the board cut of state agencies and a 10% cut in the funding to Illinois colleges and universities. But there are not enough reforms to change the way government spending is handled in Illinois.

“We’re pushing people out of this state with high taxes and property taxes and we need reforms and tax relief to keep people here and attract more with job growth,” Cavaletto concluded.
 State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem), a member of the Cost Benefit Analysis Committee, is not happy with the last minute changes to a new school funding formula bill that bails out Chicago schools and short-changes the students in his district. Passing with the bare minimum number of votes, this bill now goes to the governor for consideration.

“I do not like that our students are short-changed and the Chicago schools would receive a disproportionate amount than our kids deserve downstate,” said Rep. John Cavaletto. “I did not feel comfortable supporting Senate Bill 1 in its current form,” he added.

The legislature has debated the issue of school funding reform for a number of years, including this past legislative session. Many believe that we need a more equitable school funding formula in Illinois that lessens our reliance on local property taxes while providing that the State make education a higher priority. Right now, Illinois only provides 24% of total education spending.

The political games that were played during the last two days of the Spring Session did not provide for reasonable and adequate education reform for ALL Illinois students. Legislators have been engaged in bi-partisan talks with the advocates of the funding reform model for months. But the advocates pushed their own version of the legislation at the last minute that would send almost $500 million more of our tax dollars to Chicago with nothing in return for our local school districts. We must fix this inequity.

In addition, Illinois has not had a full budget in two years. This school funding reform proposal requires $350 million in new money even though the State cannot afford to pay schools for current year programs. SB 1 would allocate the monies at a 70% - 30% ratio with 70% for Chicago that has only 23% of the students. The Illinois Education Association (IEA) was not a proponent of this bill which says a lot about an advocacy group that is never silent on legislation that impacts teachers.

“I will continue to work with my colleagues to develop a new formula to provide an equitable and adequate education for all two million students in Illinois public schools, not just a select few,” concluded Cavaletto. “We have the ability to accomplish this historic feat soon, but we must all work together to do so without political games that continue to be played in Springfield.”

This slide uses Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 as an example from the last year
we had a state budget in place.

Many of you have contacted me about your frustration that there hasn't been a full, balanced budget for Illinois in two years now. I share your frustration and want you to see the process as it is supposed to happen under our state constitution. You may click HERE to see the entire power point presentation.

"A big thank you to AT&T for underwriting the cost of this shred truck again this year," said Rep. John Cavaletto, Republican Spokesperson for the House Environment committee. "This was popular last year for those who took advantage of the opportunity to destroy old documents with personal information on medical and financial paperwork," Cavaletto added.

Effingham Fire Chief Joesph Holomy and Rep. John Cavaletto (107th District)

Rep. John Cavaletto, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, and Rep. Carol Sente

State Rep. Carol Sente, State Fire Marshall Matthew Perez, Ramsey Fire Chief, & Rep. Cavaletto.

State Rep. Carol Sente, State Fire Marshall Matthew Perez, and Rep. John Cavaletto

"This memorial program that I have attended every year while serving in the state legislature, hits close to home with mixed emotions of pride and sadness for me," said Rep. John Cavaletto, who serves as the Republican Spokesperson on the Fire & Emergency Services committee. "I have a son who is a firefighter and I feel for the families each year who have lost a loved one," Cavaletto added.

The 24th Annual Memorial program for Illinois Fallen Firefighters and Fire Fighting Medal of Honor Awards can be found here.

"In 1993 the Illinois Fire Services Association unanimously agreed that a monument should be erected to serve as the official memorial; it was to be located on the grounds adjacent to the state Capitol building. The Memorial would be viewed by thousands of visitors year ‘round.

The Firefighter Medal of Honor Committee, appointed by the Governor, assumed the responsibility of bringing the Memorial to reality. Working with the Secretary of State’s office, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and a nationally recognized sculptor, the committee developed a design concept to transform the site into a Memorial in which the fire service of Illinois would be proud.

The Illinois Firefighter Memorial is dedicated to the firefighters of Illinois, who have given their lives in the line of duty and to those firefighters who heroically serve with courage, pride and honor. The artist was commissioned to design and construct an original bronze work of art consisting of four life-size figures of firefighters in full gear, a child, a ladder and hose.

There are 2,400 red paver bricks which are enclosed by a 2 foot wall with capstones engraved with contributor’s names. It is here, at the Illinois Firefighter Memorial, that we honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice."