Latest News

The 2016 IHSA Class 4A Champion Rochester Rockets Football team and coaches this week were recognized for their achievements by the Illinois House of Representatives. House members unanimously adopted State Representatives Tim Butler and Sue Scherer’s House Resolution 17 outlining the team’s road to victory, and congratulating athletes and coaches on their outstanding championship season.

“Last year’s victory marks the Rockets’ sixth Class 4A football championship in seven seasons – a tremendous achievement,” said Rep. Butler. “I was proud to welcome these young men and their coaches to the Capitol and to recognize their hard work and dedication.”

The Rockets’ sixth state championship puts them just two behind East St. Louis and Wheaton Warrenville South for the statewide lead for a public school. 

You can read the full resolution here.

State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) issued the following statement upon learning of the death of former U.S. House Minority Leader Bob Michel:
 
"Our Nation, our State, and my hometown of Peoria have lost a true giant.  Bob Michel embodied the best of what it is to be a public servant.  Bob brought his humble, Main Street, Central Illinois values to Washington, a background that allowed him to succeed like few Members who serve in the minority party have ever have.   Bob stood on principle, but his deep belief in civility and establishing common ground to make progress is something that is sorely needed in today's political environment.  It was a true honor to know Bob and be able to call him my friend.  My condolences go to his family and all of those who knew this wonderful man."

Budget Priorities
On Wednesday the Governor gave his annual budget address to a joint session of the General Assembly. As you know, bi-partisan negotiations on a new budget have been progressing in the Senate over the past few weeks, and today the governor said that his basic requirement for a compromise deal approved by the General Assembly is that it must be good for taxpayers and job creators. Some notable points the Governor made include:

• We must control spending so state government can live within its means.
• New revenue will be considered if it is accompanied by changes to help create jobs and grow our economy.

It’s good news that Democrats and Republicans are now in agreement that some structural economic reforms are needed to grow jobs and repair our budget and our state economy, and I’m optimistic that a workable compromise will soon emerge from the ongoing negotiations.

Securing State Employees’ Pay
Efforts are continuing in the House to block Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s attempt to halt state employee pay while the budget negotiations continue. Legislation I’m sponsoring, House Bill 2803, now has more than 25 co-sponsors. It would make state employees’ pay a continuing appropriation this year and in future years to ensure workers will be paid for the work they do even when we disagree on the budget. We’re pushing for a prompt hearing in the House.

Tens of thousands of workers have been caught in the middle of our ongoing budget stalemate. It’s simply wrong for the Attorney General to attempt to use their pay as political leverage.

In the new 100th General Assembly State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) will serve on committees crucial to the economy of the 87th District. Key among these assignments, Representative Butler has secured positions on the House Public Safety Appropriations Committee which has oversight of the Illinois National Guard and Illinois State Police; the Tourism, Hospitality and Craft Industries Committee which will have input on the important tourism industry as well as the burgeoning craft industry movement in Illinois; and the Museums, Arts and Cultural Enhancements Committee.
 
“Tourism and history are major drivers of the economy in our area of the State," Butler said.  "From the Lincoln sites and museum to the Route 66 attractions our history is not only an important part of the fabric of our communities it is a vital engine for our local economy. Additionally, the National Guard not only makes ours a secure State, but having the home of the Guard in Springfield is a great contributor to our economic well-being.   Securing a spot on these committees ensures our area has a seat at the table throughout the process and allows us the ability to advocate for issues of importance to our Central Illinois communities.”
State Representatives Tim Butler and Sara Wojcicki Jimenez  have introduced legislation to ensure state employees will continue to receive their paychecks through Fiscal Year 2017. House Bill 1787, filed Wednesday, provides a continuing appropriation to secure employees’ pay against Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s move to halt paychecks until the budget stalemate comes to an end.

“This ongoing budget crisis has already caused a great deal of stress and uncertainty for state employees and their families. It’s unconscionable that Attorney General Madigan is now attempting to hold their pay hostage as a negotiating tactic. We cannot allow that to happen,” said Representative Butler (R-Springfield).

House Bill 1787 provides a continuing appropriation for each state agency and constitutional officer, as well as state boards and commissions, to meet their personnel expenses for the remainder of the current fiscal year.
Attorney General Madigan Should Rescind Her Motion to Block Employees’ Pay

I was very disappointed that on Thursday Attorney General Lisa Madigan again launched an attempt to block pay for state employees here and across the state while budget negotiations continue.

This late-night move by the Attorney General is unconscionable. She has put tens of thousands of hard-working state employees and their families at risk by advocating in court that they not be paid for the work they perform. In the midst of ongoing, bipartisan negotiations in the State Senate to resolve this budget impasse, the Attorney General has decided to create chaos, instead of trying to support a compromise that is potentially in the works.  I have immediately called on Attorney General Madigan to rescind her motion.

State of the State Take-Away:  We Have a New Opportunity we Cannot Waste

In his annual State of the State Address on Wednesday the Governor spoke about both frustration and optimism – sentiments that I share, and that I know many of you share as well.  The pace of the state budget negotiations in particular has been very frustrating, and we need to focus our efforts in the coming weeks on building on recent bi-partisan progress made in the Senate to reach a responsible compromise.

But the governor this week also highlighted some areas on which we have been able to come together over the past two years and make progress, including providing more funding for our schools so we all know it can be done.

The start of this historic 100th General Assembly provides us a new opportunity to put our differences aside and to focus instead on where we can find common ground. We cannot waste it.

"This late-night move by the Attorney General is unconscionable.... She has put tens of thousands of hard-working state employees and their families at risk by advocating in court that they not be paid for the work they perform. In the midst of ongoing, bipartisan negotiations in the State Senate to resolve this budget impasse, the Attorney General has decided to create chaos, instead of trying to support a compromise that is potentially in the works. I call on Attorney General Madigan to rescind her motion."