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State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) released the following statement after passage of a stop-gap State budget:

“Today the General Assembly finally took a step forward with a bipartisan negotiated compromise that will fund core services of state government.  This compromise is far from perfect, but it shows that both sides can work together to get things done for the citizens of this diverse state.

It is vitally important that we fund education, and this bill fully funds education for the first time in seven years.  It is vitally important that we fund our transportation projects, and this bill provides resources for infrastructure improvements.  It is vitally important that we fund our human services programs and this bill funds critical human services.  Many other vital state services need to be funded, and they are funded in this bill.

We still have much more work to do to get a complete resolution, but I will continue to work to find solutions to the problems we face in our state.”
On Wednesday, June 29th State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) honored the Rochester High School Rockets girls soccer team for their success on winning the Class 2A state championship. The girls soccer team have won back-to-back titles and have played in three straight championship games.

The Illinois House of Representatives today adopted a resolution sponsored by State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) to mourn the loss of Springfield resident Earl Wallace “Wally” Henderson, Jr. Mr. Wally Henderson passed away in April of this year at the age of 85.

Wally Henderson was a longtime Springfield architect, preservationist, and community activist. He was the architect behind the restoration of the Old State Capitol in the 1960s when the historic landmark was brought back to how it appeared during Abraham Lincoln's era.

“Today we recognized a true giant in the city of Springfield,” Rep. Butler said on the House floor in tribute of Mr. Henderson. “Wally had more impact on the city than any of us could imagine. For what you see today at the Old State Capitol you can thank Wally for that. He was someone who put the gentle in gentleman.”

Wally Henderson was formerly a principal partner at Ferry and Henderson Architects, where his projects included the Springfield Municipal Plaza, the Willard Ice Building, the Public Affairs Building at the University of Illinois in Springfield, and the State Journal-Register Building. In 2013, Wally Henderson was awarded the 2013 State Journal-Register First Citizen Award for “the breadth of his contributions in Springfield”.

Wally Henderson is also credited with working behind the scenes to persuade the United States Mint to change plans for the design of the 2009 commemorative penny so the design would include a depiction of the Old State Capitol behind a gesturing Abraham Lincoln.

Rep. Butler added, “Wally was a passionate supporter of the City of Springfield, having once remarked that ‘Springfield has so much potential. Anything that can be thought of can be done. Anything that can improve Springfield, Illinois, we should be working hard at.’ Wally Henderson Jr. was an inspiration for us to create a better community and I will never forget that.”

House Resolution 1187 was adopted by the Illinois House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 31.
Officer David Tapscott, photo Courtesy of SJR
On Wednesday, the Illinois House of Representatives adopted a joint resolution designating the portion of North 9th Street between East Converse Street and East Ridgely Street in Springfield as the "Officer David Tapscott Memorial Street". House Joint Resolution 147 is sponsored by Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) and was introduced at the request of Springfield’s 4th Ward Alderman John Fulgenzi.

Officer David R. Tapscott died December 26, 1979 from injuries sustained from an accident while on duty the evening of Christmas Eve, December 24, 1979.

“David Tapscott graciously and compassionately served the citizens of Springfield,” said Rep. Butler. “I have been told he was well-liked by his fellow officers as well as the public. Officer Tapscott loved his profession and he excelled at his work. He exemplified the true meaning of a dedicated policeman.”

At approximately 10:00 p.m. on December 24, 1979, Tapscott responded to a disturbance call at a northend Springfield tavern. Tapscott was following a sheriff’s deputy as they approached the railroad underpass on North 9th Street.  The deputy in front of David Tapscott drove left of the center pier to get around a vehicle on the right. Officer Tapscott began to follow, then realized the vehicle had stopped allowing him time to pass it and pull back into the right northbound lane.  The prisoner transport van Tapscott was driving did not maneuver well on wet surfaces and it was unable to move quickly enough to avoid hitting the center pier head on. He was severely injured and transported to St. John's Hospital where he died two days later.
The Illinois House of Representatives recently approved legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) to provide the ACT test to any high school junior who wishes to take the exam for purposes of demonstrating and measuring college readiness. In late 2015, the State Board of Education announced that it would stop offering the ACT and instead provide high school juniors with the SAT as the examination for college application and admissions purposes.

The legislation (House Bill 4362) introduced by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) would give each individual student the option to take either the ACT or SAT without incurring a financial burden. Subject to state appropriations for a college entrance exam, the State Board of Education would pay for each student to take either one of the college entrance exam.

“The ACT has been the preferred college entrance exam by parents and high schools throughout Illinois for years,” said Rep. Butler. “It’s the most popular exam in the Midwest. Most importantly, providing parents and students an option to take the ACT will help students reach their next step before entering the college of their choice. This legislation will help our future college students by removing a roadblock which hinders the advancement of our students.”
The Illinois General Assembly approved bipartisan legislation on Friday to provide $600 million in stopgap funding for higher education.

Senate Bill 2059 appropriates almost $600 million from the Educational Assistance Fund (EAF) for Illinois’ public universities, community college system, and MAP grants for college students.

“It is far past time that we provide funding for our higher education system in Illinois,” said Rep. Butler.  “This bill provides a lifeline to students, universities and community colleges at a time when one is definitely needed.  Our work is not done; we need to find a compromise solution to fund higher education and all of our budget, but this is a step in the right direction towards bipartisan solutions.”

Governor Bruce Rauner has stated he will sign the legislation as soon as it reaches his desk.