Illinois Public Affairs Network Addresses State Budget Concerns

by Don Soffer | Jun 22, 2017

The St. Louis Regional Chamber hosted the Illinois Public Affairs Network on June 16, 2017 at the Doubletree Hotel in Collinsville, with legislators from our region providing a recap of this year's legislative session.

Representatives Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) and Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) addressed topics related to the state’s budget impasse and the Illinois Senate’s passage of workers compensation reform. Rep. Hoffman said the general assembly’s top priority is passing a budget and despite the fact that Illinois hasn't had a budget in 716 days, “It does no good to point fingers and blame.” Hoffman acknowledged the benefits of workers compensation reform, but added that medical insurance reform will be essential in protecting injured workers.

Rep. Stuart, a newcomer to the general assembly, expressed her desire to get back to work once the Governor’s special session begins on June 21. She also reminded the Network of how the state’s budget troubles impact public higher education, specifically budget issues at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, and noted that some universities may face closure. Stuart is no stranger to public education, as she has served as a math instructor at the elementary, high school, and university levels.

Kevin Riggs, Managing Director of Dentons’ Public Law practice, closed the meeting with a legislative update and reiterated the speakers’ earlier calls for compromise both on the budget debate and other legislative items facing the Illinois General Assembly.

IPAN Photo
Representatives Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) and Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) address the Illinois Public Affairs Network on June 16, 2017