• 07/14/2017

    As of last Thursday, July 6, Illinois finally has a full year balanced budget for the coming fiscal year. The budget had bipartisan support, includes $3.9 B in cuts, and was below Governor Rauner's introduced spending level provided in his February 15, 2017 State Budget Address. His stated budget goal was to find a balance between cuts and new revenue plus institute reforms that would put Illinois on a more sound path forward. I totally agree with that strategy and believe through compromise we met his requirements to sign a budget.

  • 07/03/2017

    With Independence Day weekend upon us, I'd like to wish you a happy and safe Fourth of July. I hope that you are able to take some time this weekend to reflect upon and take pride in our nation's heritage as well as enjoy the weather, relax and spend time with your loved ones.

  • 06/17/2017

    In yesterday's ENews about the Special Session, I included limited data we had on the Republican's new Reform and Budget proposal they call the Capitol Compromise. Their press conference spoke primarily about reform bills and referenced a spending cap. We now have five recently released Senate budget bills all filed by Senator Bill Brady. However he did not file a revenue bill. The Capitol Compromise uses the existing SB 9 with some changes for their revenue bill.

  • 06/16/2017

    The General Assembly adjourned on May 31st without a budget. In May, the Senate finally passed their Grand Bargain bill package with some Republican votes on a few of the reform bills but not on the revenue or budget bills, and the House Democrats prepared a balanced budget solution but that was not yet voted upon. I am beyond disappointed to have come home without a bipartisan, balanced budget that leads Illinois to a healthier path forward. Now that May 31st has passed, any budget vote will require 71 votes to pass the House versus the 60 votes needed during our spring session, and a 3/5

  • 05/12/2017

    My ENews and #CarolsCoffees have focused on budget updates both because of its importance and ever changing nature. As the Springfield budget impasse endures, I continue to work every day towards a process that will help us reach our goal of a full year balanced budget. This week in the House, Speaker Madigan and Minority Leader Durkin have appointed members to represent their sides of the aisle in reform discussions to get us closer to a budget. The focus in the Senate remains on the Grand Bargain yet only one minor bill was called and passed solely with Democratic votes. President Culler

  • 04/28/2017

    Friday, April 28, was the deadline for House Bills to be passed out of the House. It was a busy week with lots of action. I would like to highlight some of bills that passed this week. When we return to Springfield, the House will be moving onto Senate bills and further work on a bi-partisan budget solution. It is my sincere hope that the Senate will send over their Grand Bargain bills to the House to be further deliberated and passed before May 31st.

  • 04/07/2017

    Spring is a time for renewal and growth. The nice weather, birds singing and flowers blooming bring a message of hope for better days ahead. As we celebrate the spring holidays of Passover and Easter, I wish all of you a season of hope and joy.

  • 03/21/2017

    March is Women's History Month. From its humble beginnings as International Women's Day in 1911, it has grown into a month-long celebration of the women who have shaped our lives and country. I am blessed to have had a mother who always inspired me to never be afraid to pursue my dreams. One of my favorite historical female leaders is Illinois native Jane Addams, a pioneer in the field of social work. In 1889, she helped found Hull House in Chicago. Addams' work at Hull House helped countless families of all backgrounds settle in Illinois and remained open for more than 100 years. Addams

  • 03/06/2017

    This week I wanted to provide some additional update on the progress of the state budget impasse. Including the Senate Grand Bargain, which I highlighted in my last ENews, there are a total of five state budget proposals that various leaders or organizations have presented as possible budget solutions. The latest news on the Senate's Grand Bargain is that Governor Rauner has assigned his Chief of Staff Rich Goldberg to engage in the negotiations. As I've mentioned in the past, having one of the leaders assign a trusted member of their team to actually participate in negotiations could be a goo

  • 12/04/2015

    As many residents of our community will begin celebrating Chanukah next week, I reflect on how fortunate I am to be part of a community where we can share so many traditions and cultures with one another. It is part of what makes the holiday season so special. Please join me in wishing our friends, family, and neighbors who will be observing the holiday this year a Happy Chanukah.

  • 11/06/2015

    With Veterans Day coming up next week, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the enormous sacrifice our veterans and current military personnel have made to protect our country's freedom and to simply, but sincerely say, "Thank You."

  • 09/11/2015

    I would like to begin this week's newsletter by saying, "L'Shanah Tovah" to everyone celebrating the New Year beginning this Sunday evening. May your new year be sweet and may you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a healthy and happy year.

  • 08/21/2015

    It is back to school time! rn rnAs we begin the new school year, I wish all of the students of District 59 an engaging, instructive and safe start. Please remember our school zones, pedestrian crossings and buses will be once again be used on a daily basis. rnrnI look forward to seeing many of you as I visit classrooms and tour schools throughout the district this year.

  • 07/24/2015

    With the start of the state's new fiscal year on July 1, the most pressing issue is to get a budget resolution that both parties will pass and the governor will sign.

  • 07/10/2015

    Yesterday, I helped advance an essential services budget plan that would allow our state to preserve some of its most important functions as extended budget negotiations continue.

  • 05/22/2015

    As we begin Memorial Day weekend, please join me in honoring all members of the armed services; both those who have served and those who currently serve, as well as their families, for the sacrifices they have made and are making for our country. The commitment made by each soldier in defense of our freedom is one I am so thankful for every day, and especially on Memorial Day.

    As you enjoy a safe and extended weekend with your family and friends, I hope you will also join me in remembering the men and women who have given their lives in service of our country.

  • 05/15/2015

    Today, I voted to freeze property taxes when the House debated and voted upon Floor Amendment #1 to House Bill 695, which was crafted from proposals in Gov. Bruce Rauner's Turnaround Agenda. The legislation called for a permanent statewide property tax freeze for all units of local government in order to provide suburban homeowners with immediate relief from skyrocketing property taxes.

  • 05/09/2015

    I'd like to wish all mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, aunts and guardians a very Happy Mother's Day. It is an important job to raise children in a kind, loving and instructive manner. Thank you for what you do and may you enjoy this day in your honor.

  • 05/01/2015

    As of today, my full-time constituent service office has moved to a new convenient location within our community. If you are seeking assistance or want to stop by to share your opinion on a state issue, you can now find us on the second floor of the Vernon Hills Park District's Laschen Center, located at 294 Evergreen Drive in Vernon Hills. Of course, you can still communicate with me via email at or by phone at 847-478-9909 at any time.

  • 04/25/2015

    This week, I co-hosted a bipartisan dinner for freshmen legislators that was a huge success. This is an activity I initiated because of all the questions I had when I came to Springfield and sought a more collegial atmosphere, where new members could ask these questions and discuss effective ways to represent their constituents. While both parties do some training of members early in session, we have found that there is an important need for continual education. Our goal with these dinners is to mentor the new legislators, share some of our "pearls of wisdom" and most importantly, encourage w

  • 04/17/2015

    It has been another interesting week in Springfield, as bills have started to gain momentum in the House/Senate due to the rapidly approaching deadlines. Budget committees have also begun meeting in small working groups to review appropriation requests line-by-line and develop a budget for Fiscal Year 2016, which begins on July 1, 2015.

  • 04/03/2015

    As today is Good Friday, tonight begins Passover and Sunday is Easter, finding the right wishes to cover all of these days, some of which are filled with sadness, trepidation, hope and joyous celebration, is challenging. So I will wish you a reflective time observing each of these days and a wonderful time with family as you share the meaning of Passover and Easter.

  • 03/27/2015

    As of this afternoon, my brand new constituent service website is live and can be accessed by visiting Please take a moment to explore the site and learn more about some of the work I have been doing in Springfield. Make sure to check back often, as this will be regularly updated with upcoming events, press releases, photos, media coverage and more.