By Jeff Wilson
I recently attended an Active Senior Republican (ASR) for the Champaign County GOP on May 2 at the Champaign Library. The room was packed, full of energetic and concerned citizens who are striving to make a positive and lasting improvement to our communities in Champaign County. The guest speaker for this meeting was Brad Halbrook (State Representative (District 102), he provided a report on the results and impacts of the spring 2022 general assembly legislative session. At the meeting, members also took up a collection for the Salvation Army Champaign County Food Pantry.
I was so impressed by the energy, commitment, and drive to promote and advocate for Republican values.
The goals of the organization include:
- Assisting members to become better informed in political matters by hearing from elected officials and other speakers.
- Providing a forum to facilitate input from senior Republicans on significant issues.
- Helping to get out the vote. Over the years, ASR members have prepared candidate mailings, distributed candidate yard signs, held office hours for pick-ups and manned telephones closer to elections. Several members participated in parades with candidates as well. ASR has also assisted with annual picnics and Lincoln Day dinners.
- Assisting Republican candidates, however, the ASR does not endorse candidates in a contested primary election.
- Promoting and supporting Republican ideas and issues.
- Working toward party unity, and;
- Providing a standard for other age groups to respect and imitate.
The Active Senior Republican (ASR) meet on the first Monday of each month at the Champaign Library. This informative meeting is open to all.
Rep. Brad Halbrook Discussion
Representative Halbrook’s May 2 talk, entitled, “The Budget & Bills--Horrors Passed by the Illinois State Legislature, provided valuable and informative insights into the spring legislative session.
Brad Halbrook is a small business owner, farmer, and family man. From 2012 until 2015 he served as State Representative in the 110th District. He returned to the General Assembly in January 2017 and is now serving in the 102nd District.
Key takeaways from Brad Halbrooks’ talk highlighted the recent FY 2023 $46.5 B budget, failed energy policy impacts, and election year tax gimmicks.
IL 2023 FY Budget
Federal assistance allowed Illinois to pay down debt and improve the state credit rating, which is still the nation’s worst. Without the funds, state finances verged on collapse. The 4,000-page, $46.5 Billion budget was delivered to legislators late and passed at 6 am the next day.
The Democrats-only FY 23 budget is propped up with Federal bailout funds. It includes a 10% increase in spending on state programs while state revenues are projected to decline by about 5.5%. Rep. Halbrook and his fellow House Republicans opposed the budget because it fails to address our long-term financial challenges and will mean the legislature will again be faced with the choice of drastic spending cuts or raising taxes in future years.
More taxes, more spending, no reforms. The budget reflects a continuation in Democratic failed policies. Structural reforms are needed for worker compensation, backlog of unpaid bills, reducing taxes, and spending.
People are voting with their feet by leaving Illinois.
Pritzker’s Energy Disaster is Here
His ill-advised, Green New Deal inspired war on reliable energy generation has real impacts to working families. The statute requires the closure of all fossil fuel power plants in Illinois no later than 2045. Effectively, it’s made the usual method of addressing power-supply shortages—construction of new natural gas-fired plants—uneconomic and significantly reduced the tools available to address the shortage that’s emerged.
The cost of losing coal-fired power plants downstate is proving steep already, with many central and southern Illinoisans expected to pay an extra $550-plus on their annual electric bills beginning in June, due to inadequate power supply.
And not only will ratepayers be paying more, but Pritzker’s also misguided energy agenda will likely cause rolling blackouts this summer according to Midcontinent Independent System Operator, or MISO, the regional power grid overseer for much of the Midwest, including central and southern Illinois.
Fuel sales tax relief gimmick
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and lawmakers are touting a one-time, $556 tax break for the average family, but full disclosure should include the $2,721 more in taxes imposed by them during Pritzker’s term. Subtract the temporary tax break from the permanent tax increases and government under Pritzker will eat $2,165 more of the average family’s income.
The election year relief includes a one-year suspension of Illinois’ 1% grocery tax and a six-month gas tax hike delay. The gas tax increase will instead hit on Jan. 1, 2023, after the election, with another following in July.
All interested in attending the Active Senior Republican meeting are invited to attend the monthly central committee meetings. It's your chance to see what we are doing, meet our officers and candidates, and connect with other like-minded members of our community. The next meeting will be held on June 6, from 9 to 11 am at the Champaign Public Library.
For more information please contact,
C. Reitmeier, ASR Co-President
Penny Porter, ASR Co-President
Rhonda Wrona, ASR Vice President
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