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 Members of Governor Rauner's staff met in Naperville this week with Rep. Grant Wehrli and members of his Special Needs Advisory Committee to discuss  ideas to improve funding and services to our most vulnerable populations.

" I would like to take a moment to extend my gratitude to everyone who attended  today’s very informative and constructive meeting on behalf of the developmentally and intellectually disabled in our community and throughout the State of Illinois," Rep. Wehrli said. "It is with that dialogue we find both short and long term solutions for a system that frankly is not serving this segment of the population well.  We have made a great first step today and I am committed as is Rep. Patti Bellock to assisting when and where we can with legislative remedies as well as working in a bipartisan way to solve our budget crisis.

In the meantime, those  that represent the departments administering policy and procedures
responsible for the oversight of state services heard many solutions that address bureaucratic inequities for which we can begin rectifying and insure that  we are providing the best service possible."
State Representative Grant Wehrli was recently awarded the Guardian of Small Business Award by the National Federation of Independent Business in Illinois (NFIB). The NFIB awarded Rep. Wehrli (R-Naperville) a 100% approval rating for his votes in support of small businesses in Dupage County and across the state.

“Small businesses are the very backbone of our community. Strong small businesses create more jobs and provide support for vital local services and I’m proud to do all I can to help them thrive and grow,” Rep. Wehrli said. 

Serving as the voice of small business, the NFIB has over 11,000 small business members in Illinois, all of whom count on state legislators to make for a healthy small business environment.

The designation of Guardian of Small Business was given to Illinois legislators based on key small business votes taken in the 99th General Assembly. Every two years state legislators are given a score based on their votes related to small business matters. In order to earn the Guardian distinction, a legislator must score 80 percent or better on the NFIB voting record.

When playing cards, the dealer shuffles the deck as a way to level the playing field and help ensure the outcome is fair. But in Springfield there’s a different sort of “shuffle” in play. Instead of leveling the playing field, the “Springfield Shuffle” actually stacks the deck for the majority party to ensure they can kill legislation they don’t like, while still proclaiming to the public that they supported it.

Read the rest at Positively Naperville.
From a Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity News Release:

State Announces September 1 Start of Low Income Energy Assistance Program Enrollment

The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Energy Assistance announced today that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016.

LIHEAP and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Governor Rauner.

LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis from the elderly and people with disabilities starting on September 1, 2016.

For more details, click here.

(Naperville, IL – August 29, 2016) – Under a bill that became state law this summer, Freestanding Emergency Centers like the Edward Plainfield 24/7 ER at 24600 W. 127th St. are now able to accept certain Advanced Life Support (ALS) patients via ambulance. Previously, all ALS patients had to be taken to an ER at the site of a full-service acute care hospital.

House Bill 4388, with primary sponsors Rep. Grant Wehrli (R – Naperville) and Sen. Michael
Connelly (R – Naperville), was signed into law on August 5 by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. Other sponsors of the bill included Rep. Mark Batinick (R – Plainfield) and Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D – Plainfield).

“The new law truly has a community-wide impact that benefits patients, families, hospitals, and fire departments or fire protection districts,” says Rep. Wehrli. “Patients are able to stay close to home for care, we’re able to keep wait times down in the hospital-based ERs because there are fewer patients and our paramedics are back on call sooner in their own neighborhoods.”
State Representative Grant Wehrli today said House Speaker Mike Madigan’s recent defense in the media of Auditor General Frank Mautino contained glaring inaccuracies about both the nature of the investigations into Mautino’s finances and his response.

In a recent interview with National Public Radio, Speaker Madigan repeatedly referred to the ongoing state and criminal investigations into former State Representative Mautino’s campaign finances as mere “inquiries” in an attempt to lessen their seriousness in the eyes of the public.

“First of all, the U.S. Attorney’s Office doesn’t conduct ‘inquiries’. They conduct investigations as the Speaker, himself an attorney, knows full-well. He also knows that this particular investigation into Frank Mautino’s finances may yield serious criminal charges. Speaker Madigan is intentionally attempting to be misleading. The reporter, on the other hand, correctly states that the U.S. Attorney and the State Board of Elections are conducting investigations involving significant sums of money from then-Representative Mautino’s campaign fund,” Representative Wehrli said.

Now that the dust has settled on our overtime legislative session, I wanted to share with you details of the stopgap funding plan passed for state operations and education.

First and foremost, the plan fully funds our schools for the entire fiscal year. As you know, this was my top priority. The bipartisan agreement funds our schools at 100 percent foundation level for the first time in seven years. That means the majority of school districts across the state will receive more state funding than they received the year before. None will receive less.

Read the rest here at Positively Naperville.