Senator Barickman’s Senate Week in Review: October. 24 – 28

SPRINGFIELD – Two new jobs reports from September reinforce Republican lawmakers’ calls for job-creating reforms. The reports show that manufacturing jobs are down, white-collar jobs are up, but the overall workforce drop continues in Illinois.

Also during the week, the State Board of Elections announced that the number of registered voters in Illinois has surpassed a previous record set in the 2008 General Election.

In other news, as baseball’s championship series continues with the Chicago Cubs playing the Cleveland Indians, the governors of Illinois and Ohio have made a friendly wager on the outcome of the World Series.

Jobs reports underscore need for reform

Recent economic data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security shows that in September, professional and business services had a net gain of 5,100 jobs, and education and health services gained 1,500 jobs. However, Illinois also lost 1,300 jobs in financial activities and 800 jobs in manufacturing.

And an Oct. 21 release from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that Illinois is experiencing more workforce dropout than any of its neighboring states. It also shows manufacturing has lost 8,500 jobs so far in 2016, while the professional and business services sector has added nearly 30,000 jobs.

Manufacturers play a pivotal role in Illinois, creating jobs within the industry and providing materials for countless other businesses that are key to a strong Illinois economy. October 7 was National Manufacturing Day, but Illinois has had little to celebrate. The Land of Lincoln is currently lagging behind its neighbors in the growth of manufacturing jobs, a fact that underscores the need for essential government and economic reforms that will bring new businesses and jobs into Illinois.

Republican lawmakers are calling for structural and spending reforms in state government to bring fiscal security and much-needed jobs back to the state. They support structural and spending reforms that address the state’s pension debt and bill backlog, workers’ compensation reform, tax reforms and incentives for employers, and property tax relief; and create a skilled workforce through education and workforce development initiatives.

They believe job creation is critical to help the state grow its way out of the current economic and budget mess.

Helpful election information

The State Board of Elections announced Oct. 26 that the number of registered voters in Illinois is approaching 8,000,000, surpassing a previous record high of 7,789,500 set for the 2008 General Election.

Voters are reminded that there will be a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot. Information about the “lockbox amendment” or “safe roads amendment” is available on the Secretary of State’s Web site.

Proponents argue the amendment would provide a dedicated source of funding for transportation projects that will increase the quality of Illinois’ roads, bridges, bridge and road safety inspections, and mass transit. Opponents argue that the amendment limits the power of state and local governments to appropriate state resources as they deem necessary.

A number of local propositions and public questions could be found on the ballot as well, depending on the county and/or city/village. Contact the county clerk or local election authority to view a sample ballot.

Illinois and Ohio Governors wager on behalf of their teams

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Ohio Governor John Kasich are betting beer, pizza and ballpark mustard, each hoping their team wins the World Series.

The Indians haven’t played in the World Series since 1997 and haven’t won the World Series since 1948. The Cubs haven’t played in the World Series since 1945 and have not won it since 1908.

‘Don’t be a Ghoul, Don’t Drink and Drive’

On Oct. 27, the Illinois Department of Transportation joined the Illinois State Police and local police agencies to warn motorists against becoming an impaired driving monster this Halloween.

Increased enforcement will be in effect from Oct. 28, until the early morning hours of Nov. 1.

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