June Legislative Updates from Rep. Ozinga

The 2023 Spring Legislative Session officially adjourned on May 27th at 3:03 AM. One week past the scheduled deadline date, this session was delayed by the internal battle between Democrats to craft the 2024 Fiscal Year budget. 

Ethics Reform

On May 2nd, the ‘ComEd Four’ trial involving three former lobbyists and their former CEO came to a verdict. All four defendants were found guilty on counts of bribery and falsifying records. 

The defendants were accused of giving jobs and contracts to allies of former Illinois House Speaker, Michael Madigan in exchange for legislation passed in their favor. 

This trial gave the public a look at the rampant corruption that plagues our state government, yet nothing in Springfield has changed to prevent this unethical behavior in the future. Numerous bills have been introduced to fix the problems that our state is facing, yet a majority of them never even made it to a vote on the House floor. 

It’s time for politicians to begin holding themselves accountable for years of corrupt and unethical behavior. Our state has many problems, but we will never be able to fix them until we pass serious and comprehensive ethics reform.

Budget Review 

Despite what has been repeated to us time and time again, the 2024 budget is not balanced. The partisan method of drafting this budget has led to a budget skewed in favor of Democratic projects and communities while lacking a holistic approach that would assist every citizen of Illinois. 

One of the critical issues not addressed in this bill is providing economic relief to our taxpayers and creating incentives for business growth. Small farms and businesses need assistance with the continual burden of our state’s high estate taxes. Communities that lack investment are in desperate need of a larger tax credit to help grow their economy. Families need tax breaks to help feed their families and put gas in their cars. 

This budget does include $550 million in funding to expand Medicaid coverage to undocumented immigrants, along with yet another pay increase for legislators. Taxpayers are on the hook for this while receiving almost nothing in return unless they live in Democrat-run districts. As elected officials, we must ensure every community receives funding, not just those who are represented by one political party. We need to choose solutions, not sides.

Summer Reading Program

This summer marks the beginning of my first Summer Reading Program! 

Beginning on June 1st, students from kindergarten to 5th grade are invited to participate in this program. As a father, I have seen firsthand how reading skills can regress during the summer months. It can be hard to keep children engaged with reading, which is why I am launching my summer reading program. This program is a fun way to get kids excited about reading and rewards them for completing eight books.

Any student who submits a completed form before August 1st will be invited to an end-of-summer ice cream event.

Click here for more information about the program and click here to submit your student’s reading log. 

Keep Up to Date

Click here to visit my website. There you can contact my office, see what legislation I am working on, and more.

I will continue to update you monthly via this e-newsletter about events and programs I will be hosting throughout the summer, as well as important information as we move into our Fall legislative session.