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Springfield, IL ... Bipartisan legislation sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) aimed at protecting senior citizens and other adults from financial abuse and exploitation was signed into law on Wednesday morning by Governor Bruce Rauner.  SB 1309, which allows state agencies additional ability to look into financial records of persons they serve with state programs in an effort to prevent financial exploitation and investigate alleged abuse more quickly, passed the Illinois House in May after clearing the State Senate in April.

“We know that financial exploitation of seniors and adults with disabilities happens too often and we need additional tools to catch it earlier and investigate it more thoroughly.  This legislation will allow that to happen, and will protect some of the most vulnerable people we represent,” said Rep. Unes in advocating for the passage of the bill.  “We also know that this kind of abuse often means additional strain on public support systems, so we hope that by curbing this type of abuse, we can save taxpayer dollars,” continued Rep. Unes.

Robert F. Harris, Cook County Public Guardian and one of the proponents of the bill’s passage, explained the bill’s need in May: “Senate Bill 1309 gives Public Guardians throughout Illinois the tools to act quickly and protect the elderly and adults with disabilities who are being or at risk of being abused, neglected or financially exploited.”

Rep. Unes hopes that the bills unanimous passage in both the House and Senate partnered with the Governor’s signature will help to send a signal to potential abusers that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in Illinois.

For more information on this or any other state issues, contact Rep. Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631.
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Springfield, IL...State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) co-sponsored an additional effort aimed at ensuring the state employees are paid during the budget impasse in Springfield, House Bill 4245.

Last Thursday, Unes called on both parties to come to a temporary, balanced budget to avoid major interruptions to state services.  Unes’ co-sponsorship of  House Bill 4245 signals his support of another attempt to minimize the impact of a state government shutdown on state employees who are being asked to show up to work, all the while, the ability of the State to pay those employees is being litigated in the courts.

“If the provisions of this bill become law, we can ensure that our state employees continue to get paid while they continue to perform their duties during this budget impasse,” said Unes on Thursday.  “This is just the right thing to do,” Unes continued.

The Democrat Supermajority pushed a different bill on Thursday that allow paying some state workers for two weeks, as well as some other unconstitutional, unbalanced expenditures.  Unes said House Bill 4245 is, “a simple, clean appropriation that doesn’t play politics with the pay of our state employees.  Rather it pays them what we owe them, and does only that.”

Unes went on to say that he is not abandoning his suggestion for a temporary budget, but rather, “recognizing the impact of this week’s court decisions, we need to make absolutely sure that state employees are paid for work they provide.  That is critical and a part of our moral obligation as employers.  This is not the long-term solution, but it should be a strong component of any temporary solution.”

For more information on the state budget situation or any other state issues, contact Rep. Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631.


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Springfield, IL...State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) called on both parties to come to a temporary, balanced budget to avoid major interruptions to state services on Thursday.  As the State of Illinois begins its new fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat Supermajority attempted a piece-meal approach on Wednesday, in the way of a temporary 30-day state budget funding some state services.  However, Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria), criticized the bill as still being, “unbalanced and unconstitutional” and not including funding for programs like The Autism Program (TAP).

The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget released a letter on Wednesday explaining that the attempt by the Democrat supermajority to pass their temporary budget would result in ultimately spending much more money than revenue is expected for the fiscal year.  The letter describes that the Democrat proposal, “marches the taxpayers of Illinois toward an unbalanced budget one month at a time.”

Rep. Unes went on to urge an attainable solution to remedy this situation, “if we simply divide our expected revenues by 12 months and pass an extension of spending levels commensurate with expected revenues, we can keep state government services open, pay our employees, and not have major interruptions in the lives of vulnerable Illinois citizens dependent on the state safety net.”

“I’m for a comprehensive approach that gives a voice to the voiceless.  It’s a cruel game to string along the most vulnerable when you know the money won’t be there at the end of the year.  Unfortunately, the math simply doesn’t add up here on Madigan’s budget extension.  We are charged by the Illinois Constitution with not spending more money than incoming revenues.  Today, I suggest a simple solution to keep the doors open- pass a temporary budget that simply divides expected revenues and fund the programs we can based on priorities established by the legislature.  We cannot simply make up our own numbers, though,” said Unes, “we have to operate in the real world.”

For more information on the state budget situation or any other state issues, contact Rep. Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631.


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Unfortunately, Speaker Madigan pushed through a self-admittedly, unbalanced state budget today. It spends billions of dollars more than is anticipated to be coming into state coffers. Unfortunately, this is nothing more than a cruel game, as the money won't be there to pay the bills. This is the same situation that led to fund sweeps earlier this spring to pay for childcare for working families, prison guard and court reporter pay. At the end of the day, the money is simply not there. Our schools, social service agencies, and public employees are getting used as pawns in this cruel game. This "budget" is unbalanced and unconstitutional.

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Springfield, IL ... State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) passed bipartisan legislation through the Illinois House last week to protect senior citizens and other adults from financial abuse and exploitation.  SB 1309, which allows state agencies additional ability to look into financial records of persons they serve with state programs in an effort to prevent financial exploitation and investigate alleged abuse more quickly, passed the Illinois House last Wednesday after already clearing the State Senate in April.

“We know that financial exploitation of seniors and adults with disabilities happens too often and we need additional tools to catch it earlier and investigate it more thoroughly.  This bill will allow that to happen, and will protect some of the most vulnerable people we represent,” said Rep. Unes in advocating for the passage of the bill.  “We also know that this kind of abuse often means additional strain on public support systems, so we hope that by curbing this type of abuse, we can save taxpayer dollars,” continued Rep. Unes.

Robert F. Harris, Cook County Public Guardian and one of the proponents of the bill’s passage, explained the bill’s need: “Senate Bill 1309 gives Public Guardians throughout Illinois the tools to act quickly and protect the elderly and adults with disabilities who are being or at risk of being abused, neglected or financially exploited.”

SB 1309 will now go to Governor Rauner before becoming law.  Rep. Unes hopes that the bills unanimous passage in both the House and Senate will help to send a signal to potential abusers that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in Illinois.

For more information on this or any other state issues, contact Rep. Unes’ Pekin District Office at 309-620-8631.
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