Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay will be hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the Illinois Gaming bill and issues concerning Fairmount Park racetrack this Saturday morning.
The town hall meeting will take place on Saturday, May 17th, from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. at Fairmount Park racetrack, on the 3rd floor of the 'Top of the Turf' located at 9301 Collinsville Rd. in Collinsville.
Rep. Kay will be discussing gaming expansion legislation being considered in Springfield and how it affects Fairmount Park.
If you are interested in attending the town hall meeting this Saturday, please RSVP by calling 618-391-0625. No RSVPs are necessary but appreciated as space is limited.
Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) has filed legislation in response to efforts by House Democrats to sneak through what amounts to a legislative pay raise among the dozens of state budget bills being hurried through committee this week. The legislation, House Bill 6235, specifically calls for a continuation of furlough days and rejection of the automatic cost of living adjustment (COLA) to legislative salaries.
“First, Democrats broke their promise by going back on their pledge to let the income tax hike expire,” Rep. Kay said. “As if that wasn’t enough, they’re rushing through budget bills to spend more than the bipartisan revenue number we agreed to earlier this spring – to the tune of $2.7 Billion and climbing. Now, on top of that, they’re using an unprecedented series of politically-motivated budget maneuvers to slip in a pay raise for themselves before they go home for the summer. As usual, their priorities are in the wrong place. It’s beyond reckless and irresponsible. ”
The Democrats’ budget requires zero furlough days for legislators and accepts the COLA for FY 15; amounting to a salary increase of approximately 4.6%.
In contrast, Rep. Kay’s plan would require the General Assembly to maintain 12 furlough days in FY15, at a rate of one a month. In addition, it eliminates the FY15 COLA and continues the per diem and mileage reduction that is in place for FY14.
The savings from the 12 furlough days for legislators would save the state approximately $618,000.
“It’s obscene,” Rep. Kay added of the Democrats’ pay raise ploy. “Taxpayers are being asked to pay more; and Democrats want to give themselves a raise. I am acting to give every legislator the chance to join us and stand up to say this is wrong. We should be responsibly reducing spending and prioritizing the state’s limited resources on education, public safety and vital services for our seniors, disabled and veterans; NOT raising legislators’ pay.”
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s violence prevention program in Cook County is under investigation. According to Illinois State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) the investigation was inspired by an audit requested by Rep. Kay and his House Republican colleagues. The audit revealed over a two year period, 40% of state funds expended by the anti-violence program were questioned.
In May 2012, State Representative Dwight Kay Chief Co-Sponsored House Resolution 1110 (HR 1110) to audit the state funded program due to concerns as to whether adequate accountability and oversight existed over the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI) to ensure tax dollars were spent appropriately. At a press conference held at the Capitol on February 25th, Representatives Kay and his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate urged the Auditor General to refer findings from the February 2014 audit of the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative to the Executive Inspector General for further review and potentially the U.S. Attorney for further investigation of potential criminal activity.
“The Cook County anti-violence program was nothing more than a political slush fund,” said Rep. Kay. “I anticipate Federal investigators will expose the individuals who abused an estimated $50 million in taxpayer dollars, if not more. Blagojevich’s past continues to haunt the current administration; unfortunately the corruption in the Governor’s office continues to cost the taxpayers millions.”
In August of 2010, Governor Quinn’s office gave the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority the duties of creating and administering the anti-violence program. The NRI is a program designed to reduce risk factors associated with violence in 23 communities in Cook County, however according to the state audit, not all the most violent Chicago communities were included in the program. Since October 2010, over $117 million has been earmarked by Governor Quinn, not the legislature to fund the anti-violence program in Chicago and Cook County.
Illinois House Democrats violated their own House Rules Thursday by voting on behalf of five legislators not in attendance at a hearing on legislation that would provide $100 million in taxpayer funds towards construction of the proposed Obama Presidential Library in Chicago.
“I’m not even a member of the Executive Committee and the Democrats chose to vote on my behalf, which is a blatant violation of House Rules,” said Rep. Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon). “This is typical Chicago politics at work. My constituents elected me to vote for them. They didn’t elect the Chicago politicians who stole my vote today.”
On Wednesday, April 16th State Representative Dwight Kay served as a temporary replacement on the House Executive Committee for a hearing in Chicago to discuss gaming expansion in Illinois. Rep. Kay participated in the hearing to express his opposition to an amendment which would exclude Fairmount Race Track from the proposed gaming expansion. After the hearing, Kay traveled back to his legislative district nearly 300 miles south of Chicago and was no longer a substituted member on the Executive Committee. Therefore, he was not present at Thursday’s recessed hearing to vote on the legislation to spend $100 million in public funds on the Obama Presidential Library.
Rep. Kay added, “The Chicago Democrats knew I wouldn’t support spending $100 million that we don’t have on a Presidential Library, so they decided to violate their own Rules and cast my vote anyways. We need to pay our bills owed to schools, doctors, hospitals and pay Illinois residents’ tax returns before we spend $100 million on a library that can easily be built with private funds.”
House Democrats violated their own rules by breaking House Rule 21, which is the only reference in the Rules that authorizes actions by recessed committees, and it simply allows the agenda (posted legislative measures) to be considered at the recessed hearing, as long as the House continues to be in session. The House was not in session this week. Furthermore, House Rule 49 provides that no member of a committee may vote except in person at the time of the call of the vote. Therefore, calling a vote on House Bill 6010 and voting on behalf of legislators not present were clear violations of House Rules.
The Illinois House Executive Committee held a public hearing today in Chicago to discuss gaming expansion in Illinois. State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) participated in the hearing to express his opposition to Representative Rita's amendment which would exclude Fairmount Race Track from obtaining a casino license if this gaming bill becomes law.
“I am optimistic Fairmount will be included in the legislation,” said Rep. Kay. “It is unconscionable to think that a single Illinois race track would be deliberately excluded from this bill.”
SB 1739 would also divert 90% of the revenue generated at Fairmount to East St. Louis (45%) and Alton (45%), leaving Collinsville with only 10% of the revenue. Collinsville will incur increased costs to provide police protection, fire protection, and improving and maintaining roads and infrastructure. Rep. Kay was very concerned with the proposed revenue allocation.
“The bill in its current form is erroneous and unfair to the people of my district and the stakeholders at Fairmount,” Rep. Kay added. “Sending 90% of the revenue outside of Collinsville is nonsense. The city of Collinsville should not be forced to bail out East St. Louis. This is a major gaming expansion bill that allows all horse race tracks to obtain a casino license and if amended would exclude Fairmount Race Track which is simply not fair.”
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn presented his annual budget for Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) to members of the Illinois House and Senate today. State Representative Dwight Kay (R-Glen Carbon) was disappointed to learn that Governor Quinn’s budget banks on keeping the ‘temporary’67% income tax hike enacted January 2011 permanent.
“Statistics show Illinois continues to lose jobs as a result of the 67% income tax hike approved the day before I first took office in 2011,” said Rep. Kay. “Illinois needs more jobs which will generate revenue for Illinois, not more taxes. Over 570,000 people are out of work in Illinois today, keeping the 67% income tax hike permanent is not the solution for putting people back to work. Unfortunately, our Governor does not recognize that currently in Illinois jobs equal revenue and more taxes lead to fewer jobs.”
Earlier this year the House of Representatives estimated Illinois’ expected revenue to be $34.5 billion. Governor Quinn’s budget proposal spends $38.095 billion, over 3.6 billion more than Illinois’ anticipated revenue for FY14.
Pending approval by the House, Senate, and Governor, the Fiscal Year 2014 budget would take effect July 1, 2014.
Click "Here" to listen to Representative Kay discuss the Governor's address.