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Governor Pat Quinn traveled to Gifford to sign into law new property tax protections for businesses needing to repair or rebuild after storms, said State Representative Chad Hays, the measure’s chief House sponsor.

 Senate Bill 3259, guided through the House by Rep. Hays and the Senate by Sen. Mike Frerichs, will cap assessed valuation increases on storm damaged businesses to no more than 4% per year for 15 years.

Representative Hays said Eric and Justin Rademacher, the owners of Rademacher Building Center in Gifford, brought to his attention the need to add damaged businesses to the property tax protections already on the books for owners of homes damaged by storms.

 “For many owners of storm-damaged businesses, providing protection from massive, new construction-related tax increases can mean the difference between rebuilding or going out of business. These protections are vital for local businesses, and it’s very appropriate that the Governor signed them into law at the Rademacher Building Center in Gifford which is currently being rebuilt after a devastating tornado last fall,” said Representative Hays.
State Representative Chad D. Hays is proud to be a community college graduate and says he’ll “talk about it to whomever will listen; I never miss an opportunity to talk about community colleges – from the house floor to the rotary club.”

Rep. Hays completed an Associate of Science degree at Danville Area Community College in 1983. He is the 2014 DACC Distinguished Alumnus and is the College’s nominee for the statewide honor from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association.

“Danville Area Community College has had a profound and lasting impact on my life, my family, and my constituents,” he stated. “DACC was a high quality affordable conduit to higher education for me.”

Rep. Hays says he was blessed in his upbringing and home life. His parents were strong advocates for higher education and encouraged their three children to pursue college degrees. The difficulties arose when all three – and their mother – were in college at the same time. In order to alleviate some of the cost burden, Rep. Hays enrolled at DACC and started a work-study program at Hyster, Co., where he attended classes full time and worked 20 hours each week during the academic year, and then worked 40 hours per week during the summer. After completing his Associate degree, Rep. Hays transferred to Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and graduated with his Bachelor’s degree on the same day that his mother received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois.

After graduation, Rep. Hays distinguished himself as a healthcare administrator, serving as Vice President of Development and Mission Services for Provena United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville. In this capacity he also served as the Executive Director of the Provena USMC Foundation and raised more than $18 million for hospital services and community outreach programs. Many of those outreach programs were regionally and nationally recognized for their accomplishments.

In addition to the demands of a full-time career, Rep. Hays served as the Mayor of his hometown, Catlin, from 1991 to 1999. When he was first elected at age 28, Rep. Hays was the youngest mayor in the state. During his tenure as Mayor, he chaired the Vermilion County Mayor’s Council.

Rep. Hays was elected to the Illinois General Assembly as the State Representative for the 104thDistrict in 2010, following in the footsteps of long-time State Representative William B. “Bill” Black. Though admittedly a “hard act to follow,” Rep. Hays quickly distinguished himself from Rep. Black and moved into a surprising number of leadership roles in a very short time.

Rep. Hays serves on a number of House committees and is the Republican Spokesperson for both the Higher Education and Health Care Availability Access committees. He is the Assistant Minority Leader and is a House Republican Floor Leader, both tremendous honors that traditionally go to legislators with considerably more tenure. He is respected by his peers on both sides of the aisle. Rep. Hays credits his career history and connection to DACC with giving him valuable insights that may have contributed to his selection for these roles.

“As a community leader I have witnessed first hand the extraordinary role that DACC plays in not only educating recent high school graduates, but those returning to higher education from the working world and/or those displaced from the workforce,” Rep. Hays stated. “As a member of the Illinois General Assembly I speak with pride and passion about DACC as the crown jewel in Vermilion County.”

Appreciation for the benefits of DACC is a tradition Rep. Hays has shared with his children. His oldest son took a DACC course, post-bachelorʼs degree, that was needed to enter a Doctoral program in Physical Therapy. His son described the rigor of the Physics course as the most demanding of any class he has ever encountered. The youngest Hays son starts each day on the campus of DACC as a participant of Project Lead the Way, an early engineering program offered as a partnership between DACC and Vermilion Advantage that provides both high school and college, or dual, credit. He has taken other dual credit courses, as well. The dual credit program allows an Illinois student to accumulate college-level credit while still in high school with free tuition.

In his role as State Representative, Hays continues to advocate for DACC both in the General Assembly and in the community. He is a frequent guest and speaker at DACC events. “I am a fierce and enthusiastic supporter of our Community College system because I know it to be the pathway to brighter futures. I need no prompting on this subject matter . . . . .I have lived it, and it works!”

After listening to Governor Quinn’s budget plan on Wednesday, State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) said it’s apparent that the Governor is not acknowledging the true depth of Illinois ongoing jobs crisis, and doesn’t understand how to solve it.

“In recent weeks I have commended the Governor on his swift action to help our communities in crisis after the devastating November tornados; but there’s another major crisis he’s not addressing: our families need good jobs. In fact, the Governor persists in pushing policies that stifle job growth and discourage employers from locating here.” Hays said.

“The Quinn administration is closing the state employment services office in Danville, where we have one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. He has single-handedly blocked a gaming plan that would create thousands of good-paying jobs for our families, and today, he reneged on his promise about the so-called “temporary” income tax increase - now saying the record 67% tax hike should be made permanent. That hurts working families and their employers,” said Hays. “We already have the highest unemployment rate in the Midwest, and unless we reject these job-killing policies, that’s not going to change.”

Click "Here" to listen to comments from Representative Hays on the Governor's budget address.
State Representative Chad Hays this week sent a message to Washington DC: The federal system for approving disaster relief funds is unfair to Illinois and must be changed.

Hays (R-Catlin) and other state lawmakers who saw their local communities devastated by November tornados have been working with Illinois’ Congressional delegation to enact a new, fair formula for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to award financial assistance to communities hit by a natural disaster. This week, Rep. Hays and several of his House Republican colleagues filed legislation urging Congress and the U.S. Senate to pass the newly introduced Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act.

“For families in Gifford and other devastated communities to be told that their town doesn’t qualify for funding to help repair and rebuild their infrastructure, schools and other public buildings was literally adding insult to injury. The problem is the current formula FEMA uses to determine eligibility, which will disqualify communities in Illinois every time unless the tornado hits downtown Chicago, the largest population base,” Rep. Hays said. “We have worked with our Congressional delegation on a plan that will make the formula more fair. Now, we need the House and Senate in Washington to pass it.”

The Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act of 2014 requires the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to amend the rules concerning the factors FEMA considers when evaluating a governor's request for a major disaster declaration. The change will allow for assistance to be awarded to Illinois’ smaller, rural communities when disaster strikes. Rep. Hays is a chief co-sponsor of Illinois House Resolution 922 which asks the U. S. Congress to promptly pass the new Act.

“After our communities were denied federal aid for public repairs again this month, Governor Quinn put together a $45 million state aid package to help, and that was the right thing to do in the interim. Now, it’s time for Congress to fix the problem,” Hays said.

Click "Here" to listen to Representative Hays discuss the issue.
Welcome to the land of make believe . . . . . .Springfield, Illinois. A place where spending more money than in any year in history is presented by the Governor as a spending cut.

A charade of the highest order is now commencing that goes something like this: tell every K-12 school district, institutions of higher learning, public safety officials, and those who repair and build our roads and bridges, and our social service agencies that if we do not have a significant increase in revenue (a series of tax increases), the sky will fall.

Left out of the scenario of course is that in the current fiscal year, we are spending more money in the State of Illinois than in any year on record. In 2010, the General Revenue Budget in our state was $27 billion, the Governor’s proposed budget this year is $38 billion (a 29% increase over Fiscal Year 2010).

The worst kept secret in Springfield is that the deal is cut and the misdirection is in full bloom.

The truth. Education, roads and bridges, public safety, our Veterans et. al. have been traded in as a priority in favor of a social welfare agenda that includes a massive expansion of the eligibility threshold of Medicaid (public aid) in our State. Follow the money. The math is indisputable, and it makes the Chicago crowd in Springfield very nervous to have it under scrutiny by the light of day.

When you have all of the votes, pass the largest tax increase in history, control all spending and still hold hostage the services described above in the name of even more cash - you own it. Period. Calling those in charge fiscally irresponsible is the kind, PG rated version of incompetent.

The doomsday scenario is a necessity for the Cook County crew as they need to gin up hysteria and the notion that the apocalypse is imminent. Why? Because they have to play out the folly of the death march to somehow rationalize passing yet again a series of tax increases.

Guard your wallet. Closely. Remember the largest tax increase in Illinois history was sold to you as a temporary fix to pay down a huge backlog of bills. Fast forward to today. Over $31 billion collected in new taxes, and the backlog of bills is not appreciably paid down. Your local school district has received 11% LESS in state aid payments in the past two years and 30% of their transportation money didn’t arrive at all.

Higher education funding decreased, roads and bridges are visibly crumbling; the list goes on and on and on.

Sometimes when you travel to the land of Oz on a regular basis it is healthy to run the numbers past the real world to ensure that the rules of simple arithmetic are still in place.

So I visited a local elementary school and presented this problem to a 2nd grade class: If we spent $27 billion from the General Revenue Fund in 2010, and $30 billion in 2011, and $36 billion in 2014, and plan to spend $38 billion in 2015, are we increasing spending? To a student, the 7 year olds confirmed that $38 billion is significantly more money spent than the $27 billion of four years ago.

I have to side with the kids on this one. Spinning it any other way doesn’t pass the 2nd grader smell test.

It has been said, “Don’t bounce a $5 check. The service charge is the same, write a big one”. The same is true in State government. If you are going to go to the trouble of this kind of untruth and absurd premise for a tax increase, go ahead and bounce a big check. A whopper of this magnitude deserves no less.

This is theft by the light of day. At least when the burglar robs my home they have the decency of wearing a mask and saying “stick em’ up”!

A decade ago, spending on K-12 education was higher than the budget on Illinois public aid. Today, welfare spending is double what we send to your local school district.

Bear in mind that public aid reimbursement for your local hospitals, doctors, and nursing homes has been stagnant for years. We have payment rates that rank 50th, 48th, and 48th in the nation respectively. Our spending has been on an unprecedented explosion of eligibility at the expense of everything else in the budget.

The massive expansion of Medicaid actually started under the Governor Rod Blagojevich. Three years ago Governor Quinn indicated that our Medicaid/public aid spending was unsustainable and the legislature passed a series of reforms commonly called the Smart Act.

The Smart Act reforms remain largely unimplemented, the third party company hired to weed out those who do not live in our State and fail to meet income thresholds, has been fired. This, despite 250,000 participants being found to be ineligible for services in the early stages of the third party company’s investigation.

Today, nearly one in four Illinoisans participate in the Illinois Medicaid/public aid program. The very actions of the Chicago crowd indicate that there is no serious interest in implementing reforms that lead to long term sustainability. This puts those who need help the most at the greatest risk.

Additionally, the Illinois General Assembly once again not only expanded our Medicaid system again in conjunction with Obamacare, but locked us into the most generous eligibility requirements in the nation.

This most recent expansion makes the system that Governor Quinn described in 2012 as unsustainable look like child’s play.

Let’s cut to the chase. This year the State is spending significantly more money than at any point in history. Next year, with yet again new and extended tax increases, the pot will grow even larger. Will your local entities again get stiffed in the budget going forward? Likely.

Three years from now, your local school district, community college, university, roads & bridges, public safety, et. al. will be held for ransom again because the “free” nature of Obamacare is most certainly not free. The exact same dynamic will play out again in FY 2018. Guaranteed.

The outmigration of citizens and business in Illinois is well documented. The war on jobs in our State led the former Governor of Indiana to suggest that “living next to Illinois is like living next to the Simpson’s”. So we have that going for us.

Governor Quinn closed his recent State of the Budget address by saying “We are the custodians of our children’s future”. I agree with that statement entirely. In our case, however, the head janitor has been on vacation.