SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit, D-Aurora, helped pass a bipartisan, balanced budget, focused on cracking down on expensive taxpayer-funded “golden parachute” severance packages, improving veterans’ health care and providing critical protections for nurses during the spring legislative session.
Kifowit was joined by a bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats in passing a balanced budget which holds the line on taxes and spending, and focuses on cutting wasteful bureaucracy while protecting critical services such as affordable child care, domestic violence shelters, and breast cancer screenings. In a significant step toward property tax relief, the bipartisan, balanced budget provides $350 million in new funding for schools with $50 million to be used for property tax relief. In addition, the budget restores funding needed for local governments that would otherwise raise property taxes to make up the difference.
“Our most important job is to pass a balanced budget that reflects our values,” said Kifowit. “I am proud to be a part of a bipartisan effort to pass a budget that continues the healing process after the damage done by the governor.”
Kifowit also worked across the aisle to pass the Government Severance Pay Act, Senate Bill 3604. Kifowit’s bill comes in response to large payouts from government entities to fired executives, such as the College of DuPage granting its former president a $763,000 severance package even after he was dismissed for misconduct. Northern Illinois University also approved a $600,000 severance package to its former president after his dismissal for inappropriate hiring.
The Government Severance Pay Act would prevent government entities from awarding severance pay to those who have been dismissed for misconduct. The legislation also reigns in all government severance packages to a 20-week maximum.
“These publicly-funded golden parachutes break the public trust every time they occur,” Kifowit said. “Taxpayers ought to know that rogue public officials are not taking advantage of them.”
In response to mismanagement at the Quincy Veterans’ Home, Kifowit passed House Bill 4278, which would improve transparency in the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs by requiring state-run facilities to notify each veterans’ family within 24 hours of learning that at least two staff members and/or residents have been diagnosed with an infectious disease.
“The devastating Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans’ Home is a prime example of bureaucrats prioritizing their interests over veterans,” Kifowit continued. “Our veterans should know that the state is focused on providing the best possible care, not keeping them in the dark about their health and safety.”
Recent reports have revealed the day-to-day dangers faced in the nursing profession. Kifowit responded to these dangers by championing the Health Care Violence Prevention Act, House Bill 4100, which would require that medical facilities develop a workplace violence prevention program, forbid management to discourage employees from contacting law enforcement or filing a complaint after an incident of workplace violence occurs and require hospitals to establish protocols for the reception of potentially violent patients transferred from law enforcement.
“Health care providers can’t save lives if their health or safety are at risk,” Kifowit continued. “Nurses require more protections to do their job properly.”
Visit Rep Kifowit’s website
200-1S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
1677 Montgomery Rd.
Aurora, IL 60504
(630) 585-1357 FAX