SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As the spring legislative session concluded, state Rep. Maurice West II, D-Rockford, backed a responsible state spending plan that funds critical services like education, senior resources and health care, and highlighted his continuing effort in Springfield to address concerns facing Rockford families.
“After years of uncertainty, I am optimistic at the willingness to pass a responsible, balanced budget that invests in our community and prioritizes services that residents depend on,” West said. “This session emphasized our commitment to put Illinois back on track by working for the middle class and most vulnerable.”
The spending plan backed by West invests $375 million in new funding for public schools, while committing more than $1 billion to address old bills inherited by Bruce Rauner’s budget crisis. The budget also makes the state’s full scheduled pension payment, while protecting funding for lifesaving services such as breast cancer screenings and Meals on Wheels.
West also worked to pass a variety of pieces of legislation aimed at building a stronger Illinois by strengthening the middle class. He supported a Fair Tax amendment that would bring tax relief to 97% of Illinois taxpayers (SJRCA1, SB 687), voted to expand tax credits to provide access to career and apprenticeship training to prepare residents for high-wage jobs (SB 1591) and worked to ensure that all residents could receive affordable health care by stopping insurance companies from excessive rate increases (HB 471) while focusing on efforts to rein in prescription drug costs (HB 156).
“I hear regularly from families who are concerned by the rhetoric in Washington by those who are willing to slash health care protections for those who need it most,” West said. “I am encouraged by our vigilant action here in Illinois to make sure that protections are in place for our residents regardless of what happens in Washington.”
West also took action to address violence, supporting the “Fix the FOID” bill (SB 1966) that closes loopholes in the Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card system that allowed the Aurora factory shooter to obtain a gun they should not have had access to.
Personally, West worked to pass legislation to encourage state agencies to purchase food products grown locally (HB 2505), highlight how schools are providing workplace experience for students (HB 2822) and ensure that educators receive training to address mental health issues they notice students facing (SB 1731).
“While we made significant progress on a number of issues, it will take more hard work and tough decisions to get our state back on track,” West said. “I look forward to having continued conversations with local residents and community leaders about how we can lift up the Rockford community and Illinois as a whole.”
Visit Rep. Maurice West’s website
237-E Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
200 S. Wyman
Rockford, IL 61101