Illinois Senate Republicans returned to the Capitol this week where the focus remained on the need for the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget that doesn’t put any additional tax burden on Illinois residents.
Also this week, the Illinois Department of Public Health released their Opioid Data Dashboard.
With seven weeks remaining on the spring session calendar, Governor Bruce Rauner held a meeting with the four legislative leaders to discuss the parameters and need for a balanced budget that does not include any new taxes. Specifically, he asked that each caucus certify its revenue estimates, support a full-year balanced budget, ensure revenues equal or exceed expenditures (as required by law) and include no tax increases.
Joining the Governor in this call for a balanced budget was Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady, who earlier this week noted that while Gov. Rauner has put forth a balanced budget proposal, “we are open to working on any budget proposal, as long as it’s balanced and does not put any additional tax burden on our already overtaxed residents.”
Opioid Data and Trends Readily Available
The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is announcing the launch of its Opioid Data Dashboard, an innovative way to access data on opioid overdoses and deaths. The Opioid Data Dashboard is an interactive website that offers information on how opioids are affecting people in Illinois.
The dashboard consists of three categories:
- Morbidity and Mortality
- Prescription Opioids
Morbidity and Mortality data includes the rate of fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses by county, as well as the number of overdoses by zip code. Trends looks at fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses by age group, race, sex, and cause (heroin vs. other opioids). Prescription Opioids includes data on the rate, by county, of opioids being prescribed, as well as the daily average of opioids being prescribed. It also includes the annual number of total patients being prescribed an opioid and total number of prescriptions issued.
Earlier this year, IDPH released the State of Illinois Comprehensive Opioid Data Report, which includes data from a variety of sources across multiple state agencies. Both the dashboard and report are meant to inform statewide efforts to combat the opioid epidemic and implement the State of Illinois Opioid Action Plan.
On April 11, lawmakers celebrated Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day (IALD), which brings together farm, agricultural commodity organizations and other diverse agriculture interest groups to the state Capitol. Participants provide baskets filled with agricultural products and specialty lunches for the legislators. The purpose of these baskets is to remind lawmakers about the multiple facets agriculture has in the lives of their constituents and the impacts their choices make on the world of agriculture.
Senator Syverson and Senator Bivins were honored to welcome the Pecatonica FFA chapter to the Capitol for Illinois Ag Legislative Day.