Andrew Chesney


Andrew Chesney


Senator Chesney’s Week in Review

Senator Chesney Delivers over 3,200 Valentines

On February 14 and 15, my staff and I delivered more than 3,200 homemade valentines to seniors living in nursing homes and assisted living centers in the seven counties that comprise the 45th District. The deliveries were part of the Senate Republicans’ annual Valentines for Seniors program.

This year, valentines were submitted by school, church, scouting, and 4-H groups and by residents who wanted to do their part to make local seniors feel appreciated. The smiles on the seniors’ faces were priceless, and I cannot thank the community enough for participating in this heartwarming project. In all, we visited 30 different nursing homes and assisted living/rehabilitation centers.

The Valentines for Seniors program is a statewide annual event, and all 19 Republican Senators participated this year. This year’s statewide total of valentines collected and delivered was just under 60,000.


Chesney Joins Regional Lawmakers at Metro West Legislative Breakfast
I recently joined several of my Senate and House colleagues at a legislative breakfast hosted by the Metro West Council of Government. The room was full of mayors and managers from the municipalities represented by Metro West, and I appreciated the opportunity to move from table to table to talk with elected officials about issues that are important to them, challenges in Illinois, and solutions I have proposed through legislation.

Metro West is a council of municipalities representing over 750,000 Illinoisans from DeKalb, Kendall, and Kane Counties. They lobby on behalf of their mayors for issues affecting local government.


Upcoming Budget Address Shadowed by Looming Deficit
As the Governor prepares to present his annual budget address next week, lawmakers are anxious to see how he intends to address the expected budgetary deficit and various points of contention, including the ongoing migrant crisis and free healthcare program for noncitizens.

While the U.S. economy has been more resilient than some economists originally anticipated, the state’s economy is expected to experience a significant decrease in revenues in the coming year, all the while spending is continuing to increase. According to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, Illinois is projected to face a nearly $900 million deficit for Fiscal Year 2025.

Governor Pritzker’s program to provide free healthcare to noncitizens is a particular point of contention in the upcoming budget process. The program has become one of the state’s largest fiscal responsibilities as well as one of its most scrutinized programs. The Governor claimed last year that new copayment requirements for migrants were expected to reduce some costs. $550 million was allocated for the program, but current estimates say the cost will be at least $200 million over budget. Senate Republicans have repeatedly pushed for the Governor and his allies to focus on other priorities, including existing programs for struggling Illinois citizens.

The projected deficit is also partly due to new permanent spending that was created during the height of the pandemic and funded with federal relief funds. Now those federal sources of money have mostly dried up.

My Senate Republican colleagues and I had repeatedly warned Democratic lawmakers about the potential risks that reckless spending growth would create on the state’s finances once federal funds were exhausted. Those warnings were ignored and the continued push for new programs and more spending has put the state’s finances in a precarious position.


Makers’ Madness Makes a Return
The Illinois Manufacturers Association is once again bringing back their bracket contest, March Madness style, to determine the Coolest Thing Made in Illinois. The tournament, officially named Makers Madness, spotlights Illinois products through fan participation and online voting.

In order to qualify, the product entered into the competition must be made in Illinois. Nominations are open now until March 3 and the field will be narrowed down to 16 contestants through voting March 3-5. The Coolest Thing Made in Illinois will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 10 at the Governor’s Mansion. This contest brings attention to the many incredible products manufactured in Illinois.

Past winners include the world’s largest mechanical truck, the 797F Mining truck, made by Caterpillar Inc. in Decatur; the Self Regulating Traffic Signal Heater, which heats traffic signals so they will not get frozen or damaged by ice, made by Termico Technologies in Elk Grove Village; and the Rosenberg Moon Habitat, which is a 3D-printed structure used to house humans on the moon, made by Ingersoll Machine tools in Rockford. Nominations and votes can be submitted on the Illinois Manufacturers Association website at

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