Andrew Chesney


Andrew Chesney


Senator Chesney’s Week in Review

Governor Proposes $3 Billion Spending Increase During Budget Address
On Feb. 15, Governor JB Pritzker proposed his fifth budget to the Illinois General Assembly during his annual Budget and State of the State Address. While he painted an idealistic image of Illinois’ fiscal outlook, he failed to address the looming realities the Illinois economy is likely to see.

The plan laid out by the Governor increases permanent state spending by $3 billion, despite expert warnings of decreased revenue likely to be brought on by a recession. In the last few years, Illinois has benefited from a massive influx of federal dollars and increased revenues due to COVID-19 relief programs and inflation. But Senator Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) says those days are about to end, and the Governor is failing to account for these realities.

Despite these very real threats, the Governor’s outlined budget plan further expands state government—an increase of more than $10 billion since he took office. While the Governor’s professed goals of funding priorities like early childhood programs and public safety initiatives are laudable, Senator Chesney reiterates the importance of focusing on creating a sustainable budget that will not spend Illinois residents into a major tax increase. Senator Chesney says a larger conversation is needed about structural reforms that will allow the state to protect future investments and prioritize spending within its means.

Following the Governor’s speech, Senator Chesney issued the following statement:

“The people I represent in Northwest Illinois are looking for substantive, permanent tax relief. But rather than hearing a proposal that would put more money back in Illinois citizens’ pockets, our Governor is channeling taxpayer dollars toward illegal aliens who visit welcome centers across our state. The South Beloit Welcome Center is in my district, and I will oppose any effort to channel taxpayer funds to illegal immigrants.

“We clearly saw a Governor that was speaking like he was on a national stage. These next few years will be about positioning himself as one of the most liberal-minded Democrats this nation has ever seen so he can run for President. He’s not looking toward the future of Illinois as much as he’s looking toward the 2024 South Carolina primary. What he failed to mention is that his greatest achievement so far is the investment his policy decisions have had on U Haul, as Illinoisans continue to move out of Illinois in alarming numbers.

“These are not the kinds of issues people are calling my office about when they suggest areas for state spending. The people who call my office are just wanting an honest state government that provides adequate funding for critical areas like education, economic development, and assistance for the disabled.

“Illinois is a state with so much untapped potential, and we have the ability to put our state back onto a path where the benefits of living here are limitless. That path begins with policies that encourage job growth and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Senator Chesney has filed an aggressive legislative agenda for 2023 that attempts to reverse and scale back policies he claims have put Illinois on the wrong path. His bills include measures that protect Second Amendment rights, increase support of law enforcement officers, strengthen penalties for those convicted of heinous and violent crimes, and strengthen ethics laws. All would be accomplished without new taxes.

The U.S. Celebrates American Heart Month!
February is American Heart Month, a designated period when the U.S. strives to address the number one killer of Americans – heart disease. This month has been declared by the president for the past 59 years, and this year the focus will be on the importance of CPR. More than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside a hospital and 70 percent of those occur at home. Meanwhile, performing CPR can double or triple the chance of survival for a person in cardiac arrest.

This year, the American Heart Association has issued a nationwide challenge for every household to have at least one person know how to perform CPR. A simplified version called Hands-Only CPR has been shown to be as effective in the first few minutes of treatment, and has only two steps. This simplified version stresses that the most important part of CPR is to keep the heart beating through chest compressions at approximately 100 beats per minute.

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