SPRINGFIELD –Assistant House Minority Leader Norine K. Hammond (R-Macomb) and State Senator Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) announce legislation they sponsored to reduce costs for institutions of higher education was signed into law by the Governor on Friday, August 18.

Governor Rauner signed two higher education measures sponsored by the legislative duo, House Bill 3658 which makes property control reforms requested by Western Illinois University and other state institutions to reduce administrative costs, and House Bill 3255 which removes obsolete statutory language relating to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

“House Bill 3658 is an important cost-saver to our State Universities, including Western Illinois University,” said Senator Jil Tracy. “I have full faith in our universities to manage their inventory of state property effectively and this legislation keeps important protections in place.”

“However, it also reduces administrative costs for the universities and that’s important at this time. This has been an important negotiated effort to reduce costs and provide additional flexibility to the universities while still providing strong protections to taxpayers,” said Assistant Minority Leader Hammond.

Both House Bill 3255 and House Bill 3658 received overwhelming support in both the House and Senate as they were shepherded through the legislative committee processes by Hammond and Tracy.

####
MACOMB –Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) provided the following statement as an update to the ongoing education funding reform negotiations:

“On August 16 the House debated and voted on Senate Bill (SB) 1947, which is a bill that was supposed to mirror Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto to SB 1. SB 1947 received no support because, in short, it was a sham bill put to a vote as a political game. SB 1947 was a hostile bill sponsored by House and Senate Democrats with no chance of passing because it included harmful language to districts all around the state.

That being said, whether or not SB 1 would be effective immediately if the amendatory veto was overridden is also questionable. There is no clear legal authority on whether the final legislative action on the bill was May 31, 2017, the day the Senate concurred, or July 31, 2017, the day Senator Trotter withdrew his motion to reconsider. Dealing with this legal issue is no small matter because it could be the case that if the amendatory veto of SB 1 is overridden, the effective date could be in 2018. Obviously, we cannot wait until 2018 to fund our schools.

On top of this legal issue, SB 1 does not have the support of 71 members in the House of Representatives required to override the amendatory veto. Therefore, the only path forward that will settle this matter and ensure funding for our K-12 schools is a negotiated compromise. All four legislative leaders are meeting Friday and I can tell you that we are very close to an agreement.

I can assure all of the citizens of the 93rd District that my colleagues are I in both parties and chambers are working with extreme urgency. We know this reform needs to be put into place in order to create fairer, more respectful funding for all of Illinois’ school districts and it needs to be done now. I am optimistic that compromise is just around the corner.”


From the Association of Illinois Soil & Water Conservation Districts Press Release


Springfield - Norine Hammond, State Representative was recognized and awarded as the 2017 Legislator of the Year at the 69th Annual Meeting of the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts (AISWCD) held recently in Springfield.

State Representative Norine Hammond represents the 93rd District in the Illinois House of Representatives. The district encompasses all or part of 8 counties including; Knox, Fulton, Warren, McDonough, Schuyler, Cass, Brown, and Mason.

Her legislative priorities are based on the concerns and issues as they relate to the residents of Central and Downstate Illinois. She represents the State of Illinois on the Council of State Governments Agriculture Committee and is a member of the Board of the State Agriculture and Rural Leaders (SARL), a group of legislators from throughout the United States and 8 Canadian Provinces focusing on agriculture issues.

In presenting this award, we thank Norine Hammond, State Representative for her dedication, and providing support to the SWCD.

###

MACOMB –Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) received word on Tuesday that she has been appointed to the Underrepresented Groups in Academia Task Force.

In addition to this appointment, Hammond continues to serve as Minority Spokesperson of the Higher Education Committee and as a member of the Higher Education Appropriations Committee, giving her influence over statewide policy on both higher education and funding issues.

Representative Hammond stands as one of the strongest voices in the Illinois House for Higher Education issues facing downstate universities and colleges. “Examining ways to increase representation in higher education from minority groups is a topic on which I look forward to working. We need to constantly be looking at ways to use higher education as a way to lift up communities and inculcate the next generation of industry leaders with a world-class skill set right here in Illinois,” said Rep. Hammond on Tuesday from Macomb, the home of the Western Illinois University.

The Underrepresented Groups in Higher Education Task Force was enacted through House Joint Resolution 2, a bipartisan measure Representative Hammond co-sponsored this Spring. Expanding services and programs for underrepresented students can provide opportunities for a more marketable skill set that lends itself to enhancing the growth and economic viability of the State of Illinois. The Illinois Board of Higher Education has also been in discussions about developing a conference specifically focused on assisting underrepresented student populations at both public and private institutions. The Underrepresented Groups in Academia Task Force could help to promote this cause as well and/or connect its work to such a forum.