MACOMB – Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) issued the following statement regarding Governor Rauner’s Budget Address on Wednesday:

“In all matters, we as legislators in Springfield, must follow the US and Illinois Constitution to guide our actions,” said Rep. Hammond.  “Adhering to our constitutional mandate means we start the budgeting process by the Illinois House setting a Revenue Estimate that realistically reflects the funds coming in to our State.  We cannot spend more than we bring in, so we must first set the revenue estimate and then hold appropriation committee hearings to go line by line through the budget to insure that our expenditures do not exceed our revenues,” Hammond continued.

“As a member of the Higher Education Appropriations Committee, I look forward to reviewing the Governor’s proposal in detail over the coming months as we hold our appropriations committees hearings.  Just like hardworking Western Illinois families cannot spend more than they bring in, so it should go with their state government,” Hammond went on to say.

Rep. Hammond was critical in ending the logjam that prevented a budget for two years ending last Summer.  “Illinois cannot go without a budget again this year.  Nothing would be more damaging to our State.  I will again be pushing for a budget resolution before the May 31 Spring Session deadline for the General Assembly.  Service and payment interruptions like we saw in the past are not acceptable,” Hammond said on Wednesday following the Governor’s speech. “I will be talking with all the taxing bodies throughout the district to get their feedback on how these proposals will affect their budgets.”

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SPRINGFIELD – Today at a press conference at the state Capitol, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) was joined by lawmakers to outline strategies for proactively responding to a future of work that will demand advanced skills and training. These strategies are embedded within the newly released Strategic Plan for Adult Education and Literacy that focuses on advancing models that combine basic skills and workforce training, leading to a credential and meeting employers’ needs. The strategies developed in the newly released plan will guide Illinois’ adult education system over the next five years to ensure all adult learners have access to and success across the services that are cohesive, coordinated, and innovative.

“Over the past six months, the Statewide Task Force on the Future of Adult Education and Literacy has been engaged in a strategic planning process focused on expanding and scaling comprehensive career pathways and integrated education and training programs that have been successfully implemented across the state to produce a trained workforce and improve wages,” said Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, ICCB executive director and chair of the task force.

“Adult education can no longer be viewed as an end point or final state in the transition to work,” added Jennifer Foster, ICCB Deputy Director for Adult Education and Workforce. “Instead, adult education is the foundation of Illinois’ career pathway system.”

The five-year strategic plan put forward by the task force addresses these critical needs through the identification of a set of four goals and related objectives developed to spur stronger overall system outcomes.

Goal 1: Improve outcomes by scaling effective models and strategies across the system.
Goal 2: Increase postsecondary transitions and credential attainment.
Goal 3: Strengthen college and career readiness.
Goal 4: Develop life-long career pathway systems and enabling technologies.

"I am proud to stand in support of this strategic plan. Community colleges and other adult education providers have always been the most adaptable and fleet-footed in responding to ever-changing needs of employers. I am pleased they will continue to focus on the need for skilled workers and, by doing so, continue to grow our own job opportunities in each region of Illinois," said task force member State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), Minority Spokesperson for the House Higher Education Committee.