The Illinois State Budget - City Club of Chicago

The Illinois State Budget

Hon. Pamela Althoff, Hon. Dan Kotowski, Hon. Kwame Raoul, and Hon. Sue Rezin

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2015

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Pamela J. Althoff

State Senator Pamela J. Althoff has served as a member of the Illinois State Senate since March 2003. She has championed legislation to increase open space, expand the agricultural industry and promote improved statewide economic growth. She is a proponent of improving the business/job climate of Illinois, obtaining equitable education funding reform, tax reforms and senior health issues. In the Senate, she serves as the Senate Republican Caucus Chair as a part of the Senate Republican Leadership. Sen. Althoff is the Minority Spokeswoman for the Revenue Committee, and also serves on the Appropriations II, Assignments, Executive Appointments, Labor, Licensed Activities & Pensions and Transportation Committees. Senator Althoff is also the appointed “Past President” of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) (fulfilling the vacancy left by Oregon Senator Bruce Starr), while also serving on the Domestic Violence Task Force, the Illinois Discharged Service Member Task Force, the Budgeting for Results Commission, the Early Learning Council, the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), the Midwest Higher Education Commission. She has been named a "Guardian of Small Business" by the National Federation of Independent Business, developed a personnel policy for Fox Waterway Agency, established a Mayors Consortium to identify and coordinate northeastern McHenry County transportation issues, and much more during her career. Prior to coming to the Senate, Senator Althoff was the McHenry City Mayor from 2001 to 2003. Other positions she has held in her career include a Special Education teacher, an Assistant Administrator with the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce, a Sales and Marketing Representative, and the McHenry City Clerk and Collector. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Education from Illinois State University in 1975, and her Master's Degree in Education from Northeastern Illinois University in 1978.

Dan Kotowski

State Senator Dan Kotowski was born and raised in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood and is a lifelong resident of Illinois. He attended Loyola Academy in Wilmette for high school, and went on to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, graduating with a degree in English and Communications. Dan completed his studies at DePaul University in Chicago, obtaining a Master’s Degree. Senator Kotowski has worked tirelessly to usher in a new era of reform, transparency and accountability in our state government. He successfully passed legislation to protect taxpayers through the posting of government contracts on the internet, and sponsored landmark legislation to create new penalties for officials convicted of public corruption and to reform General Assembly members’ pensions. As chairman of one of the Senate’s Appropriations Committees and vice-chairman of the other, Senator Kotowski continues to challenge how the state constructs its annual budgets. He recently sponsored a bill ending the automatic transfer of more than $2 billion out of the state budget into specialized accounts. Believing that these dollars deserve the same level of scrutiny as any other state spending programs, his plan pushes for increased transparency and requires funding recipients to provide evidence-based information about why taxpayer money is necessary to support their programs. This simple philosophy – funding what works and getting rid of what does not – is the driving force behind Kotowski’s Budgeting for Results Commission, which hosted hearings throughout the state in 2013 to discuss our state’s financial priorities and identify programs that have the greatest impact on people’s lives. The Commission identified a range of outdated mandates, such as research programs that have not received funding for years and a state-authorized development board that has never convened because of a lack of appointees. He currently lives in Park Ridge with his wife Anne and their sons, Nate and Cooper.

Kwame Raoul

State Senator Kwame Raoul was born in Chicago, Illinois on September 30, 1964, to Haitian-born immigrants Janin Raoul, M.D. and Marie Therese Raoul Senator Raoul has served the people of the 13th Legislative District since November 6, 2004. Raoul, who is a lifelong resident of the Hyde Park/Kenwood area, was tapped to fill the vacancy left by former State Senator Barack Obama's election to the U.S. Senate. A leading progressive voice in the Illinois Senate, Raoul has allowed real life experiences to shape his legislative philosophy. Since his arrival in Springfield, Raoul has championed legislation on criminal justice reform including the recent historic legislation that abolishes the death penalty , legislation creating the Torture Inquiry Commission and legislation promoting diversion programs for non-violent offenders.. He also championed legislation aimed at breaking the code of silence by deterring intimidation of those who cooperate with law enforcement officers. As chairman of the Senate's Pension and Investment Committee, Sen. Raoul has fought hard for pension ethics reform and has led efforts to expand opportunities for minority and women-owned financial service firms and ridding the State's pension systems of corruption. As chairman of the Senate's Redistricting Committee, Sen. Raoul introduced legislation that created the Illinois Voting Rights Act to protect racial and language minorities in the legislative redistricting process. In addition, Raoul serves as Vice-Chair of the Criminal Law Committee and a member of the Judiciary and Financial Institutions Committees. Raoul is a graduate of DePaul University (B.A., Political Science) and the Chicago-Kent College of Law. He is a resident of the Hyde Park community in Chicago where he lives with his wife Kali and his two children Che (13) and Mizan (11).

Sue Rezin

State Senator Sue Rezin was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives in November of 2010, and was then appointed to the Illinois State Senate. She was sworn in as State Senator on December 14, 2010, and elected to serve a four-year term in November of 2012, where she proudly represents the 38th Legislative District. In 2015, she was appointed Assistant Leader in the Senate GOP Caucus. As a proponent of energy advancement and independence, obtaining equitable education funding reform and improving statewide economic growth, Senator Rezin serves as the Minority Spokesperson on the Senate Energy Committee and is a member of the Senate Appropriations, Education, Executive, Financial Institutions, and Transportation Committees. Additional committee and task force appointments included the Education Funding Advisory Committee, the Young Adult Heroin Use Task Force, the Social Security Retirement Pay Task Force, the Veterans Advisory Committee, the Joint Task force on Turkish and Illinois Relations, the Illinois Electric Vehicle Advisory Council the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), and the Unemployment Insurance Task Force. Senator Rezin is a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government's Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program. She is also the recipient of the 2012 Partnership of the Year Award from the Grundy County Economic Development, the 2012 Illinois Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR Friend of Agriculture Award, and the Highest Voting Record Supporting the Agricultural County Award from the Will County Farm Bureau. As a graduate of Augustana College, Senator Rezin earned a degree in International Business and Political Science with a minor in Hispanic Studies. For the past sixteen years, she has been the co-owner and manager of her family’s real estate company. Senator Rezin and her husband, Keith, reside in Morris and have four children.

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