The Morrison Memo: August 16, 2018

Palatine’s Street Fest Gets Underway on August 24!
The Village of Palatine is putting the finishing touches on this year’s Street Fest event, which will be held in the heart of the downtown area the weekend from August 24-26. The epicenter of this annual event is the intersection of Brockway and Slade Streets, and local families are invited to enjoy the live music, great food and kids activities that have become a staple of this community festival. Street Fest gets underway on Friday the 24th at 5:00 PM with activities running constant until midnight. Saturday hours will be 11:00 AM until midnight, and the festival concludes on Sunday with hours from 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Admission to Palatine Street Fest is free and all are welcome. For more information about this annual community event, click here

Morrison Returns Nearly 24% of District Office Funds
As a lawmaker I try to lead by example. One way I try to set an example for fiscal prudence and responsibility involves the use of my district office allotment. When Fiscal Year 2018 ended on June 30, I returned $16,621 of unused district office funds to the State of Illinois. 

Each year, every legislator is provided with approximately $69,500 for use in running a local legislative office. Salaries for employees, rent, utilities, computer equipment, office supplies, and travel for official business is purchased with these funds. 

I am frugal with my district office spending and always try to return between 10% and 20% of my local allotment back to the State. This year I was able to return almost 24%. My staff and I only use paper and official postage only when necessary and rely heavily on electronic communication with constituents. To promote local community outreach events or to discuss legislative issues with residents who contact the office, we rely mostly on email, the Internet, and local media, which is free of charge. For committee meetings in Chicago, I use public transit to save on driving and parking costs.

Every penny adds up, and if all 177 House and Senate offices could reduce their local spending by at least 10%, we would be setting a great example for how state spending could be reduced. This recent return of funds marks the 8th consecutive year that I have returned money at the end of the fiscal year.

Rep. Morrison Champions Legislation to Force Property Tax Reform in Illinois
Illinoisans are desperate for property tax relief, but the General Assembly has failed to act. I hear almost daily from constituents who complain that the taxes are causing them to consider leaving Illinois. In response to this crisis, this year I signed on as a Chief Co-Sponsor of HB 5924, which eliminates Illinois’ ability to collect property taxes as of July 1, 2019. My hope is that by placing a sunset date on the current property tax code, lawmakers will finally get serious about property tax reform. I am hopeful that HB 5924 bill will move through the General Assembly during the upcoming Fall Veto Session.

Rep. Morrison Joins Rolling Meadows Residents for Community Bike Ride
I recently had an opportunity to join Rolling Meadows Mayor Len Prejna and about 250 area residents for a 4.6-mile community bike ride that showcased the City’s newest bike trail. The community bike ride is an annual event, and if you were not able to join the festivities this year I hope you will consider participating with your family next year. Click here to view a video taken during the event. 

Close to $69 Million in IDOT Funds Allocated for District 54 Road and Bridge Projects from 2019-2024
Almost $69 million of an $11.05 billion statewide road and bridge improvement program will be spent on projects in the 54th Legislative House District. The projects were announced recently as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) six-year Proposed Highway Improvement Program for Fiscal Years 2019-2024.

District 54 projects included in IDOTs six-year program include:
  • crack and joint sealing on US 12, IL 53 and Rand Road, from Ela Road to IL 58 in Deer Park, Lake Zurich, Kildeer, Palatine, Arlington Heights, Prospect Heights, Mount Prospect and Des Plaines 
  • resurfacing and ADA improvements on US 14 from Main Street/Lake Cook Road to Ela Road in Inverness and Barrington 
  • resurfacing and ADA improvements on US 14 from Ela Road to Hicks Road in Palatine and Inverness 
  • bridge rehabilitation on IL 53 from south of US 12 to IL 62 in Arlington Heights 
  • engineering for improvements to IL 53 from south of US 12 to IL 62 in Arlington Heights 
  • culvert replacement and drainage improvements on IL 68 from the east branch of Salt Creek near Quentin Road in Palatine 
  • resurfacing on Barrington Road from IL 59 to IL 62 in Inverness, Barrington Hills and Barrington 
  • resurfacing and ADA improvements on Hicks Road south of US 14 to Kirchoff Road in Palatine and Rolling Meadows 
  • resurfacing on IL 53 from US 12 to Anderson Drive in Palatine 
  • resurfacing, ADA improvements and a railroad flagger on Main Street between Hart Road and Ela Road in Barrington Hills, Barrington and Deer Park 
  • resurfacing and ADA Improvements on Meacham Road from Emerson Avenue to IL 62 in Rolling Meadows and Schaumburg 
  • resurfacing and ADA improvements on Palatine Road between IL 62 to east of Roselle Road in Barrington Hills, South Barrington, Hoffman Estates, Inverness and Palatine 
  • resurfacing and ADA improvements on Palatine Road from US 14 to Sanders Road in Palatine, Arlington Heights, Prospect Heights and Wheeling 
  • culvert replacement on Palatine Road at Salt Creek south of Winston Drive in Palatine 
  • resurfacing and ADA improvements on Palatine Road and South Frontage Road from North Verde Avenue to Palatine Road in Arlington Heights 
  • resurfacing and ADA improvements on Palatine Road/North Frontage Road from Williams Drive to Alison Drive in Palatine 
Based on current funding levels, the FY 2019-2024 Proposed Highway Improvement Program aims to improve a total of 1,945 miles of road and 525 bridges maintained by the State. The multi-year program also includes funding for upgrades to more than 750 miles of local roads and 922,933 square feet of local bridges.

I Value Your Opinions and Feedback
I enjoy hearing from constituents about the issues and values that are important to them. Please hit the reply key and write back to me with a list of the top few issues that are most important to you and your family, the 54th District, and the State of Illinois. I look forward to reading these responses.

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