Down to The Wire

L-R Senator Ira Silverstein, Senate President John Cullerton, Rabbi Shlomo Soroka

L-R Senator Ira Silverstein, Senate President John Cullerton, Rabbi Shlomo Soroka

It has been a busy few weeks in Springfield as Illinois lawmakers scramble to beat looming deadlines and advance various bills before the end of the legislative session. Things were especially busy in the Senate which was voting on a package of bills that comprised a long-overdue state budget. In the midst of this flurry of activity,  Agudath Israel worked to advance House Bill 4011, which would provide $25 million for at-risk nonprofits.

The security bill recently passed the House and moved over to the Senate where it was determined that additional amendments were required. Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) moved quickly to ensure the amendments were assigned to the right committee in time to pass before the deadline. The amended bill then passed committee with bipartisan support.  Senator Silverstein then made sure that the bill was called for a second reading Tuesday and scheduled for a third and final reading, when it will be debated and voted on. If the bill does pass, it will go back to the House again for concurrence and then sent to Governor Rauner. With the Illinois General Assembly scheduled to adjourn session on May 31st, the clock is ticking, but Agudath Israel is hopeful that the bill will pass before time runs out.

Agudath Israel of Illinois remains grateful to Representative Lou Lang (D-Skokie) for drafting and sponsoring the original bill and for shepherding it through the House, and Senator Silverstein and  primary co-sponsor Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) for their critical role in the Senate effort. Agudath Israel of Illinois’ director of government affairs, Rabbi Shlomo Soroka also thanked  Suzanne Strassberger, Associate Vice President of Government and Community Partnerships at the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago for her tireless efforts to advance the bill.  “When organizations collaborate for the sole sake of improving the welfare of our community,” said Rabbi Soroka, “only good things happen.”