12th District E-Newsletter Budget & Community Update
Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Dear Neighbor:

I hope you are enjoying the warm weather!

I have received many phone calls, emails and letters from constituents on a broad range of issues, so I wanted to send you a quick update.

Also included in this newsletter are a number of upcoming events around the neighborhood and I encourage you to check them out.

As always, feel free to email me at or call my office at 773-296-4141 with any questions or comments.


State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz
12th District

  • Quinn Tax Proposal
  • Military Tax Assistance Program
  • Earth Hour Chicago: Turn out the lights on March 28
  • 2009 Capital Hearing with Local State Representatives
  • Upcoming Events

  • Quinn Tax Proposal

    Today, Governor Pat Quinn presented the Illinois General Assembly with a sweeping tax proposal in an attempt to address the state's estimated $11.6 billion budget deficit. The measure, which calls for a one and a half percent increase in the state income tax, would also include an expansion of the personal exemption from $2,000 to $6,000 to protect low-income families from the new formula. The governor also called for an increase in fees for drivers' licenses and license plates, and additional taxes on cigarettes.

    Unlike the previous governor who refused to address the growing structural deficit or propose any real budget reforms that we now have to confront, Governor Quinn, in his no-nonsense, down-to-earth style, presented his budget proposal with candor and a willingness to take bold steps to solve the grave problems that Illinois is facing and dig us out of a sea of red ink.

    Though I will not commit to any increase in fees or taxes unless they are coupled with genuine reform in the way the state of Illinois conducts business, I am eager to debate this issue with my colleagues in Springfield to determine the best way to move Illinois forward.

    I do not believe that we should cut or tax our way out of this debt. As chair of a major appropriations committee in the House I know that we must first work to make government more efficient by adopting measures that continue to serve the needs of our residents while reducing the burden on taxpayers. The state of Illinois must also strive to capture the maximum possible amount of federal matching funds, which was virtually impossible under the failed leadership of our former governor.

    Only after these options are fully explored can we begin to consider any increase in taxes or fees. I agree with Governor Quinn's conclusion that our state cannot move forward without addressing this budget deficit, but I believe we should consider all possible alternatives first.

    As I spend the rest of this week in Springfield, I want to hear from you. Feel free to send me a message and I will keep your ideas and opinions in mind as I work with my colleagues to address this budget shortfall.

    I will also update you on this matter as more details become available.

    Military Tax Assistance Program

    Tax Day (April 15) is right around the corner. CPAs for the Public Interest will once again provide free tax assistance and guidance to immediate families of deployed military members. If you or someone you know fits this criteria and could benefit from this experience, click here or call (800) 572-9870.

    Earth Hour Chicago: Turn out the lights on March 28

    It's time once again to turn out and take action against global climate change. Millions around the world are turning off their lights on Saturday, March 28, at 8:30 pm during Earth Hour. My staff and I have already signed up and I encourage you to do the same. By flipping your light switch, you can demonstrate concern for our living planet and send a message that you support long-term, sustainable action on climate change.

    Chicago is proud to return as a flagship city for Earth Hour, a global movement led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and presented locally by ComEd. Last year, more than 2.7 million adults in the Chicagoland area came together to turn-off their lights, resulting in an electricity savings of 7 percent in the region - the equivalent of taking more than one million cars off the road for one hour, or planting 158 acres of trees.

    For more information about Earth Hour and what you can do to help stop global climate change, click here.

    2009 Capital Hearing with Local State Representatives

    Thursday, April 16
    6:00 PM
    Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center,
    Olson Auditorium
    836 W. Wellington

    Please join us for a discussion with local elected officials, labor leaders and members of the business community about the need to pass a capital transportation construction program to repair roads and bridges, strengthen the regional economy and put people back to work. I will be in attendance alongside my House colleagues John D'Amico, John Fritchey, Greg Harris, Lou Lang, Joe Lyons, Deborah Mell and Harry Osterman.

    Upcoming Events

    Cubs Annual Community Meeting
    Tuesday, March 24
    7 - 9 PM
    Inter-American Elementary School
    851 W. Waveland

    This meeting will give residents an opportunity to voice their concerns on a wide range of issues regarding the upcoming 2009 Cubs season and its impact on our community. Representatives from the Cubs and the city of Chicago will be on hand to take questions.

    Lake View Citizens' Council Wine Tasting
    Sunday, April 19
    3 - 5 PM
    1433 W. Belmont
    $15 per person

    Join the Lake View Citizens' Council for an afternoon of mingling and try some of the best wines in the city! This is a great way for you to meet your neighbors while supporting local businesses. Visit LVCC's website for more information.

    Mid-North Association's Summerfest Volunteer Party
    Wednesday, April 22
    6 - 8 PM
    2265 N. Lincoln

    The Lincoln Park Summerfest (June 20 - 21), hosted by our neighbors at the Mid-North Association, is in need of volunteers! Join Mid-North on April 22 at Kelsey's on Lincoln to learn more about the festival and signing up to volunteer. Bring a neighbor or a friend, enjoy some free beverages and appetizers and get involved with one this summer's most colorful celebrations!

    Reminder: the Brown Line Paulina and Wellington stations remain closed for renovations and upgrades. For alternative transportation options and the latest updates, please visit

    phone: (773) 296-4141
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