MARCH 2014

Dear Neighbor,


Yesterday, the Governor issued his Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Address to the General Assembly. He did not sugarcoat a thing. He simply told the truth about where Illinois is at and what we have to do to continue to move toward getting our fiscal house in order while keeping state government running at its most basic levels. It is clear that making tough, painful choices in our state budget will continue to be the norm.

The Governor left no illusions about the difficult decisions that lie ahead. Illinois is facing an estimated $2.4 billion budget gap next year, which would lead to cuts in discretionary spending of about 20 percent. In recent years we have been forced to make massive reductions in Medicaid spending, education and other services. Further cuts can no longer be skillfully rearranged to maintain current levels of education and human services funding around the state. It is more appropriate to look at what these looming cuts will mean in human terms if we don't discuss revenue.


If we do not take action by the end of May, thousands of teachers across the state will be laid off. Prisons will be closed and inmates prematurely released into communities. Students will no longer receive MAP grants to attend college. Seniors will lose critical medical assistance that allows them to remain in their homes. Over 3,000 employees from the Dept. of Human Services, Dept. of Public Health, and Dept. of Veterans' Affairs will be laid off, which will reduce or eliminate family health programs, shelters for victims of domestic abuse, and overdue veterans' benefits. 


There is always room for more efficiency in government, but we can't just slash our way to a balanced budget. I am eager to work with the Governor and my colleagues in the General Assembly on responsible, balanced approaches to the 2014-2015 budget, which must include consideration of our income tax rate before the end of session in May.


I welcome your input on the types of legislative measures you think should be taken to avoid draconian cuts to human services, education, and health care. 


If you haven't already, check out our Facebook page for regular updates with useful resources and community information. 


As always, if I can be of any assistance regarding state issues or programs, do not hesitate to contact me at my district office at 773-296-4141, email me at, or visit my website at


Very truly yours,



Sara Feigenholtz

State Representative

12th District

In the summer of 2013, over 1,000 residents of the 12th District contacted me to speak out against the fire sprinkler mandate proposed by the Illinois State Fire Marshal. If you are unfamiliar with this issue, I encourage you to refer to my July 2013 newsletter and my subsequent letter to the Governor regarding fire sprinkler mandates. This unfunded mandate would have required retrofitting existing high rises with sprinkler systems - an exorbitant cost directly passed on to homeowners and renters through special assessments. Due to the tremendous public outcry against the proposal, the State Fire Marshal's Office withdrew the proposal in August 2013. Let me be clear - there have been no fire sprinkler mandate proposals from the Illinois Fire Marshal's Office in recent weeks or months. However, yesterday in committee, the State Fire Marshal was clear in his remarks that a mandate is his ultimate goal. 

This issue stems from a law passed in 2001 that extended rule-making powers to the State Fire Marshal to make sweeping decisions in the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), an obscure body of 12 legislators who typically review hyper-detailed administrative matters, not statewide mandates. 


As a proactive measure to ensure that any potential changes to state fire sprinkler laws are created with more transparency and deliberation from experts, I introduced House Bill 4609 this month. The bill creates the Task Force on Fire Prevention and Fire Safety Education, comprised of 21 members representing firefighters, homeowners' associations, building trades, and community members. Everyone would get a seat at the table.

This task force would be a brain trust of experts with decades of experience in fire safety law and best practices that will research and consider the effects of any legislation requiring fire sprinklers in homes, businesses, and high-rise buildings. This group will examine all questions related to increasing rent prices, insurance rates, and installation costs and provide a comprehensive, unbiased report with recommendations to the General Assembly. It would then be the responsibility of the elected General Assembly, not the State Fire Marshal and JCAR, to adopt any rules requiring the installation of fire sprinklers in any structure. My goal is to ensure that any potential changes to state fire sprinkler laws are created with more transparency, adequate public input, and open discussion in the General Assembly. 


I am pleased to report that yesterday, the State Government Adminstration Committee voted 17-2 in favor of moving this bill forward for a vote in the Illinois House of Representatives. Thank you to all local community members and elected officials who have shown their support for this piece of legislation, especially Alderman Michelle Smith (43rd), Alderman Tom Tunney (44th), Alderman James Cappleman (46th), and Alderman Brendan Reilly (42nd). 
In order to help me show continued support from the community for House Bill 4609, please sign my Fire Safety Petition online. Further public input on this issue will be critical to ensure this bill's passage in the General Assembly. 
I will keep you updated on any new developments as we continue to work on this issue in Springfield. 


A packed house at our Condo Roundtable 

Illinois Chamber of Commerce Health Care Panel Discussion
Our Internet Safety Discussion at Nettlehorst School
Thank you AT&T for supporting the 530 Fullerton Foundation!

Mix N' Mingle at Jack's on Halsted

Thursday, March 27, 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Jack's on Halsted, 3201 N. Halsted

Come join a fabulous networking event where you will meet other business owners and professionals to create long term relationships and drive sales. Nibbles and a drink come with your ticket!

Members $20
Non-Members $30
At the Door $25

Buena Bunnies

Sunday, April 6, 2:00 p.m.
St. Mary of the Lake, 4200 N. Sheridan Rd

This annual event has been a favorite for many and is a great way to meet new people and provide a happy Easter for many young children by creating fun Easter baskets.

Race to Wrigley 5k Run

Saturday, April 12, 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Wrigley Field, 1060 W. Addison

Chicago Cubs Charities' 9th Annual Race to Wrigley 5k Run, which starts and finishes at legendary Wrigley Field, helps kick off the baseball season and runners and sponsors can show their support for a good cause.

This year personal fundraising proceeds benefit Lurie Children's Hospital. Visit Race-Cubs for more information.

Mid-North Association Meeting

Monday, April 21, 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
St. Paul's Church, 2235 N. Orchard
The Mid-North Association is bounded by Lincoln Park, Fullerton, Lincoln and Ogden Right-of-Way. More information on Mid-North here.

Bird Walks around Lincoln Park's North Pond

Every Wednesday, 7:00 to 9:00 a.m.
Pond-side of the Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Dr

Join experienced bird watchers from the Chicago Ornithological Society on weekly bird walks around North Pond to observe and learn about our feathered neighbors. Dress for the weather and bring your binoculars. 
Keep in touch!

If we can ever be of any assistance to you on matters regarding the state of Illinois, please contact our constituent service office:

State Representative Sara Feigenholtz
3223 N. Sheffield Ave, Suite A
Chicago, Il 60657
(773) 296-4141 |


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