PictureThe Wheeler 64 Parade Team 2014
I hope that you and your family are enjoying the beginnings to your summer! 

With the beginning of summer also comes the beginning of our parade season! It's always a blast to have the opportunity to interact with so many members of the community!

This year, I will be participating in parades in Fox Lake and Spring Grove on July 4 as well as the Crystal Lake parade on July 5 and we need to have a strong team presence!

 Out of town or can't make it on 4th of July weekend? It's okay! We will also be a part of the McHenry Fiesta Days parade on July 19!

If you, your family or friends would like to be part of our team, please contact me at barb@barbarawheeler64.com or by using the Contact page of this website, and we'll send you the details for each parade. We'd love to have you! The more, the merrier! Please feel free to contact me with any questions!

Representative Wheeler was proud to sponsor Senate Bill 1389 this spring which was an initiative highly supported by the Lake County States Attorney's office.  

The bill permits courts handling criminal cases that involve the abuse or exploitation of a child, or someone who is developmentally disabled, to allow the victim to have their service or therapeutic dog at their side during proceedings. Research by the Humane Society has shown that children who have suffered trauma are more likely to come out of their "shell" through the comfort provided by a service animal. When testifying in a criminal case, children are often so intimidated by facing their abuser that they aren't able to complete testimony before the court. The mere presence of the animal they have developed a comforting bond with can be essential to helping them overcome the intimidating nature of the experience. 

When a child is abused or suffers a traumatic experience, it is often the comfort of animal that helps them get through it," said Wheeler. "Animals pass no judgment; they just want to be your friend. Their caring nature is what makes them so valuable for a child who has suffered". 

Senate Bill 1389 unanimously passed both the House and Senate and now awaits the Governor's signature. 

Pictured above: Representative Wheeler in the Capitol with Lake County therapeutic dog, Mitchell. Mitchell was brought down to Springfield by Lake County Assistant State's Attorney Jason Grindell 

SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) called the proposed fiscal year 2016 budget from the Illinois House Democrats a dishonest back-breaker of the middle class. 

“The partisan budget offered by the Democrats is filled with empty promises,” said Wheeler. “It promises spending more than $3 billion over what we expect in revenue. How can we tell our most vulnerable we will provide for them, but at the same time pass a budget that will run out of money and leave them at risk? It’s wrong, and I will not support an unbalanced budget.” 

Illinois House Democrats have been producing a number of phony budget bills in recent weeks, knowing they would not pass. This week, after pulling away from bipartisan budget discussions, House Democrats introduced their own budget without input from the other side of the aisle or the Governor. 

“If we’ve learned only one thing from the recession, it’s that we cannot spend more than we have,” said Wheeler. “The Illinois Constitution even says that we cannot spend more than we have. I would hope that the day after we honor the memory of our fallen soldiers, we would possess their same integrity and follow the laws of the country for which they have fought and died.” 

Each year, the General Assembly produces revenue estimates for the upcoming budget. The Illinois Constitution requires that this projected revenue be used to craft a balanced budget so programs do not run out of money. The budget offered by House Democrats spends over $3 billion more than expected revenue estimates and does not offer any way to fill the funding shortcomings.

On Monday May 25, to recognize the Memorial Day holiday and in turn all of those that we have lost who have served in the United States Armed Forces, we will be joining Rep. Sheri Jesiel in the annual Memorial Day parade in Lake Villa, IL. 

We hope to see you at the parade and on our volunteer list soon to be a part of the parade team! Sign Up using the Contact page on this website and checking the appropriate box. 

Please feel free to email me at barb@barbarawheeler64.com with any questions or concerns. 

State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) today said Springfield was turned into a circus for the second week in a row as the Democratic Majority in the House once again forced an extraneous vote on legislation not meant to become law. This time, the phony legislation was in relation to Gov. Rauner’s proposed “right to work” zones.

“My constituents sent me to Springfield to right the sinking ship that is the financial situation of our state,” said Wheeler. “Instead, for the second straight week the House has been turned into a circus with lopsided committees of the whole and doomed bills that are disrupting the progress we have been making in negotiations toward a budget deal.” 

Various stake holders have been meeting with working groups that include Senators and Representatives from both parties over recent weeks to work out the details of various budget proposals, including the issue of right to work zones. However, no agreement has yet been struck between the involved parties. As with last week’s bogus legislation that claimed to restore human services funding, Wheeler voted present to highlight the irregular and purely partisan nature of today’s action. 

“I realize that the 64th District has a diversely employed population, many in various types of unions, and I was sent here to represent every person in the district, not just one group,” said Wheeler. “Make no mistake, today’s vote was for mail pieces, not about making the changes we need.”

Wheeler continued, “We are billions of dollars in debt, and $100 billion in the hole on our pension liabilities. This is unacceptable and the current design of the system is failing everyone from the trade union member to the small business owner to the individual property taxpayer. Today’s debate was an orchestrated opportunity for one party to pander to the middle class, despite the fact the status quo is causing the middle class to suffer in Illinois.”

State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) will join Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan for a Consumer Fraud and Identity Theft Roundtable in Crystal Lake on Wednesday, October 8. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 10:30AM until noon at Park Place Banquets, 406 W. Woodstock Street in Crystal Lake.

At the forum, Madigan will update community leaders on security breaches, identity theft and common financial scams directed at consumers in Crystal Lake and the surrounding area. Consumer fraud is a growing problem that can have devastating consequences for people, said Wheeler. I am pleased to be participating in this roundtable event and encourage people from this area to attend so they can learn how to best protect themselves from these scams.

Additional information for the prevention of consumer fraud and identity theft, and a form to report incidences can be found at http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/consumers/.

State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) has asked the Chairwoman of the Illinois House Elementary & Secondary Education Committee to reschedule an ill-timed hearing into the feasibility of the State Board of Education taking over the functions of the Illinois High School Athletics Association (IHSA).

The Elementary & Secondary Education Committee, chaired by Representative Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora) has scheduled a meeting for 4:00 PM Friday, October 3 at a Chicago south-side high school to gather testimony on the issue. This is a blatant example of political shenanigans at its finest, said Wheeler, a member of the committee. This is a late Friday afternoon on a football Friday during Homecoming season. All schools are going to be all hands on deck with their local sporting events and will be unable to send representation to the hearing.

House Resolution 895, approved on April 7 in a 55-51 vote, directs the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee to hold hearings on the administration and funding of high school sports, the safety of athletes, the systems and protocols of the IHSA, the costs associated with the administration of high school sports and the feasibility of transferring the duties and functions of the IHSA to the State Board of Education. Chapa LaVia was the Chief Sponsor of the resolution.

They could not possibly have made this hearing more inconvenient for the major stakeholders who stand to lose the most, said Wheeler. Families, coaches, volunteers and players will be busy that night with local sporting events, but I believe it is by design. I must wonder if they want to shut the major stakeholders out of the discussion. At the time of this posting, Chapa LaVia had not responded to the request for a meeting date and time change.
September 18, 2014

State Representative Barbara Wheeler is helping lead the fight against a devastating rewrite of the school funding formula that would strip away most general state aid from McHenry and Lake County school districts.

Wheeler, along with State Representatives Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) and Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake), are sponsoring House Resolution 1276, which denounces SB16 and the damaging consequences it would have on most suburban school districts. The resolution also expresses support for comprehensive education funding reform that is fair to all parties.

“SB 16 is a quick-fix attempt to channel hard-earned tax dollars away from suburban schools and channel it to the Chicago Public Schools and to other struggling districts,” said Wheeler. “I recognize and support the need for comprehensive and fair education funding reform, but SB16 would fund struggling districts through an undue burden on the property taxpayers in the suburbs. It’s unfair and unacceptable.”

SB16 passed in the Illinois Senate during the final days of the Spring legislative session but was not called for a vote in the House of Representatives. House Democrats have been meeting with education advocacy groups over the summer to discuss SB16 and it is likely that a revised version of the bill will surface during the General Assembly’s November veto session.

“I am hopeful that legislators are interested in taking the necessary time and effort to properly address education funding shortfalls in a way that is fair and equitable,” said Wheeler. “SB16, as it currently is written, would have a devastating impact on our local schools and lead to widespread teacher layoffs and/or costly referendums to raise taxes locally. I know we can do better.”

You may read the full text of the resolution here.