Child Passenger Safety Seat Check Set for Sept. 22

SEPTEMBER 17, 2012

Balloon sculptures, sponge painting, magnetic fishing & more highlight annual event

PLAINFIELDLocal parents and grandparents of young children are invited to attend State Rep. Tom Cross’ annual Child Passenger Safety Seat Inspection co-sponsored by the Plainfield Fire Department to be held on Saturday, September 22 from 10:00am – 2:00pm at the Plainfield Meijer on Route 59. Admission to the event is FREE with entertainment and activities including complimentary balloon sculptures; sponge painting and tattoos courtesy of the Plainfield Public Library; magnetic fishing courtesy of the Plainfield Park District; and Child ID’s courtesy of the Will County Sheriff’s Office. Door prizes include a drawing for a free boys and girls bike, donated by Meijer. Attendees are asked to enter Meijer through the west side of the parking lot off 135 Street and follow the directional signs for the safety seat inspection. $10 Meijer gift cards will be provided toward the purchase of a new car seat for families who donate a used or unsafe car seat. Event co-sponsors include Meijer, the Plainfield Fire and Police Departments, Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield Park District, the Will County Sheriff’s Office, and Rep. Tom Cross’ Mainly Moms Advisory Council. “Our annual child safety seat inspection helps to give parents the peace of mind of knowing their child is safe,” said Cross. “Our sponsors do a terrific job of serving families and promoting child safety from infancy to young adulthood. We look forward to seeing you there!” Event details are as follows:

Rep. Tom Cross’ Child Passenger Safety Seat Inspection

DATE: Saturday, September 22

TIME: 10:00am – 2:00pm

LOCATION: Meijer Plainfield

ADDRESS: 13521 Route 59 at 135th Street

Please bring your children, car seats, and manuals for car seat and automobile. For questions or more information about the event or how to participate in activities sponsored by the Mainly Moms Advisory Council, please call Rep. Cross’ office at (815) 254-0000 or visitwww.tomcross.com.

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Republican Leaders Urge Action to End Delay in Medicaid Reform Implementation

SEPTEMBER 17, 2012 SPRINGFIELD – House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) joined with leading Medicaid reform legislator Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) Monday to call on Governor Pat Quinn to implement, without delay, the bipartisan Medicaid reform law to achieve millions in projected cost savings and protect low-income and disabled residents. Under one of the major provisions the law, the State is required to utilize a private vendor to review eligibility based on ability to pay and residency. This is anticipated to scrub as many as 300,000 ineligible individuals off the Medicaid rolls and save the state $350 million. However, Administration officials recently announced their intention to delay implementation of this provision until January 2013, a full six months into the state’s current fiscal year. “Failure to act may very well lead to the Governor coming back to us in January or sooner and saying we need to make additional cuts to vulnerable families and/or raise new revenue, which is code for raising taxes,” Leader Cross said. “Our Medicaid reform law was specifically and carefully crafted to avoid such a doomsday scenario. We must fully implement the reforms now.” “The state’s budget was predicated on achieving the $350 million in cost savings on the basis of the law’s prompt and timely implementation,” Leader Radogno said. “Any unnecessary delay would blow a hole in the budget and make it more difficult to ensure that scarce Medicaid funding goes to the individuals and families who need it most. We cannot allow this to happen.” [caption id="attachment_2610" align="alignleft" width="150"] House GOP Leader Tom Cross and Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno speak at the press conference on ending the delay in Medicaid reform implementation outside the House chamber on September 17, 2012.[/caption] Along with the leaders, Sen. Righter and Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), lead Medicaid reform negotiators, sent a letter to the administration detailing these concerns today. House Resolution 1225 was also filed in the House that would help shine a brighter light on the implementation of these reforms and require a monthly implementation briefing.“With so much at stake and millions of low-income and disabled Illinois residents depending on Medicaid, we cannot afford any delay in fully implementing this law,” said Rep. Bellock. “We have come too far to allow administrative delays to threaten the heath care of millions of Illinois families.” “This scrubbing of the rolls component is a centerpiece of our bipartisan Medicaid reforms,” Sen. Righter said. “Individuals who make too much money, are not residents of Illinois, aged-out of the AllKids program, or have died must be removed from the rolls so that we can re-focus our limited resources on preserving access to health care for the needy. We cannot afford delay.” Illinois’ Medicaid reform law contains tight timeframes for the procurement of the eligibility verification vendor to ensure that the eligibility reviews begin in a timely manner. While the requirements for an initial procurement to be conducted within 60 days and for a contract to be signed within 30 days of a vendor being selected have been met, delays in eligibility reviews becoming operational pose the potential to hinder this crucial reform. In addition to this one provision, there are dozens of other reforms that total close to $1.3 billion that are included in the Medicaid reform law. These also need to be implemented during the current fiscal year. Please visit Illinois House (www.ilhousegop.org) and Senate (www.senategop.state.il.us) websites for more details. “We will be monitoring the implementation of all of these reforms to make sure we hit the target that is included in the budget,” Radogno and Cross added. “It is unacceptable to delay.”

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Rep. Cross to Host Wheatland Traveling Office Hours

SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 PLAINFIELD – State Representative Tom Cross (R-Oswego) invites residents of the 84th District to attend his traveling office hours in Wheatland Township on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 from 3:00 – 4:30pm. The purpose of traveling office hours is to provide access and services to constituents at a convenient time and location near them. Rep. Cross’ hosts traveling office hours in Wheatland Township each fall. “This is a good opportunity for residents to have a chance to meet with our staff and discuss issues of concern regarding state government,” Rep. Cross said. “Traveling office hours are a great way for us to interact with constituents face-to-face and share how our office can help answer questions and offer valuable resources.” The traveling office hours will be held on Wednesday, September 19 from 3:00 to 4:30pm at the Wheatland Township Office located at 31W236 91st Street in Naperville. A member of Rep. Cross’ district office staff will be available to meet with residents and address questions or concerns related to legislation and state government. Constituents are also welcome to visit Rep. Cross’ district office at 24047 W. Lockport Street, Suite 213 in Plainfield or call (815) 254-0000 year-round for those unable to attend these traveling office hours.

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Cross Honored with “Guardian of Small Business” Award

SEPTEMBER 6, 2012 House GOP Leader recognized for leadership on jobs, growth PLAINFIELD, IL – In recognition of his steadfast support of the small business community and continued leadership to advance pro-growth economic policies, State Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) has been honored with the “Guardian of Small Business” Award from the National Federation of Independent Business/Illinois. “Leader Tom Cross has demonstrated time and again his willingness to fight for small business owners and help preserve their ability to grow and succeed,” said Kim Clarke Maisch, NFIB/Illinois State Director. “The economy, higher taxes and increased regulations have been bad enough. Small business owners need legislators who are willing to take the tough votes and work towards making a Illinois a better place to do business. The NFIB is especially appreciative of Rep. Cross’ leadership on increasing the exemption for the Illinois Death Tax from $2 million to $4 million, an issue that is extremely important to many family owned businesses and farmers in our state.” Every two years, the NFIB scores legislators based on key small business votes they take in the Illinois General Assembly. The “Guardian” Award is provided to those who score 80 percent or better. “I am honored to accept this award and thank the small business community throughout the state for their hard work and perseverance during these difficult economic times,” Rep. Cross said. “It is truly a privilege to work with such outstanding partners like the NFIB and others who share our commitment to support job creators and entrepreneurs.” The NFIB has over 11,000 small business members in Illinois who count on lawmakers, the Governor and other elected officials to foster a competitive business environment through limited government, fewer regulations and market-driven public policies. The Small Business Administration estimates small businesses create about 65% of the nation's net new jobs. For more information on Rep. Cross’ advocacy and leadership on behalf of small business, please contact Cross’ office at (815) 254-0000 or visit www.tomcross.com.

Click HERE to listen to Rep. Cross on the importance of small business

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Statement from Republican Leaders regarding Democrats recent pension reform comments

[caption id="attachment_2561" align="alignright" width="170"] Cross & Radogno[/caption] SEPTEMBER 5, 2012 “We fear that Democrat leaders' recent comments about passing a pension reform bill in January with Democrat only votes will lead to a massive property tax increase, just like they shoved through the largest income tax increase on Illinois residents two years ago. We can’t keep throwing new revenue at our problems, especially from the taxpayers in this state. We remain committed to passing real, comprehensive pension reform in a bi-partisan way that does not include another enormous tax increase on our residents.”   -Sen. Christine Radogno                              - Rep. Tom Cross IL Senate Republican Leader                        IL House Republican Leader
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Leaders Cross and Radogno statement on S&P downgrade

AUGUST 29, 2012 “When the Democrats adjourned the special session on pensions two weeks ago, we stood together and said we should not leave Springfield until we pass comprehensive pension reform to address our crisis.  We continue to be ready to address the problem, armed with ideas and solutions that could work.  We cannot wait until after the election, or even after the Governor’s grassroots’ tour.   The time for action is now.  S & P’s downgrade today cited our ‘lack of action on reform measures’.  This is a clear signal that we must work on a comprehensive bill that solves our pension problem—not a piecemeal approach.  The blame game must end, let’s get to work.” Illinois Senate and House Republican Leaders Christine Radogno and Tom Cross
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Rep. Tom Cross' Women's Fair Set for September 8

AUGUST 24, 2012

Dozens of area vendors; free health screenings and refreshments highlight annual event

PLAINFIELDOver 80 area vendors covering a wide range of women’s health, child care, recreational and community services will participate in State Rep. Tom Cross’ Women’s Health & Wellness Fair to be held on Saturday, September 8 from 9:00am – 12:00pm at the C.W. Avery YMCA in Plainfield. Admission to the event is FREE with complimentary refreshments.  Guests can receive free blood pressure, body fat analysis, and foot screenings. Information will be available on topics such as nutrition, skin care, child care, Alzheimer’s, exercise programs, assisted living, and financial planning; to name just a few. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to be donated to the Plainfield Interfaith Food Pantry. “Our Women’s Fair showcases the wide range of local resources and activities available to women of all ages and their families,” said Cross. “This year’s event is shaping up to be our largest and most comprehensive Health and Wellness Fair for women to date. We look forward to seeing you there!” Event details are as follows:

Rep. Tom Cross’ Women’s Health & Wellness Fair

DATE: Saturday, September 8

TIME: 9:00am – 12:00pm

LOCATION: C.W. Avery YMCA

ADDRESS: 15120 Wallin Drive, Plainfield, IL

Please see below for the full list of participants in Rep. Tom Cross’ Women’s Health & Wellness Fair. For questions or more information, please call Rep. Cross’ office at (815) 254-0000 or visitwww.tomcross.com.

Cross_womens_health_fair_flyer_2012_r

 
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Governor signs Cross’ bill that would tighten Lawmakers’ Pension Loophole

August 16, 2012

HB3969 was signed into law this afternoon

  SPRINGFIELD, IL – Governor Pat Quinn signed Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross’ (R-Oswego) bill that will help prevent further abuses of a law that allows outgoing and former state lawmakers to cash-in by boosting their pension upon taking another government job at a higher salary after leaving office.   House Bill 3969 would require an outgoing or former lawmaker in this position to either opt out of the higher pension at the new government job or require the hiring government agency’s pension fund to pick up the additional cost.   “This is a loophole that has been abused over the years by former lawmakers and it has to stop,” Cross said.  “A former lawmaker will still be able to continue public service, but if they do it for a limited period of time—just to boost their pension—that will no longer be tolerated at the state’s expense.”   Currently, a member of the General Assembly who began service in the legislature prior to August 22, 1994 is able to obtain employment at a higher salary with another government agency that has a reciprocal agreement with the General Assembly Retirement System (GARS) at the state, county, or municipal level and have their legislative pension based on the higher salary of their new position.   The General Assembly approved a law in 1994 to provide that all state lawmakers first elected from that point forward would only be able to collect a pension based on their final salary as a member of the Illinois House or Senate, irrespective of whether or not they went on to obtain further employment with another government agency that has a reciprocal pension fund with GARS.
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Ovation to Business Award goes to Shorewood H.U.G.S.

August 13, 2012  Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and his Ovation to Business Advisory Committee presented his Ovation to Business award to Shorewood H.U.G.S. (Helping You Get Started) today for the organization’s commitment to community service through fulfilling wishes of needy individuals and families. “Shorewood H.U.G.S. is a tremendous example of how much good we can do as individuals and as a community for our neighbors in need,” said Cross.  “The women of Shorewood H.U.G.S. are truly local heroes. They bring smiles to faces and warm the hearts of the many whose lives they touch through their selfless acts of charity.” [caption id="attachment_2469" align="alignleft" width="300"] Rep. Cross presents the Ovation to Business award to Shorewood H.U.G.S. board and president. (From L to R) Lorayne Wright, Nancy Baltz, Laura Charland, Don Sinnott – Shorewood Chamber Ambassador, Molly Babyak, Heidi Serena, Shorewood Mayor Chapman, Lauran Alspaugh-Executive Director Shorewood Chamber, Rep Tom Cross[/caption] Shorewood H.U.G.S. is a not-for-profit that hosts and supports more than 15 local organizations and events throughout Shorewood, Joliet and surrounding communities each year; including fundraisers, service projects, and fulfilling wishes of those in need of a helping hand. Shorewood H.U.G.S. was founded in 2008 by a small group of women wanting to give back to the community. Today, their membership has grown to include dozens of women of all ages and professional backgrounds who share a common passion for making a difference in the lives of those in need. “I am very proud of our organization and what we’ve accomplished in such a short time,” said Heidi Serena, President and Co-Founder of Shorewood H.U.G.S. “It’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve made a difference in someone’s world. To see that our work has impacted the community in a positive way inspires us to continue finding new and exciting ways to help more people. Our ultimate goal is to touch the hearts of people by giving them hope of a brighter tomorrow.” Shorewood H.U.G.S. has fulfilled over 75 wishes to date; including help with educational, health care, and grocery needs for individuals and families of all ages who have gone through periods of financial distress; experienced a tragedy or family hardship, live with a physical disability or illness, or are in need of some other form of assistance. Rep. Cross is currently accepting nominations for future recipients of the Ovation to Business Award. You can find and submit the application form by clicking here. You can nominate a small, medium or large business in the 84th district that is sustaining or growing jobs as well as involved in community service. Not-for-profit organizations are also eligible for nomination. If you have any questions, please call Lois Maguire at (815) 254-0000. Cross’ Ovation to Business Advisory Committee will review the applications and make award recipient recommendations.
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