Renewable energy agreement is projected to cover 21 sites in Illinois, including Walmart Distribution Center in Sterling.

Walmart recently announced that it has reached an agreement with SunPower to have the commercial energy provider install solar systems at 19 stores and two distribution centers in Illinois.

As part of the project, a mix of rooftop and ground-mount solar systems are expected to account for 23 megawatts, with start of construction targeted for the first half of 2019. This commitment moves Walmart closer to its 2025 goal of supplying its global operations with 50 percent renewable energy. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, the amount of anticipated annual carbon offset by this initiative will be equal to the amount of carbon sequestered by over 24,000 acres of U.S. forest in one year – the size of Elgin, Ill.

“Solar is a vital component of Walmart’s expanding renewable energy portfolio,” said Mark Vanderhelm, vice president of energy for Walmart Inc. “Walmart plans to tirelessly pursue renewable energy projects that are right for our customers, our business and the environment. These planned projects with SunPower are moving us in the right direction toward our renewable energy goals.”

Walmart is financing the solar projects through a power purchase agreement (PPA) arranged by SunPower, allowing Walmart to buy power at competitive prices and hedge against future utility rate increases with no upfront capital costs. Walmart will own the renewable energy credits associated with the system.

“We commend Walmart for its leadership in driving corporate renewable energy adoption in the United States and for partnering with SunPower to deliver high-efficiency, high-quality solar to so many of its stores and facilities,” said Nam Nguyen, SunPower Executive Vice President, Commercial Americas. “As the top U.S. commercial solar provider and with over 30 years of experience, SunPower is well positioned to help Walmart increase its renewable energy investments in a cost-effective manner.”

In Illinois, smart state policy and rising utility rates make solar a smart investment for commercial customers. These installations will represent a 25 percent increase in Illinois’ current solar capacity and will generate enough electricity to power nearly 30,000 homes.

“Illinois Solar Energy Association is committed to advancing solar locally, enabling companies like Walmart – with stores and employees across our great state – to realize the economic and environmental value of renewable energy,” said Lesley McCain, Executive Director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. “These projects will create hundreds of jobs for Illinois’ growing solar workforce while reducing pollution across the state.”
Week in Review for week ending 11/3/18


Key

1.       Budget – October 2018 revenue
2.       Education
a.       Illinois Report Card 
b.      SAT test
3.       Fire Safety – Smoke alarms
4.       Outdoors – Deer season
5.       Seniors – Medicare
6.       Fall in Illinois – Pumpkins 
7.       Illinois 200 – U.S. Grant


BUDGET

State revenue up in October.  The monthly report from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) monitors State cash flow and economic trends.  The CGFA numbers depict continued healthy revenue numbers in October 2018.  Personal income tax receipts during the month were up by $145 million from October 2017, an increase of 9.9%.  Sales tax receipts increased by $71 million during the same time-span, a year-over-year increase of 10.7%.  The State’s sales tax numbers reflect receipts from an increasing proportion of retail sales made online to Illinois addresses.  Enforcement of Illinois sales taxes on online sales is now permissible under nationwide sales tax law.  The sales tax law change was approved by the Supreme Court earlier this year in its “South Dakota v. Wayfair” sales tax decision.  The positive numbers in Illinois’ two largest general revenue cash flow streams signaled a continued atmosphere of prosperity and low unemployment in many regions of the state.

Not all cash flow numbers were positive in October 2018.  Negative numbers were posted in several areas where special excise taxes are levied.  Net proceeds from the Illinois State Lottery dropped by $12 million as gamblers moved to new platforms.  Riverboat casino tax revenues fell by $2 million in further affirmation of the same overall trend line.  Cigarette tax receipts dropped $5 million as Illinois reduced its consumption of tobacco products.  These trends away from so-called “sin tax” proceeds are expected to continue and the overall numbers reflect Illinois’ growing dependence on personal income taxes and taxes on retail sales.  CGFA released their October 2018 report on Friday, November 2.



CURRENT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

The following positions are currently vacant within the Tollway Human Resources will accept applications, with resumes from: November 1, 2018 through November 16, 2018

JOB QUALIFICATIONS: To be selected for a position, an applicant must (1) meet the minimum requirements of the job posting, (2) pass a written exam (if applicable), (3) satisfy a background check (which may be extensive), (4) pass an oral interview, during which the interviewer(s) will further evaluate the applicant’s qualifications and (5) provide certified transcripts, certifications, and/or license upon candidate processing and/or transfer, if the position requires a degree, certification, and/or license. Internal Applicants who are current employees must have worked in their current position long enough to pass probation to be eligible to apply for the position. In addition, applicants are also subjected to an internal investigation which includes an evaluation of their work record, safety and discipline records, their performance assessments and time and attendance records (including late starts and early quits) for the preceding 12 months. (Authorized absences will not be included for purposes of assessing whether attendance is satisfactory.)

Department Position Salary Grade

Engineering Welder $24.21/Hour NA (Various Locations)

Click the link below to view Position Description

http://agency.governmentjobs.com/illinoistollway/default.cfm?action=jobbulletin&JobID=2255193

On September 10, 2014, the Tollway began using an on-line application system to assist prospective and current employees in the job application process. This system allows users to create an individual account, create and maintain a profile of education, experience and certifications, identify job interest categories, search for open positions, and submit job applications. This system automatically notifies users of recently posted jobs based on the job interest categories chosen. For the employee to be notified of open positions and submit job applications, this system requires the user to have an email account. This could either be a personal account (i.e. Gmail, Yahoo) or getipass.com account.

To apply for a posted position, create a “Job Interest Card”, or view the Job Description for this position visit the Tollway’s website. http://www.illinoistollway.com/homepage

Completed applications may be mailed to the Tollway or dropped off in person at the agency’s Downers Grove headquarters between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. All applications must be received within the dates indicated on the job posting. If you require further information regarding open positions please contact Human Resources at 630-241-6800 extension 2333.

All applications must be received by the application deadline indicated on the qualification sheet or Internet site. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., and the Illinois Human Rights Act, 775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq., the Illinois Tollway actively takes steps to ensure that our employment application process is accessible to persons with disabilities. Any person with a disability who needs an accommodation for any portion of the application process is encouraged to contact the Tollway’s EEO/AA Office at (630)241-6800 extension 1011, TTY (630)241-6898, or at: bdunn@getipass.com
Rep. Tony McCombie spoke with the "Rocky Riveters" at Rock Island High School on October 24. This group is a group that meets after school to discuss books, listen to local speakers, and work on service projects. Last year, their project was to donate books with female lead characters to the district's elementary schools! The group stands for Rock Island Voices Ensuring Their Equal Rights are Secure. Rep. McCombie was able to share different lessons from many parts of her life- growing up in Savanna, college, and how her career has evolved to being a State Representative. Attendees asked questions about Rep. McCombie's work in Springfield, her views on issues, and what it is like being a legislator.



After concluding her Second Annual Summer Reading Club for students in the 71st District, Rep. Tony McCombie began visiting area schools this past week to give special recognition to students who participated in the Club and were avid summer readers.

“I have always been an avid reader and as you can imagine, goal driven! Hopefully, kids joined our reading challenge and made memories they share later in their lives. Reading was a passion of my Grandma Reagans’ and we shared a lot of time together reading. This program helps serve as a way for families to unplug, enjoy the quiet and each other’s company."

"I am so proud of the students who participated," Rep. McCombie continued.



Rep. Tony McCombie joined area legislators in presenting a "State of the State" update at Friendship Manor in Rock Island last week. The legislators discussed their first term budget experiences, pension reform and Senate Bill 3093, which verified the property tax exemption laws for those residing at Friendship Manor.




Representative Tony McCombie joined Representative Halpin and Senator Neil Anderson on October 17 to speak with the Rock Island County Regional Office of Education. The legislators answered questions from area Superintendents regarding education and legislative issues.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announces today that weather permitting, construction work will begin on Monday, October 22, 2018 on the US 30 Gateway Bridge over the Mississippi River in Clinton, Iowa. 

Interstate Maintenance, Inc. will be utilizing daytime lane closures for the bridge washing which is anticipated to be completed by Friday, October 26, 2018. 

Motorists should expect delays as the bridge will be reduced to one lane during the completion of the work. Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones. 

For IDOT District 2 updates on Twitter, follow them at http://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict2.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that IL 92, in the City of Joslin, will be closed to all through traffic from Monday, October 22 through Friday, October 26, 2018. The closure will allow the BNSF Railway to remove and replace their at-grade crossing located on IL 92, just east of I-88.

To allow continued traffic movement, a detour will be posted utilizing County Highway 25 (286th Street), Old IL 2, and 38th Avenue North.

Drivers are asked to be alert for the road closure and use alternate roadways when traveling in this area.

Please reduce speed and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

For IDOT District 2 updates on Twitter, follow them at http://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict2.

Rep. Tony McCombie was honored to attend the “Rising Up Against Sexual Abuse” Luncheon on Friday, October 12 hosted by Family Resources. The luncheon in the Quad-Cities, was to support survivors. William Kellibrew addressed the audience about his experience with sexual assault and violence.


Family Resources Mission: To strengthen children, families and individuals by providing quality services that engage community resources to create effective solutions.

Last year the Family Resources survivor services department assisted more than 10,000 individuals and their families. 

For 24 hour free crisis line response call 866-921-3354.

For more information on Family Resources' survivor services click here.




Today, Rep. McCombie volunteered her time greeting people from all over Illinois and the Midwest as they visited Savanna’s very own Havencrest Castle. Alan & Adrianne St George purchased the home in 1976 and have been expanding and creating art ever since. Tours are in October-Weekends only between 10am-430pm.

Learn more here.


Rep. Tony McCombie traveled to Chicago to speak with the Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals (ICAP) on October 11. McCombie explained her background, how she worked to become a legislator and discussed the bill she sponsored (House Bill 5502) to decrease regulation to help grow the industry. 

The Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals suggested this legislation as a way to allow individuals to sit for the examination while they are still attending classroom instruction.  Further, there are some associate real estate trainee appraisers who do not wish to advance to become real estate appraisers, but they are currently capped at four years.  The work of these individuals typically includes conducting research on properties, dealing with customers, and writing appraisal reports, but some do not want to perform the actual appraisals.  By reducing a barrier to entry and increasing labor market liquidity within the industry, Rep. McCombie believes the industry can be rebuilt in Illinois.  HB 5502 was signed into law as Public Act 100-832 on August 13, 2018.

Rep. McCombie appreciated the opportunity to address the industry professionals and share her insights on the legislative process.



Rep. McCombie toured Tyson Processing Plant in Joslin on October 10. The over 2,500 employees at Joslin process beef at this plant and work hard to ensure food safety. 

Fun fact- 60% of hides processed in Joslin are sent to a tannery in Chicago, exclusive to production of NFL footballs.  Approximately 14 footballs are produced from each hide.  Each NFL team orders 144 dozen footballs annually.

Also, Tyson is hiring at their Hillsdale Facility! Learn more at:
State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) is sharing advice from the Illinois State Police about likely delays with Concealed Carry Permit renewals as 100,000 renewal applications come up as Illinois’ first batch of Concealed Carry holders’ renew their permits for the first time five years after the program’s beginning.

Rep. McCombie reminds Concealed Carry Permit Holders that, “if you do not renew your permit at the five-year mark, you will have to start over from scratch.”

According to the Illinois State Police, they are still working on the online renewal process after experiencing some early technical difficulties with their website portal. Many instructors are recommending permit holders complete their class within the six-month window of renewal deadline and, as soon as you can, start the renewal process within the five-months preceding the deadline.

There is a three-hour state-approved education requirement for renewal, as well as a $150 renewal fee. The Illinois State Police expects likely delays as the volume of renewals increases, so turning in renewal paperwork as early as possible once the State Police approve the renewal process is highly encouraged for all Concealed Carry Permit Holders up for renewal.

Rep. McCombie went on to say, “I have already heard from many frustrated individuals that they cannot yet renew. I will continue to communicate as updates from the Illinois State Police are received to begin renewals. I truly appreciate the eagerness of Illinois residents to lawfully exercise their Second Amendment Rights.”

####
After concluding her Second Annual Summer Reading Club for students in the 71st District, Rep. Tony McCombie began visiting area schools this past week to give special recognition to students who participated in the Club and were avid summer readers.

“I have always been an avid reader and as you can imagine, goal driven! Hopefully, kids joined our reading challenge and made memories they share later in their lives. Reading was a passion of my Grandma Reagans’ and we shared a lot of time together reading. This program helps serve as a way for families to unplug, enjoy the quiet and each other’s company."

"I am so proud of the students who participated," Rep. McCombie continued.
















State Representative Tony McCombie announced on Tuesday that the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) has signed off on Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) release of $467,700 for capital projects upgrades at Mississippi Palisades State Park.
The release is slated to fund roofing system upgrades on three site buildings as well as extensive upgrades to the sewage treatment facilities.
"The Mississippi Palisades State Park is in my hometown of Savanna and was once one of the most visited state parks in the State of Illinois. The campground, challenging trails, majestic lookouts over the Mississippi River, and natural rock monuments like the Twin Sisters and the Indian Head have been a great draw for our region.  One that boosts local and state economies.  This investment is long over-due and will ensure visitors will enjoy our park for years to come.  I am grateful for this investment in our state park and the natural resources infrastructure," said Rep. Tony McCombie (IL-71).
DCEO bonded $340,000 of the funding for this project, while DNR contributed $127,700 in “Pay-as-you-go” funds.
####


Rep. Tony McCombie attended the presentation of Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) grants to local employers On October 1st, including presentations at Sterling Steel, Wahl Clipper, and Frantz Manufacturing.

The Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) supports Illinois workers efforts to upgrade their skills in order to remain current in new technologies and business practices.

"Manufacturers need 22,000 production workers and 5,000 engineers every year, for the next five years between now and 2027 just to cover retirements of the baby boomers," Jim Nelson of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association said in March to Illinois News Network. "So there are jobs available."

"When you ask employers if they have open jobs, they will all tell you 'Yes, I have open jobs,' That's not the right question," Nelson continued. "The real question is: 'Are you satisfied with the applicant that's walking through your door?' And you get a very different answer there."

 “Educators, manufacturing, and community leaders must work together in order to close the skills gap,” said Rep. Tony McCombie.  That’s where ETIP comes in.

Participating ETIP companies must have a physical location in the state of Illinois and agree to train only their full-time Illinois based employees. Each participating company must complete a company profile identifying the company location from which their employees will be participating and schedules detailing all training each company has completed. 

Eligible applicants include those that have accepted an economic development package.  Applicants have a commitment for matching training funds received from the ETIP program based upon job creation and/or retention.  Applicants must provide matching contributions equaling not less than 50% of the DCEO award amount to be dedicated to education and training.



Rep. Tony McCombie gave a "State of the State" update to the Rock Island Rotary Club on Sept. 25.


Rep. Tony McCombie stopped by to learn more about the QC Botanical Gardens on September 25. Their story and future plans are very exciting! This is a family fun place with great meeting and event space too!

http://www.qcgardens.com/home.html



The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that Round Grove Road, approximately 3.5 miles east of Morrison, will be closed to all through traffic from Monday, October 1 through Friday, October 5, 2018.

The closure will allow the Union Pacific Railroad to make needed repairs to their at-grade crossing located 0.4 mile south of US 30. Drivers are asked to be alert for the road closure and use alternate roadways when traveling in this area. No detour will be marked.

Please reduce speed and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

For IDOT District 2 updates on Twitter, follow us at http://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict2.
Rep. Tony McCombie had the privilege to speak at WIU Founders Day on September 24, 2018.


Great to show off our portion of the Mississippi River to Mayors all along the Mississippi River! The annual meeting that the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative was held in both the Illinois and Iowa Quad Cities. Rep. McCombie joined for the Host City Dinner at the Rock Island Arsenal and the boat ride of the Mississippi River hosted by Mayor Thoms (Rock Island) and Mayor Gallagher (Bettendorf, IA). We had Mayor's from Arkansas, Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and more on our crew on September 21!


We couldn’t have had a better day at the Taste of Fiesta yesterday in Rock Falls! Thanks to all that stopped by and to all of the volunteers that put this together for the community! #district71travels #tasteoffiesta




The Illinois Department of Transportation announces today that weather permitting, construction work on IL 84 in Port Byron from Polk Street to Lynn Street will begin on Monday, September 24, 2018.

McCarthy Improvement Co. will be completing the $1.3 million project for culvert, storm sewer, and roadway improvements. During the improvements, IL 84 will be closed to through traffic within Port Byron from Polk Street to Lynn Street for an estimated seven weeks.

A marked detour route will be installed utilizing Barber Creek Road (71st Ave.) to 256th Street, and 256th Street to Agnes Street (94th Ave.). Access to Main Street and local businesses from IL 84 will not be restricted.

Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

For IDOT District 2 updates on Twitter, follow us at http://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict2.
A record-breaking $180 million in forgotten cash and stock was returned to individuals, employers and non-profits by the state treasurer’s office this past fiscal year, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today. It is the largest amount in the program’s 57-year history.

More than 116,000 claims were fulfilled with an average value of $1,552 during Fiscal Year 2018,
which is July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Approximately 58,000 claims were fulfilled in Fiscal Year 2017.

The new Fast Track and EClaiming processes unveiled earlier this year made claiming property
faster and easier and directly led to this record-breaking number of fulfilled claims. More than
49,000 of the 116,000 claims were paperless, online claims using the new Fast Track process.

“We are proud to double the number of successful claims in the past twelve months,” Frerichs said. “With new processes in place and our new data matching authority, we anticipate returning even more unclaimed property to its rightful owners in the next twelve months.”

Under the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act that became law earlier this year, the state treasurer’s office will share data with the Illinois Department of Revenue to match unclaimed property records with Illinois residents who filed tax returns in the last year. Because of this change in the law championed by Frerichs, the state treasurer’s office soon will be able to return cash to some Illinois taxpayers without a claim ever having to be filed.

In Illinois, the state treasurer is tasked with safeguarding unclaimed property, such as unpaid life insurance benefits, forgotten bank accounts and unused rebate cards. Illinois holds more than $2 billion in unclaimed property. The state treasurer is legally required to get the property to the rightful owners no matter how long it takes for them to come forward.

Individuals can search the state treasurer’s database for their name or the name of their business or non-profit at www.illinoistreasurer.gov/ICASH. The Treasurer's office never charges money to search the database or return unclaimed property.