The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016. LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. LIHEAP and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Governor Rauner.

Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis from the elderly and people with disabilities starting on September 1st.

Clients must bring all required documentation when applying for assistance including:
Springfield, IL… Today Governor Rauner signed in to law House Bill 4334, legislation that aimed to give drivers reprieve from penalties on vehicle registration should they receive no notice. In October 2015, as a result of the budget impasse, Secretary of State Jesse White announced that his office would stop the mailing of vehicle registration reminders. Many drivers were caught off guard by this sudden policy change and were hit with fees. The bipartisan bill, introduced by State Representative Jaime Andrade (D-Chicago) and co-sponsored by State Representative McAuliffe (R-Chicago), provides a one-month grace period for drivers who received no notice from the Secretary of State.

“The Secretary of State’s recent decision to resume mailing notices makes the signing of this bill untimely, but should the mailing policy change again in the coming months, this grace period will still be in place,” Rep. Andrade said. “I wish the legislative process had moved quicker in this case but I am nonetheless happy that I could advocate for my constituents on this issue.”

Earlier this month the Secretary of State’s office announced the resumption of the reminder mailers. The office made it clear that last month’s stopgap budget was a significant factor in the reinstatement of the notices. With the stopgap budget ensuring funds only until the end of the year and budget circumstances still unstable, this relief effort will give peace of mind to drivers who may suddenly found themselves again facing delinquency fees with little to no notice.

“I want to thank Representative Andrade for his proactive bipartisanship to get the bill passed as quickly as he could,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “Moving forward this could even open the door to saving taxpayer dollars in the Secretary of State’s office by not mailing these notices, but a change like that needs to be implemented slowly while ensuring no one is unduly penalized in the process, especially seniors.”

House Bill 4334 is effective until June 30th, 2017. 
Chicago, IL... State Representative Michael McAuliffe is offering residents in the 20th district the opportunity to show their support for police officers by picking up a blue light bulb they can display on their porches or in their driveways.

“In light of recent events, the brave men and women of our local law enforcement agencies deserve to know the support they have within our community,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “It is a small gesture, but one way we can show our respect to those who go to work every day to make sure our communities are safe.”

Residents may pick up a light bulb Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm at Rep. McAuliffe's office, located at 5515 N East River Road in Chicago. Limit one per household. The light bulbs are free, but a donation of $5 is suggested. The money will benefit the Illinois Police Memorial Fund. The Illinois Police Memorial is a statue in Springfield that bears the names of the officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. 

For questions or more information, please contact Rep. McAuliffe’s office at (773) 444-0611.

Springfield, IL… A newly signed bipartisan bill, sponsored by State Representative Michael McAuliffe (R-Chicago), will assist veterans in their effort to receive help for mental health issues. Senate Bill 3401 amends the Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act to allow Veteran’s Assistance Commissions (VAC) to provide assessments, mentoring, and treatment programs to veterans. 

“By expanding treatment options available to veterans we can ensure that veterans are getting the help they need,” Rep. McAuliffe said. “Our veterans deserve the best and quickest treatment possible and this added flexibility will help to increase their access to these important services.”

Under current law, veterans can only receive addiction treatment and other mental health services at a federal Veteran's Affairs (VA) or the Illinois Department of Veteran's Affairs (IDVA) office. VACs are units of local government created by the Illinois Military Veterans Assistance Act to provide additional assistance to veterans.

“The Veterans and Servicemembers Court Treatment Act was passed because too often veterans unfairly encounter the criminal justice system as a result of invisible injuries or mental health problems stemming from their service to our country,” Rep. McAuliffe continued. “This new addition to the law will help to meet the specialized problems of veterans who are charged with crimes by providing more alternatives to criminal punishment through mental health treatment.” 

Governor Rauner signed the bill over the weekend on Veterans Day at the Illinois State Fair. It is effective immediately. 

State Representative Michael McAuliffe joined with members of the district on August 2nd to celebrate National Night Out. National Night Out is an event which brings communities together to promote camaraderie between neighbors and with the police that protect us. It is an effort to foster relationships that will make us safer and our communities better. National Night Out has been held annually since 1984 on the first Tuesday in August. The event is meant to increase awareness about police programs in communities, such as drug prevention, neighborhood watch ,and other anticrime efforts.

Secretary of State Jesse White announced today that his office has reinstated the mailing of vehicle registration reminder notices to Illinois drivers. To offset the cost of the mailings, White is drafting legislation allowing his office to offer advertising space on the mailings. In addition, White is urging the public to sign-up for email notices to further reduce mailing costs.

The Secretary of State’s office discontinued mailing reminders in October 2015 due to the lack of funding as a direct result of the state budget impasse. The stop-gap budget recently passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor allows White’s office to reinstate the notices.

“The notices are an essential tool for the public to be sure their vehicles are in good standing and avoid paying late fees and fines resulting from tickets issued by law enforcement,” White said. “The driving public paid the price for the budget impasse and it proved to be an unfair burden. With the funds from the stop-gap budget the notices will resume. In addition, we are reducing the number of mailings and seeking alternative funding sources for the postage costs.”

“Although we are now able to reinstate mailing the vehicle registration reminder notices, I continue to strongly urge motorists to sign up for email reminders,” said White. “Saving taxpayer dollars is always a priority of our administration.”

White noted that more than 2.3 million people have registered for the email notification, 800,000 of which signed up since October 2015.

Vehicle owners can sign up for email notifications by visiting the Secretary of State website. To register for the program, vehicle owners will need their assigned registration ID and PIN, which can be found on their current vehicle registration card. If that information is not available, they can call the Secretary of State public inquiry division at 800-252-8980 to obtain the Registration ID and PIN.

The one-time registration process will allow vehicle owners to receive a series of three email notices per vehicle each year highlighting the upcoming vehicle expiration date.