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URBANA –State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) was one of 37 young leaders from across Illinois to graduate today from the 2014 Edgar Fellows program at the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

“I have the highest respect for Governor Jim Edgar and his leadership of our state,” Davidsmeyer said. “It was an honor to be chosen for the prestigious program which bears his name, and a privilege to study alongside so many dedicated public servants.”

The Edgar Fellows program is an assembly of scholars and practitioners of public policy from across Illinois, which every year selects about 40 up and coming figures from across Illinois for its week-long series of seminars and leadership training program. This year’s class included state legislators, local elected officials, state agency executives as well as young leaders of civic groups.

“This week’s session was an inspiring and uplifting look at all that we as policymakers can and should do to work together to bring our state out of the mess it is in,” Davidsmeyer said. “I am eager to get back to the Capitol to begin putting these lessons into practice.”

More information about the Edgar Fellows program is available at http://igpa.uillinois.edu/content/edgar-fellows-program.
Chicago...In an effort to gain further insight into how the State of Illinois can better assist its Veterans, State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) visited Jesse Brown Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) on Wednesday. The hospital, located in Chicago, is comprised of a 200-bed acute care facility with four community based outpatient clinics. More than

58,000 enrolled veterans are cared for at Jesse Brown annually.

“As a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, I think it is important to see first-hand how our veterans are being cared for,” said Davidsmeyer. “The medical professionals and staff at Jesse Brown are truly committed to helping our servicemen and women improve their health and well-being. I was especially inspired by their homeless veteran’s center which provides walk-in treatment for veterans on a same-day basis.”

Rep. Davidsmeyer was joined by several House Vets Affairs Committee members and the Illinois Veterans Affairs Director Rodrigo Garcia as they toured the facility including the women’s clinic, patient rooms, meeting spaces where veterans and hospital staff can meet in small group settings and the homeless veteran’s center. Davidsmeyer also had the opportunity to meet with Medical Center Director Ann Brown .
JACKSONVILLE –State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) today criticized the state budget which grants an effective pay raise to legislators while still holding back on wages already owed to state employees.

“It is a slap in the face to taxpayers who have seen state spending expand and their tax burden continue to grow,” Davidsmeyer said. “The last thing we should be doing is raising the pay for legislators who have failed to address Illinois’ financial problems.”

The budget which passed the House last week does not renew the requirement that members of the House and Senate take one unpaid furlough day each month. The result of this omission is that legislators will see their pay increase beginning on July 1.

Davidsmeyer voted against the pay raise and went a step further, co-sponsoring legislation to re-impose the furlough days on legislators. He is also sponsoring legislation which would cut the pay of legislators if the state does not reduce its backlog of unpaid bills.

“How can we look state employees in the eye and say that we are not going to fully fund the back wages they have been owed for years, but we are going to give legislators a raise,” Davidsmeyer asked. “It’s just wrong.”

The pay raise legislation is Senate Bill 274. Davidsmeyer’s bill to re-impose the furloughs on legislators is House Bill 6235, while his bill to cut legislator pay if the backlog is not reduced is House Bill 5434. He is also sponsoring House Bill 5451 to fully pay the court-ordered back wages owed to state employees.