SALEM – State Representative John Cavaletto mourns the passing of Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

“Judy Baar Topinka was a trail-blazer and dedicated public servant,” said Rep. John Cavaletto. “Our last meeting was after Topinka toured the Murray Developmental Center where she saw first-hand the importance of keeping the Center open for the residents and their families. Our thoughts and prayers are with Judy Baar Topinka’s family and friends. She will be greatly missed.”

Rep. John Cavaletto (107th Dist.) explains the importance of Murray Center to Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka at the Corner Café in Centralia in July. Also pictured are Rep. Charlie Meier (108th Dist.), and Robert & Rita Winkeler of the Murray Parents Association.

Salem IL… State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. District Court’s denial of a preliminary injunction to halt the closure of the Murray Developmental Center:

 “Today is a sad day for Murray Center residents and their families. I am very disappointed in the District Court’s ruling and the Quinn Administration’s eagerness to close the Murray Center. We are talking about people with severe developmental disabilities who cannot care for themselves and who rely on the full-time care provided by Murray Center employees. I will continue to work with my fellow legislators and affected families in the fight to keep the Murray Center open.”
Representative Cavaletto announced that the Illinois Senate unanimously passed his legislation (House Bill 4616) that would allow a school board to use remaining funds on hand in the Fire Prevention and Safety Fund for required safety inspections.

 Since testing and surveying is not altering or reconstructing a building or permanent fixed equipment, it was determined, by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) legal interpretation, that those testing and surveying fees cannot be allowed through Fire Prevention and Safety Funds.

 Adding “required safety inspections” will allow school districts to use any excess Fire Prevention and Safety funds and lessen the financial burden of the required decennial inspections. “It is rewarding to see a common-sense idea that came from a local superintendent make its way through the legislative process and now awaits the final signature of the Governor,” commented Rep. Cavaletto.

“I was happy to champion this proposal which is supported by the Illinois School Management Alliance because it will give school districts some small relief and flexibility in paying for state required safety inspections.”

 Current Illinois law The School Code provides a School board the power to levy a tax or to borrow money and issue bonds for fire prevention, safety, energy conservation, disabled accessibility, school security, and specified repair purposes. Adding the three words “required safety inspections” will allow school districts to use any excess Fire Prevention and Safety funds and lessen the financial burden of these required decennial inspections.