While the collegiate year has just begun for many college students, now is the time to begin the process for receiving financial aid for the 2018-2019 college year. Students can start applying for financial aid for the fall 2018 semester on October 1. By applying through www.fafsa.ed.gov, students will be considered not only for federal student aid, but also for the state MAP grant program and for college-specific aid. Free expert help is also available through a FAFSA completion workshop (dates can be found at www.studentportal/isac.org/events). Some grant programs deliver funds early, so apply soon to maximize your chances for receiving funds.

Students can get answers to their financial aid questions during an upcoming Facebook Live event. Simply like and follow “Illinois Student Assistance Commission” and ask them your questions between 7:00 – 7:30 PM on October 3, 11, 16, 23 or 30. A text message alert system is also available, and that information can be accessed through the ISAC College Q & A at www.isac.org/collegeqa.

The ISAC Student Portal, available at www.studentportal.isac.org, is a valuable tool filled with planning resources, including an interactive college prep checklist, financial aid estimators, career exploration tools and a scholarship search service.

College can be overwhelming, so the Illinois Student Assistance Corps is trained to help you navigate the college search, application, and financial aid processes- all for free. You can find the contact information for a Corps member near you by visiting www.studentportal/isac.org/isacorps.
State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) are continuing their joint town hall meeting tour next week and invite residents of the 32nd Senate District and the 63rd House District to join them on Wednesday, October 4 for a meeting in Woodstock.

After a successful town hall meeting last week in McHenry, Althoff and Reick are encouraging residents to join them in Woodstock for the second in a series of three town hall events. The meeting will begin at 6:30 PM at the Woodstock City Hall, 121 W. Calhoun Street in Woodstock, and will include a short presentation by the legislators. A question and answer session will follow.

“This is an excellent opportunity for citizens to let us know what issues are important to them and discuss with us the means by which we can address them,” said Reick. “As the Springfield voice for those living in the 63rd District, this is an ideal way to hear what the people of northern McHenry County thinking with regard to taxes, the receipt of state services and other quality of life issues.”

A third town hall meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 11 at the Marengo City Hall, 132 E. Prairie Street, Marengo. It will also begin at 6:30 PM.

RSPVs are not required for these events. For additional information about the town hall meetings, please contact Senator Althoff’s office at (815) 455-6330 or Representative Reick’s office at (815) 880-5340.
Following Governor Bruce Rauner's decision today to sign HB 40 after promising House and Senate Republicans, faith-based groups and other Illinois conservatives that he would veto it, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) issued the following comments:

"I want to talk today about the glue that binds us together as honorable men and women, in business, in marriage and in life. I want to talk today about trust.

As I went through law school and entered the practice of law, it was constantly hammered into me that a lawyer’s word is his bond. Say what you will about the profession, but in my 35 years of practice, I’ve never had a reason to doubt another lawyer’s word.

As I entered the General Assembly, I was told that if I ever broke my word to a fellow member, regardless of party, I would never get a second chance to redeem myself.

To change one’s mind on an issue is not a sin, so long as the reason for change is honestly held and is clearly communicated to those to whom you’ve given your word. There are a million clich├ęs about change; there are many reasons why changing one’s mind about this position or that is valid. Political expediency is not one of them.

Bruce Rauner looked us in the eye in April and said that he would veto HB 40, the bill which grants public funding for abortion in Illinois. Today, he spat in our eye. His decision to sign that bill is a betrayal fueled by political expediency and nothing more. Any trust which he may have earned on this issue or any other is gone.

I guess this day has been a long time coming. We saw it with the staff purge in July. Since he’s been Governor, he’s treated the General Assembly like employees of a company he just bought whom he wouldn’t have hired in the first place if he’d had the chance. The only difference is that he can’t fire us.

With all the issues facing Illinois, we need strong leadership now more than ever. Sticking a finger in the air to see which way the political wind is blowing is not leadership.

If the Governor wants to defend his decision to sign HB 40 in this District, or anything else for that matter, he can come up here and do it himself."

Image result for Centegra Health Services woodstock

Centegra Health Services has applied to the Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board (IHFSRB) to relocate all in-patient hospitalization, intensive care and surgical services to other communities, and has already ceased those services in Woodstock, pending final approval by the state board.

To determine the community’s need for replacement of these services, the IHFSRB will conduct a public hearing, requested by City of Woodstock officials, at Woodstock Opera House, from 11am – 4pm on Monday, October 2, 2017.  Attendees’ comments and concerns will be entered into the record to establish verification of community need, laying the foundation for positive consideration of future healthcare facility applications in Woodstock.  “This is an opportunity for every resident to have a voice in the future of healthcare in our community,” according to Mayor Brian Sager.   

The main Public Hearing will take place beginning at 11:00 am with specific timeframes assigned to each of the four (4) applications under review. The most important application review period for Woodstock is the 2:00pm to 3:00pm session where discontinuation of hospital beds in Woodstock will be reviewed.

In response to concerns from citizens, and with assistance from Rep. Steven Reick, City officials confirm an additional evening session has now been added. Between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, again at Woodstock Opera House, citizens will have the opportunity to share their concerns regarding the future of healthcare services in Woodstock.  The evening session has no specific timeframes assigned to receive comments regarding the applications.  

To register to provide Testimony, Oral or Written, or simply to Appear at either session of the Public Hearing, visit www.woodstockil.gov where registration forms have been posted. Questions may be directed to the City Manager’s Office at 815-338-4301.          


I-Cash is the Illinois State Treasurer's Unclaimed Property Division. Formerly called Cash Dash, the program was re-named I-Cash in 2012. It connects state residents with unclaimed property being held by the state. One in eight Illinois residents has an asset to be claimed in I-Cash. 


I-Cash returned $159 million to individuals, employers, and non-profits in Illinois over the past year. There is still over a billion dollars in assets yet to be claimed so improvements are being made by the State Treasurer's office to modernize and simplify the claims process. These improvements include: e-signature, e-portal, and fast track. 

Image result for icash illinoisE-signatures can now be used to claim most properties under $500 with one owner without mailing in a signed claim form. To make sure every property is returned to the right person a variety of documents demonstrating proof of an address, name, or ownership of the property are required. With the new e-portal, these documents can be uploaded online, saving considerable time and expense. Fast track will allow for the automated review and approval of claims using available public information through Lexis Nexis verification. The information you provide on the online claim form will be compared to the Lexis Nexis data and if there is a match, the claim will be paid without requiring supporting documentation. All claims under $500 are eligible for fast track. 

These improvements will ensure that you are getting your money back as quickly and efficiently as possible while at the same time ensuring that property is being given to the right person. 

Find out if you have unclaimed property and get started on the claims process here.

Equifax, an Atlanta based credit-rating agency, suffered a security breach on July 29th that exposed sensitive information of millions of Americans. Such information included social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, birthdays, and addresses. It has been determined that 5.4 million Illinois residents have been affected by the breach.

The company has set up a website where you can check if your personal information was affected by the breach: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan has opened an investigation into the recent security breach, and called on Equifax to provide free credit freezes to all Illinois residents in the wake of the breach. She urges Illinois residents to take the Equifax breach seriously and take steps to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft:
  • Seriously consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reports with all 3 consumer reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax;
  • Regularly request your free credit reports, inspect them closely, and promptly dispute any unauthorized accounts;
  • Inspect all financial account statements closely and promptly dispute any unauthorized charges;
  • Consider placing alerts on your financial accounts so your financial institution alerts you when money above a pre-designated amount is withdrawn;
  • Beware of potential phishing emails; don't open any email messages or attachments from unknown senders and do not click on any unknown links. Fraudsters will frequently send coercive and misleading emails threatening account suspension or worse if sensitive information is not provided. Remember, businesses will never ask customers to verify account information via email. If in doubt, contact the business in question directly for verification and to report phishing emails; and
  • Be on the lookout for spoofed email addresses. Spoofed email addresses are those that make minor changes in the domain name, frequently changing the letter O to the number zero, or the lowercase letter l to the number one. Scrutinize all incoming email addresses to ensure that the sender is truly legitimate. 
With questions on the data breach, you can contact Equifax at 866-447-7559, or the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630.
Citizens from Illinois’ 63rd Legislative House District are invited to join State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) and local tax assessment experts on Wednesday, September 20 for a free seminar on understanding the property tax assessment process and learning how to appeal property tax assessments. The event will be held from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM in the 2nd Floor Conference Rooms at the McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road in Woodstock.

Joining Reick at the informational session will be McHenry County Chief Assessment Officer Robert Ross, Dorr Township Assessor Veronica Myers and several other township assessors who service taxpayers living in the 63rd District. “At a time when many homeowners feel they are being taxed out of their homes, it is important that they understand the assessment process and know what remedies are available to them,” said Reick. “It’s my pleasure to bring these tax assessment experts together to explain how tax bills are created and outline the process to follow if a taxpayer believes they are being over-assessed.”

After a presentation and facilitated questions, attendees will have an opportunity to ask specific questions to a panel of township assessors representing most townships within the 63rd District.

For more information about this free event, please contact Representative Reick’s office at (815) 880-5340.
Mobile Office Hours Set for Marengo-Union Library on Sept. 12
Residents of the 63rd Legislative House District are invited to meet with me at a mobile office hours event scheduled for Tuesday, September 12 at the Marengo-Union Public Library located at 19714 East Grant Highway in Marengo. The event is part of a series of mobile office hours meant to provide residents of the 63rd District with easy access to their elected Springfield representative. The 63rd District includes portions of several different municipalities, so I am very aware that my Woodstock District Office is not near the homes of many of my constituents. By holding office hours in other communities, the people I represent in Springfield can come to a convenient location and share their concerns and ideas. I’ll have a table set up at the library from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon.

Reick to Partner with Senator Althoff for Series of Town Hall Meetings
State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and I are partnering on a series of joint town hall meetings that will be held in McHenry County in September and October. The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 19 in McHenry.
All town hall meetings will begin at 6:30 PM, and will begin with a short presentation. A question and answer session will follow. Events are scheduled on the following dates:
  • September 19: McHenry City Hall, 333 S. Green Street, McHenry
  • October 4: Woodstock City Hall, 121 W. Calhoun Street, Woodstock
  • October 11: Marengo City Hall, 132 E. Prairie Street, Marengo
This will be an opportunity for citizens to let us know what issues are important to them and discuss with us the means by which we can address them. As the Springfield voice for those living in the 63rd District, this is an ideal way to hear what the District is thinking with regard to taxes, the receipt of state services and other quality of life issues. RSPVs are not required for these events. For additional information about the town hall meetings, please contact my office at (815) 880-5340.

Rep. Reick to Partner with Township Assessors for Session on Understanding & Appealing Property Tax Assessments
At a time when many homeowners feel they are being taxed out of their homes, it is important that they understand the property assessment process and know what remedies are available to them. On Wednesday, September 20 I’m bringing together several township assessors who serve those living in the 63rd Legislative House District for a free seminar on understanding the property tax assessment process and learning how to appeal property tax assessments. The event will be held from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM in the 2nd Floor Conference Rooms at the McHenry County Administration Building, 667 Ware Road in Woodstock. 

Joining me at this informational session will be McHenry County Chief Assessment Officer Robert Ross, Dorr Township Assessor Veronica Myers and several other township assessors who service my constituents. After a presentation and facilitated questions, attendees will have an opportunity to ask specific questions to a panel of township assessors representing most townships within the 63rd District. I hope you’ll take advantage of this free opportunity to ensure you are being properly assessed and taxed.

New State Standards for Financial Literacy Coming to Illinois Schools
New state standards, adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in February 2016, will be put into effect in the 2017-2018 school year by local school districts. The standards are meant to cover fundamental principles of financial literacy such as bookkeeping (balancing a checkbook) and financial planning (saving money on a regular schedule). The revised standards have been added to the social science curriculum and will be taught to all students starting in the elementary grades. Students will learn about debt, investments, and credit scores. Many school districts have already adopted standards of financial literacy that meet the newly adopted standards.

Technology Consulting Firm Announces Plans for Chicago Hiring
West Monroe Partners, a Chicago-based consulting firm which specializes in technology solutions, projects that it will hire 500 new employees over the next five years. The majority of new hires are expected to be STEM college graduates with joint-majors or credentials in business and enterprise. West Monroe Partners’ CEO Kevin McCarty states that his employees perform contract deep customer-oriented analytics with their partner clients, and develop plans to increase their customer-relationship productivity. They also develop solutions for welding previously-incompatible information technology systems together when two or more firms are implementing a business combination.
State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) invite residents of the 32nd Senate District and the 63rd House District to attend a series of joint town hall meetings that will be held in McHenry County in September and October.

“Serious issues affecting taxpayers and families are being debated in Springfield, and I want to hear the opinions and priorities of the people I represent,” said Althoff. “It is my hope that my constituents will find the date and location that works best for them and come out and learn about current issues and provide their input.”

All town hall meetings will begin at 6:30 PM, and will begin with a short presentation by the legislators. A question and answer session will follow. Events are scheduled on the following dates:
  • September 19: McHenry City Hall, 333 S. Green Street, McHenry
  • October 4: Woodstock City Hall, 121 W. Calhoun Street, Woodstock
  • October 11: Marengo City Hall, 132 E. Prairie Street, Marengo
“I’m looking forward to joining Senator Althoff at this series of meetings. This will be an opportunity for citizens to let us know what issues are important to them and discuss with us the means by which we can address them,” said Reick. “As the Springfield voice for those living in the 63rd District, this is an ideal way to hear what the District is thinking with regard to taxes, the receipt of state services and other quality of life issues.”

RSPVs are not required for this event. For additional information about the town hall meetings, please contact Senator Althoff’s office at (815) 455-6330 or Representative Reick’s office at (815) 880-5340.
Residents of the 63rd Legislative House District are invited to meet and speak with State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) at a mobile office hours event scheduled for Tuesday, September 12 at the Marengo-Union Public Library located at 19714 East Grant Highway in Marengo. The event is part of a series of mobile office hours meant to provide residents of the 63rd District with easy access to their elected Springfield representative.

“The 63rd District includes portions of several different municipalities, so I am very aware that my Woodstock District Office is not near the homes of many of my constituents,” said Reick. “By holding office hours in other communities, the people I represent in Springfield can come to a convenient location and share their concerns and ideas.”

Reick and his staff will have a table set up at the library from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon.

“I look forward to having conversations with my constituents as I bring my office to them in their own community,” said Reick. “In addition to learning about their personal priorities, my staff and I can help explain the services available through my legislative office.”

No appointment is needed. Future mobile office hours dates and locations will be posted on Reick’s web site at www.repstevenreick.com.