Capitol Update

As we begin a new legislative session in the Illinois General Assembly, I want to keep you updated on what is happening in Springfield and the work I’m doing on your behalf. Thank you for signing up for my weekly update and if you find it informative or helpful, please share it with your friends and family. With this weekly newsletter, I aim to give you a quick and easily digestible update on what is happening at the State Capitol, the top issues in our local area, and how you can get engaged. 

Legislative Update: 

This week, the Illinois House and Senate met in Springfield to begin considering legislation in committees. After the deadline passed last Friday to file new legislation in the Illinois House, we now have 3978 pieces of legislation filed for consideration. I am sifting through all of these proposals and in the coming weeks I will highlight some of the proposals we have as House Republicans to fix the mess in Springfield. 

I have introduced 24 bills including legislation to clean up our court system, defend our 2nd Amendment rights, defend life, clean up our voter rolls, and cut state spending. 

You can find a list of the current bills I have introduced here.

Additionally, I have worked for years on making sure we better care for our citizens with developmental disabilities. With the recent awful news reports about the abuse at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in Southern Illinois, it is more important now than ever that we fix this system and protect our most vulnerable. I have introduced bills to make the system more accountable and ensure the best care for our Developmentally Disabled population, but more work must be done. 

I joined my colleagues in a press conference this week calling for changes and outlining a plan to fix the system. You can listen to my remarks here

Governor’s State of the State and Budget Address

Last week, Governor Pritzker gave his annual Budget Address where he outlined his spending plan for the upcoming year. It is an aggressive budget that increases spending and grows government. While the Governor admits in his proposal that Illinois is projected to have a 3% decrease in overall revenue next year, his budget address includes $2.7 billion in new spending, almost 8% increase over last year. This is an unsustainable rate of spending growth. Additionally, much of this new proposed spending is for new programs that will continue to increase state obligations in the future. 

For more of my reaction, you can watch my reaction immediately after the speech here

You can also find a detailed description of the Governor’s budget proposal and an interactive budget tool here

Happy National FFA Week! 

February 18th-25th is National FFA Week – a week to highlight and celebrate our future leaders and the value FFA has in our communities. 

I would like to extend my thanks to our FFA Advisors, Ag teachers, and FFA alumni who work to provide this incredible learning experience for students. 

It is always a privilege to welcome FFA students to their Capitol in Springfield. I enjoy talking with them about their futures, sharing a bottle of Ski, and hearing about their experiences in FFA. 

House Leadership Team: 

I was recently appointed to serve as the Assistant House Republican Leader by House Republican Leader Tony McCombie. I appreciate Leader McCombie asking me to join her House Republican Leadership team. She recognizes the importance of a farmer like myself from southern Illinois having a seat at the table to help craft policy that will help Illinois become more prosperous. I will make sure the voices of people living in southern Illinois and the metro east are heard loud and clear. I look forward to working with the new Republican Leadership to help make Illinois a better place for us all.

The Week Ahead: 

  • Next week, the Illinois House is scheduled for legislative session Tuesday, February 28th through Thursday, March 2nd. 
  • I try to make it to as many local events as I can. If you have an event coming up in your community that you’d like for me to attend, please let my office in Highland know: 618-651-0405.  

Stay Up To Date: 

Was this update informative or helpful? Please share this newsletter with your friends and family. If someone forwarded this e-mail to you, please sign up for my newsletter or send me a message by clicking here: With this weekly newsletter, I aim to give you a quick update on what is happening at the State Capitol, the top issues in our area, and how you can get involved.