News Update

As we close out the Independence Day week, I hope you had some time to celebrate safely and pause to reflect on the freedoms secured by our Founding Fathers and maintained by the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.

I also hope you were able to stay safe during our recent severe storms. There are a couple of groups coming into Washington County to help with limb/tree removal. If you are unable to get limbs out of your yard, you can call the Washington County Emergency Management to see if they can help you. The phone number to call is 618-327-4800.

Legislative Update

While the legislature may be adjourned in Springfield, the work for common sense policies continues. I am continuing my work advocating for those with developmental disabilities. This week I attended the Safety Summit at Choate Developmental Center. This meeting was held by the Department of Human Services to work to improve safety, find solutions, and plan for the future of the Choate Developmental Centers.

Additionally, I am working with national groups. As I have written to you about many times this year, one of my main legislative focuses is advocating for the rights and well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities. In recognizing that work, I was a featured speaker at the Voice of Reason’s annual meeting held this month.

The Voice of Reason is a national organization who advocates for high quality care and human rights for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I enjoyed meeting with advocates for our citizens with developmental disabilities. I will not stop pushing for legislation to improve the safety and care for everyone residing in group homes, including state-operated developmental centers.

Legislation to Provide Reliable, Affordable Energy in Illinois

Throughout the last few years, I have been working hard in Springfield to maintain our energy production downstate, fighting back against the environmentalists who pushed legislation that will force the closure of the Prairie State energy campus. Unfortunately, that legislation was just the most recent push in the “war on coal.”

As our energy bills continue to skyrocket, the demand for energy increases, and with nearly seven gigawatts of power (enough to power over 5 million homes) generated by coal plants closing in the next eight years, we need to work for solutions to bring reliable and affordable energy production back to Illinois.

That’s why I supported and co-sponsored Senate Bill 76 that removes the ban on building new nuclear power plants in Illinois. This ban has been in place for 36 years in Illinois. This opens the opportunity for reliable and affordable new nuclear energy technology to be built in Illinois. This bill received bipartisan support and is sitting on the Governor’s desk awaiting action.

Report Finds $1.2 Million of Misused Funds for Kids Insurance Program

An Auditor General report released this week shows issues with late filings, a misclassification of kids’ immigration status and allowing over-age persons to participate has cost taxpayers nearly $1.2 million on a program meant to provide childcare for eligible children in Illinois.

If Facebook can send you an alert every time one of your friends has a birthday, if Facebook can do that, don’t you think the state of Illinois, who is mailing these people money, ought to be able to do that? We should be able to track when the recipients of this program turn 18. 

It shows you that the people in charge are not doing their jobs. Nobody wants to do any oversight. They just rubber stamp it. The agency running this program is giving taxpayer money away to people who are not eligible. They need to understand it isn’t their money to give away.

Full story here.

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in our teletownhall last week. We were able to hear from constituents, answer questions, and learn more about the issues you are most concerned about. As always, if you have any questions or anything I can help you with, please contact my office!

This Week on the Farm:

We harvested our first tomatoes!

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