News Update: Storm Recovery, State Finances, Down on the Farm

As I wrote to you last week, after the strong storms that swept through our area, I worked hard to get the Governor to issue disaster declarations in our area. On Tuesday, he issued a disaster declaration for Washington County along with Coles, Cook, Edgar, Hancock, McDonough, Morgan, and Sangamon Counties. We have already been doing work locally to clean up from the storms, but this declaration will allow increased access to state resources and personnel.

Legislative Update

On Wednesday, I joined my colleagues from the House and Senate Republican caucuses at a press conference following updated reports of abuse at state-run facilities for those with developmental disabilities. You can read this new report here:

We called for immediate hearings into these new allegations of abuse. Additionally, I again emphasized our commitment to protecting our most vulnerable citizens. Often, when there is an urgent push for legislation like this, many lawmakers do not take the time to fully understand the issue. That’s why I invited all of my colleagues to come and tour these facilities and meet the residents and their families.

Action must be taken to protect those with developmental disabilities who are under the State’s care. You can watch the full press conference here:–0s/

Warning on Illinois’ Fiscal Future

Last week, the staff of a bipartisan and bicameral panel of legislators called JCAR published a warning to the General Assembly. Their note asserted that the recent increases in money coming into the state is a one-time influx of dollars from the Federal government and should not be treated as a sustainable State cash flow. As last year’s budget came to an end, the underlying level of state taxpayer dollars were actually falling, not rising. These revenue streams that were decreasing included income tax dollars and sales tax dollars. We have known all along that the Democrats spending is unsustainable, but now even nonpartisan groups are sending out the warnings.

New Area Code

A new ‘730’ phone area code is just days away from making its debut in Central and Southern Illinois. The Illinois Commerce Commission announced last Friday that it had approved the implementation of the new area code 730 to overlay the existing area code 618 region.

All or part of 37 counties are a part of the region. Customers in the region may be assigned area code 730 when they request a new service or an additional line. ICC officials said 730 will coexist with 618 everywhere in the region. You can read more about the new area code here:

This Week on the Farm:

Each year I catch turtles from my pond for the Okawville Heritage Days.  After the turtle races are complete, they are returned to the pond to race another year.

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