News Update

Thank you to everyone who joined me last week for my Evening on the Meier Farm! We were able to enjoy good food, good music, and good company!

Legislative Update

We all remember the disaster the unemployment system in Illinois was during the pandemic. Throughout that time we heard story after story of people who were deserving of unemployment not being able to get ahold of the IDES offices. And, at the same time, we heard stories of people who were receiving benefits who did not qualify or innocent people having claims made under their name by people who had stolen their identity.

Now, we know the full extent of the Unemployment Insurance fraud during the pandemic. An audit came out recently that shows that $5.2 Billion dollars were sent out fraudulently in unemployment insurance payments throughout the pandemic. This is completely unacceptable, but for those of us who heard these stories everyday I am not surprised. That’s why House Republicans have been asking for an accounting of the fraud from the beginning.

There were more than $40 million dollars paid to people who were in prison and 481 dead people received unemployment checks. This was made possible because the normal safeguards against fraud like cross-checking databases of those who are incarcerated were abandoned during the pandemic in order to expedite payments.

So what now? Businesses in Illinois are facing higher unemployment taxes to cover the depleted unemployment trust fund but they should not be on the hook for fraud in the system. Taxpayers and employers in Illinois deserve better and the Pritzker administration should be held accountable.

You can read more about the audit here:

Murray Center Visits

In the last week, I’ve had the privilege of visiting the Murray Center to several State Representatives from around Illinois. I’m grateful that they took the time to learn about the center, the residents, the staff, and the families who rely on the Murray Center. As lawmakers make decisions on state funding and state support of facilities, it is important they are able to see the facility firsthand and meet with the residents and their families.

County Fairs Showcase the Best Illinois Has to Offer

The Madison County Fair was last week. Like every year, our local county fairs showcase the best that our counties have to offer and also are great family fun. You can check out a list of all of our county fairs at:

Here I am at the Washington County Fair with the Washington County Fair Queens.

This Week on the Farm:

My entry at the Washington County Fair.

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