News Update

This week is the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. While the Ag Breakfast program was canceled due to poor weather, I hope you were able to make it up to celebrate some of the best of Illinois agriculture or maybe catch one of the acts at the Grandstand.

Legislative Update

The end of last week marked bad news for gun owners and for those of us fighting for reliable and affordable power in Illinois. Additionally, I am working to keep Choate open and monitoring the Federal court case against Mike Madigan’s former Chief-of-Staff.

Governor Vetoes Nuclear Plant Bill

Last week Governor Pritzker vetoed Senate Bill 76 which would have opened the door for new construction of nuclear power plants in Illinois.

I disagree with the Governor’s policy on closing coal-fired power plants and opposing new nuclear power plant construction in Illinois. Electricity customers are paying higher energy bills because of the war on coal and the mirage that wind and solar will meet our energy demands. This veto by Governor Pritzker threatens reliable low-cost energy prices in our state and curbs the economic benefits of providing Illinoisans with multiple options to produce and purchase energy. We can’t meet our energy demands on wind and solar alone, nuclear power and coal-fired power plants must be part of the solution.

I was part of a broad bipartisan group of legislators who supported this legislation. As we have seen the cost of our electricity skyrocket, Illinois must have a path forward that includes reliable and affordable energy generation. The legislature should override his veto as soon as we return to Springfield.

State Supreme Court Upholds Gun Ban

The Illinois Supreme Court upheld the firearm ban last week on a 4-3 vote. As a refresh, this law bans many common firearms that the supporters deem ‘assault weapons,’ bans certain magazine capacities and some devices. This lawsuit was a challenge of the constitutionality of the bill based on the state constitution. Four of the Democratic Illinois Supreme Court justices signed on to the majority decision that said this law is constitutional.

Once again Governor Pritzker’s Democrat-packed Supreme Court, elected with gerrymandered maps delivered another questionable ruling. I voted against this gun ban when it was pushed through the Illinois House in January because it diminishes our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment clearly states the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The final decision on law-abiding gun owners’ constitutional rights will ultimately be made by the U.S. Supreme Court in the near future. There are federal challenges to this law’s constitutionality pending.

Fighting to Keep Choate Open

This week a ‘self-proclaimed watchdog’ released a report calling for the closure of Choate. This is after this same group has turned a blind eye for 20 years when they knew about the abuse and neglect at Choate Mental Health. I don’t understand why they didn’t notify the Inspector General of this abuse back then. Now they want to displace our most vulnerable by moving them into group homes that have been known for starving, neglecting, and raping our most vulnerable?

In February 2023, every member of the House and Senate Republican Caucuses signed on to a letter demanding joint committee hearings to investigate reports of abuse and neglect at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center. In addition to lawmakers’ request for public hearings, I presented my plan to ‘Help Protect Us and Improve Our Home’ which offered eleven changes needed to make improvements at Choate.

One thing we all agree on is that changes need to be made at Choate. I believe Choate can be saved. The ‘Help Protect Us and Improve Our Home’ proposal is a realistic plan to help make the improvements needed at Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center. I will fight to keep Choate Mental Health open just as I fought to keep Murray Center Open. I look forward to the day when we can all work together to protect everyone living under state care that has an intellectual or developmental disability.

Corruption Trial Continues

This week the trial in the Federal case against former Madigan chief of staff Tim Mapes continues in Chicago. Tim Mapes is facing federal charges after allegedly lying to federal law enforcement to protect his former boss, Mike Madigan. So far, the testimony has showcased just how involved Tim Mapes was in the day-to-day happenings in the Illinois House and in the Democratic Party of Illinois. This trial is shining a light on the corrupt system Madigan set up in the House and underscores the need for real change in the House.

This Week on the Farm:

If you’ve driven around recently, you have probably seen plenty of cropdusters. Here’s a picture of fungicide being sprayed on our corn at the farm!

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