News Update

First, a big congratulations to Behrmann’s Meat and Processing from Albers IL who won the Grand Champion Bacon at the State Fair. Weeke Electric, Eaglemann Construction and I bought the bacon at the Sale of Champions for $3.100.00.

Last week marked the final week for the Governor to take action on legislation passed in the General Assembly. Over the next couple of weeks, I will highlight some of the new laws you should know about. But, I also want to let you know about the laws that Governor Pritzker vetoed. I wrote to you about one bill that he vetoed last week and I have another update this week. Also, another week another court case on the 2nd Amendment. And, more than that, I’ll give you an update on how you can help hold the Governor accountable on helping our residents who rely on centers like the Murray Center.

Legislative Update

Governor Vetoes Nuclear Plant Bill

Last week the Governor vetoed a piece of legislation that would have allowed for the construction of new nuclear power plants that would provide reliable and affordable clean energy in Illinois. Now, this week, as our temperatures, energy demand, and electricity costs are through the roof, Governor Pritzker again vetoed a bill that would bring more reliable and affordable electricity into Illinois.

House Bill 3445, the bill the Governor vetoed, would allow faster development of transmission lines bringing more power into Illinois. We all know that Illinois used to be a powerhouse, but after the many closures of coal-fired power plants, Illinoisans are seeing our electric bill rise and we know we now have to buy power from other states. As our demand for electricity is not being met by our supply in Illinois, transmission lines are needed. That’s what this bill does, but instead Governor Pritzker chose to veto it and prioritize the radical environmental interests. Just like I talked about last week with the nuclear energy bill, I hope this veto is overridden.

Gun Manufacturer Liability Lawsuit

Last week another lawsuit was filed to defend Second Amendment rights. After the Governor signed legislation to make gun manufacturers subject to civil liabilities. As we know, the guns and the gun manufacturers are not commiting crimes or killing people. People are killing people and the prosecutors and laws of our states should go after the crime and the criminals. Last week, the National Shooting Sports Foundation filed a lawsuit in federal court asking them to halt the implementation of the bill. I will keep you updated on this lawsuit as well as the case I told you about last week on Pritzker’s gun ban.

Murray Center Hiring Needed

Last week we learned that the hiring process at the Murray Center is taking much longer than it should, sometimes longer than four months. No qualified person looking for a job has four months to wait to start a position. I’m including a message below from the Murray Parents Association and if you are so inclined, please send along a message in support of more hiring at the Murray Center to support the new residents from Choate who are moving to Murray Center for care.

“I spoke to the new class of trainees at Murray Center. I asked them how long it took to be hired from the time they applied until they started. Mental health technicians said 2-3 months; some 4 months. Professional staff (nurses and behavior analysts) 4 months or more. This is totally ridiculous, and once again we need to voice our concerns regarding the hiring practice at Murray Center. By the time the state calls some of the people who apply they have taken a new job. Last summer 111 people applied, and only 30 were called. Last month 25 people applied, and so far only 7 people are starting in the September class. I have attached a letter that will be sent from the MPA. Please send an email and/or a snail mail letter to the following people. An email plus a snail mail letter is great. WE NEED EVERYONE TO SEND AN EMAIL OR LETTER. You do not have to write a lengthy letter…, just a few lines voicing your frustration regarding hiring. We need to be a loud voice. As one of the Administrators in Springfield told me, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Please try to get an email and/or letter sent by September 1st. Please send your letter/email to the following people. It can be sent together in one email. You can also send it to your Senator/Representative. They can then put pressure on CMS. THANK YOU.


Send letters to:

Governor Pritzker
207 Statehouse
Springfield, IL 62706

Secretary Grace Hou
401 South Clinton Street
Seventh Floor
Chicago, IL 60607

Director Tonya Piephoff
4500 College Avenue
Alton, IL 62002

Letter from the MPA:

Dear Governor Pritzker,

The Murray Parents Association advocates not just for the individuals living at Murray Center, but for disabled individuals across the state. At the present time, Murray Center administration and families are welcoming individuals from the Choate Developmental Center. We are happy to have them join the Murray Center family, but in order for this to be successful Murray Center is in need of more staff. We realize there is difficulty hiring across the state, but there are people applying for jobs, but it takes months for them to be hired. There is a particular need for Mental Health Technicians. In the past, the Mental Health Technicians were hired through the Tech. Select program. Potential Mental Health Technicians came to Murray Center, went through a battery of tests, and then were immediately offered a job. Now everyone has to apply through an internet site, and Murray Center has no control over who CMS sends to be trained. This has led to problems. People have come to Murray Center to be trained as Mental Health Technicians and they are functionally illiterate or function at a lower level mentally than the individuals they are supposed to be working with. Someone else fills out the internet application for them, and the people pass the background and drug test, and come to Murray Center totally unable to be a successful Mental Health Technician. Another problem with this is that it is still taking months to be hired, once the background check is completed. The background check, and drug test are completed within a week or so, and that information is sent to CMS. It is then sometimes months before the person is offered a job. It is even more difficult to be hired in a professional position at Murray Center. It sometimes takes six months for someone to be offered a job, and by then they have taken another job.

We really do want the transition of individuals from Choate to Murray Center to be successful. This cannot happen until there is good staff employed at the center. Agency staff are NOT the same as union hired staff. Most do not have the commitment and caring attitude that the union workers have. We need more staff; especially mental health technicians, and we need them soon. We do not want to be set up to fail, and that will happen if the hiring process is not improved.


The Murray Parents Association”

This Week on the Farm:

Last week we were celebrating Illinois agriculture at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield. Here are a couple of highlights.

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