News Update

This past week was really busy. I was able to visit constituents in Highland, Greenville, attend the Business After Hours in Greenville, and stop in at Germantown Groceries for my favorite campfire chicken. I also made stops in New Baden and Marine. As always, if you have local events you’d like me to stop by, please let me know.

Legislative Update

The legislature is out of session but the Illinois Supreme Court is extremely busy. They are scheduled to hear several cases in the upcoming two weeks. As I have written to you about recently, this past election two new Illinois Supreme Court Justices were elected to newly gerrymandered districts and they both received a lot of campaign cash from Governor Pritzker, and Legislative Leaders Welch and Harmon. We have already seen this very partisan court make controversial decisions including upholding the constitutionality of the Safe-T Act and upholding the constitutionality of the gun ban legislation. I will be keeping a close eye on the upcoming court cases and let you know about any important decisions.

Safe-T Act and the Elimination of Cash Bail Will Be Fully Enacted Next Week

A few weeks ago, the Illinois Supreme Court held that the Safe-T Act which eliminates cash bail is constitutional and allowed to go into effect. The controversial bill, which was passed by just one vote in January of 2021 was not fully implemented because a bipartisan group of State’s Attorneys from across Illinois sued and successfully halted the bill being enacted until after the Supreme Court decision. In their decision, the Supreme Court set that effective date for September 18th.

I voted against the Safe-T Act because I believe that it will make our communities less safe and take away important resources from our local court systems. Other places that have tried getting rid of cash bail have quickly seen an increase in crime and often have reenacted cash bail or have made major changes. Although, I really hope it is not the case, I expect that in the coming months, we will learn of tragic stories where criminals who are out on cashless bail commit more crimes, and I expect we will see more crime throughout the state.

You can read more about this bill going into effect next week here:

Department of Human Services Will Have New Leader

Because I often give you updates on my work with the Murray Center and my work to keep Choate open, I wanted to let you know of a change that is happening at the Department of Human Services. Last week, Governor Pritzker announced that the DHS Secretary Grace Hou is leaving DHS to take on a new position as Deputy Governor. In the announcement, it also stated that Dulce Quintero, who currently serves as Assistant Secretary, will become the Acting Secretary of DHS.

FFA Chapters May Receive Grants to Promote Mental Health

The Illinois FFA Foundation will be awarding 20 grants of $1000 to FFA Chapters to help them promote mental health awareness. This program is a partnership between the Illinois FFA Foundation and the Farm Family Resource Initiative at SIU’s School of Medicine. As we know, in our rural communities, access to mental health care is often hard to find. It makes sense that FFA members who are leaders in their schools and in their communities would be a good organization to lead on this issue.

“FFA members are creative thinkers and know and understand their communities,” Mindy Bunselmeyer, head of the Illinois FFA Center, said in a news release Tuesday. “I’m excited to see the unique ways our membership will look to tackle this challenge.”

You can read more about this grant program here:,FFA%20Foundation%20starting%20this%20fall.

This Week on the Farm:

Our family got together to make apple butter.

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