News Update

This week the House was in Springfield on Tuesday and Wednesday for Veto Session and Thursday’s session was canceled. Over the two days, there was very little work done with only one bill passed out of the House. That means the issues that are still outstanding will have to be acted on during the second week of Veto Session that is scheduled for the beginning of November.

This means the news of the week is more about the legislation that wasn’t passed and what we expect to come up in the next couple of weeks. I’ll give you an update today on a press conference I held, the House Republican priorities over the next two weeks.

Fighting for the Dignity in Work for Everyone

This week in Springfield, I joined a bipartisan group of my colleagues as well as advocates to bring awareness to an issue I have written to you about before. For a quick refresher, there is pending legislation in the House, House Bill 793, that would increase the mandated pay for people at workshops throughout the state. These workshops provide workers with developmental and intellectual disabilities the opportunity to work while also providing other assistance like restroom assistance, feeding assistance and administering medication.

If this legislation were enacted, at least 50% of the workshops throughout the state would be unable to operate with the mandated increased costs. And, the legislation offers no guarantee of support from the state to offset the cost.

Here is a news story about the press conference we held in Springfield this week:

“The legislation would put workers with disabilities out of work throughout the state.

Republican state representative Charlie Meier and Democrat Katie Stuart say House Bill 793 would put at least 50 percent of workers with intellectual and developmental disabilities and service providers out of work.

The bill would raise the minimum wage and require businesses to continue to provide compliant bathrooms and other facilities.

The bi-partisan group says businesses won’t be able to afford that.

If the legislation is passed, critics say the bill will not help providers cover the extra costs.”

You can watch the entire press conference here:

To see more about the important service these workshops provide, you can also watch a video of our visit to Community Link in Breese, IL.

House Republican Priorities During Veto Session

This week there was very little work done in the House. This does not reflect the issues that I know our neighbors are feeling throughout the state. There are a lot of issues throughout our state that are being ignored by the majority party in Springfield. The priorities of the Illinois House Republicans are clear:

  1. Oversight and Accountability at State Agencies – I’m sure that like me, you could name many agencies that are not working for Illinoisans. My office receives calls everyday from people who are unable to get help or answers from state agencies. Like we have talked about before it is difficult to get a professional license in Illinois right now. Additionally, we need accountability and oversight at agencies like DHS and DCFS as we have seen shocking reports that these agencies are failing our most vulnerable populations.
  2. End Illinois’ Sanctuary State Status – legislation naming Chicago and Illinois as a sanctuary city and a sanctuary state have brought the issues at the U.S. border to our state. We have seen a massive influx of undocumented immigrants to our state. It has become incredibly expensive as our state government is providing them free healthcare. We must repeal any and all legislation that provides that Illinois is a sanctuary state and take a hard look at programs that are ballooning in costs as more undocumented immigrants come into Illinois.
  3. Energy – We need to bring down energy costs and have more affordable and reliable energy sources in Illinois. The energy legislation that forces the closure of clean coal plants like PrairieState should have never been passed. Now we must work to bring more affordable and reliable energy to Illinois to lower power bills and keep Illinois from becoming like California.
  4. Address the Rising Cost of Living in Illinois – It is more difficult to afford everyday things, especially in Illinois where we have higher taxes than almost every other state in the nation. We must prioritize policies that make living here more affordable and bring down the tax burden for families in Illinois.
  5. Ethics Reform – even though dozens of politicians and politically connected people in Illinois are facing prison time or indictments, Democrats in Illinois are not interested in passing meaningful anticorruption reforms. We need true anticorruption reforms to hold politicians accountable and restore faith in our government.

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Art Contest

The ALPLM is holding their annual art contest. Illinois students K-12 can participate and the winners and runners up will all be displayed in the library. The theme this year for the contest is “I Wonder…”

Submissions must be two-dimensional and reflect the theme. If you have a K-12 student interested in participating, the flier below has more information. The deadline to submit artwork, the authorization form, and the artist statement is January 5, 2024.

You can read all of the details here:

This Week On The Farm:

We had a wonderful pepper harvest this year. We are preparing for the first frost that is on its way.

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