Latest News

96% of Illinois K-12 schools connected to high-speed internet
The EducationSuperHighway; a national non-profit which monitors states’ progress in connecting K-12 schools across the United States to high-speed internet; reported some encouraging numbers for Illinois this month. In all, 96 percent of the K-12 school districts in Illinois are able to access the internet at speeds of 100 kbps per student. This figure is up from only 71 percent three years ago. The median bandwidths have also more than doubled since 2015.

Over 500 bills signed from 2018 spring session
Last week the Governor took action on the last of the 612 bills which passed both houses of the legislature this spring. Overall, he signed 529 bills into law and issued a veto on 83. I was proud to have nine bills which I sponsored pass both houses this spring. All nine were signed into law by the Governor.

Employment picture continues to improve
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has announced that the state’s unemployment rate continued its decline, reaching 4.1 percent in August, the lowest figure on record. Jobs are up by more than 47,000 over the year, led by manufacturing, according to the Director of IDES, Jeff Mays.

Illinois forces helping with hurricane response
Soldiers and helicopters from the Illinois National Guard are among those assisting with the disaster recovery following Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. Illinois-based volunteers from the American Red Cross have also been preparing to go to the Carolinas to assist.

Welcome Representative Marron
The 104th district, which borders our 106th district to the southeast, has a new representative. State Representative Mike Marron was sworn in on Friday to the seat vacated by the resignation of Rep. Chad Hays, who had held the seat since 2010.

Weight limit restrictions eased during harvest season
Governor Rauner has signed House Bill 5749, which raises weight-limit restrictions on Illinois highways during harvest time. This is a measure which will help our farmers and those who haul farm products at this busy time of year.

EMS bill signed into law
Governor Rauner has signed into law two more bills which I sponsored this spring, including a bill to better help those having medical emergencies on their way to a hospital. Senate Bill 3255 enhances public safety by allowing Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (ARPN) and Physician Assistants (PA) to practice within the Illinois EMS system as EMS personnel for emergency care before a person reaches a hospital or during non-emergency medical transports, if the ARPN or PA meets certain specified requirements. The legislation creates greater flexibility in the medical system by allowing medically-qualified individuals to utilize their training to help those in need of care who have not yet reached a hospital.