Latest News

Calls for redistricting reform intensify
Under current Illinois law, the districts for state legislators and members of Congress are redrawn every ten years to reflect the findings of the U.S. Census. The next redistricting will occur in 2021. But our system of mapmaking has a fundamental flaw: the districts are drawn by the very same elected officials who seek to represent those districts. This has led to partisan maps which have cut down on competition.


House returns to Springfield for committee action on bills
The House returned to Springfield on Monday to begin the final week of action before the deadline to have bills out of committee. We started the week with more than 750 bills awaiting action in committees. Any bill not passed out of committee by the end of the week is generally considered to be dead for the year.

Illinois unemployment dips in February
The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) has announced that the unemployment rate for the state of Illinois has decreased slightly, falling to 4.7% in February. IDES went on to report that nonfarm payrolls increased by 15,200 jobs according preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and released by IDES. Unfortunately, the January jobs report was revised to show a slight drop (-1,300 jobs) instead of the slight gain that had been initially reported (+200 jobs).


School safety and gun legislation likely to be high on the agenda in Springfield
I recently attended a ceremony at Dwight High School in remembrance of the 17 students who were killed in the terrible shooting in Parkland, Florida. It was a very somber event for students, faculty and staff as they paid respect to the victims and their families. I appreciated the opportunity to attend this event and to hear what the students had to say about how we can keep our schools safe.


FEMA assessing flood damage in our area
Following last month’s flooding in the eastern part of the 106th district, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this week joined with state officials to conduct assessments of the damage which struck our area. This is the next step in the process of determining whether our area will be eligible for federal assistance to help with cleanup and recovery efforts from the flooding.



House considering legislation on youth tackle football
The House Mental Health Committee has advanced legislation that would prohibit organized youth sports tackle football for any child under the age of 12. The bill, House Bill 4341, now moves to the House floor for further discussion and debate. This legislation was brought about due to concerns over concussions suffered by youth football players and the growing field of science regarding the lasting impact of these injuries.


Sheriff Doran testifies before House committee
This week the House held committee hearings to discuss the issue of school safety. These lengthy hearings produced several ideas which we will be exploring further during the spring session as we work to keep our schools safe. One of the witnesses who testified on Tuesday was Ford County Sheriff Mark Doran, who offered his thoughts from a law enforcement perspective. I appreciated Sheriff Doran and all the other witnesses who presented testimony about one of the most important issues we are facing in the General Assembly.