Latest News

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.

Flood disaster declared in eastern 106th district
Late last week Governor Rauner declared areas in the eastern part of the 106th district to be disaster areas due to the heavy flooding on local rivers. The declaration covered Vermilion and Iroquois counties in the 106th, as well as Kankakee County. Governor Rauner came to Watseka on Thursday night to see the damage first hand, and together we toured some of the hardest hit areas and met with those who have been forced out of their homes by the floodwaters. My thanks to Watseka Mayor John Allhands for showing us around the community.

Legislation filed to protect DCFS workers from assaults
We have seen far too many reminders of how often the jobs of state employees require them to put themselves at risk to protect Illinois residents. The latest reminder came in the case of Pamela Knight, a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigator who was brutally beaten in September while trying to take a 2 year-old child into protective custody. Ms. Knight died earlier this month from the injuries she sustained in the attack. Her accused assailant is now awaiting trial on multiple charges.

Governor Rauner delivers budget address
On Wednesday, Governor Rauner gave his budget address – which outlined his budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. He proposed a balanced budget: we have an estimated $37.9 billion in revenue to work with, and he proposed to spend $37.6 billion. He also put forth a plan to roll back last year’s income tax increase. He did not propose any state facility closures and his budget would continue to fully fund K-12 education. He did propose a number of challenging actions to manage costs and revenue for the General Assembly to wrestle with.