Latest News

Dear Friends,

THE MADNESS CONTINUES
The countdown to the scheduled end of Session stands at 4 days. The Democratic party in control of the legislature has yet to produce a balanced budget plan. House Democrats rose on the floor several times this week to shout out loud how willing they are to meet and compromise with Republicans to get a deal done.

But their actions do not match their rhetoric, as excuses are being made and ridiculous lines in the sand on who gets to attend the meetings are constantly being drawn.

Instead of working to end the budget impasse, instead of working with Republicans on reforms that will grow the economy, instead of working with Republicans on reforms like term limits and redistricting, House Democrats are currently working behind the scenes on another unbalanced budget.

If you're counting at home, that will make at least 16 unbalanced budgets in a row; a very "un-sweet 16" for the taxpayers of the State of Illinois.

Current revenue estimates show that Illinois will bring in between $30 and $32 billion in the coming fiscal year. This is not an official estimate, however.  The failure of the legislature to adopt a revenue estimate means we don't even know what amount of money we have to work with.

House Republicans have called on Democrats for months to adopt a baseline for a spending plan. I even signed on to a letter last week calling on the Attorney General to force the General Assembly to do its duty and adopt this estimate.

Our efforts have been refused and our requests have been ignored. Democrats have instead gone back to secret meetings and will likely drop a massive multi-billion dollar budget on Republican desks at the 11th hour. This is a classic Mike Madigan "take-it-or-leave-it" legislative-strong arm tactic. This brand of politically-weaponized governing is directly responsible for the gridlock and dysfunction in Springfield.

Here's how it works: 
1. Speaker Madigan and House Democrats run an unbalanced budget that Republicans have had no input on and the Governor has promised to veto.

2. House Democrats vote YES on the spending plan. Pork projects are inserted. No reforms are considered. The broken system continues.

3. House Republicans vote NO citing the need for a balanced budget and reforms to our economy and system of government.

4. House Democrats attack Republicans for voting against everything that his empty-promise-filled and phony budget would have "paid for.”

MORE MADNESS from HOUSE DEMOCRATS

Encouraging Illegal Immigration
House Democrats in the House Executive Committee passed a bill to flout Federal immigration law this week. SB 31 creates the Illinois Trust Act, which essentially tells law enforcement to ignore immigration laws.

This bill would tell law enforcement officials not to detain individuals solely on the basis of their immigration status. This is simply a way to make Illinois a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants and I’m fundamentally opposed to that. The State of Illinois may face reductions in federal funding for violating federal law.

We have a new President and new Attorney General at the Federal level who have made enforcing our nation's existing immigration laws a top priority. The State of Illinois is in a financial disaster already. Bills like this put our state further at risk from both a security and financial standpoint.

Allowing Sex Changes on Birth Certificates
I also voted NO on HB 1754 on Thursday. The bill, sponsored by Chicago Democrat Greg Harris, would allow individuals to change the gender designation on their birth certificates to match their “gender identity.” This bill is dangerous in many ways.

Softening the standard for changing someone’s birth certificate sex designation is a very controversial concept. Gender identity theory is very new and far from universally agreed upon by medical and mental health professionals.

Current Illinois law does not allow a person to change their gender designation on their birth certificate. This bill would even allow individuals to change the sex listed on their birth certificate in cases where gender reassignment surgery has not occurred. There are far ranging unintended consequences to this legislation and it should be rejected.

Despite strong opposition from me and other House Republican members, the measure passed on a  63-43-1 vote and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

House Democrats Block Vote on Pro-Vet, Pro-Active Duty Gun Bill
My colleague Representative David Reis (R-Ste. Marie) was joined in Springfield this week by a Carmi resident who testified before a subject matter hearing of the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee.  Reis and his constituent discussed SB 1524, a bill to ease some gun regulations for veterans and active duty military members. I am a proud co-sponsor of this bill and I am a member of this Committee.

Unfortunately, Rep. Reis was not allowed to bring this important bill up for a vote. He was instead only allowed to present the bill at a "subject-matter-only" hearing. This type of hearing does not allow for legislation to be voted on.

Illinois does not offer reciprocity or recognition of concealed carry licenses with any other state. In order to carry a concealed firearm in Illinois, a non-law enforcement individual must hold an Illinois Concealed Carry License. Illinois law allows police officers that are residents of other states, and concealed carry license holders in other states, to carry concealed weapons while visiting or traveling through Illinois.

SB 1524 would  honor the service and sacrifices of veterans and active duty military members and bring Illinois in line with many other states. These individuals have carried or currently carry weapons in defense of our country. These folks have also done the work to earn their concealed carry license in their state of origin. Active military personnel who are traveling through or performing official training in Illinois should not be in violation of the laws governing possession of a firearm for Illinois residents.

Because House Democrats blocked a vote on the legislation, the bill remains in Committee awaiting a full hearing.

Illinois Nurses Association Reaches Agreement on Layoffs and Subcontracting Issues
I was extremely disappointed and concerned when I learned of the planned layoffs of more than 120 Illinois correctional facility nurses. I was a chief co-sponsor of a bill that passed the House that would have rescinded the layoffs of the nurses that work in Illinois’ correctional facilities.

Shortly after that legislation passed, the Rauner Administration announced they would be willing to go back to the negotiating table and rescinded the layoffs. Those were the first steps toward reaching a deal. Many more meetings have taken place since then between the two sides and today we received word that the issue of subcontracting had been resolved and that the layoffs will be permanently avoided.

The legislative action that was taken, in combination with my colleagues in the House urging both sides to stay engaged in good faith negotiations played a major part in driving a final solution to this issue.

Some of the details of the subcontracting agreement include:

Step and COLA increases will be put on hold as INA and the Administration continue their negotiations on a master contract.

Effective July 1, overtime will only be paid after 40 hours of work, not 37.5.

The Department of Corrections will convert Graham, Dixon, Menard, Pontiac and Stateville facilities to be INA-only facilities. This will help to address the issue of differing work rules at mixed facilities for INA employees and Wexford employees.

A 12-hour work schedule pilot program to be implemented at both Vienna and East Moline Correctional Facilities.

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) issued the following statement on Tuesday regarding ongoing negotiations with the Illinois Nurses Association:
“I was extremely disappointed and concerned when I learned of the planned layoffs of more than 120 Illinois correctional facility nurses. I was a chief co-sponsor of a bill that passed the House that would have rescinded the layoffs of the nurses that work in Illinois’ correctional facilities.

Shortly after that legislation passed, the Rauner Administration announced they would be willing to go back to the negotiating table and rescind the layoffs. Those were the first steps toward reaching a deal.

Many more meetings have taken place since then between the two sides.

I was pleased to learn on Tuesday that the Administration and the Illinois Nurses Association have now come to a contract agreement. I believe that the legislative action that was taken, in combination with my colleagues in the House urging both sides to come back together, played a major part in driving a final solution to this issue.”

Some of the details of the agreement include:

Step and COLA increases will be put on hold as INA and the Administration continue their negotiations on a master contract.

Effective July 1, overtime will only be paid after 40 hours of work, not 37.5.

The Department of Corrections will convert Graham, Dixon, Menard, Pontiac and Stateville facilities to be INA-only facilities. This will help to address the issue of differing work rules at mixed facilities for INA employees and Wexford employees.

A 12-hour work schedule pilot program to be implemented at both Vienna and East Moline Correctional Facilities.

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Dear Friend,

As we draw closer to the May 31st scheduled deadline for this year's session, time is running out on schools, universities and vendors of all kinds that rely on the State for funding. The failure of the General Assembly to pass a balanced budget for going on three years now is abhorrent.

The fact is that we can't fix this problem if we aren't in Springfield working. Unbelievably, the House was only in session for a total of 5 hours and 54 minutes the last two weeks.

The point we are at is completely inexcusable and ridiculous. I agree with many of you that have reached out to my office to say that we are simply not getting the job done. The people of our state deserve so much better than they are getting from their government at this time.

One way we can move the state in a positive direction is to establish a baseline from which we can build a spending plan. You have to do it in your house, I have to do it in mine, and it makes common sense that the General Assembly do the same. It also happens to be the law.

House Republicans Ask Attorney General to Force General Assembly to Establish a Revenue Estimate
One major component of passing a balanced budget is the Constitutionally required responsibility of the General Assembly to adopt an estimate of the revenue it projects to bring in for the upcoming fiscal year.

For months, my House Republican colleagues and I have publicly repeated our demand that the House Democrat leaders bring forth a bill that would establish this revenue estimate. So far, our demands have not been met. This is an abdication and outright neglect of the General Assembly's statutorily and Constitutionally defined duties.

To that end, I joined my colleagues this week in signing on to a letter written by my colleague Keith Wheeler to Attorney General Lisa Madigan requesting that she use the powers of her office to force the Illinois General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate prior to the filing and passage of any spending bills. This request was made in order to prevent further damage to the state’s finances and the many social service providers who serve the most vulnerable individuals and families across Illinois.

Despite having no revenue estimate in place, House Democrats have passed bills that would result in $295 million in NEW spending.

The letter cites several prior court rulings and instances which set precedent for the Attorney General to intervene to ensure the Illinois Constitution is upheld. Both the Constitution and state law require the General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate on which to base a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The legislature has not done this in either of the past two years and has failed to do so for the coming fiscal year. Time is quickly slipping away to resolve this crisis. Action is required now!

Opposing ANOTHER Onerous Gun Control Bill
This week a suburban-Chicago Democrat State Representative brought forward SB 1657 to the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee. As a member of this Committee, I am often presented with bills that I fundamentally oppose. This week was no different.

My office has received an overwhelming number of phone calls and emails opposing Senate Bill 1657 and urging me to oppose it as well. The bill would create more regulations on firearm dealerships by requiring them to file for a license with the State of Illinois (in addition to Federal licensing requirements) in order to sell firearms.

I am proud to report to you that I voted NO on this bill! Firearm dealers have become an easy target for government regulation as parts of the state have seen increases in gun violence. However, we know that the guns used in the daily carnage in Chicago do not come from reputable firearm dealers, but are instead bought illegally or even stolen.

As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and as a member of the NRA, I will continue to fight against this bill. The right to bear arms is a cornerstone of a free America, and SB 1657 is just another way Chicago Democrat gun grabbers are attempting to restrict that right. If this bill comes up for a vote in the House, you can count on my NO vote.


You can hear me question the bill's sponsor and offer my critique of this legislation during the Committee hearing by clicking on the YouTube video link above.

SB 308 - House Defeats Bill to Allow Undocumented Immigrants to Obtain Professional Licenses

On Friday,  House Republicans helped defeat legislation that would have allowed undocumented immigrants to obtain professional licenses from the State of Illinois. The bill specifies that no person shall be prohibited from receiving a license solely because he or she is not a citizen of the United States.

The reason for the change, according to the sponsor was to put Illinois in line with former President Obama’s DACA, or more familiarly, ‘the dreamers” program. DACA was basically President Obama’s administration ignoring existing immigration law.

Under federal law, professional licenses cannot be extended to aliens not lawfully present unless states affirmatively opt out of the federal restrictions by enacting legislation providing for eligibility. This bill would essentially have been the ‘opt out’ that would make clear that Deferred Action for Childhnood Arrivals (DACA) are eligible for professional licensure in Illinois.

I voted NO on this bill because I believe firmly in legal immigration. It is fundamentally unfair to those individuals that are following our immigration laws, waiting for long periods of time and spending large sums of money  to legally come to live in this country to be skipped over for individuals that are not following the law. The House Republicans arguments against the bill prevailed and the bill was defeated.

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

Springfield....After receiving an overwhelming number of phone calls and emails opposing Senate Bill 1657, Rep. Terri Bryant announced this week that she  voted NO on the bill in committee.

The bill would create another layer of bureaucracy on smaller firearm dealerships by requiring them to file for licenses with the State of Illinois in order to sell firearms.

"I believe it is anti-business and anti-Constitution," Bryant said. "I am proud to report to you that I voted NO on this bill when it was presented to the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee this week. As a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and as a member of the NRA, I will continue to fight against this bill. The right to bear arms is a cornerstone of a free America, and SB 1657 is just another way Chicago Democrat gun grabbers are attempting to restrict that right."

The bill passed the House Judiciary Criminal Committee by a vote of 7-6 and now moves to the House for consideration.

You can hear my testimony in opposition to the bill by clicking on the YouTube link at the top of this post.

Dear Friend,

This week I joined 30 other members of the Illinois House, both Democrats and Republicans, in sending a statement encouraging continued progress on the so-called “Grand Bargain” that is being negotiated in the Senate.

Here is our statement:

"The finances of the state of Illinois are in crisis, and we must do better. The time for resolution is now. We are a bipartisan group of House members committed to seeing that happen. There have been many ideas submitted both inside and outside the Statehouse. The key question for any of them is “do they have the votes to pass?” The Senate offers one set of ideas in the form of a grand bargain negotiated by both Democrats and Republicans in that chamber.

 We believe a solution that can pass the House and Senate and be signed by the Governor needs to include a package of bills that fundamentally addresses the needs of the state, and most importantly provides a normal, full-year budget for our state agencies, schools, and social service providers. Let’s be clear; we aren’t looking at a simple all or nothing vote on a package sent from the Senate. We understand that a package sent from the Senate will not be complete or perfect, and it will change.

Our legislative process allows hearings and amendments from both chambers, and we think that’s the best way to negotiate a deal that serves our constituents and the state as a whole. We want to do what we were elected to do; govern the state.

To do that we need to pass a budget. We understand a package from the Senate will be complex. Some parts may make members uncomfortable, and that’s not unusual in a negotiated deal. We ask the Senators from both parties to pass the best negotiated package they can, and then we will take up their work in the House. We publicly support the hard work of the Senate and wish to continue their efforts." - End of statement.

This week in competing press conferences given by Senate President Cullerton and Minority Leader Radogno, we learned that sticking points to passing a comprehensive package through the Senate to the House include proposed changes to Illinois’ worker’s compensation system and a timeline for a proposed property tax freeze. Other items that are being negotiated include increases in revenues and cuts to state spending.

Illinois’ financial crisis is already here. We’re indebted to our pension systems by more than $130 billion. We’re short revenues for proposed spending plans by anywhere from $5 billion to $7 billion depending on who you ask. The State’s university system is crumbling and under constant stress, having recently experienced devastating credit downgrades. Illinois’ K-12 public education system is facing the prospect of no budget for the upcoming fiscal year if we don’t act. We cannot stand for this anymore.

What’s most troubling to me is that there is a flippant attitude by some Democrats in the House regarding the need to be in Springfield to get our work done. This week, we were originally scheduled to be in Session from Tuesday through Friday. Following two days of little to no action on substantive legislation, on Wednesday afternoon, it was announced that Session for Friday had been canceled. Unbelievably, thunderous cheers could be heard coming from the Democrat side of the aisle at the news.

Illinois has been without a full budget for more than 2 years. The House has taken 3 full weeks of vacations since Session began in January. There are now only 20 calendar days left until the scheduled adjournment on May 31.

Canceling session on Friday is a further indication to me that Democrat leadership in the House is not interested in passing a budget. Considering everything I wrote in the previous paragraphs, I have no other choice but to believe this budget crisis is being used as a political tool for Democrats to use to harm Republicans. Playing these political games when the very future of our state is at stake is a slap in the face to the citizens of Illinois. This madness must end.

Illinois Nurses Association Negotiations Update
I was extremely disappointed and concerned when I learned of the planned layoffs of more than 120 Illinois correctional facility nurses. I was a proud chief co-sponsor of a bill that passed the House that would have rescinded the layoffs of the nurses that work in Illinois’ correctional facilities. As a retired, 20-year veteran of the Illinois Department of Corrections, I understand the difficult environment that these hard-working nurses face every day.

After the bill passed, the administration agreed to rescind the layoffs and have returned to the negotiating table. My understanding is that the administration signaled their willingness to meet in a letter to the INA on April 14. However, this week I learned that the two sides have only met twice since April 14 and are not scheduled to meet again until May 17, despite the Administration’s offer to meet every day.

I simply want to use this space to urge the rank and file nurses to ask their negotiators to return to the table as soon and as often as possible and reciprocate the Governor’s willingness to find a permanent solution to this issue. I believe that good faith negotiations can and will lead to a permanent resolution to this contract dispute.

Happy Mother’s Day!
Tomorrow we will celebrate Mother’s Day. I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Mother’s Day to my own mom as well as to my daughter Tara, who is the wonderful mother to my four grandchildren. I also want to say Thank You to all the hard-working, constantly-caring, and unconditional-love-providing Moms out there. Thank you! We appreciate you!
























Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

Dear Friend,

This week I have been busy touring flood zones and flood damage in Jackson County caused by recent rainfall. I have been so inspired by the resolve shown by the residents of Grand Tower, Wolf Lake and Murphysboro, who came together to fill and place sandbags to help strengthen levees along the Big Muddy and Mississippi Rivers and to protect property from potential flooding. Getting out there and seeing some of the same slides that I saw two and three years ago, and knowing the angst and the worry that the people who live there have to experience is indeed frustrating.

Surveying levee damage on the Big Muddy River Levee
To learn more about the potential for serious flooding in Grand Tower and the need for levee repairs, please follow this link to the WSIL News 3 story. I pledge to continue to draw attention to this critical issue with my fellow legislators and with our Congressional delegation. The time has long since past for these critical repairs to be made. Our citizens deserve it.

Celebrating International Firefighters Day
Yesterday marked International Firefighters Day. I am so thankful for the brave men and women of our fire service, who are willing to run in to the places where others are running out. They serve selflessly to protect us and we all owe them our gratitude.

I want to send a special Thank You to my son Tyler, who is a firefighter serving the Murphysboro-Pomona-Somerset Fire Department. Tyler and his fiance Elaina will be getting married in June.

Love you and am so proud of you son!

National Day of Prayer Keynote Speaker
It was truly an honor and privilege to be asked to offer the keynote speech at this year's National Day of Prayer event in Murphysboro held on Thursday, May 4 at the Davis-McCann Center in Murphysboro. Thank you to all those in attendance and to the folks who helped organize and put on a truly moving and terrific event.



Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

Dear Friend,

This week's E News focuses on two major issues that came about this week. Thank you for your continued input on the issues facing the State of Illinois. Also, this week my long time friend and legislative aid Beckie Johnson has decided to retire and enjoy time with her grandchildren in Florida. I am so happy for Beckie and I want to publicly thank her for her friendship and hard work for the people of Illinois. Beckie has been a dedicated public servant having worked for Senator John O. Jones for many years. Beckie will truly be missesd. All the best to her!

HB 40 - I Voted NO on Taxpayer Funded Abortion
I spoke forcefully against a bill that would vastly expand access to elective, taxpayer-funded abortions during a more than hour-long debate on HB 40 on Tuesday. I also voted no on the measure,

This bill goes to the core of my faith. I believe a life begins at conception and no one has a right to take that life. The sponsors of this bill routinely introduce legislation and support bills to use Medicaid dollars to help the most vulnerable among us. The same value set that drives those votes does not square with using Medicaid dollars to terminate the lives of the weakest, most helpless, and vulnerable of those among us, the unborn.

During questioning, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) admitted that the bill will expand the use of Medicaid to pay for elective abortions. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) has estimated that the bill could result in an extra $60 million of Medicaid spending to cover abortions per year.

The bill’s sponsor also admitted that the bill allows women to choose abortions for any reason, during any stage of pregnancy. In, just my lifetime, we have moved from allowing 1st trimester, to 2nd, then 3rd trimester and now partial birth abortion. HB 40 provides taxpayer funded abortion on demand and I cannot in good conscience support this attempt to expand the taxpayer’s financial burden to fund these barbaric practices.

On Tuesday, hundreds of women descended on Springfield to march in support of equal pay for women, expanded abortion access, and a host of other issues. I find it bewildering that on ‘Women’s Day’ in Springfield, Chicago Democrats advanced a bill to vastly expand abortion access. Their failure to recognize the unfulfilled potential of the millions of female lives that have been aborted in the decades that have passed since Roe vs. Wade is a truly perverted twist on the issue of equal opportunity for women.

Governor Rescinds Layoffs of Department of Corrections Nurses
State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) issued the following statement on Thursday in response to news that Governor Rauner has rescinded previously planned layoffs and will return to the negotiations with the Illinois Nurses Association.

I was extremely disappointed and concerned when I learned of the planned layoffs of more than 120 Illinois correctional facility nurses. I was a proud chief co-sponsor of a bill that passed the House that would have rescinded the layoffs of the nurses that work in Illinois’ correctional facilities.

As a retired, 20-year veteran of the Illinois Department of Corrections, I understand the difficult environment that these hard-working nurses face every day. I was pleased to learn on Thursday that the Administration has in fact rescinded the layoffs and expressed their willingness to return to the negotiating table.

I believe that the layoffs and subcontracting can be permanently solved if both sides negotiate seriously and in good faith. I urge both sides to stay at the table as long as it takes to come to a reasonable and fair agreement.

Page for a Day
It was my honor to host Woodlawn 7th grader Angelina Bruggen as my Page for a Day on Thursday. Thank you for visiting us in Springfield!


Stay Connected

My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!