Latest News

Dear Friend,

This week's e-news provides a quick wrap up of some news that was made in Springfield this week. Floor action was relatively light, but Committees have started to advance bills on various topics. Today I'm asking your opinion on a newly introduced bill that would raise the smoking age from 18 to 21. We also cover some term limits proposals and share my announcement that this week I was named as the Chair of a very important task force. Thank you for reading!

This week in Springfield
Rep. Bryant Named Chair of the Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force

Springfield....On Tuesday, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced that she has been chosen to serve as Chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force.

Rep. Bryant is the new Chair of the
bipartisan Opportunities for At-Risk
Women Task Force
“There are major issues facing at-risk women in the State of Illinois,” Bryant said. “As Chair of this task force I will see to it that its charge is carried out. That means hearing from experts on issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, domestic abuse, the health care industry, the law enforcement community and the criminal justice system and producing a comprehensive report of the task force’s findings.”

The bill creating the task force originally took effect in January 2016, after passing through the 99th General Assembly. Its members are appointed by leadership from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate. The rest of the task force is made up of appointees or designees of the Illinois Secretary of State, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, and various agencies of the State including DCFS, HFS, DCEO, DES, the Illinois Community College Board, and the State Superintendent of Schools. Experts from various fields dealing in women’s issues are also appointed by the Governor.

The task force will hear from educators, prison officials, after-school tutoring programs, community service providers, higher education personnel, housing and health care officials, and addiction and recovery personnel quarterly over the next calendar year and subsequently submit a report for review to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Bryant says she is humbled to receive the votes of the task force members that were in attendance for the inaugural meeting in Springfield on Tuesday afternoon. She says she is eager to get started as Chair of the Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force.

“I’m a Republican chair of a very important task force,” Bryant said. “Women’s issues drive a lot of the narrative we find ourselves debating in our state and at the national level. In a Springfield that is dominated by Democrats, I think I was chosen to lead this task force because I have committed myself to being a champion for women in Illinois."

Bryant feels she has spent her time in Springfield building consensus and solving problems. She notes that she believes the task force has great potential to drive positive results for at-risk women across the State.

“I am committed to making sure that this task force puts together a comprehensive report that will ultimately empower at-risk women to gain control of their circumstances and better their lives by improving access to education and economic opportunities for all women,” she said.

####

Term Limits Legislation Introduced
I have always been a loud proponent for term limits for legislators, legislative leaders, and Constitutional officers. This week in Springfield, legislation was unveiled that would limit terms for all of the above. Rep. Tom Bennett, a Republican colleague from Gibson City is sponsoring would limit the House speaker, Senate president and the minority leader in each chamber to 10 consecutive years in those leadership roles.

Another bill, a Constitutional Amendment, would limit all legislators to no more than 16 years combined in the House and/or Senate. I wholeheartedly support both of these bills. I plan to add myself as a co-sponsor of both pieces of legislation and work to bring attention to this very important issue. Speaker Madigan should allow votes on these bills. The people of Illinois agree and it is long past time that Illinois takes these good government steps.

Legislation Advances to Raise Smoking Age to 18
Legislation was also advanced through the House Health and Healthcare Disparities Committee that would dramatically change smoking regulations in Illinois. I am curious to know what your opinion is of HB 4297. The bill would raise the age for legal possession of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.

You can let me know your opinion by visiting my website's Contact Form by clicking here!

Winter Olympics begin!
I'm a huge fan of the Winter Olympics and a huge fan of Team USA. My favorite Winter Olympic sport is hockey. In fact, my brother was once the captain of the Air Force Academy's Hockey team!

While doing some reading this week I found a helpful link that will tell you all you need to know about the Winter Olympic events, schedule, and broadcast details.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

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 4:00 PM. 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....On Tuesday, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced that she has been chosen to serve as Chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force.

Rep. Bryant is the new Chair of the
bipartisan Opportunities for At-Risk
Women Task Force
“There are major issues facing at-risk women in the State of Illinois,” Bryant said. “As Chair of this task force I will see to it that its charge is carried out. That means hearing from experts on issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, domestic abuse, the health care industry, the law enforcement community and the criminal justice system and producing a comprehensive report of the task force’s findings.”

The bill creating the task force originally took effect in January 2016, after passing through the 99th General Assembly. Its members are appointed by leadership from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate. The rest of the task force is made up of appointees or designees of the Illinois Secretary of State, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, and various agencies of the State including DCFS, HFS, DCEO, DES, the Illinois Community College Board, and the State Superintendent of Schools. Experts from various fields dealing in women’s issues are also appointed by the Governor.

The task force will hear from educators, prison officials, after-school tutoring programs, community service providers, higher education personnel, housing and health care officials, and addiction and recovery personnel quarterly over the next calendar year and subsequently submit a report for review to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Bryant says she is humbled to receive the votes of the task force members that were in attendance for the inaugural meeting in Springfield on Tuesday afternoon. She says she is eager to get started as Chair of the Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force.

“I’m a Republican chair of a very important task force,” Bryant said. “Women’s issues drive a lot of the narrative we find ourselves debating in our state and at the national level. In a Springfield that is dominated by Democrats, I think I was chosen to lead this task force because I have committed myself to being a champion for women in Illinois."

Bryant feels she has spent her time in Springfield building consensus and solving problems. She notes that she believes the task force has great potential to drive positive results for at-risk women across the State.

“I am committed to making sure that this task force puts together a comprehensive report that will ultimately empower at-risk women to gain control of their circumstances and better their lives by improving access to education and economic opportunities for all women,” she said.

####
Dear Friend

This week has been jam packed with big news. Governor Rauner delivered his fourth State of the State address to a joint gathering of the House and Senate on Wednesday. I have provided links below to my reaction video and press release as well as links to audio and news clips from interviews I conducted with local news outlets.

There is also big news regarding the reopening of the shuttered Murphysboro IYC. Read on for news on these items and more in this week's Bryant E News!

State of the State Address Reaction Press Release
Springfield…State Representative Terri Bryant issued the following statement today following Governor Bruce Rauner’s fourth State of the State address.

Rep. Bryant and Senator Paul Schimpf (R - Waterloo) look on
during Governor Bruce Rauner's 4th State of the State address
on Wednesday.
“I am happy that the Governor worked to strike an optimistic tone,” Bryant said. “The Governor rightly pointed out that Illinois is the home of past Presidents of the United States, innovators, inventors, builders, artists, athletes, and brave service men and women. It is clear that we must once again tap into the great potential of the people of Illinois to change the direction of the State.

The Governor offered strong arguments for why we need to enact policies that will help our economy grow.  We need to unleash the potential of the private sector in our State. We simply must grow more good paying jobs in Illinois or our State will continue to lag behind our neighbors.

It is my hope that as the new Session begins in earnest that the Chicago Democrats that control the legislature will see how desperately we need to take the boot off of the neck of job creators.

We must also change our political culture. The Governor has been a champion for term limits and fairly drawn legislative maps. I agree with both of these concepts and believe that real political reform can be the first step to signal to job creators that we are serious in Illinois about providing incentives to locate here and that we are working to stamp out the corrupt politics of the past.

Illinois has great potential. We need real reforms to our political and economic systems to truly change our state’s direction.”

####
Murphysboro IYC Repurposing ProjectMany of you may be aware that I have been working very hard to get the former Illinois Youth Center reopened in Murphysboro and repurposed as an adult offender re-entry program facility. I even hosted a press conference two years ago in front of the facility to introduce legislation that would have reopened the center.

Well this week there was a major development on this story.

You can catch my remarks on the reopening of the facility by following this link to a radio interview I did on the topic with Will Stephens on WXAN

Training is now underway at the former youth center! I received confirmation from the Illinois Department of Corrections that the building will now become a minimum security male facility. Roughly one hundred jobs will be created, with just over sixty of them being Department of Corrections officers. This is a big news on the jobs front for the hard working men and women of southern Illinois.

The reopening of the Murphysboro facility is corrective action, because Pat Quinn foolishly shuttered the facility years ago as a way to maximize political pressure on local leaders. There will be more news made on this front, including determining an exact date for reopening. As always, I will keep you up to date on the latest developments!

Radio Interviews
I joined Tom Miller on the Morning NewsWatch on WJPF radio and Will Stephens of WXAN radio in Ava on Thursday morning to provide my reaction to the State of the State address, and to break the news on the reopening and re-purposing of Murphysboro's IYC. You can listen in by following the links below:

Terri Bryant on WJPF Radio Thursday February 1 2018

Terri Bryant on WXAN Radio with Will Stephens on Thursday February 1 2018

In the News
Please find links below to recent news articles on various topics covered by local media outlets!

Task forces issues recommendations to fix Community Care Program

Highway proposal to the Metro-East gains traction

Chocolate for a good cause: Women's Center ninth annual Taste of Chocolate fundraiser is Feb. 9

Illinois Governor Stops in Carbondale following State of the State Speech

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 4:00 PM. 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 issued the following statement today following Governor Bruce Rauner’s fourth State of the State address.

Rep. Bryant and Senator Paul Schimpf (R - Waterloo) look on
during Governor Bruce Rauner's 4th State of the State address
on Wednesday.
“I am happy that the Governor worked to strike an optimistic tone,” Bryant said. “The Governor rightly pointed out that Illinois is the home of past Presidents of the United States, innovators, inventors, builders, artists, athletes, and brave service men and women. It is clear that we must once again tap into the great potential of the people of Illinois to change the direction of the State.

The Governor offered strong arguments for why we need to enact policies that will help our economy grow.  We need to unleash the potential of the private sector in our State. We simply must grow more good paying jobs in Illinois or our State will continue to lag behind our neighbors.

It is my hope that as the new Session begins in earnest that the Chicago Democrats that control the legislature will see how desperately we need to take the boot off of the neck of job creators.

We must also change our political culture. The Governor has been a champion for term limits and fairly drawn legislative maps. I agree with both of these concepts and believe that real political reform can be the first step to signal to job creators that we are serious in Illinois about providing incentives to locate here and that we are working to stamp out the corrupt politics of the past.

Illinois has great potential. We need real reforms to our political and economic systems to truly change our state’s direction.”


####
Murphysboro.... State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) is sponsoring a House Resolution that would officially put the Illinois House on the record opposing a per-mile tax on Illinois motorists.

“In my opinion, the per-mile tax idea is offensive in many ways,” Bryant said. “Chicago Democrats that control the legislature and even some of the candidates that they have running for Governor are floating a per-mile tax plan. I’m strongly advocating for against these tax hike proposals to spare Southern Illinois’ motorists from being unfairly whacked through a variety of bad plans.”

Bryant pointed specifically to prior Chicago Democrat sponsored proposals as evidence that the idea of a per-mile tax is unfortunately still alive and well in Springfield. One such plan under consideration is a fee of 1.5¢ per mile driven on public, non-tolled Illinois roads using GPS tracking technology and the GPS tracking would be in a smartphone app or a tracking device similar to the I-Pass (or EZ-Pass) and would monitor the location of each driver to calculate how many miles were driven in Illinois each month.

Another scheme would impose a fee of 1.5¢ per mile driven, but based on monthly odometer readings instead of GPS tracking technology. An additional plan would be a Flat Rate Plan of an annual fee of $450.

“I’m sponsoring HR 766 as part of my efforts to support Southern Illinois first,” Bryant said. “Thousands of Southern Illinoisans drive long-distances to work, to visit family, and to tour attractions in other parts of our state. Families and hard-working men and women drive tens of thousands of miles per year in some cases. I’m sponsoring HR 766 to stop this foolishness before the idea gains any further traction in Springfield.”

Bryant has joined several of her House Republican colleagues in launching a “Stop the Per-Mile Tax” online petition. Constituents opposed to the various per-mile tax plans can sign the petition by visiting www.ilhousegop.org/opposeilmileagetax

“I’m calling on all Southern Illinois drivers to sign our online petition, and when we return to Springfield next week, I will be urging every member of the House to join me and vote to stop these per-mile tax hike plans.”


####
Dear Friend,

In previous editions of our weekly newsletter, I have promised to preview the upcoming legislative Session. This week I want to talk about a few of the bills that I am sponsoring ahead of the scheduled start of the Spring Session on Tuesday, January 30th.

Now that Illinois finally has a budget in place, I believe significant steps must be taken to get State government to live within its means. To begin repairing the damage left in the wake of the 2.5 year budget impasse, I believe Illinois must live on a very strict financial diet for years to come.
In addition to the $2.5 billion in cuts that were part of the final budget solution, I have joined on to sponsor legislation that has the potential to save our state big dollars for years to come.

I released a press release earlier this week detailing my plan to cut waste, fraud, and abuse from our state's entitlement programs. Please see below to read the entire press release.

As the legislative Session unfolds, I will provide information and reactions to the Governor's State of the State and Budget Addresses, and keep you updated on more legislation that I'm carrying in the House.

PRESS RELEASE: Bryant Sponsors Welfare Reform Package
Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has signed on to sponsor multiple pieces of legislation aimed at rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in Illinois' welfare programs. As the Illinois House returns to Springfield later this month, Bryant says she is focusing hard on finding places to cut the budget and improve efficiencies.

"With the new Session approaching, I am working hard to shrink government spending and root out waste, fraud, and abuse," Bryant said. "Now that we have a budget in place for the first time in more than two years, I will be strongly advocating that Illinois stick to a tight financial diet far into the future. This is not merely lip service on my part. I am sponsoring specific policy proposals that could start saving our State money right away."

Bryant is a chief co-sponsor of three specific proposals he says will result in savings for Illinois taxpayers.

HB 4180 would require drug testing for individuals applying for welfare benefits.

HB 4181 would require the name and photo of the primary cardholder to be on an Illinois Link card and, at the option of the primary cardholder, the names of secondary holders who are authorized to use the card. It establishes that an individual may only use the Link card if the photo on the card matches the user or he or she presents a current and valid photo identification that confirms that he or she is a secondary user listed on the card.

Another proposal, HB 4182, would bar illegal immigrants from taking part in entitlement programs. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), the Children's Health Insurance Program, ALL KIDS Health Insurance program, TANF, and the medical assistance program.

"The truth is, the legislative package I am sponsoring will save Illinois taxpayers significant dollars on entitlement program spending. I urge Speaker Madigan and the rest of my colleagues in Springfield to take the problem of exploding entitlement spending seriously and to advance these important cost saving measures when we return to Session later this month."

Washington County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
I had a great time visiting with folks at the 91st Annual Washington County Farm Bureau Meeting in Okawville on Thursday evening. The evening focused on the current state of agricultural politics at the national level and the priorities of the Farm Bureau going forward. I was honored to address the huge crowd!


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 4:00 PM. 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!
Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has signed on to sponsor multiple pieces of legislation aimed at rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in Illinois' welfare programs. As the Illinois House returns to Springfield later this month, Bryant says she is focusing hard on finding places to cut the budget and improve efficiencies.

"With the new Session approaching, I am working hard to shrink government spending and root out waste, fraud, and abuse," Bryant said. "Now that we have a budget in place for the first time in more than two years, I will be strongly advocating that Illinois stick to a tight financial diet far into the future. This is not merely lip service on my part. I am sponsoring specific policy proposals that could start saving our State money right away."

Bryant is a chief co-sponsor of three specific proposals he says will result in savings for Illinois taxpayers.

HB 4180 would require drug testing for individuals applying for welfare benefits.

HB 4181 would require the name and photo of the primary cardholder to be on an Illinois Link card and, at the option of the primary cardholder, the names of secondary holders who are authorized to use the card. It establishes that an individual may only use the Link card if the photo on the card matches the user or he or she presents a current and valid photo identification that confirms that he or she is a secondary user listed on the card.

Another proposal, HB 4182, would bar illegal immigrants from taking part in entitlement programs. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), the Children's Health Insurance Program, ALL KIDS Health Insurance program, TANF, and the medical assistance program.

"The truth is, the legislative package I am sponsoring will save Illinois taxpayers significant dollars on entitlement program spending. I urge Speaker Madigan and the rest of my colleagues in Springfield to take the problem of exploding entitlement spending seriously and to advance these important cost saving measures when we return to Session later this month."

####