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Dear Friend, 

While last week marked the start of the 101st General Assembly, this past Monday saw all six Constitutional officers for the State of Illinois sworn into office. All six Constitutional officers are Democrats. That includes: Illinois' Comptroller, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, and Governor. Democrats also hold super-majorities (veto proof) in both the Illinois House and Senate. The road may indeed be very long for members of the minority party for the next two years. Before I get into policy, I just want to take a moment to recognize the Southern Illinois Children's Choir for performing the Star Spangled Banner at the Inauguration Ceremony. 

The Southern Illinois Children's Choir Singing the National
Anthem at the 2019 Illinois Inaugural Ceremony

Action taken this week by Governor Pritzker signals that Illinois politics will be make a sharp turn to the left on several areas of policy. During his inaugural address, Governor Pritzker highlighted the following issues: man-made climate change, gun-control, universal healthcare, and a progressive income tax hike. If we were at a liberal restaurant folks, those items above would be on special year round.

Illinois' 43rd Governor, J.B. Pritzker
I am not of the opinion that my job is to act counter to everything Governor Pritzker wants to do. In fact, he has signaled willingness to work together to solve some major problems we are facing. He has talked about the need for an infrastructure bill, which I think is absolutely necessary. Our motorists and farmers drive on some seriously deteriorating roads and bridges. The state of our local communities' public water delivery systems are also in major flux across the state. We saw just last year how vital water delivery systems are when Rend Lake Conservancy District's water service was halted due to emergency repairs. 

We must also revamp I-57 south of Effingham all the way to Marion to make sure we have a safe, 3-lane highway where trucks and cars can travel together safely. I'm going to be working closely with the new Governor to help him understand just how much help we need in Southern Illinois. 

I would hope that he can possibly be more moderate on some of his proposals on the issues I mentioned above. Illinois needs more businesses and more jobs. More environmental regulations and higher taxes won't stem the tide of people and businesses leaving the state. Illinois is already the brokest state in the nation. Adding massive new government programs won't lead us to prosperity. 

This week I sat down with WXAN Radio's Will Stephens to talk about the inauguration, the change in power to Democrat control, and the way forward for Republicans and for the State of Illinois.


That leads me to the topic I'm about to share with you - gun control. This week's e-news features a press release I sent out this week in response to one of Governor Pritzker's first actions as Governor; signing legislation that will place more regulations on law-abiding gun owners. Folks, I believe firmly that my job is to stand up for our Rights as Americans. This week's action goes way too far. I hope you will continue reading below and I look forward to hearing what you have to say about this week's e-news! Thank you for reading!

Press Release - Bryant Reacts to Pritzker Signing Gun Dealer Licensing Bill
Murphysboro….On Thursday, just a few short days into his term as Governor, JB Pritzker signed legislation that will once again expand government bureaucracy while eroding 2nd Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens. According to State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), who cast several No votes against what was known as the ‘gun-dealer licensing bill’ during the previous General Assembly. Bryant says Pritzker is sticking close to his history on guns, whether Illinoisans favor the move or not.

“The Governor has previously run for office on some pretty radical ideas when it comes to 2nd Amendment protections,” Bryant said. “As an unsuccessful candidate for Congress, Governor Pritzker floated the idea of an all out ban on handguns. His ideas on guns do not align with mine or the vast majority of Southern Illinoisans. They certainly don’t jibe well with what is supposed to be a guaranteed Constitutional right to bear arms.”

Once it takes effect, SB 337 will now create new licensing costs and regulations for small, independent gun dealerships. Bryant says the bill is probably the most notorious piece of legislation among gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in Illinois, drawing more than 4,000 opponents on the record when presented to the House Judiciary Committee.

“The new law creates a new fee and additional licensing regulations for businesses that do the majority of their business selling guns and ammunition,” Bryant said. “This law will require gun dealers to have a state license for the owner, a state license for the dealer, and possibly a local license in addition to the federal license that is already required. The bill also allows for local governments to impose additional requirements on gun dealers. It is really an over-reach and a doubling of regulations on small businesses and law-abiding people.”

Bryant is warning her constituents to be aware that more gun regulations are likely coming, as control of State government has shifted to total Democrat control.

“When Illinois Democrats say things like ‘common-sense’ gun regulation, you can bet that means higher costs and more regulations for law-abiding citizens,” Bryant said. “Folks that don’t own guns or know our culture and history in Southern Illinois fail to appreciate the traditions that we share with generations of our families. We teach our kids how to hunt and how to responsibly own and use firearms. When it comes to these Chicago-led gun grabs, I’m going to stand up for my district and vote to protect our Second Amendment rights each and every time.”

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Southwest Illinois Connector Task Force
Have you heard of the four-lane highway coalition? If not, those folks in Southwest Illinois should really take a look at my press release on the Southwest Illinois Connector Task Force. I am pleased to announce that I have been named to this important task force to study a possible four-lane highway from Carbondale to St. Louis. I would love to know your thoughts! 

Read the press release, study the task force language at the link and then leave your feedback with me at http://www.ilhousegop.org/contactbryant


Check out my blog post on this very important issue by following the link below: 
http://www.repbryant.com/2019/01/bryant-named-to-southwest-illinois.html

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Tuesday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Wednesday and Fridays 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 or at bryant@ilhousegop.org 
Murphysboro….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced this week that she will serve as a member of the Southwest Illinois Connector Task Force. Bryant thanked House Republican Leader Jim Durkin for the appointment.

“I want to thank Leader Durkin for appointing me to this task force, Bryant said. “Our charge will be to study the feasibility and possible cost of building a four-lane highway from Carbondale to St. Louis. I have joined with Rep. Jerry Costello II and with Senator Paul Schimpf to create this Task Force that will consist of members of the legislature as well as appointees from IDOT and the 4 Counties that make up the Four-Lane Highway Coalition.”

Bryant says she has attended several meetings of the Four Lane Highway Coalition, led by Dr. Mark Kiehna, and other local elected officials over the past two years. Bryant says she has already learned a great deal from the meetings. Supporters have argued that a four-lane connector from Carbondale to St. Louis would lead to increased economic activity due to a quicker, easier route to St. Louis. Opponents have argued that the cost would be significant, and would likely result in some people having to sell parts of their properties along any proposed route.

Pending approval, the proposed four-lane highway is likely to travel throughout four counties in southwest Southern Illinois from Carbondale to St. Louis: Monroe, Randolph, Jackson, and Perry Counties. Bryant, who represents areas in Jackson and Perry Counties, says that the purpose of the task force will be study both the supporters wishes and opponents’ worries.

“People have legitimate hopes and legitimate concerns on both sides of the road on this issue so to speak,” Bryant said. “We are going to listen, as a General Assembly, and study whether the possible economic benefits would outweigh concerns over eminent domain. We want to study a possible route, find out which landowners could be impacted, and deliver a comprehensive report. That is my commitment as a member of the task force and I’m looking forward to getting going.”

Legislation creating the Southwest Illinois Connector Task Force passed during the 100th General Assembly via Senate Joint Resolution 54. You can view the full text of SJR 54 by clicking here.

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Murphysboro….On Thursday, just a few short days into his term as Governor, JB Pritzker signed legislation that will once again expand government bureaucracy while eroding 2nd Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens. According to State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), who cast several No votes against what was known as the ‘gun-dealer licensing bill’ during the previous General Assembly. Bryant says Pritzker is sticking close to his history on guns, whether Illinoisans favor the move or not.

“The Governor has previously run for office on some pretty radical ideas when it comes to 2nd Amendment protections,” Bryant said. “As an unsuccessful candidate for Congress, Governor Pritzker floated the idea of an all out ban on handguns. His ideas on guns do not align with mine or the vast majority of Southern Illinoisans. They certainly don’t jibe well with what is supposed to be a guaranteed Constitutional right to bear arms.”

Once it takes effect, SB 337 will now create new licensing costs and regulations for small, independent gun dealerships. Bryant says the bill is probably the most notorious piece of legislation among gun owners and Second Amendment supporters in Illinois, drawing more than 4,000 opponents on the record when presented to the House Judiciary Committee.

“The new law creates a new fee and additional licensing regulations for businesses that do the majority of their business selling guns and ammunition,” Bryant said. “This law will require gun dealers to have a state license for the owner, a state license for the dealer, and possibly a local license in addition to the federal license that is already required. The bill also allows for local governments to impose additional requirements on gun dealers. It is really an over-reach and a doubling of regulations on small businesses and law-abiding people.”

Bryant is warning her constituents to be aware that more gun regulations are likely coming, as control of State government has shifted radically to Democrat control.

“When Illinois Democrats say things like ‘common-sense’ gun regulation, you can bet that means higher costs and more regulations for law-abiding citizens,” Bryant said. “Folks that don’t own guns or know our culture and history in Southern Illinois fail to appreciate the traditions that we share with generations of our families. We teach our kids how to hunt and how to responsibly own and use firearms. When it comes to these Chicago-led gun grabs, I’m going to stand up for my district and vote to protect our Second Amendment rights each and every time.”

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Inauguration Week 2019

Dear Friend, 

This week marks the beginning of the 101st General Assembly in Springfield. On Wednesday, newly elected State Representatives and State Senators gathered in Springfield to take the oath of office and begin the work of the people of the State of Illinois. 

Honored to be taking the oath of office for the 4th time!
During the Inaugural Ceremonies, I was proud to make good on a promise that I have often repeated. As State Representatives, the very first vote that we make is the one that decides House leadership positions such as the Speaker of the House and the House Minority Leader. 

As I have always promised, and have always done, I cast my vote against Mike Madigan’s bid for an unprecedented 17th term as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.



As I am sure you are aware, Speaker Madigan has reigned over the Illinois House for decades. He has rejected all attempts to enact term limits, even for legislative leaders and Constitutional officers. 

The absolute and total power that Speaker Madigan wields both politically and as an agent of the State government is unmatched anywhere in modern politics. Interestingly, the problems we face as a State have only gotten worse during this period of total one-man, one-party control. Democrats now hold significant majorities in the House and Senate, and as of this coming Monday will also hold all six Constitutional offices. 

I am very interested to know how newly empowered Democrats will proceed on policies dealing with the major financial challenges facing our state. The 101st General Assembly begins in earnest on Tuesday, January 29th, as lawmakers return to the Capitol to start debating legislation. I will continue to keep you updated as news breaks.

100th General Assembly Wrap-Up

Although Wednesday marked the beginning of the new legislative Session, two items were addressed on Monday and Tuesday as the 100th General Assembly completed its business. One bill that passed allows the incoming Governor to reconstitute the Illinois Tollway Authority Board.

It is very much usual for incoming Governors to choose their own members and in this case I believe the right thing to do is to allow for a fresh start. The Tollway has been in the news to our north for many months because of controversies related to patronage hiring and expenditure fights. The incoming administration has promised increased transparency as it retools the Tollway Authority. 

Voting NO on Pay Raises for Incoming Governor’s Staff

As you may know, the 736-day budget impasse caused long-lasting financial damage to the State of Illinois. During the impasse, our bill backlog grew and our structural deficit exploded. Although it has not always been easy or popular, I am proud to have voted several times in a row to balance the State budget. 

I have also been adamant that Illinois must stick to a strict financial diet in the coming years.

Although some stability has returned to Illinois due to a full budget passing last year, Illinois still owes billions in unpaid bills and hundreds of billions in pension and other general debt liabilities. Our state unfortunately ranked 2nd highest on the list of states losing population last year, losing more than 45,000 residents.

In the days following the November 6th election, Governor-elect Pritzker began lobbying lawmakers to pass legislation allowing him to pay incoming agency directors up to 15% more in salaries during his administration. The Governor-elect has argued that $150,000 is simply not enough money to attract top talent to the State of Illinois. 

With the financial problems we face, and with the State of Illinois losing people by the tens of thousands just last year, I believe firmly that guaranteeing 15% raises for incoming and untested bureaucrats sends the wrong message to working families in Illinois. I voted NO.

Inauguration Day 2019 

Bryant Sworn-in to Fourth Term as 115th State Representative 

Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) took the oath of office on Wednesday, as she was sworn-in to a 4th term as 115th district State Representative. Bryant was re-elected in November 2018 and begins work in the 101st General Assembly on Thursday.

“Inauguration Day is always a joyous and hopeful occasion,” Bryant said. “I am deeply honored and proud to serve the people of Southern Illinois as their State Representative. I want to thank the many friends, family members, and supporters that made the trip to Springfield to watch the ceremony. I sincerely hope that the good feelings that come about as a new legislature is seated will continue into the Session and that we can work cooperatively as a body.”

Bryant takes office as the balance of power in Illinois government radically shifts toward Democratic control. Democrats will hold veto-proof majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate and will occupy all six Constitutional offices, including the Governor’s office. For her part, Bryant says she is cautiously optimistic that Democrats will work across party lines.

“The incoming Governor has signaled a willingness, at least for now, to listen to ideas from Republicans and to work cooperatively,” Bryant said. “I have been encouraged by some of the personnel moves he has made already, but I will be watching closely when policy items begin to move in the House. We might have a new Governor, but we are still facing enormous challenges. Property taxes are too high and people are leaving the State. We have to rebuild our infrastructure, and we must take steps to stop the outmigration of our citizens to neighboring states. These are enormous challenges that will require good ideas from both sides.”

The 115th district is located within the boundaries of all of Jefferson County, and parts of Jackson, Union, Washington, and Perry Counties. Bryant has offices located in Murphysboro and Mount Vernon. Constituents can visit her website at www.RepBryant.com and use the contact form to message her office.

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Stay Connected!
Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) took the oath of office on Wednesday, as she was sworn-in to a 4th term as 115th district State Representative. Bryant was re-elected in November 2018 and begins work in the 101st General Assembly on Thursday.

“Inauguration Day is always a joyous and hopeful occasion,” Bryant said. “I am deeply honored and proud to serve the people of Southern Illinois as their State Representative. I want to thank the many friends, family members, and supporters that made the trip to Springfield to watch the ceremony. I sincerely hope that the good feelings that come about as a new legislature is seated will continue into the Session and that we can work cooperatively as a body.”

Bryant takes office as the balance of power in Illinois government radically shifts toward Democratic control. Democrats will hold veto-proof majorities in both the Illinois House and Senate and will occupy all six Constitutional offices, including the Governor’s office. For her part, Bryant says she is cautiously optimistic that Democrats will work across party lines.

“The incoming Governor has signaled a willingness, at least for now, to listen to ideas from Republicans and to work cooperatively,” Bryant said. “I have been encouraged by some of the personnel moves he has made already, but I will be watching closely when policy items begin to move in the House. We might have a new Governor, but we are still facing enormous challenges. Property taxes are too high and people are leaving the State. We have to rebuild our infrastructure, and we must take steps to stop the outmigration of our citizens to neighboring states. These are enormous challenges that will require good ideas from both sides.”

The 115th district is located within the boundaries of all of Jefferson County, and parts of Jackson, Union, Washington, and Perry Counties. Bryant has offices located in Murphysboro and Mount Vernon. Constituents can visit her website at www.RepBryant.com and use the contact form to message her office.
                                                     
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Murphysboro…State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced Wednesday that she has introduced a House Resolution calling for the condemnation of the decision by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to allow the placement of a satanic statue in the Capitol building’s rotunda holiday display.

Bryant says she agrees with the hundreds of constituents that have called to complain about the move, and took action this week by filing HR 1355.

“I believe the decision to allow a Satan worship sculpture to be placed alongside emblems of the faiths of the Jewish people and Christians is a grave mistake and sends the wrong message during this time of reflection and celebration,” Bryant said. “I introduced this Resolution in time for the 100th General Assembly to make its opinion known on this issue when we return to Springfield in January. That message would be that we as a body reject and condemn the decision to allow this disgusting display in our Capitol.”

Bryant says her Resolution is careful not to call for the removal of the statue, citing First Amendment protections. However, Bryant says that she is also exercising her unalienable Right to Free Speech by introducing the Resolution to condemn the placement of the Satan worship statue.

“First of all, the people that placed that statue are not celebrating anything, but rather building a small shrine to Satan in a public place in order to divide people and gin up reaction,” Bryant said. “If the Satanists are protected by the First Amendment and are allowed to place that statue in our Capitol during this Holiday season, then I am certainly within my rights both as an American and as a State Representative to say that poking a finger in the eye of people of the Jewish and Christian faiths at Christmas, though it may be legal, certainly does not make it right.”

Rep. Bryant and State Representative Dave Severin, the Resolution’s chief co-sponsor, joined forces to introduce the Resolution and are actively seeking more House members to help co-sponsor the measure. The full text of the Resolution can be read by clicking here.
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Dear Friend,

Remembering Pearl Harbor and our 41st President George H.W. Bush
Although I rarely use this space to talk about personal issues, there are so many important and historical events that have happened in the past couple of weeks that I must share with you how I am feeling as an American, as an Illinoisan, and as your State Representative.

First, I want to share my sadness at the loss of our 41st President George H.W. Bush. President Bush served as a Navy aviator in World War II, was shot down, and survived the attack. He served in Congress, as CIA director, and as Ambassador to China.

I remember George H.W. Bush for his role in helping bring down the Berlin Wall, as well as repelling Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in one of the fastest and most devastating military defeats in modern history during Operation Desert Storm.

On Friday, the United States also commemorated the attack on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago. We are losing World War II veterans like President Bush every day in our country. On this week of mourning and remembrance, I hope you will take a few moments to reflect on the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans because of American Heroes like George H.W. Bush and so many others that comprised the “Greatest Generation.”

May you rest in peace, Mr. President.

Illinois Celebrates Bicentennial
On December 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the Union. On December 3, 2018, Illinois celebrated its 200th year as a State.



The 2018 calendar year was marked by multiple bicentennial themed celebrations, with the big party taking place at Chicago’s Navy Pier this past Monday night. As part of the festivities, the Illinois Bicentennial Commission honored 200 Illinois veterans. Governor Rauner and Governor-elect Pritzker were in attendance to mark the milestone. Happy 200th Birthday Illinois!

News on Condition of Tamms Supermax Facility Breaks this Week
Image result for tamms correctional facility
You may have seen news reports this week regarding mold problems that are plaguing the shuttered Tamms Supermax Correctional facility. I have been urging the Illinois Department of Corrections to take action on Tamms even prior to my time as an elected official.

Former Governor Pat Quinn gave in to pressure by Democrat activists from Chicago to close the facility back in 2013. I first took office in 2015 and one of my first acts as a legislator was to introduce legislation to reopen and repurpose Tamms.
We should not have allowed Tamms to close in the first place, and letting it simply rot in place is a slap in the face to taxpayers. Its closure caused major economic hardship in some of the poorest per capita locations in the State of Illinois.


Since then, Speaker Madigan has not allowed any of my legislative measures addressing Tamms to move forward. The State of Illinois has long suffered from overcrowding in its prisons. Overcrowding leads to security concerns and heightened risk for Illinois’ correctional personnel and inmates alike. Thankfully, the State of Illinois has started to move forward with criminal justice reforms that are helping to alleviate prison overcrowding. But, there is still no place other than administrative segregation to send dangerous inmates that repeatedly assault guards and inmates – there used to be, and that place was Tamms Supermax.

Going forward, I will urge that the work camp adjacent to Tamms be reopened immediately to provide good paying jobs to an area that desperately needs them. I will also call on the new administration to take action to resolve maintenance issues and return the facility to operation to serve as a place to send inmates that repeatedly assault guards and other inmates.

The Southern Illinoisan and WSIL TV had excellent coverage on this issue this week. Check out their links below:

The Southern Illinoisan: December 5 2018 – Shuttered Tamms Supermax prison infested with mold

WSIL TV – December 6 2018 - Report Says High Levels of Mold Found at Tamms Prison

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Tuesday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Wednesday and Fridays 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 or at bryant@ilhousegop.org Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!