Latest News

Dear Friend,

This week I spent a lot of time traveling throughout the district, meeting with constituents, and attending events. I had the pleasure of joining students at Spring Garden Elementary school in Jefferson County as part of the Illinois Principals' Association's Principal for a Day promotion.

This is the 5th time I have served as Principal for a Day in area schools. I have learned a lot from teachers, students, and the administrations at several schools across the district. Nothing quite compares though to being able to have lunch with my granddaughter as part of my "official duties".

Here's a video of us having fun in her class!

Now, on to some more news.

Shotgun Deer Hunting Season Begins this Weekend!
Shotgun deer hunting season began yesterday, Friday November 17th. Thousands of southern Illinoisans head out early in the morning across our state to take part in this annual tradition.

With the increased activity, deer are on the run. Illinois State Police officials are urging motorists to use caution and be extra alert for deer crossing highways and country roads.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has published a "Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety." guide. The picture below explains more. Please practice gun safety and safe hunting out there and enjoy some of the world's BEST deer hunting in Southern Illinois!


Ameren Warns Against Scams
If you tuned in to Southern Illinois TV news this week, you likely heard that Ameren is pushing to educate customers about various scams that are targeting residential and business customers. Here's a clip from a recent press release:

"As part of its campaign, more than 100 Ameren Illinois employees will be visiting several small retail and commercial family businesses in Belleville, Carbondale, Champaign, Decatur, Peoria and Quincy to generate overall awareness and provide these customers with useful tips for identifying and preventing utility scams. Ameren Illinois employees visiting with businesses will have their Ameren ID badges in plain view."

This is very important information to retain, as identity thieves and other criminals work to scam money from unwitting businesses and residential customers. Here are some red flags to look out for, again from Ameren's press office:

Threat to disconnect. Scammers may aggressively tell the customer the utility bill is past due and service will be disconnected if a payment is not made – usually within less than an hour. Ameren Illinois sends disconnect notices through the mail and always attempts to work with the customer on a solution before shutting off power.

Requests for personal information, such as social security numbers and bank accounts, as well as particulars about your Ameren Illinois bill. You should only share personal information in conversations you initiate.

Requests to pay with a prepaid card. Scammers instruct the customer to make payment with a prepaid card, which are widely available at retail stores. When the customer calls back, the scammer asks the customer for the prepaid card’s number, which grants the scammer instant access to the card’s funds, and the victim’s money is gone.

Suspicious phone numbers. Scammers often call or ask to be called back at a number with a local area code, but not a number that belongs to Ameren Illinois.

If you suspect that you have been contacted by an imposter, you should hang up the phone or close the door and call Ameren immediately at (800) 755-5000.

Sexual Harassment Task Force Names Members
This week I was named as one of 17 House Republican members to the recently created House Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment. The task force was formed as a result of HR 687, which I supported and which passed unanimously during the final week of the 2017 fall Veto Session.

I want to thank House Republican Leader Jim Durkin for naming me to this important task force. I have been very disturbed by the allegations of sexual harassment and other improprieties that have been leveled at sitting members of the legislature, staff, and  lobbyists that are involved in working at the Capitol. This issue needs to be studied and we need to have rock solid policies in place to deal with these abuses.

The task force will be made up of members of both parties from both the Illinois House and Senate. Bryant says the task force will study not just sexual harassment, but also work-related sexual discrimination.

Women make up a large percentage of the work force both in Springfield and throughout the state. The playing field at work should be fair and equal, and discrimination against someone because of their sex should not be tolerated in our institutions. I am looking forward to getting started on studying this issue and pushing solutions to change the culture in Springfield. This task force is just one more way to shine the light of attention on the important topic of sexual harassment and discrimination.

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!

Dear Friend,

Honoring our Nation's Veterans - A brief history of Veterans Day
The State of Illinois closed its offices on Friday, November 10th in observance of Veterans Day. This week, I was honored to participate in ceremonies in Waltonville and Woodlawn to commemorate the day of remembrance. In the United States, we observe both Memorial Day and Veterans Day. You may be unfamiliar with the differences between the two days, so I want to take this opportunity to share a brief bit information that I found while researching Veterans Day this week.

While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served - not only those who died - have sacrificed and done their duty.

I want to also say a sincere THANK YOU to all who have served. Please join me and thank a veteran that you meet today!

Veto Session Wrap Up
The second week of Veto Session 2017 ended with a flourish of activity on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Let's get right to it.

Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Capitol
Many of you are probably aware that there have been a lot of news reports that have focused on the issue of sexual harassment in Springfield. A female lobbyist even appeared in a committee hearing last week and directly accused a sitting State Senator of sexual harassment and inappropriate use of power to stop her legislation from moving forward.

After more than a week of rumors, speculation, and news reports regarding multiple complaints of unethical behavior by legislators and their staffs, action to address these issues began taking place.

For example, last Saturday, the four legislative leaders filled the vacant Office of the Legislative Inspector General with former Federal prosecutor Julie Porter. As the Legislative Inspector General, she is charged with investigating claims of unethical and inappropriate behavior by legislators and their staffs. That's a good thing for Illinois government. The office was vacant for way too long. It shouldn't have taken a sexual harassment crisis to get the Speaker to agree to appoint someone to investigate claims of wrongdoing in State government, but now that we have someone in place we should expect to see movement to clean up a backlog of cases that include more than 2 dozen complaints.

I also voted Yes on SB 402, a sweeping package of new regulations that seek to address the issue of sexual harassment by legislators and their staffs. The bill will establish a confidential hotline for individuals that wish to file reports of sexual harassment. The toll-free number will be run by the Illinois Department of Human Rights and will help connect people to counseling services and advice on filing complaints with the proper authorities. It will be open to state employees, as well as residents who work in the private sector. The bill also requires legislators and their staffs to take yearly sexual harassment training. I myself participated in a training held on Wednesday for Republican lawmakers.

It is my hope that the actions taken this week, in addition to the massive amount of attention on the issue of sexual harassment will help to change the culture in Springfield so that victims of this type of behavior no long have to live in the shadows with no recourse.

Comptroller Begins to Pay Down Illinois' Massive Bill Backlog
This week, Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced that she will be using proceeds from Illinois' recent General Obligation bond sale to begin paying down a major portion of the state's current $16.7 billion backlog. It is critical to note that this action will stop the clock on a mountain of interest payments accruing on Illinois' late bills, some dating back as far as 2015.

The bills will be prioritized by those bills eligible for federal matching funds first in order to maximize the revenues available from the $6 billion bond sale. This action will significantly reduce the state's record bill backlog and end the accrual of interest penalties which in some cases are as high as 12%.

The state owes an estimated $900 million in late payment interest penalties on its bill backlog. The bond sale effectively refinances future interest costs on the state's existing debt, saving taxpayers billions of dollars over the next decade. There is still a long, hard road ahead of us, but this is a vital first step toward smart planning for FY2019 and beyond.

In total, the Office of the Comptroller expects to receive about $6.48 billion in bond proceeds, including a $480 million premium from the sale on top of the $6 billion initially offered, an indicator of the strong market demand for the bonds.

About $2.5 billion will be spent immediately on unpaid medical bills and close to $4 billion will be used to pay down unpaid state health insurance claims owed to medical providers in the coming days. Over the next several weeks, an additional $2 billion in federal matching funds will be applied to state medical bills.

Through the use of federal matching funds, it is expected this will turn a $6.48 billion bond offering into a nearly $9 billion investment which will help our state's struggling healthcare system and medical providers, who in recent years have had to turn to third parties for loans just to stay afloat.

Governor Declares Harvest Emergency
Early this week, Governor Rauner declared a statewide harvest emergency to assist farmers and grain handlers who are struggling to deal with the delays caused by recent heavy rains.

Moving corn and other crops in a timely and efficient manner affects the bottom line of hard-working farmers. This declaration is an appropriate response to an urgent need and I applaud the Governor for taking this action. 

The declaration permits drivers of trucks carrying agricultural commodities over state highways to obtain a free permit to exceed gross vehicle weight limits by 10 percent. Local authorities may also waive the permit requirement at their discretion. The emergency declaration is in effect for 45 days beginning November 5th.

The Illinois Department of Transportation already is mobilizing the permitting process and notifying law enforcement agencies throughout the state. More information is available at https://truckpermits.dot.illinois.gov


Voting YES on Property Tax Relief
On Wednesday, I voted YES on legislation that would provide much-needed property tax relief to Illinois homeowners. Senate Bill 851 would provide property tax relief and level the playing field with Cook County when it comes to property taxes. High property taxes are among the biggest concerns of working families and seniors in my district. I hear from folks all the time demanding relief.

Senate Bill 851 puts Southern Illinois on a more level playing field with Cook County by increasing the senior homestead exemption to $8,000 and the general homestead exemption to $10,000 statewide. It also allows voters in Downstate counties the flexibility to choose whether or not they wish to enact a two-year property tax freeze.

I was proud to support legislation that will provide real property tax relief to my constituents and treat all homeowners fairly.  Senate Bill 851 passed the Illinois House Wednesday on a vote of 75-32-1 and was sent back to the Illinois Senate for final action. If the Senate concurs with the House amendment, the bill will be sent to Governor Rauner for his signature.

Dear Friend,

First off, I want to say a heartfelt “Thank You” to everyone that took the time to email, private message, call, and yes, even send handwritten letters to my office, regarding HB 4117, the so-called ‘bump stock’ ban.

As a long-time gun owner and staunch Second Amendment supporter, I will always fight against egregious attempts to infringe on gun owners’ rights.

Unfortunately, every day that the legislature is in session in Illinois, law abiding gun owners must be on alert and ready to protect their constitutionally guaranteed rights. HB 4117 is a bill that was sold as a response to the recent horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas.

In reality, the bill would make criminals out of law-abiding gun owners and threaten the very existence of the Sparta World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Southern Illinois.

The Sparta Shooting Complex hosts multiple shooting contests throughout the year. These events draw thousands of visitors to our region. The economic impact of the Sparta Shooting Complex is estimated to be $24 million per year for Southern Illinois. Competitive marksmen often make modifications to their weapons to increase firing speeds and boost accuracy. HB 4117 would have outlawed many of these modifications in Illinois.

I spoke against the bill during debate on the House floor. You can watch my remarks by clicking the link to my YouTube video below.


As I noted in my remarks, I am also opposed to this bill because it would infringe on the ability of disabled individuals to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. It should go without saying that turning thousands of law-abiding gun owners in Illinois into criminals is not good public policy. I am proud to have stood against this overreaching gun-grab and I am glad that it was defeated. The bill failed after earning only 48 votes.

WXAN Radio interview 
I joined Will Stephens of WXAN Radio for a wide ranging discussion following the conclusion of the first week of Veto Session. We talked about gun legislation, debt transparency, unfunded mandates, right-to-work, and more.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN – Terri Bryant and Will Stephens on WXAN Radio October 26, 2017

Addressing Identity Theft – Removing the Fee to Freeze/Unfreeze Credit Reports 
In response to the recently announced data breach at credit reporting agency Equifax, the House took up HB 4095 that prohibits credit reporting agencies from charging consumers a fee for placing a freeze on their credit reports.

Freezing your credit report is sometimes a smart move, especially if you fear that your identity has been compromised. A credit report freeze will stop banks and other creditors from issuing a line of credit or approving a loan of any kind to someone that isn’t you. The United States’ Federal Trade Commission has a wealth of valuable information you can access to learn more about what credit freezes can do to help protect your financial viability.

To learn more about freezing your credit report, please click here.

HB 4095 would also prohibit credit agencies from charging a fee to consumers to unfreeze their reports if they want to obtain a loan or conduct some other financial transaction that requires access to the reports. I voted Yes and strongly support this measure.

The bill cleared the House with unanimous support and now moves to the Senate.

Debt Transparency 
During floor action on Wednesday, the House voted to override Governor Rauner’s veto of HB 3649. The bill addresses the issues of state debt and transparency. The measure requires state agencies to inform the Comptroller of the bills that they hold that have not yet been transmitted to the Comptroller’s office for payment.

Reasons for delays in forwarding bills to the Comptroller vary from agency to agency, but the result of these delays is that we never truly know just how much money the state owes in unpaid bills.

The purpose of HB 3649 is to gain a more complete understanding of just how much money the State of Illinois owes to vendors, contractors, and service providers at any given time.

As we move forward into the next legislative session, it will be necessary for the General Assembly, the Governor, and all Constitutional officers and state agencies to know exactly how much we owe in unpaid bills and how much debt is waiting at the state agencies in order to craft a responsible and balanced budget.

The Governor’s veto was unanimously overridden by a 112-0 vote. The override motion is likely to be considered by the Senate during the second week of veto session which happens Tuesday November 7th through Thursday November 9th.

IDES Veterans Job Fair comes to Mt. Vernon 
The Illinois Department of Employment Security has announced that it will host a job fair for veterans on Thursday, November 2nd in Mt. Vernon.

This is a great opportunity for businesses to connect with individuals that are looking for a job. It is also a great opportunity for veterans to connect with employers that have job openings. If you or someone you know is interested in attending, please find details listed below.

What: Veterans Job Fair
When: Thursday, November 2nd - 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Rolland Lewis Community Building  - 800 Block of South 27th Street

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 the final day of the first week of veto session, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) voted no on a sweeping gun regulation bill that she says goes too far. Bryant, a long-time gun owner and staunch 2nd Amendment supporter, says she was not surprised by the gun-grab by Chicago Democrats that control the Illinois House.

“Unfortunately, every day that the legislature is in session in Illinois, law abiding gun owners must be vigilant to protect their constitutionally guaranteed rights,” Bryant said. “HB 4117 is a bill that was sold to us as a response to the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas. In reality, the bill makes criminals out of law abiding gun owners and threatens the very existence of the Sparta Shooting Complex in Southern Illinois.”

The Sparta Shooting Complex hosts multiple shooting contests throughout the year. The economic impact of the Sparta Shooting Complex is estimated to be $24 million per year for Southern Illinois. Marksmen and target and sport shooting enthusiasts often make modifications to their weapons to increase their accuracy and firing speeds.

Bryant spoke against the bill during debate on the House floor. She noted that trigger modifications are sometimes made to assist disabled hunters and sport shooters in their gun-related pursuits.

“This bill unfairly targets law abiding citizens and it also has other unintended consequences,” Bryant said. “I am also opposed to this bill because we’re talking about taking away the ability of disabled individuals to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights. Turning thousands of law-abiding gun owners in Illinois into criminals is not good public policy. I am proud to have stood against this overreaching gun-grab and I am glad that it was defeated today.”

The bill failed after earning only 48 votes.

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Dear Friend,

Next week, the House will return to Springfield for week one of Veto Session. The Veto Session gives Representatives and Senators a chance to exercise a 'check and balance' on the Executive Branch.
As the direct representatives of the people, the legislature is called upon by the Constitution to draft and pass legislation. The Governor then either signs bills that pass into law, vetoes them in their entirety, or offers an amendatory veto that makes certain changes to the underlying legislation. The General Assembly then decides whether to override or accept any changes the Governor has made to each vetoed bill.

This coming year, every member of the House of Representatives and the Governor will be on the ballot for re-election. During election years, Speaker Madigan historically has chosen to stifle progress on major issues to try to avoid controversy for his members. This year though, the dynamic of the personal and professional relationship between Speaker Madigan and Governor Rauner is likely to take center stage, as speculation has it that highly dramatic and divisive votes will be taken during the Veto Session.

I write this to simply offer fair warning that we can expect an increase in the number of attempts by Speaker Madigan to try to embarrass and harm Republicans and the Governor by pushing divisive wedge issues and wildly radical progressive legislative items.

As of now, the legislature is scheduled for Veto Session Tuesday, October 24th through Thursday, October 26th of next week and will return Tuesday, November 7th through Thursday, November 9th.
As I have done in the past, I will keep you updated on the status of important bills as they move through the legislative process. This Veto Session will be one to pay close attention to, as it will serve as an indicator of the political tone you should expect to see during the regular Session that begins in January of 2018.

PETITION DRIVE - No Taxpayer Funding for Barack Obama's Library!
Getting a budget was just the first step on the long road to economic recovery for the State of Illinois.  The impact of the budget impasse was far-ranging and the economic mountain we have to climb is incredibly high. 
To ensure long-term stability and viability, the State of Illinois must stick to a strict fiscal diet in the coming years. With that being said, we must remain vigilant and opposed when Speaker Madigan tries to spend money that we don't have. That time is now!  
Just last week, Madigan again suggested that taxpayer dollars should be diverted for the purpose of funding the Barack Obama Presidential Library project in Chicago. Join me and tell Mike Madigan "No Tax Dollars for the Obama Library."

Simply click the link below to download and print the petition and start circulating it in your community! 


https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxYdPFRAMDCudnluQ2ZVdWhFTkNDR0JyT1RQN2l2ZkF3VUhV/view?usp=sharing
In the News

Murphysboro IYC Repurposing Project
Many 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. The news media has commemorated the one-year anniversary of Governor Rauner pledging to open the facility with a news story that broke just this morning.

I want to assure my constituents that I am in constant contact with officials from the administration and officials within the Department of Corrections in regard to the reopening of this facility. I am pushing hard to get the facility reopened as soon as possible. The closure of the IYC at Murphysboro was just one of former Governor Pat Quinn's major blunders. It is time to fix his mistake and help put people back to work in Southern Illinois. To catch up on the latest news on the Murphysboro facility reopening, please visit the link below:

Teacher Tax Credits
Another story from The Southern Illinoisan this week highlights a tax credit available for public school administrators and teachers in the State of Illinois. Did you know that Illinois teachers can earn a tax credit of up to $250 when using their own money to purchase supplies for their classrooms?

The credit is available to teachers, principals, and teacher's aides that work at least 900 hours in an Illinois public school.
Click here to read the story!

IDES Veterans Job Fair comes to Mt. Vernon
The Illinois Department of Employment Security has announced that it will host a job fair for veterans on Thursday, November 2nd in Mt. Vernon.

This is a great opportunity for businesses to connect with individuals that are looking for a job. It is also a great opportunity for veterans to connect with employers that have job openings. If you or someone you know is interested in attending, please find details listed below.

What: Veterans Job Fair
When: 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Thursday, November 2nd, 2017
Where: Rolland Lewis Community Building
              Veterans Memorial Park
              800 Block of South 27th Street
              Mt. Vernon, IL. 62864

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!


Dear Friend,

This week was another busy one in the 115th district. Throughout  my travels, I have been glad to hear from so many of you as you express your concerns and opinions on the workings of State government. The number one issue I am currently hearing about is the recent signing of HB 40, which makes taxpayer funded abortion the law of the land in Illinois. As you know, I am adamantly pro-life, and I completely oppose the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortion services. Please read below to learn about steps the House Republicans are taking to repeal key provisions of the recently signed law. I have news on that issue and more in this week's E News. Thank you for reading!

Sponsoring a Bill to Repeal Taxpayer Funded Abortions  
This week I signed on as a chief co-sponsor of HB 4114. The bill would repeal taxpayer funding for abortion procedures in Illinois.

I am proud to stand behind HB 4114 as a chief co-sponsor in the House. The use of taxpayer funds to assist in partial birth abortions, or abortion procedures of any kind at any time of pregnancy for any reason is abhorrent. I've heard from hundreds of my constituents that have reached out to me to express their utter disgust at the signing of HB 40 and the use of taxpayer funds for procedures that many folks, including myself, find immoral and reprehensible.

The "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is based on the model of the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions other than in cases of rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. Abortions under these circumstances constitute roughly 1% of all abortions. Federal law already requires states to provide Medicaid abortions under these three conditions, and the proposed Act recognizes those federal provisions.

When we return to Springfield, I will be urging my colleagues in the majority party to allow HB 4114 to be voted on. I will keep you updated on this issue as Veto Session approaches.

PFC Tyler Iubelt Memorial Highway Ceremony
On Wednesday, I was extremely humbled and proud to have the opportunity to address residents of Tamaroa, greater Perry County, and students from St. Ann's Catholic School in Nashville and Tamaroa Grade School, as well as the family of fallen hero PFC Tyler Iubelt today at a very special ceremony.

I joined Senator Paul Schimpf and Representative Jerry Costello in presenting a Resolution renaming a section of Rte. 51 as the PFC Tyler Iubelt Memorial Highway. PFC Iubelt gave the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country in Afghanistan in November of 2016.

Thank you to everyone that came out to honor this brave hero and his family. May he rest in peace. God bless our service men and women and their families. Thank you all for your service to our country.



DuQuoin Community Service Program
I joined DuQuoin High School Seniors as they prepared to spend the day picking up trash all over DuQuoin. The students are required to complete 15 hours of service in their community in order to graduate.

This is a great program and I want to applaud the school and the students for the pride they are taking in the DuQuoin community.



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) announced on Thursday that she has signed on as a sponsor of HB 4114. The bill would repeal taxpayer funding for abortion procedures in Illinois. Recently, Governor Bruce Rauner became the first governor in the history of the United States of America to lend his signature to a law legalizing taxpayer funded abortions at any stage of pregnancy for any reason.


"I am proud to stand behind HB 4114 as a chief co-sponsor in the House," Bryant said. "The use of taxpayer funds to assist in partial birth abortions, or abortion procedures of any kind at any time of pregnancy for any reason is abhorrent. I've heard from hundreds of my constituents that have reached out to me to express their utter disgust at the signing of HB 40 and the use of taxpayer funds for procedures that many folks, including myself, find immoral and reprehensible."



Bryant says the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act" is based on the model of the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions other than in cases of rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. Abortions under these circumstances constitute roughly 1% of all abortions. Federal law already requires states to provide Medicaid abortions under these three conditions, and the proposed Act recognizes those federal provisions.

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