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Dear Friend,

During this week of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share with you a bit of history on the holiday and reveal an Illinois connection that you may not have been aware of.

More than 150 years prior to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and subsequent American Revolutionary War, English pilgrims who had previously fled religious tyranny in Europe held a 3 day feast to celebrate a successful harvest.

In 1776, the first Continental Congress issued the first ever proclamation of Thanksgiving. As the United States gained its independence and established a new Government in the following years, Presidents issued these Thanksgiving proclamations only periodically.

But, it was Illinois' own Abraham Lincoln who issued a Presidential proclamation in the middle of the Civil War in 1863 declaring Thanksgiving as an annual national holiday. The Thanksgiving holiday has been celebrated nationwide ever since. During this season of Thanksgiving, I want to wish you God's blessings for a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season.

During last week's Veto Session, I was honored to have Mr. Hunter Shirley from Rome School in Dix to serve as my "Page for a Day" in Springfield. Hunter learned the ropes as a page and delivered messages to and ran errands for members of the Illinois House. If you know someone that would be interested in serving as a Page for the Day in the upcoming legislative session, please contact my office at (618) 242-8115. Thanks for coming to Springfield, Hunter!

This week in Springfield, I was thrilled to join Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe, State Representative David Reis, officials from Wal Mart, and Sarah Frey-Talley of rural Wayne County as Wal Mart congratulated Frey Farms on its 20 year relationship with the retailer. Frey Farms is the largest producer of pumpkins in the United States and is located right here in southern Illinois. Congratulations to Sarah Frey-Talley and Frey Farms for their continued growth and success!
From L:R - State Representative David Reis, Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe, Sarah Frey-Tally, and
 State Rep. Terri Bryant
My office in Mt. Vernon is staffed Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is staffed Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 to 4:00 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can email me directly at or send me a message through the contact form on my website at

Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!
State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), is reminding residents who have paper documents with sensitive information that they want to have destroyed properly should take advantage of the free shred event scheduled for this Saturday, August 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the district office parking lot located at 3307 Broadway Street in Mt. Vernon.

“I want to thank AT&T for their generous contribution to underwrite the costs of bringing one of these shred trucks to our community,” commented Rep. Bryant. “This is a good opportunity for people to both protect their sensitive information from identity thieves and help the environment by recycling paper,” Bryant added.

The free event is open to residents—not companies—and there is a limit of two bags per person. Material will be accepted until the shred truck at the event reaches capacity. Residents are asked to remove all paper clips, staples and other bindings from their documents prior to bringing them to the event for shredding. Cardboard boxes cannot be left at the event.

For more information, contact Rep. Bryant at 618-242-8115 or at her on-line office at

Secretary of State Jesse White announced today that his office has reinstated the mailing of vehicle registration reminder notices to Illinois drivers. To offset the cost of the mailings, White is drafting legislation allowing his office to offer advertising space on the mailings. In addition, White is urging the public to sign-up for email notices to further reduce mailing costs.

The Secretary of State’s office discontinued mailing reminders in October 2015 due to the lack of funding as a direct result of the state budget impasse. The stop-gap budget recently passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor allows White’s office to reinstate the notices.

Vehicle owners can sign up for email notifications by visiting the Secretary of State website, To register for the program, vehicle owners will need their assigned registration ID and PIN, which can be found on their current vehicle registration card. If that information is not available, they can call the Secretary of State public inquiry division at 800-252-8980 to obtain the Registration ID and PIN.

The one-time registration process will allow vehicle owners to receive a series of three email notices per vehicle each year highlighting the upcoming vehicle expiration date.
Dear Friend, 

This week's email newsletter comes after a week's long break from legislative action in Springfield. Every year, the legislature takes a break while the Passover season is recognized. I took the opportunity to meet with several constituents at my two offices, and attended tours, events, and certificate presentations for some truly extraordinary and deserving individuals. 

The House heads back to Springfield on Tuesday, May 3 when Senate bills will start to move through the Committee process. A push to find a compromise on social and human service funding programs is likely in the works, and I will have more news on that in next week's edition. 

Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce Certificate Winners
Each year the Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce hands out special recognition to deserving individuals that have made a positive impact on the community.
I was happy to meet with this year's winners and present them with official certificates of congratulations from the Illinois House.
Pictured here are Rep. Bryant and Mike Tyler
of Tyler Toyota Buick GMC, the winner of this
year's Small Business of the Year Award

Pictured here are Rep. Bryant and
Robert "Bob" Brown. 
Bob was honored as
this year's Citizen of the Year

by the Mt. Vernon Chamber.

Pictured here are Rep. Bryant and Holly Kruep, of Karco
in Mt. Vernon. Holly was this year's Mt. Vernon Chamber of Commerce
Young Professional of the Year
Uncle Joe's BBQ Sauce Gains National Recognition

Terri presents Joe Wilkerson with a certificate of
congratulations for achieving national recognition
for two of his famous sauces. 
Terri reads HR 1197 congratulating Good Samaritan Hospital's
Auxiliary on its 50th Anniversary. 
I was especially excited to stop by Uncle Joe's Deli in Ina this week to present Joe Wilkerson with a House Certificate for his outstanding achievements at a recent National Barbecue Sauce competition. Uncle Joe's ALl Purpose Sauce XXX Hot took the title of Illinois Champion in the National BBQ Sauce Competition Sponsored by the Illinois Barbecue Society. Uncle Joe's Also received a bronze medal for  its Sweet Mustard Sauce.

Good Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary Celebrates 50th Anniversary
I was honored this past week to join supporters of the Good Samaritan Hospital's Auxiliary for a celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Auxiliary. Earlier this month, the Illinois House passed a Resolution congratulating Good Sam's Auxiliary. Text of the resolution can be read here.

Here's an excerpt from the Resolution:

The Good Samaritan Hospital Auxiliary enriches 
the community and supports the healing mission and values of SSM Health by creating opportunities for people to experience the joy of serving others while ensuring an exceptional experience for those who serve; and through a variety of volunteer opportunities including customer service and hospitality, administrative duties, assisting nursing staff, pastoral care visits, and working in non-clinical support areas, the Good Samaritan
Hospital Auxiliary contributes goodwill and support to the community at large in a major way. 

Stay Connected!
The House will return to Springfield on May 3rd. We have much work to do. 

My office in Mt. Vernon is staffed Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is staffed Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 to 4:00 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can email me directly at or send me a message through the contact form on my website at

Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

Deadline Week in the House Sees Compromise on Higher Ed Funding, Furious Floor Action

Dear Friends, 

The tone for the week in Illinois politics was set early last Sunday morning as Comptroller Leslie Munger announced that lawmakers and Constitutional officers’ pay would now be subject to delay due to the budget impasse. 

When asked for comment on the issue by WSIL-TV, I was quoted as saying, “This is probably something that should have happened in January.” Had it happened earlier, who knows where Illinois would be, but for now, I want to reiterate my support for Comptroller Munger’s decision to prioritize payments to social service providers over politicians’ paychecks.

This week is known in Springfield as 3rd Reading Deadline Week. That means that all substantive bills were on a deadline to pass the House by Friday. With so many bills filed this year, and with so much work left to do on higher education funding, school construction funding, and much more, the action in the House was furious.  Below are some quick descriptions on critical items that saw action this week:

Voting YES on Higher Education Funding - The State of Illinois has been delinquent in providing funding for SIU, community colleges, and MAP grant recipients since July. But, with the passage of SB 2059 this week, SIU will receive $57 million. The bill also contains nearly $170 million to ensure MAP grant recipients to be able to attend school next fall, and also includes funding to help support community colleges.

An important part of the bill’s passage was the fact that it contained a specifically identified funding mechanism. This has been a demand of mine from the beginning. I have said that any bill that passes without a source to pay for higher-ed spending equates to a broken promise.

After SB 2059 passed the House and Senate on Friday, Comptroller Munger released a statement saying she is prioritizing payments to our higher education community so that money is sent immediately. This week’s action on higher education funding shows that when legislators from both parties work together to find solutions, we can get the job done.

School construction funding bill HB 4232 passed - Last June, I sponsored legislation to free up construction funding to complete Mt. Vernon’s new high school. The freeze on construction funding has been a result of the budget impasse, and has caused some very difficult financial circumstances for affected school districts. HB 4232 makes appropriations from the School Construction Fund and the Capital Development Fund for ongoing school construction and improvements for Fiscal Year 2016. Under the bill, an amount of nearly $6 million would be released to Mt. Vernon Township High School to assist in completing the new high school’s construction.

HJRCA 36 Passes House: Dedicates funds for road improvement - I voted yes this week on a proposed Constitutional Amendment meant to stop the misuse of taxpayer dollars intended for road repair and other transportation infrastructure projects. A bipartisan effort to require those funds only be used for transportation-related purposes was successful this week. When we pay fuel tax, vehicle registration fees, and when our businesses pay taxes and fees for special licenses, stickers, and license plates, we expect that those dollars will be returned to our communities to help maintain and repair our roads and highways. 

In the past, the road fund has been used for other projects not related to infrastructure improvements. This measure would amend the Illinois Constitution to say that tax dollars collected via the motor fuel tax, vehicle registration fees, and license taxes will be used exclusively for transportation-related purposes.

Part Two of Molly's Law passed the House this week with
unanimous support.
Molly’s Law - On Friday, HB 4715  passed with unanimous support in the House.The vote was 107-0. 

This bill is the second piece of a package of bills I sponsored that you may now know as Molly’s Law. Earlier this month, I was joined by Larry Young, father of Molly Young, in Springfield to testify on behalf of HB 6083. That first piece of Molly’s Law changes the statute of limitations for filing wrongful death lawsuits from 2 to 5 years in cases of violently caused deaths. 

HB 4715, which passed on Friday, changes the Freedom of Information Act statute to increase the fine from a maximum fine of $5,000 to a maximum fine of $10,000 when a public entity refuses to comply with a court order to release documents under FOIA. It also adds a $1,000 fine per day for every violation that occurs after 30 days when a public entity is in non-compliance with a court order.

Stay Connected!
The House will return to Springfield on May 3rd. We have much work to do. 

My office in Mt. Vernon is staffed Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is staffed Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 to 4:00 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can email me directly at or send me a message through the contact form on my website at

Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

HB 4715 received unanimous support in the Illinois House.
Springfield….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced on Friday that HB 4715, which is the second piece of Molly’s Law, passed unanimously out of the House. The unanimous passage of part two of Molly’s Law is consistent with the previous unanimous Committee and House support that Bryant received for HB 6083, which was part one of Molly’s Law.

"I want to thank my colleagues in the House for their attention to Molly’s case,” Bryant said.

 “I was proud to sponsor Molly’s Law to help families that, God forbid, may find themselves in a similar situation as the Young family in the future. 

The changes contained in HB 6083 and HB 4715 are a direct response to the circumstances that occurred during Molly’s case, so to receive unanimous support from my colleagues in the House for these important changes is very encouraging.” 

Earlier this month, Rep. Terri Bryant was joined by Larry Young,
the father of Molly Young to testify in committee
on behalf of Molly's Law.  Molly's Law was created to fix
our wrongful death lawsuit laws and to add strength to
the Freedom of Information Act.
Part one of Molly’s Law is contained in HB 6083. That bill would change the statute of limitations for interested parties to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of their loved one from 2 to 5 years after the discovery of evidence that supports the assertion that a violent act lead to the death of the individual. That bill received unanimous Committee and House of Representatives support and now awaits action in the Senate.

Part two of Molly’s Law is reflected in HB 4715, and contains important changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The bill would change the current fine for public bodies that violate court orders to release information under FOIA from the current maximum fine of $5000 to $10000. It also adds an additional fine of $1000 for every day after 30 days that a public body is in violation of the court order as well.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin was on hand for a press
conference to announce Molly's law in Carbondale alongside
Rep. Bryant and supports of the Justice for Molly movement.

Having passed the House 107-0, the bill moves to the Senate for consideration.