Dear Friends,

Yesterday, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner issued a disaster proclamation for seven counties to help support them and recover from flood damages. These counties include Calhoun, Jackson, Jersey, Madison, Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair. 

You can find the latest information on evacuation instructions and road closures by visiting http://jacksoncountyema.yolasite.com/

Volunteers 
Anyone wishing to volunteer for the flood fighting efforts, please call the Jackson County Volunteer Coordinator at 618-534-9212. Please note that if you are volunteering, you must prepare to be self-sufficient with respect to adequate clothing, gloves, food etc.

The volunteer effort thus far has been amazing. Southern Illinoisans are pulling together to help their friends and neighbors fill and place sandbags and provide food and shelter to displaced families.

Organizations wishing to volunteer in groups should also work through the Volunteer Coordinator prior to deployment.

Bottoms Evacuation Facebook Page
I want to extend a special note of thanks to the administrators of the Bottoms Evacuation Facebook Page. This Facebook group has gathered more than 2,000 members in its short existence and has provided critical information regarding the volunteer effort. The Jackson County Volunteer support center has also played a critical role in dispatching volunteers to help sandbag and deliver food. Thank you to these special groups and to all of their members for their hard work and volunteerism. 


Murphysboro....State Rep. Terri Bryant joined members and staff of the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce for a different kind of ribbon cutting this week. The Chamber is always present at ribbon cuttings for new businesses, but this time it was their turn to cut a ribbon at their new offices.

The new office of the Murphysboro Chamber of Commerce is located within the First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust on Walnut street in Murphysboro. Congratulations! Bryant joined Executive Director Bruce Wallace and Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens for the event.

Dear Friend,

This week's edition of my E-news week in review will be much lighter on the policy side than last week. This past Monday, the Illinois Senate passed SB 2039 and Governor Rauner quickly signed it into law. The bill, as I told you last week, was created out of necessity due to the budget crisis.

The bill contains more than $3  billion in funding for 911 emergency response, local government distribution and motor fuel tax disbursements. The bill contains funding for IDOT and local road maintainers to have access to salt and supplies they will need to keep our roads safe in winter conditions.
Carterville....I joined Tom Miller of WJPF River Radio on December 8 to talk about the state budget and other matters important to Illinois government. Please take a listen and share this link with your friends. Thank you for all of the input you provide to my office. Your opinion counts! Please take a listen and share your thoughts on the state of Illinois government. It is my privilege to serve you in Springfield!

Click here to listen!
Murphysboro....I visited Murphysboro to act as Principal for a day today. I met some incredibly smart students. This is a water table. It's used to illustrate the way water flows through different types of soil. It is shared between Murphysboro and TriCo. 


This is one of the only water tables in the region. The students and teachers were very excited about this. I had a great visit as Principal for a day in Murphysboro today! Thanks to the administration, staff, and students for the warm welcome and the education!



####
Dear Friend,

News came fast and furious out of Springfield this week. In order to get you up to date on everything that happened, this week's e-news update will focus on three key points.

Gov. Rauner and legislative leaders met for an historic
public meeting this week. More meetings on the budget
are planned in the coming weeks.
First, Governor Rauner and the 4 legislative leaders, (House Speaker Madigan, Minority Leader Durkin, Senate President Cullerton and Minority Leader Radogno) met for an historic public meeting on Tuesday. The meeting was the first of its kind and unique in that all 5 leaders made public statements detailing their positions on the major issues facing Illinois. After their public statements, the leaders went into a private meeting for several hours.

Though a final solution was not reached during the meeting, I am encouraged that more meetings are planned.

 Our leaders need to be talking to each other. The people of our state have suffered because of hyper-partisanship and the lack of willingness of our leaders to come together and compromise to reach a budget solution. Getting the people in charge of ultimately solving our budget impasse in the same room was a positive first step.

Building on the cooperative spirit of the leaders' meeting, on Wednesday the House took action on a bill to provide more than $3 billion in funding for various critical services.  The bill covers spending from dozens of special funds that are dedicated to specific issues. SB 2039 passed the House with near unanimous support. Below is a list of items covered under the bill:

Springfield....State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) voted on Wednesday to support funding for critical services that will benefit multiple government and service related agencies across Southern Illinois. Bryant said that the bill, which appropriates just over $3 billion in spending from several dedicated funds will help remove funding uncertainty on a variety of fronts.

“When we work together, and put partisan politics aside, we can get important work done in Springfield,” Bryant said. “Today’s bill will provide funding to many critical areas including low income energy assistance, 911 emergency response funding, motor fuel tax disbursements to local and county governments, veterans, and victims of domestic violence.”

Bryant had previously supported HB 4305, when the legislature was last in session in November. That bill would have provided funding for many of the same items, but was held up due to a procedural motion implemented by a top member of House Speaker Michael Madigan’s leadership team.

“It shouldn’t have taken this long,” Bryant said. “Unfortunately, the funding items in the bill that passed today were held in legislative limbo during the Thanksgiving break, as many local governments and critical service providers sat and wondered if their money was coming. But, the positive takeaway from today is that this bill will provide money to pay vendors that provide food to our prisons, service to the Anna Veteran’s Home, the Special Olympics, and funding for things like fixing potholes and paying for IDOT to have the salt and supplies it will need to keep our roads safe this winter.”

SB 2039 received 107 yes votes and now heads to the Senate for final concurrence. If it reaches Governor Rauner’s desk, he is expected to sign it.

                                                                              ####
Dear Friend:
 

Rep. Bryant and her family!
Tis' the season for Thanksgiving! This year, I want to extend my thanks to you, the people of the 115th district for the opportunity to serve you in Springfield. Though Illinois is facing some of the biggest challenges in its history, the people of Illinois are strong, and they do not waiver. We are all blessed to live in a state rich in natural resources, rich in industry, and rich in the strength of the spirit of the people of this great state.

I am thankful particularly for my family, especially my husband Rick and my children Tara and Tyler. I am blessed to have their support and I hope that however you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, you take the time to tell the people that are important to you how much you appreciate them.

I am also so very grateful for my four healthy, happy, and BUSY grandchildren. However you choose to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to encourage you to take a moment to let the people in your life know just how much you treasure them. 

Introducing Legislation to Reopen Murphysboro Work Camp as an Adult Facility, Study Work Camps


This week I am proud to announce that I have introduced two very important pieces of legislation. 

As many of you may know, I spent much of my career working for the Illinois Department of Corrections. During that time, I came to believe very firmly in the rehabilitative work that happened inside the walls of Illinois’ youth and adult work camps.


Members of the media ask Rep. Bryant about her plan
to reopen the Murphysboro youth camp as an adult facility.
Work camps are an essential part of Illinois’ correctional infrastructure, often providing help to local communities in times of natural disasters. They also offer young and grown men alike a second chance; a chance to rehabilitate their lives and move on to be productive, contributing members of society.

Because of my strong belief in the effectiveness of these types of facilities, I have introduced legislation (HB 4340) that seeks to reopen and repurpose the shuttered Illinois Youth Center at Murphysboro. The aim would be to reopen it as an adult work camp.

The facility in Murphysboro was closed by Pat Quinn, against the advice of legislators, members of the community, and most everyone that knows anything about the effectiveness of work camps.

In addition to this, passing a resolution that will establish a task force to study how work camps can contribute to the overall decline of our prison population, reduce crime, and reduce the rate of recidivism (people returning to prison after being released.) The work of the Task Force on Work Camp Rehabilitation would be completed during the 2016 calendar year, with a report due to the General Assembly and the Governor by January of 2017. Members of the legislature and appointees of the Governor from the government and non-profit sectors would help to comprise the Task Force. 

I look forward to hearing your opinion on this issue, as I believe it will help the State of Illinois, and Southern Illinois in particular, in three critical areas:
1. Reducing prison overcrowding. Right now, Illinois’ Department of Corrections is operating at 150% of its capacity. Prison overcrowding causes an unsafe environment for corrections staff and for inmates alike. Reopening Murphysboro would help to alleviate some pressure on existing facilities and help increase safety for front line staff members and inmates. 
2. Reducing unemployment. Southern Illinois’ economy has been decimated by the policies of Rod Blagojevich, Pat Quinn, and Mike Madigan. The closure of the correctional facility at Tamms, and the closure of the Murphysboro work camp have contributed to these factors. Passing the legislation I introduced this week would provide good paying jobs to our friends and neighbors in southern Illinois in a rewarding occupation. 
3. Reducing recidivism and saving taxpayer dollars. Work camps have proven to reduce the rate at which prisoners return to prison. It costs tens of thousands of dollars to house inmates in a correctional facility every year. We should be exploring all options to move low level, non- violent offenders out of the general population in our prisons. It is my hope that the Task Force on Work Camp Rehabilitation would help to highlight this important point, and would help drive public policy on how to reduce our overall prison population moving forward.
I was honored to be joined by front line staff members from the Department of Corrections, as well as members of the Murphysboro city council and the Jackson County Board for this important press conference.
Links to media coverage of the event are listed below. I invite you to check out the stories. 

KFVS 12 -
http://www.kfvs12.com/story/30556984/il-lawmaker-campaigning-for-youth-center-in-murphysboro 


The Southern -
http://thesouthern.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/state-rep-calling-for-repurposing-reopening-illinois-youth-center-in/article_be558b01-d9da-55b3-94eb-db7b2b2bf487.html 



WSIL-TV
http://www.wsiltv.com/story/30564496/bryant-pushes-to-reopen-iyc-as-adult-prison 


First Weekend of Shotgun Deer Hunting Season!

Rep. Bryant poses with local sportsmen taking a break
from deer hunting in Perry County.
I want to wish all local sportsmen and women the best of luck while hunting this weekend. Shotgun season is an exciting time! I want to pass along some shotgun safety tips provided by our friends at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Check out IDNR's
Ten Commandments of Firearm Safety! 


Thanks to my friends Bruce and Reece Rodely of DuQuoin for taking a break from tracking Bambi today to pose for a selfie! Good luck guys!

Let me know what you think!
As always, my offices in Mt. Vernon and Murphysboro are open every week to assist you with anything that you need. I encourage you to visit my website at www.repbryant.com  - fill out the contact form and send me an email to let me know your opinion on this and any other issue dealing with state government. 


State Rep. Terri Bryant was joined by front line correctional officers today for a press conference announcing
the introduction of a bill to reopen and repurpose the shuttered Murphysboro correctional facility. Bryant also announced her support for keeping the Hardin County Work Camp open. Bryant also introduced a resolution this week that would
establish a task force to study the effectiveness of work camps at reducing recidivism, crime and the overall prison population.
Murphysboro....Calling it a necessary step in reducing Illinois’ overcrowded prison population, State Rep. Terri Bryant (R - Murphysboro) announced Thursday that she has filed legislation aimed at reopening and repurposing the shuttered Illinois Youth Center at Murphysboro. During a press conference in front of the facility, which was closed in 2013 by Democrat Governor Pat Quinn, Bryant detailed her support for an accompanying resolution to study the effectiveness of work camps and adult rehabilitation facilities in reducing recidivism rates.

“I’m here today to announce that I have introduced legislation that would provide the funding and administrative support necessary to reopen and repurpose this institution as an adult correctional facility,” Bryant said. “When Pat Quinn closed this facility, he did it against the advice of everyone that knows anything about how the Department of Corrections works. Pat Quinn’s mistake needs to be corrected so we can reduce the overcrowding in our correctional facilities across this state. Our prisons are currently operating at 150% of their capacity. Opening Murphysboro as an adult correctional facility will provide a much needed relief outlet for the overburdened and overcrowded facilities that pose a danger to our front line staff and to inmates alike.”

Bryant also used the press conference to offer her public support for keeping the Hardin County Work Camp open and to announce she is working to create a task force to study the effectiveness of work camps in Illinois.

“I have reached out to Representative Brandon Phelps and offered my support and sponsorship of his bill to keep the Hardin County Work Camp open, and I have introduced the work camp study resolution because I truly believe in the effectiveness of the work camps,” Bryant said. “Work camps help reduce recidivism, which will help decrease our prison population and ultimately increase public safety and provide adult education, high school equivalency classes, vocational education, and community service opportunities that benefit surrounding communities and the incarcerated individual on their road to rehabilitation.”

Bryant said Phelps has offered his support and is co-sponsoring HB 4340, the bill to reopen Murphysboro as an adult correctional facility, and HJR 105, which creates the Task Force on Work Camp Rehabilitation.

 

Mt. Vernon....On Friday November 13, Rep. Terri Bryant presented Jefferson County Treasurer Dan Knox with a resolution passed by the Illinois House of Representatives congratulating him on being named the Illinois Treasurer's Association Zone 1 Treasurer of the Year. Knox received the award for the 2nd year in a row. House Resolution 836 was sponsored by Rep. Bryant and passed the House unanimously. 


Sesser....State Rep. Terri Bryant and Judge David Overstreet recently joined Youth and Government students from Mt. Vernon Twp. High School at a Pre-Legislative event at the Sesser-Valier High School. Rep. Bryant offered remarks on civic engagement and encouraged students to bring her their ideas for introducing new laws. The Youth and Government students will head to Springfield for the State conference on March 18-March 20. Illinois YMCA Youth & Government is a leadership development program for high school students. (From the Youth and Government website) "Participants immerse themselves in all aspects of Illinois government by assuming roles of legislators, attorneys, executive officials, lobbyists, press members and more.  The culmination of each program year is a 3 day conference in which students debate issues using the actual Illinois Capitol and Supreme Court facilities."
Late last week, I was contacted by the editor of the opinion page of the Southern regarding my stance on legislation dealing with changes to the Child Care Assistance Program. CCAP, as it is known to many, provides low-income families with assistance to help bridge the financial gap when trying to afford childcare.

In that interview, I explained that I believed strongly in the program, but found it disingenuous to support funding levels we can’t afford. I also expressed my concern that the bill would prevent the administration from being able to take management steps in the case of a financial emergency.

Last year, CCAP came up $300 million short and Republicans and Democrats had to come together to find a solution to fund the program. At that time, I gladly took votes to shore up the CCAP program. Other worthy programs were swept and funds were diverted to fix the budget gap that Democratic leaders fully admitted were shorted on purpose. Our finances are even worse this year, and with the ongoing budget impasse things are only deteriorating further.

As a mother, I don’t take this issue lightly. While raising my young family, my husband and I had to work on a tight budget, and often sacrificed sleep and career opportunities as we swapped schedules. Often times, we couldn’t afford child care. As State Representative I have become very familiar with this program because daycare providers and the working families that depend on CCAP have done a tremendous job of organizing and getting their message to me.

Dear Friend, 

Its been a busy couple of weeks in the 115th District. I have traveled across the district, meeting with constituents and attending events. I also traveled to Springfield for a marathon day of legislative action on several vital programs and services. An explanation of all the legislative actions is contained in the lengthy paragraphs below. 

Outside of the constant political war in Springfield, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you a few pictures and some stories of the places I've been and the folks I've been meeting with during the last couple of weeks, as well as offer you a glimpse at what's coming up in the New Year (it's just around the corner)!


Rep. Bryant, Jim Maurer of AT&T, and Debbie Holsapple
of Comprehensive Connections
Early this month, I was honored to join Jim Maurer, Vice President of External affairs for AT&T Illinois in presenting $2,000 in Investing in Illinois grant funds to Debbie Holsapple, Fiscal Manager and Deputy Director of Comprehensive Connections. The money will be used by Comprehensive Connections to support meals for senior citizens. Thank you to AT&T for your support of this vital service and thank you to all of those that help make comprehensive connections successful.

Rep. Bryant is shown here with Mt. Vernon High School's
Youth and Government delegation. 

I also had the privilege of joining with several area high schools' Youth and Government programs for their pre-legislative event. Every year, students from across the state converge on Springfield to engage in mock legislature and Supreme Court exercises. I was proud to stand with the students of the Mt. Vernon high school chapter of the YMCA sponsored Youth and Government program at this year's event hosted by Sesser-Valier high school.



I took the opportunity to extend my appreciation to the students for their interest in the political process and I encouraged them to submit their ideas for legislation to my office. Congratulations to all of the students and best of luck in Springfield in March!


I was very honored to present the Jefferson County Senior Saints with official Certificates of Congratulations from the Illinois House of Representatives. Each year, seniors that volunteer, donate money and their time, and participate in activities that benefit the community are honored by The Senior Saints Hall of Fame, a cooperative program between the hall of fame committee, the City of Mt. Vernon, Jefferson County and the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce. Congratulations to all of this year's Senior Saints winners! You can read more about the Senior Saints program by clicking here

And finally, last Friday I presented my good friend, Jefferson County Treasurer Dan Knox with a congratulatory resolution that passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday. Earlier this year, Treasurer Knox was named the Illinois County Treasurer's Association Zone 1 Treasurer of the Year. This is the second year in a row that Dan has earned this distinction. Thank you to Treasurer Knox and his outstanding staff for the great work you do for the citizens of Jefferson County!

And now, for more information on Illinois' budget situation, and movement on important pieces of legislation, please click the "Read More" link below: 



Mt. Vernon....On Tuesday, November 3, Rep. Terri Bryant joined Jim Maurer, Vice President of External affairs for AT&T Illinois in presenting $2,000 in Investing in Illinois grant funds to Debbie Holsapple, Fiscal Manager and Deputy Director of Comprehensive Connections. The money will be used by Comprehensive Connections to support meals for senior citizens.
Murphysboro....State Rep. Terri Bryant hosted ice cream parties for several students in first through fourth grades in Anna, Carbondale and Mt. Vernon as a reward for completing this year's "Read to the Rhythm" Summer Reading Program. The students were rewarded with official letters of congratulations, certificates, and also received invitations to the ice cream events. The students were asked to read 8 books over the summer break. Congratulations to all of this year's particpants!




Murphysboro....Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White has announced that his office will immediately suspend mailing out vehicle registration renewal reminders to the public due to the lack of a state budget. Those who want to continue receiving a reminder must sign up to receive electronic notices through the Secretary of State’s web site www.cyberdriveillinois.com. A direct link to sign up for email alerts can be found on the home page of that site.

Below is a list of information for Illinois drivers regarding Frequently Asked Questions and procedures to obtain an electronic PIN. 


Springfield....Mt. Vernon resident and Reverend Les Sinks of the Anna First Baptist Church provided the opening Prayer during legislative session in Springfield on Thursday, September 24, 2015. Reverend Sinks was the guest of 115th District State Representative Terri Bryant. 

Rep. Bryant is pictured here with Reverend Les Sinks, a Mt. Vernon resident and the Pastor at the Anna First Baptist Church

The DeSoto Elementary School choir was on hand to sing
the Star Spangled Banner to begin the ceremony.
DeSoto….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and village officials from the Village of DeSoto joined together today to unveil signage renaming a stretch of highway on Rte. 149 east to Hurst as “Veterans Memorial Highway”.

Rep. Bryant addresses a large crowd
gathered for the ceremony.






The renaming of this stretch of Rte. 149 was made possible by House Joint Resolution 81, with final passage through the Senate on August 5, 2015. Rep. Bryant and Senator Dave Luechtefeld were the Chief sponsors of the resolution in the House and Senate respectively.

In 2001, planning to build a memorial in the community to DeSoto’s veteran’s of the armed services began. The existing veterans’ memorial was built almost entirely with private donations. DeSoto resident and World War II veteran Jesse Crow designed the 6 ½ foot tall black granite monument; it sits on a triangular island of land bordered by Illinois 149 and Pine and Lincoln Streets.

Pictured here are Jesse Crow, Rep. Bryant and Village President John Evans displaying the newly unveiled Veterans Memorial Highway sign on Rte. 149 in DeSoto.
The monument is engraved with the emblems of all the branches of the military and is flanked by matching black granite benches. It also bears the names of all DeSoto’s past and future veterans regardless of whether they served in a time of war or peace.

The ceremony was arranged by DeSoto Village President John Evans, and members of the Village staff.
A large crowd gathered today to take part in the renaming ceremony and witness the unveiling of the new signs naming Rte. 149 from DeSoto East to Hurst as Veterans Memorial Highway.
Rep. Bryant also presented the Village of DeSoto with a flag that was flown above the State Capitol in Springfield as a part of the dedication. Pictured below are images of the Veterans Memorial as well as Rep. Bryant with Village President John Evans and WW II Veteran and DeSoto resident Jesse Crow.

The Roll of Honor bears the name of members of the Armed Forces from DeSoto, both past and present
DeSoto War Memorial

Mt. Vernon....State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) presented St. Mary's Elementary School in Mt. Vernon with a new United States Flag on Friday. The flag had previously been flown over the State Capitol building in Springfield. The request for the new flag was made by school officials. 
School officials raise the flag.









Rep. Bryant shakes hands with
 St. Mary's students. 
Rep. Bryant joins students for the Pledge of Allegiance.

Rep. Bryant made a short presentation on the history of the flag and answered questions from students before the flag raising ceremony. Rep. Bryant and the students also recited the 

Pledge of Allegiance upon the flag being raised.
Murphysboro….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and village officials from the village of DeSoto will join together to unveil signage renaming a stretch of highway from Rte. 149 east to Rte. 51 as “Veterans’ Memorial Highway” on Tuesday, September 22.  Media and the public are invited to attend the unveiling of the signs and presentation of the House Joint Resolution. Rep. Bryant will also present the Village of DeSoto with a flag that has been flown above the State Capitol in Springfield as a part of the dedication.

The renaming of this stretch of Rte. 149 was made possible by House Joint Resolution 81, with final passage through the Senate on August 5, 2015. Rep. Bryant and Senator Dave Luechtefeld were the chief sponsors of the resolution in the House and Senate respectively.


Murphysboro….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has issued reaction to an announcement late Thursday afternoon that Governor Rauner and negotiators for the State of Illinois’ largest public employee union, AFSCME, have agreed to extend the terms of the current contract agreement indefinitely until a full contract is ratified.
 

For months, the Governor’s office and AFSCME have been engaged in negotiations aimed at reaching a new contract for state employees. Information from both sides of the negotiations has been disseminated through various media outlets, with each side accusing the other of refusing to negotiate in good faith and demanding concessions that were unacceptable. 

“Throughout the negotiations, I have called on both sides to moderate their tone and to negotiate in good faith and remain at the bargaining table for as long as it takes to come to an agreement,” Bryant said.


In the instance of the attempt to override Governor Rauner’s veto of SB 1229, Bryant remained consistent in not voting on the legislation, insisting that the bill was not necessary if both sides continued good-faith negotiations. 


“I have consistently stated that SB 1229 was unnecessary because I believe the contract should be settled through negotiations, not legislative interference,” Bryant said. 


On the day of the attempted veto override vote, Bryant received a letter from Governor Rauner stating that he would negotiate in good faith, that he would not force a strike, and that he would not lock out workers, and that he would agree to extend the tolling agreement, or current contract terms, as long as it would take to reach an agreement. A copy of that letter can be found at www.repbryant.com.


“Less than ten days after getting a promise in writing from the Governor to continue negotiating as long as it takes to get an agreement, the administration and AFSCME have agreed to extend the current contract indefinitely until a new contract is reached,” Bryant said. “I believe the Governor has kept his word. I also want to applaud AFSCME for agreeing to stay at the table with the Governor to work this out. The prudent thing to do now is to protect the interests of vital public services provided by AFSCME workers and to be realistic about the financial condition of our beloved state.”


####


Dear Friends, 


I have had a lot of comments and calls on SB1229, many positive and many negative. Many of my friends who work for the state are being told they will be forced to strike. I asked for assurance from the Governor's office that this is not the case. Below you will see a letter, with the Governor's signature, that explicitly states that he wants to extend the tolling agreement indefinitely. This means no lockout, no strike, and continued operations under the prior contract. Please read the entire letter.



Please feel free to review the letter below and call me if you would like to discuss this further at 618-242-8115 or email me at Bryant@ILHouseGOP.org


Sincerely,

Terri Bryant
State Representative - 115th District


Springfield…. Following the House defeat of an override motion on Gov. Rauner’s veto of SB 1229, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) issued the following statement:

“I have heard from hundreds of constituents concerned with the possible veto override of SB 1229. Folks from all walks of life expressed their opinions on both sides of the issue. In the end, the number of phone calls and messages I received imploring me to vote to sustain and to vote to override the Governor’s veto of SB 1229 was very nearly even.  

Office of the Governor
Bruce Rauner

For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 20, 2015

Contact
Catherine Kelly

Governor Signs Federal Funds Pass Through Bill

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2042 today, which appropriates money for the pass through of federal dollars without adding to the state’s budget deficit. The clean bill allows the state to provide some services to the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

“Governor Rauner supported and signed this clean pass through bill because it will help those in need without adding to the state’s budget deficit,” Director of Communications Lance Trover said. “While the Governor continues to work on passing a balanced budget with structural reforms to maximize how much we can invest in our schools and important social services, some of the state’s most vulnerable citizens will be able receive additional support.”


Bill No.: SB 2042
An Act Concerning Appropriations
Action: Signed
Effective: Immediate

###


Dear Friend, 

This week was a busy one in Springfield as Illinois continues on without a balanced budget in place for the seventh week of the new fiscal year.  I am working hard to preserve and protect social service programs important to seniors, children, the disabled, and working families as we progress through this turbulent process.


This has been a frustrating summer. With a budget nearly vetoed in its entirety, there are those of us on both sides of the aisle who fully recognize that before a discussion of new revenues can begin, Illinois needs reform. Unfortunately, the Chicago Democrats that control the legislature can't seem to admit that something needs to change to keep jobs here in Illinois. We can’t afford another massive tax increase, just as we can’t afford to keep losing jobs.  


Springfield....State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) joined colleagues in the House this week in calling for more time to comment on proposed federal regulations on capping carbon emissions for coal fired power plants. Rep. Bryant has signed on as a co-sponsor of HR 687, a measure that urges the federal government to increase the comment period on the draft Stream Protection Rule to 180 days. 

“Barack Obama pledged as a candidate to bankrupt and destroy the coal industry,” Bryant said. “Under the guise of curbing man-made ‘climate change’, Obama is taking direct aim at good paying jobs and working to eviscerate the average working family’s budget by causing, in his own words, “electricity prices to necessarily skyrocket.”


The Federal Government’s Department of Interior has proposed a new draft Stream Protection Rule which seeks to amend or change 450 different regulations on coal mines. The proposed rule changes are 2000 pages long and seek to change everything about the way surface and underground mines operate. Bryant says this type of overreach by the Federal government is a jobs killer.

 “Illinois is unique in its position in America in regard to coal,” Bryant said. “Illinois has America’s largest reserves of bituminous coal, enough to provide electricity to the entire continental United States for 50 years,” Bryant said. “I will continue standing up against Barack Obama’s attacks on sustainable and affordable energy production. We have to have more time for Illinoisans to give their input on these ridiculously overreaching and jobs killing proposed rules.”

Bryant has consistently supported policies that would provide for growth in the fossil fuels industry in southern Illinois, citing the need for the affordable energy and good paying jobs that coal mining provides.

“The average coal mining salary is $85,000 in Illinois,” Bryant said. “The folks that do this work earn their money and we can’t afford to lose the good paying jobs or the energy sustainability that coal provides.”
####

From April 16, 2015. Rep. Bryant offers HB 3797 for
consideration in the House. The measure received
unanimous support in the Illinois House and Senate
and was signed into law this week.
Springfield….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced Wednesday that Governor Bruce Rauner has signed HB 3797 into law. Bryant sponsored the bill to help widows and widowers cut the cost of expensive transfers of car titles. Shortly after being inaugurated, Bryant was approached by her constituent Marilyn Feldman, who experienced financial hardship upon the death of her husband.

“I introduced HB 3797 to help cut down on the expensive transfer of a vehicle title when someone’s spouse dies. Right now, this costs the surviving spouse $95. I worked hard with the Secretary of State’s office and we were able to drop that fee down to $15, making it much more affordable,” Bryant said.


Bryant says she is thankful to her colleagues for unanimously supporting the bill. She also thanked the Governor for adding his signature Tuesday, making the bill a law. 


Springfield….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R - Murphysboro) is happy to announce that she has voted to eliminate legislator pay raises for the FY 2016 budget year. Bryant says HB 576 is an exact copy of legislation, HB 4225, that she has been co-sponsoring for months. Bryant says the bill to eliminate the 2% cost of living adjustments made it to the floor for a vote thanks to public pressure and negative media attention.

“Basically the Democrats in control of State government were caught with their hands in the cookie jar, trying to raise their own pay as they have wrought financial disaster on our state for more than a decade,” Bryant said. “My colleagues and I on the Republican side of the aisle have called for a vote on our own measure to block pay raises for politicians for two months now. It shouldn’t have taken this long to get a resolution to this issue, but at least we have blocked legislator pay raises for now.”

As the State of Illinois enters into its 5th week of the FY 2016 fiscal year without a budget plan in place, Bryant says the time for a balanced budget to pass the General Assembly is long overdue.

“As the Chicago politicians that control the legislature continue to resist any effort to reform State government and make our state more competitive, people are hurting. We need to pass a budget that does not spend more than we take in. It is a shame that it took so long for the Chicago democrats that control the size of the State budget.”

####
Rep. Bryant smiles alongside Good Samaritan hospital auxiliary
volunteer Nancy Germann. Thanks to Nancy for her
important volunteer work for Good Sam!
A large crowd of more than 150 seniors attended Rep. Bryant's
Senior Citizens Health and Wellness Expo in Mt. Vernon
Mt. Vernon....State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) is pleased to share photos of her recent joint Senior citizens fair held in Mt. Vernon in coordination with State Senator David Luechtefeld. Rep. Bryant has shared photos of the event below. She looks forward to another successful event in both Carbondale and Mt. Vernon next Summer!

A large crowd of Seniors and health care providers gathered at the Rolland Lewis Building in Mt. Vernon. Among the services offered were blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, hearing tests, eyeglass repair and information on nursing homes and other health care facilities.














Murphysboro....The failure by powerful Chicago Democrats to craft and pass a balanced and Constitutional budget has caused many service providers and vendors that rely on the State of Illinois to spend the summer wondering if or when they will ever be paid. In response to a dubious move by the Chicago Democratic leaders of the previous General Assembly to insert a pay raise provision for lawmakers, State Representative Terri Bryant has decided to donate her cost of living adjustment, or raise, to charity.
 

"It is disturbing to me that Speaker Madigan and the Chicago politicians that control State government would vote themselves a pay raise during this budget crisis,” Bryant said. “I am not going to be accepting this pay raise, and instead will happily donate the amount of my cost of living adjustment to Pregnancy Matters of Carbondale.”

Pregnancy Matters provides free pregnancy testing and confidential assistance to pregnant women. Additional services provided by staff and volunteers of Pregnancy Matters include donations to families in need, and counseling and other emotional support services to pregnant women. 

Bryant is calling on the Chicago Democratic legislative leaders to work with Governor Rauner to craft a responsible, balanced budget. She is one of several legislators that have spoken out recently against a mandated pay raise for legislators.

To contact Rep. Bryant, please visit www.repbryant.com and follow the Contact link. You may also call her district office at (618) 242-8115 or email her at Bryant@ILHouseGop.org.  


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Springfield....Today I had the distinct honor and privilege of introducing Miss Crystal Davis, the newly crowned Miss Illinois to the Illinois House chamber. I am very proud to say that Crystal is a native of Anna, a town that I represent in the legislature. Crystal will focus her time as Miss Illinois on educating the public about the dangers of distracted driving. Thanks again to Miss Illinois Crystal Davis for appearing in the House chamber and for allowing me the honor of introducing her! Please click play on the video below to watch my introduction.


Pictured here: State Rep. Terri Bryant and newly crowned Miss Illinois Miss Crystal Davis of Anna. Rep. Bryant stood on a point of personal privilege to introduce Miss Illinois Crystal Davis to her colleagues in the House of Representatives today!



Springfield….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) received the Governor’s signature on her first piece of legislation on Tuesday. Back in April, Bryant received unanimous support in the House for HB 3721, a bill designed to help National Guard members keep their jobs. Bryant, whose district shares a border with the state of Missouri, explained the need for the measure.

Rep. Bryant explains HB 3721 - a bill designed to
help protect the jobs of National Guard members when
they are called up to serve in active duty in another state.
"When a member of the National Guard is called to duty by their own state's Governor or by the Governor of a neighboring state, this bill would allow them to categorize their work as military service," Bryant said. "The addition of a 'military service' definition to their work in another state affords members of the National Guard protection that their job will be held for them upon a call up to duty in another state."

Bryant said that while the change may seem small, it is quite significant for the men and women of Illinois serving in the National Guard.

"I want to thank the Governor for recognizing the importance of this measure and for signing my first bill into law. This is good public policy. These folks risk their lives to save everyday people from dangerous situations, to clean up after disasters, to keep towns from flooding, and the list goes on. Their work in Illinois and in neighboring states should be considered military service so they can be afforded the same protections as other members of the military that enter into active duty," Bryant said.

To contact Rep. Bryant, please visit www.repbryant.com and follow the Contact link. You may also call her district office at (618) 242-8115 or email her at Bryant@ILHouseGop.org.

A large crowd and dozens of vendors helped make the 2015
Carbondale Senior Fair a success
Rep. Bryant speaks to attendees of the
2015 Carbondale Senior Health and Wellness Fair
Carbondale...I want to thank all of the vendors and attendees of my first annual Carbondale Senior Citizen Health and Wellness Fair. We were blessed to have more than 300  members of the community come out to enjoy free refreshments, health screenings, and to receive information and prizes from area health care and senior citizens service providers. 

The Carbondale Senior Fair was the first of two such events I will host in conjunction with State Senator David Luechtefeld this summer.The next event will feature many of the same health and wellness screenings, and free refreshments. 

If you, or a family member is interested in attending the Mt. Vernon Senior Fair, please see below for more details.


Next up:
Mt. Vernon Senior Citizens Health and Wellness Fair
What: Rep. Bryant and SenatorLuechtefeld Host |Senior Health and Wellness Fair
When: Tuesday July 28 2015 from 9-11am                                                                           Where: Rolland Lewis Building - 800 S. 27th Street in Mt. Vernon



Carbondale, IL…State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and State Senator David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) announce their annual senior citizen health and wellness fair held Thursday, July 16 at the Carbondale Civic Center, 200 South Illinois Ave., Carbondale, IL from 9am to noon.

“I am excited to partner with Sen. Luechtefeld and local organizations that help promote health and wellness for senior citizens in the Carbondale area.  I encourage senior citizens and their families to attend this free senior fair and see what state services, doctors and organizations are available to them right here in southern Illinois,” said Bryant.

“I am proud to co-sponsor this free senior citizen health fair,” said Luechtefeld.  “Senior citizens who attend can have their blood pressure checked, eye glasses and hearing aids cleaned, receive a free massage and check for unclaimed property that the state may be holding for them,” said Luechtefeld.

Numerous health screenings will be offered at this year’s fair including oral health and cancer screenings.  Senior citizens who have their cholesterol and blood sugar checked must fast for 10 hours prior to testing.  The fair is free and open to the public.  Free refreshments will be provided and senior citizens are encouraged to register to win a door prize when they enter the fair.

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Dear Friend,

As you may know the State of Illinois is currently facing a budget crisis. This year, the General Assembly did not complete its work by the May 31st deadline. The Illinois Constitution outlines some very basic responsibilities for the Illinois General Assembly. Among these is the charge that a balanced budget must be approved each fiscal year. This year, the Chicago Democrats that control the legislature passed a budget that was $4 billion out of balance. 


For months, my Republican colleagues and I have pleaded with legislative leaders from Chicago and their Democrat allies in the General Assembly to enact reasonable reforms to the way Illinois government functions.  The old way of doing business has left us with over $5 billion in past due bills, a $4 billion dollar budget deficit for the 2016 fiscal year, and $100 billion plus in unfunded pension liabilities. $5 billion here, $4 billion there, $100 billion over there…I mean c’mon folks, enough is enough!

In response to the budget stalemate and a Cook County Judge preventing the State of Illinois from paying state employees, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) Chief Co-Sponsored legislation to make sure all state government employees continue to receive their paycheck.

On Tuesday, July 7, Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane Larsen issued a temporary court order preventing Comptroller Munger from issuing paychecks to all state government employees.

House Bill 4245 sponsored by Rep. Bryant permits Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger to send pay checks to all employees of State agencies, constitutional offices, State universities, community colleges, and any agency, board, or commission.

Today, Rep. Terri Bryant met for several hours with constituents from Jackson County to hear their concerns. Among the many topics of conversation were issues related to uncertainty with the State's current budget situation. Bryant has conducted a district wide listening tour this week with meetings in Union and Jackson County.

The listening tour will wrap up next week on Wednesday July 1st with an office availability at Bryant's office in Mt. Vernon from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. District residents can visit www.repbryant.com and follow the contact form link to set up an appointment, or they can call 618-242-8115. 


If you have any questions or need further information, please feel free to contact Rep. Bryant's office any time.

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