Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has issued the following statement today in reaction to news that Governor Bruce Rauner will restore $26 million in state funds that support a variety of important programs, including support for the Southern Illinois University Autism Center.

“The funding restorations made by Governor Rauner will help protect our most vulnerable citizens,” Bryant said. “These funds will provide much needed support for children with autism and people living with epilepsy. These funding restorations will help save jobs in our area and provide some reassurance to folks that were really hurting. I thank the Governor for taking this action and appreciate his willingness to make these restorations.”

The restorations were made possible by the newly revised state revenue estimate announced this week by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), which anticipates a one-time revenue increase of $300 - $500 million for the current fiscal year (FY15). However, the State of Illinois still faces a projected $6 billion budget deficit for Fiscal Year 2016, which begins on July 1.

For more information on the full list of funding restorations, please visit www.repbryant.com.

####


Rep. Terri Bryant and Murphysboro
Mayor Will Stephens are pushing the
Illinois General Assembly to name
Murphysboro as the BBQ Capital of Illinois
Springfield….115th District State Representative, and Murphysboro native Terri Bryant received unanimous support for a resolution advanced through the Illinois House Tourism and Conventions Committee on Tuesday. The resolution would name Murphysboro the BBQ Capital of Illinois.

Bryant acknowledged that the subject matter of HR 207 is quite unique, but said she thinks the current financial crisis facing the state provides the perfect opportunity to promote Illinois’ many positive qualities.

Pat Burke of Pat's BBQ and Catering is one
of two Murphysboro residents in the
National Barbecue Hall of Fame


“Illinois faces many serious financial challenges right now. So, I think it’s time we started thinking outside the box and promoting the good things we have to offer,” Bryant said.  “We need to attract tourism dollars to our region. This measure is simply one way we can say we’re proud of our area and we have a lot to offer.”

Murphysboro is home to the annual “Praise the Lard” BBQ Cook-off which is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society and the Memphis Barbecue Network. The Travel Channel named Murphysboro as one of 8 “BBQ Paradises”. Murphysboro is also home to National BBQ Hall of Fame pit masters Mike Mills of 17th Street BBQ and Pat Burke of Pat’s BBQ and Catering. Mills and Burke are Illinois’ only National BBQ Hall of Fame members.

Hall of Famer Mike Mills of 17th Street BBQ
showcasing his many BBQ Trophies
Bryant said the idea for the measure was brought to her by Murphysboro Mayor Will Stephens. Stephens says he is proud that the measure received unanimous Committee support, and encouraged Illinoisans to continue to contact members of the General Assembly in Springfield to urge that the measure pass the House and Senate.
“First, I want to thank Representative Bryant for promoting our city and our region this way. I am very proud of our city’s barbecue heritage and I want to encourage folks that haven’t been here to come and see for themselves what our great city has to offer,” Stephens said.

“I look forward to lobbying the other members of the House and Senate and let them know they are all welcome any time to come to southern Illinois and try some world famous Murphysboro barbecue.”

An online petition in support of the resolution can be found at www.change.org/p/illinois-state-house-pass-house-resolution-0207. To follow this issue and other legislative action in Springfield, please visit www.repbryant.com

####


Springfield….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) received unanimous support from the Illinois House for the third time this week for legislation she sponsored. On Friday, Bryant passed 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.

"This is a good bill for the members of the National Guard in Illinois that live close to the border of another state. 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.

After receiving unanimous support in the Illinois House, the bill now moves to the Senate. 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.

                                                                            ####

Springfield….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) received unanimous support for the second piece of legislation she passed through the House of Representatives this week. HB 3797 would help widows and widowers cut the cost of expensive transfers of car titles. Bryant says this legislation was drafted at the request of a constituent who experienced the hardship upon the death of her husband.

Rep. Bryant explains HB 3797 during House floor action.
“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 will now focus on gaining support from the Illinois Senate and ultimately moving the bill to the Governor’s desk.

“This legislation offers a much needed cut to costs experienced by individuals dealing with the death of a spouse,” Bryant said. “It also responds to a specific concern expressed by a constituent. As legislators, I think we have a responsibility to be proactive when constituents come to us with a hardship.”

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.

                                                                             ####

Rep. Terri Bryant Moves Legislation to Aid in Energy Development, Create Jobs

Rep. Bryant explains HB 3430 on the House Floor 
Springfield….State Rep. Terri Bryant (R – Murphysboro) received unanimous support from the Illinois House of Representatives in Springfield on Tuesday for legislation that would assist prospective oil and natural gas drilling companies with the application and permit process.

HB 3430 would require the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to provide a letter of notification to businesses that are denied a permit to begin drilling for oil or natural gas.

Currently, after a 20 day time period passes, applications are automatically denied and no notification as to why is given. Rep. Bryant explained the hardship this causes for potential drillers. 


“We have entrepreneurs willing to risk private capital in the effort to create jobs and increase our fossil fuel reserves. Those efforts contribute positively to our economy. The major issue is that without some form of notification as to why permit applications are denied, small business owners and employers are forced to pay more in application fees and wait long periods of time for direction from the Department,” Bryant said. “HB 3430 is a measure designed to provide clarity to potential oil and natural gas drilling businesses by requiring that a letter stating where their application has fallen short be sent to them in a timely manner.”  


With the unanimous passage of HB 3430, Bryant has now passed her first bill out of the House and on to the Senate. To follow the legislation’s progress, or to sign up for e-mail newsletter updates, please visit www.repbryant.com.

####


Representative Bryant stopped by Murphysboro High School on Monday to congratulate the Murphysboro High School DevilBots and wish them well at the Vex World Championship competition this week.
Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant presented special certificates of recognition to members of the Murphysboro High School robotics team on Monday. The certificates are signed by the Speaker and the Clerk of the Illinois House of Representatives and recognize the outstanding achievements of Murphysboro High School's highly decorated robotics team, commonly known as the DevilBots.

The team, led by Mr. Mike Humm, will compete this week in Louisville, Kentucky at the Vex World Championships. The event is the largest of its kind, and will see the DevilBots square off against competition from every state in the United States and several countries from around the world.

To follow the action, please check out the DevilBots Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MHS.Devilbots. You can also see what's happening on twitter by following #VexWorlds.

####

Murphysboro....State Rep. Terri Bryant has been busy during the two week legislative break. Bryant has hosted office hours in Anna and a legislative update for constituents in rural Tamaroa. She also has another legislative update event planned for Wednesday April 8 in Whittington. 

Bryant and her staff will be available from 1:00 - 3:30 PM at Burton' s Cafe on Wednesday April 8 to talk with constituents about state government issues and provide an update on legislative initiatives moving in Springfield.

As lawmakers return to session next Tuesday, April 14, Bryant says she's heard from many constituents and plans to carry their message to Springfield. 

"I've been very pleased to hear from so many of my constituents," Bryant said.

Rep. Bryant speaks to several correctional officers during a
recent listening tour event.
"Between our traveling office hours and folks contacting my office via email, calls, and faxes, and the folks stopping me on the street, I have received a lot of feedback," Rep. Bryant said.

Bryant says from what she hears, people are anxious to see a change in Illinois.

"What I'm hearing is that tax payers and working families want a responsible and responsive government," Bryant said. "Growing our economy and changing the business environment to be more competitive with neighboring states should be high on our priority list. I think we have seen a shift in the understanding among the public of just what it is going to take to grow the economy. Competitive policies and a pro-growth approach will be best for growing jobs in southern Illinois especially."

In addition to supporting economic reforms , when Rep. Bryant returns to legislative session next week, she will be pushing her own legislative agenda.

Rep. Bryant takes a question from a constituent during
a recent legislative update. 
"I've got a couple bills that made it to the House floor," Bryant said. "Right now I'm sponsoring legislation that will help small businesses provide jobs in the energy arena. I've got a bill that requires the state to tell businesses why their oil and natural gas drilling applications were denied. We're
hoping to cut costs and cut red tape for these employers so they can put people to work in good paying jobs."

Bryant is also pushing legislation that will cut costs for widows and widowers for car title transfers. HB 3797 would change the transfer fee for a vehicle title to a surviving spouse from $95 to $15. Bryant says the idea for the legislation came from a constituent.

"When I first took office, I met with someone that had unfortunately lost their husband. When she went to have her husband's car title transferred in to her name, she was charged $95," Bryant said. "With all the other costs associated with the burial of a loved one, this is one area where the state can help, especially those on a fixed income."

The bill is currently on second reading in the House. Bryant says she will amend the bill to fix some technical language and then push for its passage.

The legislature returns to session on Tuesday April 14. Bryant encourages constituents of the 115th district to continue sending her their opinions and to sign up for her e-newsletter by visiting her webpage at www.repbryant.com and clicking on the link on the side of the page. You can also call Rep. Bryant's office at 618-244-8115 or email her at bryant@ilhousegop.org

####