House Republicans stand together to call on Speaker Madigan to get back
to work on a budget resolution. Democrats quickly left the chamber to
head out to their 4 week long vacations. #GETBACKTOWORKNOW!
Dear Friend: 
In the last edition of my email newsletter update, I shared with you a photo of House Republicans standing together on the floor of the House of Representatives, urging the House Democrats to abandon their plans for a 4 week vacation and join us in getting back to work on a solution to the state's budget crisis.

Unfortunately, politics was more important to Speaker Madigan and the House has stood adjourned for three weeks straight. 

Illinois has been without a budget for more than 9 months. 

Rep. Bryant and Sen. Luechtefeld
speak with Rae Daniel of KFVS 12
in Carterville. The legislators called for an immediate 
return to work in Springfield.
District Media Tour
Shortly after returning from Springfield, I joined Senator Dave Luechtefeld for a tour of our media outlets to call on the House to return to Session. We called for compromise and for Speaker Madigan to allow votes on legislation that I am sponsoring that would provide immediate funding for higher education institutions and students that rely on MAP grants. 


Our call for action went unanswered.

Given human service providers, health care workers, and those that depend on our institutions of higher education are facing major cuts and service disruptions there is no excuse for the House to have been out of session for all this time while these financial disasters continue to spread.



I have called for compromise and action to fix these problems. I remain ready to work in Springfield every single day until we reach a resolution to our budget crisis. The hard working men and women of Illinois deserve immediate and comprehensive action.


To read more about our media tour and my efforts to end the budget stalemate click this link: Bryant and Luechtefeld Call for Immediate Return to Springfield: 

115th District Work - Tours, Meetings, Panels and Events

I took the opportunity during the legislative break to meet with as many constituents, tour as many facilities, and speak to as many groups as I possibly could. Meeting with hard working men and women in the 115th district is always a rewarding experience for me, and I always learn a lot. Here are a few photos to show you what I've been up to!

On March 8 I joined several area elected officials and representatives of the Murray Parents Association for a tour of the Warren G. Murray Center in Centralia. The Murray Center Parents' Association is headed up by Rita Winkeler, whose son lives at Murray Center. When Pat Quinn tried to close the Murray Center, the Murray Parents Association
went to court and have won their legal battles to keep the facility open!
On March 19, I Joined some great friends from Pate Chapel in Murphysboro at the annual
"Walk for Life." The walk benefits Pregnancy Matters, a support group for pregnant women. My husband Rick and I are proud to support this wonderful organization!
  
On March 20th, I addressed Illinois YMCA's Youth and Government's annual State Senate gathering in Springfield. Youth and Government provides high school students a great opportunity to learn how a bill becomes a law and to sit in the actual seats of Illinois' government officials! Thanks to Doug Hoffman and Daniel Hamilton of Jefferson County for the invitation!
I heard several interesting questions during a question and answer session on March 22nd at the SIU Collegiate Farm Bureau Panel Discussion. I was joined on the panel by Rep. Brandon Phelps and SIU President Randy Dunn. Support for agriculture and ag education is a top priority of mine in Springfield.

I was honored to be the invited special guest at the GFWC Illinois District 25 - 104th Convention hosted by the Anna Jonesboro Women's Club. I am pictured here receiving proclamation from the Mayor the City of Anna and Martha Ann Webb, Anna City Commissioner, Anna Jonesboro Women's Club President Jane Bauer, and District 25 President Wanda Burklow. It was a pleasure to speak to you all and I sincerely appreciate the invitation and proclamation!
Stay Connected!
Next week, on Monday April 4, we will finally head back to Springfield to resume the spring legislative session. I look forward to updating you on movement on 5 different pieces of legislation that I have moving through the House right now. 

Please keep me informed of your opinions by visiting my website and offering responses to my legislative review survey. You can participate by CLICKING HERE

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 bryant@ilhousegop.org or send me a message through the contact form on my website.

Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!
Carbondale, IL – During a Friday morning media tour, State Sen. David Luechtefeld (R-Okawville) and State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) expressed their willingness to compromise on the issue of higher education funding and urged House Democrats to end their vacation and get back to work.

WSIL TV News 3 Reporter Matthew Nordin speaks to Sen. Luechtefeld
and Rep. Bryant during an interview Friday morning. 
“This week, SIU officials released information on the potential for 180 layoffs and millions in programmatic cuts for the Carbondale, Edwardsville and School of Medicine campuses,” Luechtefeld said. “Compromise is needed to fix the financial crisis affecting higher education; however, it is hard to achieve compromise when House Speaker Michael Madigan and his legislative majority take a month off to vacation and focus on reelection while Southern Illinois University, John A. Logan and other institutions face historic cuts and layoffs.”

Luechtefeld and Bryant discussed multiple bills they are each sponsoring, including House Bill 4539, which would fund MAP grants, community colleges and four-year universities.  However, unlike the Democrat proposal on MAP funding (SB 2043) or the newly proposed $3.7 billion spending plan (HB 2990), Republicans are calling for a funding stream tied to any proposal that advances.  

Sen. Luechtefeld and Rep. Bryant took
questions from Rae Daniel of KFVS-12
in the Carterville studio on Friday.

The legislators were critical of the fact the House adjourned until the month of April despite a legitimate motion made by Republicans to stay in session. At the conclusion of House session on March 3, Republicans made a motion to bring the legislature back the following day.  The motion, despite being completely in line with the House Rules, was ruled out of order with Democrat leadership scurrying quickly from the chamber to prevent debate on the issue.


“When the majority Democrats passed yet another grossly unbalanced budget bill and decided to leave for vacation, I voted to stay and keep working to fix this crisis and get a budget,” Rep. Bryant said.




 “There’s a picture on my Facebook page of House Republicans standing in the House Chamber, ready to work. At that moment, Democrats were high tailing it out of town to campaign and vacation.”

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who determines the session schedule, put in place a four-week gap in the month of March for what many assume is political reasons.  The House is not set to be back in session until April 4th.


####


Click on the picture below to be taken to my online survey! I appreciate your feedback and look forward to your answers!


Springfield….On Wednesday, the House of Representatives failed to override the veto of an unbalanced and unfunded MAP grants and Community Colleges bill. On Thursday, State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) again rejected an attempt by majority Democrats that would have added billions more in debt to Illinois’ already crushing financial burden. Bryant explained that she has voted consistently to protect Illinois taxpayers and fund critical services with real dollars throughout her time in office. 

When SB 2043 came to the House the first time, I voted ‘No’,” Bryant said. “When the veto override motion on SB 2043 came to the House, I voted ‘No’, as well. Today, I voted ‘No” on HB 2990 today. All of these bills are highly irresponsible and disingenuous. The bills are not paid for, they add billions in debt to our backlog of bills and budget deficit, and they were all driven by petty partisan politics ahead of a Primary election.”

Bryant then pointed to several pieces of legislation that she has offered to drive the adoption of a balanced budget, and provide critical funding for human services, higher education, and school construction.

“I am a chief sponsor of HB 4539, a bill that would provide adequate funding for higher education and MAP grants,” Bryant said. “Unfortunately my bill has never seen the light of day due to petty partisan politics. I was not elected to be another rubber stamp for Mike Madigan and I will not vote to increase our debt and make promises that will never come true.”

When a delay in state funding for school construction projects threatened schools in her district, Bryant again took the lead to solve the problem. 

“I introduced HB 4232 that would allow for the release of school construction grant funding that is being held up by the budget impasse,” Bryant said. “The attention I got for that bill led to the release of $26 million for Mt. Vernon Township High School.”

Bryant has also introduced legislation to drive politicians in Springfield to pass a balanced budget. HB 4399 provides that Constitutional and legislative officers would go without paychecks if they fail to pass a balanced budget. 

“Once again, I’m disappointed, but not surprised, to say that Speaker Madigan has kept HB 4399 out of the light of day,” Bryant said. “I’m taking action. I’m working to balance our budget and get funding to critical items. It is time for the Democrats that control the House and Senate to get on board and compromise with my plan.”

                                                                     ####

House Republican members stand alone on the House floor ready to work on a budget. House Democrats earlier
in the day
Springfield....Illinois House Republicans, furious about the lack of a state budget and seemingly empty session calendar thus far this year, challenged House Democrat leadership today to not adjourn as scheduled for the entire month of March.

“It’s egregious that House Democrats would find it acceptable to take a month off during the heart of legislative session, especially given the challenges we face,” said State Representative Tom Demmer (R, Dixon).  “My motion to stay in session was legitimate, and was made completely in line with the House rules- the Democrats’ own rules.”

Rep. Demmer went on to explain that at the conclusion of session on Thursday, Republicans made a motion to bring the legislature back the following day.  The motion, despite being completely in line with the rules, was ruled out of order with Democrat leadership scurrying quickly from the chamber to prevent debate on the issue.  The video of this exchange can be viewed below.

The photos were taken shortly after the House Democrats cleared out of the chamber despite the requests from Republicans to keep working.


Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who determines the session schedule, put in place a four week gap in the month of March for what many assume is political reasons.  The House is not set to be back in session until April 4th.

Do you agree with the House Republicans, given the challenges facing Illinois, that the legislature shouldn’t take a month long break during March? Tell us what you think here.

####




Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) offered reaction to the failure of a motion to override Governor Rauner’s veto of SB 2043 in the Illinois House today.

“The students that rely on the MAP grant program were used as pawns in a cruel and shameful political hoax today,” Bryant said. “The motion to override the veto of SB 2043 failed today because the legislation lacks a way to pay for it and would have added over $700 million to our deficit.”


Rep. Bryant addresses the media at the Capitol on Wednesday.
In response to the higher education funding crisis, Rep. Bryant previously signed on as a chief co-sponsor of HB 4539. Bryant’s plan provides adequate funding for universities, community colleges, and MAP grants. Bryant expressed disappointment in the Democrats in the House for ignoring her plan, which is paid for.

“The bill I am sponsoring actually provides real funding for community colleges and universities and MAP grants immediately,” Bryant said. “It is profoundly disingenuous for the Democrats in the House to continue to promise students and community colleges that critical funding would be on the way if only their bill would pass. The Democrat majority knows that their bill would have caused higher education funding to go to the back of the line of a $7 billion bill backlog. Speaker Madigan’s plan spends more money than we have and offers no way to pay for it.”

The Governor’s office of Management and Budget previously released research showing SB 2043 would have added $721 million to the state’s budget deficit, increase the state’s bill backlog, and further delay state payments to providers, vendors and contractors. Comptroller Leslie Munger has warned that by June the State of Illinois will owe $10 billion in unpaid bills.

                                                                                      ####


Springfield…
State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) joined a bipartisan effort on Tuesday to reopen the shuttered Hardin County Work Camp in Cave-in-Rock. Bryant, who co-sponsored the bill, spoke on the House floor and voted in support of Representative Brandon Phelps’ HB 4326.

“I am happy to offer my support to Representative Phelps in the effort to reopen the Hardin County Work Camp,” Bryant said. “As a retired veteran of the Department of Corrections, I have seen first-hand the impact that the Hardin County work camp has had in assisting southern Illinois with flood and disaster cleanup efforts, to provide organically grown food to the homeless population in our state, and the effect it has on recidivism and prison overcrowding. I am proud to have joined in a bipartisan manner today with Representative Phelps and my colleagues from southern Illinois on this important issue.”
Bryant also implored her colleagues in the House to support legislation she is sponsoring that would reopen and repurpose the Murphysboro work camp as an adult facility. Bryant announced HB 4340 at a press conference in November outside of the shuttered work camp. Bryant has also filed an accompanying resolution (HJR 105) designed to study the effectiveness of work camps in reducing Illinois’ prison population, increasing public safety, and reducing the rate of recidivism.
“Today I asked Representative Phelps to join me in supporting my bill that would reopen Murphysboro as an adult facility, and he obliged,” Bryant said. “I supported HB 4326 to reopen Hardin County Work Camp and asked for bipartisan support for two of my bills today on the House floor because I believe deeply in the positive effect that work camps can have. I asked Representative Phelps to help me convince Speaker Madigan to release my work camp bills from the Rules committee so they can get an up or down vote.”
Currently Bryant’s HB 4340 and HJR 105 are in the Rules committee awaiting assignment to a House Committee.
####