Dear Friend,
As you may know, in my previous career, I was an administrator for 20 years serving at several different Southern Illinois correctional facilities. I am passionate about issues facing the Illinois Department of Corrections and I believe I bring a unique set of skills and experiences when it comes to the creation of policies that affect the Department. 

This week, I requested to substitute in for a meeting of the House Appropriations-Public Safety Committee. This Committee is responsible for budgetary items that involve the State's Department of Corrections and the State's Department of Juvenile Justice. 

Illinois currently operates five Department of Juvenile Justice facilities. The title of "Illinois Youth Center" might be more familiar to Southern Illinoisans, as Harrisburg is currently home to one of the facilities that is still in operation. I have used this space many times throughout my tenure as your State Representative to address the error that Pat Quinn made when he shuttered the IYC in my hometown of Murphysboro, causing job losses and overcrowding at other juvenile justice facilities. 

Tuesday's hearing focused on a recent spike in violence at Illinois Youth Center facilities. Over the last couple of years, multiple news reports have detailed inmate on staff and inmate on inmate assaults at IYC's across Illinois. Illinois' Department of Juvenile Justice has (foolishly, in my opinion) implemented a number of reforms over the past several years that I believe have led to this rise in violence, including eliminating the use of solitary confinement as punishment, except for in very limited circumstances. My conversations with correctional officers that work at these facilities have led me to believe that those reforms have left IYC staff members without the tools they need to do their jobs effectively.

In fact, in 2016, the Illinois Youth Center at Harrisburg reported more inmate on staff assaults than all of the other Illinois Youth Centers combined.

Clearly we have a problem in both adult and juvenile facilities regarding staff assaults. Nationally, there is a movement toward more programming and mental health treatment to improve outcomes for inmates. However, this goal cannot be accomplished with current staffing levels. Part of my work to enact a budget for the State was to improve staffing levels at correctional facilities so that the tide of these problems can start to be stemmed.

The positive takeaway from the hearing was that communication between management, staff, and outside interest groups is improving. The first step is that everyone hear and understand each others' needs, wants, and goals. The Chair of the committee has pledged to hold additional hearings in the coming year to continue this progress. Here is the bottom line: The current level of violence taking place against the men and women serving in the Department of Corrections at both Youth and adult facilities is unacceptable and can not be tolerated any more. I will continue to monitor this situation and keep you informed in the coming weeks and months.

Illinois Kicks Off Bicentennial Year with Flag Raising Ceremonies
On Monday, I was honored to join officials from the city of Carbondale as they raised an Illinois Bicentennial Flag over city hall. 

The Illinois Bicentennial Commission encouraged flag raising ceremonies be held in cities and at County courthouses across the State. 

Here are some photos from the event in Carbondale! 

Here's a photo of the Carbondale event. If you want to learn more about Illinois' Bicentennial Celebration, please visit Illinois200.com


Carbondale Firefighters Collecting Toys for Tots 
The spirit of charity and giving is alive and well in Southern Illinois once again this year. I was so heartened to see a news report on KFVS Channel 12 this past week detailing efforts by the Carbondale Fire Department and the US Marine Corps to collect toys for children in need this Christmas. I was so moved by the story that I couldn't help but share. Please click the link below to watch the video. 

Carbondale firefighters and Marines collect Toys for Tots

If you wish to donate new, unwrapped toys this Christmas you may drop off donations at the Carbondale Fire Department located at 401 N. Glenview in Carbondale, the Benton Fire Department, or at Black Diamond Harley Davidson in Marion. Last year, Toys for Tots collected more than 10,000 toys for  3,000 children in Southern Illinois!

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!
Dear Friend,

This was a very busy week throughout the 115th district. This week's e-news covers a visit by the Japanese Consul General to Southern Illinois, a groundbreaking in Bluford, a nativity and tree lighting ceremony in DuQuoin and an update on efforts to reopen the Murphysboro Illinois Youth Center as an adult re-entry facility. Thank you for reading!

Japan Consul General Visit
On Wednesday, I joined Governor Rauner, Senator Schimpf and Representative Dave Severin, as well as Japan's Consul General Naoki Ito and his delegation, Jefferson County Board Chairman Steve Draege and Mt. Vernon Mayor John Lewis as well as representatives from the Jefferson County Development Corporation (JCDC) for tours of Magnum Steel Works, Continental Tire, and Rend Lake College.

The tours were meant to highlight commerce and educational facilities in Southern Illinois to raise awareness and hopefully spur on investment from Japanese firms in Southern Illinois. This kind of effort will help create jobs and grow our region's economy. I want to personally thank and applaud Jonathan Hallberg of JCDC for his excellent work in bringing the Consul General to the region and for coordinating a fantastic and successful day. Thank you Jonathan!


To read more on the visit please check out the links below:
Governor Speaks at Luncheon for Japanese Consul General

Boosting the Illinois Economy with Workforce Education

Rauner visits Rend Lake College to talk business developments with Japan's consul general

Bluford High School Ground Breaking Ceremony
On Tuesday, I was thrilled to join Bluford Mayor Mike Bullard and officials from Webber Township High School for a groundbreaking ceremony. The ceremony celebrated the start of construction on a $6 million addition to the high school. The 30,900 square feet addition is expected to be finished in Winter of 2018. Thank you to everyone in Bluford for the invitation. I look forward to touring the new addition next year!



Governor Comments on Reopening of Murphysboro IYC 
Since taking office, I have made reopening the shuttered Murphysboro Illinois Youth Center a top priority. I announced legislation to reopen the facility back in November of 2015. Since then, the work to re-purpose the facility has been happening and this week we got an update from Governor Rauner on the future of opening the facility. I was pleased to hear Governor Rauner's response to questions from reporters on the topic when he was in Southern Illinois this week.

He said, "I'm pushing this fast. I want it open yesterday. I'm going to push as much as I can."

I couldn't agree more! I will continue to push this issue hard and use my platform to raise  awareness about the importance of reopening this facility to provide jobs for Southern Illinoisans and help reduce prison overcrowding, increase public safety, and reduce recidivism.

You can read more on this story by following the link below:
Governor Rauner Says He Wants IYC in Murphysboro Repurposed Now

DuQuoin Christmas Tree and Nativity Scene Lighting
I was blessed to bring my husband Rick along to a special event this week in DuQuoin. The annual nativity and tree lighting ceremony was an absolute success. I saw many smiling faces and enjoyed the time spent with leaders and members of the community of DuQuoin. What a special and memorable evening for all! So much community pride in DuQuoin!


Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) is urging local residents to get in to the holiday spirit this year by shopping local as a part of Small Business Saturday. The promotion is an annual holiday shopping event organized by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business.

"'Shopping Small' has a big impact on local economies," Bryant said. "Every dollar spent at local small businesses turns over in the local economy several times which leads to more job creation and greater prosperity for small, family owned businesses."

Bryant is using the occasion of Small Business Saturday, which takes place this year on Saturday, November 25th this year to make constituents aware of "Shop Small" promotions taking place throughout the 115th district and in other parts of Southern Illinois.

The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a program called "Keep the Cheer Here", which gives local shoppers a game card to get stamped at five or more Jefferson County businesses between November 25 and December 2. The cards can be picked up at any participating business in Jefferson County. Participants will be given a chance to win cash prizes of $100, $150, or $200 in the Cash Bash drawings to be held following the end of the Downtown Mount Vernon Christmas Parade on December 2nd.

Another effort, called "Shop Southern Illinois" features fifteen area Chambers of Commerce and several regional businesses that have teamed up to encourage Southern Illinoisans to do a majority of their holiday shopping in the region, rather than traveling out of the area or shopping online. The use of the hashtag #IBUYSI is being encouraged by Shop Southern Illinois for shoppers to share what they have purchased at local businesses on social media platforms.

Southern Illinois residents can learn more about the promotion by visiting the Shop Southern Illinois Facebook page at Facebook.com/ShopSouthernIllinois.

"This holiday season I really want to encourage the people of Southern Illinois to put an emphasis on buying items from local retailers," Bryant said. "These 'Shop Small' promotions can have a big impact. I am happy to help spread the word and increase awareness of these promotions to help increase participation."

Bryant also noted some important statistics regarding small business economic impact. She noted that there are currently over 1 million small businesses in Illinois that employ 2.4 million people. Small businesses account for 99.6% of Illinois businesses which means that 46% of Illinoisans are employed by a small business.

####

Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has been named as one of 17 House Republican members to the recently created House Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment. The task force was formed as a result of HR 687, which passed unanimously during the final week of the 2017 fall Veto Session.

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

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

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

####

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

Now, on to some more news.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Connected!My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Connected! 
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!
Springfield....On the final day of the first week of veto session, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) voted no on a sweeping gun regulation bill that she says goes too far. Bryant, a long-time gun owner and staunch 2nd Amendment supporter, says she was not surprised by the gun-grab by Chicago Democrats that control the Illinois House.

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

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

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

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

The bill failed after earning only 48 votes.

####
Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Murphysboro IYC Repurposing Project
Many of you may be aware that I have been working very hard to get the former Illinois Youth Center reopened in Murphysboro and repurposed as an adult offender re-entry program facility. The news media has commemorated the one-year anniversary of Governor Rauner pledging to open the facility with a news story that broke just this morning.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!


Dear Friend,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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



Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!


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


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



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

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Dear Friend,

I want to take this opportunity to celebrate a blessed personal milestone in my marriage. My husband Rick and I celebrated our 36 year wedding anniversary this past Tuesday. Rick and I are the proud parents of two great kids and grandparents of 4.

To show Rick just how much I truly love and appreciate him as a husband, father, and God fearing man, I want to share with you a "then and now" picture of us. I love you, Rick. Happy Anniversary!

Traveling the 115th District
This week I was all over the district attending a variety of events.

During this break from the legislative Session, it is important for me to visit with my constituents face to face to hear them out and help them along with any problems they are having with how State government is working for them. I look forward to seeing you out in the district and hearing what you have to say! Stay tuned for announcements on more town hall meetings coming up next week!

Veto Session is now just a couple of weeks away, with speculation growing in advance of tough votes yet to come this year. I will provide a Veto Session preview and update as the action unfolds.

Bald Eagle Injured on 9/11 Makes Recovery and is Released
For those of you who have been following the story of the bald eagle that was struck by a car a few weeks ago at Crab Orchard Lake, there is great news to share. She has recovered from her injuries and I had the pleasure of attending her release ceremony. Although she was a little apprehensive at first, this majestic bird eventually found her bearings and soared to the tree tops. I want to offer a special thanks to Scott Ballard from IDNR and the special ladies at Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation in Carterville for nursing the eagle back to health and handling her release.




Dix Traveling Office Hours - Traveling Help Desk Series


My traveling help desk series continued in Dix on Monday. We actually had an impromptu town hall meeting and legislative update as well! Thank you to those residents that came out to hear more on the issues we are facing as a state. I will be announcing more opportunities for you to attend my Traveling Help Desk series throughout the rest of 2017!

Principal for a Day - Bluford and Waltonville
I had a fantastic time spending the day with elementary students in Bluford and Waltonville this past week as I served as "Principal for a Day".

I did morning announcements, explained to the students how a bill becomes law, and took questions from them on a wide range of topics.

You never know what students are going to ask so you have to be on your toes! October is actually National Principal's Month. If you have a moment, take time this month to tell the principal at your child's school "Thank You!" for all they do to provide a safe and fun learning environments for our school children. Thank You principals!


Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!


Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) issued the following statement on Thursday, after Governor Rauner announced that he will sign HB 40 into law.

“By announcing his intention to sign HB 40, the Governor will make taxpayer funding of abortion at any time for any reason the law of the land in Illinois. This news is both surprising and highly disappointing.

During a meeting last spring in the Capitol, I and many of my House Republican colleagues were given personal assurances by Governor Rauner that he would veto HB 40 if it ever reached his desk. So, today’s announcement is a direct contradiction to what I was previously told by both the Governor and his staff.

The proponents of HB 40 and the supporters of this law do not share the same value set that I do. I believe life begins at conception and that no one has a right to take that life. The sanctity of life is the ideal I hold most dear as a Christian, a mother, a grandmother, and as a public official.

Protecting the life of the unborn should be the number one moral imperative that we have as a society. Instead, the law in my beloved State of Illinois will be changed to allow elective abortion procedures, including the abhorrent and sickening practice of partial birth abortion, and the Governor’s announcement today puts all Illinois taxpayers on the hook to pick up the tab.”

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An open letter to my constituents and the media:

Toward the end of last April, as the budget impasse was dragging through its second full year, I rose on the House floor to voice my total opposition to a bill that would vastly expand access to elective, taxpayer-funded abortions. The bill in question was HB 40, sponsored by Democrat State Representative Sara Feigenholtz of Chicago. During a more than hour-long debate on the bill, many of my House Republican colleagues joined me in speaking forcefully against the bill. We cited our faith in God, our love and compassion for the unborn, and the potential burdensome financial cost to the taxpayers of the State of Illinois as our main reasons for opposing the bill.

My opposition to HB 40 also goes to the core of my faith. I believe a life begins at conception and no one has a right to take that life. The sponsors of HB 40 routinely introduce legislation and support bills to use Medicaid dollars to help the most vulnerable among us. The same value set that drives those votes does not square with using Medicaid dollars to terminate the lives of the weakest, most helpless, and vulnerable of those among us, the unborn.

Under questioning from House Republicans on the House Floor that day, Representative Feigenholtz confirmed that HB 40 does in fact seek to expand the use of Medicaid to pay for elective abortions. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) has estimated that if the bill is signed into law, it could result in an extra $60 million of Medicaid spending to cover the costs related to abortive procedures per year. This added cost would come at a time when Illinois has its first budget in more than two and a half years, and while we currently still have $16 billion in unpaid bills.

The bill’s sponsor also admitted that the measure allows women to choose abortions for any reason, during any stage of pregnancy. If they happened to be a Medicaid recipient or a State employee covered under the state’s group health insurance plan, that would mean HB 40 would make taxpayer funded abortions available on demand. The sponsor also admitted that the bill would allow for taxpayer funding of partial birth abortions as well.  I cannot in good conscience support this attempt to expand Illinois taxpayers’ already heavy financial burden to fund this barbaric practice.

Despite our objections, HB 40 passed both the House and Senate. During that time, a spokesperson for Governor Rauner publicly declared that the Governor intended to veto the bill. After that statement was made, an immediate hold was placed on the bill by the Senate sponsor.
On Monday of this week, State Senator Don Harmon released the parliamentary hold that had been placed on HB 40. The bill has now been sent to the Governor. The Governor has 60 days to either sign the bill or veto it.

I have implored Governor Rauner to veto HB 40 in its entirety. He had previously assured me and my House Republican colleagues that oppose the bill that he would in fact veto the measure. The purpose of this editorial is to both educate the people of my district on the moral and financial pitfalls of HB 40, and to once again publicly call on Governor Rauner to issue a total and complete veto of this bill.

Terri Bryant
State Representative – 115th District

Dear Friend, 

This week was absolutely jammed packed with action. So let’s get right to it!

Governor Signs Bill to Assist Volunteer Firefighters
On Monday, I sent out a press release announcing that Governor Rauner has signed HB 771.  I was proud to be the chief sponsor of this legislation in the House.  The law will allow volunteer firefighters to purchase one set of tires every three years at a discounted price using their fire station’s purchasing agreement. There is currently a shortage of volunteer firefighters in Illinois. This bill will hopefully help to incentivize more folks to join their local volunteer fire department.

Senator Schimpf and Rep. Bryant are pictured here with officials
from the Illinois Firefighters Association after being named 
Honorary Fire Chiefs for their dedication to issues important to firefighters.


I want to thank Senator Schimpf for carrying this bill in the Senate and I want to sincerely thank Governor Rauner for signing this important piece of legislation into law.

CLICK HERE TO READ MY PRESS RELEASE ON THE SIGNING OF HB 771!

Transportation for Illinois Coalition Meeting in Mt. Vernon
On Tuesday, I met with leaders from across the state of Illinois to discuss the future of transportation funding and the need for improvements to our interstate, highway, and bridge infrastructure. Representatives from the Midwest Trucking Association, highway engineers, and representatives of union contractors were all in attendance.

Officials from South Central
Transit and the Illinois Public
Transportation Association were also on hand to discuss ways to improve transportation in all parts of southern Illinois for individuals traveling to work, doctor’s appointments, and more. 

One disturbing fact that emerged from the meeting is that Illinois has seen a dramatic drop-off in the number of man hours being spent building and repairing our roads and bridges. Engineering and planning efforts have also seen dramatic declines. Illinois needs a long term plan to improve and repair our aging infrastructure. Meetings like these help me understand the needs of this vital industry. Safe roads improve public safety and help reduce accidents.  

Rep. Bryant answers a question from a constituent
at Thursday's Town Hall in Bluford
Town Hall Meetings in Ava and Bluford
As I told you last week, I hosted two town hall meetings this week. The agenda for the meetings covered the status of the state’s financial condition and the budget that was passed in July. We also discussed the school funding formula bill. I was happy to meet with education officials in both towns and to answer their questions on the new funding formula.
I will be hosting more town hall meetings throughout the rest of this calendar year in advance of the new legislative session that begins in January. Please stay tuned to find out more details on where and when these events will be!

Thank you to everyone that showed up to ask questions and get informed on the latest happenings in Springfield.
Bluford Grant Presentation
Before Thursday night’s town hall meeting, I was pleased to join Bluford Mayor Mike Bullard and members of the Bluford village staff for a presentation of a check for grant funding for a new weather siren.

I was happy to lend my support to the village of Bluford’s efforts to secure a $25,000 federal grant to install the new siren. Thank you to Mayor Bullard and his staff for hosting me and for their service to the residents of Bluford!

Mt. Vernon Prayer Breakfast

On Friday morning, I joined Senator Schimpf and leaders from throughout Jefferson County for the Annual Mt. Vernon Prayer Breakfast. The turnout was fantastic once again this year. Senator Schimpf and I were glad to host our Mt. Vernon office director Karri Fisher and one of our previous interns Caleb Rhoades of Mt. Vernon for the breakfast.



Murphysboro Apple Festival Kicks Off with Prayer Breakfast
Every year, the Murphysboro Apple Festival kicks off with a prayer breakfast. This year’s event was hosted by the Murphysboro Ministerial Alliance, sponsored by Southern Illinois Healthcare, and served by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Praise God for all those who attended and served at this awesome event.
A huge crowd was on hand to kick off the prayer breakfast marking
 the start of this year's Murphysboro Apple Fest
Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!
Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has announced that Governor Rauner has signed HB 771, a bill she sponsored that will provide assistance to volunteer firefighters with purchasing tires for their vehicles.

Bryant says that in the face of budget cuts, and a shortage of volunteers to join fire departments across the state, the signing of HB 771 will provide another incentive and much needed financial assistance.

State Rep. Terri Bryant and Sen. Paul Schimpf were recently named “Honorary Fire Chiefs” and were each presented with a white chief helmet engraved with their names by the Illinois Firefighters Association at a meeting of the Coal Belt Fire Protection Association.  The legislators are surrounded by members of the DeSoto Fire Department and officials from the Illinois Firefighters Association.
"In Illinois, 70 percent of all firefighters are volunteers," Bryant said. "This law will allow a volunteer firefighter to purchase one set of tires for their vehicle every three years at a reduced price per the fire district's joint purchasing agreement. The goal is to provide a little bit of help to the folks that volunteer to fight fires and keep us safe. I’m particularly thankful to Senator Paul Schimpf for his advocacy and for sponsoring this bill in the Senate.”

Earlier this year, Representative Bryant and Senator Schimpf were named ‘Honorary Fire Chiefs’ by the Illinois Firefighters Association in recognition of their advocacy on issues of importance to firefighters across the State of Illinois. Margaret Vaughn is the Illinois Firefighters Association’s Director of Government Affairs. She offered her thanks to Representative Bryant and Senator Schimpf.

“Volunteer firefighters save our state millions of dollars annually which otherwise would have to be made up with tax revenue,” Vaughn said. “These volunteers are on call on their own time and often use their own vehicles to respond to an emergency. The Illinois Firefighters Association greatly appreciates all the hard work Rep. Bryant and Sen Schimpf put into getting this important legislation passed and thanks Governor Rauner for signing the measure into law.”

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Dear Friend,

As you are aware by now, Hurricane Irma is a historic storm that's headed directly toward Florida and other Atlantic coast states. I have many friends and relatives that live in south Florida, and I wanted to use this space to offer my heartfelt prayers for safety for everyone in the path of the storm. With the states of Texas and Louisiana both still reeling from the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, the United States' charitable and disaster relief organizations are under severe stress.



If you want to know how you can help the victims of these disasters, please either visit the Red Cross of Central and Southern Illinois by visiting http://www.redcross.org/local/illinois/central-and-southern or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

State of Illinois Financial Update
This week, big news was made in regard to the State of Illinois' financial picture. As you know, the 2 years-plus budget impasse resulted in many problematic financial consequences for our state.

Many social service providers experienced deep cuts, or closed down altogether, health care providers are still owed billions of dollars (and some have been waiting more than 2 years for payment), and school districts have suffered because the State's officials have not had the legal authority (or the money) to be able to make regular distributions of money to keep them properly funded.The delay in payments to our schools even caused some to announce last month that they simply could not continue operating for the entire 2017-18 school year.

The passage of Illinois' budget in July and the recent signing of the historic education funding reform law (SB 1947) have caused a major change in regard to these problems. Two major announcements this week by the Governor and the Comptroller will help our State begin taking steps to fix two of our most pressing financial problems.

Bill Backlog News
One provision of the FY 18 budget allowed for the issuance of $6 billion in bonds to help consolidate payments and lower interest rates that are racking up as a result of our $15 billion bill backlog.  In Illinois, if a certain bill is more than 6 months old, the State is forced to pay the recipient up to 12% interest when the money is finally paid!

There is finally some good news on this subject. This week, Governor Rauner announced that he will issuing bonds to consolidate our debts means that taxpayers will pay less interest over time and our state's cash-flow situation will improve. Paying the debts we owe to the aforementioned health care providers and social service providers, which are often small businesses, will also mean continued service and/or restoration of some services that might have already been lost.

One of the main reasons Illinois needed a budget in place was that our social service provider network was on the ropes from a financial standpoint. Losing these vital services also means losing the jobs that go with them.

In Southern Illinois, we need to do all we can to keep services and keep jobs for our people. Consolidating our state's backlog and lowering the interest that YOU as a taxpayer ultimately pay is a good move that will save jobs and save money. I applaud the Governor and thank him for taking this action.

School Funding News
Good news came on Thursday morning, as Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced the release of more than $800 million in funding for Illinois' K-12 schools. For weeks, I have used this space to urge legislators to come together with the Governor to finally put a fair and equitable funding formula into place.

As you know, last week Governor Rauner signed that bipartisan compromise legislation into law. The release of this funding means schools can in fact stay open all year. The education funding reform law also means that Illinois' poorest schools and communities will finally receive an adequate level of funding.

For too long, Illinois was the land of the haves and the have-nots when it came to education funding. I am so proud to have supported SB 1947 because it means the unfair system of the past will end. I pledge to work to make sure Illinois KEEPS the promises we have made in the school funding agreement.

Town Hall Meetings Next Week
I am happy to announce that I will be providing a legislative update at two town hall meetings next week. See below for details.

Ava Town Hall Meeting
When: Tuesday, September 12th 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM.
Where: Ava Community Building, S. 3rd Street in Ava

Bluford Town Hall Meeting

When: Thursday, September 14th 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Where: Bluford Elementary School, 901 6th Street in Bluford

If you have any questions or if you need assistance prior to these meetings, please contact my office at (618) 242-8115. I hope to see you there!

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at www.repbryant.com - Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!