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DuQuoin State Fair
Springfield....On Thursday evening, State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) earned unanimous support for a bipartisan measure intended to help protect funding for maintenance and activities at the DuQuoin State Fair.

HB 3274 requires any income derived from the sale of advertising at the DuQuoin State Fair to be deposited into the Illinois State Fair Fund rather than the Agricultural Premium Fund as is the current practice.

Representative Bryant says the change in law will help protect scarce financial resources at a time when the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds is in need of significant repairs and upgrades.

"Thousands of families visit the DuQuoin State Fair every year, and it is a source of pride for me, the city of DuQuoin, and Southern Illinoisans in general," Bryant said. "My bill will ensure that any advertising dollars spent at the DuQuoin State Fair come back to Southern Illinois to help fix up the fairgrounds and keep the fair safe for generations to come."

Bryant's bill accompanies Republican efforts last year to provide further funding avenues for the State’s two fairgrounds. In 2016, Representative Bryant sponsored legislation to establish a foundation to allow private fundraising to aid in repairs to the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield and DuQuoin State Fairgrounds. HB 4990 was bottled up in Speaker Madigan’s Rules Committee and never allowed a hearing.
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Springfield….On Wednesday, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) successfully passed legislation to allow enhanced penalties for impaired drivers involved in vehicle-property collisions through the Illinois House.

“The need for this change in the law comes from a case in Mt. Vernon where several families’ apartments were destroyed and much of what they owned was destroyed in a fire caused by a drunken driving accident,” Bryant said. “HB 2606 would allow prosecutors to charge offenders with aggravated DUI when catastrophic damage to property occurs as a result of a collision between a vehicle and a business or residential property.”

Bryant says the minimum threshold for damages under the bill would be $50,000. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

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Dear Friend,

As this year's legislative session nears the midway point, legislators have been busily passing bills through Committee and from the House to the Senate. This week's e-newsletter provides a legislative update and photos from my travels to two important events that I was fortunate to attend at the end of February. Lots going on in the 115th district. Thank you for reading!

Stopping Legislative Pay Raises
This year I am proud to be a sponsor of HB 643, a bill written to stop legislators and other politicians from receiving pay increases. As hard as it might be to believe, the legislature is forced every year to pass a bill that stops automatic cost of living adjustments and increases to mileage, meal, and lodging reimbursements for legislators.

The State of Illinois has been without a budget for more than 2 years. Human service providers and many other vendors that provide critical services to the State are currently waiting months on end to receive only a small portion of what they are owed. Considering Illinois' disastrous financial situation, stopping pay raises for politicians is as close to a no-brainer as it gets.

Enhanced DUI Penalty Bill Clears Committee 
On Wednesday, I successfully passed legislation dealing with enhanced penalties for impaired drivers through the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee.

This legislation was brought to me by a county prosecutor who noticed a flaw in the law. In the summer of 2014, more than 200 Mt. Vernon residents were displaced and lost much of what they owned when a drunk driver caused major damage to their apartment complex. HB 2606 would allow prosecutors to charge offenders with aggravated DUI when major damage to property occurs as a result of the actions of an impaired driver. The minimum threshold for damages under the bill would be $5,000. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

65th Annual All Ag Banquet at Southern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s College of Agricultural Sciences hosted its 65th Annual All-Ag Banquet on Feb. 24. The event celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of faculty and students of the College of Ag Sciences. I am pictured below with SIU President Randy Dunn, State Rep. Dave Severin, and State Senator Dale Fowler.
Illinois Masonic Children's Home in Murphysboro to Stay Open under New Ownership
The Illinois Masonic Children's Home in Murphysboro provides a free home for children whose families are in crisis. In October, the Illinois Masonic Grand Lodge, which once owned and supported the home, announced it would be closing the home at the end of the school year.

However, the United Methodist Children's Home has announced that is has found another agency to take over the facility and keep it open.United Methodist Children's Home will take over operations April 1 to allow the 15 kids who live at the home to stay there. I was proud to attend the press conference in Murphysboro with United Methodist Children's Home CEO John Shadowens and State Senator Dale Fowler.
STAY CONNECTED!
My office in Mt. Vernon is staffed Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is staffed 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!