Dear Friend,

Three days of the Governor's Special Session to address the issue of school funding has come and gone with no progress whatsoever. House and Senate Democrat leaders have said they will transmit SB 1 (with the Chicago bailout provisions included) to Governor Rauner on Monday. The Democrats are stalling in order to cause panic and uncertainty for children, families, and school districts across the State.

They're attempting to ratchet up pressure to try to force the legislature to accept the unacceptable. Chicago public schools pensions are underfunded because of decades of gross mismanagement and skipping payments.

I am standing strong in my opposition to this egregious attempt to put pension payments for Chicago ahead of funding for Southern Illinois schools.

Under the Governor's plan, the Chicago bailout language would be eliminated, and that money would instead be fairly and equitably distributed to the rest of the state's public schools. Every school in the 115th legislative district that I represent would receive more funding under the plan that the Governor has proposed. I fully support this.

The time for stalling and playing politics with our children's education is over. Please call Senate President Cullerton in Springfield at  (217) 782-2728 or Chicago a t(773) 883-0770 and tell him to send SB 1 to Governor Rauner so he can fix it. Our children, their families, our teachers, and school districts all deserve the certainty of knowing that school will open on time and stay open all year.

SB 1 News Links - Links to Interviews and Newspaper Stories on SB 1 this week listed below!

Opinion: Terri Bryant and Dave Severin Support Governor's Fix for SB 1

WJPF Radio Interview with Tom Miller on July 28

Governor Signs Bill to Stop Politician Pay Raises - I was a co-sponsor of HB 643!
Shortly before Special Session convened on Wednesday, Governor Rauner signed HB 643 into law. I was proud to co-sponsor and vote YES for this measure in the House. HB 643 eliminates cost of living adjustments and mileage and per diem hikes for Illinois lawmakers.

This is a fundamental issue of doing what is right. Illinois lawmakers are already among the highest paid in the country. With the record of debt and deficits racked up by the Democrat majority over the last four decades, there is no justification for higher pay or higher reimbursement levels for politicians.

Illinois state law requires that the General Assembly must act in order to forgo cost of living adjustments and per diem and mileage increases. The provision in law is related to the fact that the Illinois General Assembly is automatically granted cost of living increases through a continuing appropriation.

I have now voted to eliminate my own pay raise all three years I've been in office. I was also a strong and vocal proponent of “no budget, no pay”.

A total of $74,434 has not been included in the base salary received by a member of the Illinois General Assembly from FY10-FY18.  If the COLAs had been added to the base salary each year, the base salary would currently be $79,243.

Mt. Vernon Senior Fair Coming up Thursday August 3rd!
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!

Springfield….Shortly before a Special Session of the Illinois General Assembly began, Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 643 into law. The bill, co-sponsored by State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) eliminates cost of living adjustments and mileage and per diem hikes for Illinois lawmakers.

Bryant says she was proud to help the measure reach the Governor’s desk as a co-sponsor and a ‘Yes’ vote for the bill.

“This is a fundamental issue of doing what is right,” Bryant said. “Illinois lawmakers are already among the highest paid in the country. With the record of debt and deficits racked up by the Democrat majority over the last four decades, there is no justification for higher pay or higher
reimbursement levels for politicians.”

Illinois state law requires that the General Assembly must act in order to forgo cost of living adjustments and per diem and mileage increases. The provision in law is related to the fact that the Illinois General Assembly is automatically granted cost of living increases through a continuing appropriation.

Representative Bryant has now voted to eliminate her own pay raise all three years she has been in office. Rep. Bryant was also a strong proponent of “no budget, no pay” for months.

A total of $74,434 has not been included in the base salary received by a member of the Illinois General Assembly from FY10-FY18.  If the COLAs had been added to the base salary each year, the base salary would currently be $79,243.

Rep. Bryant is in Springfield this week for Special Session called by Governor Rauner to address the issue of school funding.

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Mt. Vernon....State Senator Paul Schimpf and State Representative Terri Bryant will once again host a Senior Health Fair at the Rolland Lewis Building, 800 S. 27th St., Mt Vernon, IL on Thursday, August 3rd. The event will feature over thirty vendors that will assist with a variety of health screenings and provide information on various services available to area Seniors.

Doors will open at 9:00 a.m. and the event lasts until 11:00 a.m. Door prizes and refreshments will be available.

For those Seniors wishing to participate in blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, please note that an 8 hour fast is required in order to receive testing.

For more information, please call Sen. Schimpf and Rep. Bryant's offices at 618-242-8115.

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Dear Friend,

To begin this week's email newsletter, I want to share with you my thoughts on Senate Bill 1 and the fight to fix the school funding distribution formula. As you may know, Senate Bill 1 would establish a new way of funding public schools in Illinois. For too long, Southern Illinois schools with lower property tax bases than our neighbors to the north have been shortchanged when it comes to financial assistance from the State of Illinois.

Senate Bill 1 as it was originally drafted was based on something called the "evidence based model". The model is based off of evidence that suggests there are 27 elements of successful schools. The essential elements are the 27 evidence based components that ensure student needs are incorporated into the funding formula.

These include costs for class size ratios (20 students per classroom, for example), full day kindergarten, teacher training, and special education services. Each district has a unique cost for these essential elements based on the student needs of that district.

After many months of negotiations, SB 1 was taking shape to the point where many believed a fix for the school funding formula was in sight. That was until Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent his lobbyist to Springfield in late May to twist some Democrat arms. As a result of pressure from the Mayor of Chicago, SB 1 was amended to include a bailout for Chicago public schools.

Under SB1 & SB6 (the budget bill) there is an additional $778M invested in K-12 Education. Under the amended SB 1, CPS would receive $495M of that $778M. That is 64% of all new money! Keep in mind that CPS has only 19% of the students in Illinois public schools.

Also, $215 million of the $495 million allocated to Chicago in the current version of SB 1 would be used to pay Chicago teacher pension system payments in perpetuity. That redirection of state funding would be unprecedented and is not something we can support. That pension payment, in combination with the block grant that Chicago Public Schools gets for special education and transportation services, along with regular general state aid payments to CPS would give Chicago schools 3 bites at the funding apple. That is fundamentally unfair.

The plan that I can support eliminates that extra $215 million payment to CPS pensions and allows that money to be redistributed through the new evidence based model formula. In order to fix SB 1 to reflect the right priorities for public schools in Illinois, I am supporting a plan offered by Governor Rauner that includes a “re-write” of SB 1 via the amendatory veto tool that the Governor has. Eliminating those extra pension payments for Chicago would result in a more fair and equitable distribution of funding to K-12 schools.

My representative district is home to dozens of public schools. Using the most up to date analysis made available by the Illinois State Board of Education, almost all public schools in the 115th district is considered to be in the category of those most in need of additional state funding. Applying the Governor’s proposed fix to SB 1 would mean that all of the schools that I represent will receive more funding than if the bill becomes law with the Chicago bailout language included.

I am urging that Senate President John Cullerton to release his hold on SB 1 and allow the Governor to amendatorily veto SB 1. This will ensure our schools will open on time and that Chicago does not get a bigger piece of the education budget than they should. We need a deal that is fair to all taxpayers. The right plan is Governor Rauner’s plan to fix Senate Bill 1.

Annual Senior Health Fair in Carbondale
We enjoyed a great turnout at the Annual Senior Health Expo in Carbondale. This year I co-hosted the event with State Senator Paul Schimpf. 
I want to say a special thanks to Mayor Mike Henry and the city of Carbondale for having us and providing a first rate facility at the Civic Center! 

The city of Carbondale is busily preparing the City Hall and the Civic Center for the upcoming solar eclipse. It was very nice of Mayor Henry and the great staff at the Civic Center to make such great accommodations for the event!




In all, 57 vendors were on hand to provide blood sugar and cholesterol screenings, vision and hearing tests, blood pressure screenings, and information on a wealth of other services available to area seniors.

Thanks to everyone who attended for coming and thank you to our vendors who provided some fantastic door prizes for the attendees. I look forward to seeing everyone next year!




Jefferson County Youth 4 H Auction
This week I was very happy to support Jefferson County 4H. This year Rick and I purchased a hog raised by Sarah King of Woodlawn, Illinois. Congratulations on a job well done Sarah!

2017 Nubability Summer Camp Parade of Champions


Rick and I stopped by DuQuoin High School this past Sunday afternoon to witness the Parade of Champions for the 2017 NubAbility Camp. These wonderful campers,who are limb different, are coached and compete in their chosen sport. Look at these smiling faces. I want to say a big thank you to Sam Kuhnert, Jana Kaye Kuhnert and all the volunteers who work so hard to make this such an awesome experience for these kids and their families.

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!

Springfield....Following Thursday’s vote to override Governor Rauner’s veto of a package of balanced budget bills, State Representative Terri Bryant issued the following statement:
“Small businesses that are performing services for the state are being put into bankruptcy because of our failure to pay them. K-12 schools may not be able to stay open all year or may not open at all.

SIU is on the brink of losing its accreditation and its bonds are considered junk status because of the failure of the legislature to enact a balanced budget. Health care providers, children with autism, and victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence will all be helped by this balanced budget enacted today.

I understand that some may argue that a 1.2 percentage point tax increase is not fiscally conservative, but our current ‘government-by-court-order’ system is already costing the State of Illinois hundreds of millions of dollars more than what it takes in every month.

SB 6 is a bipartisan balanced budget bill that restrains spending. Since the impasse began, I and many other leaders at the Capitol have acknowledged that a mix of cuts and revenues would be necessary to balance the budget. SB 6 contains nearly $3 billion in state spending cuts. It is balanced and it will be a key to stabilizing the fiscal ship of the State of Illinois. The financial consequences of failing to act on a balanced budget at this point in our history were just too severe. I believe our action today will save the State of Illinois.”

Rep. Bryant also offered the following information to help explain what is contained in Illinois’ first balanced budget in more than 15 years:

* Balanced $36.5 billion dollar budget. (includes $3 billion in spending cuts)
* $800 million less than the Governor's introduced budget
* Includes a 1.2 percentage point increase to the State’s individual income tax rate to balance the budget and begin paying down past due bills.
* The new 4.95% income tax rate is the same rate the Governor Rauner signed off on in May and is less than the 5% rate that expired in 2015
* There are NO new service taxes or cable TV taxes included
* Funding for K-12 Education and local schools
* Universities will begin the long process of repairing reputations
* Hospitals, doctors, dentist, pharmacies and health departments will begin to get paid for services provided

Springfield….With the State of Illinois teetering on the brink of insolvency, and two days into its third fiscal year without a budget, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphsyboro) voted Sunday evening for Illinois’ first balanced budget in more than 15 years.

Bryant acknowledged on the House floor during her remarks on Senate Bill 9 that she would likely face political retribution for her vote. SB 9 raises the personal income tax rate from 3.75% to 4.95%, still lower than the previous 5% rate in effect until 2015.



In a statement following the vote, Representative Bryant referenced the widespread harm caused by the years-long budget impasse.

“Small businesses that are performing services for the state are being put into bankruptcy because of our failure to pay them,” Bryant said. “K-12 schools may not be able to stay open all year or may not open at all. SIU is on the brink of losing its accreditation and its bonds are considered junk status because of the failure of the legislature to enact a balanced budget. Health care providers, children with autism, and victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence will all be helped by this balanced budget.”

Bryant says she understands that some may argue that a tax increase is not fiscally conservative, but she says our current ‘government-by-court-order’ system is already costing the State of Illinois hundreds of millions of dollars more than what it takes in every month. Bryant says the issue of overspending is addressed in SB 6.

“SB 6 is a bipartisan balanced budget bill that restrains spending,” Bryant said. “Since the impasse began, I and many other leaders at the Capitol have acknowledged that a mix of cuts and revenues would be necessary to balance the budget. SB 6 contains nearly $3 billion in state spending cuts. It is balanced and it will be a key to stabilizing the fiscal ship of the State of Illinois. The financial consequences of failing to act on a balanced budget at this point in our history were just too severe. I believe our action today will save the State of Illinois.”

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