Bryant E News November 18 2017

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!

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