Dear Friend,

In previous editions of our weekly newsletter, I have promised to preview the upcoming legislative Session. This week I want to talk about a few of the bills that I am sponsoring ahead of the scheduled start of the Spring Session on Tuesday, January 30th.

Now that Illinois finally has a budget in place, I believe significant steps must be taken to get State government to live within its means. To begin repairing the damage left in the wake of the 2.5 year budget impasse, I believe Illinois must live on a very strict financial diet for years to come.
In addition to the $2.5 billion in cuts that were part of the final budget solution, I have joined on to sponsor legislation that has the potential to save our state big dollars for years to come.

I released a press release earlier this week detailing my plan to cut waste, fraud, and abuse from our state's entitlement programs. Please see below to read the entire press release.

As the legislative Session unfolds, I will provide information and reactions to the Governor's State of the State and Budget Addresses, and keep you updated on more legislation that I'm carrying in the House.

PRESS RELEASE: Bryant Sponsors Welfare Reform Package
Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has signed on to sponsor multiple pieces of legislation aimed at rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in Illinois' welfare programs. As the Illinois House returns to Springfield later this month, Bryant says she is focusing hard on finding places to cut the budget and improve efficiencies.

"With the new Session approaching, I am working hard to shrink government spending and root out waste, fraud, and abuse," Bryant said. "Now that we have a budget in place for the first time in more than two years, I will be strongly advocating that Illinois stick to a tight financial diet far into the future. This is not merely lip service on my part. I am sponsoring specific policy proposals that could start saving our State money right away."

Bryant is a chief co-sponsor of three specific proposals he says will result in savings for Illinois taxpayers.

HB 4180 would require drug testing for individuals applying for welfare benefits.

HB 4181 would require the name and photo of the primary cardholder to be on an Illinois Link card and, at the option of the primary cardholder, the names of secondary holders who are authorized to use the card. It establishes that an individual may only use the Link card if the photo on the card matches the user or he or she presents a current and valid photo identification that confirms that he or she is a secondary user listed on the card.

Another proposal, HB 4182, would bar illegal immigrants from taking part in entitlement programs. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), the Children's Health Insurance Program, ALL KIDS Health Insurance program, TANF, and the medical assistance program.

"The truth is, the legislative package I am sponsoring will save Illinois taxpayers significant dollars on entitlement program spending. I urge Speaker Madigan and the rest of my colleagues in Springfield to take the problem of exploding entitlement spending seriously and to advance these important cost saving measures when we return to Session later this month."

Washington County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting
I had a great time visiting with folks at the 91st Annual Washington County Farm Bureau Meeting in Okawville on Thursday evening. The evening focused on the current state of agricultural politics at the national level and the priorities of the Farm Bureau going forward. I was honored to address the huge crowd!


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) has signed on to sponsor multiple pieces of legislation aimed at rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse in Illinois' welfare programs. As the Illinois House returns to Springfield later this month, Bryant says she is focusing hard on finding places to cut the budget and improve efficiencies.

"With the new Session approaching, I am working hard to shrink government spending and root out waste, fraud, and abuse," Bryant said. "Now that we have a budget in place for the first time in more than two years, I will be strongly advocating that Illinois stick to a tight financial diet far into the future. This is not merely lip service on my part. I am sponsoring specific policy proposals that could start saving our State money right away."

Bryant is a chief co-sponsor of three specific proposals he says will result in savings for Illinois taxpayers.

HB 4180 would require drug testing for individuals applying for welfare benefits.

HB 4181 would require the name and photo of the primary cardholder to be on an Illinois Link card and, at the option of the primary cardholder, the names of secondary holders who are authorized to use the card. It establishes that an individual may only use the Link card if the photo on the card matches the user or he or she presents a current and valid photo identification that confirms that he or she is a secondary user listed on the card.

Another proposal, HB 4182, would bar illegal immigrants from taking part in entitlement programs. These include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), the Children's Health Insurance Program, ALL KIDS Health Insurance program, TANF, and the medical assistance program.

"The truth is, the legislative package I am sponsoring will save Illinois taxpayers significant dollars on entitlement program spending. I urge Speaker Madigan and the rest of my colleagues in Springfield to take the problem of exploding entitlement spending seriously and to advance these important cost saving measures when we return to Session later this month."

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Dear Friend,

Winter weather has once again descended on Southern Illinois this week, canceling school and church services and causing hazardous traveling conditions. The best time to prepare for winter weather is before it happens, but if you're like me and you are BUSY, you might need a refresher on what to do when winter weather strikes and how you can prepare your home and vehicles for inclement weather and dangerous cold.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency has published a Winter Storm Preparedness guide to help guide you through the 'do's and don'ts' when dealing with cold weather, ice, and snow. The guide explains the differences between watches, warnings, and advisories, provides a guide on what to include in an at home winter weather preparedness kit, and a helpful resource on how to check road conditions where you are and where you are going if you have to travel.

Here's a sample: Check the latest weather conditions along your planned travel route. Listen to weather forecasts on TV, local radio stations or on a NOAA Weather Radio. Call 1-800-452-IDOT or go to the IDOT website (www.gettingaroundillinois.com) to get current road conditions for Illinois' interstate systems.

TO VIEW THE ENTIRE WINTER PREPAREDNESS GUIDE PLEASE CLICK HERE

Please stay safe and warm as we endure another cold snap and winter weather events!

District Wide School Library Grants Announced this Week!
Good news came for more than a dozen school districts in the 115th district, following an announcement by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White earlier this week

I am pleased to be able to announce that grants totaling more than $10,000 are heading to 12 school district libraries located within the boundaries of the 115th district. The School Library Grants are issued from the State Library via Secretary White’s School Library Grant program. I want to thank Secretary White for his leadership and commitment to improving school libraries, access to new materials, and the overall education of our public school students.

The School District Library Grant Program is designed to help provide more library books and materials for the students of public schools in Illinois. The state legislature has authorized up to a $.75 per pupil expenditure for qualifying schools. The grant award is based on funds appropriated by the General Assembly and the official enrollment as of the previous September 30th of a school district.

The districts receiving the funding include: Trico CUSD #176 ($750.00), Unity Point SD #140 ($750), Carbondale ESD #95 ($1,007.25), DeSoto CSD #86 ($750.00), DuQuoin CUD #300 ($1,060.50), Elverado CUSD #196 ($750.00), Summersville ED #79 ($750.00), Mount Vernon School District #80 ($1,041.75), Mount Vernon Township HSD #201 ($892.50), Murphysboro CUSD #186 ($1,497.75), Opdyke-Belle Rive CCSD #5 ($750.00), Waltonville CUSD #1 ($750.00)

For his part, Secretary of State Jesse White offered his own remarks regarding the release of the school library grant funds.

“As a former public school teacher and administrator, I know our school libraries are very important in helping students learn and prepare themselves for the future,” said Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White. “Illinois was the first state to implement a school district grant program for libraries, and I am pleased that we can continue to provide them with some of the financial resources they need to produce well-educated students.”

The Secretary of State’s office says that grant monies will be processed in the SOS office next week. Once the vouchers reach the Comptroller’s office, their release date will be determined depending on where the voucher lands in the State’s queue of unpaid bills.

Beck Family Honored by Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon
I was honored to join residents of Mt. Vernon last weekend for a special dedication at Cedarhurst Center for the Arts. In thanks for years of charitable giving in support of the arts community in Mt. Vernon, Bill Beck and his family were honored by having a room dedicated in their family's name.  Here are a few photos from the special ceremony. Congratulations to the entire Beck family!




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!


Murphsyboro....State Representative Terri Bryant has good news for more than a dozen school districts in the 115th district, following an announcement by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White earlier this week. 

“I am pleased to be able to announce that grants totaling more than $10,000 are heading to 12 school district libraries located within the boundaries of the 115th district,” Bryant said. “The School Library Grants are issued from the State Library via Secretary White’s School Library Grant program. I want to thank Secretary White for his leadership and commitment to improving school libraries, access to new materials, and the overall education of our public school students.”

The School District Library Grant Program is designed to help provide more library books and materials for the students of public schools in Illinois. The state legislature has authorized up to a $.75 per pupil expenditure for qualifying schools. The grant award is based on funds appropriated by the General Assembly and the official enrollment as of the previous September 30th of a school district.

The districts receiving the funding include: Trico CUSD #176 ($750.00), Unity Point SD #140 ($750), Carbondale ESD #95 ($1,007.25), DeSoto CSD #86 ($750.00), DuQuoin CUD #300 ($1,060.50), Elverado CUSD #196 ($750.00), Summersville ED #79 ($750.00), Mount Vernon School District #80 ($1,041.75),
Mount Vernon Township HSD #201 ($892.50), Murphysboro CUSD #186 ($1,497.75), Opdyke-Belle Rive CCSD #5 ($750.00), Waltonville CUSD #1 ($750.00)

For his part, Secretary of State Jesse White offered his own remarks regarding the release of the school library grant funds. 

“As a former public school teacher and administrator, I know our school libraries are very important in helping students learn and prepare themselves for the future,” said Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White. “Illinois was the first state to implement a school district grant program for libraries, and I am pleased that we can continue to provide them with some of the financial resources they need to produce well-educated students.”

The Secretary of State’s office says that grant monies will be processed in the SOS office next week. Once the vouchers reach the Comptroller’s office, their release date will be determined depending on where the voucher lands in the State’s queue of unpaid bills.
Dear Friend,

As the first week of the new year begins, I want to once again wish you and your family a Happy and healthy New Year! This week's edition covers some old ground and some new topics. Let's get right to it.

Mt. Vernon Register-News Two Part Series
This week I was interviewed by a reporter for the Mt. Vernon Register-News regarding the current State of Illinois' financial picture, and to recap events leading up to the passage of Illinois' first full budget in more than 2.5 years. You can read parts one and two of the two-part series by following the links in bold below. I have included a couple of excerpts of each piece. The articles are well worth the read. Thanks to Travis Morse of the Register-News for visiting my office and taking time to ask questions and listen.

Part 1 - Bryant eyes state challenges - Mt. Vernon Register-News January 3rd
Excerpt...Illinois' high Worker's Compensation rate and dismal credit rating have put a real strain on businesses, said State Rep. Terri Bryant. Until these issues are dealt with, Illinois will continue to lose manufacturers and residents to states with a more welcoming business climate, Bryant said.

“Our worker's comp rate is as much as three times higher than our surrounding states and so we haven't done a very good job yet of addressing that issue,” Bryant said. “I personally think that we actually are going to have to see a movement toward more Republican representation in the House in order to make that happen. So hopefully in this next election we'll see a move that will bring in more individuals that are less dependent upon the trial lawyers.”

Part 2 - Bryant defends budget vote
Excerpt....“As a legislator, part of my job is to protect the citizens of my district and I would say there were so many red flags that went up for this district that to not act would have been, in my mind, criminal,” Bryant said.

.... In essence, she said, the state would have run out of money the first week of August, which means state employees would not be paid. Bryant said her district, the 115th District, has the most state employees of any district in the state. Her district includes all or parts of Jefferson, Jackson, Perry, Union, and Washington counties.

“So that translates to state employees not being paid in August,” Bryant said. “So imagine the number of state employees in this district and they would not have been receiving paychecks.”

New Year, New Laws - 2018
In last week's edition of Bryant E-News I provided a link to a printable PDF form listing descriptions of more than 200 new laws that took effect in Illinois as of January 1. For those of you that were taking some time off from the 'grid' during the holidays, I have once again provided a link to that information below. I want my constituents to stay up to date on all the latest news in Illinois.

CLICK HERE TO READ NEW YEAR, NEW LAWS

Knowing which laws are new and how they might affect you and your family is just one way to stay informed. For more information on any of these newly passed laws, please contact me using my website contact form at www.ilhousegop.org/contactbryant

Union County Celebrates its own Bicentennial
As you may know, 2018 will mark Illinois' 200th birthday. Commemorative bicentennial celebrations and activities are planned throughout the state for the entire year. What you may not know, however, is that Union County already turned 200 this week!

The January 4th edition of the Southern Illinoisan reported that Union County was officially formed as a county in the Illinois Territory on Jan. 2, 1818, before Illinois became a state. A celebration is planned at the Union County Courthouse in Jonesboro this weekend. For more details, check out The Southern's article on this subject by clicking here.

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!