Dear Friend,

This week's e-news provides a quick wrap up of some news that was made in Springfield this week. Floor action was relatively light, but Committees have started to advance bills on various topics. Today I'm asking your opinion on a newly introduced bill that would raise the smoking age from 18 to 21. We also cover some term limits proposals and share my announcement that this week I was named as the Chair of a very important task force. Thank you for reading!

This week in Springfield
Rep. Bryant Named Chair of the Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force

Springfield....On Tuesday, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced that she has been chosen to serve as Chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force.

Rep. Bryant is the new Chair of the
bipartisan Opportunities for At-Risk
Women Task Force
“There are major issues facing at-risk women in the State of Illinois,” Bryant said. “As Chair of this task force I will see to it that its charge is carried out. That means hearing from experts on issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, domestic abuse, the health care industry, the law enforcement community and the criminal justice system and producing a comprehensive report of the task force’s findings.”

The bill creating the task force originally took effect in January 2016, after passing through the 99th General Assembly. Its members are appointed by leadership from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate. The rest of the task force is made up of appointees or designees of the Illinois Secretary of State, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, and various agencies of the State including DCFS, HFS, DCEO, DES, the Illinois Community College Board, and the State Superintendent of Schools. Experts from various fields dealing in women’s issues are also appointed by the Governor.

The task force will hear from educators, prison officials, after-school tutoring programs, community service providers, higher education personnel, housing and health care officials, and addiction and recovery personnel quarterly over the next calendar year and subsequently submit a report for review to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Bryant says she is humbled to receive the votes of the task force members that were in attendance for the inaugural meeting in Springfield on Tuesday afternoon. She says she is eager to get started as Chair of the Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force.

“I’m a Republican chair of a very important task force,” Bryant said. “Women’s issues drive a lot of the narrative we find ourselves debating in our state and at the national level. In a Springfield that is dominated by Democrats, I think I was chosen to lead this task force because I have committed myself to being a champion for women in Illinois."

Bryant feels she has spent her time in Springfield building consensus and solving problems. She notes that she believes the task force has great potential to drive positive results for at-risk women across the State.

“I am committed to making sure that this task force puts together a comprehensive report that will ultimately empower at-risk women to gain control of their circumstances and better their lives by improving access to education and economic opportunities for all women,” she said.

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Term Limits Legislation Introduced
I have always been a loud proponent for term limits for legislators, legislative leaders, and Constitutional officers. This week in Springfield, legislation was unveiled that would limit terms for all of the above. Rep. Tom Bennett, a Republican colleague from Gibson City is sponsoring would limit the House speaker, Senate president and the minority leader in each chamber to 10 consecutive years in those leadership roles.

Another bill, a Constitutional Amendment, would limit all legislators to no more than 16 years combined in the House and/or Senate. I wholeheartedly support both of these bills. I plan to add myself as a co-sponsor of both pieces of legislation and work to bring attention to this very important issue. Speaker Madigan should allow votes on these bills. The people of Illinois agree and it is long past time that Illinois takes these good government steps.

Legislation Advances to Raise Smoking Age to 18
Legislation was also advanced through the House Health and Healthcare Disparities Committee that would dramatically change smoking regulations in Illinois. I am curious to know what your opinion is of HB 4297. The bill would raise the age for legal possession of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products from 18 to 21.

You can let me know your opinion by visiting my website's Contact Form by clicking here!

Winter Olympics begin!
I'm a huge fan of the Winter Olympics and a huge fan of Team USA. My favorite Winter Olympic sport is hockey. In fact, my brother was once the captain of the Air Force Academy's Hockey team!

While doing some reading this week I found a helpful link that will tell you all you need to know about the Winter Olympic events, schedule, and broadcast details.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE!

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 Tuesday, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced that she has been chosen to serve as Chair of the bipartisan and bicameral Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force.

Rep. Bryant is the new Chair of the
bipartisan Opportunities for At-Risk
Women Task Force
“There are major issues facing at-risk women in the State of Illinois,” Bryant said. “As Chair of this task force I will see to it that its charge is carried out. That means hearing from experts on issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, domestic abuse, the health care industry, the law enforcement community and the criminal justice system and producing a comprehensive report of the task force’s findings.”

The bill creating the task force originally took effect in January 2016, after passing through the 99th General Assembly. Its members are appointed by leadership from both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate. The rest of the task force is made up of appointees or designees of the Illinois Secretary of State, the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, and various agencies of the State including DCFS, HFS, DCEO, DES, the Illinois Community College Board, and the State Superintendent of Schools. Experts from various fields dealing in women’s issues are also appointed by the Governor.

The task force will hear from educators, prison officials, after-school tutoring programs, community service providers, higher education personnel, housing and health care officials, and addiction and recovery personnel quarterly over the next calendar year and subsequently submit a report for review to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Bryant says she is humbled to receive the votes of the task force members that were in attendance for the inaugural meeting in Springfield on Tuesday afternoon. She says she is eager to get started as Chair of the Opportunities for At-Risk Women Task Force.

“I’m a Republican chair of a very important task force,” Bryant said. “Women’s issues drive a lot of the narrative we find ourselves debating in our state and at the national level. In a Springfield that is dominated by Democrats, I think I was chosen to lead this task force because I have committed myself to being a champion for women in Illinois."

Bryant feels she has spent her time in Springfield building consensus and solving problems. She notes that she believes the task force has great potential to drive positive results for at-risk women across the State.

“I am committed to making sure that this task force puts together a comprehensive report that will ultimately empower at-risk women to gain control of their circumstances and better their lives by improving access to education and economic opportunities for all women,” she said.

####
Dear Friend

This week has been jam packed with big news. Governor Rauner delivered his fourth State of the State address to a joint gathering of the House and Senate on Wednesday. I have provided links below to my reaction video and press release as well as links to audio and news clips from interviews I conducted with local news outlets.

There is also big news regarding the reopening of the shuttered Murphysboro IYC. Read on for news on these items and more in this week's Bryant E News!

State of the State Address Reaction Press Release
Springfield…State Representative Terri Bryant issued the following statement today following Governor Bruce Rauner’s fourth State of the State address.

Rep. Bryant and Senator Paul Schimpf (R - Waterloo) look on
during Governor Bruce Rauner's 4th State of the State address
on Wednesday.
“I am happy that the Governor worked to strike an optimistic tone,” Bryant said. “The Governor rightly pointed out that Illinois is the home of past Presidents of the United States, innovators, inventors, builders, artists, athletes, and brave service men and women. It is clear that we must once again tap into the great potential of the people of Illinois to change the direction of the State.

The Governor offered strong arguments for why we need to enact policies that will help our economy grow.  We need to unleash the potential of the private sector in our State. We simply must grow more good paying jobs in Illinois or our State will continue to lag behind our neighbors.

It is my hope that as the new Session begins in earnest that the Chicago Democrats that control the legislature will see how desperately we need to take the boot off of the neck of job creators.

We must also change our political culture. The Governor has been a champion for term limits and fairly drawn legislative maps. I agree with both of these concepts and believe that real political reform can be the first step to signal to job creators that we are serious in Illinois about providing incentives to locate here and that we are working to stamp out the corrupt politics of the past.

Illinois has great potential. We need real reforms to our political and economic systems to truly change our state’s direction.”

####
Murphysboro IYC Repurposing ProjectMany 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. I even hosted a press conference two years ago in front of the facility to introduce legislation that would have reopened the center.

Well this week there was a major development on this story.

You can catch my remarks on the reopening of the facility by following this link to a radio interview I did on the topic with Will Stephens on WXAN

Training is now underway at the former youth center! I received confirmation from the Illinois Department of Corrections that the building will now become a minimum security male facility. Roughly one hundred jobs will be created, with just over sixty of them being Department of Corrections officers. This is a big news on the jobs front for the hard working men and women of southern Illinois.

The reopening of the Murphysboro facility is corrective action, because Pat Quinn foolishly shuttered the facility years ago as a way to maximize political pressure on local leaders. There will be more news made on this front, including determining an exact date for reopening. As always, I will keep you up to date on the latest developments!

Radio Interviews
I joined Tom Miller on the Morning NewsWatch on WJPF radio and Will Stephens of WXAN radio in Ava on Thursday morning to provide my reaction to the State of the State address, and to break the news on the reopening and re-purposing of Murphysboro's IYC. You can listen in by following the links below:

Terri Bryant on WJPF Radio Thursday February 1 2018

Terri Bryant on WXAN Radio with Will Stephens on Thursday February 1 2018

In the News
Please find links below to recent news articles on various topics covered by local media outlets!

Task forces issues recommendations to fix Community Care Program

Highway proposal to the Metro-East gains traction

Chocolate for a good cause: Women's Center ninth annual Taste of Chocolate fundraiser is Feb. 9

Illinois Governor Stops in Carbondale following State of the State Speech

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!