Dear Friend,

I had a great time and ran into many friends at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield this year. The State Fair in Springfield is always filled with plenty of news making events, and this year didn't disappoint. I am happy to report that two bills that I helped sponsor were signed by the Governor

SB 3072:
The State Fair Board of Trustees performs a vital service to help guide the Springfield State Fair and the DuQuoin State Fair especially. But, like many boards and commissions in the State of Illinois, it is not always easy to fill all the positions on the board that are required by the law. SB 3072 will trim the State Fair Board of Trustees from 20 down to 15. Every little bit of streamlining helps when it comes to the State of Illinois. Thank you to Governor Rauner for signing this legislation. I enjoyed Ag Day alongside State Rep. Dave Severin, Grant Hammer of the IL dept of Ag, and Congressman Mike Bost.


Governor Signs BLAZE PINK Hunting Bill
A big thank you again to Governor Rauner for signing legislation this week to legalize "blaze pink" in addition to blaze orange for hunting attire in Illinois. House Bill 4231 permits hunters to wear blaze pink clothing in addition to blaze orange. Both colors of clothing are equally visible to the human eye, however, deer are believed to be color blind to red and can see very little orange or pink.

The following information comes directly from the Governor's press release following the signing of HB 4231.

“We want to make sure that Illinoisans are able to hunt and enjoy the outdoors safely,” Rauner said. “The new legislation provides more variety in hunting gear while preventing tragic hunting accidents in Illinois.”
Blaze orange clothing has been credited for a reduction in hunting-related injuries and deaths. Wisconsin, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York and Virginia have also authorized fluorescent pink as an alternative color to orange.

"Blaze pink laws have already passed in several other states, so this change in the law sends the message that our hunting laws put safety first,” said Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton, lead House sponsor of the bill. "This action gives the consumer a choice, and though I'm no fashion expert, I believe blaze pink will look good on sportsmen and women in Southern Illinois."

"As a lifelong hunter and supporter of the Second Amendment, I was proud to help sponsor this important safety measure," said Rep. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, House co-sponsor of the bill.

"Though I am quite partial to the color pink, the scientific research I have seen shows that people see the color pink better than the color orange. I am grateful that the governor recognizes the importance of hunting safety and that hunting is an important part of the culture and a tourism driver for Southern Illinois."

The initiative is supported by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

Committee Hearings and Task Force Meetings - From Chicago to Springfield
In addition to my time at the State Fair for bill signings, I also traveled between the district, Springfield, and Chicago to attend Committee and task force meetings.
First up was a quick trip to downtown Chicago on Wednesday for a hearing on SB563 in front of the Judiciary Criminal Law Committee. This bill deals with those who make false bomb or shooting threats. It has a component that would permit law enforcement to seek a mental health evaluation prior to releasing the adult or juvenile that makes the threat. This was a subject matter hearing only, so no vote taken on this bill.

At Risk Women's Task Force

It is my honor and privilege to serve as the Chairwoman of the House At Risk Women’s Task Force. On Thursday, we toured Lincoln Correctional Center to see first hand the special programming being conducted at Lincoln CC. Programs designed to reduce recidivism of incarcerated women. Big thanks to Warden Glen Austin and his staff for an excellent tour. Pictured here with members of the task force.

Stay Connected!

My office in Mt. Vernon is open Tuesday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Wednesday and Fridays from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at or at

Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!

Dear Friend,

This week was another busy one spent traveling between Springfield and the 115th district. There was also news made on the legislative front this week and I have an announcement on new trooper training for prospective Illinois State Police troopers. Thank you for reading!

Governor Signs My Bill to Assist Mental Health Patients with Receiving IDs Upon Release
On Friday, Governor Rauner signed legislation that I proudly sponsored earlier this year that will aid mental health patients by providing individuals released from Department of Human Services facilities with a valid State ID. I am thankful to Gov. Rauner for signing SB 2903 and for recognizing the necessity of the legislation.

I urged the Governor to sign the bill because it is important to support a ‘continuum of care’ for people dealing with mental health issues.

Improving mental health care outcomes is a major issue facing our country and our state. SB 2903 will improve outcomes for mental health care patients in Illinois. When a person has completed treatment and has been cleared to leave a state supported facility, either fully released or under supervision, I believe they should be provided with a proper identification if they do not have one. It helps people get off to a better start.

SB 2903 cleared the Illinois House and Senate without garnering a single 'No' vote. The unanimous support for the bill from the legislature and the Governor's signature signals a societal recognition of the importance of continuous care for the mentally ill.

There is significant momentum behind the movement to improve overall outcomes for mental health care patients that leave the state’s care. Individuals that complete treatment at State run mental health facilities often need a hand up when they are ready to return to society. A valid ID can help someone find housing, transportation, and work. Maybe it is a small step, but I feel it is an important one, and I thank my colleagues in the General Assembly and the Governor for their support for this legislation.

Do you have what it takes to be an Illinois State Trooper? ISP Now Accepting Applications
The Illinois State Police Merit Board is currently processing applications for Cadet Class 129, tentatively scheduled for April, 2019. In order to be considered for Cadet Class 129, the Merit Board must receive a completed application and required documentation by August 15, 2018. This is a wonderful opportunity for a service minded person to be a part of something bigger than yourself, to join an elite law enforcement unit, and to serve your country, state, and community.

Applicants may apply online at:

Also, take a few minutes to check out this cool ISP Recruitment Video -

Director of Illinois Dept. of Aging Visits Carbondale
I had a wonderful time on Tuesday at The Landings in Carbondale. I was joined by the Director of the Illinois Dept. on Aging, Jean Bonhoff.
We had lunch, took a tour, and visited some awesome people. They have everything anyone could want in retirement living. 

We also had the chance to be there for the kick off of registration for the Autism walk. Big thanks to the staff and residents for making it such a special day.

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Tuesday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open Monday through Wednesday and Fridays from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at or at

Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!