Springfield…State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) offered mixed reaction to Governor J.B. Pritzker’s first combined State of the State and Budget Address on Wednesday. Bryant says she was encouraged by several of Pritzker’s talking points, but remained seriously concerned by a couple of the Governor’s major proposals.
“Governor Pritzker is probably one of the more comfortable public speakers I’ve seen,” Bryant said. “Today, I thought he gave a pretty honest assessment about where we are as a State, but that doesn’t mean I agree with all of the ideas he has to solve our financial challenges.”
Bryant says she was encouraged by the Governor’s focus on increasing funding for public education and for higher education. Governor Pritzker proposed a 5% increase in funding for higher education and also a $50 million increase for MAP grant funding.
“The line items the Governor has proposed for higher education and MAP grant funding were definitely encouraging after the difficulties we have experienced recently,” Bryant said. “I will have to carefully study any and all spending plans throughout the rest of the Session but I am hopeful that SIU and the community colleges that I represent will receive a bump.”
In reaction to Governor Pritzker’s cost savings plan on pension contributions, Rep. Bryant was less optimistic.
“I think taking a trip back in the Rod Blagojevich pension holiday time machine is bad public policy,” Bryant said. “We’ve seen time and time again that skipping pension payments to pay for current operating expenses is bad fiscal policy. It only increases the costs for future generations.”
Bryant says Prtizker used today’s speech to kick off what is likely to be a two-year campaign to get a Constitutional Amendment on the ballot that would allow for a graduated income tax, or a progressive tax hike.
“House Republicans have stood firm against a progressive tax hike,” Bryant said. “We believe $38.5 billion is more than enough to run the State of Illinois. Instead of expanding social programs with shaky revenue gimmicks and relying on phantom revenue estimates on things like legalized weed and sports betting, I believe any new spending should be directed to help shore up our pensions and pay down our backlog of bills.”
                            
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Dear Friend,

It was a whirlwind three days in Springfield, culminating with a long and tough debate on the issue of raising the minimum wage to $15.00 per hour. Before getting to some policy areas in this week's edition, I want to share some good bits of news with you from the last 10 days or so. Let's get started!

Meeting with New Director of Department of Agriculture


Last week, Rep. Severin and I met with John Sullivan, acting director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture, to talk about ag needs and opportunities in Southern Illinois.

Valentines for Veteran's
I was honored to be asked by the Mt. Vernon FFA Chapter to deliver the Valentines they made for our veterans. Pictured here taking the delivery are Anna Veterans Home residents, 99 year old David Johnson and “Vietnam Honor 200” veteran Oscar Sanders. Thank you for your service, Happy Valentines Day!


(David will be 100 on May 31)

Clark Kellogg addresses Fellowship of Christian Athletes at SIU CarbondaleI enjoyed a blessed evening at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Banquet at SIU. Big thank you to our hosts Johnny and Jama McBride, Jason and Cassie McBride and our guest speaker and seat mate, Basketball Great, Clark Kellogg!



Press Release: February 14 2019 - Bryant: Minimum Wage Hike will Cost Southern Illinoisans Jobs Springfield…During a lengthy and heated debate, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) cast a resounding NO vote against Chicago Democrat-led legislation that will raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 per hour. Bryant rose to speak on the House Floor during the debate, and quickly cut to the issue of how much the increase will cost educational institutions.

“Do you know what this will cost our entire University system,” Bryant asked rhetorically. “Do you know the overall cost this will have on SIU Carbondale, or SIU Edwardsville, or even to any of our community colleges? I represent an area with five nearby community colleges. How much is this going to eventually cost all of them?”

Representative Bryant went on to describe the effort by ‘bigger government’ minded Democrat Representatives as policies that mirror State-ism, and referenced the recent implosion of socialistic country Venezuela.

“How are the economies fairing where the policies of Castro, Chavez, and Maduro are in place?” Bryant asked. “State-ism eventually fails. Redistribution of wealth does not work. The heavy hand of socialism, if allowed to spread will eventually end the American dream, which relies on the individual to be successful, rather than the State to provide the bare minimum for survival. I believe this quick ramp up to $15 will cost many Southern Illinoisans their jobs, therefore making the standard of living worse, not better for the people of Southern Illinois."

####

PRESS RELEASE: Bryant Named Chair of Downstate Republican Caucus

Springfield…State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has been elected to serve as Chairwoman of the Downstate Republican Legislative Caucus.

“I am honored to be elected as Downstate Republican Caucus Chair by my colleagues in the Illinois House.” Bryant said. “This is a tough time for our State and for the Republican Party, but I am excited by the challenge that this new position will provide.”

Bryant has previously served as the Vice-Chair of the Downstate Republican Caucus.

“In this role, I plan to speak up forcefully on issues that are important to all Southern Illinoisans,” Bryant said. “My district is home to a great variety of natural resources, private industry, and public employment opportunities. We also face unique challenges and strong legislative Democrat majorities in both the House and Senate and a Democrat Governor from Chicago.”

The Downstate Republican Caucus meets regularly in Springfield, bringing together State Representatives from a large geographic territory that extends from Rockford to the southeast and southwest corners of Illinois.

“Standing up and speaking out for the sanctity of life, working to protect our 2nd Amendment Rights, and acting as a check and balance on out of control spending and radical anti-business policies will be the highest priorities for the Downstate Republican Caucus,” Bryant said.

“We have our work cut out for us as we have seen in the first few weeks of Governor Pritzker’s term. But it is vital that Southern Illinoisans and Downstate Republicans stand up for the people that we represent that don’t necessarily agree with this Governor or with the Democrat super-majorities on a wide range of policy issues.”

####

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 www.repbryant.com or at bryant@ilhousegop.org


Springfield…During a lengthy and heated debate, State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) cast a resounding NO vote against Chicago Democrat-led legislation that will raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 per hour. Bryant rose to speak on the House Floor during the debate, and quickly cut to the issue of how much the increase will cost educational institutions.

“Do you know what this will cost our entire University system,” Bryant asked rhetorically. “Do you know the overall cost this will have on SIU Carbondale, or SIU Edwardsville, or even to any of our community colleges? I represent an area with five nearby community colleges. How much is this going to eventually cost all of them?”

Representative Bryant went on to describe the effort by ‘bigger government’ minded Democrat Representatives as policies that mirror State-ism, and referenced the recent implosion of socialistic country Venezuela.

“How are the economies fairing where the policies of Castro, Chavez, and Maduro are in place?” Bryant asked. “State-ism eventually fails. Redistribution of wealth does not work. The heavy hand of socialism, if allowed to spread will eventually end the American dream, which relies on the individual to be successful, rather than the State to provide the bare minimum for survival. I believe this quick ramp up to $15 will cost many Southern Illinoisans their jobs, therefore making the standard of living worse, not better for the people of Southern Illinois.”

####
Springfield…State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has been elected to serve as Chairwoman of the Downstate Republican Legislative Caucus.

“I am honored to be elected as Downstate Republican Caucus Chair by my colleagues in the Illinois House.” Bryant said. “This is a tough time for our State and for the Republican Party, but I am excited by the challenge that this new position will provide.”

Bryant has previously served as the Vice-Chair of the Downstate Republican Caucus

“In this role, I plan to speak up forcefully on issues that are important to all Southern Illinoisans,” Bryant said. “My district is home to a great variety of natural resources, private industry, and public employment opportunities. We also face unique challenges and strong legislative Democrat majorities in both the House and Senate and a Democrat Governor from Chicago.”

The Downstate Republican Caucus meets regularly in Springfield, bringing together State Representatives from a large geographic territory that extends from Rockford to the southeast and southwest corners of Illinois.

“Standing up and speaking out for the sanctity of life, working to protect our 2nd Amendment Rights, and acting as a check and balance on out of control spending and radical anti-business policies will be the highest priorities for the Downstate Republican Caucus,” Bryant said.

“We have our work cut out for us as we have seen in the first few weeks of Governor Pritzker’s term. But it is vital that Southern Illinoisans and Downstate Republicans stand up for the people that we represent that don’t necessarily agree with this Governor or with the Democrat super-majorities on a wide range of policy issues.”

####


Dear Friend,

Before diving in to the policy discussion for the week, I want to take some time to recognize a very special individual from DuQuoin, Mr. Bill Asbury. Bill is the father of four girls. His youngest daughter has Down Syndrome. 


Ten years ago, Bill started a softball tournament as a fundraiser for Special Olympics. Toward the end of January, Bill was featured as an “Unsung Hero” on WSIL-TV News 3.

The event has become known as the "super bowl" of softball. The tournament allows girls ages 12 to 16 from multiple states to compete for a coveted trophy. To date, Bill’s efforts have helped to raise more than $700,000, and all of the money raised goes to support the Special Olympics.

Town Hall Draws Hundreds!
I want to say THANK YOU to the hundreds of Southern Illinoisans that came out to participate in the Southern Illinois Town Hall meeting in Marion on Monday. The crowd was enormous, with estimates of attendance being around 500 people. As you can see, the Midwest Event Center put on a beautiful display and hosted a first-class event


The issues we covered were: taxpayer funding of abortion, gun control , raising the minimum wage to $15/hr., and legalizing marijuana for recreational use. We also provided a 10-question survey to attendees on the aforementioned issues and several more. You can take the survey yourself by visiting: http://www.ilhousegop.org/marion_survey_2019


In total, attendees turned in 353 completed surveys. The completed surveys were tabulated and here are the results of the vote of the Town Hall attendees.

As you can tell by the numbers above, Southern Illinoisans are overwhelmingly opposed to taxpayer funding of abortion, banning so-called “assault weapons”, searching through social media posts for reasons to revoke FOID cards, $15 an hour minimum wage, and all of the proposed tax increases.
 

Large, but somewhat narrower margins express disapproval of legalizing recreational marijuana and expanding access to medical marijuana.
After Monday nights town hall, I have heard from many people expressing interest in completing witness slips as opponents or proponents of certain bills. Here is how you do it.
Track the bill by # on  www.ilga.gov.  Watch for when the bill is assigned to Committee:

Then, go to my.ilga.gov.
1. Click on the Committee you want. The bills in Committee will appear.
2. Click on the far right to complete a witness slip.
3. If you do not plan to speak at the hearing show “record of appearance only” section 4
4. Click the box at the bottom agreeing to the terms
5. Click the button “Create Slip”

Minimum Wage Increase Clears State Senate
Discussion on raising the minimum wage is ramping up in Springfield. On Thursday, SB 1 passed the Senate. The bill will increase Illinois’ minimum wage to $15/hour over the next 6 years. The House is expected to take action next week, and hosted a subject matter only hearing on the issue this week.

A major concern that I am expressing is the ‘one-size-fits-all’ nature of the legislation. 

The current version of SB 1 does not reflect real cost of living differences in the various regions of the State and I believe raising the minimum wage this high, this fast will result in massive job losses and more outmigration of businesses and families from Illinois.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Do you support the proposal to raise Illinois' minimum wage to $15 an hour?

You can express your opinion by visiting my website at www.RepBryant.com and clicking on “Marion Survey 2019” at the top right of the page.

Evidence that Your Voice Can Be Heard! HB 181 Tabled!
I am not sure how many of you have heard of HB 181, but I just want to take a moment to congratulate you, the people of Illinois, for expressing your collective outrage at this ridiculous legislation.

HB 181 would have created the Parental Bullying Act. HB 181 stipulated that a parent or legal guardian of a minor commits parental bullying when he or she knowingly and with the intent to discipline, embarrass, or alter the behavior of the minor, transmits any verbal or visual message that the parent or legal guardian reasonably believes would coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to the minor.

The only action that was taken by the full House of Representatives this week was to in fact, table HB 181. That means that the legislation is dead (for now) and will advance no further. Your voices were heard!
####
Press Release: Terri Bryant Named Minority Spokesperson for House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee

Springfield….
State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has been named the minority spokesperson for the Illinois House Committee on Judiciary - Criminal Law. The fourth-term Republican State Representative says she is honored to serve as the ranking minority member of the Committee.


“Thank you first of all to Leader Jim Durkin for the opportunity to serve as the Minority Spokesperson on this critical House Committee,”  Bryant said. “The Judiciary Criminal Law Committee considers legislation that reviews and amends laws regarding gun control, criminal sentencing, and criminal justice reform. The Committee also regularly interacts with staff and administration from the State’s many correctional centers.”

Bryant  has served on the Judiciary Criminal Law Committee twice before, in the 99th and 100th General Assemblies. Bryant says she gained valuable experience as an administrator for the Illinois  Department of Corrections prior to her election in 2014.



“I  spent 20 years, my whole career, in the Department of Corrections where my job required me to regularly interact with and implement policies handed down from Springfield,” Bryant said. “I have the unique opportunity to stand up for what is best for public safety, what is best for our Correctional officers, and what is best for those who are incarcerated as the Minority Spokesperson on  the Judiciary Criminal Law Committee.”

Bryant has also been named as a regular standing member of the following  Committees: Appropriations-Higher Education, Health Care Licenses, Higher Education, Human Services and Insurance. She issued  the following statement in regard to her Committee assignments.


“My Committee assignments for this General Assembly couldn’t be better,” Bryant said.

“I really want to thank Leader Durkin for recognizing that my participation in these Committees will help me to be the best representative for local interests and concerns that I could possibly be. I will have the opportunity to fight for SIU Carbondale and our many Community Colleges as a member of the Higher Education and Higher Education Appropriations Committees.

I will be working to help nurses and doctors by reducing the time it takes for qualified people to get their licenses as a member of the Healthcare License Committee.



And, I will be proud as a member of the Human Services Committee to stand up for those that are on government assistance and those that provide critical mental and health care services to all  Illinoisans. Access to mental and physical health care is a critical issue in Southern Illinois, especially."

To follow along with legislative action during the spring Session, visit www.ILGA.gov.


 ####

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 www.repbryant.com or at bryant@ilhousegop.org


Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) has been named the minority spokesperson for the Illinois House Committee on Judiciary - Criminal Law. The fourth-term Republican State Representative says she is honored to serve as the ranking minority member of the Committee.

“Thank you first of all to Leader Jim Durkin for the opportunity to serve as the Minority Spokesperson on this critical House Committee,” Bryant said. “The Judiciary Criminal Law Committee considers legislation that reviews and amends laws regarding gun control, criminal sentencing, and criminal justice reform. The Committee also regularly interacts with staff and administration from the State’s many correctional centers.”

Bryant has served on the Judiciary Criminal Law Committee twice before, in the 99th and 100th General Assemblies. Bryant says she gained valuable experience as an administrator for the Illinois Department of Corrections prior to her election in 2014.

“I spent 20 years, my whole career, in the Department of Corrections where my job required me to regularly interact with and implement policies handed down from Springfield,” Bryant said. “I have the unique opportunity to stand up for what is best for public safety, what is best for our Correctional officers, and what is best for those who are incarcerated as the Minority Spokesperson on the Jud-Crim Committee.”

Bryant has also been named as a regular standing member of the following Committees: Appropriations-Higher Education, Health Care Licenses, Higher Education, Human Services and Insurance. She issued the following statement in regard to her Committee assignments.

“My Committee assignments for this General Assembly couldn’t be better,” Bryant said.

“I really want to thank Leader Durkin for recognizing that my participation in these Committees will help me to be the best representative for local interests and concerns that I could possibly be. I will have the opportunity to fight for SIU Carbondale and our many Community Colleges as a member of the Higher Education and Higher Education Appropriations Committees.

I will be working to help nurses and doctors by reducing the time it takes for qualified people to get their licenses as a member of the Healthcare License Committee.

And, I will be proud as a member of the Human Services Committee to stand up for those that are on government assistance and those that provide critical mental and health care services to all Illinoisans. Access to mental and physical health care is a critical issue in Southern Illinois, especially.”

To follow along with legislative action during the spring Session, visit www.ILGA.gov.

####
Dear Friend,

As you may have felt, Southern Illinois experienced a record cold snap this week as a polar vortex plunged temperatures around the state with wind chills dipping as low as more than -50 below zero in Chicago! The harsh weather caused the cancellation of House floor action for Wednesday and Thursday this week as Governor Pritzker declared an emergency and instructed to limit all necessary travel and take shelter from the storm.

Long and even short-term exposure to dangerously low temperatures can have devastating impacts on everyone, especially, children, elderly people, and animals. The weather has already been warming up and temperatures are expected to rise into the 60s this weekend. But, winter is not yet over. As we say in Southern Illinois, "if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes."

You can learn more about how to be prepared for cold weather events and other emergencies both natural and man-made by visiting Ready.Illinois.Gov

On to this week's news, including more information on an upcoming Town Hall meeting in Marion on Monday night at 6 p.m. Please read below for more details! Thank you for reading!

Press Release: Bryant Votes NO on Madigan's House Rules

Springfield….As the legislature returned to action in Springfield on Tuesday, the first order of business to receive consideration was HR 59.

The House Resolution is the first order of business because it establishes the parliamentary rules by which the chamber will operate for the 101st General Assembly.

Representative Bryant says she has long argued that Mike Madigan wields far too much power.

“Be it his grip on the Democratic party, its fundraising apparatuses, Democratic House member appointments, or being Speaker of the House, Madigan is all about total control,” Bryant said.

“There’s a sort of ‘total-control syndrome’ that infects the process in Illinois," Bryant said. "One-man, one-party rule means that good ideas from the Republican side of the aisle sometimes never see the light of day.”

Representative Bryant went on to explain that the vote to elect Madigan as Speaker, and the vote for the Madigan Rules are two elements in Madigan’s loyalty test for his Democratic members.

“With each new General Assembly, Speaker Madigan requires two critical votes from Democrat members; first, their vote to re-elect him Speaker of the House, which happened on January 9th, and then his House Rules,” Bryant said. “House Republicans are often presented major pieces of legislation at the last minute, with only an hour or so to review hundreds of pages of bills that have long-term impacts on our State.”

The rules by which the Chamber is governed are the majority’s prerogative, but Bryant says efforts by Republicans to moderate some of the Rules to allow more public input were completely ignored by Madigan and other Democrat members.

“The House Republicans introduced our own proposal to address some of the more totalitarian-style rules,” Bryant said. “This is inside-baseball to some folks, but I can’t stress how important this vote is. In the past, I have introduced bills to require drug testing for welfare recipients, to prohibit the purchase of tobacco and alcohol products with TANF money, and legislation that would have reopened and repurposed Tamms Correctional Center. Each of these pieces of legislation were bottled up in Madigan’s Rules Committee and never received a hearing or a vote in Committee. We can do better than this, and I would encourage my Democrat friends to consider the fact that as State Representatives we create laws that effect all of the people of the State, not just the ones in our districts.”

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WJPF Radio Interview - Town Hall Preview
I was proud to join fellow State Representatives Dave Severin and Patrick Windhorst on Friday morning for an interview to preview Monday night's upcoming town hall meeting.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN IN!

2019 Southern Illinois Town Hall Meeting
For immediate release: February 1, 2019
Contact:
Rep. Bryant @ 618-242-8115
Rep. Severin @618-440-5090
Rep. Windhorst – windhorst@ILHouseGOP.org

Marion….
Illinois State Representatives Terri Bryant, Dave Severin, and Patrick Windhorst will host a legislative town hall and listening session in Marion on Monday, February 4, 2019. The Representatives will make themselves available to discuss their own legislative agendas, their thoughts on actions taken during the first weeks of the Pritzker administration, and take questions from audience members.

The public and members of the media are invited to attend.

If you have any questions, you may reach Representative Bryant’s office in Murphysboro at 618-684-1100, Representative Severin’s office at 618-440-5090, or Representative Windhorst’s office at windhorst@ilhousegop.org

Who: 115th District State Representative Terri Bryant, 117th District State Representative Dave Severin, and 118th District State Representative Patrick Windhorst

What:
Legislative Town Hall and Listening Session hosted by Southern Illinois
State Representatives

When:
February 4, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Where: Midwest Event Center, 11580 Route 37 North, Marion, IL
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 www.repbryant.com or at bryant@ilhousegop.org