Bryant E-News Week in Review January 22 2016

Rep. Bryant with DuQuoin officials and
Special Olympics coordinators and volunteers.

Special Olympics of Southern Illinois
I had the distinct honor and privilege this week to join the Special Olympics in DuQuoin for a Girls Indoor Softball Tournament to benefit Special Olympics of Southern Illinois. 

I was proud to stand alongside Mayor Alongi and the wonderful volunteers and participants in the festivities that day.
I was especially touched while listening to Special Olympian Mariah Schott sing “Believe in Miracles” during Saturday’s opening ceremonies.

You can read more about the special event in the DuQuoin Evening Call by Clicking Here

The 2016 Illinois Quarter features the Shawnee
National Forest.

Shawnee National Forest to be featured on New Illinois Quarter

The US Mint has announced that the Shawnee National Forest will be featured on the newest edition of the Illinois quarter. The newly designed 25 cent piece can be seen to the left. It displays one of Illinois’ most treasured and rich resources. I am blessed to live so close to the Shawnee National Forest. The beauty of the forest can be seen in many parts of my district!

There will be a ceremony to introduce the new quarter at Southeastern Illinois College on February 4th at 10:00 AM in the Deaton Gymnasium. The event is free to the public and visitors will be able to buy $10 rolls of the new quarters at the event.

Committee Hearings in Chicago
Listening to testimony from researchers testifying
 on juvenile justice reforms before a
Joint Committee of legislators in Chicago.

I traveled to Chicago this week to participate in a Joint Committee meeting of the the House Committees on Judicial and Criminal Law, Human Services, and Juvenile Justice. The Joint Committee was presented with research on trends related to changes happening in the Juvenile justice system across the country. As more information becomes available, or if any legislation is introduced concerning this topic, I will keep you up to date.

FY16 Budget – Consequences to the Impasse
The nonpartisan University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) released findings from a study this week that reported the State of Illinois’ poor financial condition is costing taxpayers millions.  “Illinois is ranked 50th of 50 in terms of its financial probity and ability to repay its debts, according to the collective judgment of the three New York-based credit rating firms (Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings).”
When you compare the interest rates enjoyed by other states with better credit ratings, Illinois finds itself garnering worse interest rates on borrowing than states like Indiana. It is estimated that Illinois taxpayers will pay an additional $53 million on the January 14 bond sale over and above what would have had been pledged to be paid had the State kept its fiscal house in order. 

A resolution to the current budget impasse is imperative for many reasons:

Aside from those hurt by the lack of funding and a lack of certainty surrounding our state’s financial condition, when Illinois borrows money to make necessary infrastructure investments, taxpayers are on the hook for major costs because Illinois is such a risky financial bet at this point in our history. Our state, our taxpayers, and those dependent on the state to function properly deserve so much better.

Stay Connected!
My office in Mt. Vernon is staffed Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is staffed Monday through Thursday, each from 8:30 to 4:00 PM. You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can email me directly at or send me a message through the contact form on my website. 
Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!