During his second annual budget address, the Governor indicated that he is ready to work across party lines to balance the state budget. I am hopeful that the financial choices laid out by the Governor last week will eventually strike a nerve with rank and file Democrats in the legislature and spark movement to finally fix our budget problems.
According to data available through the Illinois Comptroller’s website, Illinois currently owes more than $7 billion in unpaid bills. If the state continues to operate without a budget for FY 17, we will spend $6.2 billion more than we have coming in. If we do nothing, we will undoubtedly begin next fiscal year with more than $10 billion in debt. That doesn’t even count the more than $100 billion in liabilities owed to the state’s pension systems. Illinois is awash in red ink.
Tax and spend policies and unfriendly business laws have caused a massive outward migration of jobs and population that has crushed our tax base. There are realities that have to be faced in Illinois. Raising taxes alone has not fixed our state’s problems. In fact, we are worse off financially now than before the ‘temporary’ income tax was even implemented.
We can not fall victim to an endless cycle of raising taxes and then spending more than we take in. That is a recipe for disaster, as we have seen. Reforms to the way our State approaches job creation and the management of our tax dollars are necessary if we want to improve our financial condition.
Introducing “Molly’s Law” at Saturday Press Conference in Carbondale with House Republican Leader Jim Durkin
This past Saturday, I was joined by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin at the Carbondale Civic Center to announce the introduction of legislation aimed at strengthening Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act and changes the time frame in which wrongful death lawsuits can be filed. The change in the law is meant to aid victims’ families in their pursuit of the truth about the death of a loved one.
I was proud to stand beside Molly Young’s father Larry, and several of Molly’s friends and family members who have been working since Molly’s death in 2012 to gain information on the investigation into her passing.
Mr. Young approached me last year with some thoughts on how we could strengthen our laws to aid families dealing with these terrible situations, and I was happy to explore ways in which we could help.
HB 6083, titled “Molly’s Law” states that public bodies that willfully and intentionally fail to comply with Court orders to release information through FOIA can be penalized up to $10,000 for each occurrence. If the public body fails to comply with the court’s order after 30 days, under HB 6083 the court would impose an additional $1,000 penalty for every day the violation continues.
There was extensive media coverage of this press conference.
Please take the time to read the news accounts of this newly introduced law by following the links below.
The Daily Egyptian – Rep. Bryant, Illinois House Republican Leader Durkin announce ‘Molly’s Law’
WSIU Radio – “Molly’s Law” Filed in Springfield; Would Change FOIA and Wrongful Death Rules
WPSD Local 6 – Father looking to change law after daughter’s 2012 death
WSIL TV 3 – Molly Young death investigation inspires new legislation
The Southern Illinoisan – Bryant introduces Molly’s Law
KFVS 12 – IL lawmakers hope to pass ‘Molly’s Law’ in honor of Molly Young
Eagle Scout Presentation
Congratulations to Josh Loyd of Carbondale on attaining the rank of Eagle Scout! I was pleased to join Josh and his family and friends for a pinning ceremony at the Giant City Lodge in Makanda last week.
I presented Josh with an official certificate of congratulations from the Illinois House of Representatives. Josh is a fine young man that will go far. I am so honored that he and his family welcomed me to join in this special event! Congratulations Josh!
If you or someone you know is interested in receiving special recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives, please feel free to contact my office with details!
Cedarhurst Center for the Arts – Family Fun!
The 115th district is home to many points of cultural interest. One of my favorite spots to take my granddaughters is Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Mt. Vernon. We are pictured here with a Gorilla sculpture commissioned by artist John Kearney in 1990.
To learn more about Cedarhurst Center for the Arts Click Here!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!