Bryant E News February 17 2017 – Legislative Survey Edition

Dear Friend,

A blur of activity marked this Valentine’s week in Springfield. The Governor gave his 3rd budget address, a judge denied Lisa Madigan’s attempts to stop paying state employees, and I am announcing the release of my 2017 Legislative Survey! Your opinion counts, so keep reading to find out how you can tell me more about the issues most important to you.

I passed a bill to help volunteer firefighters out of Committee this week. Also, a controversial abortion bill is starting to move in the General Assembly. I will have a legislative wrap-up, my reaction to the stories mentioned above, and more, all in this week’s edition of Bryant E News.

Budget Address Reaction
Addressing a joint committee of the legislature for the 2nd time in a month, Governor Rauner delivered his 3rd “Budget Address” on Wednesday. The Governor called on the General Assembly to move in a new direction. The Governor acknowledged that the General Assembly has failed to pass balanced budgets in the last decade, but, his overall message was less about the past and more about his vision for better funded schools and strong economic growth in the future.

The Governor was realistic about the financial picture we are facing, but, he also pointed out that Illinois has a lot of unfulfilled potential. I totally agree. That’s why we have to have economic reforms as part of any balanced budget solution. Those reforms will help grow jobs and ease the burden on working families. There is a lot of hope that a “Grand Bargain” can be negotiated to finally balance the budget and help our economy grow.

Judge Denies AG Madigan’s Bid to Stop Paying State Workers
As you may have heard, a St. Clair County judge denied Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s motion to stop paying state employees on Thursday afternoon. I want to offer my thanks and gratitude for this decision, but state employees should be aware that AG Madigan has pledged to appeal the judge’s ruling to the Illinois Supreme Court.

As I’ve said from the beginning, there was no rhyme or reason to AG Madigan’s timing on this motion.  The judge was right to deny this attempt to stop employee paychecks and force a government shut-down. Furthermore, I would discourage any further attempts by the Attorney General to spend tax payer dollars fighting a losing and dangerous legal battle.

I am supporting a bipartisan effort to take state employees off of the political chessboard and it is my hope that negotiations on that legislation will continue to move forward, even in light of this decision. We have to take the necessary steps to protect the working men and women that provide critical public services.

Legislative Issues Update
Volunteer Firefighters Tire Purchase Bill Passes Committee

This year I am carrying HB 771, a bill that will allow volunteer firefighters to use district funds to buy one set of tires every three years for the vehicle they use to respond to emergencies. The bill provides that any expenditure must be approved by the Fire Chief. This is a great bill to show our appreciate to the brave men and women that join volunteer fire departments across Illinois.

I am proud to report that the bill passed the Fire & Emergency Services Committee 5-0 this week.

Opposing HB 40 – A bill to allow taxpayer funding of abortions
One of the main priorities I have as your State Representative is to protect the sanctity of human life in any way that I can. HB 40 is a bill being sponsored by a pro-choice legislator from Chicago to expand the Medicaid and the State Employee Insurance Acts to cover all abortions for those receiving this assistance. The bill would enshrine into law the use of taxpayer dollars being spent to perform abortions. The bill would also eliminate Illinois’ “trigger law,” that says if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion would become illegal in Illinois. As a staunch pro-life supporter, I am in wholehearted opposition to this bill.  I will continue to fight the effort to pass this bill and I will fight to protect the rights of the unborn.

2017 Legislative Survey Available Online!
Once again, I am sponsoring a survey at my website to gather your opinions on the pressing issues of the day.

You can find my 2017 Legislative Survey Online by Clicking 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 AM to 4:30 PM.

You can find me on Facebook to keep up with my travels throughout the district. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at – Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!