This week I want to provide you with an update on the latest news on SB 1 and the fight to fix Illinois’ broken school funding formula. Also, I’ve got tips on how you can be sure you’re ready to view the total solar eclipse on Monday. The Union County Fair also kicks off this weekend and I’ll provide a comprehensive list of events. As always, thank you for continuing to read this column and for the invaluable feedback you provide on issues that are important to you.
Update on SB1 –
The Illinois House returned to Springfield this week to consider legislation regarding school funding reform. You may recall that Governor Rauner recently amendatorily vetoed SB 1, a bill that contained a massive bailout for the city of Chicago’s public school pensions. On Sunday, the Illinois Senate voted to override the Governor’s changes to SB 1. I strongly disagreed with this action, but because the vote to override was successful, the bill has moved to the House for consideration.
On Wednesday, instead of taking action on SB1 so that the process can move forward, House Democrats opted to play games, putting a phony bill that they never intended to allow to pass up for a vote. The bill was an admitted sham and even the sponsor of the amendment that became the bill, Will Davis (D-Homewood), voted NO on his own bill. (SB 1947)
Many schools in Illinois have either already opened or will next week. As the uncertainty of whether some schools can stay open for the entire school year builds, and with no resolution to this issue in sight, Speaker Madigan has announced that no action will be taken on SB 1 until Wednesday of NEXT week.
I have argued for weeks that Speaker Madigan and the majority party should be working with Republicans to reach a compromise on this issue. We must avert the possibility of schools shutting down in the middle of the year! NO child should miss a single day of school because Mike Madigan wants to play political games.
When we return to Springfield, I will continue to urge my colleagues to get back to work on a compromise solution that treats all Illinois schools and children the same. NO bailout for Chicago. Enough is enough!
As you may well know by now, Monday will mark the first total eclipse of the sun, viewable throughout the United States in 99 years. Authorities are estimating more than 150,000 people will visit Illinois’ southern tip, which is expected to enjoy an especially long path of totality.
This past Tuesday, I was honored to join residents at Prairie Living of Carbondale for an afternoon of conversation. I also supplied the residents with some official “eclipse viewing glasses”. See above!
The area around Carbondale and Makanda, Illinois, will fall dark for more than 2 minutes and 40 seconds. Illinois has seen eclipses before, including a dramatic annular eclipse in May 1994, this will be the first daylight moment in 148 years in which a section of Illinois will fall completely dark.
Authorities are urging folks that live in the area to stay home to help keep traffic congestion to a minimum. Here is a list of items prepared by the Rend Lake Tourism Council to help you stay safe and ENJOY the eclipse on Monday!
137th Union County Fair Opens this Weekend!
The 2017 Union County Fair opened last night in Anna last night! This year the fair will run from August 18 through August 27th. For a full schedule of this year’s events, please CLICK HERE
The DuQuoin State Fair will kick off on Friday, August 25th and runs through Labor Day. Each year, the Fair hosts a Twilight Parade to proudly announce the opening of the eleven day annual showcase in Du Quoin. This year’s parade will be held on Friday, August 25th at 6 PM. You can learn more about this year’s DuQuoin State Fair by CLICKING HERE
My office in Mt. Vernon is open Monday through Friday and my office in Murphysboro is open 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 www.repbryant.com – Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!