Bryant E News May 26 2018

Dear Friend,

Before I start this week’s breakdown of the action in Springfield, I want to take a moment to thank and recognize the folks that worked around the clock to repair the water main break at the Rend Lake Conservancy District. Thousands of Southern Illinoisans were affected by the outage. Though I was in Springfield, I received regular updates from the Governor’s office, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and officials at the Rend Lake Conservancy District.

I also want to use this space to say thank you to all the Mayors, city managers, municipal staffs, firefighters, police and all of the businesses that worked to get clean water to the most effected areas. In a moment of crisis, it was encouraging to see such a wide variety of people working together to fix the break and deliver one of life’s most critical elements to people in need. THANK YOU ALL!

After a fast and furious five days of Session, some major issues have moved forward and some new ideas have been introduced. This week’s e-news will take a look back at this past week and preview what’s likely coming up in the three remaining scheduled Session days (hint: FY 19 State budget)

The legislature returns to action on Memorial Day Monday. Let’s get started!

Join the Petition Drive to Stop the Attacks on SIU Carbondale!

On Tuesday morning, I announced a petition drive aimed at stopping legislative attacks on Southern Illinois University Carbondale by members of the Illinois House Democrat caucus, led by Speaker Mike Madigan.

The online petition can be found at

You may have read reports in the news recently regarding my House floor speech during a House Perfunctory Session two weeks ago. I used that time to express my very strident opposition to the idea of splitting SIU into two separate universities.

Last week, I led the charge and publicly called for SIU President Randy Dunn to resign, following revelations that Dunn had referred to my Carbondale constituents as, ‘bitchers’ in an email to SIU-E officials.

For the health of the University system and to preserve the future of SIU Carbondale we must defeat these attacks on SIU-C by Mike Madigan and his lieutenants in the House. I am urging all my constituents, and every Saluki alumni across Illinois and across the nation to join me and sign the online petition opposing the ‘attack SIU-C package.

Reinstating the Death Penalty for Cop Killers and Mass Murderers

This week I signed on to sponsor legislation that would reinstate the death penalty for certain types of heinous crimes. I also joined a bipartisan press conference on Friday morning to announce the introduction of the legislation and to express my support for the death penalty as a deterrent to crime.

I am proud to sponsor this public safety and police protection bill. I truly believe there are some crimes that are so heinous that a person should lose their right to live in our civilized society. HB 5891 represents a strong, bipartisan effort to protect our police and to rid society of mass murderers.

This most recent bipartisan effort to reinstate the death penalty was born of a recent amendatory veto on a gun control bill (HB 1468) handed down by Governor Rauner. In the language of his amendatory veto, Gov. Rauner called for making the killing of a police officer or any murder in which more than one person was killed a new crime of ‘death penalty murder’.

As you may know, I retired in 2014 after serving more than 20 years as an administrator in the Illinois Department of Corrections. I have repeatedly said that the closure of the Tamms super-max prison was a huge mistake, and is yet another reason that the death penalty should be reinstated in some cases.

I have introduced bills to reopen Tamms and it has been one of my goals since I took office. Back when the death penalty debate was happening in Illinois, Democrats in the General Assembly argued that we no longer needed the death penalty because we had a super-max facility in Tamms. Shortly after abolishing the death penalty, there was a successful movement (by Democrats) to close Tamms.

So, now, Illinois has neither the death penalty or a super-max facility to separate the most dangerous
individuals in our society from other prisoners, correctional officers, and others.

I think there are very real questions that need to be answered on this topic: Are we going to be tough on criminals that kill cops and commit mass murders by taking a comprehensive approach that includes the death penalty? Or, are we going to just allow the most dangerous criminals on earth to remain in general populations in our correctional facilities where they are able to kill guards and other inmates. It might sound like tough language, but I am proud to take a strong stand on the issue of law and order. It is time to reinstate the death penalty for cop killers and mass murderers in Illinois.

Quick Hits

All the way back on Monday, I set a personal record, passing 4 bills out of the House in about 15 minutes. Here’s a quick look at some legislation that I’m sponsoring.

SB 2903 would all the state to issue ID cards to released DHS clients. You can find a previous press release I issued on this bill by clicking here. The bill passed unanimously and is now headed to the Governor.

SB 3191 allows the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs to spend money to recognize volunteers that assist veterans at the State’s veterans homes. The bill passed unanimously and is now headed to the Governor’s desk.

SB 3072 lowers the number of State Fair Board of Trustees down from 20 to 15 members. The bill awaits concurrence action in the Senate and will likely be headed to the Governor.

SB 3193 Provides that a non-veteran spouse shall only have the same priority for admission to a Veterans Home as a veteran if the non-veteran spouse and his or her veteran spouse are admitted at the same to live together at the Veterans Home. The bill passed unanimously and is now headed to the Governor’s desk.

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 or at

Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!