Remembering Pearl Harbor and our 41st President George H.W. Bush
Although I rarely use this space to talk about personal issues, there are so many important and historical events that have happened in the past couple of weeks that I must share with you how I am feeling as an American, as an Illinoisan, and as your State Representative.
First, I want to share my sadness at the loss of our 41st President George H.W. Bush. President Bush served as a Navy aviator in World War II, was shot down, and survived the attack. He served in Congress, as CIA director, and as Ambassador to China.
I remember George H.W. Bush for his role in helping bring down the Berlin Wall, as well as repelling Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in one of the fastest and most devastating military defeats in modern history during Operation Desert Storm.
On Friday, the United States also commemorated the attack on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago. We are losing World War II veterans like President Bush every day in our country. On this week of mourning and remembrance, I hope you will take a few moments to reflect on the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans because of American Heroes like George H.W. Bush and so many others that comprised the “Greatest Generation.”
May you rest in peace, Mr. President.
Illinois Celebrates Bicentennial
On December 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the Union. On December 3, 2018, Illinois celebrated its 200th year as a State.
The 2018 calendar year was marked by multiple bicentennial themed celebrations, with the big party taking place at Chicago’s Navy Pier this past Monday night. As part of the festivities, the Illinois Bicentennial Commission honored 200 Illinois veterans. Governor Rauner and Governor-elect Pritzker were in attendance to mark the milestone. Happy 200th Birthday Illinois!
News on Condition of Tamms Supermax Facility Breaks this Week
You may have seen news reports this week regarding mold problems that are plaguing the shuttered Tamms Supermax Correctional facility. I have been urging the Illinois Department of Corrections to take action on Tamms even prior to my time as an elected official.
Former Governor Pat Quinn gave in to pressure by Democrat activists from Chicago to close the facility back in 2013. I first took office in 2015 and one of my first acts as a legislator was to introduce legislation to reopen and repurpose Tamms.
We should not have allowed Tamms to close in the first place, and letting it simply rot in place is a slap in the face to taxpayers. Its closure caused major economic hardship in some of the poorest per capita locations in the State of Illinois.
Since then, Speaker Madigan has not allowed any of my legislative measures addressing Tamms to move forward. The State of Illinois has long suffered from overcrowding in its prisons. Overcrowding leads to security concerns and heightened risk for Illinois’ correctional personnel and inmates alike. Thankfully, the State of Illinois has started to move forward with criminal justice reforms that are helping to alleviate prison overcrowding. But, there is still no place other than administrative segregation to send dangerous inmates that repeatedly assault guards and inmates – there used to be, and that place was Tamms Supermax.
Going forward, I will urge that the work camp adjacent to Tamms be reopened immediately to provide good paying jobs to an area that desperately needs them. I will also call on the new administration to take action to resolve maintenance issues and return the facility to operation to serve as a place to send inmates that repeatedly assault guards and other inmates.
The Southern Illinoisan and WSIL TV had excellent coverage on this issue this week. Check out their links below:
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 www.repbryant.com or at email@example.com Your opinions on important topics facing the State of Illinois are invaluable to me. Keep them coming!