Bryant E-News – August 3, 2020

Dear Friend,

This weekend we said Goodbye to July and Hello to August! The last month was one of the most challenging and revealing in our state’s history.

Since taking office, I have kept my promise to never vote for Mike Madigan for Speaker of the House. The vote for Speaker is the first vote any elected State Representative takes. For 40 plus years, Speaker Madigan has exercised enormous control over the operations of the Illinois House of Representatives. Because he wields, the gavel, Madigan controls the legislative agenda.

When the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois announced a $200 million deferred prosecution agreement had been reached with Exelon and ComEd, we learned that “Public Official A” referred to in the documents was Speaker Madigan.

The last notable “Public Official A” to make such big corruption news in Illinois was none other than Madigan’s long-time nemesis former Governor and convicted felon Rod Blagojevich.

The allegations in the deferred prosecution agreement are serious enough that upon reading the statements made by the Federal government and ComEd and Exelon officials, I called for Speaker Madigan to immediately resign.

House Speaker Michael Madigan is implicated in a scheme that would deliver ghost payrolling jobs and sweetheart lobbying contracts to former Madigan political staffers in exchange for passing legislation that would benefit the energy giant’s bottom line.

This week, I signed on to co-sponsor legislation that would call for a “Vote of No Confidence” by the Illinois House of Representatives in regard to Madigan continuing to serve as Speaker of the House. So far, every House Republican caucus members has signed on to HR 885. Unfortunately, no democrats have joined with Republicans to sponsor the Resolution.

You can read the entire HR 885 by clicking here.

However, there have been a handful of House Democrats and even one prominent Senate Democrat come out in the last 10 days to call for Madigan to step down. Hey, that’s progress, right?

In the mean time, you can do your part to help me and my fellow House Republican members keep the pressure on Speaker Madigan to resign. Sign the petition here!

Bryant Joins Illinois House GOP Demand – Governor Pritzker Should Call Special Session to Address Ethics Reform

July 21, 2020

MURPHYSBORO – State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) is joining a chorus of Republican lawmakers calling on Governor JB Pritzker to call lawmakers back into a special legislative session in Springfield to address ethics reform.

Illinois State Representatives Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville), Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst), and Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) held a video press conference on Tuesday to demand Governor JB Pritzker call the General Assembly into special session to pass badly needed ethics reforms. The calls for reform came on the heels of news that House Speaker Michael Madigan is implicated in a deferred prosecution agreement unveiled Friday. 

“I have been sounding the alarm on Madigan’s corrupt ways for 5 years,” Bryant said. “Since we know Madigan won’t call the legislature back to deal with corruption reforms, we are demanding the governor call legislators back in to session to pass critical reforms to our ethics laws. The people of Illinois deserve a government they can believe in, and that is not what we have right now.”

ComEd Company has admitted to hiring Madigan’s political allies to curry favor with the Speaker in order to pass sweeping energy rate legislation to improve the company’s profitability.

House Republicans have released an online petition demanding that Governor Pritzker call a special session so Illinoisans can have real ethics reforms at https://www.ilhousegop.org/ethics.

Southern Illinois GOP Legislators Call for Madigan to Resign Immediately following US Attorney’s Revelations about ComEd, Exelon, and Speaker Mike Madigan

July 17, 2020

Southern Illinois – Southern Illinois’ GOP delegation to the Illinois House of Representatives released the following statements today after the Northern District of Illinois United State’s Attorney’s office revealed details of a ‘deferred prosecution agreement’ involving fraud and public corruption at energy giant Exelon and its subsidiary ComEd. 

House Speaker Michael Madigan is not named in the agreement but is instead referred to as Public Official A. According to the US Attorney’s office, Public Official A was engaged in arranging jobs and contracts for political allies in exchange for passing legislation favorable to Exelon and ComEd’s profitability and rate schedules.

State Representative Terri Bryant: “Mike Madigan has been the driving force behind the spread of Illinois’ decades-long pandemic of public corruption. Speaker Madigan is the most powerful politician in Illinois, and the consolidation of his power has become absolute. Unfortunately, we know that in  Illinois, absolute power can in fact absolutely corrupt our institutions and elected officials.

The revelations in today’s deferred prosecution agreement with the Federal government show that ComEd and Exelon conspired with Speaker Madigan to pass legislation that would make their companies more profitable. For his hard work passing this legislation, Speaker Madigan was to be rewarded by having his political cronies get ghost payroll jobs and contracts for big dollars and no work. In other words, it sounds like the “Chicago Way” on steroids.

House Republicans held a press conference earlier this week to demand that Speaker Madigan allow up or down votes on a sweeping package of Republican-backed ethics reform bills. Speaker Madigan’s reply was that Republicans should ask President Trump about ethics reform. 
Following today’s announcement by the US Attorney’s office, I am left with the question, “What do you have to say about public corruption and the need for ethics reform in Illinois now, Mr. Speaker?”

ISBE Releases Guidelines for Safe School Reopening

The Illinois State Board of Education issued detailed guidelines for the reopening of schools and planning for the resumption of high school sports and extracurricular activities. New case outbreaks have caused certain guidelines to be rolled back and new restrictions put in place. You can read the entire guidance from ISBE here: https://www.isbe.net/Documents/Fall-2020-Learning-Rec.pdf

  • School reopenings and Governor’s executive order.   On Friday, July 24, Gov. Pritzker issued Executive Order 2020-47 pertaining to schools being allowed to reopen under Phase 4 of Restore Illinois.  Under EO 2020-47, all public and nonpublic schools in Illinois serving Pre-K through 12th grade students may open for in-person educational purposes following the completion of the regular 2019-20 school term. 

All public and nonpublic schools must follow IDPH and ISBE guidance during Phase 4.  This means that they are expected to take proactive measures to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors.  These measures include:  1. No school assemblies – the number of people in one space is limited to fifty or fewer. 2. No hallway crowding – schools should ensure compliance with social distancing requirements to the greatest extent possible.  3.  Screen all persons allowed inside school buildings – including symptom screenings and temperature checks, or requiring individuals to self-certify that they are free of COVID-19 symptoms, before entering school buildings.  4. Mandatory hygiene – require washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes, discouraging the sharing of personal items, and regularly cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces.  5. Facemasks – Requiring the use of appropriate PPE by students, staff, and visitors, including the use of face coverings by individuals who are over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering. Schools must provide face coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain a minimum six-foot social distance at all times; and, to the extent possible, they must make face coverings available for all students. 

Governor issues new guidance restricting youth sports

Gov. Pritzker announced new guidance this week restricting youth and adult recreational organized sports in Illinois. That includes school-based sports such as those governed by the IHSA and IESA, travel clubs, private leagues, recreational leagues and sports centers and Park District sports programs. Restrictions issued Thursday do not include professional sports leagues, or collegiate level sports. The new restrictions go into effect in mid-August.

The guidance was developed in coordination with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE).

The newly released guidance categorizes sports into three risk levels, low, medium, or high, based on the amount of contact between athletes and their proximity during play. The guidance sets four levels of play allowed based on current public health conditions.

  • In level 1, only no-contact practices are allowed and they must be outside. 
  • In level 2, indoor and outdoor practices and intra-team scrimmages are allowed but there can be no competitive play. 
  • In level 3 intra-conference, intra-region or intra-league play is allowed and there may be state- or league-championship games allowed for low-risk sports only. 
  • In level 4, tournaments, out-of-conference play, and out-of-state play are allowed. State championship games would also be allowed in level 4. 

Beginning Saturday, August 15th, low risk sports can be played at levels 1, 2, and 3. Medium risk sports can be played at levels 1 and 2, and high-risk sports can be played at level 1. Please see the guidance for youth and adult recreational sports document for more detailed information.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT

  • Local CURE aid program set to start up.  The Local CURE program is intended to pass through COVID-19 relief funds appropriated by Congress for local governments.  Under the Downstate portion of this program, at least $250 million in federal funds will be distributed to local governments if they can show the money will be spent for COVID-19 safety and relief.  

The distribution of Local CURE Act money will be overseen by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO).  Municipalities, counties, and certified local public health departments will be eligible to apply for the aid.  The applicants will be required to show that they are spending the money on COVID-19 public health-related purposes.

SI SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE

Rep. Bryant Kicks Off Summer Reading Club 2020

July 28, 2020

MURPHYSBORO – State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) announced this week that she will once again be sponsoring a summer reading club for 1st through 5th-grade students.

Bryant says the 2020 summer reading program is a little different than previous years.

“This year, students were not in school at the start of the summer,” Bryant said. “To help out with the fact that libraries have been closed, we started a little later in the summer and extended the deadline for returning completed forms until after Labor Day. But we still have some cool prizes and this is something I truly enjoy doing for our students.”

Students in 1st through 5th grade that read 8 books between now and September 8, 2020, will be awarded an official certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives recognizing their commitment to reading as well as a coupon for a free Culver’s custard.

“This year we are counting Accelerated Reader (AR) books that students read as they return to their 2020-21 school year,” Bryant said. “This is a tough time for students, parents, teachers and administrators. Good luck to everyone as we begin the school year. Let’s get to reading!”

Students may return completed Bryant Summer Reading Club flyers to:

State Representative Terri Bryant
2929 Broadway Street, Ste. 3
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

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House GOP Demands Governor Take Action to Fix Systemic Failures and Rampant Fraud at Illinois Department of Employment Security

July 24, 2020

ZOOM, IL – Illinois House Republican members State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield), State Representative Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva), and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) held a Zoom video press conference on Friday to address systemic failures and rampant fraud at the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

“For the entirety of the State of Illinois’ pandemic response, my office has been inundated with calls from out of work Illinoisans that cannot get through to file for unemployment. Now, my office is being flooded with calls from people that have received unemployment benefits that they did not apply for and do not want. One of my constituents that received a benefits card is Congressman Mike Bost! He obviously would not have applied for unemployment benefits, but still received a debit card. Why and how is this possible? When people do their best to call IDES to return these fraudulent cards, they cannot get through. The failure is epic, and unacceptable.”

State Rep. Tim Butler says administrative oversight is woefully lacking, and demanded Illinois House Democrats hold hearings on the systemic failures and fraud happening at IDES.

“I want to start with hearings, in public, where we can question agency officials and get to the bottom of the failed response, and the data breach and fraud, and make sure something like this can never happen again in Illinois,” Butler said. “Governor Pritzker has finally admitted there are problems at IDES, but his go-to move has been to blame the Federal government. His response to Illinois workers in this time of crisis has been nothing short of a disaster.”

State Rep. Dan Ugaste echoed Butler and Bryant’s criticisms.

“People in Illinois are suffering,” Ugaste said. “They can’t get through to IDES to receive their owed unemployment benefits, and they can’t reach the agency to report fraud. This is an unacceptable situation and has been for months now, yet the problems at IDES just don’t stop. Instead of worrying about who is to blame, Governor Pritzker needs to fix the problems immediately.”

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Stay Connected!

Get the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak and response by visiting ilcovid19info.com or coronavirus.illinois.gov.


Mt. Vernon District Office
2929 Broadway, Suite 3
Mt. Vernon, IL 62864
(618) 242-8115

Murphysboro District Office
1032 Industrial Parkway W
Murphysboro, IL 62966
(618) 684-1100

Springfield Office
207-N Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-0387