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Seated around the table (l-r): Rep. Brad Halbrook of Shelbyville; J.D. Sudeth, farmer and past president of the Sangamon County Farm Bureau; Rep. Dave Severin of Benton; Rep. Tim Butler of Springfield; Rep. Terri Bryant of Murphysboro; DuQuoin Mayor Guy Alongi; and Senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo. Joining the group by conference call was Rep. Jerry Costello II, Chairman of the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee.

State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) hosted a discussion this morning at the Historic Vandalia State House with a bipartisan group of legislators and others to discuss some ideas about economic development for central and southern Illinois. "A big thank you to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who came together to talk about some ideas for growing our economy in Illinois," commented Rep. Brad Halbrook, member of the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee. "With the passage of tax reform at the federal level this week, it seems like the right time to have some more conversations about what we can do at the state level to grow our economy, create jobs, and promote Illinois' number one industry...agriculture!"

Standing (l-r: Rep. Halbrook, Rep. Severin, Rep. Bryant, Sen. Schimpf, and Rep. Butler)
 in front of the Illinois Supreme Court bench from 1836 when Vandalia was still the Illinois state capitol.

Current Illinois House members (l-r) Tim Butler, Terri Bryant, Dave Severin, and Brad Halbrook
standing in front of an original legislators desk from 1836. To their left is an empty chair, slightly turned,
believed to be approximately where Abraham Lincoln would have been seated
as a Whig member of the Illinois House of Representatives.
State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) announced that the governor signed into law House Bill 1281 (Public Act 100-0560) that extends the repeal of the Nursing Home Administrators Licensing and Disciplinary Act to January 1, 2028.

“The passage of HB1281 extends the sunset date on the Nursing Home Administrators Licensing and Disciplinary Act for ten more years until January 1, 2028. The education, work experience, continuing education requirements, and the random compliance audits will ensure that Illinois nursing homes are safe and that the administrators of nursing homes are adhering to a high set of standards,” commented Rep. Halbrook, chief co-sponsor of the legislation.

An initiative of the Illinois Nursing Home Administrators (INHAA), this legislation is supported by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR). The Licensure Act requires:

1) Certification of graduation from high school or a GED

2) Certified records of education and experience (Baccalaureate Degree, Course of instruction
         in Nursing Home Administration; 3-year Nursing diploma + 2 years experience; or Associates             Degree or a minimum 60 semester credits + Employer’s Affidavit of experience.

3) Statement of sound physical and mental health dated within one year preceding application;

4) A complete work history since completion of education; and

5) payment of the required fee ($100 Initial Fee; $75 Temporary License; and/or $50 Renewal

Every licensee must have their license renewed every two years. Every renewal applicant shall complete 36 hours of Continuing Education (CE) relevant to the practice of nursing home administration required during each pre-renewal period. The Department of Professional Regulations (IDFPR) shall conduct random audits to verify compliance.
Second weekend of firearm deer season shows harvest improvement numbers. The preliminary total tag count is 80,021 deer for the seven days that hunters were allowed to hunt with shotguns in Illinois. This marks an increase of 462 animals from the 79,559 deer harvested in the comparable 2016 season.

Harvested deer by county in the 102nd District:
      Champaign - 316
      Douglas - 167
      Edgar - 377
      Macon - 412
      Moultrie - 311
      Shelby - 672
      Vermilion - 708

Key to the successful season numbers was a strong harvest in the second firearm weekend ending December 3, in which hunters were able to drop and tag more than 3,600 additional deer compared with the second weekend of 2016. This enabled the overall season to end up in the black despite a slow statewide start during the first shotgun weekend.

While the shotgun season is now over, additional seasons remain. The muzzleloader-only season is December 8-10; two antlerless-only/CWD deer seasons will follow the muzzleloader season in certain Illinois counties, concluding on January 14, 2018; and deer bowhunters will be able to use their bows until Jan. 14 as well.
Rep. Brad Halbrook is sponsoring a free Health Fair for senior citizens in the 107th District. Please take advantage of this "one-stop shop" opportunity to gather information and learn about the resources in our area.

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) fought legislation this week that would have turned law-abiding citizens into felons just for possessing common firearm modification equipment.

“This legislation was overly broad and vague,” said Rep. Halbrook. “It’s another example of a poorly and hastily drafted bill trying to take advantage of a tragic event that would make good people into criminals. I am happy to be a part of the defeat of this bad legislation!”

The broad scope of House Bill 4117 would have required a FOID (Firearms Owner ID) card for the purchase of certain common chemical items and outlawed the sale or possession of many basic trigger modification devices. Outlawing so many common trigger modification devices would turned law-abiding citizens across Illinois into felons because some of the most commonly owned firearms frequently use trigger modifications to improve accuracy and safety. Halbrook joined many other members of the House expressing serious concerns about these, and other, aspects of the legislation.

Illinois already has the 4th most restrictive gun laws in the US, according to the Cato Institute and 60% of the guns used to commit crimes in Chicago from 2009 – 2013 originated OUTSIDE of Illinois.
 House Republican Leader Jim Durkin announced today that State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) has been appointed to the Agriculture & Conservation Committee in the Illinois House of Representatives effective immediately.

“I’m pleased to be appointed to the House Agriculture & Conservation Committee, serving Illinois’ largest industry,” said Rep. Halbrook. “Many families are tied to farming and agricultural jobs and we need to be sure that public policy continues to recognize this and support a strong, healthy agricultural industry.”

Illinois is a leading producer of soybeans, corn and swine. The state's climate and varied soil types enable farmers to grow and raise many other agricultural commodities, including cattle, wheat, oats, sorghum, hay, sheep, poultry, fruits and vegetables. Illinois also produces several specialty crops, such as buckwheat, horseradish, ostriches, fish and Christmas trees.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS), as of February 2017, Illinois had 72,200 farms. Illinois farmland covers nearly 27 million acres -- about 75 percent of the state's total land area. Most farm acreage is devoted to grain, mainly corn and soybeans. Nearly 10 percent of Illinois farms have swine. Beef cows are found on about 23 percent of farms, while about 3 percent have dairy cows. Some farms produce specialty crops and livestock, including alfalfa, canola, nursery products, emus and fish. Many farming operations also support recreational activities such as hunting and fishing.