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State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) announced that the governor signed into law House Bill 4253 on Tuesday that will now allow the body that appointed a trustee in a water district may also remove that trustee for misconduct, official misconduct, or neglect of office.

“I am pleased that this bill has become law,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook, a member of the Government Transparency Committee. “This is one of those instances where someone could be appointed but there was no legal mechanism to remove them if they were not doing their job or it was discovered they had lost the public trust because of misconduct.”

This law creates more accountability in the 98 public water districts in Illinois. It is a response to a water district trustee who made a profit of more than $14,000 on contracts between his business and the water district board on which he sits, despite being prohibited from having any direct or indirect interest in any contract or work of the district.

This law becomes effective immediately.
State Rep. Brad Halbrook is pleased to announce that the Small Firefighting and Ambulance Service Equipment Grants announced this week include $108,424.25 for communities in his district. Tolono Fire Protection District in Champaign County will receive $18,300; Fairmount Fire Department in Vermilion County will receive $14,640; and in Shelby County, the Windsor Area Ambulance Service will receive $23,800, Windsor Fire Protection District will receive $25,908, and the Findlay Fire Protection District will be receiving $25,076.25.

“This Small Equipment Grant Program is an important funding source for our rural communities,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook. “When the tax base is smaller than in the big cities, it is a bigger challenge to afford the equipment used by fire and ambulance services. These grants are truly life savers for our area.”

One hundred fire departments and nonprofit ambulance services across the state received grants for the purchase of safety equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus and other needed tools. The money for this grant comes from the Fire Prevention Fund. The grants total $2.2 million, with each recipient receiving up to $26,000.

“This year we had over 400 fire departments from across the state apply for a grant,” State Fire Marshall Matt Perez said. “The requests for grants totaled over $9 million. We had $2.2 million in funds to award and we ensured that the neediest stations across the state received the money to ensure the safety of the men and women that protect their cities. It is imperative that we continue to find ways to aid the men and women that respond first in a disaster and always put the lives of others before their own.”

This year, research conducted by the Illinois Fire Service Institute (IFSI) Research Center led OSFM to evaluate new needs. The research on cardiovascular and chemical exposure risks faced by firefighters prompted the inclusion of gear washers as acceptable purchases in this year’s grant application cycle.

Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts, township fire departments, and stand-alone, nonprofit ambulance service providers were eligible to apply. All fire department, fire protection district and township fire department applicants were required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of two years prior to applying.

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) opposes the two new gun restriction bills signed into law on Monday. These pieces of legislation put additional regulations on Second Amendment rights. Rep. Halbrook opposed both bills when they came before the Illinois House for consideration.

The first piece of legislation, House Bill 2354 would allow family members to get court approval to remove firearms from other family members they claim could hurt someone or themselves.

“Can you imagine the numbers of people who could have the government sweep in to take your guns just because of a temporary argument between a husband and wife or between brothers,” said Rep. Halbrook. “I did not support HB 2354 because the bill unfairly limits due process and could potentially make criminals out of law abiding citizens.”

The second piece of legislation, Senate Bill 3256 establishes a ’72-hour waiting period’ while background checks are performed on gun purchasers.

Rep. Halbrook said “the 72-hour waiting period bill is yet another example of Chicago Democrats playing to the extreme anti-gun people with more bureaucracy.” Halbrook added, “this legislation is an attack on our rural Illinois communities and will harm gun dealers and gun and knife trade shows. I am committed to continue to work to protect our constitutionally guaranteed Second Amendment rights.”

Rep. Halbrook pictured with Paris Hospital representatives at
this year's health care and hospital lobby day. 
Recently it was announced that the federal government has approved the state’s plan to protect safety net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.

"I supported Senate Bill 1773 to help our rural hospitals keep their doors open in many of the communities I represent," said Rep. Brad Halbrook. 

The plan was created with Senate Bill 1773, bipartisan legislation that the governor signed in March. It ensures the state will continue to receive federal matching funds to offer services for Medicaid beneficiaries through the Hospital Assessment Program, which brings in $3.5 billion annually. The new program takes effect July 1.

Legislators worked with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to redesign the program, create a more equitable reimbursement process, and ensure more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

“The Department is pleased that the federal government has approved this plan, which will mean that dollars follow services for Medicaid patients more closely,” said Teresa Hursey, Interim Director of HFS. “The new program reflects the reality that healthcare delivery has changed dramatically over the last ten years, and it draws down as much federal revenue as we believe is permissible.”

Prior to the new program, the state used old data sets, which were sometimes based on care that was provided as far back as 2005, to reimburse hospitals for Medicaid services. The new model applies updated data and also ensures that more of the reimbursements are based on actual services hospitals provide.

It also dedicates more than $260 million to help hospitals transform their operations to better serve their communities, such as offering more urgent and outpatient care.




The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) is seeking applications for funding under the Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act Program. This program furthers the Department’s mission by supporting and assisting state, local, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions in improving efforts to reduce violent crime through the creation of school threat assessment teams and the use of technology for anonymously reporting suspicious activity as it relates to violence in schools.

The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), recently published two notices for competitive grant programs for the recently approved STOP School Violence Act. Eligible applicants are limited to states, units of local government, and federally recognized Indian tribes. School districts interested in these funds should work with their counties and municipalities to apply.

STOP School Violence Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program
Funds available for this grant program may be used to address the development and operation of school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams, and the development of technology for local or regional anonymous reporting systems. Applications for grants are due July 23, 2018. Further information about this grant program is available here.

STOP School Violence Prevention and Mental Health Training Program
Funds available for this grant program may be used to address training school personnel and educating students to prevent student violence, and training school officials in responding to related mental health crises. Grant applications are due July 23, 2018. Further information about this program is available here.
Representative Halbrook pictured from left to right with Rep. Davidsmeyer, Rep. Butler, Governor Rauner, Director Poe, Rep. Costello and Rep. Bennett.
State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) along with Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Raymond Poe today announced the release of $16 million in agriculture grants at Stremsterfer Farms in Pleasant Plains. The funds being released from the fiscal year 2018 budget will fund soil & water districts, county fairs and agriculture societies, and the University of Illinois Extension services throughout the state. Also in attendance were some of Halbrook’s colleagues in the General Assembly, Governor Rauner, local officials, and the Stremsterfer family.

“I am thrilled to announce the state is making a commitment to preserve and promote agriculture,” said Rep. Halbrook. “One in four jobs in our state is related to agriculture and it is our state’s number one industry. These funds won’t go to waste as this funding is critical to help preserve farmland and educate future generations of Illinois farmers.”

Soil and Water Conservation Districts which protect Illinois farmland through conservation efforts, will receive $6 million. The 97 districts around the state play a central role in efforts to protect and sustain the viability of Illinois soil and water resources in order to preserve our farmland for future generations. The Department will be issuing more than $61,000 to each of the districts to help fund operations.  More than $54,000 will be sent to each of the 92 county fairs across the state to help operations at the fairs and may be used to support critical facility rehabilitation needs.
It was a pleasure speaking at the American Legion Premier Boys State yesterday evening at Eastern Illinois University. Christopher Benigno does a fantastic job chairing such a wonderful program that educates young men on the duties, privileges, rights, and responsibilities of American citizenship. If you are not aware of this program please check it out here.