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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.
FY19 budget passed with bipartisan support and signed into law. Last Monday, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a $38.5 billion bipartisan compromise budget.

The bulk of the FY19 plan was laid out months ago when the Governor gave his budget address to the General Assembly on Valentine’s Day. It was there that he framed his chief goals for the upcoming fiscal year. The General Assembly adopted many of the Governor’s key agenda items.
The budget was contained in two separate bills.  HB 109 appropriates the $38.5 billion contained in the State’s general funds spending plan for FY19.  HB 3342, the FY19 Budget Implementation (BIMP) bill, contains changes to the State’s statutory laws necessary to enable the State’s spending to be carried out within the overall $38.5 billion framework.
A major credit rating house, Standard & Poor’s, followed up on the budget enactment by reaffirming Illinois’s investment-grade credit rating.  The two bills represented the first bipartisan, balanced budget enacted by Illinois in 15 years.  Both HB 109 and HB 3342 were approved by final action of the House and sent to the Governor for signature.  HB 109 (now P.A. 100-586) was approved by a vote of 97-18-00, and HB 3342 (now P.A. 100-587) was approved by a vote of 100-14-0.  Both votes took place on Thursday, May 31.  The two budget bills were signed into law on Monday, June 4.

After reports of severe storm damage as a result of Sunday evening’s storm in Central Illinois, State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) released the following statement:

“I have and will remain in communication with the Champaign County Emergency Management Agency as I continue to monitor the affects resulting in Sunday evening’s storm. If my office can be of assistance to anyone affected by last night’s storm, please call my office at 217-774-1306.”

Rep. Brad Halbrook met with representatives from two of the electric co-ops in his district at the Illinois State Capitol this month. They discussed issues concerning co-op regulation and policies to ensure the supply of electricity to residents and business continues to be available.

Pictured on the steps of the grand staircase in the Rotunda of the Illinois Capitol are:

Front row (l-r) Diane Bunton, HR/Regulatory Compliance at Shelby Electric Co-op and Marla Eversole, Communication Specialist at Shelby Electric Co-op

Back row (l-r) Josh Shallenbarger, President/CEO Shelby Electric Co-op, Brad Ludwig with Eastern Illini Electric Co-op, Rep. Brad Halbrook, Mike Wilson, Vice President of Member & Community Relations for Eastern Illini Electric Co-op, and Brian Halbrook, Vice Chairman-Shelby Electric Co-op.
State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) announced today that the American Conservative Union (ACU) released their ratings for 2017 and he is one of the six most conservative voting records in the Illinois House with a 91% rating on selected legislation. Looking at his voting record over his total years in the legislature, Rep. Halbrook scores a 98% rating, the highest of any state representative or state senator in the Illinois Legislature.

“I am honored to be recognized by the American Conservative Union as a top conservative voice in the Illinois Legislature,” said Rep. Halbrook. “I feel my voting record reflects the conservative values of my district and my personal moral compass.”

The ACU begins with their philosophy that conservatism is the political philosophy that sovereignty resides in the person and then they apply the understanding of government to be that its essential role is to defend life, liberty and property. The ACU ratings are designed to educate the public about how consistently elected officials adhere to conservatism and carefully examine the entire docket of legislation introduced in each state every year. They select the most meaningful bills and publish the results.

The American Conservative Union Foundation’s Ratings date back 46 years when they began their Congressional Ratings. These ratings are meant to reflect how elected officials view the role of government in an individual’s life. The ACU Foundation is the only organization to score over 8,000 elected officials each year, including lawmakers from all 50 states and Congress.

To learn more about the ratings, you may find the information on line at: