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.