Governor Rauner proposes major public safety package to reinstate death penalty and extend 72-hour wait to all guns. Gov. Bruce Rauner has asked the Illinois General Assembly to reinstate the death penalty for mass murderers and those who kill law enforcement officers.

The proposal is part of a precedent-setting public safety initiative that the Governor unveiled in an amendatory veto (AV) of House Bill 1468 which also urges legislators to:

· Extend the 72-hour waiting period for delivery of all gun purchases in Illinois.
· Ban bump stocks and trigger cranks.
· Authorize restraining orders to disarm dangerous individuals.
· Make judges and prosecutors more accountable by making them explain – on the record why charges are reduced in plea agreements for violent offenders in gun cases.
· Free up local revenue to hire resource officers and mental health workers to help intervene and prevent student violence before it occurs.

Rauner’s changes to HB 1468 create a new category of homicide called “death penalty murder.” It would apply to offenders 18 and over that prosecutors charge with killing peace officers or two or more people without lawful justification.

The Governor’s proposal was redrafted as Floor Amendment #1 to SB 2580 and has been referred to the House floor for consideration.
Shelby County Opportunity Zone
State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) reported that Governor Bruce Rauner announced 327 Opportunity Zone Census tract recommendations submitted by the State of Illinois have been approved by the U.S. Treasury Department. These zones cover more than 85 counties throughout the state and aim to support the future of Illinois through economic growth and investment.

“Opportunity Zones have been approved in Douglas, Edgar, Moultire & Shelby Counties,” Rep. Halbrook stated. “These areas are in desperate need of jobs, benefiting individuals and communities. This is a great opportunity to bring jobs and investments into east Central Illinois.”

To determine the most effective tracts for nomination, a three-phase approach was implemented to identify need and potential, adequately
Edgar County Opportunity Zone
represent the entire state, and account for local input. Phase one involved need based indexing depending on factors like poverty rates, specifically those among children, unemployment rates, crime rates and population. These standards highlight the goal of the program in Illinois which is to
Moultrie County Opportunity Zone
cultivate potential within disadvantaged communities and invest in our future generations across the state. Phase two and three were used to ensure a statewide benefit and each county with qualifying tracts received at least one zone and towns and cities across the state were limited on the number of zones included.
Douglas County Opportunity Zone

Established by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones present an opportunity for private, tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need, benefiting residents living in the zones and private investors. 1,305 qualifying low-income census tracts were available for selection, of which only 25% could be nominated by the Governor for inclusion in the program.

For more information on Opportunity Zones visit
Pictured (l-r) are Annie McClellan, Media Specialist, Valerie Kalagian, Instructional Technology Coordinator, senior student Kaitlynn Snelling, senior student Atticus Harris, and Rep. Brad Halbrook
On Thursday, State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) welcomed students and educators from Sullivan Community Unit School District #300 to the Capitol for TECH Day 2018. In addition to seeing the State Capitol, the students and staff also spent time observing the House in Session as they conducted legislative business.

"I continue to be impressed by the advances in technology and I am impressed with how quickly our young people are able to understand and utilize these technological advances,” commented Rep. Brad Halbrook, a member of the Government Consolidation & Modernization Committee. “It is good to have the opportunity to learn about how technology is being utilized in schools and hear about their future needs,” Halbrook added.

This is the 18th year that students have been bringing their projects to the Capitol. Tech 2018 organizers say over the years, Illinois has seen a number of students take elementary and junior high technology products and develop them into skills and talents that took them into college and a career. It is estimated that over the next decade, there will be as many as a million more technology jobs than there are people to fill them.
Map provided by GoogleMaps
State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) announced the passage of House Joint Resolution 104, naming a portion of Interstate 57 in Champaign as the ‘Congressman Tim Johnson Highway.’

“I am proud to sponsor this resolution,” said Halbrook. “For the entirety of his legislative career in both Springfield and Washington, Congressman Johnson represented Douglas County which I now represent. Even now, Tim continues to be known and admired by residents of my district.”

The resolution now moves to the Illinois Senate. The portion of Interstate 57 named will be from Interstate 74 on the north to the Curtis Road exit on the south. Johnson was instrumental in obtaining funding for the Curtis Road interchange in his time in Congress.

“Congressman Johnson served on the Transportation committee for all of his twelve years in Washington,” said Halbrook. “While in Springfield, he was also highly regarded for his concern for infrastructure needs in his district. It’s appropriate that his name be remembered by the state on a portion of a federal highway.”

Tim Johnson was first elected to the legislature in 1976 and served until 2000. He was elected Congressman in 2000 and served until his retirement in 2013.
Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz is urging Illinois firearms owners to file paperwork early as the first wave of the 10-year Firearm Owners Identification cards come due for renewal.

"We expect tens of thousands of renewal applications to come in over the next few months," Schmitz said. "We recommend gun owners get their renewal applications in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card out before expiration."

More than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal between June 1 and Aug. 1. The General Assembly amended state law in 2008, allowing FOID cards to be valid for 10 years. The timing of the law change creates a glut of renewals this summer.

FOID card applications involve state and federal background checks, as well as review of the database from the Illinois Department of Human Services to confirm that applicants have not been in a mental institution in the past five years. The Illinois State Police oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards that are needed to buy or possess a firearm or ammunition.

State Police already have sent renewal notices to people whose cards will expire June 1.

Applicants can visit the ISP's Firearm Services Bureau website at to renew online. The cost of the card is $10. Applicants must be Illinois residents and include their Illinois Drivers License or State ID card number. Applicants under the age of 21 must have a parents' signature on the application.

Anyone who needs assistance with FOID card renewal, and those who prefer paper applications, can call 217-782-7980 and select menu option 0.

Applicants should make sure the name and address on FOID applications match the records on file for them at the Secretary of State's Office, otherwise the renewal process will be delayed.

To read the full article by Doug Wilson at the Herald-Whig, click here.
Pictured (l-r) in the Illinois House Chamber Gallery are Rep. Brad Halbrook, Troop 2119 members Abigayl Ray, Kiersten Reasor, and Hayleigh Clemmons and Troop Leader Andrea Ray of Philo. (Not pictured were Troop Leader Christine Clemmons and future Girl Scout Harliegh Clemmons.)

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) was visited by local Girl Scout Troop 2119 from Philo last week during ‘Girl Scout Day.’ They participated with Girl Scouts from around Illinois in a march and rally at the State Capitol building.

“Not everything can be learned in the classroom. I am always pleased to see young people take an interest in their government and learn how democracy works,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook, a member of both the Cities & Villages Committee and the Counties & Townships Committee. “Programs like this help teach young women about civic responsibility and how to make a difference in the world. These kinds of opportunities can empower these girls to become leaders for their community later in life.”

This special day at the Capitol has been a learning experience for thousands of Girl Scouts since it first began in 2004. Girl Scouts are working to let everyone know that the organization is so much more than selling cookies. Girl Scouts help girls and young women learn to believe in themselves, learn to believe in their dreams and learn how to make those dreams a reality.

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) reported that his legislation to clarify the ‘Open Meetings Act’ has passed the House. The changes include special meetings and emergency meetings of public boards and will require the same from subsidiary bodies of the public body. All must post agendas and minutes the same as regular meetings of the public body.

“The idea for this correction to the Open Meetings Act came from local people who work with a variety of public bodies and have seen actions taken that people did not know about,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook, a member of the Government Transparency Committee. “When the taxpayers are put on the hook for the cost of the public body’s actions, they need to have the right to know about and attend these meetings to be heard in favor or opposition to all proposals.”

The changes to the Open Meetings Act would require that a public body that has a website maintained by a full-time staff to post the agenda and notice of meetings for both the governing body and all subsidiary bodies of the public body. The failure of a public body to post on its website notice of any meeting or the agenda of any meeting shall not invalidate any meeting or any actions taken at a meeting, and provides that such provision shall apply unless the failure to post notice was the result of bad faith on the part of the public body.

Allows a court to declare null and void any final action taken at a meeting in violation of the Act, regardless of whether or not the meeting was a closed meeting. Provides that a court shall (rather than may) assess against any party, except a State's Attorney, reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred by any other party who substantially prevails in any action brought under specified provisions of the Act. Also, there is a provision requiring a court to consider the degree to which the relief obtained relates to the relief sought when determining reasonable attorney's fees.

House Bill 4583 passed out of the House this week and now heads to the Senate.
Pictured (l-r) State Senator Chapin Rose, Trent Moore, David Falk, Cindi Reed, and State Rep. Brad Halbrook.

Thank you to the pharmacists who traveled to the State Capitol recently to testify about the medicaid reimbursement rate disparity. We need to keep the market competitive to keep pharmacies in our rural areas of the state to provide for the health care needs of our residents.
British Consul General John Saville with
Rep. Brad Halbrook on the floor of
the Illinois House of Representatives.

Mr. John Saville was appointed Her Majesty’s Consul General for Chicago in November 2017. The British Consulate General in Chicago maintains and develops relations between the UK and the USA.

"I look forward to working with the Consul General to promote economic opportunities between our countries," said Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville).

Mr. Saville joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1981 and has had a range of Diplomatic Service appointments including as Deputy Head of Mission in Cuba and as High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam. His most recent appointment was Her Majesty’s Ambassador to The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The Consul General is the senior UK official in a Consulate General, which is a subordinate office to the Embassy or High Commission, usually located in another major city. The Consul General represents the UK government and is typically responsible for consular, visa and trade activities in their city or region.

Our work involves dealing with a wide range of political, commercial, security and economic questions of interest to the UK and this region of the United States. We also provide consular assistance to British nationals in our region.

Find out more on our USA and the UK news page.

We provide services to British nationals living in and visiting Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

You can access UK government services while in the USA.

Task Force recommends building state-of-the art
facility at Quincy Veterans Home

SPRINGFIELD (May 1, 2018) – The Combined Veterans’ Capital Needs Task Force, created by Governor Bruce Rauner to analyze infrastructure needs and develop key strategies on how to improve the health and safety of residents at the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy (IVHQ), has submitted a final report to the Governor and General Assembly.

“This report encompasses months of research and dialog around the needs facing our veterans of today and for generations to come,” said Erica Jeffries, Director of the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs and Chair of the Task Force. “The recommendations offered will support residents at the home in Quincy and provide a template for veterans’ housing across the state.”

The Task Force provided four recommendations for continued remediation efforts at the home and notes that “anything less than complete reconstruction will fall short” of its full support. The recommendations include:

  • Building a new, state-of-the art skilled nursing care facility that could house up to 300 residents.
  • Constructing a new, underground water loop that feeds existing buildings and new construction.
  • Develop an alternate water source and make improvements to the existing water treatment facility as necessary.
  • Purchase and renovate the closed, off-site nursing facility to provide a safe and comfortable temporary living environment for up to 180 IVHQ residents. The facility could hold up to 90 residents permanently.

The estimated cost of complete reconstruction is between $202 and $245 million dollars, which requires the approval and appropriation of the General Assembly.

“Legislators from both sides of the aisle have promised to put financial support behind our efforts to rebuild this home and take care of the veterans who have served our country,” Governor Rauner said. “Our number one goal is to protect our heroes. We’ve already taken significant steps to reduce the risks of Legionella at the home and we look forward to working with the General Assembly to put stronger protections in place.”

The Task Force report also put forth the following legislative initiatives that will expedite the process on rebuilding the campus and protecting Illinois’ heroes for generations to come.
  • Pass SB 3128, which will extend the sunset date for the Design Build Act (30 ILCS 537/5) and permit CDB to use the design-build delivery method on public projects. 
  • Pass SB 667, SB 3127, and SB 3144, which will allow the state to access federal reimbursement funding for capital projects. There is currently more than $12 million in the fund, with an additional $4 million expected in the near future.  The bills have cleared the Senate and are currently awaiting action in the House.
  • Increase thresholds for financial disclosures in the Illinois Procurement Code. Section 50-35 of the Procurement Code (30 ILCS 500/50-35) requires financial disclosures from all vendors and subcontractors with a contract over $50,000 prior to work beginning on a project.  Waiting for compliance from vendors and subcontractors can slow the project start time.  Increasing the threshold for financial disclosure requirements form $50,000 to $250,000 can help expedite the projects referenced in this report. 

  • Modify the Veterans Affairs Act, granting licensing and control of off campus buildings to ensure continuity of care for residents who are housed at the off-site nursing facility.

“We are working with the General Assembly to draft language for the legislative initiatives and look forward to passage by the May 31st deadline,” said Michael Hoffman, senior advisor to the governor. 

The report is available here, on the Illinois Department of Veteran’s Affairs website.  
Pictured are Margie Carter of Tuscola and State Rep. Brad Halbrook testifying at
the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee.

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) passed his legislation out of the House to require a school district to take into consideration the classroom placement of twins or higher order multiples in kindergarten through grade 5 as requested by the children's parent or guardian upon registration. The measure passed nearly unanimously and now goes to the Illinois Senate for consideration.

“House Bill 4368 is a constituent lead initiative that I am pleased to work on,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook. “It is a bi-partisan effort and I look forward to its passage in the Senate.”

Earlier this month, Margie Carter from Tuscola, a mother of twin daughters, came to Springfield to testify on House Bill 4368 that would require schools to allow parents of twins to decide if their children are better in a classroom together or in separate classrooms.

Once the bill is signed into law by the governor, it would take effect immediately.

Thirty-seven Illinois hospitals got the highest grade for patient safety in the latest Leapfrog Group assessment. Leapfrog, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, grades acute-care hospitals across the country twice annually on 30 patient safety measures. The assessment does not include children's hospitals.
"Congratulations to Carle Foundation Hospital on this designation and recognition," commented Rep. Brad Halbrook, who's district residents in the Champaign County area are served by Carle Foundation Hospital.
Of the 107 Illinois hospitals included in the current survey, 37 earned an A. Among those, 11 have received A grades for the past five years:
• Amita Health St. Alexius Medical Center Hoffman Estates
• Carle Foundation Hospital (Urbana)
• Elmhurst Memorial Hospital
• Loyola Medicine Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (Melrose Park)
• Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital (Winfield)
• OSF St. Joseph Medical Center (Bloomington)
• OSF St. Mary Medical Center (Galesburg)
• Rush Copley Medical Center (Aurora)
• Rush University Medical Center (Chicago)
• University of Chicago Medical Center (Chicago)
• West Suburban Medical Center (Oak Park)

Nationally, Illinois is No. 15 this spring, up from No. 26 in fall 2017. Leapfrog calculates national rankings based on the percentage of A's in each state. Leapfrog includes only hospitals that respond to its surveys. If a hospital does not have enough data available for all the measures in the survey, it is excluded from the report.
You may read the full Crain's Chicago Business article with rankings by clicking HERE.
Rep. Brad Halbrook debates his legislation in the Illinois House.

State Representative Brad Halbrook announced that three of his bills have been heard in committees this past week and one has passed the House and moved over to the Illinois Senate for consideration. House Bill 4253 which would amend the Public Water District Act and provides that an appointing authority may remove a public water district trustee it appointed for misconduct, official misconduct, or neglect of office.

“The legislation that is moving through the process this past week focuses on township and county government and may not be glitzy for most people but it is about good government practices and helping our local township governments function more efficiently,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook, a member of the Government Consolidation & Modernization Committee.

HB 4271 Amends the Counties Code to provide that the county authorities may (rather than shall) require that all auxiliary deputies be residents of the county served by them. HB 4697 would amend the Township Code to provide that if a vacant township supervisor office is filled by appointment, the appointed supervisor shall fulfill the bond requirement for township supervisors.

The fourth bill which passed out of committee this last week was House Bill 4822 that would create the Local Government Electronic Notification Act. It would allow a unit of local government to establish a process to allow people to select electronic notifications through an electronic notification delivery system for governmental mailings that are being sent by United States mail.

“With the ever-growing comfort level of people to use electronic systems to do business, permitting government to save money in postage and use electronic notifications makes sense,” added Rep. Halbrook.

To follow legislation and watch or listen to the proceedings of the House, you may click HERE to connect to the Illinois General Assembly web page.
Rep. Halbrook met with (l-r) Abby Radcliffe, Director of Small and Rural Hospital Constituency Section at the Illinois Health and Hospital Association,  Aaron Puchbauer, President/CEO HSHS Good Shepherd Hoispital, and
Sam Brown, Administrative Fellow for HSHS Central Illinois.

Rep. Brad Halbrook pictured with Amy Arnett - RN, MS, CPHQ, the Quality/Infection Prevention Manager
and Darcie Mathews - RN, the Medical/Surgical Manager at Paris Community Hospital.

Rep. Brad Halbrook pictured with Michelle McLain - Physical Therapist at
HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville.
Greg Parrott - Director of Environmental Services and Taffy Creviston - MPH, MT, CIC at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana talk about the services they provide to residents  in Champaign County of the 102nd District .

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) welcomed representatives from hospitals in his area this past week at the Illinois State Capitol. HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville, Paris Community Hospital, and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana were all represented this year.

“Health care is a huge issue everywhere and we are fortunate to have in our area quality healthcare facilities for our families and seniors,” said Rep. Halbrook. “We have worked with our facilities on a variety of events including the diabetes awareness and prevention luncheon with Paris Community Hospital this past year.”

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) is outraged that very important pieces of public safety legislation were not advanced out of the House Judiciary-Criminal committee yesterday. With the committee deadline today, these bills will not advance to the House Chamber this legislative session.

“The message from the House Democrats yesterday is clear – partisan politics are more important to them than protecting the most innocent and vulnerable in our state,” Durkin said. “Our message to them is that the House Republicans will not stand down and will continue to fight for victims of crime, first responders and all the citizens of Illinois.”

Some critical public safety bills that were killed by Democrats in committee yesterday are:

  • House Bill 5649, introduced by Leader Durkin, would deny bail for offenders who commit battery against a police officer while in police custody.
  • House Bill 5079, introduced by State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), increases the penalties for human traffickers.
  • House Bill 4586, introduced by State Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Savanna), increases a battery charge to aggravated battery if the victim is an employee of the Adult Protective Services Program, the Ombudsman Program or Department of Child and Family Services and the offender knowingly causes great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement of the victim. This bill was the result of the tragic death of DCFS employee Pamela Knight who was murdered while trying to take an abused child into custody.
  • House Bill 4318, introduced by State Rep. Michael Unes (R-East Peoria), would make it illegal for a sex offender to knowingly reside within one mile of the victim of the sex offense. Currently, the law allows sex offenders to live as close as 500 feet to their victims.

“Our single, greatest duty as legislators is to protect our constituents, and these actions by the House Democrats are appalling, egregious and unacceptable,” Durkin said, who previously served as a felony prosecutor at the Cook County State’s Attorney Office. “These bills are responsible, thought out, and will have an immediate impact in providing protections for innocent victims of crime.”

Pictured are Margie Carter of Tuscola and State Rep. Halbrook testifying
State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) welcomed Margie Carter from Tuscola, a mother of twin daughters, to testify on House Bill 4368 that would require schools to allow parents of twins to decide if their children are better in a classroom together or in separate classrooms. The school may recommend classroom placement, but the school shall provide placement requested by the parent or guardian.

“Our children are not all the same and the school policy needs to recognize this and give parents the right to determine which setting is best for their twins or triplets,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook. “A big ‘Thank You’ to Margie Carter from Tuscola for testifying in front of the Elementary & Secondary Education: School Curriculum & Policies Committee.”

This legislation sets forth a process of when these classroom placement requests must be made and also provides for the local school board to make the classroom placement determination, after a hearing, if the principal determines that placement in the same classroom is disruptive to the classroom environment.

You may follow legislation and watch or listen to House proceedings live at

“I know we all appreciate the work by IDOT construction workers to keep our roads and bridges in a safe condition," said Rep. Brad Halbrook, who serves on the Cities & Villages Committee and the Counties & Townships Committee. "I join in asking that drivers slow down in work zones and not text and drive to help save lives."

Governor Bruce Rauner joined state and federal transportation officials this week to kick off National Work Zone Awareness Week in Illinois. Drivers are being reminded to slow down and give workers adequate space as construction season ramps up.

“Construction workers have one of the most dangerous jobs in the state. They put themselves in harm’s way every day to make sure we all have decent roads to travel,” Rauner said.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, Illinois Tollway and other local and national partners to spread the word about work zone safety. The theme this year is “Work Zone Safety – Everybody’s Responsibility.”

There are about 5,200 work zone crashes in Illinois each year. In 2017, 29 people died in a work zone. IDOT Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says it’s not just construction workers who are killed or injured in these areas.

“Almost four out of five work zone fatalities involve someone other than a worker. That’s why it’s critical that work zones be safe for all – workers, motorists, freight haulers, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike,” Blankenhorn said. “As the transportation hub of North America, Illinois will have work zones of all sizes this construction season. Everyone has to be diligent when it comes to keeping safe.”

In recent years, Illinois has strengthened laws to increase safety in work zones. Fines for speeding in work zones are $375 for first-time offenders and $1,000 for a second offense. The penalty for hitting a worker is a fine of up to $10,000 and 14 years in prison.

“The Illinois State Police is committed to ensuring the safety of the motoring public, construction zone workers, and emergency personnel who are working in areas where highway construction is occurring,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Our Troopers will strictly enforce work zone posted speed limits and distracted driving violations. Please be extra cautious when traveling through Work Zones. Give Them a Break! Slow Down and Move Over!”

To promote safety in the field, IDOT is working with its industry partners to host “tailgate talks” at construction sites throughout the week. The discussions provide workers with refreshers on work zone protocol to encourage safety throughout the construction season. This Friday, April 13th, Laborers will continue their tradition of staffing rest areas across the state and distributing materials that stress the importance of safe driving through work zones.

To learn more work zone rules and driving tips, an online quiz is available at
Contest Deadline: May 1, 2018

*Contest open to Illinois residents only

*Designs should depict an aspect of Illinois or Illinois history

*One entry per contestant may be submitted at

*Winning design will be minted on Illinois' Bicentennial Medallion

*Final winner will be announced on June 18, 2018
Assessments will start Monday in Vermilion, Iroquois, and Kankakee counties

SPRINGFIELD (March 16, 2018) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is joining state officials to conduct damage assessments in Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion counties next week.

Governor Bruce Rauner and his team at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) submitted the request for federal support after the three counties experienced severe flooding in February. County officials conducted initial damage assessments and found that 126 homes were destroyed or suffered major damage. Another 850 homes were also impacted by flood waters.

“Many people in these counties are struggling to recover from this flood and we want to do everything possible to help them,” Gov. Rauner said. “These damage assessments will provide a clearer picture of the damage and insight on what people need in order to fully get back on their feet.”

Personnel from FEMA, IEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and local emergency management agencies are expected to begin assessing damage to homes and businesses on Monday afternoon. The assessments will continue until complete.

Gov. Rauner issued a disaster proclamation for the three counties on Feb. 23 to ensure state support as communities in these counties battled flood waters.

The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated to coordinate state assistance to several counties affected by flooding. The assistance included 50,000 sandbags, 18 pumps with hoses, nine Illinois Department of Corrections work crews and two Emergency Management Assistance Teams.

Thank you to the Macon County Farm Bureau Members who traveled to the Illinois State Capitol this week to meet with legislators and advocate for their issues to support agriculture in our area. Pictured in the photo (l-r) are Tim Stock, Farm Bureau Manager; Rep. Halbrook; Mike Stacey, Macon County Farm Bureau President; and Mat Muirheid, District 2-Board Member.

Rep. Halbrook reviews legislation on his laptop during House proceedings.
Rep. Halbrook reviews legislation on his laptop on the House Floor.State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) opposed a package of anti-gun bills in the Illinois House of Representatives yesterday. These bills from both the House and Senate proposed more regulations and restrictions on gun owners and gun dealers in Illinois.

“I will continue to stand up for law-abiding citizens’ 2nd Amendment right,” exclaimed Rep. Brad Halbrook. “I opposed all of these bills today that are more about political posturing than good public policy.”

The various pieces of legislation introduced would raise the minimum age from 18 to 21 for certain guns 90 days after the effective date of this bill should it become law. There is also new Gun Dealer Licensing legislation that would impose burdensome state gun control measures. This proposal would exempts big box stores like WalMart from having to being licensed but every “mom & pop” dealer will have to have a state license for the owner, a state license for the dealer and possibly a local license in addition to the federal license that is required. The license would be $1,000 to be renewed every 5 years.

It is already a crime in Illinois to sell firearms without having a federal firearm dealer license (FFL). In addition (under this legislation) if the dealer wants to open a branch office, they must apply for another license. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulations (IDFPR) would be directed to monitor this licensing but doesn’t have the experience or knowledge regarding firearms. So, they would have to contract with the Illinois State Police (ISP) to carry this out and the financial impact to IDFPR is estimated at around 2 million dollars.

The bill allows for county sheriffs to certify compliance of applicants for licenses and to file objections to granting a license and allows for locals to impose additional requirements for gun dealers. The dealers can then be investigated by the state and the locals if there is an alleged violation.

The Gun Dealers Licensing would require 100 hours of experience before a person is eligible for licensing and that they have worked under the supervision of a licensee for 5 years. It would exclude military or retired law enforcement from licensing until they have completed those requirements.
What: Governor Rauner delivers budget address
Where: Illinois State Capitol – House Chamber
Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Time: 12:00 p.m.

The address will be streamed on Facebook Live and at the following links:

HD Satellite Coordinates: 

Slug: Illinois Budget Address Live
Date: February 14, 2018
Time: 11:45 AM (CT) 1:00 PM (CT) 
Satellite: ECHO105K
Transponder: 07
Slot: A9
Downlink Frequency: 11826.5
Downlink Polarization: Vertical
Bandwidth: 9 MHz
Symbol Rate: 7.5
FEC: 5 / 6
Data Rate: 18.589212
Video: MPEG-4 4:2:0
Modulation Scheme: 8PSK
For technical assistance please call IOCI Media Services at 217-785-5499.

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) is encouraging people with an undergraduate degree who are interested in the legislative process to apply for one of twenty-four paid internships with the Illinois General Assembly. The deadline is March 1st.

“The State Capitol is an exciting arena to experience state government first-hand working with the legislative leaders and members of the General Assembly who shape public policy in Illinois,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook who currently serves on six House Committees, including the Agriculture Committee, the Counties & Townships Committee, and the Government Consolidation & Modernization Committee.

For more than fifty years, the Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP) has provided unique internship experiences for keenly interested, deeply motivated and talented individuals to work within state government. With the Capitol as both workplace and classroom, ILSIP interns earn four graduate credits from the University of Illinois Springfield.

Funded by the Illinois General Assembly through the Legislative Research Unit and administered by the University of Illinois Springfield, The program offers interns a ten and a half (10.5) month, full-time position with a monthly stipend of $2,100.

“The ILSIP experience is intended to broaden the perspective of those planning academic, business or government careers so that they will carry into their chosen fields an understanding of the legislative process and how it relates to their work,” added Halbrook.

All materials must be submitted or postmarked by March 1. Application materials received after March 1 will be accepted and processed until the positions are filled. Final selection/placements announced early to mid-May. For more information regarding the application materials or application process go online to or contact Barbara Van Dyke-Brown, Director

Roland Carlson (center), former president and CEO of Pana Community Hospital visited the Illinois Capitol this week to see the workings of the legislature. State Senator Chapin Rose (left) and I pictured here at the railing outside of the Senate Chambers. Mr. Carlson is currently owner of Carlson Consulting in Pana working with healthcare organizations, medical practices and other service industries such as education and transportation. His former work with Pana Community Hospital focused on acute care “critical access," operating a primary care physician practice, and a home health agency, hospice, and medical equipment company.

"Thank you to Mr. Carlson for your interest in the workings 

Today the Governor will deliver his "State of the State" address to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol. For those who are interested, you may watch the live video or listen to the live audio at the Illinois House Chambers by clicking on the link HERE.

If you have problems connecting at the House link,
the address will also be streamed
on Facebook Live and at the following links: