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:

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) recently hosted high school sophomore, Judge Miller, who attends Mid-America Preparatory Academy in Herrick.

If you or a student you know has an interest in state government and the legislative process, this one-day program may be something to consider. Please contact Rep. Halbrook's Springfield office to learn more and schedule a date during legislative session.
State Representative Brad halbrook (R-Shelbyville) reported that the bill he is sponsoring has passed out of the House and now heads to the governor for consideration. Senate Bill 2518 concerning charity license plates in Illinois would expand the availability of these types of license plates to service members and veterans who have served during the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 fighting the “Global War on Terrorism.”

“I am proud to carry this legislation in the House to help honor our military men and women who have been fighting for us in more places than just Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook. “This Bill will appropriately recognize other combat military service occurring since 9-11, including deployments in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel, Jordan, Georgia (the former Soviet Republic), Djibouti, Chad, the Philippines, and many other countries.”

This legislation will permit the Secretary of State to issue “Global War on Terrorism” license plates to residents of Illinois who have earned the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal from the United States Armed Forces. The plates will be available for passenger vehicles of the first division, including motorcycles, or motor vehicles of the second division weighing not more than 8,000 pounds.

The Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal (GWOT-EM) is a United States Armed Forces award created by former President George W. Bush on 12 March 2003, through Executive Order. The medal recognizes those military service members who have deployed overseas in direct service to the War on Terror from 11 September 2001 to a date to be determined. The military operations covered include Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Nomad Shadow, New Dawn, Inherent Resolve, Freedom’s Sentinel, and Odyssey Lightning.

State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) announced that the bill he is carrying in the House to permit the supplemental feeding of deer passed and now goes back to the Senate for concurrence on an amendment. The University of Illinois Prairie Research Institute in consultation with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine will conduct a study on the effects of the supplemental feeding.

“This supplemental feeding of deer cannot be conducted during hunting season to bait deer for easier kills,” explained Rep. Brad Halbrook, a member of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee. “We don’t know what the long-term impact might be for the wild deer population in Illinois which is why we want a study conducted on this pilot project.”

The University of Illinois Prairie Research Institute shall, subject to appropriation, conduct a study for a period of at least five years on the health and social effects of supplemental deer feeding on the wild deer population outside of any Illinois deer hunting season. The study will also look at whether supplemental deer feeding affects the risk of disease transmission in the deer population.

The study's findings and any recommendations will be submitted to the Department of Natural Resources, to be posted on its Internet website, and the General Assembly in a report no more than 180 days after the completion of the study.