As citizens throughout Illinois toast the New Year and sing Auld Lang Syne, 253 new laws will take effect. From controversial gun-control laws to fighting human trafficking and celebrating our state’s rich history, these new laws cover a wide range of topics...
December 1st, 2018 will now be known as “Blake Kinnett Day” in the state of Illinois, in honor of a teenager from Alvin who was diagnosed with Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD).
“Blake Kinnett has been an inspiration to those around him through his courage and determination...
A section of Illinois Route 116 will soon be renamed to honor the memory and sacrifice of SPC Phillip Pannier, according to State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington).
“SPC Pannier gave his life in service to his country...
The Illinois General Assembly has passed legislation to honor fallen Ashkum firefighter Dana Schoolman, 30 years after he lost his life in the line of duty.
"Dana Schoolman is a hero who gave his life while trying to save the lives of others...
A section of I-55 near Towanda will soon be renamed in honor of a local fallen soldier, Sgt. Anthony Maddox.
“We are free because today because of the sacrifice of brave men and women like Sgt. Maddox...
The Illinois General Assembly is in recess this week for Thanksgiving before gearing up for the final week of the Fall Veto Session next week. Meanwhile, in less than two months, the new General Assembly and Governor will take office.
If you’re traveling this week, expect more delays and crowds, as it’s shaping up to be one of the busiest travel weeks in years. Also, how much money do you plan on spending this holiday season? See where you fall with the release of the 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey...
The Illinois Senate just wrapped up the first few days of the annual fall veto session...
Responding to concerns over allegations that the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation paid millions for a stovepipe hat that may not have actually belonged to President Abraham Lincoln, State Senator and Legislative Audit Commission Co-Chair Jason Barickman and State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) are calling for an audit to review the financial relationship between the foundation and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM)...
Dozens of students worked together in Bloomington to develop legislation that they hope can improve the state. The effort was part of State Sen. Jason Barickman’s (R-Bloomington) Youth Advisory Council program...
Lawmakers are set to return to the State Capitol Nov. 13, to begin scheduled fall “veto session." Veto session will allow the General Assembly to take action on legislation the Governor has vetoed, giving the Legislature the ability to override the veto. If three-fifths of the members in each chamber (36 votes in the Senate and 71 votes in the House of Representatives) vote to override the veto, then it becomes law. In other state news, the Illinois Department on Aging is encouraging eligible individuals to take advantage of free counseling assistance available during Medicare open enrollment. Submissions are also still being accepted as part of the Senate Republicans’ annual “Wall of Honor” tribute to Illinois veterans, and residents are being reminded to turn their clocks back and check their smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors as daylight-saving time comes to an end.
Senator Barickman will provide students with an opportunity to learn how state government operates during his Fifth Annual Fall Youth Advisory Council (YAC) at the Illinois State University (ISU) Alumni Center on Thursday, Nov. 8. Media are welcome to attend.
Members of this commission will ensure Illinois plays host to events and activities that will boost tourism in Illinois. The Route 66 Centennial celebration gives us a unique opportunity to focus the world on all things Illinois.
As the November 6 election approaches, this week state and local officials outlined policies and procedures designed to protect against cyber threats. In other news, the state’s parks and other recreational trails and facilities across Illinois will benefit from the release of state and federal funding earmarked to finance improvements and maintenance at these sites.
This week, Senate Republicans continued their call to advance legislation that would reduce property taxes in Illinois, while also encouraging residents to honor those veterans who have served our country.
Sen. Barickman received top honors from the Associated Builders and Contractors this week. His perfect score of 100 percent was awarded for the 100th General Assembly of the State of Illinois. The award is in response to his support on legislation such as workers’ compensation, healthcare insurance mandates, and prevailing wage regulation.
The Illinois State Board of Education is seeking input on public education funding for the fiscal year 2020 budget. Three open budget hearings have been scheduled, giving individuals the opportunity to share their funding requests prior to ISBE sending its final recommendations to the General Assembly and the Governor.
In other action, legislation was filed to keep people who have committed tax fraud from running for public office.
Also during the week, a new report was released showing the number of school districts in Illinois able to access high-speed internet has increased, the Governor proclaimed October as Manufacturing Month in Illinois, and the Illinois Department of Revenue launches a new, mobile-friendly website.
Recent changes to Illinois law will require children traveling in Illinois to remain rear-facing until age 2. Gov. Bruce Rauner recently signed legislation supporting recommendations of experts and advocates to keep children in rear-facing car seats as long as possible. This law will take effect Jan. 1, 2019.
A Kankakee resident recently tested positive for Heartland Virus, the first reported case in Illinois. Reported cases of Heartland virus disease are relatively rare. Likely spread by the Lone Star tick, more than 30 cases of Heartland virus disease have been reported in the Midwest and southern United States.
A recent list from WalletHub ranks the best cities in Illinois for their labor-market health. More than 120 cities were ranked based on job opportunities, starting salary, employment growth, among other factors.
Also during the week, Illinois is set to receive nearly $44 million from the federal government to help fund treatment centers and increase the availability of addiction treatment in the fight against opioid abuse.
In other action, those seeking financial assistance for winter heating should start gathering the proper documentation now so they are ready to apply for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Oct. 1
Senator Jason Barickman will be available for media interviews in the Watseka area this afternoon and evening, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. It's an opportunity for area media to learn about what's happening in state and local governments, ask questions, and share their thoughts on legislative and community matters.
To ease the permit process and assist the agriculture community in Illinois, Gov. Bruce Rauner recently declared a harvest emergency. In other news, the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has made public the results of Teach Illinois, a yearlong effort to better understand and address the state’s teacher shortage.
Millions of dollars in capital funding have been released to community colleges statewide as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 capital budget. Of those funds, Heartland Community College (HCC) in Normal will see $275,000 in state and local funding to help with campus repairs.
Here's a look at what's making headlines in district and around the state this week.
Illinois State University will see more than $3 million for improvements and repairs as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 capital budget approved by lawmakers in late May. The funding will go to Illinois State University College of Fine Arts (CFA) to cover essential repairs after the college experienced three significant infrastructure system failures in the last three years, causing severe disruption to operations.
Senator Jason Barickman has received the “Champion of Free Enterprise” award from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. In order to receive the award, a senator or representative must have received an average of 85 percent or better voting record over the previous two Illinois General Assemblies.
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