Senate Week in Review:  September 4-7, 2018

For the first time, Illinois high school students will have access to information that shows how much they might earn if they graduate from colleges and universities located in the state. links employment and higher education data so users can compare the relative earnings value of college degrees. The information is broken down by schools and area of study, so that students can compare the earning potential of business degrees, for example, from different public and private institutions in the state.

The idea is to help students and parents make college decisions based on an evaluation of real-time successes of a school’s graduates, in addition to other factors such as cost, average debt levels, and likelihood to graduate on-time. The tool will also show the benefits of investing in higher education, as it demonstrates how connected our thriving higher education system is to the workforce development of our state. is the product of collaboration between the Governor’s Office, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

Disasters Happen:  Prepare now; learn how

September is “National Preparedness Month,” which highlights the importance of preparing yourself and your family for handling an emergency. To prepare, learn life-saving skills, such as CPR, before you need to use them in an emergency situation. Check your insurance policies and coverage needed in your area for severe events such as tornadoes, floods or earthquakes. It is also a great idea to save enough money in case an emergency strikes.  It’s also important to know which types of disasters could affect your area, as well as know how you’ll contact your family and reconnect if separated.  Learn how to sign up for and receive emergency alerts and warnings for your area. Know your shelter plan and evacuation route as well.

2017 was the costliest year for natural disasters in United States history.

Department of Natural Resources Releases September Update

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ September 2018 update is now available!  Here you will find information on hunting permits, camping reservations, bobcat permits, activities at state parks and museums, kids’ events and other activities around the state. 

Sen. Barickman earns “Champion of Free Enterprise” award from Illinois Chamber of Commerce

State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) is pleased to share he has received the “Champion of Free Enterprise” award from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Sen. Barickman received an overall score of 88% (80% for the 99th General Assembly and 95% for the 100th General Assembly), making him eligible to receive recognition for this efforts.

“Backing legislation that helps our state prosper economically is one of the most important things we can do as legislators to get Illinois on the straight and narrow,” said Sen. Barickman. “I’m honored my efforts are being recognized by the chamber and look forward to continuing to support our state’s business climate for years to come.”

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. Voting records are based on a legislator’s votes on measures the chamber deems important to the state’s business community. Review scores for all lawmakers here.

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