School Funding. Downtown Discounts. Farm Visits

I just wanted to take a little time to update you on the latest news from the Capitol as the House has concluded session in recent weeks and we take a break from session until later this year.

Historic Education Funding Reform Becomes Law
Last week, Governor Rauner signed into law Public Act 100-0465 which for the first time in 20 years, reforms the school funding formula in Illinois. For the past 2 ½ years, Republican and Democrat members of the House and Senate have been working to reform the school funding formula to create a more equitable and fair formula to ensure every child in Illinois is provided the resources their school needs to succeed. A bipartisan consensus determined that an evidence based funding formula was the best path toward changing the formula in a way that is fair and equitable to every student in Illinois. The legislation that passed and was signed into law provides additional resources to every school district in the 99th district and treats every district in Illinois the same. Click here to learn more about the details.

Sponsored Bills Become Law
This year I sponsored several pieces of legislation that were recently signed into law by the Governor. 1) HB 2783 streamlines the licensing process under the Collection Agency Act to allow for multi-state licensing to be done on-line, improving the licensing process under the Act.
2) SB 1238 is an important change to current law that will expand Veteran Treatment Courts in Illinois by allowing the Chief Administrative Judge in a Circuit Court to expand the courts to more than one county in the Circuit. This will allow veterans in the program, especially downstate, the option to use a court closer to home.
3) HB 2998 allows the Department of Agriculture the ability to publish its rules for the Diseased Animals Act on-line rather than in print form, saving the State money.
4) HB 2782 moves the Employment and Economic Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities Task Force from the Illinois Department of Human Services to the Department of Employment Security.
5) HB 812 designates “shelter dogs and cats” as the official state pet of Illinois. This legislation will help raise awareness of the importance of supporting and adopting dogs and cats from rescue shelters across Illinois.

For more information on each of these laws and other pieces of legislation I have introduced and sponsored please click here.

Downtown Student Discount Program
Last week I joined with members of my Higher Education Advisory Committee, Mayor Jim Langfelder, Downtown Springfield, Inc., and others to announce a discount program for UIS and Lincoln Land Students for downtown Springfield businesses. Please take a few minutes to watch the video below of our announcement. For more information on the discounts, check out their Facebook page at

Farm Visits
Over the last few months I have been visiting with members of my Agriculture Advisory Committee on their farms in the 99th district. This has been a great opportunity for me to see firsthand the important work they do every day and the impact they have on our state’s economy.

Thanks to Paul Rice of New Berlin for having me out to his farm last week.

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