“It was my honor to present on the House floor the Sangamon County Minute Book from the 1830s and congratulate the school children of Sangamon County for their hard work in collecting 1.8 million pennies to purchase this historic Abraham Lincoln book which includes a passage attesting to Lincoln’s good moral character. President Lincoln needed that in order to practice law in Illinois at that time."




"I am so proud of the over 60 schools across the county that participated in the Illinois Proud Penny Drive and to all the incredible partners they had in the community to raise the necessary funds to bring this book back home to Sangamon County as part of the Illinois Bicentennial celebration. The Minute Book will now be permanently housed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum for everyone to come and learn about the early history of Abraham Lincoln’s career right here in Springfield. The Illinois House passed HR1271 to officially congratulate all the students for their hard work on this campaign. Congratulations again to all who participated in the Illinois Proud Penny Drive!” -Rep. Sara Jimenez
A historic Abraham Lincoln artifact purchased through the Illinois Proud Penny Drive by Sangamon County schoolchildren is now home in the Capital City and ready for viewing at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to help celebrate Illinois’ 200th birthday this year.

At an event this morning at Feitshans Elementary School, the children of Sangamon County gifted the Sangamon County Minute book to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.  In the April of this year, the students raised more than $18,000 during the Illinois Proud Penny Drive to use toward the purchase and preservation of this historic document that was in New York.

“I looked under the couch, I went outside because there was money on the ground that people drop and I saved up my money,” said Brook Gibbons, Feitshans Elementary 5th grade student.

State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, who helped organize the Illinois Proud Penny Drive, said the Sangamon County Minute Book includes the written certification to Abraham Lincoln’s "good moral character", which was a necessary certification for a person to become a lawyer in Illinois in the 1860's.


The sacrifice of Corporal James “Chad” Young of Chatham was honored in his home community today as the section of Illinois Route 4 that runs through the village was officially designated  the U.S. Army Corporal James “Chad” Young Memorial Highway. The dedication ceremony was attended by Corporal Young’s family, Chatham Village President Dave Kimsey and State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez.

“Corporal Young is a true hometown hero, and his sacrifice will be honored and remembered,” said Representative Jimenez. “I was proud to sponsor House Joint Resolution 74 that proclaims this official memorial highway designation. Our thoughts and prayers will continue to be with Corporal Young’s family and friends.”

Corporal Young was a Springfield, IL native who graduated from Glenwood High School in Chatham in 2003. He joined the United States Army in 2004 and was serving his second tour in Afghanistan when he was killed in the line of duty in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on November 10, 2010.

“Chatham is a community that honors and respects all those who have worn the uniform of our country. Those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms deserve an honored place in our country. I can’t think of a more fitting tribute to Corporal Young than to designate Illinois Route 4 through the Village of Chatham in his name,” said Chatham Village President Dave Kimsey.
A new law initiated by a local advocate will protect adult children’s visitation with their elderly parents. House Bill 4309 was signed into law this week. Chief House sponsor State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez said the need for the change was brought to her attention by a Springfield resident who was being blocked from visiting her elderly father.

“I’m grateful to Sandy Baksys from Springfield who shared her personal story and made this new protection possible to help families across Illinois,” Representative Jimenez said. “This new law will create a potential pathway for family members to secure visits in cases where they are being unreasonably blocked from seeing Mom or Dad by another close relative.”

State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez’s push to return state jobs to the capital city today culminated in the signing of a new law mandating that Sangamon County be the default location for state positions in agencies under the Governor. House Bill 4295 directs state agencies to set a geographic location for each job, and if there isn’t a geographic necessity for the state job, then it should be located in Sangamon County.
 
“For all of my time as state representative, I have made it a priority to push State agencies to identify positions within State government that can and should be located in Sangamon County. A recent report identified hundreds of jobs that could potentially be relocated to the capital city. By making Sangamon County the default location for state jobs in state law, it sends a clear signal that state jobs should be in the capital city, unless they need to be located somewhere else in the state to best serve our residents,” said State Representative Jimenez (R-Leland Grove), the legislation’s chief sponsor.
 
Rep. Jimenez thanks Omar (La Fiesta) and Thomas (CKM Self Defense) and their local businesses for donating more than 60 backpacks to the Lincoln Presidential Museum’s drive for Springfield District 186 students.

You too can donate this month and you will receive a free ticket to the museum for each backpack you give.  The local business sponsors generously donated these vouchers to the district too.

To donate a backpack, click here!
Recently, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced a six year FY 2019-2024 Proposed Highway Improvement Program. The $11.05 billion investment will be made across Illinois, including $2.2 billion in FY 2019 alone. IDOT is proposing 23 projects in the 99th district between 2019-2024 totaling nearly $68 million and covering 28.46 miles of roadway.

In this Multi-Year Program, IDOT is moving away from its traditional “worst-first” investment strategy. Historically, the department waited for roads and bridges to deteriorate to the worst condition before addressing them, even though this is the costliest time to make improvements. IDOT will pursue assessment management strategies that will continuously evaluate infrastructure and apply low-cost treatments that will produce better long-term benefits over IDOT’s past practices.

For a list of all proposed projects in the 99th district, please click here.
The Illinois House and Senate took a step forward today to pass a series of  revisions in Illinois law that will increase transparency and accountability in our laws that will better help protect employees in the area of discrimination and sexual harassment in Illinois, but there is more work to do.

“These protections are the result of numerous hearings and dozens of hours of testimony from victims and others. We must make changes to ensure that everyone who works at the Capitol in Springfield or in any public service job in Illinois is safe from harassment, intimidation, or unwanted sexual advances,” said State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R-Leland Grove), who serves as the minority spokesperson on the Illinois House Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Task Force.



Bringing State Jobs Back to Springfield
Big news for state jobs in Sangamon County, as HB 4295 passed the Senate on a vote of 53-0-0. This legislation will make Sangamon County the default location for State jobs unless the position is required to be in another location due to a facility or constituency. Thank you to Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and Senator Andy Manar for sponsoring this legislation in the Senate and for his support of this important legislation for our capital city. I am honored to represent the capital city in the Illinois House of Representatives. This legislation rightfully recognizes Sangamon County’s unique position in our great state. The legislation will now head to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Budget Update
The end of the regular session of the General Assembly is six days away. If a budget is not adopted by that time, it will take a supermajority vote of the House and Senate to pass a budget. Over the last several weeks, a budget working group has been meeting regularly to discuss details about the budget and to craft what I hope will be a bipartisan, balanced budget, that can pass the House and Senate by May 31st. I am hopeful that we will be able to finish their work on time so we can pass a balanced budget and avoid another budget stalemate. Passing a balanced budget is essential for Sangamon County and our whole state. I will continue to have discussions with my colleagues in the House over the next few days to do what I can to ensure that we pass a responsible, balanced budget that will improve the financial condition of our state and provide needed services to the most vulnerable.



News Channel 20 is following the progress of Rep. Jimenez's House Bill 4309, which has passed the House and is now being discussed in the Senate. The legislation was initiated by a constituent fighting for her right to visit her elderly father. Watch the latest update here.
Contributing their pennies and spare change, Sangamon County school children have raised the money required to purchase an historic Abraham Lincoln document and return it to Illinois for the state’s bicentennial celebration. State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez and Illinois Bicentennial Commissioner Rikeesha Phelon announced today that children from schools throughout the county boosted by local business partners have raised, at current count, $18,031; surpassing the $15,000 needed to purchase the Minute Book of Sangamon County that includes the testament to Abraham Lincoln’s “good moral character” needed for him to begin practicing law in Illinois.

Local kids participating in the Illinois Proud Penny Drive are getting a big fundraising boost from two local organizations just days before the drive ends. Both the Sangamon County Bar Association (SCBA) and Staab Funeral Homes presented checks that each equal to 100,000 pennies to Chatham Elementary School and Catholic grade schools gathered at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception School, two of the more than 60 schools collecting donations for the campaign that ends on April 27, 2018.

“We are delighted by the partnership of Sangamon County Bar Association and Staab Funeral Homes. Students will be blown away by their partnership and contribution at this moment in Illinois history,” said Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez.

The two week penny drive encourages Sangamon County school children to donate pennies to purchase a historic Abraham Lincoln artifact that contains the certification of his “good moral character” and permitted him to begin his law career in Springfield. The artifact, The Minute Book of Sangamon County from July 1835 to July 1838, also includes information about some of Lincoln's first legal cases.
Two pieces of legislation crucial to two local families cleared the Illinois House Friday, according to their chief sponsor, Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez. 

HB 4309, the Kasem-Baksys Act, will allow an adult child of an elder parent to petition a court for visitation when there is no legal guardian or power of attorney for the elderly parent. According to Rep. Jimenez, the bill will create a potential pathway for a family member to visit their aging parent in a case where they are being unreasonably blocked from seeing mom or dad by another close relative.

“I am so proud of my constituent, Sandy Baksys, for telling her story before the House Judiciary Civil Committee a few weeks ago,” said Jimenez. “House Bill 4309 has gained several sponsors from both sides of the aisle, and now simply awaits Senate approval.”

The House on Friday also honored the sacrifice of Corporal James “Chad” Young of Chatham, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. Corporal Young’s family was in the gallery to receive representatives’ gratitude and well wishes. The House then passed House Joint Resolution 74 which designates a section of Route 4 through Chatham the Corporal James “Chad” Young Memorial Highway.

“We can never forget the sacrifices that our military men, women and their families have made in defense of our nation. Today we honored the life of Chatham’s Corporal Young on the House Floor and soon we will name IL Route 4 through Chatham in his honor. I am so thankful to his mother, Mrs. Young, his sister, Katie Young Powell, his niece, Sydney Robbins, his cousin, Jennifer Duffy and Chatham mayor Dave Kimsey for joining us in the gallery today," added Jimenez.


"We can never forget the sacrifices that our military men, women and their families have made in defense of our nation. Today we honored the life of Chatham’s Corporal Young on the House Floor and soon we will name IL Route 4 through Chatham in his honor. So thankful to his mother, Mrs. Young, his sister, Katie Young Powell, his niece, Sydney Robbins, his cousin, Jennifer Duffy and Chatham mayor Dave Kimsey joined us in the gallery today" - Rep. Jimenez


Two bills sponsored by Rep. Jiminez that were initiatives of constituents of the 99th district have  recently passed out of committee. HB 4309, the Kasem-Baksys Act, will allow an adult child of an elder parent to petition a court for visitation when there is no legal guardian or power of attorney for the elderly parent. Rep. Jimenez noted that she is  proud of her constituent, Sandy Baksys, for telling her story before the House Judiciary Civil Committee a few weeks ago. HB 4309 has gained several sponsors from both sides of the aisle. On Friday, the legislation passed the House, clearing another important hurdle so families like Sandy’s can have a path towards petitioning for visitation of an elderly family member they’ve been denied the right to see.



Another important bill that was brought to Rep. Jimenez by a constituent passed out of the House Executive Committee last week. HB 4539 will prohibit inmates convicted of sexual offenses against minors from possessing photos of minors while they are incarcerated if Department of Corrections mental health personnel believe they should not have them. Rep. Jimenez will work with all parties to address some of the concerns that were raised in committee so this bill may be passed out of the House as quickly as possible.
Representative Jimenez passed an important piece of legislation out of the House Wednesday that will make Sangamon County the default location for State jobs unless there is a reason they must be located elsewhere in the state.

In celebration of Illinois’ Bicentennial, State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, Illinois Bicentennial Commissioner Rikeesha Phelon, along with several community partners today launched the “Illinois Proud Penny Drive” at Butler Elementary in Springfield. The two week campaign encourages Sangamon County school children to donate pennies to purchase a historic Abraham Lincoln artifact that contains the certification of his "good moral character" and permitted him to begin his law career in Springfield.

“Bringing this historic Lincoln document back home will be our local school children’s 200th birthday present to the State of Illinois,” said Rep. Jimenez (R-Leland Grove). “It’s a great way for our kids to participate in our bicentennial celebration, to connect with our history, and also to learn about what it means to have a good moral character, and why it’s as important today as it was when Lincoln was a young man.”
Representative Jimenez passed an important piece of legislation unanimously out of the House Executive Committee today that continues the work of bringing more State jobs to the capital city by directing that the default location for State jobs be Sangamon County unless there is a reason they must be located elsewhere in the state.

“Over the last 2 years, I have made it a priority to push State agencies to identify positions within State government that can and should be located in Sangamon County. We have identified potentially hundreds of jobs that could be moved to Sangamon County that are not needed for a specified reason elsewhere in Illinois. HB 4295 takes the next step in relocating more jobs to Sangamon County by codifying into law that State employment positions should be at the seat of government in Illinois,” Representative Jimenez said.
With the help of a Springfield area advocate, legislation to protect adult children’s visitation with their elderly parents continues to gain momentum in the Illinois House. State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez this week won committee approval of an amendment that clears the way for full House consideration.

“This bill will create a potential pathway for a family member to visit their aging parent in a case where they are being unreasonably blocked from seeing mom or dad by another close relative. I’m grateful to Sandy Baksys from Springfield who shared her personal story. It has been an honor to work with her to find a solution to an issue that sadly impacts many families throughout Illinois. I would also like to thank the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office for their work on finding agreed language,” Representative Jimenez said.

House Bill 4309 Creates the Frail Individual Family Visitation Protection Act. If a caregiver unreasonably prevents a family member from visiting a frail individual, the new act allows the court to order the caregiver to permit visitation between the frail individual and the family member if the court finds that the visitation is in the frail individual's best interests.

“No adult child who has visited and taken care of their elderly parent every day for years should be prevented from continuing to visit just because the owner of the private home where the elder has gone to live vows never to open the door,” said Sandy Baksys. “This bill will not create any new rights under Illinois law.  But it will close a major loophole that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a loving daughter like me to challenge a caregiver who is unreasonably denying visitation through our elder’s entire end-of-life.”
If you and your family are interested in visiting some of Chicago’s world-class museums, Rep. Jimenez's office has a museum pass you can borrow, which is provided by the Museums in the Park Organization. Any resident of the 99th District can borrow our Constituent Education Resource Card, to visit any of the following museums in the city of Chicago for 2018:

Field Museum photo credit: Nimesh Madhavan

• Adler Planetarium
• The Art Institute of Chicago
• Brookfield Zoo
• Chicago Botanic Garden
• Chicago Children’s Museum
• Chicago History Museum
• Dusable Museum of African American History
• The Field Museum
• Lincoln Park Zoo
• Museum of Contemporary Art
• Museum of Science and Industry
• National Museum of Mexican Art
• National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
• Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
• John G. Shedd Aquarium

Please contact Rep. Jimenez's office at (217)782-0044 and provide your name and address along with the dates you are requesting (can be used for up to 3 days) and we will provide you with the Constituent Education Resource Card for your use.

This week the House adopted House Resolution 836 to pay tribute to a former State Representative and United States Congressman Jack Davis. Mr. Davis dedicated his life to public service both in elected office and through his service in the United States armed forces. Rep. Jimenez said it was an honor to pay tribute to his life and legacy with his family present in the House gallery.

This week Rep. Jimenez along with constituent Sandy Baksys passed HB4309 out of the House Judiciary-Civil committee on unanimous vote. This bill will create a potential pathway for a family member to visit their aging parent in a case where they are being unreasonably blocked from seeing mom or dad by another close relative. The legislation will next be considered by the full House.

House Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force Chairperson, Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), and Minority Spokesperson Sara Wojcicki Jimenez (R-Leland Grove) Tuesday presented to the House Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Task Force a bi-partisan draft proposal for the task force’s input and discussion. The proposal aims to strengthen harassment and discrimination protections in state and local government.

Representatives Jimenez and Currie stress that their reform recommendations are the result of dozens of hours of testimony from those who have reported harassment as well as those who have been tasked with responding and investigating.

“Sexual discrimination and harassment are serious problems that inflict a multitude of harms, not only on a person’s ability to earn a living, but on their dignity as a person. These are not problems limited to the halls of government or Hollywood movie studios,” Representative Currie said. “It is our duty as legislators to ensure both public and private sector workplaces educate and enforce practices and policies to change behavior and create an inclusive workplace culture where everyone is treated with dignity.”
Over the past few weeks hundreds of new bills have been filed in the Illinois House that sponsors, including Rep. Jimenez, will work to have heard in House committees, then on the House floor. Click below to learn more about the bill filing process that dominates the first several weeks of the spring session each year.

State Representative Sara Wojcicki honored Justice John Schmidt and his service to Sangamon County on the House Floor Wednesday with House Resolution 753.

This week,  Rep. Jimenez stood on the House floor to talk about the importance of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements for Illinois.


At their most recent meeting, The House Committee on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment  took testimony from the Governor's office, and the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR). IDHR officials' testimony also included a power point presentation. You can view the power point here, and watch Rep. Jimenez recap the committee's progress below.


State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez this week initiated the next crucial step to moving more state jobs back to Sangamon County. Jimenez (R-Leland Grove) filed legislation directing that state jobs should be filled in the Capital City unless there is a reason they must be located elsewhere in the state.
 
“In recent reports, there are potentially hundreds of state jobs that could be moved to Sangamon County. Returning them to the center of state government could save money and improve efficiency in the long run,” Rep. Jimenez said.
 
Rep. Jimenez previously spearheaded passage of a resolution that urged agencies under the Governor to compile a report listing the number of state employees in each county, including justification for the location. The report released indicates the potential for nearly 400 jobs to move back to the Capital City. House Bill 4295, filed Monday, takes the next step in the process, requiring the Director of Central Management Services to relocate to Sangamon County all State employment positions under the Personnel Code that are not required by their nature or function to be located in another area. It also requires that all new positions created be located in the Capitol City unless required to be located in another specific location.