Local sheriff in DC; Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission

Livingston Sheriff participates in White House law enforcement roundtable

We have all watched with great concern the troubling events in our nation in the past few weeks following the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. This news has set in motion a series of conversations locally and nationally about policing and race, and the need for improvement in both areas. This week President Trump issued an Executive Order as a first step toward reforming policing in America. Standing at his side in the Rose Garden was Livingston County Sheriff Tony Childress.

I have gotten to know Sheriff Childress as we have worked together on countless law enforcement issues recently. He has almost 30 years in law enforcement and is someone with a good understanding of the challenges of this moment. I have asked for his input on law enforcement issues many times. He once told me that when it comes to public service, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Sheriff Childress shared his thoughts with the President and Vice President at a White House roundtable earlier this month. He has offered some valuable insights on policing and areas where we can make improvements, something that will be a major topic of discussion when we get back to Springfield for the fall session in November. I value Sheriff Childress’ insights and perspectives.

Appointment to commission to advise on re-opening Illinois

Earlier this week I was one of three House Republican members to be appointed by Leader Jim Durkin to the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, a new body set up to offer advice on the plans to re-open Illinois from the coronavirus lockdown. The commission was created by legislation passed in the May special session and signed into law last week. I would have liked for this body to have more than just an advisory role, as I believe the legislature must be much more involved in the re-opening process. That said, I am glad to be able to have a voice in shaping the policy that will get Illinois back in business.

Throughout the spring, I have shared with you the stories of local business owners and how the shutdown has affected them. I have also shared their stories directly with the Governor and his staff to try and help them understand the conditions we are facing in our area. As recently as last week I joined with more than 20 other legislators in calling for more movement on re-opening. I plan to use this new appointment to continue pushing the message that hardworking Illinoisans are being hurt by these closures and that we need to get our doors back open. Our small business owners are working hard to keep their customers and employees safe as they re-open. I look forward to continuing to speak up for them.

How much do we owe?

As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $6,154,689,856 in unpaid bills to state vendors. One year ago, the backlog stood at $6.5 billion. This figure represents the amount of bills submitted to the office of the Comptroller and still awaiting payment. It does not include debts that can only be estimated, such as our unfunded pension liability which is subject to a wide range of factors and has been estimated to be more than $137 billion.

More news from around the state

Latest information from the Department of Public Health

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul tests positive for COVID-19

Grand American World Trapshooting Championships moved from Illinois to Missouri

$275 million in emergency relief available for Illinois households affected by COVID-19

Resources to assist small businesses during the pandemic

New grant programs for businesses to begin accepting applications on Monday

U of I aims for 10,000 tests a day with saliva-based test

Illinois health and fitness working group looks forward to re-opening gyms

For additional helpful resources, click here.

For continually updated news from state agencies, visit: coronavirus.illinois.gov or my website at repbennett.com and click on COVID-19 Info. Persons with coronavirus questions or concerns should call the statewide toll-free coronavirus hotline at 1-800-889-3931. You can also submit questions via e-mail at dph.sick@illinois.gov.

My district offices remain closed to in-person visits, but are still accessible by phone at (815) 432-0106 (Watseka) and (815) 844-9179 (Pontiac).