Around the district; Summertime safety

Much to see and do around the district

Summertime in east-central Illinois is one of the best times of the year for getting out and around the district. There is always something going on, and always a good chance to have conversations with the people who make up our communities. I always enjoy getting to the local fairs and festivals, restaurants and coffee shops, and just about anywhere else that you can find a group of people to talk with.

Not only are these events a lot of fun, they are also an important part of my job as your state representative – opportunities to hear directly from so many of the people of our district about what is on your mind.

Pontiac Kiwanis celebrate 100 years

Congratulations to the Pontiac Kiwanis Club as they celebrated their 100th year anniversary with a special program and dinner at the Eagle Performing Arts and Conference Center in Pontiac! I was grateful to have been able to say a few words. This is an awesome group: they work hard and play hard. They are friends, neighbors and much like an extended family, and they are all focused on helping our community!

Thank you Cody Leach for an amazing program.  Congratulations to Ron Baker for receiving his special award. Thank you Pontiac Kiwanis for all you do. I wish you success for another 100 years. The needs are real but so is your desire to make a difference.  It was a great evening being together.

Talking about the future in Hoopeston

I recently met with Hoopeston Mayor Wise, Hoopeston Chamber Director Hinkle, Nicole Van Hyfte and Tim Dudley from Vermilion Advantage, as well as Russ Leigh and Bill Nicholls to discuss plans for Hoopeston. We had an important discussion about the future of this great town. I appreciate the partnership between businesses, not for profits and the different levels of government to try improve our local business economy. There is much more to do, to consider and to research.

150th anniversary celebration in Roberts

There was lots going on in Roberts on Saturday as the village celebrated its 150th anniversary! There was lots of food, games at the park, a parade, a street dance and much more throughout the day. Congratulations to Village President Matthew Vaughan and his entire team for planning this great day.

I was glad to start the day by stopping by the gymnasium in town for some delicious breakfast. There was a very nice turnout. As always, I appreciated the many conversations.   Congratulations!

A good time at Buckley Fun Days

There was great fun to be had at Buckley Fun Days. We had wonderful weather, good music and delicious food! There were balloons, rides, face painting, games for the kids and more!  Thank you to Mayor Shockley and your entire team for your important leadership. Well done! 

Don’t forget about summertime safety

With all this summertime fun comes a reminder about keeping safe, whether it is at the grill, out in the heat or when celebrating with fireworks. The Office of the State Fire Marshal is reminding all Illinoisans to celebrate safely this summer, and to remember a few basic tips. Keep children and pets away from hot grills, and always place your grill outside, well away from the house and any eaves or overhanging branches.

Always drink plenty of water on these hot days and never leave a child or a pet inside a hot car. Whenever possible, try to do your outdoor activities early in the morning or later in the evening – avoiding the hottest hours of the day.

Fireworks should only be used by those who have had the proper training, and they should only be purchased from reputable fireworks retailers or a stand registered with the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Children under 10 account for almost a quarter of all fireworks injuries, so please keep a close eye on kids when celebrating – even with sparklers, which can burn at as much as 1200 degrees.

Tuesday’s primary sets fall matchups

With the conclusion of the primary election on Tuesday, Illinoisans now know what the matchups will be for statewide offices this fall. Democratic Governor JB Pritzker and Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton will face Republican nominees, state Senator Darren Bailey and Stephanie Trussell. Treasurer Mike Frerichs (D) will face state Rep. Tom Demmer (R). State Comptroller Susana Mendoza (D) will face Shannon Teresi (R). Thomas Devore (R) will take on Attorney General Kwame Raoul (D). In the race to succeed retiring Secretary of State Jesse White, Democrats nominated Alexi Giannoulias and Republicans chose state Rep. Dan Brady. Election Day is Tuesday November 8.

How much do we owe?

As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $1,999,105,699 in unpaid bills to state vendors. One year ago, the backlog stood at $3.1 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 $141 billion.

Happy 4th of July!

This weekend we will celebrate our great nation’s 246th birthday. Wherever you gather and however you celebrate the holiday, please do so safely, and please also remember those who are far from home, protecting freedom, and their families as well. I hope everyone has a very happy Independence Day!

Did You Know?

Illinois Highway 54, which runs through part of our district, is designated the 33rd Infantry Division Memorial Highway in honor of the Illinois National Guard division which distinguished itself in both World Wars. Fighting in the Philippines in World War II, the 33rd rescued a resistance leader named Manuel Roxas, who went on to become President of the Philippines. General Douglas MacArthur later wrote that, “No finer Division has ever fought than the 33rd. Its record is long and honorable and fills all Americans with pride and gratification.”

More news from around the state

Illinois Farm Service Agency reminds farmers to file crop acreage reports

Goodbye Asian carp, hello Copi: Illinois renames invasive fish

Illinois State Police K-9 gets body armor thanks to charitable donation

DuQuoin State Fair celebrating 100th anniversary with $100k Standardbred purse