Cash bail ending January 1; National Preparedness Month

Illinois to end cash bail, make it harder to keep dangerous criminals off streets January 1

In the closing hours of the 2021 lame duck session of the legislature, Democrats rammed through dangerous legislation which will make Illinois less safe. The bill, known as the SAFE-T Act, was opposed by almost every law enforcement group in the state, but their objections and concerns were ignored and the bill passed anyway.

I joined every Republican in voting No.

On January 1, 2023, Illinois will end cash bail for most offenses, thus allowing the release of persons arrested for such crimes as aggravated battery, aggravated DUI, arson, burglary, drug-induced homicide, kidnapping and even 2nd-degree murder, unless a judge rules that they pose “a specific, real and present threat” to another person. This means that a person who commits one of these crimes could be back on the street within hours of being arrested. This is wrong, and it is dangerous.

It is not too late to stop this change in the law from going into effect. I am co-sponsoring two bills, House Bill 4497 and House Bill 4499 which would repeal the SAFE-T Act and remove the threat of these dangerous criminals being let out almost as soon as they are arrested. We need to take a different approach to criminal justice reform, one which includes law enforcement, listens to their concerns and takes them seriously. These two bills need to be brought up and passed in the fall session of the General Assembly before this dangerous change in the law can take effect.

September is National Preparedness Month

Our area has seen floods, ice storms and tornadoes in the not-too distant past. Living in the Midwest we need to know about all kinds of disasters and emergencies, and how to deal with them. September has been designated as “National Preparedness Month” by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to encourage everyone to know the steps to take to be ready for anything that might come our way.

This year’s theme is A Lasting Legacy: “The life you’ve built is worth protecting. Prepare for disaster to create a lasting legacy for you and your family.” Visit to find important information about how to prepare for an emergency by putting together an emergency kit and making a plan for your family or your business.

Flanagan awarded RISE economic development grant

The village of Flanagan has been awarded a grant of more than $58,000 by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for an “economic recovery plan focused on population, economic opportunities and quality of life.” The grant award is part of the state’s Research in Illinois to Spur Economic recovery (RISE) program. In total, 42 Illinois communities received $3.5 million in grants through this program.

The RISE program was established to “accelerate local economic recovery initiatives” following the pandemic. The funds will be used to help in the creation or updating of plans to promote the economic recovery of different parts of the state. Funding for the RISE grants came from the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Department of Corrections hiring event October 4

The Illinois Department of Corrections is hiring Correctional Officer Trainees and Correctional Treatment Officer Trainees. As part of their effort to connect with potential applicants, IDOC is hosting a hiring event on Tuesday October 4 at the Pontiac Rec Center, located at 900 N. Elm Street.

Anyone interested should first go to and apply, then attend the screening. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. and runs until 5 p.m. For more information, please contact the Central Screening Office at (217) 558-4127.

Remembering 9/11

I was very grateful and honored to be part of the 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Paxton on Sunday. Thank you to everyone for coming and helping us recall the horrific events of September 11, 2001, and how we as a country have suffered but grown stronger as a nation! We are grateful for the many acts of courage, bravery, self-sacrifice and compassion shown that day. May we never forget. May God Bless America!

Happy Retirement to Bob Karls

Congratulations to Bob Karls as he is retiring after 40 years as City Administrator for Pontiac. He has been a strong, consistent positive force for our community. It was much more than a job to Bob. He is well respected and loved by this community. Best wishes Bob in your next chapter!  God Bless You and yours!

How much do we owe?

As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $2,808,080,797 in unpaid bills to state vendors. One year ago, the backlog stood at $5.2 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.

Did You Know?

Queen Elizabeth II made one visit to Illinois, back in 1959. She spent a day in Chicago during which time she visited an International Trade Fair at Navy Pier, toured the Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute. She attended a luncheon in her honor hosted by Governor William Stratton, and a dinner at which she had to direct Mayor Richard J. Daley to the correct seat at the table in accordance with royal protocol.

More news from around the state

State’s Attorney: More than half of Winnebago County Jail to walk out door January 1

War on crime is increasingly fought through the air

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice announces retirement

State Police squad car struck on I-64 in Wayne County

Illinois sailor killed at Pearl Harbor to be laid to rest, at last

Baby boom: 8 De Kalb, Illinois, firefighters welcome babies

Illinois fall trout fishing season opens October 15