District Update 10-1-21: Town Hall, Unemployment, School News, Turkey Season

Citizenship is not a Spectator Sport

Please join me at State Senator Chapin Rose’s Town Hall. He has invited me to be part of the panel discussion. Information is power and we want to empower you as a citizen in Illinois.

Here are the details from Sen. Rose’s office.

Senator Rose is hosting a Regional Listening Tour Meeting on Tuesday, October 5th in Monticello. This in-person town hall governmental event is scheduled from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Monticello High School Sievers Center Gymnasium.

Senator Rose is hoping you can attend. If you are interested in stopping by please RSVP at https://www.ilsenategop.org/roserlt.

If you have any questions regarding this meeting, please contact Jonathan Hupp at jhupp@sgop.ilga.gov or at (217) 816 – 4466

Policy Spotlight – Incompetence at IDES

In Illinois, we pay A LOT for our government services.  We have seen tax increase after tax increase in this state over the last few years from gas taxes, income, sales, and property taxes. The Democrats in control of the state for TWO DECADES now only know how to ask for more.

To make matters worse we don’t get what we should for the price we are paying.

It is one scam after another.  The most glaring example over the last 20 months is the Illinois Department of Employment Security. It is a disaster.

Consider this. 

  1. When the pandemic hit, within the first few months over one million Illinoisans were unemployed. From a Wirepoints.org post in May 2020 “The monthly unemployment rate rose to a new record high since current methodologies were enacted in 1976 and the monthly decline in nonfarm payroll jobs also set a record. Compared to a year ago, nonfarm payroll employment decreased by -822,800 jobs, with losses across all major industries. The number of unemployed workers increased dramatically from the prior month, a +280.3 percent increase to 1,004,400, a new record high, and was up +270.6 percent over the same month for the prior year.”
  2. By July 2020, complaints were rampant that unemployed people could not get benefits, that no one was answering calls at IDES, and that instead of receiving benefits, the unemployed were being asked to repay benefits that in many cases were not even paid out. Read here, here, and here.
  3. Additionally, there has been massive amounts of fraud, and it happened almost from the beginning. An Illinois Policy analysis shows that there is nearly ONE BILLION dollars of unemployment fraud since COVID hit.  Read here.
  4. As of right now, Illinois owes the federal government $4.2 billion dollars for money borrowed to shore up our unemployment fund.

Reading from another Illinois Policy article,

“Illinois state leaders missed the Sept. 6 deadline to repay a $4.2 billion federal loan to the state’s unemployment insurance fund, which leaves Illinois taxpayers on the hook to pay $60 million in annual interest on that loan.

The unemployment fund has been depleted during the COVID-19 economic downturn. Between the loan and failure of state leaders to replenish the fund, potentially by using federal COVID-19 bailout funds, the deficit stands at $5.8 billion.”

Over the last year, Republicans have filed legislation to audit IDES and we have held special hearings on the department’s inability to efficiently and effectively run this system – all to no avail.  Unfortunately and sadly, IDES is emblematic of many systems run by the state of Illinois.  It is bankrupt, fraudulent, mismanaged, and does not serve the people who depend on it when they most need the support they already paid for.

A couple weeks ago, state legislators held another hearing on IDES operations. We still have no plan of action to resolve many of these issues.  While many of you never stopped showing up to do your job during the pandemic,  worked remotely and have now returned to work in person, serving customers face-to-face, IDES employees have only started to return to a few of the offices the last week of August.

My staff stands willing to assist any constituent with problems getting through to IDES.  I continue to press for more accountability and better results from the state government we all pay for.  We need to invest in cyber security, fraud detection, training, and best practices.  There is much work to do.

School News

In response to YouTube censoring a public meeting of a Springfield school district, my colleague State Rep. Chris Miller filed legislation to protect free speech. It would grant Illinois residents a private right of action against social media websites with at least 75 million users for a minimum $75,000 “per purposeful deletion or censorship” of religious or political speech.

My Democrat colleague, however, wants to limit free speech near schools.

State Representative Terra Costa Howard from Glen Ellyn, a Chicago suburb, filed legislation that calls for arresting anyone who ‘displays signs, engages in oral protest, education, or passing leaflets or handbills within 300 feet of school premises’. The bill number is HB4151. Her bill was filed in response to parents  protesting mask mandates near her local school.

I wonder what the teachers’ unions think about the bill since they are usually the ones protesting or striking in front of schools, especially in Chicago.

On a Positive Note:

A judge reinstated Parkview Christian Academy’s recognition status after they defied the Governor’s mask mandate.  The judge issued the emergency order against the Illinois State Board of Education decision while the court case is being decided.

WSPY News reported, “Judge Stephen Krentz ruled that nonpublic schools like Parkview are being held to a different standard than public schools in that public schools have more due process before their state recognition is revoked.” Read more here.

Raising Good Citizens

What a pleasure to visit with Boy Scout Troop 43, Mt Zion!

We discussed the Constitution and legislative process. Good job parents raising courteous, smart young men and women.


In Other News


Click here to get more information on Illinois Hunting.


We are here to serve you!

As a state representative, my office is available to assist you with any issues you may have when interacting with a state agency.  Whether you need help with unemployment claims, getting a FOID card, renewing your drivers license, or resolving a tax problem, we are here to serve you. 

Oftentimes, some of the best legislation comes from people who see where the law is unworkable or simply unfair. 

If you have ideas on how the state could improve, let’s sit down and discuss if a legislative fix is what is needed. 

Please call our office at (217) 876-1968 to get help or schedule an appointment to see me.