Celebrating Our Veterans

The 88th did an awesome job of saluting those who have served. 
As a veteran, I was honored to attend multiple celebrations:
Mt. Zion Chamber of Commerce, Fallen Heroes Tree Lighting Ceremony, Our Lady of Lourdes, 
Coziahr Harley-Davidson and the Metro Decatur Rotary.

Illinois Makes National Headlines as First in the Nation to End a School Choice Program

School Choice Dies in Illinois

From the Wall Street Journal Editorial Section, November 12, 2023

The union-Democratic machine kills scholarships for 9,600 poor children. Gov. J.B. Pritzker lets it happen

Sometimes the worst political scandals occur in plain sight, even if most of the press corps chooses not to notice. That’s what happened last week in Illinois, where the Democratic-union machine killed scholarships for 9,600 low-income children.

The state and national teachers union made a priority of blocking an extension of the Invest in Kids program that provided a 75% state tax credit for donations to help families afford private schools. The unions claim the credit drained money from public schools, but public funding has increased nearly $2 billion since Invest in Kids began under former Gov. Bruce Rauner. Only 35% of Illinois children read at grade level, according to Wirepoints, so no wonder there are more than 20,000 children on the Invest in Kids waiting list.

Current Gov. J.B. Pritzker refused to help save the program, even for children currently benefiting from it. Those families will now have to find some other way to pay tuition. Empower Illinois, the state’s largest scholarship-granting organization, says it will seek private donors to cover tuition. But the most common donation was $1,000, and many of those smaller donors may disappear without the tax credit.

Gov. Pritzker is a billionaire, and his Pritzker Family Foundation could help. According to Crain’s Chicago Business Journal, the foundation has donated $8.3 million to Milton Academy, the Massachusetts boarding school Mr. Pritzker attended. It has donated $2.5 million to Duke University, according to Carolina Journal, and $100 million to Northwestern Law School, which has renamed itself in his honor. Invest in Kids is a bargain by comparison, requiring about $71 million for the coming year.

Illinois is now the first state to kill a major school-choice program. The scandal reflects the bloody-mindedness of the unions that want to snuff out even minor competition to retain their monopoly. And it reveals how little most Democrats care about the children they imprison in these failure factories.

Where Has All the Money Gone?

Spending estimates for the explosion of free healthcare for illegal immigrants is nearly $300 million more than budgeted, just four months into the fiscal year.
Fortunately, a bipartisan group of legislators have called for the Illinois Auditor General to conduct an audit on the spending

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What’s The Real Motivation Here?

Since the Protect Illinois Communities Act became law in early 2023, thousands of types of guns and accessories have become illegal. Those who owned the now banned guns and accessories prior to the law are allowed to keep them, but they are required to register them with the state.

You can be sure the gang-bangers, drug dealers and looters won’t be held to the same standard.

Nor will they likely receive equally harsh punishments for any non-compliance.

So, what’s the deal?

The law is vague, poorly written and will be difficult to enforce. It may even prove to be unconstitutional. But the goal here is clear- the radical Left in the Democrat Party wants to hamstring police and let criminals run wild at the expense of law & order and self-defense. Accountability for gun violence seems to be arbitrarily and politically handled depending on how it fits the Left’s narrative.

As long as the current majority remains in the driver’s seat, the chaos will continue.

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Nuclear Ban Lifted

Despite gaining bipartisan support during regular legislative proceedings in May, Governor Pritzker vetoed a bill that aimed at lifting the ban which would have allowed advanced nuclear reactor development. Because the bill faced opposition from anti-nuclear activists and clean energy groups who claim that renewable energy sources are more effective, Pritzker caved.

However, this week during VETO Session, revised legislation passed that would call for a comprehensive study of small-scale nuclear development and also allow new nuclear plants up to 300 megawatts of plated capacity. For comparison, the Clinton Nuclear Plant is rated at 1,080 MW and the Prairie State Coal Plant is rated at 1,600 MW.

Nuclear power is an important component to our electrical grid for providing truly reliable and carbon-free electricity.

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Reinstate The Illinois State Capitol Prayer Room

House Resolution HR495 has been introduced by the Illinois Legislative Prayer Caucus (ILPC) to reinstate a prayer room in the Illinois State Capitol. Unfortunately, during a 2009-13 renovation of the West Wing of the Capitol, the nondenominational chapel was transformed into a House committee room.

Rep. Brad Halbrook, Chairman of the ILPC, filed the resolution stating, “Prayer was a vital part of the founding fathers’ lives as they sought the direction, protection and wisdom of God. Our great need of God’s help today is no different…”

Debra Pratt, State Director of the Illinois Prayer Caucus Network, added “President Lincoln has been quoted as having said, ‘I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.’ “

Citizens who support the reinstatement of a prayer room in the Illinois State Capitol building can add their names to a growing list by clicking on the link contained in this article:

Read More Here

42 Centerpiece Ideas for Your Thanksgiving Table

Things like fall leaves, gourds, dried fruits and plants and fresh flowers are pretty easy to come by this time of year. You may already have an abundance of them around your house! Why not make a wonderful Thanksgiving centerpiece out of them?

Here are some easy and beautiful ideas to make your table look extra special.

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Here is a map of the new 88th House District. Use this link for a clearer picture and to enter your address to see if you live in the district: https://repcaulkins.com/district/

As your State Representative, my office is available to assist you with any issues you may have when interacting with a state agency.

Please call our office at 217.876.1968 to get help or schedule an appointment to see me.

The office is located at 715 W Imboden Dr, Decatur.