Starting January 1st, 191 new laws become effective in Illinois. Here is a preview of just some of the laws that will impact Illinois residents beginning in the new year:

Social Media Right to Privacy
Public Act 99-610, House Bill 4999


Amends the Right to Privacy in the Workplace Act to make it illegal for an employer or prospective employer to request or require an employee or applicant to access a personal online account (such as Facebook) in the presence of the employer. It is also illegal to request or require that an employee or applicant invite the employer to join a group affiliated with any personal online account of the employee, or applicant, or join an online account established by the employer.

Employee Sick Leave Act
Public Act 99-841, House Bill 6162


Under the new law, employees may now use personal sick leave benefits for purposes dealing with a child, spouse, sibling, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or step parent. The employee can use such time as may be necessary on the same terms that employee would use the time for their own illness or injury.

Traffic Stop Education
Public Act 99-720, House Bill 6131


Students taking drivers education courses will now be educated on safe procedures to follow during a traffic stop by law enforcement. The lesson will include such tips as remaining calm and keeping one’s hands in view at all times and will also educate drivers on their rights when in the presence of law enforcement.

‘Taps’ at Military Funerals
Public Act 99-804, House Bill 4432


A student in sixth through twelfth grades at an Illinois public school is allowed to be absent from school if that student is sounding ‘Taps’ at a military funeral for a deceased veteran in Illinois. The legislation was suggested by a high school senior who estimated he had been called upon to render the honor at two dozen military funerals.
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
December 14, 2016
In This Issue:
  Ø  Christmas Wish
  Ø  Budget Talks Stall
  Ø  Fiscal Realities
  Ø  Witness History Being Made
  Ø  Winter Safety Reminders

Christmas Wish
The Christmas season is upon us with its message of a savior’s birth, hope, joy and peace.  This tree in the Capitol was decorated by America’s Gold Star Families and the Sergeant Anthony Maddox Memorial Fund, an army soldier who died from injuries sustained in Afghanistan in 2013.  The tree was adorned with pictures of fallen Illinois veterans who fought for peace.
There is gloom in our state as we come to an end of the temporary budget and leaders find little common ground in the search for solutions to reach a balanced budget and grow job opportunities. 
 
I found strength from the tree that, like the dedicated soldier, we all should work for peace and hope that will bring joy once again in our state.  This is my Christmas wish.   


The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) operates an up-to-date map of road conditions throughout the state. For more information on how to drive safely in Illinois this winter, click here.
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
December 5, 2016

In This Issue:
  Ø  Legislators Fail to Act on a Budget
  Ø  Easier to Pass Budget in January
  Ø  Pension Issues Remain Unresolved
  Ø  Complex, Confusing Energy Bill Passed
  Ø  Legislators File Lawsuit Over Pay
  Ø  Update on AFSCME Contract
  Ø  Illinois Guard Changes Sycamore Leadership

Legislators Fail to Act on a Budget
Veto sessions are created in the Constitution to address gubernatorial actions on bills and resolve important issues left from the spring session.  With the stopgap budget set to expire on January 1 and state bills and debt mounting by the minute, nothing would seem more important for the legislature to discuss than the budget. 
Instead, the legislature adjourned until January 9 without spending any time on important issues like insufficient funding for higher education and student grants, gaps left unfunded in the human service network, and the skyrocketing public pension liability. 
Please join me in keeping pressure on legislators and our state’s leaders to compromise on budget issues.  The election is over and this state cannot afford to go any longer without a full, balanced state budget and structural reforms to set the state on the right track for job growth.  Such pressure worked to pass a temporary budget; your calls and letters now can break the gridlock. 
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
November 21, 2016

In This Issue:
  Ø  Veto Over-rides Attempted
  Ø  Negotiating Impasse Declared
  Ø  State to Get New Plates
  Ø  A Conversation With NIU Students
  Ø  Incomes of Departing Citizens a Major Loss
  Ø  Unfunded Pension Liability Skyrockets
  Ø  Energy Bill Pushed Forward, as Negotiations Continue
  Ø  Attend the Inauguration
  Ø  Remember Your Blessings

Veto Over-rides Attempted
As the legislature meet in session last week to consider the Governor’s 33 vetoes to legislation, it also passed a number of noncontroversial bills on their way to become law.  While the Senate over-rode the vetoes in a number of cases, the House failed to over-ride four of the bills it considered.
The veto to House Bill 4351 was sustained because it would restrict the state’s flexibility in assessing and serving Illinois’ elderly and physically disabled residents.  As the number of older residents grows, the bill would have locked methods of caring for them into statute that would prevent the state from making any changes or ways to manage cost of these programs.
HB5104 dies because the House failed to over-ride the Governor’s amendatory language.  The bill would have ignored an agreement regarding the number of nurses at the Department of Corrections. 
The veto to HB5931 was sustained because of its $330 million cost impact and no way to pay for it.  The bill would have raised the minimum wage for direct support personnel for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to $15 per hour. 
HB6299 also died when the House failed to over-ride the veto.  The bill would have imposed mandates on how a school district manages its employees and their benefits.
A number of non-controversial bills passed by the Senate in the spring were approved in the House last week.  Among them were bills dealing with extending the medical practice act, mercury switch recycling, out-of-state teacher licensing, tax credits for affordable housing, licensure of boiler repairers and extending the insurance code.  Another bill dealt with the valuation for property taxes on farmland grass filter strips.
The General Assembly will convene again on November 29 for the final veto session. 
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com
November 14th, 2016

In This Issue:
  Ø  Civics and Civility
  Ø  Looking Ahead in Illinois
  Ø  Volunteers and Private Interests Fight Hunger
  Ø  Trimming the Bureaucracy
  Ø  Major Energy Bill in the Works
  Ø  New Steps to Reduce Uninsured Motorists

Civics and Civility     
Millenials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest living generation and this year for the first time they now hold an equal share of the electorate.  Both generations comprise roughly 31 percent of the voting-eligible population.  Despite being such a large growing demographic, estimates show that only about 24 million people under the age of 29 voted last Tuesday.
To spur youth investment into politics and government, a recent state law now requires high school students to take a civics class.  The course is meant to teach young people how to be responsible citizens who take an active role in the democratic process and translate their ideas and feelings in to political action.
In addition to service projects and simulations of the election process, students must also research and discuss current events and controversial topics.  It is the hope that with classroom practice, students will develop the interest and skill to discuss public issues with civility and not avoid them.
In its first school year and a most unusual Presidential election, there were no shortage of issues or debates surrounding the election.  Now that the election is over and we understand the nation is widely divided, we must find a way to look for common ground and seek to preserve our tradition of peaceful acceptance of the election outcome.  Perhaps we adults should look to the high school civics class for guidance.

While the Governor’s Education Funding Commission has been focused on elementary and secondary schools, a bipartisan group of legislators think early childhood deserves more attention.  Five legislators who sit on the commission, shared their thoughts at a forum with students at the Erikson Institute, a Chicago based graduate school in child development.

“Research into education funding concludes that investment in early childhood development—birth to age 4yields the greatest return on the dollar,” said State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore), one of the legislative panelists.  “The legislature has increased funding for early childhood programs in the past two years, but additional new money will be very difficult to find in the next few years.”

Instead, the legislators encouraged the various non-profit organizations and state agencies working with children to better coordinate efforts and share resources.  Pritchard pointed out funding sources and state agencies often operate in silos leading to duplication of services, gaps in service and confusion for families.  This is a major source of frustration for both advocates and legislators he said.

Earlier this year Governor Rauner created the Cabinet on Children and Youth to bring together agencies that deal with children in any capacity.  The intent is to open communication, break down barriers, discuss coordination of efforts and assure that children receive the well-rounded support they need for a bright future.  

Pritchard shared that the early child centers in his region are working together through an organization named Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C) to increase parenting skills, improve services for children and maximize grant and federal funding.  Other areas of the state are not as fortunate and many areas lack support for families and quality childcare centers he added.  

The legislators agreed that childcare advocates can help educate legislators who may not understand the value of early child development and its impact on a child’s ability to learn later in school.  Advocates can also help set state spending priorities and policies supporting a child’s early learning.

The other legislative members on the panel included Senators Kim Lightford (D-Westchester) and Karen McConnaughay (R-West Dundee), and Representatives Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero) and Will Davis (D-East Hazel Crest).

DeKalb County Make A Difference is seeking volunteers to help meet their goal of preparing 1 million meals for children in need. For more information or to volunteer, click here

A new plant, expected to bring 400 jobs is set to open in Belvidere. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, the world's largest supplier of automotive interior components, recently announced its plans to open up a new facility to supply interior cockpit components to the Jeep Cherokee, which will be built at the Fiat Chrysler assembly plant also located in Belvidere. The Shanghai based company announced that the plant is expected to open in 2017. 

Job openings can be found at Yanfeng's website.
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
October 3, 2016

In This Issue:
  •  Share Your Views about Education on Wednesday
  •  Fiscal Outlook Remains Bleak
  •  Local Innovators Inspired by the Past
  •  Proposed Constitutional Amendment Explained
  • Registering to Vote on Election Day Modified
  •  Illinois Makes Strides in Technology
  • Driving Refresher Course Offered Next Week
  • Time to Bring Suicide Out of the Darkness
Share Your Views about Education on Wednesday
The Illinois State Board of Education is asking area residents for input about how it should apply the new federal education law to educating children in Illinois.  Teachers, parents and community members are urged to attend a feedback session on Wednesday October 5th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the DeKalb County Center for Agriculture at 1350 W. Prairie Drive, Sycamore. 
The state board has prepared a draft plan (available here) but there is plenty of room for local input.  Some of the questions that will be raised at the meeting include how we should measure student growth, programs necessary so every child progresses and ways to help teachers and school leaders better respond to the diversity and needs of students today.
The final plan will be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education next spring and rolled out in Illinois schools next fall.  Educating our children is a community effort and we all benefit when children learn the skills and values to be productive citizens and lead our communities in the future. 
Late last year congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), replacing No Child Left Behind. On October 5th, ISBE is conducting a listening tour to discuss the state's plan to implement the federal law. ISBE is looking for input from school staff, administrators, parents, and students. To see the questions that State Superintendent Tony Smith is looking to answer, click here. If you would like to view the state's current draft plan, click here

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities today. LIHEAP and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Governor Rauner.

LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis from the elderly and people with disabilities starting today, September 1st.

Congressman Randy Hultgren invited government officials from around the congressional district, including State Representative Bob Pritchard, to a meeting on Tuesday August 30th to discuss federal and local efforts to combat heroin abuse and overdoses. The meeting was to address what federal, state and local governments are doing to combat the exponentially rising heroin and opioid overdose rates in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control, overdoses from heroin, prescription drugs, and opioid pain relievers surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in America last year. 

Earlier this summer President Obama signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act in to law. The law establishes grant programs to non profits and state and local governments that would expand prevention and education efforts while also promoting treatment and recovery. Part of the meeting was to make local officials aware of these new grant opportunities. 

Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
August 29, 2016
In This Issue:
  •  How to Reform School Funding
  • Another Delay in Obtaining Fair Mapping
  • Illinois Health Exchange Takes Series of Blows
  • Delayed Payments for State Healthcare to Continue
  • Public University Investment and Enrollment Declining
  • Labor Day and Welfare Reform have Something in Common
  • Energy Assistance Now Available
  • Constitution Week; a time to Learn and Celebrate
How to Reform School Funding
The debate about funding our schools adequately and equitably has been ongoing almost from the time our state began.  The recently created School Funding Reform Commission is taking a fresh look at what other states are doing, educational research into best staffing practices and a better way of funding schools. 
There is general agreement that the way Illinois funds elementary and secondary schools is neither adequate (so that 90 percent of students are meeting state education goals) or equitable (so that all districts and students have a similar amount of resources, curriculum offerings, and activities).  
Springfield, IL… A new law spearheaded through the House by State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley) will help to ensure that children are ready to learn when the school day begins.  Senate Bill 2393, signed into law today, employs alternative methods to incorporate breakfast in to the school and provide almost complete funding through federal grants.

Pritchard said current Illinois law requires some schools to have a school breakfast program, but many students are still starting their day off hungry.  Traditional school breakfast programs serve breakfast before the start of the school day and require students to arrive to school early, which can be especially difficult for kids riding the bus and other low income students.  

“’Breakfast after the bell’ will reach more children and help them focus on learning throughout the day,” Rep. Pritchard said.  “We need to make sure that the conditions are right for students to have the best chance to study and succeed.” 

Senate Bill 2393, requires schools with 70 percent or more low income students to implement a “breakfast after the bell” program.  According to Rise and Shine Illinois, the state ranks 42nd in the nation in providing students with a school breakfast.  The new law could help capture $42 million in additional federal funding for schools.  


Secretary of State Jesse White announced today that his office has reinstated the mailing of vehicle registration reminder notices to Illinois drivers. To offset the cost of the mailings, White is drafting legislation allowing his office to offer advertising space on the mailings. In addition, White is urging the public to sign-up for email notices to further reduce mailing costs.

The Secretary of State’s office discontinued mailing reminders in October 2015 due to the lack of funding as a direct result of the state budget impasse. The stop-gap budget recently passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor allows White’s office to reinstate the notices.

Read more on the Caucus Blog.
Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
August 1, 2016

In This Issue:
Ø  Despite Budget, Schools Fear Funding Cuts
Ø  NIU Receives Approval to Resume Stevens Project
Ø  School Funding Reform Commission Faces Large Task
Ø  County Fairs Display Youth Skills
Ø  Struggle for Fair Redistricting Continues
Ø  Bill Protects Children of Military Families
Ø  Summer Readers Rewarded

Despite Budget, Schools Fear Funding Cuts
After years of funding cuts and proration of funding, many school districts don’t trust the state to provide more money towards education this year.  The stopgap budget approved in June appropriated just over $1 billion more for PK-12 education this fiscal year including a $361 million increase in general state aid, $250 million for low resource schools, and $75 million more for early childhood education. 
In my legislative district, every elementary and secondary school is appropriated at least some increase in state funding compared with last year.  Despite this, many local schools are considering budgets that will cut programs and even lay off some workers.  The reason is obvious, they don’t believe the state will have enough revenue to provide the promised funding and operating costs are rising faster than revenue growth.
While the stopgap budget appropriates a full year funding for education, all other areas of the state budget are only provide enough money to operate through December.  The State Comptroller estimates there will be over $10 billion in unpaid bills by December 31. 
So as schools finalize their budgets for the 2016-17 school year this month, many are continuing to tighten their financial belts.  I applaud the difficult job that school administrators and school boards have in providing a quality education for every child, complying with state mandates and trying to estimate what the state will be able to pay.  Despite the Governor’s priority for education funding, there isn’t enough state revenue to fund everything.   
Springfield, IL… Legislation sponsored by State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley) that will protect children of military families was signed into law Friday. Governor Rauner signed House Bill 4425 that requires the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to inform the Department of Defense and Illinois National Guard if there is any report of child abuse in a military family.

The Department of Defense Advocacy Program requested the legislation so a response to any alleged child abuse or neglect report to DCFS could be initiated more quickly. Military officials want to protect the children in military families and provide support to the military family.

“If there are members of the military who are conducting themselves in a way that would be detrimental to our armed services or their families, the military deserves to know so they can intervene quickly,” Rep. Pritchard said. “Official investigations into abuse and neglect reports can take weeks. This law will help to protect the children involved in these unfortunate incidents.”

The bill is one of several Department of Defense initiatives that Pritchard has passed into law in recent years. Last fall, Representative Pritchard was recognized by the Department of Defense for his leadership in public policy changes that positively impact service members and their families in Illinois.
State Representative Pritchard hosted his 13th annual senior fair with State Senator Syverson. Over 400 seniors came out to learn more about the providers and services useful to them in the area. Read more about the fair at the Daily Chronicle.



Springfield, IL...State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Sycamore) has been appointed as one of four legislators to serve on the education advocacy Illinois P-20 Council. Established by law in 2009, the Council seeks to improve the state’s system for a quality education from birth through adulthood.

“I welcome this opportunity to collaborate with state agencies, education institutions and organizations, employers, and community leaders to further the education and skill competencies of our citizens,” Pritchard said. “For Illinois to stay competitive, our workers must have a sound education foundation and the latest job skills required by employers.”

The P-20 Council has the ambitious goal of increasing by 50 percent the proportion of Illinoisans with certificates and education degrees beyond high school in the next 9 years. Today, only about 41 percent of the state's nearly 7 million working-age adults hold at least a two-year certificate or college degree and that needs to increase to 60 percent.

“This Council is looking at all the aspects of our educational and human support systems to ensure that the required education is achievable for all people across the State,” Pritchard continued. “If we are serious about building our economy and creating more good paying jobs, we must make a highly educated work force a top priority in Illinois.”

Representative Pritchard’s appointment was made Monday by House Leader Jim Durkin and follows another appointed last week to sit on the newly formed School Funding Reform Commission. Pritchard is a leader for education issues in the legislature and serves on numerous House Education Committees. His background includes serving as a K-12 school board member and on a university commission to reform adult education.
Illinois is bracing for high temperatures, which are expected to reach over 90 degrees by Thursday or Friday. Humidity levels are going to make the temperatures feel like over 100 degrees. The US national weather service anticipates that the heat wave rolling through central and southern US states will be one of the worst in the last few decades. While Illinois will not receive the brunt of the heat wave, temperatures could get to dangerous levels.

Cooling Centers
Please share this information with those who do not have air conditioning and need a place to stay cool.
Find a cooling center near you:
http://www.illinois.gov/KeepCool/SitePages/CoolingCenters.aspx

Additionally, Tollway Oasis locations are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and Department of Human Services cooling centers are open during normal business hours from 8:30AM - 5:00PM, Monday through Friday.
Chicago, IL…Today, State Representative Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley) joined Governor Rauner in announcing the creation of a bipartisan, bicameral commission to reach a compromise for a new, adequate and equitable PK-12 school funding formula. The Governor said he has the agreement of all legislative leaders to appoint members with the task of drawing upon the work of many others over the past 4 years and proposing bipartisan legislation by February 1. Illinois Secretary of Education, Beth Purvis will chair the commission and work closely with Illinois State Board of Education Chair Rev. James Meeks.

Representative Pritchard, who is Republican Spokesman for the House Education Funding Task Force, is among the legislators named to the Commission by Republican Leader Jim Durkin. “I look forward to drafting a bipartisan solution to the school funding inequities,” said Pritchard. “Education is a basic right of citizens that provides a pathway to better careers and quality of life.”

Illinois is last nationally in the percent of funding the state provides per student and has the biggest gap in funding per student from one district to another across the state the legislator said. “We must prioritize more state funding for education, relieve some of the local property tax burden that goes to education and be certain every district has adequate funding based on the needs of their students.”
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has announced that it will provide the College Board’s SAT exam, including a writing component, at no cost to all public high school juniors during the 2016-17 school year. The SAT will replace the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment as the high school state and federal accountability exam in Illinois. Both the SAT and PARCC tests align with the Illinois Learning Standards, but the SAT provides a college-reportable score for admissions purposes. 

Illinois students have traditionally taken the ACT college entrance exam. However, when deciding which testing company to use, ISBE found that the SAT is more closely aligned with state learning standards and will cost less to administer statewide. The SAT also offers more help and learning services to students. For more information on the SAT and where to find help, click here.

The decision was heavily influenced by the listening tour ISBE conducted, feedback from school districts, and the state’s current budget climate.
The listening tour and school administrators found overwhelmingly that equitable access to a quality college entrance exam was essential in providing future opportunities to all students. They also stressed that the amount of testing time and the number of assessments administered to students need to be reduced. By providing the SAT for free to all juniors during the school day, instead of PARCC, the state can eliminate redundancy and maximize the value of student testing time.

Students in grades 3-8 will continue to take the PARCC assessment. PARCC results will continue to provide educators with data that may be used to provide individualized support to students while preparing them for their educational future. 
Springfield, IL… Governor Rauner has signed a bill reforming regulations on boating that was introduced by State Representative Bob Pritchard’s (R-Hinckley). House Bill 4369 removes requirements that participants in a sanctioned and insured boat race in Illinois have a valid Boating Safety Certificate of Competence.

Pritchard said current regulations discourage out-of-state boat racers from participating in Illinois events and makes it impossible for youth between the ages of 12 to 18 to compete. “A constituent alerted me to limitations in the current law that were discouraging participation in Illinois races,” the Representative said. “This change will not affect boating safety and will help encourage participation in races especially from other states and increase the tourism dollars these participants will bring to Illinois.”

The change in law removes the requirement that youth have an adult riding with them during races sanction by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and that racers have Illinois Certificates of Competence. “This change only affects sanctioned races and does not change requirements for pleasure boating, Pritchard explained. “I fully support boating safety, but also want to make Illinois more inviting for tourism and participation in our events.”


Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to bob@pritchardstaterep.com 
July 5, 2016
In This Issue:
  Ø  Citizen Anger Results in Partial Budget
  Ø  Other Legislative Actions Last Week
  Ø  Impact of Budget Crisis Felt Across State
  Ø  IDOT Averts Project Shutdowns
  Ø  New Gun Law Proposed
  Ø  Concerns about Electronic Waste Increase
  Ø  Credit Rating Cut Means Higher Interest Costs
  Ø  Illinois Residents Brace for Higher Healthcare Premiums
  Ø  Vehicle Owners to See Relief

Citizen Anger Results in Partial Budget
It was the anger of citizens 240 years ago that resulted in the Declaration of Independence and the beginning of our nation’s democracy.  I believe it was similar citizen anger, this time directed toward our elected officials, that resulted in a partial budget being passed last week. 
The pressure for a full-year budget had been building since July 2015.   However, I believe it was the prospects of many schools and universities not opening this fall at the same time that legislators were campaigning for election that forced political leaders to finally allow a budget compromise. 
Make no mistake this partial budget is only a bridge to January; for the second fiscal year Illinois has failed to adopt a full-year budget and is the only state since the Great Depression to fail twice in this constitutional duty.   
Like last year, K-12 education is the only part of the budget to receive a full- year appropriation, which is $1 billion more than last year.  It was significant that the plan includes the Governor’s call for full funding of the school foundation level and $250 million more for districts with fewer property tax resources.  
SB2047 provides funding for road construction, colleges and universities, food and medical services at state prisons, critical human services and pass-through of federal program dollars.  Contact my office if you have questions about specific program funding.

The state-funding plan that passed the House on Thursday, serves as a bridge to a comprehensive balanced budget for fiscal year 2017.

The funding plan does not rely on a tax hike and provides a full-year of funding for elementary and secondary education. Additionally it funds road construction, federal programs and other non-GRF programs for both fiscal years 2016 and 2017. It also provides FY17 funding to support 6 months of critical operations for higher education, state-operated facilities including prisons and veterans’ homes, fuel for the State Police to patrol our roads, and other core operations and programs for public safety, health and welfare. Funds are available under current law for all components of this bridge plan.
State Representative Bob Pritchard toured the KishHealth System Cancer Center in DeKalb and visited with staff of the facility. Rep. Pritchard welcomed Dr. Robert Bayer to the center and heard his vision for the future of its patients and services. He also had the opportunity to speak with a cancer support group and hear their ideas for future legislation. The group expressed their appreciation for legislation Rep. Pritchard sponsored some years ago to include oncology patients for handicap parking placards.