House Agrees on Legislation to Spend Federal Funds 
On Wednesday the House of Representatives proved the legislature can come together and reach a bipartisan agreement. I hope this is an indication the political games will stop and we can come to an agreement on a state budget.

The legislation approved was Amendment #3 to SB 2042 that will give Comptroller Munger the authority to spend available federal dollars on state programs which are funded or mandated by the federal government. Programs to receive funding for instance include but are not limited to the following; meals for seniors, child care services, women’s health programs and LIHEAP to name a few.

Wednesday’s passage was timely because the State is responsible for spending nearly $5 billion in programs funded by the federal government. If no action was taken by the legislature, the State could have risked losing the federal funds already approved for Illinois.

USDA Approves Governor’s Request for Agricultural Disaster Declaration
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated 87 counties in Illinois eligible to receive federal assistance as a result of heavy rainfall and flooding. Illinois farmers were faced with record amounts of rainfall and flooding this year which left them with severe storm damage. The announcement by the federal government to offer assistance to farmers in my district which includes Logan, Menard, Sangamon, and Tazewell counties will not go unnoticed. I am pleased Governor Rauner and the USDA is offering assistance to farmers who need help during this difficult situation.

According to Governor Rauner’s news release on Wednesday, Farmers who believe they may be eligible for assistance should contact their county Farm Service Agency office. Loan applications are considered on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and applicant’s repayment ability. Farmers who have questions should contact the state FSA office at (217) 241-6600.

Illinois State Fair Underway
To kick off the State Fair, the popular butter cow was unveiled at 3:30 p.m. yesterday in the Dairy Building of the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Followed by The Twilight Parade, which is considered “Preview Night” as the parade marks the unofficial start of the fair.

The theme for the 2015 Illinois State Fair is “Growing Illinois”. “Growing Illinois” is an all-encompassing theme that goes well beyond the rows in a cornfield. It speaks to the hard working men and women in Illinois who help feed and clothe this great nation, ultimately growing the State’s economy.

The 2015 Illinois State Fair will showcase Illinois agriculture in new ways. The focus will be more than the crops in the ground. A spotlight will be put on the youth who spend countless hours preparing 4-H projects and raising livestock in hopes of showing a grand champion. Additionally, attention will be given to the thousands of agri-businesses located in the Land of Lincoln who help drive this billion dollar industry.

The State Fair runs August 13th-23rd in Springfield. For more information about the 2015 Illinois State Fair, please visit www.illinoisstatefair.info.

House Back in Session August 25
The Illinois House is back in session Wednesday, August 25 at 12:00 p.m. Listen LIVE here.

In the News
Senate panel supports museum, work camp – Herald & Review; 8-6-15
Lawmakers: More time needed to review coal pollution rules – The Pantagraph; 8-7-15
Democrats, Republicans join to support piece of budget – The Pantagraph; 8-12-15

Explore the 87th District

Yes, the 87th district is truly the “heart” of Illinois. On Saturday, August 8th
I stopped in Chestnut, the geographic center of our diverse state.

On Sunday I had the privilege to attend the Illinois National Guard Change
of Command Ceremony overseen by Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti.
Thank you to outgoing Adjutant General Dan Krumrei for your service and
welcome to new TAG Brigadier General Richard Hayes.

Had about 25 people in Illiopolis for Tuesday’s traveling 
office hours. One of the great discussions was with 
Aya Harter of Mechanicsburg.

Cut the ribbon on the 2015 Illinois State Fair this morning with 
Lord Stanley and Wendy, I was able to wear Rocky Wirtz 
2013 Blackhawks championship ring!