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When the subjects of jobs, unemployment, and small businesses come up on the House floor in Springfield, you can guarantee that State Representative Keith Wheeler will rise to be part of the conversation.

We talk with him about those issues and what needs to be done to help Illinois grow jobs.  In getting to know more about the representative, we hear about his passion for Chicago Bears football, Walter Payton, U-2, and an educator who influenced him not only in school but who has been a source of motivation ever since.

Governor Frank Lowden. Photo from the Illinois Blue Books Collection, 
Illinois Digital Archives –  A service of the Illinois State Library and
Illinois Secretary of State.
In state government in Illinois there are about two dozen agencies referred to as “Code Departments.” These include major agencies like the Department on Aging and the Department of Central Management Services. The term “code department” refers to departments of state government authorized by the Civil Administrative Code. The Civil Administrative Code was legislation enacted in Illinois 100 years ago which not only revolutionized the way state government conducted its affairs, but also launched its major proponent on a road toward the White House.
With the year long Bicentennial celebration in full swing, we thought we'd find out just how much you know about Illinois history. Take our quiz and learn just how much you know about Illinois' past.
Illinois will be celebrating its 200th birthday in 2018 and has hundreds of historic landmarks that tell the story of this great state.

Be part of history and the Illinois Bicentennial.

Plan your trip in amazing Illinois.

Learn more travel and Illinois history.

Here are 12 Illinois historic landmarks you should visit in 2018:
  1. Nobel-Seymour Crippen House 
  2. Ulysses S. Grant House
  3. Graham Building
  4. B. Harley Bradley House
  5. Steeple Building
  6. Woodstock Opera House 
  7. David Davis Mansion 
  8. Broadwell Inn & Tavern of Clayville
  9. Beecher Hall and Illinois College
  10. Fort de Chartres 
  11. Joseph Smith House 
  12. New Philadelphia 
Archeological excavations at Fort Massac State Park. Photo from the Illinois Blue Book Collection,
Illinois Digital Archives -  A Service of the State Library and Office of Secretary of State dd caption
On Sunday, Illinois marked our state’s 199th birthday. It was also the kickoff of the year-long celebration leading up to our bicentennial in 2018. Last week, we brought you the first of two parts of our collection of odds and ends from (nearly) 200 years of Illinois history. Here are a few more:
Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced the launch of a statewide helpline to provide immediate assistance for those impacted by addiction to opioids and other substances.

The helpline will provide a confidential outlet for individuals experiencing opioid use disorders, their families and anyone affected by the disease 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Helpline specialists are trained in evidence-based approaches to help connect callers with treatment and recovery-support services. To reach the helpline, individuals can call 1-833-2FINDHELP.
As a member of the Illinois General Assembly, State Representative Chad Hays earlier this year lead a bipartisan vote on a bill to fund 911 emergency services, encouraging his colleagues to support the measure so vital services were not disrupted in any part of the state. 

As Chad Hays, member of a bipartisan musical group comprised of Illinois lawmakers who cover Jimmy Buffett, Marshall Tucker, and the early Rolling Stones, he thinks he’s found something to do long after his days in the General Assembly are over. 

We talk with Representative Hays about both issues.