Amazon agrees to buy 100,000 electric vans from Rivian Automotive. Although Rivian is a startup firm, its Central Illinois plant is experienced at motor vehicle assembly. The Normal plant used to make Diamond-Star cars for Mitsubishi Motors before shutting down in November 2015. The electric delivery vans will be operated under the firm’s Amazon Prime identity trademark, and will carry goods from Amazon warehouses for home delivery. The first vans will go into operation in 2021, and the current goal is to operate 100,000 Rivian-made vans under the Amazon Prime name by 2024.
Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings perform Folsom Prison Blues
at Farm Aid 1985 / Video still from Farm Aid on YouTube
The early 1980s were a rough time for farmers in the United States and Canada. Years of record crops had combined with international geopolitical developments to drive down commodities prices and the value of farmland. Debt soared and foreclosures skyrocketed. It was the worst farm crisis to strike the United States since the dust bowl of the 1930s. As a leading agricultural state, Illinois was among the hardest hit.

Barely a year after statehood, Illinois’ new state government abandoned its original riverfront capital city of Kaskaskia and moved northeast to higher ground in Vandalia. It proved to be a wise choice: within a few decades, the Mississippi had changed course, and much of the original seat of government lay at the bottom of the river.

Less than 20 years later, Illinois was once again looking for a new capital city. The efforts of a freshman state legislator and eight of his colleagues would help shift it farther north.

9/11 memorial events to be held throughout Illinois. The events will honor the lives of those lost on 9/11/01 and the firefighters, police officers, and other first responders who courageously served on that tragic day. A web-based list of events throughout Illinois can be found here.

Summary of August 2019 revenue numbers. The nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) has reported on Illinois revenue numbers for the month of August 2019.
Pro football fans in Illinois are probably familiar with that catchy fight song, “Bear Down, Chicago Bears.” The 1941 song about the “pride and joy of Illinois,” marching to victory on the gridiron was inspired by one of the most dominant professional football teams to ever take the field. The “Monsters of the Midway” were the reigning NFL champions, having smashed their way to a 73-0 victory in the NFL championship game, the team’s fourth league title in just 20 years.

The song is particularly fun because of its play on the term “bear down;” meaning to focus and concentrate; and of course the team’s name. It would have sounded a lot different had it been written about a team called the Staleys.
Honoring Illinois State Police Trooper Nicholas Hopkins. Trooper Nicholas J. Hopkins was shot and killed while serving a search warrant at a home in East St. Louis on Friday, August 23.

Hopkins and other members of the Emergency Response Team were making entry into the home at 5:30 am when he was shot by an occupant during an exchange of gunfire. Hopkins became the fourth ISP trooper to die in the line of duty in 2019.

Trooper Hopkins had served with the Illinois State Police for 10 years. He is survived by his wife, three children, and brother. The family released a statement saying he had a "lasting impact on the lives of everyone who knew him."
In the early years of American independence, the Mississippi River marked the western border of the United States. With the completion of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, that boundary was moved hundreds of miles to the west. So by the time Illinois became a state in 1818, we were an interior state; that is, we had no international boundaries.

But for a few weeks in the early 1970s that (sort of) changed with the creation of the Republic of Forgottonia in the region between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers.
99th District State Representative Mike Murphy is a Sangamon County native who made a name for himself in the restaurant industry before getting in to politics.

An avid bicycle rider, he participates in an annual trek across the state of Iowa.

We’ve all seen the statistics. Every year, cell phone use behind the wheel causes far too many accidents injuries and deaths. In fact, according to the National Safety Council it accounts for as many as 1.6 million crashes every year, injuring close to 400,000 people. One of those distracted driving accidents, which occurred in western Illinois, led to legislation in the spring session of the General Assembly to enact tougher penalties for accidents caused by distracted driving.
School bus safety law helps protect Illinois students. The nation was horrified last fall by the story of a girl and her younger twin brothers who were struck and killed on the side of a highway while attempting to board a school bus in Rochester, Indiana. The heartbreaking story was made even worse by the knowledge that it was not the only such incident in the United States in the recent past. That same week there were fatal bus stop accidents in Mississippi and Pennsylvania, and another crash in Florida in which three students were seriously injured.
Elias Kent Kane. Photo from the
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.
August 26 is the birthday of the first Illinois state Constitution. It marks the date in 1818 on which delegates to the first Illinois Constitutional Convention adopted the state’s founding document. It was this brief document which set in motion the creation of a government for the nation’s 21st state.

Our first Constitution was largely drafted by Elias Kent Kane, a Yale graduate and a lawyer from New York. Illinois’ first Constitution was heavily influenced by the founding document of Kane’s home state, as well as those of Ohio and Kentucky. When the Constitutional convention met at Bennett’s Tavern in the territorial capital of Kaskaskia, Kane was among the 33 delegates from 15 counties, with Judge Jesse Thomas serving as presiding officer. Delegates drafted, debated and approved the first Constitution in the space of three weeks. It was not submitted to the people for approval. Its adoption was celebrated with speeches in the capital city and the firing of 20 cannon rounds.

The nation was horrified last fall by the story of a girl and her younger twin brothers who were struck and killed on the side of a highway while attempting to board a school bus in Rochester, Indiana. The heartbreaking story was made even worse by the knowledge that it was not the only such incident in the United States in the recent past. That same week there were fatal bus stop accidents in Mississippi and Pennsylvania, and another crash in Florida in which three students were seriously injured.
Governor signs Davidsmeyer bill to create Pediatric Cancer License Plate that funds cancer research. Senate Bill 946, sponsored by Senator Steve McClure and Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer, was signed into law Thursday by Governor Pritzker in honor of Jerseyville resident Jonny Wade, who passed away from cancer at age eight. The legislation authorizes universal special license plates and license plate decals to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer treatment and research.
Ella Park Lawrence with the Illinois State Flag.
Ella Louise Park Lawrence was a great patriot. Her ancestors came to America in 1639, and eight members of her family fought in the Revolutionary War. Her father, George, moved to Illinois when he was young, but eventually settled in Missouri. In the years before the Civil War he ran an abolitionist newspaper – an act of extreme courage in a sharply divided state like Missouri. As the nation split over the issue of slavery and then descended into civil war, George Park taught his children, including his three-year-old daughter Ella to love and respect the flag of the nation so many were fighting to save.

Young Ella never forgot that lesson, and as she grew up she was known to present stars-and-stripes flags to her school and her classmates. She returned to Illinois in 1874 to attend Knox College. There she met her future husband, George Lawrence, and they and their family lived in Galesburg, where they had five children, four of whom tragically died while still young.

Lauryn Russell is a 13-year-old student from Mercer County in northwestern Illinois who has faced a medical challenge made even more difficult by the laws of her home state. When she was 7 years old, Lauryn contracted Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that is characterized by headaches, fevers, rashes, joint pain and fatigue. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about 30,000 Lyme disease cases in the United States each year, but also says that reported cases are likely only a fraction of the true number of cases, which could be as high as 300,000.

COGFA publishes annual Budget Summary. The report published on August 1 covers the State budget passed for FY20, the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2019. Like the State’s monthly budget summaries (see below), the annual Budget Summary is published by the nonpartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA). Unlike the monthly reports, however, the annual Summary is an overview of the entire State budget, including the public-sector operations for which the various budget line items have been appropriated. It is an anticipatory document for the Annual Report on FY20 to be published by the Office of the Illinois Comptroller after the fiscal year comes to an end.

Americans cross the Siegfried Line, 1945.
In May 1940, the German Army stormed into the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Having crushed Poland the year before, and invaded and conquered Denmark and Norway just a few weeks earlier, the Germans now turned their attention to the west, and the small nations on the North Sea coast were the first on their list.

Employing a new form of warfare; known as “blitzkrieg,” or “lightning war;” the Germans swept into Dutch and Belgian territory, overwhelming or driving back all who tried to resist. In Belgium, King Leopold III recognized the hopelessness of his country’s situation, and opted to surrender just weeks after the invasion.

While many monarchs and elected leaders of occupied nations (including much of Belgium’s civil government) fled to create governments-in-exile, Leopold stayed behind and surrendered with his army. He was captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner for five years, eventually ending up in a house near Strobl, Austria.

It was there on May 7, 1945, that the King was liberated by soldiers of a unit comprised largely of men from the Illinois National Guard.

Every year in America it is estimated that 50,000 people die from epilepsy-related causes. It is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the nation; behind migraines, strokes and Alzheimer’s. The condition affects more than 65 million people worldwide and 200,000 people of all ages in Illinois, including schoolchildren. One in three of these individuals lives with uncontrollable seizures due to epilepsy.

The thought of a child being struck with a seizure while at school is an issue of major concern to parents throughout Illinois, and it is one which Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) had in mind when she introduced legislation this spring to better prepare schools to assist a student having an epileptic seizure.

Fitch Ratings calls Illinois’ outlook “stable.” The unenthusiastic description from credit rating firm Fitch Ratings maintains Illinois’ credit rating as one notch above “junk bond” status. So-called “junk debt” is viewed, by a wide variety of investors and investment vehicles, as unsuitable material for prudent savings. Issuers of “junk debt” typically have to pay much higher interest rates, and must work with a much shorter list of bond underwriters and potential bond buyers. 
Governor Shelby Moore Cullom.
In the 2nd floor portrait gallery of the Illinois state Capitol known as the Hall of Governors, a casual observer might do a double take looking at a portrait of a subject who looks an awful lot like Abraham Lincoln. His dark suit, thin face and beard certainly do bear a strong resemblance to the Great Emancipator. The lanky, distinguished 17th Governor of Illinois, Shelby Moore Cullom, had noticed the resemblance himself, and he took it as a point of pride that he looked so much like the man who had been friends with his father and who had guided his study of the law.

By the time he died in 1914 at the age of 84, Shelby Cullom had been a force in Illinois and national government for half a century, a political career spanning from the days just before the Civil War to the eve of World War I, and one which had put him in the orbit of almost every American President from Lincoln to Woodrow Wilson.
In February 2018, after floodwaters caused destruction in Watseka, Illinois, for the third time in as many years, State Representative Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) knew something more needed to be done.

“Flooding is unlike any other natural disaster we have in Illinois,” Bennett said. “There are lots of things an individual can do to prepare for an ice storm or even a tornado. You can stock up on canned food, you can buy a generator, you can have a safe room in your house. Floods are different: they require entire communities or entire regions to work together to take action.”

Name added to State Police Memorial Wall. In a ceremony held in Springfield on July 20, the family of Trooper Brooke Jones-Story unveiled the addition of her name to the list of state police officers inscribed at the Illinois State Police Memorial Park. The ceremony followed the death of Trooper Jones-Story on March 28, 2019 on U.S. Highway 20 near Freeport, Illinois. The police officer had been conducting a traffic stop, and was hit by a heavy truck driver who had failed to observe the “Move Over” law. This law requires drivers to move over, or sharply slow down, in order to avoid endangering a first responder who is on or next to a working highway.
Employees drill holes in watch plates at the National
Watch Company factory in Elgin, Illinois, 1917.
“Does anybody really know what time it is?”

So asked the Illinois-based rock band Chicago on their 1969 debut album. It’s a good question; one that had plagued travelers throughout the United States during the 19th century, and one which was finally answered after a conference in the band’s namesake city of Chicago.

Before we all had smartphones in our pockets to tell us the time down to the millisecond, before wristwatches, pocket watches and even clocks on the wall, people told the approximate time by the position of the sun. Decorative sundials are not an uncommon sight today, but two centuries ago they were the only method for telling time to any degree of accuracy.

Human trafficking victims’ advocates have hailed Illinois' action as a major step toward combatting human trafficking.

In January 2019, new laws took effect in Illinois that provide creative relief to human trafficking victims. These laws expand victims’ ability to bring civil lawsuits against their trafficker and provide financial incentives to cooperate with police investigations of human traffickers.
U.S. Army troops taking a break while on patrol in Vietnam, 1968
More than 58,000 Americans gave their lives in the Vietnam War. They came from every state in the union and from many different communities in Illinois. The United States drafted young men into the armed forces until near the end of the war, but a great many also volunteered to fight for our nation in Southeast Asia.

Among those who gave their lives far from home a half century ago were three young men from Fulton County in western Illinois who left Canton High School for the military before their graduation.
Push for federal flood recovery assistance. The heavy rains that fell over Illinois and watershed states in the spring and early summer of 2019 caused significant lost business and property damage to residents along major Illinois rivers, ranging from the Ohio River in southern Illinois to the Rock River in northern Illinois. The Mississippi River was in flood for a record number of days this spring and early summer, with extensive damage and impacts that could trigger federal assistance to Illinois.

Individuals and businesses affected by the Flood of 2019 are urged to work with their county emergency management efforts on floodwater recovery. The State is currently conducting a damage assessment to strengthen its application for possible federal flood assistance.
President Nixon visits the Apollo 11 crew as they sit
in quarantine after returning to Earth, 1969. 
Three weeks after their historic mission to the moon, the three astronauts of Apollo 11 were honored with a ticker tape parade through Chicago attended by as many as two million people. They were formally welcomed by Mayor Richard J. Daley with a celebration in a jam-packed Civic Center Plaza.

It was part of a day that began with a similar parade in New York, and ended with a dinner in Los Angeles hosted by President Richard Nixon, at which they were each presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

For two of the Apollo 11 astronauts, it was also a homecoming of sorts.

Neil Armstrong had first set foot on the moon at 8:56 p.m. central time on July 20, 1969. It was the culmination of a career in flight which had started in the Midwest, and included some time in Illinois.

Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens appointed to serve as 20th District State Rep. At a public meeting on June 29, local, city and suburban leaders across the 20th legislative district unanimously selected Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens to serve as their state representative. On June 17th, longtime State Representative Michael McAuliffe announced his resignation, initiating a process set by state law that requires the appointment of a successor within thirty days to fill out the remainder of the term. State Representative Brad Stephens was surrounded by his family, friends and supporters and was sworn into office by former Democratic state senator now Cook County Judge John Mulroe.
Illinois State Capitol under construction in 1871
Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
Illinois has had six capitol buildings in three cities. The first three capitols met untimely fates. Our first capitol building, in Kaskaskia, was lost to the shifting course of the Mississippi River, which has taken most of our first capital city over the past two centuries. Illinois’ second statehouse; the first one to stand in Vandalia; did not last long. On the night of December 9, 1823, the building was destroyed by fire. The third statehouse was torn down by desperate local citizens who thought they could retain the seat of government in their city if they built a more stately-looking building.

Those civic boosters in Vandalia failed, but the structure they ultimately built; our fourth capitol; still stands today. So does our fifth capitol: at 6th and Adams in Springfield. It was replaced starting in 1868 by the sixth and current Capitol building at 2nd and Monroe. But on one summer afternoon in 1933, it seemed the run of bad luck for statehouses in Illinois might claim another victim.

Gov. Pritzker Signs Historic Bipartisan $45 Billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Plan. By Fixing Crumbling Roads and Bridges, Plan Will Support and Create an Estimated 540,000 Jobs in Every Corner of the State.

Surrounded by lawmakers of both parties and representatives from the business community and labor movement, Governor JB Pritzker signed Rebuild Illinois into law, the most robust capital plan in Illinois history and the first in nearly a decade.
Photo from the National WWII Museum
Earlier this month America and the world celebrated the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the morning that thousands of Allied soldiers splashed ashore in Normandy to liberate occupied Western Europe from Nazi Germany. Countless tales of heroism, ingenuity, sacrifice and bravery have been told from the events around June 6, 1944. But one story that has not gotten as much attention involves the development of an item that would save innumerable lives on D-Day and virtually every day after.

And it hinges on a Peoria market’s moldy cantaloupe.
Through highly targeted student assistance programs, Illinois is helping college graduates minimize student debt while at the same time addressing the critical shortage of teachers, nurses and public defenders. Designed to meet specific needs in our state, these programs invest in college graduates who promise to work in Illinois in these areas of need.

College students who plan to enter one of the targeted fields or graduates who are working in one of these fields should take a look at these specialized repayments programs designed to keep them working and thriving in Illinois.

Learn more about the programs below:
Iroquois Theater, 1903
In the days before television and the many opportunities Americans have for entertainment in the modern age, an afternoon or an evening at the theater was a prime diversion for many. Whether it was a lecture by a famed orator, an orchestra concert or a theatrical presentation, an audience could find a few hours amusement at the theater.

But over the centuries, theaters also were the scene of their share of problems. From the middle ages on, theaters were a prime source of disease outbreaks, and were often among the first facilities closed during the frequent epidemics of the Elizabethan age and onward. More recently; especially as theaters became larger and more complex; they were the scenes of terrible disasters caused by fires and large, panicked crowds rushing for the exits. Nowhere was this combination of factors more deadly than near the corner of Dearborn and Randolph in Chicago just a few days after Christmas in 1903.

This is the time of year when students are receiving college financial aid award letters. And the hard decision of which college to choose begins.

With the rising cost of college tuition; and the increased student debt load that can ultimately follow; it is more important than ever to make the right decision. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) provides a valuable free tool to help you compare financial aid awards and the total cost for up to three colleges.

Need additional assistance? Contact a local ISACorps Member to help you through the college planning process.
Excerpt from Beth Kobliner's story on the PBS News Hour.

Here are four tips to help you and your kid sort through the 7,000 or so U.S. colleges and universities and get the biggest bang for your higher ed buck.

1. Money is a Factor: Level with your kid about how much you can spend and warn her against taking on too much debt.  
  • Make sure any loans are low-interest federal ones (not private). Federal student loans are at a low 5.05 percent interest rate and cap out at $31,000 for five years of college—plus, your kid can choose from a variety of repayment plans after she graduates. 
  • Avoid borrowing on your child’s behalf. The number of parents taking out pricier Parent PLUS loans for their children’s college costs is soaring. Some are even borrowing against their retirement plans. Don’t. 
Governor Pritzker approves massive abortion expansion law. Governor JB Pritzker signed legislation Wednesday that will massively expand abortion access in Illinois.

Senate Bill 25, the so-called “Reproductive Health Act,” makes many sweeping changes to Illinois’ abortion laws, establishing abortion as a fundamental right in Illinois. It further provides that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law. It repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, the Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act, and the Abortion Performance Refusal Act, which specifies that a medical professional who declines to recommend or perform an abortion procedure cannot be held liable for damages. The new law contains intentionally vague definitions that will provide for a significant expansion of post viability abortions. Establishing abortion as a fundamental right means Illinois will not be able to enforce its parental notification law that requires parents of minor children to be notified if their daughter seeks and obtains an abortion.
Lieutenant Governor John W. Chapman signs a document
at Secretary of State Charles F. Carpentier's desk, 1953.
Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum
They have names like Zadoc Casey, Stinson Anderson and Gustavus Koerner. Another was named John Smith. In all, the club has 48 members. Some aspired to join, some attained membership through fate. For some, it was the pinnacle of a career in public service, for others it was a stepping stone. The club got its first female member in 1999, and four of the five most recent to join have been women. It got its first African-American member just this year.

Some club members have been very active, some not. One even resigned from boredom. Eight of them ended up moving into the highest office in the state. These are the Lieutenant Governors of Illinois. Important figures in their time, some of them have been forgotten by history.

Ruth Hanna McCormick and fellow women’s suffragist 
Anna Howard Shaw, 1914.
State Representative Grant Wehrli (R-Naperville) was a proud Chief Co-Sponsor this year of HR 96 which recognizes Illinois as a leader in the story of women’s suffrage in the United States, and commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment’s ratification in Illinois on June 10, 2019.

“The 19th amendment forbids the states or the federal government from denying a person the right to vote on the basis of sex. This momentous act opened the door for women to vote for all offices,” stated Wehrli in a news release. “HR 96 commemorates granting women the right to vote with special attention to Illinois’ proud place in the effort. Illinois is home to storied women’s right advocates and suffragists like Jane Addams, Frances Willard, and Ruth Hanna McCormick.” Read the rest of the story in Positively Naperville.
Bipartisan, balanced budget passed after inclusion of House Republican-backed business reforms. As the General Assembly’s May 31 scheduled adjournment approached, intense negotiations took place in a bipartisan, bicameral effort to reach a deal on a balanced budget and capital infrastructure plan.

Under the leadership of House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Deputy Leader Tom Demmer, House Republicans insisted that key business reforms be included in the budget and capital plan. These reforms will make Illinois a better place to create jobs and grow capital investment and were strongly backed by the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and other business groups.
Governor Green (back, left), Col. McCormick (back, right), and U.S. Senator
Brooks (front, left) leave the State House on Republican Day at the Illinois
State Fair. Photo from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum.
Illinois’ most famous criminal carried out a reign of violence and terror that gripped Chicago for years during Prohibition. Al Capone’s legend grew with each headline-grabbing murder, and his exploits remain well known today thanks to a series of movies and TV shows. While prosecutors could never definitively pin most of the murders or the bootlegging on him, they did finally trip him up over unpaid taxes on his ill-gotten gains.

It was an IRS attorney named Dwight H. Green who got the tax evasion indictment and eventual conviction that sent Al Capone to prison. Green became famous as a crime fighter, and less than a decade later was taking the oath of office as the 30th Governor of Illinois. But halfway through his second term in Springfield, a deadly scandal within his own administration would come to light and cut short his career at the moment it seemed destined for new heights.

Illinois House Speaker and Senate
President of  the 51st General Assembly.
The 101st Illinois General Assembly convened on January 9 of this year. On the 9th day of its existence, the 763rd House bill was introduced. In those nine days, the members of the Illinois House introduced the same number of bills as their predecessors did in the entire two-year term of the 51st General Assembly which convened 100 years ago.

The 2019 Senate took a little longer to reach the 1919 Senate’s output. This year’s Senate did not catch its predecessor’s output of 580 bills until January 31, the 23rd day after convening.

As Illinois began the first year of its second century of statehood, its 204 state legislators (51 Senators and 153 Representatives), representing its 6,485,280 people, had a lot to do. Appropriations for “hard roads,” working conditions for women, a proposed statewide police force, and even the legalization of ten-round boxing matches were some of the pieces of legislation on the agenda of the 51st General Assembly when it met in Springfield in January 1919.

Democrats advance graduated tax hike legislation. On Monday evening, the Democrat majority passed a graduated income tax amendment out of the House Revenue and Finance Committee, over Republican objections.

SJRCA 1 passed out of the House Revenue and Finance Committee on a partisan vote of 9-6, with all Republican members voting ‘No.’ The graduated income tax constitutional amendment now goes to the full House of Representatives for a final vote. If approved by the House, the constitutional amendment would be placed on the November 2020 general election ballot.
The 1953 Illinois Blue Book includes a list of seven Illinois cities likely to be targeted during a Soviet atomic attack. The next page features a terrifying photo of a hydrogen bomb blast with a city skyline; said to be Chicago; superimposed in front of it.

In the years following World War II, the optimistic belief that the threat of global war had perhaps been eliminated forever began to wane. Europe hardened into distinct eastern and western spheres, the Soviets blocked Berlin, civil war reignited in China, and American forces went into combat in Korea. All the while, weapons became more powerful and their delivery systems became faster and their ranges longer. By the early 1950s it seemed nowhere was safe, even the middle of North America.
Our guest today serves the residents of portions of Kankakee, Will, and Grundy Counties. She continues a family tradition of being committed to community volunteering and philanthropy and promoting community growth, and has dedicated her life to serving others as a mom, wife, daughter, aunt, and practicing attorney. She and her husband share a passion for family, friendships and food. Our guest is state representative Lindsay Parkhurst.

House Republicans: A tax increase is not necessary to achieve a balanced FY20 budget. Illinois House Republicans held a press conference Thursday at the Capitol to reiterate the message that a tax increase is not necessary to achieve a balanced Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

House Republicans presented a document detailing $2.6 billion more in revenue than the House working groups had previously planned for. These new revenues clearly demonstrate that the General Assembly can pass a balanced budget without raising taxes on Illinois families and businesses.
The 1919 Transcontinental Motor Convoy.
Photo from the Eisenhower Presidential Library.
Sitting down at a desk at the Rock Island Arsenal in Rock Island, Illinois, Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower began composing his report. It was November 1919 and Eisenhower had just completed an arduous two-month drive across the United States with a column of Army trucks on the Lincoln Highway, the new transcontinental highway stretching from New York’s Times Square to San Francisco’s Lincoln Park.

At least, that’s the road which the Army thought it was going to use. In his report Eisenhower cleared up any misconception which the Army might have had about the Lincoln Highway being an actual road.
Durkin: “We have the money to balance the budget without new taxes.” On Wednesday, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, along with Deputy Leaders Dan Brady and Tom Demmer, held a press conference to reiterate the need for bipartisan negotiations to pass a balanced Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

In light of this week’s announcement that April revenues were up by $1.5 billion and that FY20 estimated revenues were revised upwards by $800 million, Leader Durkin announced that we have the money to balance the FY20 budget without new taxes. Durkin’s full remarks follow:
Woman stands with original steel plow at
the Smithsonian in the late 1930s
An Illinois farmer 200 years ago may have wondered if it would someday be possible for Illinois to be an agricultural powerhouse. It was conceivable that the state could one day be among the nation’s leaders in production of crops like corn and soybeans. With miles and miles of wide open prairies and a temperate climate, there was certainly the potential that Illinois might one day be known as one of the leading farm states in the young nation.

That is, if the farmers could just find a way to break through the ground.

In Illinois’ first 20 years of statehood, and for generations before, small subsistence farms had been the norm. Native Americans followed by settlers from the rocky Appalachians and the sandy eastern states had come into Illinois and worked their small plots, scraping out a living, but had not been able to farm huge plots of the prairie. Part of the blame went to their incorrect belief that the soil that produced the tallest trees had to be the most fertile, causing some to avoid the open prairies that cover most of the state. But there was another, larger problem that had stymied Illinois farmers for years.
Senate Democrats Advance Massive Tax Increase. On Wednesday, May 1st, Illinois Senate Democrats passed a graduated tax package out of the Senate that would increase taxes by more than $3.5 billion per year.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin released the following statement on the graduated tax package votes in the Senate:

“The Senate's votes today are a slap in the face to thousands of Illinois families and businesses - just another step towards handing a blank check over to the Democrats and their reckless spending habits.”
Lincoln Home in Springfield draped in mourning, 1865
The crowd gathered in the morning chill on 8th Street in Springfield eagerly awaited the appearance of their triumphant friend and neighbor. Three months earlier, the man they had so often greeted in passing on this dusty street had been elected President of the United States. On that exciting night, Abraham Lincoln had rushed the five blocks from the state capitol building and burst through the door of his family’s house at the corner of 8th and Jackson, shouting to his wife, “Mary! We are elected!”