~ by Rep. Steven Reick

Joseph Wallace, Gizzell “Gizzy” Ford, Ja’hir Gibbons, Semaj Crosby, A.J. Freund. What do they have in common? All of them were murdered and before their deaths all of them were the subjects of investigation by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

Now add to that list Kerrigan “Kerri” Rutherford, age 6 from Montgomery, Illinois. Her mother and stepfather have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with her July 2nd death, which Kendall County authorities allege was the result of the couple having given Kerri enough of a prescription drug, olanzapine, to kill her.
Illinois House and Senate Republicans Demand Meetings of Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform Resume Immediately. The Republican Legislative Delegation to Illinois’ Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform held a Zoom video press conference on Monday morning demanding that Ethics Commission chairs take steps to resume meetings immediately. The four Republican lawmakers serve as commission members.
In happier times, this week would have fallen right between two of Illinois’ premier late summer events: Springfield’s Illinois State Fair, and downstate’s DuQuoin State Fair; annual gatherings for fun, all-things-fried-and-on-a-stick, agricultural showcases and plenty of rides. With the cancellation this year’s state fairs, and so many county fairs, many Illinoisans are disappointed to miss out on the corn dogs, livestock shows and rides on the Ferris wheel.

Here in Illinois we have a special connection to the Ferris wheel, as it was invented by an Illinoisan and made its first public appearance at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
The Illinois Secretary of State announced that the expiration date for valid driver’s licenses held by Illinois drivers who are 75 years of age or older has been extended for a period of one year past the licenses’ current 2020 expiration date. As a result, drivers age 75 and older with a 2020 driver’s license expiration date do not need to visit a facility to renew their driver’s license until shortly before their birthday in 2021.

In this podcast episode of Leading Voices, Rep. Jeff Keicher talks about the need to implement reforms to end public corruption and instill integrity in state government.

Gov. James R. “Big Jim” Thompson, Illinois’ longest-serving governor, passes away at age 84. This week Illinois says goodbye to its 37th Governor, the history-making James R. Thompson. Illinois’ longest-serving governor, Thompson passed away last Friday at the age of 84.
This week Illinois says goodbye to its 37th Governor, the history-making James R. Thompson. Illinois’ longest-serving governor, Thompson passed away Friday at the age of 84.

Governor Thompson left a legacy as a builder and deal-maker. He won the biggest gubernatorial landslide in living memory as well as the closest nail-biter in Illinois history. Around the state, buildings and other projects stand today as monuments to the governorship of Jim Thompson.
In December of 2019, Rep. Tony McCombie filed House Joint Resolution 87 creating the State Ethics Task Force. HJR87 garnered bipartisan sponsorship but was never granted a hearing by House Speaker Michael Madigan who is now the subject of a Federal probe.

In this podcast episode, Rep. McCombie talks about what steps need to be taken to instill ethics reforms in the state and put an end to the corruption that affects every Illinoisan.

IDES has partnered with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) – Division of Banking and Division of Financial Institutions to work with financial institutions in detecting and combating unemployment fraud. The discovery of unemployment fraud can often be identified early on at the financial institutional level. Coordinating and engaging financial institutions as a resource has been a proven and successful approach in identifying fraudulent actors and detecting and recovering improper payments.
Governor’s new rule could be used to impose heavy fines on businesses that do not enforce face-covering requirement. The controversial new emergency rule was filed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) on Friday, August 7, and went into effect immediately. The rule directs local health officials – police officers, health departments, and parallel offices – to send out written notices and warnings to businesses that allow employees or customers to violate the COVID-19 facial covering emergency public health orders. The written statements will issue strong advice to the recipient, and will state that failure to comply with the orders could result in the recipient being charged with a Class A misdemeanor.
In Henry, Illinois, a small town on the Illinois River a thousand miles from the nearest ocean, the local park includes a memorial which has as its centerpiece a submarine torpedo. The monument honors 374 officers and 3131 enlisted sailors who lost their lives aboard 52 American submarines during World War II. Perhaps the most prominent among them is Captain John Philip Cromwell, a Henry native who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor after sacrificing his life aboard the submarine USS Sculpin in November 1943.
Pritzker’s emergency rule would impose criminal penalties on businesses that fail to enforce facemask requirement. Gov. Pritzker has ordered that all Illinois residents wear facemasks in indoor public spaces, as well as outdoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained. Limited exceptions exist for persons who are indoors in places where facial coverings cannot be worn, such as restaurants and dentists’ offices.
Recent news stories have told of a coin shortage in some parts of the United States. As Americans have become reluctant to handle metal coins for fear of transmitting the coronavirus, coins have been filling up jars in homes around the country and not being recirculated.

Among the coins not making the rounds are the ubiquitous Lincoln penny. It has been estimated that there are as many as 22 billion Lincoln cents in existence today. It should come as no surprise that there would be such a large number of the coins, due in part to the small denomination of the penny. But there is also this: Lincoln pennies have been produced since 1909 when they became the first U.S. coin to depict an American President. The Lincoln penny is the oldest continuously-produced coin in the United States and is among the longest-running designs in the world.