Illinois House Republican members of the Illinois House Veterans’ Affairs Committee are demanding answers following news of frightening COVID-19 outbreaks at state-run veterans’ homes.

State Rep. Randy Frese, spokesperson for the Illinois House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, released the following statement regarding House members being excluded from today’s hastily planned hearing:

ETHICS

Madigan ally Mike McClain indicted. The federal indictment of Speaker Madigan ally and confidante Mike McClain, himself a former legislator, shows that the investigation into bribery and corruption within Speaker Madigan’s inner circle continues to ramp up. McClain was charged with bribery conspiracy, a federal felony, in connection with admissions by Commonwealth Edison that the utility giant attempted to buy influence with the Speaker. The indictment was handed down on Wednesday, November 18. 

This fall has seen a lot less football than we are used to in Illinois. The Bears took the field but our Big Ten season was delayed and high school teams did not hit the gridiron at all. Still, the first hints of crisp autumn weather automatically bring to mind thoughts of action on the football field.

Like all the great American sports lots of places can claim to be the birthplace of American football. Illinois can stake its own claim, being home to the game’s first legendary running back as well as some of football’s early innovators like A.E. Staley and George Halas.

Their work, however, built upon the creation of Illinois’ first eminent football mind: the great Amos Alonzo Stagg.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Leader Jim Durkin unanimously reelected to lead the House Republican Caucus in the 102nd General Assembly. The choice was finalized at a meeting of the Caucus held on Thursday, November 12.

“This evening, the House Republican Caucus reelected Leader Durkin by a unanimous voice vote. The caucus is united in continuing its fight to bring ethics reform and fiscal discipline to Illinois.”

Republican members of the Illinois House Veterans’ Affairs Committee sent a letter demanding the chair of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee convene a public hearing as soon as possible following recent reports detailing an outbreak of COVID-19 among employees and residents at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home.

“We must quickly investigate how and why a recent outbreak occurred and what steps are being taken by the Pritzker administration to stop the spread of COVID-19 at all State-run veterans’ homes and health care facilities,” said State Rep. Randy Frese, Republican Spokesperson for the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “Our veterans now depend on us, and we cannot let them down.  We stand ready to get to work to assist in providing the highest quality healthcare for all Illinois veterans.” 

In the wake of a federal corruption investigation into longtime Speaker of the House Mike Madigan’s role in the ComEd bribery scandal, a handful of Democrat lawmakers have finally joined Republicans and called on their colleagues to reject Madigan. House Republicans support their efforts and urge all legislators to say no to Mike Madigan’s bid to retain his stranglehold on the Illinois General Assembly.

Sign the petition to urge House Democrats to stand up to corruption and vote against Mike Madigan for Speaker.

In 2018 Illinois enacted a law which would allow farmers to apply to the Illinois Department of Transportation to obtain a temporary weight-limit waiver during harvest season. It would allow them to load more of their crops onto trucks and deliver them to markets. It was the latest development in a 200-year-long struggle for Illinois farmers to get their crops to markets as efficiently as possible. Long before trucks started rolling along asphalt highways it was thought that this need could be met with small boats on a system of canals.

After learning that yet another meeting of the Special Investigating Committee (SIC) into the conduct of House Speaker Michael J. Madigan was canceled and work of the committee has been postponed indefinitely, Republicans serving on the bipartisan panel are demanding the committee get back to work.
COVID-19

All of Illinois now under enhanced mitigation; statewide positive case counts number more than 10,000 per day. The cases are only a small fraction of the tens of thousands of tests run on Illinois residents every day across the state, with the great majority of tests coming back negative. However, the positive case counts as a percentage of total tests run is now greater than 8% in all 11 public health regions of Illinois. Under a policy imposed by Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), all 11 regions are currently under enhanced mitigation restrictions.
One hundred fifty years ago, Illinois Governor John Palmer was getting frustrated.

A Civil War general, Palmer had been elected on a platform of government reform in 1868, but he had seen his efforts thwarted time and again in his first legislative session. Not only was he not making any progress on fixing the system, but things appeared to be getting steadily worse.

The bane of Palmer’s existence were the so-called “private bills,” and the state Constitution which kept him from doing anything about them. Private bills were legislation drafted for the benefit of one individual or corporation. The most frequent use of this tactic was for corporate charters, which the drafters of the Constitution then in effect (enacted in 1848) thought they had banned.