44th District weekly update

From Sen. Bill Brady          Send a link to a friend

[June 18, 2007] 

Fifteen days of overtime... and counting

Lawmakers left Springfield June 15 with no action on desperately needed electric rate relief and no state budget.

There has been plenty of rhetoric from Democratic leaders about staying in Springfield until the "work of the people" is done, but there is no action to back that rhetoric. The governor continues to commute to Springfield from Chicago on a daily basis, and neither the Senate president nor the House speaker has set any five-day-per-week schedules.

The Senate and House are scheduled to return next week.

Democratic leaders had until May 31 to get the "work of the people" done, but they failed. The legislative logjam continues. It makes you wonder what they have been doing since the governor first unveiled his spending plan on March 7. And skyrocketing electric rates have been a problem since the beginning of the year, when a 10-year rate freeze ended.

The overtime session is unfortunate, but it does give Republican lawmakers an opportunity to arbitrate and provide the kind of leadership that has been sorely lacking.

Lawmakers pass Brady's campus press legislation

Under legislation I sponsored, college student editors and reporters will have greater freedom from censorship.

Senate Bill 729 creates the College Campus Press Act to protect free press on Illinois college campuses by adding protections to Illinois law against government censorship. The legislation also protects faculty advisors from retaliation.

Approved by the Senate on June 6 and by the House of Representatives on May 31, Senate Bill 729 now moves to the governor's desk and will become law with his signature.

Area communities receive Lincoln bicentennial grants

The Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission has awarded more than $440,000 to 14 projects that will help the state prepare to celebrate Lincoln's 200th birthday in February 2009. Several project in the central Illinois region received funding.

The Bicentennial Grant funds were available to organizations, museums, local communities, nonprofit institutions and government agencies to support educational and interpretive programs and special events related to Lincoln's Illinois heritage.

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In the central Illinois region, grants were awarded to:

  • Lincoln Log Courthouse, Decatur -- Major roof repairs will be made to this historic landmark, the only log courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law as a young lawyer. The log building is used for many interpretive and educational programs. Bicentennial Grant: $11,000.

  • "Prairie Fire" program, WILL-TV -- The public television station will produce a series on Lincoln's life as an 1850s attorney on the 8th Judicial Circuit, featuring re-enactments and interviews with historians. WILL-TV's audience includes the cities of Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, Springfield, Charleston, Mattoon, Bloomington-Normal and Danville. The features will also be distributed to a national PBS audience. Bicentennial Grant: $40,000.

  • Early American Museum, Mahomet -- The museum will create a DVD of Lincoln's life as an attorney traveling the 8th Judicial Circuit, focusing specifically on Champaign County and east-central Illinois. Copies of the DVD will be distributed to educators and visitors. The grant will also help upgrade audiovisual equipment to show the DVD in the museum. Bicentennial Grant: $9,700.

  • Menard County Tourism Council -- The grant will fund a program to develop interpretative signs and multimedia equipment to encourage public visitation of Menard County's Lincoln sites and other historical sites in the county. Bicentennial Grant: $26,500.

  • Land of Lincoln Statewide Read Program -- Patterned after the "citywide reads" programs in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, this program will encourage readers across the state, through their local libraries, to read Richard Carwardine's book, "Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power." A study guide pamphlet will be developed; a list of Lincoln scholars who are willing to make local presentations will be prepared; and readers will be encouraged to visit the Illinois locations mentioned in the book. This program is in cooperation with Northern Illinois University and Illinois Library and Information Network. Bicentennial Grant: $18,065.

Brady appears on "Lawmakers" program

On a special edition of the "Lawmakers" program that was broadcast June 8 and 10, Sen. Brady talked about state budget negotiations and the lack of relief for Illinois consumers dealing with skyrocketing electric rates

The show is hosted by Mark McDonald and is regularly broadcast on WSEC in Springfield, WMEC in Macomb and WQEC in Quincy.

[Text from file received from Sen. Bill Brady]

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