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Rep. Unes discussing the importance of HB 4317 on the House floor
before receiving unanimous approval by the House of Representatives
The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) today to ensure families of servicemembers do not face additional burdens after losing their loved one in service to our country. The legislation (HB 4317) will allow families to terminate their lease without penalty when their loved one is killed in action.

Rep. Mike Unes learned of this issue from Kylie Riney, the widow of fallen soldier Sgt. Douglas Riney. She and her two young children needed to move back to Illinois from Texas after her husband was killed in action but the landlord required her to pay penalties for early termination of the lease.

According to Rep. Unes, “I don’t want to see what happened to the Riney family ever happen to a Gold Star family in Illinois. Even though the issue regarding the termination of their lease did not occur in our state, my bill will ensure what happened to the Riney family out of state will not happen to Gold Star families stationed in Illinois.”

Under current law, families are permitted to terminate a residential lease without penalty when a servicemember is deployed. However, it does not allow for the same option when a servicemember is killed in action, causing the family additional hardship.

Nearly 55,000 Illinois residents currently serve our country in the military, ranking Illinois 13th in the number of residents serving our nation. Not only do thousands of military members call Illinois home, so do their families. Oftentimes those families are required to move to an Illinois community to accommodate the servicemember's assignment.

HB 4317 sponsored by Rep. Unes has been sent to the Senate for consideration.

Legislation legislation to improve treatment for child abuse victims clears committee


The House Human Services Committee approved legislation I sponsored to improve access to emergency room treatment for pediatric sexual assault victims. Access to pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and physicians is extremely limited-particularly in downstate rural areas--and this bill seeks to address that.

House Bill 5245 will ensure that sexual assault victims are able to receive timely care from health care professionals who specialize in providing treatment for this population of victims.
Since day one, my goal has been to ensure that this most vulnerable population of victims that has been through unthinkable trauma, may obtain the care they need from the most qualified medical professionals. This bill provides a voice to the voiceless, and confidence to their loved ones.

To read more about this landmark legislation, click here.

FFA visits State Capitol


As always, it was a pleasure to meet with the Future Farmers of America from Cuba and Fairview on Wednesday. I am grateful for the leadership they provide for our communities.



The Illinois House Human Services Committee approved legislation sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) to improve access to emergency room treatment for pediatric sexual assault victims. According to Rep. Unes, access to pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and physicians is extremely limited—particularly in downstate rural areas--and this bill seeks to address that.

House Bill 5245 sponsored by State Rep. Mike Unes, will ensure that sexual assault victims are able to receive timely care from health care professionals who specialize in providing treatment for this population of victims.

Rep Unes added, “Since day one, my goal has been to ensure that this most vulnerable population of victims that has been through unthinkable trauma, may obtain the care they need from the most qualified medical professionals. This bill provides a voice to the voiceless, and confidence to their loved ones.”

Throughout this process, Rep. Unes has worked closely with hospitals, law enforcement entities, the Attorney General’s office, and local physicians in an effort to carefully craft what promises to be landmark legislation for the entire State of Illinois.

Illinois State Representative Mike Unes (R-Pekin) is offering a FREE Paper Shredding event for local residents from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 21 outside his district office located at 19 S. Capitol Street in Pekin.

Paper documents will be accepted for shredding (up to two boxes per person). Guests are instructed to follow the marked pathway and remain in their vehicle while the documents are unloaded. Parking is available for those who wish to personally watch documents being shredded.

The event is free and open to the public. For questions or more information, please call Rep. Mike Unes’ office at 309-620-8631.

 
 


Never Too Early to Learn About Government

On Monday I enjoyed spending time with Mrs. Brix's 4th Grade Class at East Peoria District 86. Visiting area schools and talking to students about lawmaking is always fun and rewarding, but it's extra special when a class of kids who are as young as nine hold their own in a conversation about decision-making. Not to mention: It really makes your day when one of your own kids is in the class! Thanks again to Mrs. Brix, to my son Nicholas, and to all the other incredible students for the very fun, fulfilling experience.


Legislation to Help Gold Star Families

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved my legislation to ensure families of servicemembers do not face additional burdens after losing their loved one in service to our country. The legislation will allow families to terminate their lease without penalty when their loved one is killed in action.
 
I learned of this issue from Kylie Riney, the widow of fallen soldier Sgt. Douglas Riney. She and her two young children needed to move back to Illinois from Texas after her husband was killed in action but the landlord required her to pay penalties for early termination of the lease. 
 
I don't want to see what happened to the Riney family ever happen to a servicemember family in Illinois. When the unthinkable happens and a servicemember is killed in action, their family is left with many difficult decisions, including the need or desire to move. We owe it to our nation's heroes who pay the ultimate price to protect their families, the legislation approved today is one way we can do just that.
Photo courtesy of Matt Dayhoff / Journal Star
The former Hanna City Work Camp stands deserted in 2003 near Hanna City.
Today, the House Executive Committee approved legislation to help Peoria County redevelop the vacant property known as the former Hanna City Work Camp. The legislation sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) will help redevelop the blighted area by allowing the county to permit private investment in the property.

“This bill gives the county more economic opportunities which will assist in clean-up of this blighted site,” said Rep. Unes. “It’s a common sense measure to assist in development and is a win-win for all involved. The unused work camp has been an eye sore for many years. Allowing for private investment should help perk the interest of potential developers.”

The Hanna City Work Camp closed in 2002 and sat vacant for nearly 16 years. The former prison work camp was owned by the State of Illinois and was operated by the Department of Corrections. In 2009, the State conveyed the land over to Peoria County. The 40 acre site has remained vacant due in part because the land is not allowed to receive private investment which is why the county and Rep. Unes are pushing legislation to give the city and county more flexibility to utilize the vacant lot for new development.

Currently, Illinois law only permits Peoria County to redevelop the vacant lot for public use, not private development. The legislation (HB 4319) sponsored by Rep. Unes will allow for private development of the former Hanna City Work Camp.

House Bill 4319 now heads to the House floor for approval.