On Wednesday, the Illinois House of Representatives adopted a resolution designating the section of Illinois Route 78 from Canton to Farmington as the "Sgt. Douglas Riney Memorial Highway". The resolution honoring Sgt. Riney is House Joint Resolution 43 sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria).

“Our state and country is safer today because of the sacrifices made by Sgt. Riney and his family,” said Rep. Unes. “Sgt. Riney served on missions in the past that continue to preserve our freedom we cherish today. Designating a portion of Illinois Route 78 the ‘Sgt. Douglas Riney Memorial Highway’ will ensure we never forget the heroism and sacrifice endured by Sgt. Riney.”

Sgt. Douglas Riney died October 19, 2016 in Kabul, Afghanistan of wounds received from encountering hostile enemy forces while on a mission supporting Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Two core components of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel was; working with allies and partners on Resolute Support by training, advising, and assisting Afghan security forces, and continuing counterterrorism operations against the remnants of Al-Qaeda to ensure that Afghanistan is never again used to stage attacks against the United States.
"I am disappointed to learn about Caterpillar's decision to relocate its Global Headquarters from Peoria to Chicago.  Undoubtedly, the impact of this transition will be significant, presenting the Central Illinois region with challenges for years to come.  That being said, I am reminded about the severe economic downturn of the eighties, which occurred at a moment in time where the Peoria area was not nearly as diversified.  We rebounded successfully from that chapter of our history, and I have hope that we can do the same for our future.  I am encouraged by Caterpillar's commitment to maintain a significant presence in Peoria, though the move is still unfortunate considering both the Headquarters' deep history with the city and also its 2015 promise to forever change the face of Downtown Peoria.  I do believe that the consequences this new reality will have on our hotel industry, the airport, and the local housing market should not be underestimated.  Now more than ever, this area must embrace its own winning spirit, its "Never-Say-Die" attitude, and rise up to meet the new challenges of the day."
State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) was appointed today to serve as an Assistant Minority Leader for the 100th General Assembly.  There are only six positions of this kind that serve the General Assembly’s Republican caucus, and only ten leadership positions in total.

"Mike is one of the hardest working legislators in Illinois. His deep conviction, passion, and energy towards constituent service and finding solutions to our most serious issues provide great service to both his district and our state," said Jim Durkin, House Minority Leader.

Representative Unes is beginning his fourth term representing the 91st District in the Illinois General Assembly, which covers parts of Tazewell, Fulton, and Peoria counties.  This area of the state has been accustomed to having a member on the Republican leadership team.

“I am humbled and honored that Leader Durkin asked me to serve as Assistant Minority Leader.  I am deeply committed to serving the needs and interests of my district, and the people of Illinois.  Likewise, I am proud to carry the torch for our area as a member of my caucus’ leadership team,” said Rep Unes.