State Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) is honored to announce that he is the recipient of the 2018 Voice of Senior Care Award from the Illinois Health Care Association (IHCA), which was awarded to him at IHCA’s Convention in Peoria on Sept. 11th.

The Award is given based on a legislators’ proven record of commitment to improving the care for seniors throughout Illinois.  Rep. Unes has sponsored several pieces of legislation addressing care for nursing home residents all across Illinois. Most recently, he has taken a leadership role to address the Medicaid pendings issue that has forced many nursing homes to close their doors, putting a huge burden on residents and their loved ones.

“Families with a loved one in a long-term care facility can rest easier because of the leadership of Rep. Mike Unes. His passion and energy advocating for his constituents is refreshing. He understands long-term care issues and the impact it has on the communities he serves. He has been a champion in protecting the services of his District and he is most deserving of this recognition,” said IHCA Director of Legislative Policy, Ashley Snavely.

“I believe in the mission of IHCA’s member organizations to provide quality accessible health care to those they serve as an integral part of their community’s health program. I am truly honored to receive the Voice of Senior Care Award and will continue working hard to ensure that we improve our long-term care delivery system in Illinois,” said Rep. Mike Unes.

The Illinois Health Care Association was founded in 1950 and is led by a 13-member board of directors.  IHCA is a non-profit organization comprised of nearly 400 licensed and certified long term care facilities as well as facilities/programs for the intellectually and developmentally disabled throughout the state.

For more information on this award, please contact Rep. Unes’ District Office at 309-620-8631.
For the first time in Illinois history, victims of sex abuse in Illinois will soon be receiving the better care they deserve under a new law initiated by State Rep. Mike Unes.  The measure especially improves treatment for pediatric sexual assault victims by providing them greater access to emergency services from specialized clinics, such as Peoria’s Pediatric Resource Center.   It also aims to increase the statewide number of pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and physicians--which is currently very limited, particularly in downstate rural areas.

“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 and deserve from the most qualified medical professionals,” said Rep Unes.  “While this bill enhances the quality of care for all victims of sexual assault, the greatest improvements will undoubtedly be for children.  This bill truly gives a voice to the voiceless, and raises the standard of compassion and care for those who need it the most.”

Throughout this two-year-long 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 and achieve this legal milestone for sexual assault victims in the State of Illinois.

“This legislation represents the very first of its kind in the state, and finally helps address the fact that the sexual assault of a child is inherently different from the sexual assault of an adult,” said Dr. Channing Petrak of the Pediatric Resource Center in Peoria.  “As a pediatrician who specializes in child sexual assault, I am tremendously grateful for the tireless dedication that Representative Unes has given to this long-overdue initiative.”

While both the Attorney General’s office and the Illinois Hospital Association (IHA) have recognized that more nurse’s training in the area of sexual assault has been needed, past efforts have fallen short of achieving adequate levels of clinical expertise in many emergency rooms.  This law provides the necessary direction to make this issue a high priority, achieving greater levels of competent care and justice for these victims. 

“Working with others to help and protect our most vulnerable citizens is the cornerstone of public service,” said Unes. “It has truly been a privilege for me to fight for this legislation for the past two years.  Few issues as complicated as this have received the overwhelming and unanimous support enjoyed by this legislation, and it gives me the unique confidence that we truly got it right.  It's going to make a tremendous difference.”
State Rep Mike Unes’ bill (HB 4319) to help redevelop the former Hanna City Work Camp has officially become law. The legislation paves the way for redevelopment of this blighted area by permitting private investment in the now-vacant property for economic development purposes.

“This bill gives the county full control of the site, while providing a mechanism to seek private development opportunities upon its clean-up,” said Rep. Unes. “This common sense measure to invest in the property is a win-win for all involved.  Allowing for private investment should help pique the interest of potential developers and eventually grow the local economy.  In fact, my office has already received inquiries from interested parties looking to connect with the county about this property, and so I believe that the outlook is exceptional.”

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, but with strict limitations. The 40 acre site has remained vacant and blighted, largely due to regulations that prevented private investment.  This law will change that by allowing for the property’s private development, with 10% of any sale proceeds being paid back to the State of Illinois.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to Representative Unes for his efforts and persistent negotiation with the State on behalf of Peoria County,” said County Board Chairman Andrew Rand. “Putting this land to better use provides the great potential for creating economic opportunity for our county and its taxpayers.  It is our hope that the site will one day be home to either a not-for-profit entity, or some viable commercial enterprise.  This bill gives us the flexibility we have long required to accomplish that, and we are anxious to finally move forward on that initiative.”
Families of fallen service members now have one less burden when mourning the loss of their loved one.  A new law allows more flexibility to such families in terms of real estate leases.  The legislation, which was introduced by Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) allows surviving families to terminate their lease without penalty when their loved one is killed in action.

Rep. Unes vowed to assist military families after he met 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 her landlord required her to pay penalties for early termination of the lease.  The restrictions ultimately led to a weeks-long separation between Kylie and her two young children in the immediate aftermath of their father's death, a time when the family support system is so important.

“The goal of this legislation has been to ensure what happened to the Riney family will never happen to a Gold Star family in Illinois,” said Rep. Unes. “All members of our nation’s military and their families deserve the highest level of care and compassion in every circumstance, and I am proud to do what I can to make sure that we are upholding that standard.”
Landmark legislation led by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) to improve access to emergency room treatment for pediatric sexual assault victims cleared the General Assembly.

“The effects of a sexual assault can last a lifetime, particularly when the victim is a child,” said Rep. Unes. “Survivors, especially children, deserve specialized care that treats their physical wounds and those that cannot be seen as easily. This legislation is the result of more than a year of negotiations, and I appreciate leadership and advocacy for survivors. I urge the governor to sign this critical legislation.”

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 pediatric sexual assault victims are able to receive timely care from health care professionals who specialize in providing treatment for children victimized by sexual assault.
Rep. Unes discussing the balanced budget with Denise Jackson from News 25
The Illinois House of Representatives approved Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) state budget today, pending the Governor’s signature, the bipartisan budget will take effect on July 1.

“I’m proud to report the House approved a balanced, bipartisan state budget,” said Rep. Unes. “The momentum from the passage of last year’s budget, which led to historic school funding reform, facilitated the continuation of the bipartisan process for this year’s balanced budget. This is the common sense process that I have been advocating for a long time. With the passage of this year’s FY 2019 budget, we will begin the new fiscal year with a full 12 month budget for the first time since calendar year 2014.”

The FY19 budget appropriates $38.502 billion, with Illinois’ revenue estimated at $38.520 billion.

Unes Legislation to Help Gold Star Families Heads to the Governor's Desk

The Illinois Senate approved my legislation on Wednesday 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.

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.

The goal of this legislation is to ensure what happened to the Riney family will never happen to a Gold Star family in Illinois. Even though to my knowledge this has not been an issue 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.

Senate Committee Approves Unes' Legislation to Improve Treatment for Child Sex Abuse Victims

On Wednesday, the Senate Human Services Committee approved my legislation (HB 5245) to ensure that child sexual assault victims are able to receive timely care from health care professionals who specialize in providing treatment for victims of child sex abuse.

Since day one, my goal has been to ensure 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.
The Illinois Senate 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.

“The goal of this legislation is to ensure what happened to the Riney family will never happen to a Gold Star family in Illinois,” said Rep. Unes. “Even though to my knowledge this has not been an issue 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.”
The Illinois Senate approved legislation sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) to help Peoria County redevelop the vacant property known as the former Hanna City Work Camp. Rep. Unes introduced House Bill 4319 to help redevelop the blighted area by allowing the county to permit private investment of the property.

“This bill will give Peoria County more economic opportunities which will assist in clean-up of the vacant site previously held by the Hanna City Work Camp,” said Rep. Unes. “It’s a common sense measure to assist in development and is a win-win for everyone involved. The unused work camp has been an eye sore for many years. Allowing for private investment should help pique 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 since remained vacant, in part because the land has not been allowed to receive private investment. Rep. Unes and Peoria County have been advocating strongly for this legislation, which grants the city and county much more flexibility in developing the blighted property.

Unes welcomes students to Tech Day in Springfield

Tech Day 2018 at the State Capitol was a great success on Thursday. I always look forward to presenting at this annual event, and continue to be impressed by the local students and educators who are paving the way toward a more modern, competitive workforce in Illinois.

The purpose of TECH 2018 is to increase awareness of the critical role technology plays in preparing students to succeed in today's world by offering students throughout Illinois an opportunity to demonstrate their innovative uses of technology while highlighting the need for increased funding to support equitable and meaningful access to educational technology.

TECH 2018 highlights the crucial role that technology plays in education -- ranging from increases in collaboration and critical thinking, to promoting learning beyond the limits of the school day -- by creating a space for students to share their learning and innovative uses of devices, the internet, and digital curriculum.

To learn more about Tech Day 2018 click here. 


Loyola Ramblers and Sister Jean visit Capitol


The Loyala Ramblers Head Coach Porter Moser, Sister Jean and several members of the team visited the State Capitol on Wednesday, May 9.

The Ramblers were recognized by House Resolution 1045 (HR 1045) for their achievements throughout their 2017-2018 basketball season.

It was great to honor and recognize the historic success of the Loyola Ramblers on the House floor. It was also very humbling to meet Sister Jean. She was such an inspiration to the country during their historic Final Four NCAA run this season.

HR 1045 may be viewed in its entirety here. 

House approves Rep. Unes' legislation to improve treatment for child sex abuse victims


The Illinois House of Representative unanimously passed my legislation (HB 5245) last week to improve access to treatment for pediatric sexual assault victims. In particular, child victims will now have improved access to emergency treatment from specialized clinics, such as Peoria's Pediatric Resource Center. It also aims to increase the statewide number of pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and physicians--which is currently very limited, particularly in downstate rural areas.

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 and deserve from the most qualified medical professionals. While this bill enhances the quality of care for all victims of sexual assault, the greatest improvements will undoubtedly be for children. This bill truly gives a voice to the voiceless, and raises the standard of compassion and care for those who need it the most.

To read more about this landmark legislation, click here.

House approves Unes' bill to allow revitalization of vacant Hanna City Work Camp


The House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation I sponsored to help Peoria County redevelop the vacant property formerly known as the Hanna City Work Camp. The legislation (HB 4319) paves the way for redevelopment of the blighted area by permitting private investment in the property for economic development purposes.

This bill gives the county some much-desired control over a blighted area, which could very easily spark development opportunities upon its clean-up. This common sense measure to invest in this property is a win-win for all involved, as the unused work camp has been an eye sore for many years. Allowing for private investment should help pique the interest of potential developers and eventually grow the local economy.

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.

To read more about the Hanna City Work Camp bill, click here.
The House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill to help Peoria County redevelop the vacant property formerly known as the Hanna City Work Camp. The legislation, sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria), paves the way for redevelopment of the blighted area by permitting private investment in the property for economic development purposes.

“This bill gives the county some much-desired control over a blighted area, which could very easily spark development opportunities upon its clean-up” said Rep. Unes. “This common sense measure to invest in this property is a win-win for all involved, as the unused work camp has been an eye sore for many years. Allowing for private investment should help pique the interest of potential developers and eventually grow the local economy.”

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.
The Illinois House of Representative has unanimously passed landmark legislation sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) to improve access to treatment for pediatric sexual assault victims.  In particular, child victims will now have improved access to emergency treatment from specialized clinics, such as Peoria’s Pediatric Resource Center.  It also aims to increase the statewide number of pediatric sexual assault nurse examiners (SANEs) and physicians--which is currently very limited, particularly in downstate rural areas.

House Bill 5245 sponsored by State Rep. Mike Unes, provides 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 and deserve from the most qualified medical professionals,” said Rep Unes.  “While this bill enhances the quality of care for all victims of sexual assault, the greatest improvements will undoubtedly be for children.  This bill truly gives a voice to the voiceless, and raises the standard of compassion and care for those who need it the most.”
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.
On Wednesday, the Illinois House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved legislation to ensure families of servicemembers do not face additional burdens after losing their loved one in service to our country. The legislation (HB 4317) sponsored by State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) 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.

“I don’t want to see what happened to the Riney family ever happen to a servicemember family in Illinois,” said Rep. Unes. “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.”




Proud to Support Local Fire Fighters

Last weekend I was proud to support the Northern Tazewell Fire District's Annual Chili Supper with some of my family. As always, the food was terrific. Congratulations to Chief Baker and everyone associated with the fire district for another successful event. Thank you to all of our first responders for everything that you do to protect us.


Welcoming the Grain and Feed Association

On Monday I had the honor of welcoming the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois to town for their annual convention. I enjoyed the discussions, listening, and answering questions while providing a Springfield update. My thanks to those of you which help drive the economy by promoting agribusiness in Illinois.


Increasing Penalties for Attacking DCFS Employees

All too often the jobs of state employees require them to put themselves at risk to protect Illinois residents. It was the case with Pamela Knight, a Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigator who was brutally beaten last September while trying to take a 2 year-old child into protective custody. She died last week from injuries sustained in the attack. Her accused assailant is facing multiple charges and is awaiting trial.

In response to this senseless act of violence against a state employee, I co-sponsored HB 4147, this legislation that would enhance the penalties for attacking a DCFS worker in the performance of their duties, making it an aggravated felony. Ultimately it would provide DCFS employees the same protections as law enforcement officers and firefighters who put themselves in harm's way.

The job DCFS investigators perform can be dangerous and it is important that the state does all it can to protect them and penalize those who do them harm. Representative McCombie honored slain DCFS employee Pamela Knight last week as the House held a moment of silence in Knight's memory.

Peoria/County legislative breakfast

Last Friday, I participated in the Peoria City/County legislative breakfast with many local officials and a few of my colleagues; we then provided an in-depth Springfield update with Q and A to a great group of community members, representing a variety of professions in East Peoria and it's surrounding areas. I always appreciate these opportunities to connect with my district as we continue to work together to solve the most challenging problems facing our state and it's communities.

State seeks nominations for Governor's volunteer service awards

The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Serve Illinois) is accepting nominations for the ninth annual Governor's Volunteer Service
Awards. These awards recognize individual volunteers and for-profit businesses and highlight the importance of community service in Illinois.

Nominations are due to Serve Illinois by February 16, 2018. Please visit www.serve.illinois.gov for nomination forms and more information. You may also nominate online here.

Serve Illinois will host a ceremony on April 18, 2018 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield to honor recipients.

Fulton Co Farm Bureau 101st annual meeting
Fulton County Farm Bureau's 101st annual meeting

On Monday I attended the Fulton County Farm Bureau's 101st Annual Meeting in Lewistown. Congratulations to Bill Carlberg for his reelection as President and to Manager Elaine Stone on another successful year. The Lewistown High School Jazz Ensemble was very impressive and did a fantastic job with the entertainment.
graduate_students_smiling.jpg
Survey of higher education graduates shows Illinois is 13th of 50 states

Illinois outranked almost all states in the interior of the United States in percentages of residents with bachelor's and graduate degrees. High-ranking states tended to be located on the East Coast. Two exceptions, Colorado and Illinois, were heartland states centered on big cities with world-class airports.

The rankings were generated by database presenter WalletHub, which examined key factors across the 50 states that are used to gauge a well-educated population. Factors used by WalletHub include educational attainment, school quality, and achievement gaps between genders and races.
House returns Feb. 27

The Illinois of Representatives returns to session February 27th. You may view or listen to session live at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27 here.
Governor Bruce Rauner revealed his annual budget address today during a joint session of the Illinois House and Senate. State Representative Mike Unes (R-Pekin) released the following statement:

“Today, the Governor outlined a budget proposal that the legislature will now review and negotiate over the course of the next few months.  Given our State's financial condition, it remains imperative that we thoroughly consider each and every aspect of this proposal, while working together to enact a balanced budget. I will discuss his proposals with local leaders and constituents from across the district, and will use that feedback to help build consensus around another responsible spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. The bottom line is we are in this financial predicament because of years of irresponsible spending. Today’s proposed budget actually spends more than the budget passed last summer, which cut billions of dollars from State spending.”
District Update
February 9, 2018
Shadid moment of silence
House takes moment of silence in honor of George Shadid

Before the House of Representatives on Tuesday we held a moment of silence in honor of George Shadid. Peoria lost one of its most notable icons with the passing of George. Generations of Peorians remember him well for his gregarious personality and dedication to public service. Many will recall his advocacy for school consolidation--one of his many bits of wisdom that still holds true today. I have no doubt that George will continue to be well-remembered for years to come, and very sorely missed.
George Shadid
George P. Shadid
1929-2018

George P. Shadid, 88, of Peoria, IL, passed peacefully at 1:37 a.m. on Saturday, February 3, 2018, with his family at his side.
George was born on May 15, 1929, in Clinton, IA, to Edna Massad Shadid and Philip A. Shadid, the first generation of proud Lebanese immigrants. He married Lorraine K. Unes on May 30, 1953. Lorraine survives.
Also surviving are his son, James (Jane) Shadid; daughter-in-law, Mikie Shadid; and four grandchildren, James E. (Anne) Shadid, Joseph G. Shadid, Margaret L. Shadid and Lauren E. Shadid; as well as his sister Pauline Unes; and brother, Fred (Jean) Shadid. 

His son, George P. Shadid Jr., preceded him in death, along with his siblings, Gladys Abraham, Louise Shadid, Joan Petit, Jeannette Harris, Mitchell Shadid and William Shadid.
George was a Peoria Police Officer from 1953 to 1976, rising to the rank of Lieutenant. He was the Peoria County Sheriff from 1976 to 1993 and was a State Senator from the 46th District of Illinois from 1993 to 2006.

From 1997 to 2004, while in the Illinois State Senate, his seatmate was then State Senator, Barack Obama. They became lifelong friends.
George used all the gifts God gave him to be a good husband and father, all the while helping countless others as a selfless public servant.

George lived a good, long life. He helped many people. He, like all his brothers and sisters, did their family name proud. He could pass peacefully with no regrets.

Memorials may be made to the Easter Seals Autism Unit, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Peoria or the George P. Shadid Jr. Memorial Scholarship at Bradley University.
The family expresses their thanks to the staff at Heartis Village and Elysian Hospice for their comfort and care for George in his final days.
Friends and family may sign the online guestbook or send private condolences here.
Visited with The Center for Prevention Abuse on Thursday

I had a great visit on Thursday afternoon with leaders from the The Center for Prevention of Abuse. They recently launched a new program to address the very serious and troubling problem of Human Trafficking in Central Illinois. Part of their objective in combating these crimes is to raise awareness throughout the community, and I believe there is something that each and all of us can do to help. 

For my part, I was proud to promptly sponsor a resolution in the House recognizing the Center for their efforts. I will remain a committed advocate and partner in their work to insure that ALL people have the opportunity to live a life free of violence and abuse.