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.