Updates

  • 03/30/18 - An Easter Story

    The Easter Holiday is upon us. Families throughout Northern Illinois are taking children on Easter egg hunts as adults are wrapping up their Lenten commitments.  Beautiful dresses and handsome suits will fill church aisles this Sunday, as countless hams roast slowly in the oven for family dinners.  Easter is a time of hope, rebirth, and redemption.

    Easter has typically been the milder holiday, sandwiched as it is between New Year’s and Independence Day, both raucous affairs in their own right. However, like Christmas, Easter did have a movie named after it, Easter Parade.  An exchange between the hero, Don, and the heroine, Hannah, is particularly appropriate.  When talking about Don’s inviting her to perform with him, Hannah says, “No, I mean it. You're the most wonderful dancer I've ever seen.  You could get anyone to dance with you.  You could get the very best.” Don replies, “I don't want the...

  • 03/23/2018 - Thank you for Voting!

    Abraham Lincoln once said, “If elected I will be thankful; if not, it will be all the same.” Illinois finished a spirited and intense primary election this past week.  The joys and stings are still fresh.  Last Tuesday was not the first such primary.

    How many of us remember the Republican primary of 1994? It was then that former Governor Jim Edgar was challenged in the primary by the late Jack Roesser.  Jack ran against Governor Edgar because he believed the Governor was going to raise our taxes and use more taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

    How about the Republican Senate primary in 1998? Governor Edgar endorsed Loleta Didrickson who was challenged by Illinois State Senator Peter Fitzgerald in the race to see who would run against Senator Carol Moseley Braun that November.  Against all odds, the challenger Fitzgerald won.

  • 03/16/18 Column

    Congratulations to the Winnebago Boys basketball team and Coach Murphy on finishing second in the Class 2A IHSA State Championship.  It was an exciting season and we are all proud of your achievement.  We look forward to next season for all of our area teams.

    This past week also saw the National School Walkout protest.  Some students in schools across the country walked out of their classrooms for 17 minutes to protest gun violence in honor of the 17 students who were tragically murdered at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last month.  Other students and schools chose to address the issue in other ways.
  • 03-09-2018 Column

    Children are the world’s most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.

    John F. Kennedy

     

    Many of us know the story of Briar Rose, or as Walt Disney popularized it, Sleeping Beauty. For those who don’t, I will provide a brief synopsis. A King and Queen celebrate the birth of their only child. A curse is placed on the child by a malevolent being who was not invited to the celebration. The child is taken away from the danger to protect her. I won’t spoil the ending, but you get the drift.

     

    Fairy tales are full of heroes and villains, good versus evil. We teach children from an early age that there is right and wrong, good people and bad people. Children learn when they are young that good people are often protectors.

     

    Department of Children and Family Services...

  • Column 03-02-2018

    It was President Theodore Roosevelt who said, “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Congratulations to the Stockton Girls Basketball team and Coach Timpe for finishing second in the IHSA Class 1A State Championship game this last week. Your hard work and determination are an inspiration to many throughout Northwest Illinois. The team finished their season 32-3.

    Last week was also National Future Farmers of America Week. Chapters throughout Northern Illinois were active celebrating the mission of the FFA and the impact it has on its members. The FFA is “committed to the individual student, providing a path to achievement in premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agriculture education.

    It is inspiring to see so many of our youth strive and succeed. They are our future, and that is why it is so important...

  • Column 02-23-18

    Congratulations to Dakota’s Maverick McPeek (220 pound class) and Lena-Winslow/Stockton’s Ian Kuehl (285 pound class) for their victories at the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament this last week in Class 1A. I would also like to congratulate Le-Win/Stockton’s Rahveon Valentine (2nd place 170 pounds) and Hunter Luke (4th place 145 pounds), and West Carroll’s Ethan Doty (5th place 120 pounds) for their Class 1A medals; and congratulations to Freeport High School’s Major Dedmond (6th place 170 pounds) for his Class 2A medal.

    In team wrestling, the Lena-Winslow/Stockton Pantherhawks advanced to the Sectional match against Aurora Christian on Tuesday. The defending champion Pantherhawks kept it close but it wasn’t enough to overcome Aurora Christian.  Congratulations to Coach Milder and the Pantherhawks on their season.  We look forward to seeing great things next year from all of our area wrestling teams.

    Wrestling is quite possibly...

  • Column 01-19-18

    Pierce Brown wrote, “Home isn't where you're from, it's where you find light when all grows dark.” For 115,000 Illinoisans in the past year, the light is no longer in the Land of Lincoln. 115,000 Illinois residents left our state according to the US Census Bureau between July 2016 and July 2017. Furthermore, Illinois has lost over 642,000 residents since 2010.

    This is especially true of Illinois rural counties.  The Illinois News Network reports that rural Illinois has been losing more population in recent years, while suburban Chicago has grown. Crain’s Chicago Business indicates that Chicagoland has done more than increase population, it has created jobs, saying, “Federal data shows that just 20 counties nationwide accounted for half of new businesses created in the US between 2010 and 2014… Cook was the only county in the Midwest to land on that top 20 list.”

    Even considering the growth in Chicago’s economy, the...

  • Column 01-05-18

    Thank you! Last month, I sent out my legislative update and included a survey covering important issues we all face in Illinois. Hundreds of you returned the survey either by mail or online and they are still coming in! Many of you sent personal comments, letters, and cards as well. I am reviewing them all, and am both humbled and grateful to read your thoughts.

    I also understand there were some challenges with the online survey. I am working with our House web development staff to work on improvements for the future. It was George Washington who said, “In a free and republican government, you cannot restrain the voice of the multitude.” The government is us; we are the government, you and I. For a government to be successful we need to elect good people, who know when to stick to their guns and how to accomplish the will of...

  • Column 12-28-17

    Well, 2017 has flown by. Here we are, at the start of another year. Like Christmas, the New Year fills our hearts with hope and possibility. We make resolutions and plans. We commit ourselves to making this year better than the last. I am looking forward to what the New Year will bring for us.

    New Year’s Resolutions are not a new phenomenon. The ancient Babylonians brought in the New Year with promises to their gods, while returning borrowed items, and clearing their debts. Romans made promises to the god Janus – get it, Janus for Janu-ary.

    The tradition permeated Christianity too. Knights in the Middle Ages would place their hands on a live or roasted peacock, and recommit themselves to the code of chivalry. Christians held watch night services to bring in the New Year in prayer and commitment to make the next year a better one.

  • Column 12-22-17

    It’s hard to believe how fast another year has gone by, and that Christmas is already here.  I have said it before, and I will say it again, Christmas is a great time of year.  It is full of hope and joy, opportunity and care.  Christmas brings the promise that all things can become new.

    Looking back at the past year, we have been very blessed.  We have many committed local public servants working diligently to meet the public trust.  Freeport elected its first woman as mayor, and changed its form of government to better serve the taxpayers.

    Our local economy is moving forward with many regional businesses expanding and looking for qualified staff.  MetLife has returned to Freeport!  At my Annual Christmas Party, I was impressed to see so many young professionals who have joined our community of solidly growing businesses.

 
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