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With an eye towards the Prairie State’s history in the White House, Illinois celebrates President’s Day today Monday, February 19.  General Washington’s victories at Yorktown and other battlefields helped force Britain to officially cede Illinois Territory to the new United States in the 1783 Treaty of Paris, making it possible to create the future state of Illinois thirty-five years later.  Washington’s birthday is the ancestor of what is now President’s Day, and 2018 marks the first President’s 286th birthday.  One of Washington’s veterans, James Monroe, as President signed the bill in 1818 that made Illinois the 21st state.   

The first President who lived in Illinois, Abraham Lincoln, was elected in 1869 when Illinois as a state was only 42 years old.  Lincoln, whose 209th birthday was observed last week on February 12, has become a symbol of the State’s bicentennial celebration.  Ronald Reagan is the only President  actually born in Illinois (Tampico), while Ulysses S. Grant lived in Galena, Illinois. The most recent President who lived in Illinois was former State Senator Barack Obama who lived in Chicago.

Rep. Severin questioning school superintendents recently on the new school
aid formula at an Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education hearing.
State Representative Dave Severin (R-Benton) issued the following statement in reaction to the Governor’s budget address today.

“I believe the Governor laid out a realistic look at the State of Illinois’ financial picture in his budget address today. We’ve suffered under the rule of Mike Madigan and the Chicago tax-and spend politicians for decades. Changes need to be made. Long term financial health will only happen in Illinois if we enact conservative fiscal policies, and economic growth is the only way we will ever get a handle on our debt and deficits.

Illinois ranks at the bottom of most lists when compared to other states when it comes to economic indicators and job growth. Our workers’ compensation costs are too high and the regulations on job creators are too burdensome. Today, the Governor stated his desire to ensure that Illinois’ economy grows faster than government spending. I couldn’t agree more.

Another major key to energizing our economy is to unleash the power of the untapped natural resources that sit right below our feet in Southern Illinois. We must get the government off the backs of job creators and entrepreneurs. Our working families can’t take more taxes and our businesses can’t take more regulations. I think the message from today’s budget address was clear. Illinois needs to grow good paying jobs for working families if we are going to survive our long-term financial challenges.”

What: Governor Rauner delivers budget address

Where: Illinois State Capitol – House Chamber

Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Time: 12:00 p.m.

The address will be streamed on Facebook Live and at the following links:

http://www.ilga.gov/houseaudvid.asp





HD Satellite Coordinates: 
Slug: Illinois Budget Address Live
Date: February 14, 2018
Time: 11:45 AM (CT) 1:00 PM (CT) 
Satellite: ECHO105K
Transponder: 07
Slot: A9
Downlink Frequency: 11826.5
Downlink Polarization: Vertical
Bandwidth: 9 MHz
Symbol Rate: 7.5
FEC: 5 / 6
Data Rate: 18.589212
Video: MPEG-4 4:2:0
Modulation Scheme: 8PSK

For technical assistance please call IOCI Media Services at 217-785-5499.


Illinois 34
Franklin County
Thompsonville, Illinois




The Illinois Department of Transportation would like to alert motorists
traveling on IL 34 near Thompsonville in Franklin County
of an upcoming ROAD CLOSURE.

Beginning Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 8:00 A.M.,
IL 34 approximately 1.75 miles east of Thompsonville will be closed.

This closure is necessary to facilitate the repair of a drainage structure.
The road is expected to be open by 5:00 P.M.
on Friday, March 2, 2018.

Motorists should use the marked detour or seek an alternate route.
Message boards and signs will be in place to alert traffic of the closure.

For IDOT District 9 updates on twitter, follow us at
https://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict9.









Today the Governor will deliver his "State of the State" address to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol in the House Chambers. For those who are interested, you may watch the live video or listen to the live audio at the Illinois General Assembly web site (ILGA.GOV) by clicking on the link HERE.

If you have problems connecting at the House link,
the address will also be streamed
on Facebook Live and at the following links:








Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an executive order declaring it impermissible for state legislators to represent clients before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board, which hears appeals of assessment decisions made in the state’s 102 counties.

Calling the practice a “clear conflict of interest that must end,” Rauner said the order, which is effective immediately, is a key step toward restoring public trust and motivating lawmakers to tackle meaningful property-tax reform.

“We have a deeply flawed and overly complicated property-tax system that recent investigations have shown results in inequitable, disproportionately high property-tax burdens on low-income residents — not to mention our property taxes overall are simply too high,” Rauner said. “For any legislator to profit from this system undercuts the public’s faith that they are in office to do what’s best for their constituents.

“Legislators who make money representing clients who are appealing their property-tax assessments have little incentive to do what’s right when it comes to property-tax reform,” Rauner continued. “Frankly, they have everything to gain from the status quo. The action I’m taking today marks the beginning of the end of a dubious era.”

The order:

*Directs members of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board to prohibit state legislators from participating in appeals coming before them.

*Directs the board to prohibit legislators from receiving any fee or compensation, directly or indirectly, through any interest in a partnership, limited liability corporation or other business entity representing clients before it.

*Notes a State of Illinois Code of Personal Conduct requirement that government be conducted in a transparent, ethical, accountable and motivated manner.

*Points out that state officials and employees “may not engage in outside employment or activities, including seeking or negotiating for employment, that conflict with their official state duties and responsibilities,” according to the conduct code.

*Directs the board to amend its rules and procedures to reflect the executive order.


The Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board hears about 30,000 appeals a year, approximately three-fourths of them from Cook County.

“Conflicts of interest clearly arise where legislators and regulators receive financial benefits by charging Illinois citizens and businesses through a morass of red tape those same officials created by passing complicated rules and establishing confusing and bureaucratic processes,” the executive order states.

Crippling taxes overall and an onerous property-tax system are eroding the state’s ability to thrive and driving homeowners and small businesses toward insolvency — and increasingly, toward the border.

While property taxes are cited frequently as a top reason for leaving Illinois, the state is duty-bound to take concrete steps to correct the system, Rauner said. He noted the state’s population declined by an estimated 33,700 in 2017, the greatest numeric population loss of any state, and the fourth year in a row that Illinois’ population dropped.

“Illinoisans are tired of a rigged system that allows lawmakers to profit at their expense,” Rauner said. “I’m here to fight on their behalf.”


"Even though there's a budget, we have people that are hurting and that have needs that need to be met," said state Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton. "So we've got to be realistic and address things that can help people go forward."


Read the story and see the broadcast video from WSIL ABC TV 3 by clicking here.