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Senator Forby: Southern Illinois development welcome

052814CM0193HARRISBURG – Communities in Saline and Williamson counties are next in a long line in Southern Illinois to see added construction funding, thanks to State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton).

The project is part of the Illinois Jobs Now! Program, intended to help counter unemployment and aging facilities throughout the state. For local upcoming projects, the state dedicated $27.9 million to the repair of US Highway 45. The well-worn road will receive a much-needed resurfacing near the communities of Stonefort and Eldorado.

Previous state funded construction efforts took place near Crainville, with $24.1 million for the interchange of Route 13 and Wolf Creek Road as well as $700,000 for construction of a new 50-bed facility addition to the Anna Veterans’ Home. A total of $1.5 billion has been allocated for projects for infrastructure, higher education funding and economic development plans in the area.

“Some areas of my district were hit hardest by the economic downturn, but we still see a lot of tourism for our natural resources as well as visitors to Southern Illinois University,” Forby said. “As a result of these upcoming construction projects, the infrastructure in our neck of the woods gets a much needed upgrade that will put people to work and go a long way to ensure travelers a pleasant experience while in Southern Illinois.”

 

Sullivan, Hammond: Friends of agriculture

Illinois Farm Bureau representative Ryan Corey, Hammond and Sullivan pose with the IFB’s Friend of Agriculture Award during Smiles Day in Rushville.

RUSHVILLE – The Illinois Farm Bureau awarded State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and State Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) the Friend of Agriculture Award for their continued support of Illinois' farming community.

Local farm bureau trustees chose Sullivan and Hammond for the award based on their strong voting records and their support of legislation that significantly improves Illinois agriculture.

"As a farmer himself, Senator Sullivan has been a tremendous voice, leader and advocate for agriculture in the state of Illinois. His work ethic in Springfield is a true reflection of the hard working men and women of his rural district," IFB's Director of State Legislation Kevin Semlow said. "Representative Hammond has also worked diligently on many important issues to the farming community, and she has proven herself very valuable to the agriculture industry."

"To be recognized as a "Friend of Agriculture" is truly gratifying – especially knowing the decision was made by local county Farm Bureau leaders and members," said Sullivan. "I'm grateful to receive this award."

"It is an incredible honor to receive this award. Illinois farmers work tirelessly to provide their products to consumers across the globe. They deserve our support," Hammond said.

The IFB presented both lawmakers the award during Rushville's homecoming celebration, Smiles Day, on Friday.

Tom Cullerton law speeds up state payments to cities, counties

tcull-LGDFA recently signed law gives units of local government more certainty about when they will receive payments from the state.

State Senator Tom Cullerton sponsored the legislation that would speed up transfers from the state to the Local Government Distributive Fund, which helps bankroll city and county operations.

“From my time as a village president, I know the unique challenges facing local government and it’s been a priority of mine to improve how the state treats its cities and counties. Governments can plan and provide improved services if they know when this money is coming,” Cullerton said.

The new law, House Bill 961, requires the state comptroller to transfer money destined for the LGDF into the fund no more than 60 days after the state treasurer certifies the amount to be moved.

Streamlining the LGDF payment process has been a priority for the Illinois Municipal League and  the DuPage Mayors and Managers for many years.

Local units of government collectively receive 6 percent of individual income tax and 6.86 percent of corporate income tax collected by the state annually.

The law took effect immediately.

Cunningham hosts burglary workshop, senior fair

cunningham-seniorfair-2014-2State Senator Bill Cunningham and other area elected officials hosted two in-district outreach events this week.

Cunningham and State Rep. Kelly Burke (D-Evergreen Park) hosted a burglary prevention workshop in Evergreen Park on Monday.

Local law enforcement officers and a reformed burglar discussed how people can reduce the chances of burglary and educate voters about how to manage the aftermath of a home invasion.

Cunningham also hosted a senior resource fair Wednesday with Burke, State Rep. Fran Hurley (D-Chicago) and U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Western Springs).

The Oak Lawn senior fair brought state, local and private senior programs together under one roof to give out information and answer questions.

Health organizations also provided medical screenings for participating seniors.

Photo: Hurley, Jerry Mulivill from Congressman Lipinski’s office, Cunningham and Burke at the senior resource fair at the Oak Lawn Community Pavilion on Sept. 17.

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