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State Representative Dan Brady this week led the Illinois House in passage of a resolution commemorating President Abraham Lincoln’s death, funeral journey and burial in Springfield 150 years ago. House Resolution 34 designates May 2nd, 3rd and 4th of this year as Days of Remembrance, and requests that flags throughout Illinois be flown at half-staff in Lincoln’s honor.

“President Lincoln changed our country forever, both with his achievements in life, and with his assassination just days after the Civil War’s end.  On the 150th anniversary his funeral train’s progress across the country and his burial in Springfield, it is fitting that we reflect on his life and honor his sacrifices,” said Representative Brady (R-Bloomington).

Brady’s House Resolution 34 was adopted unanimously in the House.  Representative Brady noted that the Days of Remembrance coincide with reenactment events planned for May 2nd and May 3rd by the Lincoln Funeral Coalition that will bring thousands of visitors to Illinois to honor one of our nation’s greatest presidents. You can learn more about events in Central Illinois commemorating the anniversary of President Lincoln’s death and the Coalition’s reenactment plans here.

In celebration of Earth Day this week, State Representative Dan Brady led the Illinois House in celebrating the life of Anne McGowan, a local champion of green initiatives and recycling educator. Anne passed away on March 7th.
“The Bloomington-Normal community sorely missed Anne this year on Earth Day. For decades, Anne worked to educate local school children and adults about the importance of recycling. She demonstrated passion, dedication, and leadership in McLean County by inspiring generations of residents to act as proper stewards of our environment and our natural resources,” said Brady.
 
Representative Brady noted that Anne McGowan was an active and dedicated volunteer in the non-profit organization formerly known as Operation Recycle since its inception in 1971. She then led local “green” efforts as the first Director of the Ecology Action Center, the non-profit environmental agency that evolved from Operation Recycle.
 
“It’s appropriate that as we celebrate Earth Day this week, we take a few moments to remember Anne’s invaluable contributions to making McLean County a clean, healthy place to live and raise a family. We are all grateful,” Representative Brady said. 
 
House Resolution 390 passed the Illinois House unanimously. Full text can be read here.
Rep. Brady and the House this week unanimously adopted House Resolution 106, congratulating the Illinois State University football Redbirds on their remarkable 2014-2015 season. The Redbirds had an amazing season, winning their  first conference title in 15 years, and making it to the NCAA  Division I Football Championship Game. Along the journey, the  Redbirds defeated 7 nationally ranked opponents and set 16  school records, including most wins (13), most points scored  (574), most touchdowns (76), and most rushing yards (3,619). Watch the resolution's adoption here.






We’re in the final 6 weeks of our scheduled spring legislative session with a lot of work yet to be accomplished. In the coming weeks important decisions will be made that will impact our families and communities. I will be keeping you updated each week, and as always, please don’t hesitate to contact my office with any questions, concerns or ideas you have. Your input is important to helping me best represent you in Springfield. You can call my office at 309.662.1100 or contact me via webform on my website.
Dan

Bills are Moving
The two weeks in mid to late April are the weeks set aside for floor action and final passage of House bills out of the House of Representatives.  That means for the next few weeks we’re spending less time in committees and more time working on the House floor.
Last week I advanced two bills to the Senate. House Bill 233 outlines new DNA evidence handling guidelines for coroners in homicide investigations. It’s vital in death investigations that specimens collected for evidence are well preserved and uncontaminated, and that the police agencies involved get custody of the evidence in a timely manner. The new guidelines we advanced last week will help ensure we meet all of those requirements.

House Bill 3137 also passed the House on unanimous vote. It ensures Illinois seniors and others living with chronic eye conditions will be able to obtain more timely refills of their eye drop medications by requiring insurance companies to refill eye-drop medications before the anticipated refill date for those with a chronic need. Eye drop medications are unique in that precise dosing is nearly impossible. Sometimes it takes several tries to actually get the drops in the eyes, so medication is wasted and the bottle is empty before the refill date. This early refill legislation was initiated by local ophthalmologist Dr. Catharine Crockett.

In all, 444 bills had been advanced from House committees and placed on the chamber’s calendar for possible final action.  You can watch the action live without having to travel to Springfield!  The Illinois House streams live audio and video feeds of floor action to the general public at  http://ilga.gov/house/audvidInternal.asp .  

New State School Superintendent Appointed 
Illinois has a new State Superintendent of Education. The State Board of Education this past week appointed Dr. Tony Smith to the position that supervises public schools and publicly-supported charter schools throughout Illinois.  Dr. Tony Smith has experience in educational management in both the public and the private sector.  He is a past superintendent of the Oakland Unified School District, operating public schools in one of the largest cities in California. In his career as an executive educator, has often specialized in issues of math and science achievement.
Departing State Superintendent Dr. Christopher Koch last week was thanked for his 21 years of educational leadership in Illinois, particularly his advocacy for students affected by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  

Remembering Abraham Lincoln on the 150th Anniversary of his DeathBrady_with_Lincoln.jpg
President Abraham Lincoln’s death at the hands of assassin John Wilkes Booth on April 15, 1865  took place less than one week after the surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army. The assassination marked the end of the Civil War and the start of a period of national mourning and reconciliation.
The Illinois House has a unique perspective on Abraham Lincoln, and he has a special place in the hearts of all who serve there. The Illinois House was Lincoln’s first political home and elected position.  The future President served central Illinois in the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th General Assemblies, starting in 1835 and ending in 1842.  These were key years in the history of Lincoln’s home town of Springfield, as the aggressive advocacy of Lincoln and his colleagues was decisive in the selection of the Sangamon River community to be Illinois’ permanent state capital.  The “Old State Capital,” which still stands in Springfield’s central city, was built in response to Lincoln’s urgings.
Last week I along with my fellow House Republicans paid tribute to Abraham Lincoln’s memory and legacy with a memorial ceremony at his statue on the steps of the Capitol.  This was part of overall preparations for the 150th anniversary of the return of Lincoln’s body to Springfield and reenactment of his funeral which will take place on May 2 and 3, 2015.  1,100 reenactors, and thousands of visitors from all over the United States, are expected to join in the observance.     




Illinois seniors and others living with chronic eye conditions will be able to obtain more timely refills
of their eye drop medications under legislation Representative Dan Brady guided through the Illinois House this week. Brady’s House Bill 3137 requires insurance companies to refill eye-drop medications before the anticipated refill date for those with a chronic need.

“Eye drop medications are unique in that precise dosing is nearly impossible. Sometimes it takes several tries to actually get the drops in the eyes, so medication is wasted and the bottle is empty before the refill date arrives,” Brady explained. “The legislation we advanced this week simply tells insurance providers that as long as at least 75% of the prescription period has passed, they must approve refills of needed eye medications early for those with chronic eye conditions.”
On the morning of April 15, 1865 President Abraham Lincoln died from a gunshot wound he
sustained the night before at the hands of assassin John Wilkes Booth.

Today, Rep. Brady remembered the former Illinois Representative, and one of our greatest Presidents, at Lincoln's statue at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield.
State Representative Dan Brady today advanced new guidelines governing coroners’ handling of
evidence in homicide cases. House Bill 233 passed the Illinois House on unanimous vote. Representative Brady (R-Bloomington) said the guidelines it contains will protect the quality of evidence specimens and the chain of custody while reducing time-consuming mandates on local coroners.

“It’s vital in death investigations that specimens collected for evidence are well preserved and uncontaminated, and that the police agencies involved get custody of the evidence in a timely manner. The new guidelines we advanced today will help ensure we meet all of those requirements,” Representative Brady said.