The ringing-in of the New Year on January 1st will also mark the start of 237 new state laws, State
Representative Dan Brady said today. Representative Brady said that in legislative session marked by partisan differences on the budget, several of the new laws adopted highlight what members of the General Assembly can accomplish when they agree to work together.

“We were able to come together across party lines on a number of important issues resulting in new laws that are about to go into effect; that gives me hope that we will soon also come together on a reasonable budget plan that restores crucial funding for local service organizations and our colleges and universities,” Representative Brady said.

Among the new laws about to take effect is the Right to Try Act (PA 99-0270) which may provide new hope to some battling a terminal illness. It will allow them, once they have considered all FDA-approved treatment options, to try new drugs or treatments in testing that have not yet been fully approved.

Also effective January 1st is a new law that expands the equal pay for equal work requirement to cover all Illinois employers (PA 99-0418), and new guidelines that allow private employers in Illinois to support our veterans by adopting a voluntary veterans preference policy for hiring (PA 99-0152).

In light of the fact that Illinois has more units of local government than any other state in the nation lawmakers also adopted a four year ban on the creation of any new local government entities effective January 1 (PA 99-0353).

Representative Brady was the chief House sponsor of several new laws ready to take effect. The first (PA 99-0262) helps speed up the process to transfer lifesaving donor organs to the waiting recipient. It allows a permit signed by a licensed funeral director or embalmer to serve in place of more time-consuming documents issued by a registrar to transport a deceased organ donor out of Illinois for up to 36 hours to complete the donation procedures where they are needed.

 A second measure (PA 99-0354) will protect the quality of evidence specimens and the chain of custody in homicide cases. The new law sets new evidence handling guidelines for coroners that will benefit death investigations, and reduce time consuming mandates.

 PA 99-0226 helps ensure 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.
College-bound juniors and seniors at Prairie Central High School and their parents are invited to explore their financial aid options at a special Financial Aid Night Meeting December 17th, State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) said today.

“College costs are continuing to rise. This is a great way for juniors, seniors and their parents to gather information about the financial assistance programs that are out there to help ease the burden,” Representative Brady said.

The Financial Aid Night Meeting will be held on Thursday, December 17th at 6:00 pm in the Prairie Central High School Library. It is being presented by Scott Seibring from Illinois Wesleyan University. Representatives from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) will be on hand to provide information on available tuition assistance and financial aid programs.

To participate, parents and students must register by the end of the day Friday, December 11th by calling the school Guidance office at 815-692-2355, or by e-mailing Secretary/Registrar Becky Webster at bwebster@prairiecentral.org, or Ann Egleton (students with last names A-L) at aegleton@prairiecentral.org or Mike Quinn (students with last names M-Z) at mquinn@prairiecentral.org.
Secretary of State Jesse White announced that his office is suspending mailing out vehicle registration renewal reminders.

Those who want to continue receiving a reminder can sign up to receive e-notices through the Secretary of State’s web site www.cyberdriveillinois.com. A direct link to sign up for email alerts can be found on the home page of that site. Have your registration in hand so you have the information you need to sign up.

When making the announcement, White noted that suspending the paper mailings will save approximately $450,000 per month.

Efforts to resolve homicide and other death investigations across the state received a big boost today with the signing of new, comprehensive training guidelines for coroners, State Representative Dan Brady announced. Representative Brady (R-Bloomington) spearheaded the new law in the General Assembly. He said the new training guidelines will be invaluable in helping coroners partner with law enforcement on evidence collection and handling to find answers in death investigations.
 
“Coroners play a very critical role in solving homicide and other cases involving a questionable death. How evidence is collected, preserved and transferred to law enforcement can literally make or break a case,” Representative Brady stressed. “With the very specific training protocols contained in this new law, coroners in Illinois will be well prepared to handle their unique role in homicide and other death investigations.”
The budget stalemate is dragging on in Springfield, but there was a bit of good news this week with passage of a “Federal Funds” budget that will allow for the spending of approximately $5 billion in federal funding to provide some temporary relief for vital program and services. 

I’ll keep you posted,

Dan


Democrats bow to pressure on pay increases

For months, my House Republican colleagues and I have been working to stop the automatic pay increase for members of the General Assembly scheduled to go into effect this month. The Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate for months blocked all attempts to stop their pay increase, but in the past two weeks both finally bowed to pressure from you, the taxpayers, and  voted down their raise. 

House Bill 576 freezes cost-of-living adjustments and other benefit compensations for General Assembly members and other high-ranking elected and appointed State officials in FY16. The bill received final General Assembly approval on Wednesday, August 5, and was sent to the Governor who is ready to sign it into law.

Federal funds budget will meet some emergency needs

While the state budget stalemate continues, there may be a bit of good news on the horizon. The Illinois House and Senate have now approved legislation to appropriate the federal funds allocated to Illinois in FY16 for spending and use. These federal funds, which total nearly $5 billion, are separate from the money paid by Illinois taxpayers to the State.

Programs that operate senior centers, Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition efforts, adult education programs, and home weatherization assistance offices are among the programs funded by federal grants that are funneled through the State. These programs may be able to maintain some of their operations during the stalemate with the help of this bill.

While the House Democrats initially pushed to derail the measure, they eventually came to their senses and worked with us to provide a bipartisan stopgap relief. The measure now returns to the Senate for concurrence, and could be sent to the Governor as soon as next week.

Governor Signs Rep. Brady's 

Homicide Evidence Handling Guidelines 

for Coroners


Legislation signed into law today will protect the quality of evidence specimens and the chain of custody in homicide cases. State Representative Dan Brady, the measure’s chief House sponsor, said House Bill 233 contains new evidence handling guidelines that will benefit death investigations, and reduce time consuming mandates on local coroners.

 “The outcome in death investigations often hinges on specimens collected for evidence being properly preserved and uncontaminated, and in the hands of the police as quickly as possible. That’s what these new guidelines will do,” Representative Brady said.

The new evidence handling guidelines are an agreement between the Illinois State Police and the Coroner’s Association. They require coroners to properly preserve specimens (by freezing, if equipment is available) and release them to investigating law enforcement agencies within 30 days. Police agencies receiving the specimens will submit them to a National DNA Index System-participating laboratory for analysis, and then provide the analysis and other findings to the Illinois State Police.


“These new guidelines require a faster release by coroners of the evidence in homicide investigations (previously 45 days), and allow for the police to pick up the evidence rather than wait for the coroner’s office to deliver it. That’s good for all concerned,” Representative Brady said. 
This week Governor Rauner received approval of his request to declare many Illinois counties, including McLean and Livingston, Agricultural Disaster Areas due to crop losses caused by the recent rain and flooding.

Area farmers who believe they may be eligible for assistance should contact their county Farm Service Agency office. Loan applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions you should contact the state FSA office at 217.241.6600. You can get more information here.
An Important Reminder: I am hosting a utility bill review with the Citizens Utility Board on Aug 25, 11-1, at Normal Public Library in the Community Room.

This is a great opportunity to make sure you are paying for service without incurring extra costs.  I highly encourage all to attend this event.  Please help me spread the word by alerting your neighbors and friends.

Bring your gas, electric and phone bills for a free, one-on-one consultation with a CUB expert, who will search for ways to lower your utility costs.

Please register by calling 312-263-7872.




"It was great honoring two Bloomington Normal 'icons'  Mary Ann Ford, retiring from the Pantagraph after 40 years; and Kevin Stearns, performing live music for 50 years! Congrats! And thanks to both of you!"  Representative Dan Brady said.
A new law authored by State Representative Dan Brady will help the process for life-saving organ donations. The Governor this week signed into law Brady’s House bill 4120 which will expedite the permitting process for briefly transferring a deceased organ donor out of state for donation.

“Organ donation is a process where every minute matters. The more quickly the donation and transplant procedures can be accomplished, the better the chance of success,” Representative Brady stressed. 

Representative Brady’s new law will allow a permit signed by a licensed funeral director or embalmer to serve in place of more time-consuming documents issued by a registrar to transport a deceased organ donor out of Illinois for up to 36 hours to complete the donation procedures where they are needed.
Legislation signed into law Sunday will ensure Illinois seniors and others living with chronic eye conditions can obtain refills when needed of their eye drop medications. Public Act 99-0226, spearheaded by Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington), requires insurance companies to refill eye-drop medications before the anticipated refill date for those with a chronic need.

“For those with glaucoma, chronic dry eye, and other serious running out of medication could put their vision at risk, but precise dosing of eye drops 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. “This new law 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.”
Rep. Brady was  pleased to have Governor Bruce Rauner Tuesday sign  HB 246 into law, a bill he co-sponsored to designate December 23rd of each year as "Scott's Law Day" in Illinois.

 This day will honor all public safety workers and remind motorists to slow down, change lanes away from a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, and proceed with due regard to safety and traffic conditions.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) will analyze utility bills at a free clinic sponsored by State Representative Dan Brady to help McLean County residents save potentially hundreds of dollars each year.
 
“This is a great opportunity for the residents of my district to make sure that they are paying for service without incurring extra costs,” stated Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington). “I highly encourage all to attend this event.”
 
Consumers should bring their gas, electric and phone bills for a free, one-on-one consultation with a CUB expert, who will search for ways to lower their utility costs.
 
CUB’s utility-bill clinic, co-hosted by state Rep. Dan Brady, is:

11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 25
Normal Public Library – Community Room B, 206 W College Ave. Normal, IL 61761
Note: Please register by calling 312-263-7872
Our summer session at the capitol is continuing each week. So far, there doesn’t appear to be significant progress on an agreed, balanced budget.  I’ll keep you posted.

As always you can contact my office at 309-662-1100, or you can message me from this website.

Dan


Democrats send unbalanced partial-month budget to the Governor

As the State of Illinois entered the third week of the new fiscal year without a balanced budget in place, the Democrat majority continued to take a piece-meal approach to the budget crisis.

On Wednesday, the Illinois Senate concurred with House changes to Senate Bill 2040, an unbalanced partial month budget, and sent it to the Governor.  The plan is basically a partial-month slice of the budget passed earlier in the spring by Speaker Madigan and Senate President Cullerton that, in total, spends more than $36 billion - $4 billion more than we expect to bring in in revenue.

Meanwhile, the Speaker this week tried but failed to pass yet another unbalanced temporary budget (House Bill 4142).

Year after year of spending money the state doesn’t have is how we got into this mess in the first place. Living within our means is the only way we’ll get out.


State workers’ paychecks go out as court fight continues

Comptroller Leslie Munger has forged ahead with plans to send out full paychecks to state workers this month despite an ongoing court battle over whether public employees can be paid while state government operates without a budget.

Checks went out to 6,800 employees who were due to be paid Wednesday for work performed in the first two weeks of the state's budget year. Others in Illinois' roughly 60,000-person state government workforce are on different pay schedules, and their checks aren't due until later this month.

Following Comptroller Munger’s decision to issue paychecks to state employees, Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed an emergency motion for direct appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In the House, my Republican colleagues and I have for two weeks pushed for passage of two bills, House Bill 4235 and House Bill 4245, to make state employees’ pay an ongoing appropriation, making sure no one will miss a paycheck. Speaker Madigan has refused to allow either bill to even be debated on the floor.

Summer is here and temperatures and humidity are expected to continue to rise. As part of his Keep Cool Illinois campaign, Governor Rauner has announced 120 state facilities that are available as cooling centers. The cooling centers will provide Illinoisans a place to stay cool and comfortable during hot summer days. Below is a list of cooling centers around the McLean and Livingston County areas:
            All government offices in Livingston County
Illinois Department of Human Services, 501 W. Washington St., Bloomington 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays
Illinois Department of Human Services, 207 S. PROSPECT Rd, Bloomington 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays
Public Libraries
Shopping Malls
Village Halls

Click the link here http://www.illinois.gov/KeepCool/SitePages/CoolingCenters.aspx and enter your zip code to find out information about local cooling centers near you.

If you do not own a cooling system, The Salvation Army of McLean County is distributing fans to people without air conditioning from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays through Aug. 28 at the Corps Community Center, 611 W. Washington St., Bloomington. Those who wish to donate new or gently used fans or window air conditioners may do so from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at the Corps Community Center.
In addition, here are some helpful tips to stay cool during the summer:
Check daily on neighbors, friends and family members who may be at greater risk of heat-related illness
Stay hydrated (drink plenty of water, fruit juice, Gatorade)
Dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing; wear a hat or use an umbrella for shade.
Avoid activity during the hottest part of the day

Keeping this in mind let’s have a safe and fun summer!
The information below was put together by the Department of Central Management Services (CMS) to answer state employees' questions about pay and benefits while no state budget is in place.
 

FAQs for Budget Situation

We understand state employees have questions on how their benefits will be impacted as the state budget is no longer in place beginning July 1. The following Q&As were designed to help answer any questions you may have.

Employee Benefits

Q.  Will an employee's health, dental or life insurance be affected?
A.  No. Group insurance coverage during a budget situation will not be impacted. If paychecks are delayed, and as long as the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, insurance premiums will be taken accordingly. The missed payroll deductions will be taken once paychecks are issued.

Q.  What will happen to an employee's contributions to any flexible spending accounts (i.e., MCAP, DCAP) during the budget situation?
A.
 Employees enrolled in MCAP will not be impacted. ConnectYourCare debit cards will continue to work. If the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, deductions should be taken accordingly. If MCAP deductions are missed, they must be made up when the budget situation is resolved.
 Employees enrolled in DCAP may be impacted as reimbursements are limited to the available account balance contained in their DCAP account. If the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, and once all payroll deductions are deposited into the DCAP account, reimbursements can be made for eligible expenses up to the available account balance.

Q.  What will happen to an employee's Commuter Savings Program benefit?
A.  Employees enrolled in the Commuter Savings Program will continue to receive the benefit under this program. Employees will owe any underpaid amount upon their return to payroll.

Workers' Compensation Program

Q.  Will an employee's Workers' Compensation benefits be affected?
A.  No. In the event of a budget situation, Temporary Total Disability (TTD), Permanent Total Disability (PTD) and survivor death benefit payments under the Workers' Compensation Act will continue through July. Work-related injuries should continue to be reported through the procedures in place today.

Deferred Compensation Program

Q. What will happen to an employee's Deferred Compensation contributions during the budget situation?
A.  As long as the employee continues to work and earn a paycheck, payroll deductions for Deferred Compensation should be taken accordingly. Deferred Compensation contributions can only be made through payroll deduction. The employee cannot deposit money directly to his or her fund to catch-up the contributions.

Q.  If an individual is currently receiving a distribution from their Deferred Compensation account, will that distribution continue during the budget situation?
A.  Yes. Current distributions and changes to distribution amounts will continue to be processed. To make any changes in distribution, call T. Rowe Price at 1-888-457-5770.

Q.  Will hardship distributions/loans from an employee's Deferred Compensation account be available during the budget situation?
A.  A loan provision is available at any time and allows a participant to have one outstanding loan and borrow a minimum of $1,000 up to a maximum of $50,000 or 50% of their account balance over a five year period. The interest you pay goes back to your account along with the principal amount each month as you repay the loan through Automatic Clearing House (ACH) deductions from your bank. Employees would likely not qualify for a hardship distribution as they will be made whole of any missed payrolls when the budget situation ends.

Q.  How do I borrow from my Deferred Compensation account?
A.  To apply for a loan from your account over the phone, call T. Rowe Price at 1-888-457-5770 to speak to a Representative. There is a $75 processing fee and you will need to supply bank routing and account information for your checking/savings account numbers to set up the automatic ACH deduction. Participants are allowed one outstanding loan at a time. You may repay the full loan balance amount at any time through the same phone number at T. Rowe Price.

State Employee Compensation

Q. What options exist if certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees?
A. State employees will be paid for their work. If certain parties take action to temporarily block pay for state employees, there may be an opportunity for employees to get bridge loans from local financial institutions. Credit Union 1, for example, has already agreed to offer no-interest loans for qualifying members of the credit union should salary payments for state employees be delayed. To be eligible to receive 0% interest loans from Credit Union 1, participants must have been members on or before May 1, 2015. Employees who have become members of Credit Union 1 since May 1, 2015, can apply for a loan, subject to normal criteria, rates and terms.


The Office of State Representative Dan Brady will hold mobile office hours this summer. Upcoming visits will include the towns and villages of Chenoa, Gridley, Colfax, Lexington, Hudson, and Towanda. 

Rep. Brady’s 105th Legislative District includes these six towns and villages, as well as other towns and villages in Livingston County and Eastern McLean County.  Constituents should feel welcome to meet with office staff, sharing opinions and ideas. In addition, a survey form on several timely topics will be available for completion.

Visits will be on June 30th in Lexington and Colfax, followed by visits on July 1st in Hudson and Towanda, then on July 2nd in Gridley and Chenoa. Residents are welcome to stop by and no appointment is necessary. 
Several initiatives spearheaded by State Representative Dan Brady this spring are poised to become law. Four bills Representative Brady guided through the General Assembly this spring are headed to the Governor’s desk for final approval. The measures set new statewide standards for DNA evidence handling and coroner training, and help expedite organ donor transport and needed eye medication refills.
State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) Saturday won unanimous House approval of legislation creating a new Coroner Training Board in Illinois to oversee a training program for coroners on proper procedures and protocols in death investigations. After returning to the Senate for concurrence, Brady’s Senate Bill 663 now advances to the Governor’s desk for his signature.


“The role of a coroner in a death investigation is very different from the role of a law enforcement homicide investigator, yet under current law they are lumped together,” Brady said. “This legislation is an important step in acknowledging those differences, and making sure coroners and forensic pathologists are well prepared to tackle their unique responsibilities.”


Brady said creation of the new board was initiated by the Illinois Coroners and Medical Examiners Association to provide specialized training for coroners and forensic pathologists that will be separate and distinct from training police homicide investigators receive.  The Coroner Training Board will establish application, training and certification standards for coroners in Illinois, certify coroner training schools, and conduct and approve the death investigation training protocols for coroners statewide. 


Representative Brady added that the board’s work will be funded by the restoration of the 25% portion of the death certificate surcharge that had been diverted. 


“This funding was intended for coroner training, and now there will be no question that’s what it will be used for,” Brady said. “Our criminal justice system can only benefit when coroners working with police on death investigations have had the very best training possible.”
"It was an honor to help congratulate BHS Athletic Director John Szabo who is retiring after 33 years at District 87!"

On May 16, Representative Brady and his son Tom participated in the Autism Speaks Walk at Soldier Field, along with Tom's friend Kade.


Rep. Brady visited Pharmacist Dan Boian at the Chenoa Pharmacy to wish him a happy retirement, and to present him with a certificate of gratitude for his service to families in the Chenoa community.

The certificate reads: In recognition of your 37 Years of dedicated pharmaceutical service to the residents of Chenoa At Chenoa Pharmacy; with more than just medication, but with the medicine of friendship and caring. With best wishes for your health and happiness in your retirement.
State Representative Dan Brady said said Governor Rauner is doing the right thing by restoring $26 million in grant suspensions impacting programs managed by the Illinois Department of Human Services and the Illinois Department of Public Health. The Governor’s decision to restore the grant funding is based on new revenue estimates from the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) that show the state can expect an additional one-time revenue increase of $300-$500 million for the current fiscal year.

“I’m very pleased the Governor has made the decision to restore this grant funding for Autism, indigent burials and other vital programs,” Representative Brady said. “These were cuts we did not anticipate when we approved ‘budget fix’ legislation earlier this spring, and I’m very glad that additional revenues will provide for their restoration.”
"The Illinois Department of Transportation is leading a series of statewide listening session on infrastructure. I participated the panel discussion in Bloomington. Thanks to everyone who attended to voice opinions about crucial infrastructure needs in our area." Rep. Dan Brady said.

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.
"I was very pleased to visit with glaucoma specialists and ophthalmology professors at the Capitol during the Illinois Society of Eye Physicians & Surgeons eye screening.  We discussed my House Bill 3137 which is poised for a vote on the House floor. It would help ensure a steady supply of eye drop medications for those who need them for chronic eye conditions," Rep. Brady said.

Rep Brady serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Gift of Hope, which coordinates organ and tissue donation here in Illinois.  This week, Rep. Brady was proud to attend Gift of Hope's open house at their new office in Springfield. 

Rep Brady celebrated with the Ridgeview High School Mustangs Boys Basketball team after placing third last weekend in the IHSA Class 1A State Championships.  He presented Certificates of Recognition to the players and cheerleaders. 
 

"At the Capitol this week, I enjoyed visiting with students from the Bloomington Area Career Center who shared the importance of Career and Technical Education and what students gain through their educational experiences," Rep. Dan Brady said.



"This week I had the honor of visiting with the students and staff at Ridgeview Elementary School in Colfax as their Superhero for the month of February! " Rep. Brady said.

"I want to thank Superintendent Dr. Cathy Weber for inviting me to participate in this year’s superhero-themed visits. I had great fun on Monday attending an assembly and visiting with children from elementary grades through high school."
State Representative Dan Brady (Bloomington - 105th District) will visit Ridgeview Elementary as Super Hero of the Month for February.  The visit is scheduled for Monday, February 23, from 10:45am-12:30pm. 

Dr. Cathy Weber is the Principal of Ridgeview Elementary School at 300 South Harrison Street in Colfax.  She invited Representative Brady to participate in this year’s “superhero” themed visits.  “There is one thing everyone admires about State Representative Dan Brady.  He is friendly to everyone, both young and old.  That’s truly a superhero characteristic,” say Dr. Weber. 

Representative Brady will join the children for an assembly and stay through the lunch hour.

Ridgeview Community School District #19 is a unique, rural school district with multiple grades in one building.  While Representative Brady is visiting primarily elementary school children, he will also be interacting with all ages up through high school. 

Students will receive “Explore Illinois with Dan Brady” Illinois Activities Books for Kids and “A Visitor’s Guide to the Illinois General Assembly.”

“As with his State of the State address two weeks ago, Governor Rauner today was frank about the seriousness of our situation, and he presented one scenario to bring our budget in line and meet our obligations,”  said State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington). “This is a starting point for discussion, not a final budget. In the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing it and discussing it with constituents in the 105th district. We must be included in the debate.”

 

 

 

State Representative Dan Brady will lead debate for the House Republicans on bills coming before House Committees on issues of higher education funding and affordability in the new 99th General Assembly. Brady, an Assistant House Republican Leader, has been named Republican Spokesman on both the House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee which deals with state funding for Illinois colleges and universities, and the newly-created Community College Access and Affordability Committee, which will consider legislation aimed at making a community college education accessible to more Illinoisans. He will also serve on the House Higher Education Committee, which tackles other issues concerning state colleges and universities.

“Our universities and community colleges are critical to our children’s future success, and the success of our entire community. These committees and the legislation we will consider there will be more important than ever this spring as we work with the Rauner Administration to chart a new course for our state. I’m very honored to have been selected to serve as Spokesman on two crucial committees this spring and next,” Brady said.

 Representative Brady said he is also pleased that he has again been tapped to serve on the House Insurance Committee. “With the headquarters of State Farm and Country Companies Insurance located in our district, this assignment is also important for local families, and local jobs,” Representative Brady said.

 During the 99th General Assembly Representative Brady will also serve on the House Labor and Commerce Committee, another key assignment that will afford him greater input on crucial legislation concerning labor unions and job creation. The House Transportation-Vehicle Safety Committee and the newly-created House Special Committee on Special Needs Services round out his assignments.
 
“This is a diverse assignment list that covers many areas of concern for our communities. I’m looking forward to a busy, and hopefully very productive, Spring Legislative Session,” Brady concluded.


Before family and friends State Representative Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) today took the oath of office to represent the 105th House district in the new 99th General Assembly.

House members were sworn in at noon Wednesday at Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The new 99th General Assembly will serve until January 2017. Representative Brady, who is beginning his 8th term representing local communities in the Illinois House, said this year truly has the feel of a “new beginning”

“It is truly an honor to serve my constituents here in Central Illinois,” said Representative Brady. “We have a new Governor who has pledged to take a vastly different approach than his recent predecessors on our two biggest challenges: getting our economy and budget back on track, and growing jobs. I am anxious to hear his plans in greater detail in his upcoming state of the state and budget addresses, and I am ready to get to work with him on solutions.”

 Representative Brady encourages residents of the 105th district to contact him with questions or concerns as the session moves forward. Representative Brady’s Normal district office can be contacted at (309) 662-1100, and he can be reached via e-mail at dan@rep-danbrady.com.   Constituents can also visit his legislative website at www.rep-danbrady.com.

 Rep. Brady represents parts of McLean and Livingston Counties, including a large portion of the Bloomington/Normal metropolitan area.