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Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) is inviting constituents to participate in a roundtable forum before the General Assembly reconvenes for the spring session.

“The most important part of representing the people of the 79th District is making sure they have a voice at the State Capitol.  I want to draft legislation that is relevant and material to my constituents, so I look forward to their ideas and suggestions,” Rep. Parkhurst said.

The roundtable will be on January 10th from 9 am to 4 pm in Rep. Parkhurst’s District Office at 370 E. Court St. in Kankakee. Rep. Parkhurst will be available to listen to constituent ideas to introduce new legislation benefiting the 79th District and Illinois for the spring legislative session.
Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) announced today her office will host an art competition to celebrate Illinois’ Bicentennial.

“Our state is celebrating its bicentennial year. To commemorate 200 years of statehood, the 79th District is hosting an art competition to capture the history and beauty of our great state,” Rep. Parkhurst said.

The competition is open to all K-12 students in the 79th District divided between two age groups: K-6 and 7-12. The theme is “Celebrate the Great State of Illinois!” The artwork may use any variety of mediums, but is limited to two-dimensional pieces and must be an original work signed by the artist.

“I am enthusiastic and excited to see the artistic talent of students around the district,” Rep. Parkhurst continued.

The deadline to submit artwork is February 1st, 2018. Submissions must include the student’s full name, phone number, and school name and address.  They may be delivered or mailed to Rep. Parkhurst’s District Office at 370 E. Court St, Kankakee, IL 60901.  The 1st place artwork for each age group will be displayed in the 79th District Springfield Office or the 79th District Kankakee Office. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place artists will receive a certificate of congratulations from the House of Representatives. Winners will be announced on February 12th, 2018.

Any questions or concerns regarding the competition may contact the district office at 815-523-7779.

Kankakee, IL – On Wednesday, after a year and a half of coordinated efforts by State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) and Kankakee Community College (KCC), the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) today announced the release of $3.7 million in grant funds to Kankakee Community College.

“This is incredible news for our area,” said Rep. Parkhurst. “It is rewarding to see our efforts in conjunction with KCC be successful.  We worked collaboratively for a year and a half with the governor’s office and DCEO to ensure KCC receives these funds. We thank Governor Rauner and Leader Durkin for their unwavering support of KCC, being responsive to our requests, and ultimately facilitating the release of these much-needed funds.  KCC is an integral part of our community and the release of these funds will help to ensure their success for years to come.”

“By helping to provide for physical infrastructure improvements, we ensure that students, teachers, and staff at Kankakee Community College have a safe and healthy learning environment,” said Governor Bruce Rauner.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) reintroduced legislation aimed at reviving and redeveloping the area around the Kankakee River. House Bill 4172 amends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act to allow for a zone in Kankakee.

“This bill will help revive and redevelop the area around the Kankakee River. The river is vital to our city and our community should be able to participate in this successful growth initiative. While many of the current enterprise zones in the 79th District are beneficial, a redevelopment zone will help areas adjacent to the river emerge out of economic stagnation,” Rep. Parkhurst said.

The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act, passed in 2006, is currently authorized only for Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Peoria, and Rockford. The law is designed to help stimulate the economy adjacent to rivers in Illinois with property, sales, and income tax incentives.

HB 4172 was introduced on Tuesday, November 21 and awaits committee assignment.

Kankakee, IL – On Monday, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee), met with Republican House Leader Jim Durkin (R – Western Springs) , the head of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Randy Blankenhorn, Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong, and City of Kankakee Engineer Neil Piggush to advocate for local transportation projects including much needed improvements to the I-57 and IL-17 interchange—Exit 312.

“When I took office in January, this was one of the first projects I focused on because of the hugely beneficial impact it will have on Kankakee and Bradley-Bourbonnais businesses and the development of my entire district,” Rep. Parkhurst said.

The project in question will open up the 312 exit to Kankakee off I-57 to allow for safer and easier truck traffic. The city of Kankakee requested an upgrade to the interchange well over a decade ago and the need for improvements lingered and languished in discussions since 2001. The discussions stalled in 2013.

“This exit improvement project will usher in further economic development to the district,” Rep. Parkhurst continued. “Today trucks avoid this intersection because of the tight turn radius, yet this area is ripe for new economic development. Everything is in place; we just need improved access at the intersection of Routes 57 and 17. These improvements are important to businesses relocating to our district, including Hoekstra Transportation and Ricky Rockets Fuel Center.”

Rep. Parkhurst initiated the site inspection with the Leader Durkin, the head of IDOT, and the City of Kankakee to continue to push for phase II of this project.

In addition to this interchange, Rep. Parkhurst is actively negotiating with IDOT on other local transportation projects.
Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) filed legislation last week to address the current substitute teacher shortage. The legislation, HB 4167, comes at the request of local educators and amends the school code to allow students enrolled in an educator preparation program at an accredited institution of higher education to apply for a substitute teacher license provided the student accumulated 90 credit hours.

“After listening to educators in the 79th district, it is apparent college seniors studying to be teachers and enrolled in an accredited teaching program have the training and skills needed to be a substitute teacher. Schools and teachers are affected by the substitute teacher shortage and are stretched to the limit. This bill aims to address this problem by including future educators to assist our current ones,”
Rep. Parkhurst said about the bill.

Rep. Parkhurst introduced HB 4167 on Thursday, November 16 and it awaits committee assignment.

Kankakee, IL – On Wednesday, Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R – Western Springs) appointed State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) to the House Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment.

“It is about time the General Assembly addressed sexual harassment.  Anyone can be a victim of sexual violence and harassment.  I’ve represented victims in these type of cases and victims must not be intimidated into silence or feel powerless or embarrassed to stand up to their perpetrator, especially at the top levels of our state government. I will work in a bipartisan manner with my colleagues to recommend robust prevention and response strategies, fair and equitable policies and procedures, comprehensive and relevant education and training, and appropriate corrective actions and strategies,“ Rep. Parkhurst said.

The House Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment was created this year with the passage of House Resolution 687. The task force's charge is to conduct a comprehensive review of the legal and social consequences of sexual discrimination and harassment, in both the public and private sectors, and make recommendations to the General Assembly.  A full report is to be made by December 31st, 2018.