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Kankakee, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is connecting with her district by personally meeting constituents, touring facilities, and attending events in the 79th Legislative District.

"My job is to represent the people of the 79th district, not any party or leader," Rep. Parkhurst said. “It is important I meet with and hear the concerns of my constituents whether it's farmers, manufacturers, or individuals. My district office in Kankakee is open to constituents so are my traveling offices in Peotone and Coal City.  All provide constituent services to better serve my district. When I'm not in Springfield, I want to be of service to the people I represent however I can through my district office and my traveling offices."

With the Special Session called by Governor Rauner, Rep. Parkhurst indicated she is hopeful.

"Our state has no budget because of partisan gridlock in Springfield. The people in the 79th district don’t care about partisan politics. They just want a government tuned into their needs. A government that works for them. I am committed to represent the 79 th district's concerns in the budget negotiations with the goal to pass a truly balanced budget for all Illinoisans. My constituents deserve nothing less," Parkhurst concluded. 

Her office at 370 E Court St., Kankakee, is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Her Coal City office at the Coal City Public Library, 85 N Garfield St, Coal City is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. the 2nd Tuesday of every month. Her Peotone office at the Peotone Public Library, 515 N 1st St, Peotone, is open from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.the last Tuesday of every month. If you want to share your views on the issues or help with constituent services please call 815-523-7779, email, or visit her Facebook page,

Rep. Parkhurst will decline her per diem and mileage reimbursement for the special session. The total daily cost for the House and Senate for the special session is $24,237.

Rep. Parkhurst continued, “I ran for office to do my part to decrease the State's mounting debt, not increase it. It is not the fault of the taxpayers lawmakers are unable or unwilling to do their jobs. I fully support the Governor’s decision to call a special session; we need to be down in Springfield working on the budget. Something we should have been working on since January. However, I believe it is not right for legislators to accept this special session pay while seniors, disabled citizens, students, and others throughout the state are suffering because of this partisan gridlock.”
A new fiscal year begins on July 1st and if no budget is approved, the state will enter its third straight year without a budget. In an effort to end the state budget impasse before the fiscal year deadline, leaders from the House and Senate Republicans today announced a new compromise proposal.  The compromise is a proposed series of bills, including a balanced budget. 
The summary of the bills are as follows:
  • Budget Bill: Comprehensive budget proposal that includes real spending cuts and a four-year spending cap, while providing funding to state agencies like the Department of Human Services to care for our state’s most vulnerable and the Department of Transportation to continue important infrastructure projects.
  • Property Tax Relief: Four-year freeze for all taxing districts, but would allow residents, through voter referendum, to lower or increase their taxes. Allows for an exemption on existing debt service payments as requested by Senate Democrats.
  • Local Government Consolidation: Strengthens and improves the already passed SB 3, and will allow for citizens-initiated consolidation on units of local government.
  • Education Funding: Changes to the K-12 education funding formula that treats every district equitably that is consistent with the bipartisan framework of the Governor’s School Funding Commission. Funding for early childhood education, K-12 education, community colleges and universities.
  • Workers’ Compensation: Uses previously negotiated language between Senate GOP and Senate Democrats, like changes to the medical fee schedule, but does not reduce benefits to workers or include a causation standard. 
  • Pension Reform: Accepts SB 16, which has previously passed the Senate, including President Cullerton’s consideration model and the state’s pickup of Chicago Public School’s pension payments. 
  • Term Limits: Constitutional amendment to impose 10-year term limits on legislative leaders in the General Assembly and eight-year limit on Constitutional Officers (Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, and Secretary of State) 
You can read more on the Caucus Blog.
State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst is officially launching her Summer Reading Club for elementary school students who live within the 79th District. The program is offered to encourage students to keep their minds active over the summer and promote continued learning.

This year's theme is 'going places with reading' because every book is a new adventure, taking kids places they've never been before. The program challenges 1st-5th graders to read 8 books over the summer.

Pamphlets have been distributed to local libraries, but are also available for pickup at Rep. Parkhurts's District Office or online here. Participation in this program can overlap with any other summer reading program offered through area libraries or other organizations. 

Participants will will be invited to an ice cream party and receive a certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives. To earn your spot at the ice cream party, a parent or guardian must fill out and sign the form and return it to Rep. Parkhurst's office in Kankakee by August 11th.  

Springfield - On Wednesday, the Illinois General Assembly adjourned for the summer without passing a budget for the third year. The following statement on the adjournment can be attributed to State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee):

“It is unthinkable, unconscionable, and unexplainable that the House failed to fulfill its constitutional duty to pass a balanced budget and glaringly failed to advance any budget at all. The majority speaker controls which bills are called and the speaker called bills impacting catfish sold in restaurants and feral cats, but not the budget!  I came to Springfield prepared to work for the people of the 79th district on the biggest issues facing our state including the budget and pension reform. Unfortunately, discussions about the budget failed to occur. My efforts to call for the constitutionally required revenue estimate fell on deaf ears and it was never adopted or even entertained.  As a freshman representative, I am energized and excited to do all I can do to push the budget to the forefront. I am disappointed with the absolute control the majority wields and frustrated by the failure of leadership in the House under Speaker Madigan to get past political games and do what is right for Illinois."
Springfield, IL… On Tuesday, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee), met with the head of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Randy Blankenhorn, to advocate for local transportation projects including a much needed upgrade to the I-57 and IL-17 interchange.
Image result for kankakee exit“When I took office in January, this was one of the first projects shared with me by Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein 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 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.

“In addition to bringing the interchange up to current IDOT safety and regulation standards, this exit expansion 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 an important selling point to businesses looking to relocate to our district, including Hoekstra Transportation and Ricky Rockets Fuel Center.”

Rep. Parkhurst initiated the meeting with the head of IDOT, representatives from the Governor’s office, and Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong to jump start the project. At the meeting, Rep. Parkhurst advocated for it to be included in IDOT’s 5 year funding plan for FY2018-2022 and Blankenhorn agreed to do a site visit this fall. 

In addition to this interchange, Rep. Parkhurst is actively negotiating with IDOT on other local transportation projects.
Today State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst followed through on a promise to her constituents and filed House Resolution 437 opposing the private Great Lakes Basin railway. The resolutions states that the House opposes the three state rail plan for the fiscal, ethical, and environmental strain it would put on the many Illinois counties in its path.

Rep. Parkhurst is in the process of securing co-sponsors for the resolution. Should HR 437 pass a copy of this resolution will be delivered to the Federal Surface Transportation Board.