Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) and Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler announced today Kankakee County submitted its Request for Proposal (RFP) to Amazon outside of the Illinois RFP package. Rep. Parkhurst commented:

“The Governor submitted a Chicago only proposal for the State’s RFP for Amazon HQ2. We respect the Governor’s decision, but are not letting this discourage us. The Kankakee County RFP is an inspired, inventive, imaginative, and innovative plan quite different from most submissions. Chairman Wheeler and Kankakee County presented a visionary, comprehensive, and conceptual plan for Amazon H2Q. Our RFP thinks outside the box.”

Kankakee, IL – Today, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) announced her office will be partnering with Cell Phones for Soldiers to make her district office an official drop-off location.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling
“For all our soldiers do and veterans did for our country, we must give back and support them. The members of our military, past and present, make enormous sacrifices. Often, they are separated from their families across the country or across the globe. By partnering with Cell Phones for Soldiers, the 79th District helps soldiers and veterans speak to their loved ones thousands of miles away. I’m asking for your help.  Please donate an old cell phone or tablet. ” Rep. Parkhurst said.

Cell Phones for Soldiers is a national non-profit charity dedicated to serving soldiers and veterans with free communications and emergency funding. Newer or gently-used cell phones and tablets from all wireless carriers are accepted and help provide free talk time.
Kankakee, IL – Yesterday, Republican Leader Jim Durkin appointed State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R - Kankakee) to the Racial Profiling Prevention and Data Oversight Board.

The Racial Profiling Prevention and Data Oversight Board serves in an advisory role to recommend policy or legislative changes to eliminate racial profiling and to promulgate model policies for police agencies designed to protect individuals' civil rights related to police traffic enforcement.

 “I look forward to joining this oversight board. I hope to find ways to ensure the rights of all Illinoisans are protected,” Rep. Parkhurst said.

Kankakee, IL – Republican Leader Jim Durkin appointed State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) to the Illinois Steel Development Board and the Protection of Individuals with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System Task Force.

The Illinois Steel Development Board researches and develops ways to increase the use of American steel produced, used, or transported by Illinois companies.

“I am very excited to be appointed to the Illinois Steel Development Board,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “Steel production is important in Illinois and we should be doing all we can to promote American steel and Illinois companies.”

Leader Durkin also appointed Rep. Parkhurst to the Individuals with Disabilities in the Criminal Justice System Task Force. The task force recommends policies and legislation to best protect public safety and the rights of those with disabilities in the criminal justice system.

“I am looking forward to offering my expertise as a lawyer to this task force. The rights of all Illinoisans need to be protected.” Rep. Parkhurst said.

Kankakee, IL – Kankakee County officially submitted the Amazon HQ2 Request for Proposal (RFP) to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). The county submitted the RFP ahead of the 2:00 pm deadline yesterday to officially include Kankakee County in the Illinois Statewide RFP. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) and Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler lead the effort by meeting with state and community leaders to prepare and submit the RFP. Rep. Parkhurst commented:

“I am very proud we were able to work as a team to meet the State‘s deadline.  Chairman Andy Wheeler and everyone involved worked hard to make this happen. This proposal thinks outside the box and offers Amazon an inspired, innovative, imaginative, and inventive proposal.  It is definitely not the cookie cutter proposals offered by metropolitan cities.  Kankakee County offers so much from location to landscape and we hope Amazon will see this and be a part of our community. ”


Kankakee, IL – Area residents are encouraged to sign-up to donate blood at an upcoming Blood Drive to be held at Rep. Parkhurst’s District Office from 3:30 pm – 7:30 pm on Monday, October 23rd. The Blood Drive is sponsored by State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) with Heartland Blood Centers. Those interested in donating blood should call Rep. Parkhurst’s office to schedule an appointment at (815) 523-7779 or visit www.repparkhurst.com.

Donors are required to be in good general health and feeling well, be at least 17-years- old (or 16-years- old with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 lbs. Additional weight requirements apply for donors 18-years- old and younger and all high school donors.

Healthy means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes, healthy also means that you are being treated and the condition is under control. If you are not feeling well on the day of your donation, you may reschedule.

“Give more life by giving blood!” Rep. Parkhurst said. “We need a healthy and reliable blood supply, so please help by donating.”

Rep. Parkhurst’s District Office is located at 370 E. Court St. Appointments can be made here or by calling Rep. Parkhurst's office at 815-523-7779.
Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) and Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler met with representatives from the Governor’s office, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to request Kankakee County’s inclusion in Illinois’ statewide proposal for Amazon’s ‘HQ2’ this morning.

“The Kankakee County proposal offers an inspired, inventive, imaginative, and innovative plan quite different from most submissions. Plus, Kankakee County is the ideal location for transportation, water resources, workforce, accessibility, and other opportunities. Our workforce has a ready to work attitude and an unmatched desire to grow and develop a thriving economy,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Amazon’s ‘HQ2’ is accepting proposals for a second headquarters and Illinois is in the running. The ‘HQ2’ would provide tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments.

“Chairman Wheeler presented a visionary, comprehensive, and conceptual plan as a candidate for a potential ‘HQ2’ location in Illinois’ Amazon’s ‘HQ2’ proposal,” said Rep. Parkhurst.

The statewide proposal is due October 25th to Amazon.
Equifax, an Atlanta based credit-rating agency, suffered a security breach on July 29th exposing sensitive information of millions of Americans including social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, credit card numbers, birthdays, and addresses. The breach affected 5.4 million Illinois residents.

The company set up a website to check if your information was compromised: www.equifaxsecurity2017.com.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is investigating this security breach and called on Equifax to provide free credit freezes to all Illinois residents. She urges Illinois residents to take the Equifax breach seriously and take steps to protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft:

  • Seriously consider placing a credit freeze on your credit reports with all 3 consumer reporting agencies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax;
  • Regularly request your free credit reports, inspect them carefully, and promptly dispute any unauthorized accounts;
  • Inspect all financial account statements closely and promptly dispute any unauthorized charges;
  • Consider placing alerts on your financial accounts, so your financial institution alerts you when money above a pre-designated amount is withdrawn;
  • Beware of potential phishing emails; don't open any email messages or attachments from unknown senders and do not click on any unknown links.
  • Fraudsters will frequently send coercive and misleading emails threatening account suspension or worse if sensitive information is not provided. Remember, businesses will never ask customers to verify account information via email. If in doubt, contact the business in question directly for verification and to report phishing emails; and
  • Be on the lookout for spoofed email addresses. Spoofed email addresses are addressed with minor changes in the domain name, frequently changing the letter O to the number zero, or the lowercase letter l to the number one. Scrutinize all incoming email addresses to ensure the sender is truly legitimate.

With questions on the data breach, contact Equifax at 866-447-7559, or the Illinois Attorney General’s Identity Theft Hotline at 1 (866) 999-5630.
Kankakee, IL – On Wednesday, The Surface Transportation Board (STB) issued a decision on the application by the Great Lakes Transportation, Inc. (GLBT) to construct and maintain a railway. The STB found the GLBT failed to provide the Board with accurate financial information upon which the Board can rely to make a determination on the transportation merits of the project as required. The financial information provided in GLBT’s application, as supplemented, is fundamentally flawed, making it impossible for the Board to determine whether GLBT can meet the statutory criteria.
The financial information submitted by GLBT; therefore, cannot reasonably be relied upon by the Board to determine the financial condition of GLBT under the statutory criteria.

“Victory!” Rep. Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) said about the decision. “The Surface Transportation Board denied the Great Lakes Basin rail way. It is impressive what community unity and togetherness can achieve!”

Rep. Parkhurst has led the charge against the proposal in the Illinois House. Since the initial proposal in May, Rep. Parkhurst has urged constituents to contact the STB to oppose the proposal and sent a letter to the STB herself. Rep. Parkhurst filed a resolution with the Illinois House in May condemning the proposal and secured co-sponsors from every representative in the path. The resolution was adopted by the House in a unanimous vote on June 29th.

The Board found GLBT’s application incomplete and rejected the application.

Because the Board rejected GLBT’s application, the Board discontinued the environmental review process associated with the proposed project.

To view the STB decision, click here.
Kankakee, IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R - Kankakee), together with One Light Self Defense, is hosting a free workshop for women and girls. The event will help them learn avoidance tactics, self-defense misconceptions, offensive techniques, and defensive escapes. The class is at the community room in the Kankakee Valley Rec Center on Friday, September 29th at 6:00 pm.

“The only thought scarier than becoming a victim of violence is being unprepared if the situation arises. Instructors from One Light will ensure women are prepared by teaching skills used in the event of an attack,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “This is a great opportunity for women and girls over 12.”

The One Light mission is to prepare people to avoid, face, and heal from physical violence. Since 2009, One Light traveled to Nairobi, Kenya to teach self-defense skills to girls and trainers who continue to carry on this skill transfer. One Light taught over 100 free self-defense workshops and trained over 2500 people in the United States. Thousands of dollars of donations from workshops are donated to Women At Risk International to use towards their emergency and safe house funds.

Space is limited and registration is encouraged. While the class is free, donations to One Light are appreciated. 100% of donations go to victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, or sexual assault. To learn more about this class, please email Parkhurst@ilhousegop.org or call (815)523-7779. To Register, click here.

Springfield, IL - On Monday, the Illinois State House of Representatives voted on the compromise evidence-based school funding bill. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) commented on her vote:

“The House considered and voted on the compromise school funding bill and the governor's amendatory veto of SB 1 yesterday evening. I stood firm and voted no on both of these bills and against a Chicago bailout. The compromise bill and SB 1 do not go far enough to address problems plaguing our school system. Chicago still receives an unfair advantage in their funding by including the block grant in their funding minimum and receives a Legacy Pension Credit as a ‘reward’ for skipping 11 years of pension payments. This takes away much needed funds for districts across the state and gives it to Chicago. I applaud Illinois for moving in the right direction for school funding by implementing an evidence-based model, but I could not vote for the compromise bill or the override.”




Kankakee, IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is bringing together experts and industry insiders for a Human Trafficking Summit at Olivet Nazarene University. The event, free and open to the public, is intended to shine a light on the endemic but little-known practice of human trafficking. The summit is September 28, 2017, at Wisner Auditorium, Olivet Nazarene University,  from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

"Human trafficking is a horrible practice with millions of victims each year.” Part of my role as a state legislator is to help raise awareness of these major yet undiscussed issues," Rep. Parkhurst said about the summit. 

Human trafficking is an international multi-billion dollar industry with an estimated 21 million victims worldwide. Human trafficking comes in various forms including forced labor and commercial sex including approximately 1 in 6 endangered runaway children. There is no official estimate of U.S. victims, but hundreds of thousands of Americans are suspected to be victims. 91% of human trafficking cases are women.

Rep. Parkhurst added, “My goal is to help educate and empower residents of the 79th district to help end this horrific practice.”

Illinois ranks fifth in the nation for cases of human trafficking and Chicago is considered to be a national hub for human trafficking because of the role it plays as a major convention city. The summit will feature a panel of experts from local businesses to law enforcement.

For more information on the event, call Rep. Parkhurst’s office at (815) 523-7779.

Image may contain: 1 person, smilingKankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) was named one of forty rising leaders as an Edgar Fellow. She was selected from over 140 nominees. The Edgar Fellows Program gathers together rising movers and shakers from across the state at a five-day training program at the University of Illinois. This year they will gather in Champaign from August 6th-10th. The program is an initiative designed to inspire emerging leaders to address major policy issues without permitting partisan, ethnic, and regional rivalries to trump statesmanship. It fosters leadership growth amongst its fellows and bipartisan and cross-regional cooperation.

“It is truly an honor to be selected among these other leaders in our great state to participate in this program. I hope to build a lasting relationship with the other honorees during my time and take what I will learn from this program back to the General Assembly so we can work together and put this state on the right track," Rep. Parkhurst said.

Parkhurst was elected as State Representative for the 79th Illinois House District in 2016 and took office in January of 2017. In addition to serving as state representative, Parkhurst owns her own law practice in Kankakee. From 2005 to 2014, Lindsay served as a Kankakee County Assistant Public Defender. The Kankakee area is well represented in this year’s class of Edgar Fellows. Other local fellows include Jacob Lee, Kankakee County Auditor and James Rowe, Kankakee County State’s Attorney.

Former Governor Jim Edgar and the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) are hosting the event for the sixth consecutive year.
Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting, table and indoor
Kankakee IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) hosted a jobs fair this past Thursday, July 29th, at the Knights of Columbus in Kankakee. At least 475 job seekers from across the 79th House district and beyond attended looking for the opportunity for work. Job seekers also benefited from three workshops put on by a representative from the Continuing Education and Career Services Department at Kankakee Community College.

"I am happy to report this jobs fair was a great success," Rep. Parkhurst said about the event. "It’s clear people want to work. As a representative of this community, I’m honored to work with the local business community to help people find employment."

The fair featured 48 local, regional, and national employers seeking to fill open positions. The Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) received survey 39 responses out of the 48 employers. Those 39 organizations accepted 950 resumes, conducted 32 interviews, and extended 17 conditional job offers at the fair. Survey responders estimate they will hire 414 people from the jobs fair within 12 months.

“This event, while a success, is indicative of failures in Springfield. The sheer number of participants at our fair makes it clear people in Illinois are struggling to find work or meaningful careers. We need to get serious in Springfield about improving the business climate here so we can bring jobs to where they’re needed,” Rep. Parkhurst continued.

Springfield, IL - Today, legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) to eliminate Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for members of the General Assembly was signed into law. In addition, House Bill 643 reduces per diem and travel reimbursements to 2013 levels for FY18.

A law passed during the 86th General Assembly mandated yearly COLA’s as part of compensation for lawmakers, judges, and constitutional officers. The COLA takes effect automatically unless legislation, like HB 643, is passed. Similar legislation passed in previous years to eliminate the automatic COLA and reduce per diem and travel reimbursements. The most recent laws were enacted in the fiscal years 2016 and 2017.

"The General Assembly acted wisely to eliminate the automatic COLA. Our state may have a budget, but the financial crisis has not ended. Legislators do not need a pay increase and certainly haven’t earned one after passing a 32% tax increase on to the people of Illinois," Rep. Parkhurst said about the law. "I co-sponsored this bill because I believe as long as Illinois has a budget deficit with billions in unpaid bills, legislators do not need to add to the problem."
School funding reform is an issue important to all Illinoisans. Our current system does not work. School districts are overly dependent on local property taxes making a student’s educational benefits and often their success dependent on their zip code. Under the Illinois State Constitution, Illinois' state government must provide the majority of education funding for public schools. The State of Illinois failed our children.

This session Democrats and Republicans worked together toward the unified goal of adequate public school funding for every school district in our state. Those discussions found an evidence-based education-funding model is the best way to ensure students in the most vulnerable areas of the state receive a fulfilling education.

There is a trap in the budget, once again holding families, children, and schools hostage.  The budget provides schools receive no funding unless the General Assembly implements an evidence based school funding formula. Now, the legislature is fighting over evidence based funding bill because it contains a Chicago Public School pension bailout.  Speaker Madigan is insisting on Senate Bill 1 as the evidence based funding formula. Senate Bill 1, amended in the House, secured a pension bailout for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) by attaching the bailout to an evidence based school funding reform bill.  Under SB 1, Chicago receives 64% of all new money allotted to K-12 education in the budget when Chicago only has 19% of the students. Chicago classrooms will not even see these funds because the money bails out Chicago’s mismanaged pension system.

Under SB1, the 79th district loses over $2.4 million in funding to Chicago. I will not support a bill allowing Illinois’ other 851 school districts to receive less money just to bailout CPS pensions. School districts all over the state are struggling to provide quality education.

Under years of democratic controlled leadership, Illinois is the worst and has the most inequitable school funding system in the country. The victims are our students, especially students in low-income school districts. For the first time in years, there is a real opportunity to reform and equalize school funding.

Time is of the essence. School funding is in limbo and schools do not have peace of mind in planning for the upcoming school year. We cannot and should not wait until the last minute to address school funding. I am calling upon Speaker Madigan, President Cullerton, and the bipartisan members who worked tirelessly to address school funding to come together and work on a genuinely fair solution. Please visit https://www.illinois.gov/gov/SitePages/SchoolDistrictFunding.aspx to compare school funding bills showing the difference in funding between SB 1 with CPS bailout and our plan without CPS bailout.

Lindsay Parkhurst

State Representative - 79th District
Kankakee, IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is hosting a jobs fair on July 27th at the Knights of Columbus. The jobs fair is free and open to all residents in the 79th district. There will be dozens of local, state, and national employers for job seekers to meet. Potential applicants should dress to impress and bring several copies of their resumes to hand out to employers. To assist in the job search process, there are several workshops offered including "Stand Out Resumes" at 9:15, "Drafting a Cover Letter" at 10:30, and "Interviewing Skills" at 11:45. The entire fair is from 9 am - 12:30 pm.

"I am proud to host an incredible opportunity to assist residents looking for work all at one convenient spot. I hope the workshops and the gathering of participating employers will help residents find the job they've been looking for," Rep. Parkhurst said about the job fair.

What: Jobs Fair

When: Thursday, July 27th 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Where: Knights of Columbus, 187 S Indiana Ave, Kankakee, IL

For additional information about this event, please call the District Office at (815) 523-7779.

Springfield, IL – On Thursday, the Illinois State House of Representatives voted on the veto override of the Democrat revenue and spending bills for the state budget. A permanent income tax hike from 3.75% to 4.95% is now in immediate effect. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) commented on her votes:

“I voted no on the veto override because this budget further burdens taxpayers with no indication the state will properly use the increased taxes and it offers no real reforms to get Illinois back on track. There is no viable plan to pay back our backlog of bills, except through more borrowing. There is no property tax relief, no structural reform to grow jobs, and no term limits. School reform through the budget is now tied to a Chicago public school pension bailout. Even with Madigan’s 32% tax hike, there will not be enough money. Eventually, we can expect the Democrats to file more bills to raise taxes and fees again to generate more revenue because their “balanced” budget is not working. The veto override means the state has a budget, but at what cost? The plan passed today is more of the same short sighted policies both investors and Illinois residents are tired of. Without fundamental changes in Illinois, there can be no confidence in the direction of our state. Residents will leave and our fiscal spiral will continue. I urge my fellow members to continue to negotiate on important issues like property tax and pension reform with the same sincerity and urgency we saw last week. There is much work left to be done.”

###
Springfield, IL – On Sunday, the Illinois State House of Representatives voted on a House Democrat evenue and spending bills for the state budget. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) commented on her votes:

“House Democrats today asked us to impose a permanent income tax increase while giving nothing to our already overburdened taxpayers in return. Both these bills were filed today in an act of bad faith and in a process lacking fairness and transparency. We voted for these two bills without a clear understanding of what they do or how they will be implemented. The passage of these bills with a veto proof majority removed any incentive for Speaker Madigan to call any reform bills or to continue to negotiate on the issues that brought this state and Illinois families to their financial brink. I could not vote for a bill that further burdens the taxpayers of the 79th District when they get no relief and no reforms. I could not tell my constituents to give the state more money when there is nothing to guarantee their money will be used effectively, efficiently, and properly. It is a continuation of tax and spend practices driving jobs and people out of this state. Very few people believe this state is on the right track and we have not done anything today to change those minds. We are still waiting for the reforms promised with the 2011 tax hike. We're in the exact same place.”

Rep. Parkhurst urges lawmakers to come back to the table and remains committed to putting Illinois back on the right track.
Springfield, IL -  On Thursday, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a resolution opposing the construction of the Great Lakes Basin Railway project. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) filed House Resolution 437 in May in direct response to the GLB Railway's application to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board. The resolution outlines the opposition to the project; the potential abuse of eminent domain to take private land for private gain to construct a privately owned railway; the catastrophic effects to agriculture revenue in Grundy and Kankakee Counties; and the environmental endangerment the project poses to wildlife, habitats, and communities dependent on the land.

Rep. Parkhurst secured sponsors for her resolution from every member in the proposed path of the railway in Illinois indicating strong and bipartisan opposition to the project.

The House unanimously agreed in an 103-0 vote. Rep. Parkhurst plans to send an official copy of the resolution to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to emphasize Illinois opposition as the Board considers the project.  

On Wednesday, Rep. Parkhurst testified before committee on the resolution. Speaking before the House Transportation: Regulation, Roads & Bridges Committee, Rep. Parkhurst argued for House Resolution 437. You can watch part of the testimony below:


Springfield, IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst filed House Resolution 372 on the initiative of Nucor Steel to urge Illinois to buy American steel. On Sunday, the Illinois House of Representatives passed her resolution expressing Illinois should buy American iron and American steel to support American manufacturing and steel industries by spending state and local taxpayer funds to buy American steel and iron for state and local projects to keep Americans employed. 

House Resolution 372 supports steel and iron manufacturers in the 79th district and around the nation and urges Illinois to protect the American steel industry against predatory practices, such as dumping and overproduction, by foreign steel and iron industries that put American businesses, jobs, and our economy at risk.

"State and local governments should buy American steel. It will support the expansion of American manufacturing, support growth of the American steel industry, maximize job creation, and stimulate economic growth," Rep. Parkhurst said on the House floor.
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 parkhurst@ilhousegop.org, or visit her Facebook page, Facebook.com/RepParkhurst.

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.
Springfield, IL - On Thursday, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst joined her colleagues in sending a letter to the Attorney General's office asking Attorney General Lisa Madigan to use her power to force the General Assembly to adopt a revenue estimate before passing any spending bills.

"For over a decade the State of Illinois has not passed a balanced budget," Rep. Parkhurst said. "A major reason for this has been the House's proclivity to blindly dole out money without regard for how much the state has to spend. Adopting a revenue estimate is a key component to a balanced budget."

A revenue estimate is required by the Illinois Constitution and the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability to meet the state's balanced budget requirements. For the last two fiscal years, no revenue estimate had been filed or adopted by the General Assembly. Only 12 days remain until the May 31 deadline to pass a budget for Fiscal Year 2018.

To read to the letter, click here
Kankakee, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) signed on to shepherd a bill through the House to eliminate pension abuse and protect taxpayer money. The bill was filed in response to the Fox Lake scandal involving the death of Lt. Charles Gliniewicz, his embezzlement of taxpayer money, and his wife’s involvement.

Senate Bill 896, filed by Senator Pam Althoff (R-McHenry), prohibits someone from receiving public employee survivor pension benefits if they’re convicted of a felony involving the service of their spouse.

“Our pensions and survivor benefits are here to help those who lost a loved one,” said Rep. Parkhurst. "This isn't a bank for those who commit crimes to freely withdraw.”

Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz committed suicide in Fox Lake in an attempted cover-up. His widow, Melodie Gliniewicz, who is not yet convicted, is facing charges for her alleged involvement in the embezzlement of public funds by her husband. Through her survivor’s benefits, she could potentially receive 50-75 percent of Gliniewicz’s salary, which was about $96,000 per year.

“This bill will protect our pensions and survivor funds from those who abuse the system and ensure it's there for those who need it the most,” Parkhurst continued.

Senate Bill 896 passed the Senate unanimously 57-0.


Kankakee, IL - Earlier this year, Representative Lindsay Parkhurst distributed a district wide survey which was mailed to the residents of Illinois' 79th District. In addition to being mailed, the survey was available on her website. Parkhurst's intent for the survey was to get a better feel for what the district expected out of their representative in Springfield.

"Thank you to everyone that took the time to answer my legislative survey," Rep. Parkhurst said. "My job as State Representative is to bring the district's interests, ideas, and concerns with me to Springfield. Armed with these answers I can better work for my constituents."

The survey consisted of 11 questions for participants to answer. The results are as follows:


Kankakee, IL…  On May 1, 2017, Great Lakes Basin Transportation, Inc. (GLBT) filed a formal application with the Federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to construct and operate a rail line running through Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. This application calls for a 260 mile privately owned and operated railway, tollway, and airport. In response to the application, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is voicing her opposition to the proposed plan.

“The use of eminent domain in our state and our nation is to provide land for public use in appropriate instances.  It is not for private gain and the GLBT project plans just that- taking private productive land for private individual gain,” Rep Parkhurst said. “This proposed plan is economically not feasible, not sound, and not sensible. It improperly damages the rights of property owners who rightfully own the land in its path, endangers the Kankakee River and local wildlife and habitats, and tears apart the communities who depend on that land.”

If the plan were imposed in its current form, Grundy County and Kankakee County would lose an estimated $70 million and $90 million per year respectively in agricultural revenue. This revenue can never be replaced.  The GLBT railway is facing bipartisan opposition from elected officials across three states as well as by legitimate railroads.

The railway must receive SBT approval before going forward to the next step and GLBT must show their plan is not inconsistent with public convenience and necessity. The public may also file comments regarding the proposal by going to www.sbt.gov. The public comment period will ‪end on June 5th. A coalition of groups opposed to the application filed a request with the STB for an extension of time for the comment period.

Rep. Parkhurst encourages the public to use appropriate avenues to make their opposition known. In addition, she plans to draft legislation to reform eminent domain in Illinois to secure the rights of local landowners.  She strongly supports the rights of private landowners. 


Image may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people standing and outdoor

Firefighters from around Illinois were honored this week in Springfield where three Kankakee firefighters received special awards.

Chris Salazar is a firefighter with the Kankakee Fire Department and was designated the Medal of Honor recipient, the highest award given by the State of Illinois. This award goes to a firefighter for an act of outstanding bravery or heroism, selflessness, and personal courage above and beyond the call of duty, under adverse conditions, with the possibility of extreme personal risk.

Among others recognized were two additional Kankakee firefighters, Lt. David Kruse II and John Burke who both received the Firefighters Excellence Award, an award given to acknowledge an act of service in the line of duty, demonstrating excellence and professionalism in service to citizens of the State of Illinois.

Noah Hubly, who lost his father in the line of duty in 2008 and used the Kankakee Firefighter Department Scholarship Fund to follow in his father’s footsteps, was the guest of honor at the ceremony.  Rep. Parkhurst said, "I am impressed and thankful for the brave and fearless firefighters that we have willing to protect our community and go above and beyond the call of duty."

All the firefighters and their families were welcomed to Springfield for the special ceremony to honor all of Illinois firefighters. A memorial was also held to honor firefighters in Illinois who had fallen. 
State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst hosted a district open house on Thursday in her new office. The open house was held with the cooperation and help of the Kankakee Chamber of Commerce. Rep. Parkhurst, who took office in January, officially celebrated the opening of her district office with a ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The 79th district stretches all the way from Coal City in Grundy County to the east through Kankakee to Hopkins Park. The office is centrally located in downtown Kankakee at 370 E Court Street. 

In attendance were many notable members of the community including recently elected Kankakee Mayor Chastity Wells-Armstrong, Kankakee City Clerk Anjanita Dumas, and Kankakee County Auditor Jake Lee. 

Over the course of the two hour event many constituents had the opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns about state issues. 

"It was great to meet and talk with many members of the 79th district," Rep Parkhurst said. "I want everyone to know that my office is an open and available resource for them."


Springfield, IL…. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) successfully passed a bill to close a conflict of interest loophole in state government. House Bill 2439 passed the House unanimously.

“Wherever possible we should work to eliminate conflicts of interest in government,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “Illinois is no stranger to conflicts of interest and corruption. I came down to Springfield to reform state government and address these issues.”

Under it's purview, the Capital Development Board has an Energy Code Advisory Council that decides on new and existing Illinois energy code regulations that apply to homes and other buildings. Currently, the members of the Council are able to receive State grants to teach the codes they decide upon, a clear conflict of interest. HB 2439 reforms State law to forbid this practice.
Springfield, IL…. On Wednesday the Illinois House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) to expand guarantees of equal pay.

“I am proud to co-sponsor this bill and other legislation to level the playing field for women in the workforce,” Rep. Parkhurst said.


In 2003, Illinois passed the Equal Pay Act, but women in Illinois still make significantly less than their male employee counterparts. House Bill 2462 adds further protections to existing law by prohibiting an employer from seeking the salary, including benefits or other compensation or salary history, of a job applicant from any current or former employer and prohibits screening job applicants based on their wage or salary history. It also requires employers to justify gender pay disparity using legitimate business reasons. 

“This legislation will help to ensure women are not paid less for doing the same job,” Rep. Parkhurst continued. “Gender should never be a factor in disparity of income.” 

House Bill 2462 passed the House on a 92-24 vote. It will be sent to the Illinois Senate for consideration.
Image may contain: 6 people, people smiling, people standing
Rep. Parkhurst with Nicor Steel management and staff
Image may contain: 1 person, standing
Rep. Parkhurst learns about the technology being utilized by Kinder Morgan
Image result for identity theft
State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst in conjunction with the Illinois Attorney General’s office, is hosting an informative identity theft seminar. Identity theft occurs when someone uses personal information such as your name, social security number, or bank account number without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft.

“The seminar will cover the who, what, how, where, and when of identity theft,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “More importantly, it will also cover the steps you can take to prevent yourself from becoming a victim and what to do if you find yourself a victim.”

People between the ages of 18-24 and those 65 and older are at the highest risk of identity theft. Illinois has one of the highest rates of identity theft and according to the experts, scammers were able to steal $16 billion from more than 15 million U.S. consumers last year.

The seminar is on Tuesday May 2nd at 10am. It will take place at the Kankakee Public Library, 201 E Merchant Street.
Kankakee, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is pleased to share Kankakee School District is one of just 10 statewide school districts selected to participate in the first cohort of Illinois’ Competency-Based High School Graduation Requirements Pilot Program. The legislation which created the pilot program, the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act, was enacted in to law last year with the goal of spurring innovation in the way high schools prepare students for meaningful careers.
Image result for kankakee high school
“The Kankakee School District submitted a strong application and has already taken admirable steps towards implementing some of the policies in the program,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “This program will give them the flexibility they need to craft a curriculum for student success beyond the classroom. This is a tremendous win for the school, and of course, the students in our community.”

In competency-based learning, educators assess and advance students based on demonstrated mastery of specific skills, abilities, and knowledge, rather than on time in the classroom. Competency-based learning allows for a potentially more relevant and personalized learning experience for students, in addition to deeper integration of technology and better utilization of teacher talent.

Each school district chosen to participate in the pilot will create their own a competency-based learning system. The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) launched the pilot program and will guide Kankakee and the other pilot program districts through the planning and implementation process.
Rep. Parkhurst meets with teachers and students in the KCC GED program

For more information on the Kankakee Community College GED program, click here.
Image result for diapers


Kankakee, IL… Recognizing a need in the community, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is hosting a drive to address the problems struggling mothers and families face in ensuring a sufficient supply of diapers to keep an infant or toddler clean, dry, and healthy. Donations will benefit local charities including Teen Moms HOPE at Adventure Church in Bradley and Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Kankakee. 

“As a community, we are measured most by how we take care of those challenged economically and struggling to make ends meet,” Rep Parkhurst said. “Surprisingly, government assistance programs, like food stamps, cannot be used to purchase diapers. In honor of Mother’s Day, I am asking residents to help me address this important need in our community.”

In addition to diapers, the drive will collect baby wipes and diaper rash cream. In Illinois 52% of births are covered by Medicaid and 23% of families live below the poverty line. However, there are no government subsidies to help purchase diapers and wipes, products which are taxed at the highest sales tax rate.  Diapers and other items will be collected at Rep. Parkhurst’s district office at 370 E Court Street in Kankakee, from now until May 12th. Amazon delivery service is able to mail donations directly to the office.

Make a mom's day and donate!

Kankakee, IL…. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) testified before committee this morning on her bill to help revitalize the area around the Kankakee River. Speaking before the House Revenue and Finance Committee, Rep. Parkhurst argued for House Bill 335 to include Kankakee in a law designed to help stimulate the economy adjacent to rivers in Illinois with property, sales, and income tax incentives under the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act.

“The Kankakee River is part and parcel with the community of Kankakee,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “It is what makes Kankakee a prime candidate for this legislation. The city and community are already taking steps to improve the river and its adjacent areas and this legislation will provide a much needed boost.”

The River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act is currently authorized in five cities: Aurora, East St. Louis, Elgin, Peoria, and Rockford. The Kankakee-Bradley area has a significantly higher unemployment rate than the rest of the state at 8.3%.

“These incentives are successfully implemented on other rivers around the state and are proven to help boost the local economy,” Rep. Parkhurst continued. “This could be a critical tool to attract businesses, visitors, and families to Kankakee and help our economically challenged community thrive.”

Testifying with Representative Parkhurst was former State Representative Julie Curry on behalf of the City of Kankakee.