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Kankakee, 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.
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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.”

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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. 


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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.
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Rep. Parkhurst with Nicor Steel management and staff
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Rep. Parkhurst learns about the technology being utilized by Kinder Morgan
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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.
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“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.
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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.

South Wilmington, IL… State Representative Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is pleased to announce the Village of South Wilmington was awarded a much needed federal infrastructure grant from the State. The grant money will be used towards the replacement of a water tower. 
“This is a well-deserved grant award for the Village,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “A water tower is vital to local drinking water and the water used in fighting fires. I know the money will be put to good use.”

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According to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the village of South Wilmington will receive $450,000 through the 2016 Public Infrastructure Community Development Block Grants. The Community Development Block Grant program is one of the longest continuously run programs at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Although federally funded, this program is administered in the State of Illinois by the DCEO. The grants are used to support local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.

The village of South Wilmington is one of only forty projects throughout the state to receive funding through these grants. The Grundy County village has a population of 681 people. 

Image result for property taxesIllinois now has the highest tax burden in the country. A new study from WalletHub.com says that Illinois now has the highest collective state and local tax burden. The median tax rate for an average Illinois household is 14.76%. In real dollars the median household pays an average of $8,162 annually, which is 37.66% higher than the national average. WalletHub found that the biggest tax offender in Illinois was property taxes. Illinois has an effective property tax rate of 7.56%, 2nd only to New Jersey. The full analysis from WalletHub can be found here


In addition a recent poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 47 percent of registered voters in Illinois say they want to move out, with 27 percent of them citing property taxes as their top reason.

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst:

"This report confirms what everyday Illinoisans are feeling, that we are taxed to the hilt. It is further proof that we cannot and should not attempt to tax our way out of our current budget woes. We need economic growth and accountable government spending." 

Springfield, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) successfully passed her first piece of legislation out of the House. Rep. Parkhurst took office on January 11th, 2017 and today passed House Bill 1772 unanimously from the House.

“I’m happy to pass my first bill,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “A lot of behind the scenes effort goes in to pushing your various pieces of legislation and while many bills are filed and debated, few bills end up passing the House. It is a learning process and any time you get a win, it feels great.”


HB 1772 amends a law requiring individual fingerprint vendor employees to submit proof to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation the equipment owned by their employer, the fingerprint vendor agency, is properly certified by the Illinois State Police as meeting certain security standards. The law is amended so the proof of certification requirement is shifted to the responsible party, the agency that actually owns and maintains the equipment, not the individual employee.

HB 1772 now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
Springfield, IL… Putting her money where her mouth is, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) sponsored and passed legislation to curb government costs. House Bill 643 prohibits the automatic cost of living adjustment for State Representatives, and other executive government personnel, which is scheduled for the 2018 fiscal year beginning on July 1st of this year. The bill further reduces the reimbursement for per diem and mileage to the rate that has been established in FY 2012.

“I came to Springfield committed to fiscal responsibility,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “We have not had a budget in two years, now is the worst time for legislators to give themselves a nearly $1500 dollar raise.”

State Representatives earn $67,836 per year and earn a $111 per diem while in Springfield for session. In addition, lawmakers can earn thousands more by serving in various leadership and committee roles. State Representatives have not received a paycheck since last summer when former Comptroller Munger instituted a “No Budget, No Pay” policy that placed lawmaker paychecks at the end of the State’s billion dollar bill backlog.

“If we are asking colleges, social service providers, and others to tighten their belts in these tough budgetary times, it is only right we do the same,” Rep. Parkhurst continued.   

The House has passed similar bills in years past and this year HB 643 legislation passed overwhelmingly on a 98-3-1 vote.
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Springfield, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) has sponsored legislation aimed at reviving and redeveloping the stagnant area around the Kankakee River. House Bill 335 amends the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Act to allow for a zone in Kankakee. 

“The city of Kankakee is the perfect candidate for this kind of legislation,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “The river is vital to our city and our community should be able to participate in this successful growth initiative.”

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.

“Kankakee County’s current enterprise zones have undoubtedly had a beneficial impact on the growth of the local economy,” Parkhurst continued. “However, like most of Illinois, areas in the 79th district surrounding the river are still suffering under economic stagnation. Similar to an enterprise zone, a redevelopment zone authorized through this act will help add to the economic progress being made.”

HB 335 has been assigned to the Revenue and Finance Committee and is awaiting a hearing. 
In January, the Illinois House of Representatives passed two resolutions to honor long serving members of the Kankakee community. 

House Resolution 33 congratulates Sheriff Timothy Bukowski's on his retirement after 39 years of service to the Kankakee police department. Sheriff Bukowksi is a US army veteran who was appointed Sheriff in 1996.

House Resolution 36 congratulates Kankakee Fire Chief Ron Young, a position he has held since 2004, on his retirement. Chief Young served as a firefighter for over 30 years. 

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst, who sponsored HR 33 and 36, presented a copy of the resolution to Sheriff Bukowski at a Kankakee County Board meeting week. 

"It was an honor to recognize the achievements of Sheriff Bukowski and to present him with the good wishes and congratulations of the entire Illinois House of Representatives," Rep. Parkhurst said. 



Springfield, IL... In response to Governor Rauner's budget address earlier today, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) has issued the following statement:

"I am renewed and heartened by the Governor’s budget address. Illinois is the heart of America and I am committed to working together to balance the budget and grow our economy. I agree and the reason I am representing the 79th district is to work together to get something done. Our focus needs to be on ending this longstanding budget crisis as soon as possible, but equally important, our focus needs to be on fixing the structural and economic problems plaguing our state. I applaud the Governor for continuing to focus our budget priorities on education and our most vulnerable citizens. The people we represent deserve more than a higher tax burden, they deserve our best efforts to prioritize spending, expand opportunities, and ensure good government. I fully support a good deal for the taxpayers and realize we cannot tax our way to a balanced budget. Our state needs to think anew and act anew and I am willing to work to see it happen."

The Governor's Budget Bluebook can be found here.
State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst put a call out to the community to collect Valentines for local veterans and received over a thousand handmade cards. The campaign started a few weeks ago and submissions were gathered across the 79th district from schools and individuals. The valentines were delivered to the Manteno Veterans Home as well as the local VFW and American Legion. 
Rep. Parkhurst, still a registered girl scout herself, helped the Limestone Girl Scout GCNWI Troop #189 make valentines  

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst, together with State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena), toured the Manteno Veteran's Home earlier today. The Kankakee County home opened in 1986. The facility, one of only 4 state run veteran's homes, houses nearly 300 senior veterans

In addition to housing and caring for seniors, the Manteno facility holds the only state run veterans homeless facility. The Prince Program helps take homeless veterans off the street and addresses their root problems so that they are soon able to stand on their own two feet. The program opens up access to drug counseling, education, and jobs. 

"I want to commend the great work being done by the staff at Manteno," Rep. Parkhurst said. "They are doing everything they can to make sure our veterans are well taken care of, and rightfully so."