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.