January 1, 2019, there are 253 new laws in effect.“The General Assembly was busy this past year with many new laws effective January 1st. We should become familiar with these new laws because they impact our district,” State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst stated. Here are several new laws of interest to the residents of the 79th District:
  • Allowing human trafficking victims to bring a civil action
  • Firearm Restraining Order Act
  • Rear-Facing Child Seat
  • Domestic Violence Order expanded
  • Updates to child support calculations
Allowing human trafficking victims to bring a civil action (Public Act 100-1037, House Bill 2063)"Victims of human trafficking should get the justice they deserve," Rep. Parkhurst stated. The changes to the Crime Victims Compensation Act allow applicants or victims of human trafficking an easier time meeting the notification and cooperation with law enforcement requirements for eligibility.  The bill increases the time frame for reporting for victims of human trafficking. Firearm Restraining Order Act (Public Act 100-607, House Bill 2354)The Firearm Restraining Order Act allows for a family member or law enforcement to petition the court for an order prohibiting possession of firearms by an individual if they pose a significant danger of causing personal injury to themselves or other by possessing a firearm. The order may be issued on an emergency ex parte basis or for 6-months. The Court is required to make specific findings before issuing the order. "As a lawyer, I see these protective orders abused in family court on a regular basis and did not support this bill. However, this bill is now law, and it is important our district is well informed of the new laws going into effect," Rep. Parkhurst said. Rear-facing child seat (Public Act 100-672, House Bill 4377)Children under age two must be secured in an approved rear-facing child seat (instead of a forward-facing car seat) while riding in a vehicle."The concern for the safety of our young children is paramount in our state. Rear-facing seats are safer for children under two in the unfortunate event of a collision and we protect Illinois' youngest with this new law," Rep. Parkhurst added. Domestic Violence Order of Protection expanded (Public Act 100-639, House Bill 4796)Foster parents, legally appointed guardians, adoptive parents, and prospective adoptive parents are added as persons protected under the Domestic Violence Act and the Protective Orders Article in cases involving domestic violence."It is important we protect victims of domestic violence in our state. This new law expands who is protected to include other legal guardians such as foster or adoptive parents to domestic violence orders of protection," Rep. Parkhurst stated. Updates to Maintenance “Spousal Support” (Public Act 100-923, Senate Bill 2289Starting January 1, 2019, Illinois’ maintenance (spousal support) formula in 750 ILCS 5/504 the new federal tax code maintenance payments are not tax deductible to the payor and not taxable to the recipient. To minimize the financial impact of this shifting tax burden, this new law reduces maintenance payments made by a paying spouse to a recipient spouse."Our state is adjusting to the new federal tax code by adjusting the maintenance calculation" Rep. Parkhurst commented. To view the full list of 253 new laws scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2018, click here.

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) today announced the 79th District office is partnering with the Marine Corps Reserve for the Toys for Tots program for a second year.

“Our goal is to help economically challenged children in the 79th District enjoy a Merry Christmas and have Happy Holidays. Please look for a donation box and donate a new, unwrapped toy for a child in need.” Rep. Parkhurst said.

Rep. Parkhurst has a collection box in the 79th District Office at 370 E Court Street in Kankakee. The final day to drop of new, unwrapped toys is December 10th. Additional drop off locations can be found on the Kankakee Toys for Tots website at kankakee-il.toysfortots.org.

Online Registration to receive toys will be open until December 1st. For questions relating to the Toys for Tots program including registration and distribution, please contact the Kankakee Coordinating Officer, Gail Oliver at 815-277-9229. The 79th District office can be reached at 815-523-7779.

Kankakee, IL - Representative Lindsay Parkhurst distributed a district-wide survey to the residents of the 79th District. Rep. Parkhurst's intent for the survey was to seek insight into the views of the residents on key issues.

"Thank you to all who took the time to participate in my legislative survey,” Rep. Parkhurst stated. "It is my job as State Representative to bring the ideas, interests, and concerns of the 79th District to Springfield. With these answers, I am better prepared to work for the people."

The survey consisted of 7 questions for participants to answer. The results are as follows:

Kankakee, IL…  Vampires aren’t the only ones interested in your blood. Area residents are encouraged to sign-up to donate blood at an upcoming blood drive to be held at the Limestone Township Library in Kankakee on Wednesday October 24th from 2:00-6:00pm. This is the 2nd annual Halloween blood drive sponsored by State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee). This year she is partnering with the Red Cross. Those interested in donating blood should call Rep. Parkhust’s office to schedule an appointment at (815) 523-7779 or visit www.redcrossblood.org/give.

Contrary to popular belief, donating blood is not scary, it is quick, easy, and has a tremendous impact,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “I encourage local residents to sign-up today to come out for a great cause and save lives.”

More than 500 donations are needed daily to save patient lives and donating one unit of blood can help save up to 3 livesMost individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in generally good health are eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Those wishing to donate do not have to wear a costume.

 “We can’t manufacture blood; it’s a precious resource that depends on the generosity of others,” Rep. Parkhurst continued. “Don’t be a ‘hemogoblin’, donate and help make a real difference!”

Please call Rep. Parkhurst’s office with any questions. Walk-ins are accepted, but scheduling an appointment is highly preferred.

Kankakee, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R- Kankakee) is pleased to announce the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) instructed its agencies to release grant funds towards the deferred maintenance projects at Kankakee State Park.

“This is huge news for the many residents and Kankakee visitors who are understandably upset and outraged over the continued closure of Kankakee State Park campgrounds," Rep. Parkhurst said. “This park is the jewel in the crown of Kankakee County and reopening the Chippewa and Potawatomi campgrounds will restore our park to its former glory and grow our area.”

In 2012, it was determined extensive renovations were needed at Kankakee State Park’s campgrounds. These improvements included demolishing and removing two waste water plants, replacing one treatment plant, and constructing a holding tank at the Chippewa campgrounds. At the Potawatomi campgrounds, crews are needed to remodel and double the amount of showers and toilets.

The total amount of funds necessary to complete these projects and reopen the Kankakee State Park Campgrounds is $1.855 million. Earlier this week, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources released $255,000 and today the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity released $1.6 million in grant money.

“Since taking office, I worked with different parties to ensure these campgrounds are reopened as quickly as possible,” Rep. Parkhurst continued. “Thank you to the Governor’s office and all other stakeholders who are steadfastly working with me to get the campgrounds, which are such an important part of our community, reopened.”

Both campground projects are still in the beginning phases, but with these funds they can securely move forward with an expected spring 2019 reopen date.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) announced today a status report for the Kankakee River State Park Campgrounds. Rep. Parkhurst commented:

"The closure of Kankakee State Park Potawatomi and Chippewa campgrounds was due to the budget impasse. Since I took office, I worked with Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) in an effort to reopen the campgrounds.  Here is a status update on the projects and my efforts.
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Kankakee River State Park Potawatomi Campground
It was determined in 2012 renovations were needed for one of the main buildings and there was also a need for a new sewage treatment plant to accompany the facility. Work began and was approximately 70 – 80 % complete when it was suspended in 2015 because of the lack of a capital budget.
I am happy to report this project was restarted the first week of September with funds from the Capital Development Board (CDB). The original contractor awardees are in the process of submitting increased fees and other necessary work processes have begun. The increased fee proposal process should take approximately two to three weeks with approval expected by mid to late October. Once this is done, actual construction work can begin as most of the materials are already onsite. Most of the work needed is interior and can move forward regardless of weather. The campground is expected to reopen Spring 2019.
Kankakee River State Park Chippewa Campground
This campground was closed for approximately two years because of the inability to meet Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) requirements for chlorinated water.
A new, small water treatment facility needed to be built at the camp site and a request was made for plans to be created. The initial plans exceeded the available funding for the project at that time. The project was then scaled down to fit within the monetary budget constraints. However, in July 2018, additional funding was provided to build a more suitable structure on site.
Currently, this project is still in the design state, but that process is 90% complete. Once the design is approved by the CDB, construction is expected to begin in early Spring 2019.
I am monitoring the status of Kankakee State Park with great interest as I know it is an important part of our community. I am committed to reopening of the park campgrounds and I will continue to work with the IDNR to see the projects for both campgrounds stay on track."  

Kankakee, IL… State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is pleased to announce two grants worth thousands of dollars to the Bradley Public Library District and the Kankakee Public Library. Project Next Generation (PNG) is awarding a total of $526,790 dollars to 31 public libraries statewide.
PNG is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries. Project mentors work with middle and high school students as the participants develop skills to use various technologies, achieve success through project based learning and gain life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting and conflict resolution.
“These grants are a great boon to our communities’ commitment to producing tomorrow’s leaders,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “If kids are given access to technology and the opportunity to learn from mentors, they will take it. These grants are crucial to providing an environment where our kids can grow and thrive.”
PNG grants are awarded at the discretion of Secretary of State Jesse White, who is also the State Librarian. Kankakee will receive $17,000 dollars while Bradley will receive $27,000 dollars. Recipients were awarded grants from the Illinois State Library using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Typically, grants are given to public libraries that serve diverse, low income, and underserved populations.
Parkhurst joins other Dupage and Will County Representatives as well as participants from local health departments, law enforcement agencies and hospitals to discuss how to coordinate efforts to combat opioid abuse.

Kankakee, IL – Yesterday, legislation filed by State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) to address the special education hearing officer shortage was signed into law. The legislation, HB 4193 (P.A. 100-849) came at the request of local hearing officers to allow four extra days for the reporting deadline.

“Special Education hearing officers needed relief from the burdensome 10-day rule and this legislation alleviates this burden while ensuring prompt reporting by extending the deadline to 14 days.” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

HB 4193 passed both houses unanimously and was signed by the governor on August 14th.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) is inviting constituents to participate in a roundtable forum prior to the General Assembly fall veto session.

“When I did this event earlier this year, I received unique ideas from constituents around the district and turned some of those ideas into bills.” Rep. Parkhurst said.

The roundtable will be on September 6th from 11 am to 7 pm in Rep. Parkhurst’s District Office at 370 E. Court St. in Kankakee. Rep. Parkhurst will be available to listen to constituent ideas to introduce new legislation benefiting the 79th District and Illinois.

Rep. Parkhurst continued, “It is my hope to have a large turnout and hear directly from the people about their ideas on how to better our district and our state.”

Kankakee, IL – Last week, legislation filed by State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) to increase aboveground fuel storage to 12,000 gallons was signed into law. The legislation, HB 4569 (P.A. 100-637) came at the request of local agriculture and transportation businesses to allow facilities for agriculture, construction, or commercial vehicles to store up to 12,000 gallons of a single type of fuel in aboveground storage tanks.

“It is always exciting for a bill you worked on with the community and pushed through the General Assembly to become law. This bill will allow our farmers and trucking companies to easily store the fuel they use for daily operations,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

HB 4569 passed both houses unanimously and was signed by the governor on July 27th.
Kankakee, IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) invites residents of the 79th Legislative House District to take advantage of a free document shredding event on Saturday, August 25th.

Rep. Parkhurst is partnering with Aroma Park United Methodist Church and Mobile Document Destruction to bring a free shred truck to Aroma Park United Methodist Church at 210 W Third St, Aroma Park, IL. The truck will be available from 9 am to 12 pm. Drivers are asked to follow signs and bring their vehicles up to the truck where volunteers will be available to unload documents. No more than two boxes of shreddable documents will be accepted from each vehicle. The event is rain or shine.

“I am always happy to host these events in our community. These shred events provide a safe and secure way to dispose of unwanted and sensitive documents which aren’t safe to simply throw away in the garbage,” Rep. Parkhurst said regarding the event.

What: Free Shred Truck
Where: Aroma Park United Methodist Church, 210 W Third St, Aroma Park, IL
When: 9 am to 12 pm

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

Kankakee, IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) applauds the Illinois State Fire Marshal for awarding over $40,000 from the Small Firefighting and Ambulance Service Equipment Grant Program to fire departments in the 79th District. The recipients, Otto Fire Protection District and Reddick Community Fire Protection District, were announced today by the Illinois State Fire Marshal and the Office of the Governor.

“This grant plays a vital role to ensure our fire and ambulance services in Illinois are equipped with the necessary equipment to carry out their essential functions,” Rep. Parkhurst stated. “With requests of over $9 million from all over the state, and only $2.2 million to give, I am happy to see the Fire Marshal recognize the need in the 79th District with this very competitive grant.”

The Small Firefighting and Ambulance Service Equipment Grant, also known as the Small Equipment Grant Program, is awarded for the purchase of safety equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus, and other needed tools. The money for this grant comes from the Fire Prevention Fund. The grants total $2.2 million, with each recipient receiving up to $26,000. Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts, township fire departments, and stand-alone, nonprofit ambulance service providers were eligible to apply.

Kankakee, IL - 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. After last year’s successful drive, Rep. Parkhurst seeks to continue recognizing this need in the community. Donations will directly benefit local mothers in need and will be distributed at National Night Out on August 7th.

“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. 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 August 6th. 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) is hosting a jobs fair on July 20th at the Knights of Columbus. The jobs fair is free and open to all residents in the 79th district. The event will have over 50 local, state, and national employers for job seekers to meet. Potential applicants are encouraged to dress to impress and bring several copies of their resumes to hand out to employers. To help interested applicants in their job search process, there will be several workshops offered including "Effective Strategies for State Employment" at 9:15, "How to Write a Resume That Will Get You Noticed" at 10:30, and "I Have an Interview…Now What?" at 11:45. The entire fair will go from 9 am - 12:00 pm.

"Last year this event was very successful. We were able to connect hundreds of candidates with employers. I am happy to host this event once again to help those who are looking for a career change or want to work find work. I hope these workshops and gathering will help residents find the jobs they are looking for," Rep. Parkhurst said about the job fair.

What: Jobs Fair

When: Thursday, July 20th 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

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

Kankakee, IL – The budget passed on May 31 included much needed funding to fight the opioid epidemic in the 79th District. Parkhurst successfully obtained a budget allocation of a $400,000 grant to Duane Dean Behavior Health Center for community diversion programming.

“The opioid epidemic touches the lives of the people in Kankakee County and the 79th District. I worked with budget leaders and Duane Dean to get this into the budget to fight the opioid epidemic,” Rep. Parkhurst said.

Duane Dean Behavioral Health provides comprehensive services through integrated programs, including prevention and educational resources for substance use/abuse and the disease of addiction. It uses a diverse range of treatment options for individuals and families in Kankakee County, Iroquois County, and counties in east central Illinois and the surrounding vicinity.

Kankakee, IL – On Thursday, the Illinois State House of Representatives voted on bills for a budget plan for the FY 2019 state budget. State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) commented on her votes:

“I applaud the bipartisan effort to present a negotiated and compromised budget, HB 109 and the budget implementation. However, I voted no because the budget does not go far enough to fix our state, but only continues the status quo. It is not a truly balanced budget. It relies on precarious assumptions including one-time revenues from the sale of the Thompson Center. The budget also fails to offer the reforms our state needs to make us competitive. There are no pension reforms, no workers compensation system reforms, no property tax relief, and does not adequately address the state’s six billion dollar bill backlog. This budget simply does not do enough to put Illinois on a path towards long-term fiscal health”

The budget bill, HB 109, passed the House 97-18 and now heads to the governor’s desk for consideration.

Kankakee, IL - On Memorial Day, the Illinois General Assembly adopted a resolution sponsored by State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) to rename the Armor Road overpass in Bradley, IL.

“This resolution is important to the people of Bradley, their police department, and the Lewis family. By designating this overpass, we honor the memory and service of fallen officer Sgt. Lewis in the line of duty,” said Rep. Parkhurst.

The resolution, HJR 81 designates the Armor Road Overpass as the Sgt. Wilford Ray "Wil" Lewis Memorial Overpass in Bradley, IL. Sgt. Lewis was a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose and the Bourbonnais Bass Anglers Club and gave his life in the line of duty on November 20, 1997 after serving 22 years with the Bradley Police Department.

HJR 81 passed the House on March 1st unanimously in a 101-0 vote and the Senate on May 28th in a 51-0 vote. The resolution is now adopted by both Houses.

Kankakee, IL - State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst is officially launching her 2nd Annual Summer Reading Club for elementary school students who live in 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 'Reading Takes you Everywhere’ 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. Parkhurst’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 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 10th.

Kankakee, IL – In mid-April, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) sponsored legislation to stimulate construction projects in the State of Illinois and create jobs for the middle class. The legislation, HB 5864, is the Blue Collar Jobs Act.

“With this bill, we are sending a message to companies around the country Illinois is open for business,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “Nothing helps the middle class more than well-paying jobs which this bill is designed to create.”

Both labor and business groups support The Blue Collar Jobs Act and it offers tax incentives to companies making significant capital improvements in Illinois based on the withholding tax paid to construction workers through the creation of four new tax credits, including:
High Impact Business construction jobs credit
Enterprise Zone construction jobs credit
New Construction EDGE Credit
River Edge construction jobs credit

“We support prioritizing Illinois construction workers in our state’s economic development toolset through incentives for new construction, expansion, and rehabilitation projects,” said Marc Poulos, Executive Director IN, IL, IA FFC, the labor-management group of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150.

The tax credit is meant to incentivize the company to construct new buildings or improve existing buildings which cannot be built without the use of Illinois labor.

“The Blue Collar Jobs Act gives growing businesses another reason to make substantial capital investments in Illinois to bring more jobs and opportunities to our state,” said Todd Maisch, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

The tax credits only become available after the work is fully completed. There is no risk to the state for a company not meeting its requirement as the state has already captured the withholding tax prior to the tax credit being issued.

HB 5864 was introduced by Rep. Keith Wheeler (R – Oswego) on April 19th and is waiting to be assigned to committee.
Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst today announced progress being made on the Interstate 57 and Illinois State Highway 17 junction in Kankakee, Exit 312.

“Since I entered office last year, I worked to move along this necessary infrastructure project in Kankakee because of the huge benefit it has on Kankakee, Bradley, and Bourbonnais,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Rep. Parkhurst met with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Randy Blankenhorn, Republican House Leader Jim Durkin (R – Western Springs), and City of Kankakee officials last fall to advocate for local infrastructure improvements including the 312 Exit project which has stalled for 15 years.

Since the meeting, IDOT stated the Phase I study is now on-going again and should be completed in 2018.  Phase II is included in the Multi-Year Improvement Program (MYP) ’19-’24.

“I am happy to see our community efforts successfully reactivated this project and I will continue to work to move the project forward,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Kankakee, IL – Earlier this week, the Illinois House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) to address the teacher shortage in Illinois.

“After speaking with local teachers, I represented and advocated for their concerns to help solve the teacher shortage. I was pleased to cosponsor this bipartisan legislation to address this shortage,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Illinois is experiencing a teacher shortage hurting children and school districts throughout the state. HB 5627 is comprehensive legislation and uses ideas suggested by local teachers from the 79th District and Rep. Parkhurst to create a short-term substitute teacher license. The legislation also allows retired educators to substitute for more days each year without infringing upon their pension benefits and provides full reciprocity for out-of-state applicants for a Professional Educator License (PEL). There are other provisions further addressing the teacher shortage. 

“This legislation is the result of legislators from both sides of the aisle coming together and listening to our constituents to solve a real problem in our state.  I am proud to be part of a bipartisan solution.” Rep. Parkhurst said.

HB 5627 passed the House on a 111-0 vote. It will be sent to the Illinois Senate for consideration.

Today, the Governor asked the President to approve federal assistance to help people in Iroquois, Kankakee, and Vermilion counties recover from severe storms and flooding in February. If the Governor’s request for Individual Assistance is approved, people and businesses in the approved counties are eligible to apply for grants and/or low-interest Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.

Additionally, the national and state REALTOR Relief Foundations may have $500 assistance available to mortgage holders. The deadline for these applications are June 15th and June 1st respectively and can be found here.

Kankakee, IL – Earlier this week, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) cosponsored a resolution opposing a progressive income tax in Illinois.

“Proposals to implement a progressive income tax are a bad gimmick only serving to continue the tax and spend culture in Springfield with higher taxes, saddling taxpayers with the bill,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Illinois has among the highest state and local tax burdens in the nation according to WalletHub. Studies show states with progressive income taxes create more tax burdens for the middle class.

“Our state constitution mandates a flat tax. There is only one way to implement a progressive tax without a constitutional amendment which is to raise the income tax and offer various deductions. This creates a very complicated tax code. Families will pay to find all their deductions and many families will see their taxes increase. We simply cannot afford these proposals and I am standing up and saying no new taxes,” Rep. Parkhurst continued.

HR 975 was introduced by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R – Western Springs) on April 10th and currently awaits committee assignment.

Kankakee, IL – Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) testified before a subcommittee of the House Judicial-Civil Committee in a second effort to pass the Good Samaritan Act Temporary Homeless Shelter bill, HB 4254, on behalf of Fortitude Community Outreach. The bill is intended to provide civil immunity for not-for-profit organizations to provide emergency shelter services to the homeless.

“Organizations like churches and non-profits within the 79th District want to open their doors in extreme weather to provide temporary emergency shelters, but do not out of fear of being sued. Those wishing to lend a helping hand in time of need should not fear legal retribution for doing what is right,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

HB 4254 failed a vote in subcommittee due to the opposition of the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. The Coalition says it is better for the homeless to retain their right to sue than to receive temporary emergency services without the right to sue.

Executive Director of Fortitude Canteen Outreach, Dawn Broers of Kankakee County, testified in an earlier hearing, “We have held many conversations with local churches and organizations over the last several months hoping to find one willing to open doors and offer space. The conversation ended with the same roadblock: liability.”

On the same day HB 4254 failed, the same committee passed HB 4191 out of subcommittee granting both civil and criminal immunity to individuals breaking into a vehicle to save a cat or dog.

“It is very disappointing to see the committee is willing to waive liability to save an animal, but not to help a homeless person,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) is hosting a junior jobs fair on March 21st at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School. This junior jobs fair is free and is open to high school juniors and seniors and their parents in the 79th District. Various local and state employers, apprenticeships, and institutions of higher learning are available for attendees to meet. Potential applicants should dress to impress and bring several copies of their resumes to hand out. Additionally, Kohl’s Bourbonnais will offer interview coaching.

 “I am proud to host this unique opportunity to allow juniors and seniors across the district to speak with local employers and recruiters. I hope this is helpful to the students in deciding a career path,” Rep. Parkhurst said.

 What: Junior Jobs Fair

 When: Wednesday, March 21st 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

 Where: Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School, 700 W. North Rd., Bradley, IL

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

Kankakee, IL - State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) yesterday announced the Illinois House of Representatives passed a joint resolution designating the Armor Road overpass in Bradley as the Sgt. Wilford Ray "Wil" Lewis Memorial Overpass.

“The 79th district is proud to honor Sgt.  Lewis by passing this resolution designating the overpass as the Sgt. Lewis Memorial Overpass,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

The resolution, HJR 81, was filed at the request of Sgt. Lewis’ family and the Bradley Police Department.

The joint resolution now heads to the Senate for adoption.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee) today gave an update on flooding in Kankakee County.

“The Kankakee River crested at Momence and Wilmington on Wednesday. Both gauges hit moderate flood stage. Waters are receding fairly quickly,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

“The area in Kankakee with the most impact was Aroma Park with 75-100 homes affected. The majority of this was either water at the foundation or in the basement. No one has been in a shelter and most residents stayed in their homes. Same for Momence where an estimated 60-80 homes were affected,” continued Rep. Parkhurst.

The United Methodist Church in Aroma Park is providing food/drinks to affected residents and is established as a donation center. Donation centers are also being established in Bradley and Momence.

The Salvation Army will distribute clean-up kits.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) announced today Governor Bruce Rauner issued a state disaster proclamation for Kankakee County.
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“Kankakee experienced severe flooding. This proclamation activates state emergency operations in Springfield to coordinate with local officials to keep our residents safe and protect important infrastructure,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

More rainfall is forecasted.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency's (IEMA) acting director, Jennifer Ricker, is reminding people to use caution when driving in flooded areas and to turn around if roads are flooded.

State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) will be joined by State Rep. David Welter (R-Morris), State Rep. Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee), and several local officials for “Coffee & Conversation,” a free event open to the public March 1.

The event at Whistle Stop, 2080 Main St. in Diamond runs from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., although constituents can arrive at any time.

Image result for coffee“Speaking to my constituents and hearing their thoughts, ideas, and concerns on state and local issues is incredibly important to me as their representative in Springfield,” Rezin said. “I’m excited to host this ‘Coffee & Conversation’ in Diamond so people from the area can interact with their local and state officials in an informal setting.”
“I welcome every local resident to attend our coffee and make their voice heard,” Rep. Welter said. “I look forward to sharing my perspective on the opportunities and challenges we face in Springfield this year, and listening to the concerns of local families and taxpayers.”

“The most important part of being a state representative is listening to my constituents and ensuring they are heard in Springfield,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “I am excited to participate so people in Diamond and the surrounding areas can sit down with their own elected officials.”

Joining Rezin, Welter, and Parkhurst will be Diamond Mayor Terry Kernc, Braidwood Mayor James Vehrs, Grundy County Sheriff Kevin Callahan, and Diamond City Administrator Don Labriola.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) this week filed two pieces of legislation to bring greater transparency to park districts and local units of government in Illinois.
The first, HB 4803, creates the Local Government Transparency Act stating any appointed or elected mayor, president, vice president, director, chairman, or other executive may not be appointed, elected, or otherwise be the treasurer of that local government.

HB 4827 amends the park district code stating any elected or appointed president, vice president, or director of a park district cannot also be the treasurer of that park district.

“After what happened to the Kankakee Valley Park District, we must work to restore the people’s faith in government by rooting out corruption and protecting taxpayers,” Rep. Parkhurst stated. “With this legislation, we will increase transparency in park districts and local governments across Illinois and restore checks and balances to ensure taxpayer dollars aren't misused by corrupt public officials.”

Rep. Parkhurst introduced HB 4803 and HB 4827 on February 14th in response to the federal fraud charges against former Kankakee Valley Park District executive director Roy Collins who acted as both the executive director and the treasurer. Both bills are currently in the House Rules Committee. 

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst continued her program from last year calling the community to come together and collect Valentines for local veterans and received over a thousand handmade cards. Like last year, the call to action began in late January and submissions were sent in from across the 79th District and of all ages. The Valentines were delivered to local veterans right on time for Valentine's Day. Thank you to all active duty and veterans for your service!
Kankakee, IL – On the first day of Spring Session, the Illinois House of Representatives passed three resolutions congratulating the extraordinary achievements by those in the 79th District.

House Resolution 723 congratulates Phil Kambic on being named one of the "Top Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEOs to Know" by Becker's Hospital Review. Mr. Kambic, named CEO in 2006, guided Riverside to be the largest employer in Kankakee County and under his leadership, the organization received multiple Top 100 Hospital Awards. 

House Resolution 724 congratulates Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School District 307 on being named to the College Board's Eighth Annual AP District Honor Roll. The Honor Roll recognizes districts committed to increasing access to AP courses for underrepresented students while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning AP Exam scores of three or higher.

House Resolution 725 Congratulates Kankakee Community College (KCC) on receiving a Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The AASHE ranked KCC second in North America for sustainability practices.

“Our district is full of incredible people and amazing organizations accomplishing great things. It is my honor to recognize these achievements with the good wishes, and congratulations, and the support of the entire Illinois House of Representatives," Rep. Parkhurst said.

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) sponsored all three resolutions and will present a copy of the resolutions to the recipients.

State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) is a co-sponsor of a resolution opposing any state taxes based on the number of miles driven. State Representative Charlie Meier (R – Okawville) filed House Resolution 766 last week in anticipation of new legislation to create these taxes.

“The people of Illinois are subject to some of the highest tax burdens in the country and now we are looking at implementing more taxes.” Rep. Parkhurst said. “This is an undue burden on already struggling families and a Vehicle Miles Traveled tax (VMT) disproportionately affects more rural communities having long commutes to work or school and I will not support it.”

HR 766 lists various proposed mileage taxes and one imposes a fee of 1.5¢ per mile driven; report miles traveled on public, non-tolled Illinois roads using GPS tracking technology in a smartphone app or a tracking device similar to the I-Pass (or EZ-Pass); and monitor the location of each driver to calculate how many miles are driven in Illinois each month. This proposal brought up privacy concerns. Another plan implemented a $450 annual fee.

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

Kankakee, IL – Last week, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) introduced legislation to help our state’s most vulnerable in the most extreme circumstances. House Bill 4254 comes at the request of local homeless advocates and amends the Good Samaritan Act providing non-profit organizations or their employees who open a temporary overnight shelter are not liable for civil damages except in the case of willful or wanton misconduct.

“Over the past month, our state experienced persistent extreme cold weather often staying well below freezing. Those who wish to help our vulnerable populations should be able to provide a temporary shelter in good faith without fear of lawsuits,” Rep. Parkhurst stated.

HB 4254 was introduced on January 16th and awaits committee assignment.

Click here to read the bill.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) continued the “Valentines for Veterans” program launched last year. She invites students and other interested citizens to participate in making handmade valentine greetings with well wishes to our veterans who served our country with pride.

“I started this program last year to ensure our veterans are not forgotten on any holiday. Once again, this is our chance to show our Vets the love and appreciation they deserve,” Rep. Parkhurst said. “Let’s honor them on Valentine's Day for loving our country and keeping us safe.”

All ages are invited to create a card or drawing. Valentines will be collected at Rep Parkhurst’s office at 370 E. Court Street in Kankakee by February 8th. The cards will be delivered to veterans across District 79 in time for Valentine’s Day.

Kankakee, IL – State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R – Kankakee) announced today the School District Library Grant Program through the Illinois State Library issued grants to school districts throughout the 79th District.

“Libraries provide overwhelming support to the education of students in our schools,” Rep. Parkhurst stated. “I am happy to see continued support for our students from the State Library.”

The School District Library Grant Program is designed to help provide more library books and materials for the students of public schools in Illinois. The state legislature authorized up to a $.75 per pupil expenditure for qualifying schools. The grant award is based on funds appropriated by the General Assembly and the official enrollment of a school District as of the previous September 30th.

“As a former public school teacher and administrator, I know our school libraries are very important in helping students learn and prepare themselves for the future,” said Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White. “Illinois was the first state to implement a school district grant program for libraries, and I am pleased that we can continue to provide them with some of the financial resources they need to produce well-educated students.”

Schools in the 79th District were issued grant money totaling over $12,000 to support school district libraries. The grant monies will be processed by the Secretary of State office next week. For a list of 79th District Libraries receiving grants, please contact my office at 815-523-7779 or www.repparkhurst.com.