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.