October 2, 2015
I hope you had a great week and like me, are looking forward to a fun and relaxing weekend. With these perfect fall temperatures, I hope you get outside, enjoy some great activities, and maybe visit a pumpkin patch with your family.
Speaking of family, I had the honor and the privilege attending the Gold Star Mother's Day event in Chicago last weekend. I was moved, touched, and inspired by these Moms (and Dads and siblings), who lost their loved one while serving our country. These families are the definition of resilience and their loved one is the definition of brave.
It’s my goal to get more involved with this program, meet these families, and do whatever I can to help them in any way. So, if you know a Gold Star Family, please let me know!
From the U.S. Army’s website:
The term Gold Star family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag. These flags/banners were first flown by families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for every immediate family member serving in the armed forces of the United States, during any period of war or hostilities in which the armed forces of the United States were engaged. If that loved one died, the blue star was replaced by a gold star. This allowed members of the community to know the price that the family had paid in the cause of freedom.
The United States began observing Gold Star Mother’s Day on the last Sunday of September, in 1936. The Gold Star Wives was formed before the end of World War II. The Gold Star Lapel Button was established in August 1947.
Today, the nation recognizes the sacrifice that all Gold Star Family members make when a father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, or other loved one dies in service to the nation.
I couldn’t agree more with their assessment: the strength of our nation is our Army. The strength of our Army is our Soldiers. The strength of our Soldiers is our families. The Army recognizes that no one has given more for the nation than the families of the fallen.
I hope you have a great weekend!
State Sen. Sue Rezin
Around the District
| Loved taking part in the Kendall County’s Legislative Business Forum last week with so many of my fellow colleagues! Thanks to Kendall County Economic Development for hosting such a great event that featured great dialogue.
| With my friend Sen. Hunter, talking energy policy at BP Amoco's legislative day event.
Thanks to at&t for their donation to the Grundy County Housing Authority!
From left to right
Brent Newman (Grundy County Housing Authority), Attorney John Hanson (Hanson & Hanson), myself, Jeff Adducci (AT&T)
| Congrats to ALDI for winning the Retailer of the Year award at the Illinois Retailers annual lunch in Chicago! Also, congrats to Heather Moore, VP of the Dwight Division and Morris resident who accepted the award!
FREE Senior Health Fair Coming Up!
Week in Review: Sep. 28 – Oct. 02, 2015
With no state budget in place, Illinoisans are being called upon to take more responsibility for renewal of their license plates. The Secretary of State’s Office has announced suspension of its mailed license plate renewal program, savings nearly $450,000 a month in postage money. But motorists can still receive a reminder notice via email through https://www.ilsos.gov/greenmail/. The registration ID and PIN from the vehicle registration form are necessary to sign up, but motorists who don’t have those materials handy can find them by calling the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980.
With the state entering the fourth consecutive month of the fiscal year without a budget, state spending is largely controlled by court orders, consent decrees, and some continuing appropriations. Recent estimates show that without a balanced budget agreement, the state will likely run out of money early in 2016.
The impact is being felt on some areas of state government, including closing the Illinois State Museum in Springfield (along with satellite facilities in four other locations) and the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta to the public. However, scientific research at the museum facilities will continue, collections will be maintained by curators and educators will focus on future programmatic planning. Other museum employees will assume temporary roles in other capacities, while at the Sparta complex workers will begin readying the facility for the winter months. Public employee unions are suing to avoid layoffs at the facilities.
Senate Republican lawmakers continue to push for a resolution to the impasse that includes structural reforms intended to make Illinois competitive, create jobs and boost economic growth, while funding priority services and programs.
ConAgra to move to Chicago
Chicago got an economic boost when it was confirmed this week that food giant ConAgra will be moving its corporate headquarters to the city—along with nearly 1,000 jobs. The company already employs around 400 people in a Naperville office, but plans to move its headquarters to the Windy City from current Omaha, Nebraska. It is part of a restructuring plan that is estimated to save the company about $300 million over the next three years and will result in a gain of jobs in Illinois. The new ConAgra headquarters will be based out of the Merchandise Mart facility in downtown Chicago.
ConAgra owns brands including Slim Jim meat sticks, Hebrew national hot dogs, Chef Boyardee, Swiss Miss and Reddi-Whip.
Farmers make major harvest progress
A warm, mostly dry week gave farmers several days of good conditions to continue with the 2015 harvest. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 30% of the Illinois corn crop is now harvested, a large jump from just 13% the week before, and just behind the 5-year average of 34%. Progress continues to vary by region, with the Southwestern area leading the state at 55% harvested, while Northeastern Illinois corn remains just 6% harvested.
Farmers are also making progress cutting soybeans, with 24% of Illinois acres now harvested, up fromjust 3% the previous week, and well ahead of the 5-year average of only 12%. Many farmers who had already begun harvesting corn, switched to beans in recent days. While both crops are drying in the fields, farmers have a narrower window to safely and easily harvest soybeans, because beans that are too dry may be lost before entering the combine.
College of DuPage passes major cuts, reduces local property taxes
The College of DuPage board passed a $184 million budget, including more than $7.5 million in cuts from the fiscal year 2015 budget. According to the college, the cuts will likely mean a $10 decrease in the average bill for a home valued at $255,000 in the district. The college had previously stirred controversy when it was discovered that $126 million in excess revenues had been collected since fiscal year 2011.
October is Thrombosis Awareness Month in Illinois
The month of October is now recognized in Illinois as Thrombosis Awareness Month, thanks to legislation sponsored by Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry) and adopted by the Senate earlier this year. Approximately 600,000 people in the United States are estimated to develop venous thromboemoism, and 400,000 expected to develop deep vein thrombosis of the legs. Pulmonary emoblisms, a serious and potentially fatal complication of vein thrombosis affects at least 200,000 people in the nation per year