Welcome to my legislative website. Here you can find more information about me, learn about the latest news surrounding the Capitol, and look at legislation I am working on to help put people back to work, pay our bills and fix the state budget. I am proud to represent the residents of Southern Illinois, and I assure you that I will continue to fight for your concerns in Springfield. If you have any concerns or ideas, please do not hesitate to contact me through this website, or by calling my Springfield and Benton offices.
State Senator, 59th District
Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) has taken the reigns in the Senate to guide legislation the keeps Hardin County Work Camp open. The measure simply provides that the Department of Corrections shall operate the Hardin County Work Camp. Governor Rauner has been slowly siphoning off workers and inmates from the prison in an effort to sink an already struggling Southern Illinois economy.
“Cutting Hardin Work Camp is irresponsible,” Forby said. “Inmates living here help local governments during natural disasters, save surrounding counties millions of dollars in project costs and inmates donate 7,000 hours per month in community service to neighboring cities. These are the types of facilities that allow inmates to pay their debt to society while also developing skills, so once they are released they don’t come back.”
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CARBONDALE --- SIUC student Jacob Liebman sees an unfortunate if not unfair set of economic circumstances at play in Illinois.
On one hand, a growing number of industries increasingly value a college education for potential hires.At the same time, the state of Illinois continues investing less and less in its public universities and colleges.
The inevitable result is soaring tuition, crushing student debt and students potentially giving up on higher education, or at least obtaining degrees at Illinois institutions.
Liebman, a senior agricultural business and international marketing major from Pleasant Plains, had the chance to voice his concerns with Illinois State Senator Gary Forby and other lawmakers during a panel discussion this week at the SIU Student
Health Services Center. Forby, a Benton Democrat, represents the SIUC campus and is a former farmer. Liebman represents the College of Agricultural Sciences in the SIUC Student Senate.
“When you sit in an auditorium full of college students fearful about their futures, the reality and ridiculousness of the state’s budget impasse really hits you,” Forby said.
Benton –Senator Forby toured several rehabilitation and healthcare facilities to discuss the consequences Southern Illinois faces if Governor Rauner doesn’t work with legislators to pass a budget. Senator Forby listened to suggestions from the community affected by the budget so he can bring their recommendations to Springfield.
“Governor Rauner is holding the budget process hostage in exchange for proposals in his wage-killing turnaround agenda,” Senator Forby said.
Senator Forby toured Golden Circle Senior Center (GCSC) in Harrisburg where he also hosted a senior health and resources fair. The GCSC provides on-site and in-home meals for seniors throughout the week and also hosts daily activities. The budget impasse has forced them to scale back their services and if something isn’t done in the coming months, they could have to limit services offered to the senior community.
“It’s really unfortunate that seniors living on fixed incomes could face losing the Meals on Wheels program and other services they depend on. I hope the legislature and the governor can work together to get something done for our seniors. Our seniors have worked all their lives and paid taxes. Funding senior programs is respecting the contributions our parents and grandparents made,” said Darlene Goolsby Saline County Coordinator at GCSC.
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Capitol Office:417 Capitol Building Springfield, IL 62706 (217) 782-5509
District Office:903 West Washington, Suite 5Benton, IL 62812 (618) 439-2504
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