2nd AmendmentA measure sponsored by State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) that would allow non-resident military members stationed in Illinois to obtain a concealed-carry license was passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Forby, who was the Senate sponsor on the concealed-carry legislation that was signed into law in 2013, has been a strong voice on 2nd Amendment rights in Illinois.

“This is an important bill to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of active military members stationed in Illinois,” said Forby. “These individuals come from all over the United States and they work to protect our freedoms. These are responsible individuals who we trust to protect our country. We shouldn’t be telling them they cannot have access to rights given to other people in Illinois.”

Currently non-residents may only apply for a non-resident concealed-carry license if he or she is from a state that has firearms laws that are substantially similar to Illinois firearms laws. This measure would make it so active duty military members would be able to apply regardless of their home state’s laws.

The measure, Senate Bill 553, passed out of the Judiciary Committee and now goes to the full Senate for consideration.



Category: Recent News

social servicesThe Illinois Senate passed a bipartisan measure Thursday to free up funding for social service agencies throughout Illinois. State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) released the following statement:

“This was a bipartisan effort to provide temporary relief for some of our most vulnerable populations, including seniors and the disabled. I believe this was another positive step toward reaching a compromise. But we cannot continue to piece together a budget. We need a full budget that includes funding for our local social providers and higher education institutions, which are instrumental to our local economy. This funding is desperately needed by human service agencies, which is why I hope the governor moves quickly to sign the bill.”

Senate Bill 2038 has already passed the Illinois House and will now go to the governor for final approval.

Category: Recent News

School fundingLegislation sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar(D-Bunker Hill) to reform the school funding formula passed the Illinois Senate Tuesday.  

The measure, Senate Bill 231, would bring a dramatic increase in funding to Southern Illinois schools. The formula in the legislation would mean 95.4 percent of students in State Senator Gary Forby’s (D – Benton) district would receive an increase in funding.  

“Our schools in Southern Illinois have been shortchanged too long,” said Forby. “Now we’ve got a plan to address that. Our students deserve the same resources as any others. It’s time to stop playing politics with their lives.”


“K-12 education is a building block of our communities, and it cannot continue to be underfunded. When education fails our children, it creates a domino effect impacting jobs and the economy. Southern Illinois students deserve access to a quality education.”


Before the measure went to the floor Tuesday, multiple members of the Senate Downstate Caucus held a press conference to show a united front to support this legislation. School districts throughout Southern Illinois would fare well under the proposal.

Click below for audio of Forby's comments from the press conference.

Category: Recent News

RoadA measure sponsored by State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) passed out of the Senate Thursday that would amend the Illinois Constitution to prevent revenues from the state’s road fund from being used for purposes unrelated to transportation.

The measure, HJRCA 36, creates a lock box for funds that are dedicated to transportation. It would prevent a governor from sweeping the road fund for something else.

Forby, who is a chief co-sponsor on the measure, noted how important this road projects are is for job creation in Southern Illinois.

“The road fund helps put people to work by allowing Illinois to reinvest in its infrastructure and create construction jobs,” said Forby. “This constitutional amendment is important for Southern Illinois. This would make sure that transportation dollars are used to reinvest in infrastructure. Really, it’s a commonsense initiative.

The amendment was adopted by the Senate on Thursday and it now goes to the governor for consideration.

Category: Recent News

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