Hardin textLate last week, Gov. Rauner vetoed legislation that would have reopened the Hardin County Work Camp, which closed earlier this year as a casualty of the state budget impasse and took more than 60 jobs out of the 59th District. State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) released the following statement:

“Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I shocked? No.

“This governor doesn’t give a lick about Southern Illinois. He’s just another snake-oil salesman from Chicago. Closing down state facilities in parts of the state that truly need an economic boost just doesn’t make sense.

This bill received bipartisan support because lawmakers on both sides of the aisle understand the importance of the work being done at the camp and the economic impact to the surrounding communities.

“The only explanation I can come up with is that he’s just a terrible governor.”

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Senator Forby


Dear Friends,


Last week was a busy and productive week in the Illinois Senate. We passed a monumental school funding reform bill, a plan to help social service agencies keep their doors open and continued the discussion on how to keep the coal industry alive in Southern Illinois.


I encourage you to take a few moments to read the recap below.


School funding reform


School Funding The Illinois Senate passed monumental school funding reform legislation last week. The measure, Senate Bill 231, would bring a dramatic increase in funding to Southern Illinois schools. The formula in the legislation would mean that 95.4 percent of students in my district would receive increased funding.


Our schools in Southern Illinois have been shortchanged too long. Now we have 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.


I encourage you to contact your state representative as well as the governor and urge them to act on this legislation and help Illinois schools.


This is an important initiative of the Downstate Caucus as well. Click here to watch the press conference that was held in support of the measure.


Pushing for human services

Social ServicesWe also passed a bipartisan measure Thursday to free up funding for social service agencies throughout Illinois. The measure would release funding for senior service providers, at-risk youth and the homeless.


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.


Keeping coal energy in Southern Illinois


CoalIt is important we keep the coal industry in Southern Illinois. Coal is one of top issues we have here at home. It creates good jobs and is one of our greatest assets. Fifty percent of our power comes from coal, and it is not going to go away anytime soon.


Last week I joined with Downstate legislators to have a bipartisan discussion about keeping coal as part of the energy discussion in Illinois. We talked about putting more scrubbers in place to keep coal clean.


There is also a problem with Illinois buying too much coal from other states. We have the best coal in the state of Illinois, and as much money as we spend on coal from Western states we could put scrubbers here in Southern Illinois and put people back to work.


Southern Illinois needs jobs, and one way we do that is by making sure the coal industry stays alive. Putting people back to work and creating jobs continues to be my top priority.


Stay tuned and stay informed


Please be on the lookout for announcements of future events, and information on legislative measures. I encourage you to visit my website for information on events, news and opportunities. Additionally, you can follow me on Facebook more updates.


As always, please feel free to contact me if I can ever be of assistance to you. It is an honor to serve as your senator.


Thank you for your generous time and consideration.


Gary Forby
Senator Gary Forby
59th District – Illinois



Benton Office
903 West Washington, Suite 5 • Benton, IL 62812
618-439-2504 (Phone) • 618-438-3704 (Fax)


Springfield Office
417B Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706
217-782-5509 (Phone)




Category: Front Page

SIUCThe Illinois Senate passed a measure Wednesday that would give Governor Bruce Rauner the authority to appropriate more funds for the operational costs of eight public universities throughout Illinois.

In April, the General Assembly passed HB 2059, a bipartisan emergency funding plan that would free up funding for universities in order to keep them open and running. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the measure last week.

State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) noted that this plan didn’t go far enough, saying he voted for it because SIU is in a crisis situation.

Wednesday’s measure, Senate Bill 2048, would provide additional funding to SIU and other universities throughout the state.

“I have students in the streets protesting and calling on us to take action. Well, I hear you. We shouldn’t be in a crisis situation, and SIU needs its state funding,” Forby said. “Today we saw another piece of legislation to give SIU another 30 percent of the funds it needs to keep running. I am not thrilled to be voting again out of necessity. This is an avoidable situation. I want to remind the governor that he has a bill on his desk right now to give SIU 100 percent of the funding it needs right now.”

The measure passed the Senate with and now goes to the house for consideration.

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Bradley Community Shred Day 8 1 DONE

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2016 Legislative Survey

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Capitol Office:
417 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706 
(217) 782-5509

District Office:
903 West Washington, Suite 3
Benton, IL 62812 
(618) 439-2504


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