A Weekly Update on Issues with Illinois State Senator Gary Forby...

Last week, the governor’s office released $623 million for school construction projects from the state’s capital construction budget.  Nearly 10 percent of that money is coming right here to our district.  In fact Marion Community Unit School District 2 received the most money of any school district outside of Chicago, worth $56.62 million.  According to the local superintendent, Marion has more than $60 million in local money, so the school district will be able to put lots of people to work on construction projects improving our local schools.

Shawnee Community Unit School District 84 will get a little more than $2 million.  With this money and local funds, the Shawnee school district will be able to build an 8-room elementary school addition to Shawnee High School/Middle School, which will help the district operate more efficiently.  Right now, its two elementary schools are 26 miles apart.  Between the fact that gas prices have gone up and that Governor Quinn keeps cutting bus money (over my strong objections),  the district needs to be able to save money on getting kids to and from school.

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Category: A Weekly Update on Issues with Senator Forby

A Weekly Update on Issues with Illinois State Senator Gary Forby...

Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel of Chicago asked the General Assembly to pass legislation to force law-abiding gun owners to register their handguns with the state of Illinois and to pay a $65 per-gun registration fee.   Chicago politicians need to stop forcing their anti-gun laws on the rest of the state.  The right to bear arms is an essential right protected by the Constitution.   Mayor Emanuel and other politicians need to stop paying for their programs by increasing fees and regulations on gun owners.

This proposed law would do more than cost gun owners extra money.  It would also let criminals know which houses have guns.  This law would add more regulations to law-abiding citizens, while doing nothing to protect people from criminals who obtain guns illegally. 

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Category: A Weekly Update on Issues with Senator Forby

A Weekly Update on Issues with Illinois State Senator Gary Forby...

Last week, the governor gave his State of the State speech.  He talked a lot about how things have gotten better over the past few years, and he’s right.  In early 2010, the unemployment rate in Marion was 11.4%.  In the Harrisburg area, it was 12.1%.  The economy has recovered enough that a lot of people are back to work.  Unemployment is down nearly 3% in those cities, and it’s stayed below 10% for more than a year.

The state’s capital construction program is still putting thousands of people to work building and repairing roads, bridges, schools, universities, and more.  China is buying more and more Illinois soybeans.  Factories are opening and growing.  Things aren’t where they should be yet, but when everything is said and done, the state of Illinois is looking better than it did two or three years ago.

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Category: A Weekly Update on Issues with Senator Forby

A Weekly Update on Issues with Illinois State Senator Gary Forby...

This week I’m heading back to Springfield for the 2012 session of the General Assembly.  We’ll start introducing our ideas for new laws, but more importantly we’ll listen to Governor Quinn’s State of the State speech.  He’ll tell us how he thinks Illinois is doing and explain his ideas for moving Illinois forward.

The most important thing I want to hear the governor talk about is jobs.  Things might be getting better, but there are still too many people from Southern Illinois who are out of work.  The governor needs to commit to keeping the capital construction bill going.  It is putting thousands of people to work building and fixing Illinois roads, bridges, schools, and hospitals.  Businesses like factories and mines need good roads to get their products where they need to go, and good, safe schools help our children learn the skills they need to get good jobs.  We need to do more to encourage locally-owned private businesses to hire new workers and to do more with Illinois’ resources like coal and corn.  I hope that the governor uses at least part of his speech to talk about new ideas for putting people to work.

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Category: A Weekly Update on Issues with Senator Forby

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