Illinois is the only state left in the nation where concealed carry is entirely illegal.  Last Tuesday, nine Illinois counties placed a concealed weapons question on their election ballots to try to change that.  The measure asked voters if they would be in support of concealed carry legislation.  The measure passed with an overwhelming majority in every one of those 9 counties.   

Henry, McDonough, Mercer, Rock Island, Warren, Adams, Schuyler, Bond and Stephenson counties, which spread from the northwest to the south central parts of the state, all have one thing in common:  a large population of voters interested in concealed carry legislation being passed.  And they are not the first.  This past spring, Pike County addressed a similar measure on its primary ballot and came away with an 85% approval rating.  Pike County was also the first to enact an advisory resolution in 2007 stating that if the Illinois Legislature passed any laws further restricting firearms, Pike County would deem those laws “to be unconstitutional and beyond lawful legislative authority.”  Following Pike County’s advisory resolution, 91 of Illinois’ 102 counties proceeded to pass identical resolutions. 

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Category: A Weekly Update on Issues with Senator Forby

In a time when transparency in government should be the highest of priorities, I have been deeply troubled by the recent refusal of the Quinn administration to allow media and other agencies to tour our prisons and mental healthcare facilities. These facilities have always had an open door policy in the past, but now, in the wake of serious overcrowding and rumors of abhorrent living conditions, facilities remain shuttered to the very individuals who have been shining a light on these alarming occurrences. 

Instead of masking the problem by locking the door and throwing away the key—whether that be through denial of access or facility closures—we should be using our resources to examine and analyze all of our state correctional facilities and request recommendations on sustaining operations and employment. 

Instead of shutting the doors of very necessary prisons, youth detention centers and mental health facilities, we should be looking at ways that we can best use these facilities moving forward. We should be examining all sides of the coin and the lasting fiscal and economic impact that potential closures would inflict on our state.

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Category: A Weekly Update on Issues with Senator Forby

We learned last week that the Illinois prisons set for closure will remain open after a third judicial ruling in favor of prison workers. 

Alexander County judge, Charles Cavaness issued a ruling on Wednesday which put a hold on the closures of Dwight and Tamms Correctional Centers, a youth facility in Murphysboro and adult transition centers in Decatur and Carbondale.  Gov Quinn has been trying to close these facilities since he signed the state budget last summer.

Governor Quinn believes that the closure of these facilities is a necessary cost saving measure for the state of Illinois.  I have said it before and I will say it again that I am strongly opposed to the closures.  Closing Tamms could endanger prison workers at other state facilities and push up the unemployment rate up in Southern Illinois. 

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Category: A Weekly Update on Issues with Senator Forby

With hunting season upon us, I wanted to take some time to remind my fellow hunters of the many opportunities Illinois provides sportsmen.

There are several seasons running from fall through winter that allow Illinois sportsmen to hunt deer, waterfowl, small game, turkey and migratory game birds.  Especially here in Southern Illinois, opportunities abound for active hunters.  I strongly encourage you to visit www.dnr.illinois.gov for more information.

As your state senator, I have always fought to protect your right to bear arms. This year won’t be any different. I am continuously fighting the Chicago machine and its attempt to diminish our right to bear arms.  I have introduced legislation that would allow a citizen who is 18 or older to apply for and obtain a Firearms Owners Identification (FOID) card without the consent of a parent or legal guardian. I will continue to work to get this legislation passed in the upcoming session.  This is a matter of fairness for the people of Illinois. Right now, only those 21 or older can apply for and obtain a FOID card without their parents’ consent. This is unfair to the young men or women who are allowed to enter the military at the age of 18. These brave men and women fight for our country – with a firearm – at 18 years old, so there is no reason they shouldn’t be allowed to apply for and get a FOID card on their own so they can hunt with their friends when they return home. This is common sense.

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Category: A Weekly Update on Issues with Senator Forby

2016 Legislative Survey

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