Governor Rauner recently pulled the plug on the construction on Splash Park, a Carbondale outdoor aquatic center. His latest move forces layoffs and extends an already decades-old effort to build a water park in Carbondale.

"Someone needs to tell the governor it's 'Splash Park' not 'Slash Park.'" Forby said. "Governor Rauner just fired construction workers who were almost done building a project the park district has been working 40 years to bring to Carbondale."

In 2011, the Carbondale Park District invested nearly $1 million to match funds from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to qualify for the Park and Recreation Facility Construction (PARC) grant. The grant is for park districts throughout the state to expand or construct new recreational facilities.

The new pool is less than three months away from completion.

"I want to work with this governor to bring good jobs to Southern Illinois. But this obviously is not a good start for his administration," said Forby. "I urge the governor to undo the harm he's caused and get these people back on the job immediately"

Category: News Releases

BENTON – The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal recently awarded the Stonefort Fire Department a $25,940 state investment to help with the purchase of new gear and protective garments including radios, personal protective equipment and portable air tanks.    

The funding comes from nearly $1 million in state grants to help 50 fire departments across the state purchase safety equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus and other tools for firefighters. The investments are supported by a small percentage of the sales of all fire insurance sold in Illinois.

“It’s important that our first responders have the right equipment and tools to meet current safety standards,” said State Senator Gary Forby (D–Benton). “But purchasing these critical resources can often times be a financial strain on small communities with limited budgets. Fortunately, we have this state grant to help municipalities with these significant purchases.”

The Small Equipment Grant Program provides funds directly to Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts or township fire departments to purchase needed lifesaving and operational equipment. These departments are eligible for grants up to $26,000.

Category: News Releases

052814CM0193HARRISBURG – Communities in Saline and Williamson counties are next in a long line in Southern Illinois to see added construction funding, thanks to State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton).

The project is part of the Illinois Jobs Now! Program, intended to help counter unemployment and aging facilities throughout the state. For local upcoming projects, the state dedicated $27.9 million to the repair of US Highway 45. The well-worn road will receive a much-needed resurfacing near the communities of Stonefort and Eldorado.

Previous state funded construction efforts took place near Crainville, with $24.1 million for the interchange of Route 13 and Wolf Creek Road as well as $700,000 for construction of a new 50-bed facility addition to the Anna Veterans’ Home. A total of $1.5 billion has been allocated for projects for infrastructure, higher education funding and economic development plans in the area.

“Some areas of my district were hit hardest by the economic downturn, but we still see a lot of tourism for our natural resources as well as visitors to Southern Illinois University,” Forby said. “As a result of these upcoming construction projects, the infrastructure in our neck of the woods gets a much needed upgrade that will put people to work and go a long way to ensure travelers a pleasant experience while in Southern Illinois.”

Category: News Releases

hunterA new law sponsored by State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) cuts certain fees to $1 or completely eliminates them for Illinois seniors 75 or older on hunting and fishing licenses.

“After a lifetime of buying licenses and stamps, we are making it easier for seniors to afford hunting and fishing. Every senior should be able to enjoy the outdoors regardless if they’re on a fixed income,” Forby said.

The law reduces the fees on sports fishing licenses and all-species hunting licenses to $1 and completely waives the cost of salmon, inland trout, migratory water fowl, pheasant and habitat stamps.

The law, House Bill 4329, takes effect immediately.

Category: News Releases

2016 Legislative Survey

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

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


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