Recently, Governor Rauner declared that contract negotiations between the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the governor’s negotiation team have come to an impasse. Senator Forby, chairman of the Senate’s Labor Committee, issued the following statement:

“This latest inaction from the governor is just another step in his plan to make Illinois a right-to-work state. AFSCME has been able to negotiate contracts with governors for the past 30 years from each party in good faith. Just as with the budget, this governor is sidestepping negotiations and using the back door take employee benefits.

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Category: News Releases

Forby2014BENTON --- Southern Illinois Senator Gary Forby is making a public stand with local gun owners and calling on President Obama to dial down the anti-gun rhetoric and recognize 2nd Amendment rights.

“Look around. The only gun problem we have in Southern Illinois is people trying to take away our rights. If there’s a problem in Chicago or Washington, D.C., fix it. But don’t take it out on the responsible gun owners of this region,” Forby said.

His comments come as President Obama is expected to soon utilize his executive powers to impose firearm purchase restrictions. Forby sent a letter to President Obama expressing his disappointment in the president’s approach.

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Category: News Releases

Local, state and federal officials continue to monitor and respond to the flooding situation in southern Illinois.

Jackson County is among the counties in a disaster declaration issued by Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday. Flood warnings for the area remain in place, and residents and volunteers in western Jackson County closer to the Mississippi River have been working to secure levees and fill sandbags.

More than 770 homes and businesses are in danger of being flooded. Sheriff’s deputies are working 12-hour shifts and are working to keep an eye on evacuated homes. Numerous roads remain closed because of high water.

At 11 a.m. today the water at the Mississippi River in Chester north of Jackson County was 42.2 feet. Flood stage is 27 feet. The river is forecast to crest near 48.5 feet by early afternoon Saturday, then fall.

At the Big Muddy River near Murphysboro, the water was at 32.1 feet at 9 a.m. Wednesday; flood stage is 22 feet. The river is expected to crest near 35 feet Friday afternoon. Officials are monitoring a nearby mobile home park.

People in need of help evacuating or finding shelter can call the Jackson County Emergency Management Agency at 618-684-3137. Volunteers who wish to help can call the Jackson County volunteer coordinator at 618-534-9212. Volunteers are expected to provide their own clothing, gloves, food and other supplies.

In Union County, voluntary evacuations were being encouraged in flood-prone areas. Levees are being monitored, and the sheriff’s office has indicated it will activate tornado sirens in the event of a levee break.

Farmers in low-lying areas have been trying to empty their grain bins before the water rises and ruins the grain. Union County deputies are patrolling areas where evacuated homes are located.

And in Alexander County at the southern tip of Illinois, the bridge between Cairo and Wickliffe, Ky., will close at midnight because of high water, according a notice posted by the Cairo Police Department. The U.S. Corps of Engineers is monitoring and preparing for flooding in and around Cairo. A flood warning remains in place for the area. At 11 a.m. today, the water was at 45.5 feet; flood stage is 32 feet. The forecast calls for the river to crest near 48.5 feet Sunday, tying the crest record set in August 1993.

Tips for those dealing with flooding:

1. Don’t be afraid to evacuate. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and it doesn’t take long for water to surround a home. Authorities are urging residents in low-lying areas to have important possessions packed and ready in the event of an emergency evacuation.
2. Under no circumstances should you drive through standing water. Flood water is powerful, even if it appears to be standing still. It’s difficult to determine the depth, the road could be washed out underneath, and flowing water can sweep a vehicle off the road, putting your life and the lives of your passengers in danger in a matter of seconds. Follow emergency officials’ advice: turn around, don’t drown.
3. Keep informed about closed roads in your area, and plan out alternative routes so you can avoid flooded or potentially flooded areas.
4. Avoid standing water, especially if there are downed power lines nearby.
5. Be sure to monitor updates from local law enforcement, emergency management and transportation officials.

Category: News Releases

A county by county list of important information to use during weather emergancies


Jackson County

Emergency updates

Jackson County Emergency Management Agency:

Public alerts:

River stages


Road closures

State highways:

Forecast and current conditions

National Weather Service:

Law enforcement

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office: Emergency, 911; non-emergency, 618-684-2177

Illinois State Police: 618-542-2171 (District 13, serving Jackson, Franklin, Williamson, Perry, Randolph, Washington and Jefferson counties)

Carbondale Police Department: Emergency, 911; non-emergency, 618-457-3200

Murphysboro Police Department: Emergency, 911; non-emergency, 618-684-2121

Grand Tower Police Department: Emergency, 911; non-emergency, (618) 565-2121

On social media

Jackson County EMA: @IncidentUpdate

IDOT: @IDOT_Illinois

Bottom's Flood Evacuation Information: A community page on Facebook with updates about flooding and evacuations in the Mississippi River bottoms in Jackson County.

National Weather Service in Paducah, Ky.:

Mass media

The Southern Illinoisan: on the web, on Twitter and on Facebook (, @thesouthern,

WSIL-TV:, @WSILNews, Facebook:

KFVS-TV:, @kfvsnews, Facebook:

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Category: News Releases

2016 Legislative Survey

Contact Us

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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