Energy Tour; LIG Resigns; IL Violence; Lemonade

Downstate Energy Tour

This week, I joined my colleagues Brad Halbrook and Dan Caulkins on a tour of downstate Illinois’ various energy facilities including Prairie State Energy Campus, Hamilton Co. Coal, Ashmore Solar Field, Newman Wind Farm, and Clinton Power Station. As a farmer and environmentalist, I am alarmed that what Democrats are pushing as “green energy” really isn’t green at all. Wind turbines and solar panels are insanely expensive and unreliable in addition to being horrible for the environment. Illinois won’t able to cool your home or power your manufacturing plants without coal, gas, and nuclear energy.

The bottom line is that certain politicians in Illinois want wind and solar energy for the money. If they are to be on the market, let it be free and fair – stop the government subsidies and start telling the truth. The truth is that Pritzker probably won’t follow through with his threats of shutting down gas, coal, and nuclear facilities, because Illinois needs them. But that won’t stop the Governor from squeezing every dollar he can out of these deals, and he doesn’t care that taxpayers and ratepayers will end up having to pay more and more just to keep the lights on.

LIG Inspector Resigns

This week, Legislative Inspector General Carol Pope has announced her resignation Legislative Inspector General, a post she held for just over two years. Her sudden resignation comes after a Spring Session where the General Assembly passed SB539 which sought to improve ethics reforms. Several of my colleagues and I have stated for some time now that the corruption that permeates throughout Illinois won’t be contained by Band-Aids and half measures. This week’s news Pope’s resignation should send a loud and clear message that this inch by inch approach is not enough. We are here to work for the people, not get rich off of their hard-earned tax dollars and through backroom deals. In regards to SB539, I found that nothing was in fact better than something. To restore public trust, we must pass real ethics reforms and they must include strengthening the Legislative Inspector General’s ability to do their job fully and uninhibited

House Republicans Call for Action on Violence, Crime

Violent crimes of all types are on the rise in Illinois. Law enforcement officers who are on the front lines are facing challenges from two directions. On the one side are violent criminals and gang members. On the other side are activists who call for “criminal justice reform” and even to “defund the police.” Some of these include the Democratic politicians who have pushed through criminal justice reform legislation that eliminates cash bail, releases violent criminals back out to the streets, and makes it more difficult for law enforcement and prosecutors to do their jobs.

This week, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and my colleagues, Representatives Deanne Mazzochi and Amy Elik, held a Zoom press conference to discuss the destructive effect indiscriminate and ill thought out criminal justice reform is having on public safety in Illinois. Watch the full press conference here.

Lemonade Stands Legalized

Many lemonade stands spring up across Illinois in the summer months. Until this year, a case could be made that most or all of them have been nominally illegal, due to the passage of public health laws decades ago. Enacted at a time when chain grocery superstores were starting up, these laws required that many foodstuffs meant for human consumption be packaged and sold in a facility that is open for inspection by authorities.

In line with the growth of farmers’ markets and local street food vendors throughout the state, many Illinoisans have called for enactment of bipartisan legislation to change public health restrictions. “Hayli’s Law” allows for lemonade stands to be operated by children under the age of 16. The General Assembly passed the legislation after officials in Kankakee shut down 12-year-old Hayli Martinez’s lemonade stand. SB119 was approved unanimously by the Illinois House and was signed into law on Friday, July 9.