This slide uses Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 as an example from the last year
we had a state budget in place.


Many of you have contacted me about your frustration that there hasn't been a full, balanced budget for Illinois in two years now. I share your frustration and want you to see the process as it is supposed to happen under our state constitution. You may click HERE to see the entire power point presentation.

"A big thank you to AT&T for underwriting the cost of this shred truck again this year," said Rep. John Cavaletto, Republican Spokesperson for the House Environment committee. "This was popular last year for those who took advantage of the opportunity to destroy old documents with personal information on medical and financial paperwork," Cavaletto added.

Effingham Fire Chief Joesph Holomy and Rep. John Cavaletto (107th District)

Rep. John Cavaletto, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, and Rep. Carol Sente

State Rep. Carol Sente, State Fire Marshall Matthew Perez, Ramsey Fire Chief, & Rep. Cavaletto.

State Rep. Carol Sente, State Fire Marshall Matthew Perez, and Rep. John Cavaletto


"This memorial program that I have attended every year while serving in the state legislature, hits close to home with mixed emotions of pride and sadness for me," said Rep. John Cavaletto, who serves as the Republican Spokesperson on the Fire & Emergency Services committee. "I have a son who is a firefighter and I feel for the families each year who have lost a loved one," Cavaletto added.

The 24th Annual Memorial program for Illinois Fallen Firefighters and Fire Fighting Medal of Honor Awards can be found here.

"In 1993 the Illinois Fire Services Association unanimously agreed that a monument should be erected to serve as the official memorial; it was to be located on the grounds adjacent to the state Capitol building. The Memorial would be viewed by thousands of visitors year ‘round.

The Firefighter Medal of Honor Committee, appointed by the Governor, assumed the responsibility of bringing the Memorial to reality. Working with the Secretary of State’s office, the Office of the State Fire Marshal, and a nationally recognized sculptor, the committee developed a design concept to transform the site into a Memorial in which the fire service of Illinois would be proud.

The Illinois Firefighter Memorial is dedicated to the firefighters of Illinois, who have given their lives in the line of duty and to those firefighters who heroically serve with courage, pride and honor. The artist was commissioned to design and construct an original bronze work of art consisting of four life-size figures of firefighters in full gear, a child, a ladder and hose.

There are 2,400 red paver bricks which are enclosed by a 2 foot wall with capstones engraved with contributor’s names. It is here, at the Illinois Firefighter Memorial, that we honor those who have made the supreme sacrifice."

Patoka School cooks who make the program work are (l-r) front row: Tammy Adams, Linda Felchlia, Mary Vosholler, and Kristi Beckman. Back row is Superintendent David Rademacher, Rep. Cavaletto, and Ashley Hoffman, U of I Extension.

State Rep. John Cavaletto attended an open house at Patoka School this morning to observe a new school breakfast program. This pilot program called "Breakfast After the Bell" was established with legislation co-sponsored by Rep. Cavaletto, who serves as Republican Spokesperson on the Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing, Administration & Oversight Committee as well as the Appropriations-Elementary & Secondary Education Committee.

"I spent 38 years working in education as a teacher, coach and principal, and I know first-hand the importance of having breakfast and its impact on learning," said Rep. Cavaletto. "Not only is there better academic achievement from students who eat breakfast, but the research shows that there is better cognitive performance and a decrease in behavioral problems," he added.

This program will start in the 2017-2018 school year and will bring an additional $42 million in federal reimbursements to Illinois. The "Breakfast After the Bell" program provides schools the flexibility to choose a delivery model that works for them. Some of the options include Grab 'N' Go (where students can pick up a bag breakfast before or after school and eat in the cafeteria, on their way to class or at their desk), In the Classroom (where school nutrition staff deliver meals to the classroom as the school day begins), and Second Chance (where the meal is served in the hallway or cafeteria after first period).

Some of the community groups supporting this pilot program include the Illinois Parent-Teacher Association, the Central Illinois Foodbank, the YMCA and Catholic Charities.


Rep. Cavaletto and House Colleagues Thursday announced the Administration's agreement to rescind
planned nursing layoffs and to return to the bargaining table on the issue of sub-contracting.

State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem), joined other House Members this morning at a press conference in Springfield to explain that he and his colleagues urged the administration to rescind the layoffs and return to the negotiating table to find a solution to the issue of subcontracting of over 120 nurses positions at Illinois corrections facilities. The administration has agreed, and the layoffs have been rescinded while the negotiations proceed.

“When I heard about the planned layoffs, I immediately urged the Administration to reconsider their decision,” explained Rep. Cavaletto, who has a prison in his district. “Legislators cannot negotiate for either side, but I will continue to urge both sides to negotiate in good faith to find a solution.”

In discussions with the Illinois Nurses Association (INA) on April 20, representatives from the Department of Corrections and the Department of Central Management Services offered several ideas to start discussions on a framework of concepts which would allow the Department to achieve cost savings and operational flexibility without subcontracting the nursing services currently provided by INA-represented employees.

The Vandalia Correctional Center is located in the 107th District represented by Rep. Cavaletto and two other facilities are outside of the district (Centralia Correctional and Big Muddy Correctional) but have constituents employed at these locations.
Hi Everybody:

We have a critical message today for all the people of Illinois.

Our state is at a crossroads. We can either keep going down the path of broken budgets, stopgap spending, higher taxes and disappearing jobs — or we can demand a truly balanced budget, job creation and property tax relief.

Just last week, one Republican senator proposed a balanced budget plan with hard spending caps, job creation, a property tax freeze, term limits and pension reform. His proposal was ignored. Instead, Speaker Madigan’s long-awaited stopgap could be introduced within hours.

Stopgap spending plans do nothing to balance the budget — they don't grow jobs — they don't freeze property taxes — they don’t fix a broken system. They force higher debt and higher taxes down the road. They keep our universities, community colleges and social service agencies on the verge of collapse with no permanent funding to keep their lines of credit intact.

A few months ago, I told you that Speaker Madigan and his majority Democrats would not support a truly balanced budget with the changes we need to create jobs and lower property taxes. And we said we wouldn’t support the Speaker’s tax-hike forcing, stopgap spending without something real and lasting to protect taxpayers — something like a permanent property tax freeze.

That commitment remains steadfast. Instead of focusing on stopgaps that serve the Springfield insiders, we should be coming together to pass real and lasting solutions to our problems — a truly balanced budget, job creation, a property tax freeze, spending caps, term limits and pension reform.

We hope the Speaker’s majority will reconsider. But we cannot accept a Madigan stopgap without a permanent property tax freeze to protect the hard working taxpayers of Illinois.

Bruce Rauner
Governor of Illinois





The 47th Annual Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day (IALD) was held this week on March 30th. The Ag legislative Day brings together farm, agricultural commodity organizations and other diverse agriculture interest groups to the state Capitol during National Agriculture Month to speak to state lawmakers in Springfield. Jointly, they provide baskets filled with agricultural products and specialty lunches for the legislators. This package simply serves to remind lawmakers about the multiple facets agriculture has in the lives of their constituents and the impacts their choices make on the world of Agriculture.

(Top Photo) Greenville FFA: Stephen Zimmerman, Kimberly Lovatto, Skylar Snow, Brooke Krankel, Taylor Snow, Shlebi McCvay, Chad Stearns, JT Thiems, Cole Wall, and Caleb Gaffner.

"I am always impressed with the young leaders in FFA who come to the Capitol to advocate for their program," said Rep. Cavaletto, Republican Spokesperson for the Elementary & Secondary Education Committee and also serves on the Appropriations Committee for Elementary and Secondary Education.

(Bottom Photo) Sandoval FFA: 

Front Row: Cady Williams, Abby Shaffer, Savannah Estes, Hope Beckmann, Jalynn Day, and Mika Taylor. Back Row: Levi Brown, Beth Pennington, Bailee Dykstra, Riley Thompson, Dori Brandt, and Mack Weiss.

This year, IALD hosted a working breakfast for the sponsoring organizations to meet and connect with friends of the ag community. Legislators and their staff received an invite to the have a cup of coffee with agricultural leaders. IALD added a new dimension to their regular program by inviting the majority and minority leaders from the Agriculture and Conservation Committee to address the group.The Illinois Farm Bureau gave a briefing from the Round Table Discussion held earlier in the year. This briefing covered the various issues that were determined as priorities for the current legislative session from the agricultural organizations.

Reaching out to state senators and representatives to communicate the agriculture priorities of the year is the main purpose of the Ag legislative Day. The Illinois FFA President and the Illinois County Fair Queen visit their local legislators, give remarks to the Senate and are recognized by the House of Representatives.

The sponsoring organizations provide the legislators and their secretaries a uniquely packed lunch featuring Illinois products and legislators receive a commodity basket filled with foods and items from the sponsoring organizations. Illinois FFA members and agricultural instructors assemble and deliver these baskets to the legislators.
Marion County's new Coalition Against Drug Use met on Wednesday and was told by Marion County Coroner Troy Cannon that there have already been five deaths in the first two and a half months of the year from confirmed or suspected heroin overdoses.

The group is currently focusing on opioid addiction. After watching a film called "Chasing the Dragon," the moderator opened the floor for questions and comments. Most of the comments centered around the idea of marijuana as a gateway drug and the need to fight against its legalization.

Read the full story from WJBD Radio by clicking here.
The Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts (AISWCD), is a grass roots organization formed in 1948. It is made up and serves Illinois’ 98 member Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). The AISWCD’s board members are representatives from local SWCD’s. Each local District is governed by an elected five member board. Members of each local board represent their district at the Land Use Council (LUC) level. Each of the 16 Council’s elects one Director to the voting body of the AISWCD Board of Directors.
Along with technical assistance the Illinois SWC Districts will help you with developing conservation planning and implementing conservation practices with help from the state and federal agencies.



Pictured (l-r) are Rep. Charlie Meier, Rep. John Cavaletto, and Judy & Tom Beyers from Marion County. The Beyers were in Springfield at the Capitol for Soil & Water Conservation Legislative Day. They are active in the Farm Bureau and sponsors of the 2016 Envirothon Compitition.
Illinois Department of Agriculture Assistant Director, Don Moffit, addresses the Kaskaskia Watershed Assn.


The 17th Annual Kaskaskia Watershed Association (KWA) Summit was held at the mariners Village Conference Center  at Carlyle Lake on Monday. The KWA is a groups of volunteers that works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve watershed issues that includes the five counties in the 107th district of Rep. John Cavaletto, Republican Spokeperson for the House Environment Committee.

The Kaskaskia Watershed Association has been a key partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and now with the Illinois Farm Bureau to address issues concerning water quality and  
water use. Currently, the Farm Bureau is working to reduce nutrient loss from farm run-off that eventually ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. Clinton County farmers are participating in a Nutrient Stewardship Grant program focused on the relationship between cover crops and manure application.

“I am proud of the research work going on in Clinton County with the assistance of Kaskaskia College students to study different cropping systems,” said Rep. John Cavaletto. “This another one of those win-win situations where farmers can save money on the cost of fertilizers by lowering the run-off and the water quality can be improved for use by people down-stream,” he added.

Completed in 2016, the Carlyle Lake Fisheries Habitat Improvement Project received a $20,000
Army Corps of Engineers ‘handshake grant’ to improve fisheries habitat and complement the operation of existing brood pond facilities at the James Hawn Access Area. Other habitat improvements included placement of artificial fish structure, planting of aquatic vegetation, and planting of willow and cypress trees. Partners in the project also included: Alan Crocker (Let’s Talk Fishin’), Bromley Excavating, the McKendree University Bass Fishing Team, The Highland High School Bass Fishing Team, the Carlyle High School Bass Fishing Team, and the Lake Volunteer Association.

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary of the completion of Carlyle Lake that was begun in 1958. There are activities June 9-11, 2017 at the Dam West Recreation Area in Carlyle.




Clinton County Farm Bureau leads the demonstration of nutrients movement through water.

In 1922, just two years after women were given the right to vote, Lottie Holman O'Neill was the first woman elected to the Illinois State legislature.  She continued to serve in the Illinois House and Senate for 40 years.

Two years later, in 1924Florence Fifer Bohrer, daughter of Governor Fifer, was the first woman elected to the Illinois Senate.

Floy Clements of Cook County became the first African-American woman to be elected to the Illinois House in 1958.

Fifty years after the first woman from Illinois was elected to the U.S. House, the first African-American woman was elected to that position. Cardiss Collins became a U.S. Representative in 1973 and served until 1997. In 1979 she became president of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The first woman in a leadership position in the Illinois legislature was Celeste Stiehl who became the first Assistant House Minority Leader in 1975.

Earlene Collins, elected as the first African-American woman to the Illinois Senate in 1977, served until 1999.

In 1985 Adeline Geo-Karis became the first woman to serve as Assistant Majority Leader in the Illinois Senate.

Dawn Clark Netsch was elected as Comptroller in 1990 becoming the first woman to be elected to a constitutional office. Four years later she ran for governor, becoming the first woman in Illinois to be nominated by a major party.

In 1994Carol Mosely-Braun became the first African-American woman in the U.S. Senate.

Also in 1994Judy Baar Topinka was elected State Treasurer, the office she held until she ran for governor in 2006. In 2010 she became Comptroller. Topinka was the first woman to become the Illinois GOP’s nominee for governor, first woman to serve as state Republican chairman and first woman to win two different statewide offices.

After 18 years in the Illinois House, Barbara Flynn Currie became the first woman to become the House Majority Leader in 1997, a position which she continues to hold.

In 1997Sonia Silva became the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the Illinois House.

Corrine Wood served as the state's first woman Lieutenant Governor beginning in 1999.

In 2003, the first Hispanic woman, Iris Y. Martinez, was elected to the Illinois Senate.

And, in 2003Lisa Madigan was the first woman to be elected Attorney General in Illinois.

Debbie DeFrancesco Halvorson became the first woman to hold the position of Senate Majority Leader in 2005.

State Senator Christine Radogno became the state's first woman Caucus Leader, Minority Leader of the Illinois Senate in 2009.

Information from the website of the Illinois Conference of Women Legislators.
In light of the severe storms that came through Illinois last night, this is a reminder that we need to be prepared in case of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) encourages people to stay aware of local forecasts and be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued. The month of March is designated as "Severe Weather Preparedness Month" to remind residents about the resources available in the case of an emergency.

IEMA suggests that people have storm radios on and wireless emergency alerts enabled on their smartphones in case more storms roll through.

Seek shelter immediately if a tornado warning is issued for your area. The best shelter is in a basement or cellar. If an underground shelter is not available, find an interior room or hallway on the lowest level, such as a closet, small interior hallways and bathrooms without windows.

You can download a disaster kit checklist HERE to help you and your family be better prepared.
After years of service as the treasurer of the Illinois Legislative Fire Caucus, State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) has been tapped to Co-Chair the 'Fire Caucus' for the historic 100th General Assembly.

This is a bi-partisan, bicameral group that works with the Illinois Fire Services Association made up of 13 major fire service organizations representing more than 42,000 career and volunteer fighters and EMS (Emergency Management Services) service in rural, suburban and urban areas across Illinois.

"Through this 'Fire Caucus' partnership," explained Rep. Cavaletto, "we join with fire chiefs from around the state to promote good public policy that impacts not only fire protection for Illinois residents, but also impacts the working conditions for our firefighters."

"For those of you familiar with my advisory groups that I have convened over the years, this is the same kind of group, only at a state-wide level," explained Rep. Cavaletto, who also serves as the Republican Spokesperson for the Fire & Emergency Services Committee in the Illinois House.

In addition to an on-going conversation about potential legislation, the Fire Caucus sponsors and annual legislative breakfast at the Capitol for all legislators and governmental affairs professionals interested in fire safety to come together and discuss issues of mutual concern.

The State Journal-Register reports that more than 70 food, beverage and agricultural vendors are expected for the 19th annual Illinois Products Expo at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield this weekend.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Orr Building. Food samples are free, and the $5 admission includes five beverage tastings and a glass of wine. Children 10 and younger are admitted free.

This year's theme is "Taste of Illinois Agriculture," including fresh meats, pizza, sauces, homemade jams and jellies, ice cream, gourmet seasonings, as well as non-food products such as soy candles, soaps and lotions. The Illinois Wine Garden will once again be featuring Illinois wine samples, and sales by the glass and bottle.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture also sponsors the "Buy Illinois Challenge," which asks consumers to spend at least $10 a week on Illinois products.

"The Buy Illinois Challenge is a great tool to generate consumer and business awareness of Illinois-made products," Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe said in a statement.

Poe pointed out that Illinois is the nation's top food-processing state with annual sales of $186 billion. Nearly 2,400 food-processing companies employ approximately 71,000 people in Illinois, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Additional expo information is available at agr.state.il.us/marketing/expo. Additional information on the Buy Illinois Challenge is at agr.state.il.us/marketing/ilprod.

You can hear my comments from the Illinois House Chamber after the joint session today
where Gov. Rauner gave his third budget address since being elected.




You can review the proposed Illinois Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 by clicking HERE.

Historic Vandalia Statehouse - Lincoln served here.
Lincoln Home in Springfield, IL













SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) —

Illinois soon will give visitors a chance to donate online to free-admission historic sites such as Abraham Lincoln's Tomb and the Old State Capitol.

The State Journal-Register reports that such sites have relied on suggested donations from visitors but they haven't had a way to pay online.

The new electronic payment system is expected to be operating in a couple of weeks.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency collected more than $494,000 in donations at 22 historic sites last year.

Ryan Prehn of the agency tells the newspaper that Illinois is behind other nearby states in offering an electronic payment option. He says the online donations will go toward outstanding maintenance. Illinois has gone years without a capital budget for infrastructure improvements.

Thank you to the eleven Walmart stores in the area (Carlyle, Centralia, Godfrey, Highland, Jerseyville,  Litchfield, Mt. Vernon, Pana, Salem, Shelbyville, and Vandalia) who joined forces to raise $3,000 to donate towards the window project at the Historic Vandalia Statehouse where Abraham Lincoln served as a State Representative. This $3,000 will help repair one of the thirty-three windows.

The Vandalia Walmart store manager, Cheryl Pollard, invited the Walmart Regional Market Manager, Cynthia (Cindy) Humerickhouse, to the annual Christmas reception at the Statehouse in December where she learned about the efforts of the Vandalia Historical Society to repair the 33 windows to stop the water damage leaking in through the old windows. Ms. Humerickhouse then brought the idea to her stores in the region to work together because the Vandalia Statehouse is an educational and historical site that attracts visitors from around the country and world. Recently, the Canadian Consulate General visited the Statehouse for a tour while visiting the Patoka Tank Farm in Marion County.

Rep. Cavaletto on the Illinois House Floor.
State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) has been named to seven committees in the Illinois House of Representatives for the 100th General Assembly. Three of those committees he will be the Minority Spokesperson and will serve as the lead Republican. The committees Rep. Cavaletto is assigned to include:

Appropriations – Elementary & Secondary Education

Cost Benefit Analysis

Elementary & Secondary Education: Licensing (Minority Spokesperson)

Energy

Environment (Minority Spokesperson)

Fire & Emergency Services (Minority Spokesperson)

Government Transparency


“I am honored to be assigned to serve on these committees and appointed as spokesperson to three,” said Rep. Cavaletto, who is beginning his fifth term in the Illinois House. “I have also been asked to co-chair the bi-partisan “Fire Caucus” this session which organizes an annual meeting for fire chiefs from around the state to come to the Capitol to discuss public safety ideas and potential legislation,” Cavaletto added.

The Illinois House currently has forty-five standing committees and 11 special committees. If people are interested, they may keep up with activities of the legislature by going to my web page (www.johncavaletto.org) or they may track the status of legislation and watch or listen to live debate by going on-line to the General Assembly web site at www.ilga.gov.

State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) attended the 19th Annual Industry Awards & Installation of Officers for the Home Builders Association of Greater Southwest Illinois. The association was established in 1998 when the HBA of Southwest IL merged with the Home Builders Association of Madison County.

Home Builders Association (HBA) is a professional organization of more than 250 builders, developers, remodeling contractors, specialty trade contractors, and associate members. In order to assist the consumer in new home purchase or home improvement decisions, the HBA provides information about builders, remodelers, developers, and affiliated companies that have agreed to abide by the HBA Code of Ethics, to use accepted professional and business practices, and to meet or exceed local, state and federal standards and regulations.

“When the turnaround in our economy takes off, there will be a need to build more new homes for the new workers in our state as well as a great number of remodels and upgrades to existing homes,” said Rep. Cavaletto. “I applaud the work of the Home Builders Association to set standards and a code of ethics to build quality homes in Illinois,” Cavaletto added.

Jim Heberer with "Coach" Cavaletto.
While waiting to give his remarks, Rep. Cavaletto noticed someone staring at him from across the room. He didn't recognize the man and wasn't sure what to expect when the man approached him after he'd made his comments.

"I wasn't sure what to expect when this guy came up to me and said I KNEW IT WAS YOU!, Rep. Cavaletto, described jokingly. "It was a former high school basketball player from Mascoutah Community High School who took the final shot in a game against my team at the time, Mater Dei Catholic High school in Breese. That potential winning shot missed, Mater Dei won the game, and went on to the Illinois State Tournament where we finished 4th in the state in 1974," remembers "Coach" Cavaletto.

The former basketball player was Jim Heberer who now is the Residential Loan Officer at Associated Bank in Fairview Heights.

"I've always felt that playing team sports like basketball teaches young people communication and leadership skills that they will use for the rest of their lives," added "Coach" Cavaletto. "Jim is a prime example of how he uses that skill set to help people realize the American Dream of home ownership in our area," concluded Cavaletto.
Anna Oestreich is retiring after 34 years as executive director of the Bond County Senior Center. Oestreich worked through the end of December, then Jill Jones became the acting director in January 2017. A transition team, which includes staff members, has been formed. Oestreich notes that nothing will change as far as services to the public. Read the full story at WGEL 101.7 FM Daily News or in the Dec 1st issue of the Greenville Advocate newspaper. [CLICK HERE to read full text]

On Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m., Rep. Cavaletto joined the Retirement Open House for Anna and presented her with a certificate of appreciation for her many years of service to the Bond County Senior Center located in Greenville, Illinois.
The service for the 2016 tax filing season, to be offered by tax assistance centers across Illinois in cooperation with the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), is targeted towards families with incomes up to $55,000 and individuals with incomes up to $30,000. The service offices will help Illinois residents fill out and sign their forms in advance of the tax filing deadline of April 18, 2017, but eligible Illinois residents are urged to come in as soon as possible.

People whose incomes make them potentially eligible for this benefit can find the tax assistance centers that offer this free service. They should visit this website and enter their zip code to find a center close to where they live. This service is being targeted towards individuals and households that are potentially eligible for federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs).
Dear Employees:

By now you've heard the shocking news that Attorney General Lisa Madigan went into court late yesterday to petition a judge to halt state employee pay.

It's disappointing to see any move to stop employee pay and disrupt government services, especially now as the Senate is on the verge of a bipartisan agreement to enact a balanced budget with changes to create jobs and lower property taxes. The Attorney General's court filing seeks to directly harm thousands of employee families and even more who rely on your hard work every day.

Our Administration will use all available legal options to continue employee pay and avoid any disruption to government services. I am hopeful Comptroller Mendoza will stand with state employees - just as Comptroller Munger did previously - and support our legal arguments to continue employee pay.

No matter what, we will work tirelessly on your behalf to stop this attempt to undermine good-faith bipartisan negotiations in the Senate - ensuring employee pay continues, government services remain intact and the General Assembly enacts a bipartisan balanced budget with changes to our broken system.

Sincerely,

Governor Bruce Rauner




(You can read more on this subject by clicking HERE to link ot the Chicago Sun-Times article.)
State Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) joined his colleagues in the House and Senate on Wednesday to listen to Governor Bruce Rauner give his third ‘State of the State’ address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly.

“I continue to be encouraged by the governor’s long-term goals to change the broken system in Illinois to one that encourages businesses to stay and re-locate to Illinois to create jobs,” said Rep. Cavaletto. “I agree with the governor that improving transportation is critical to our goal of growing more jobs across the state; like the I-57/70 corridor expansion in Effingham,” added Cavaletto.

One excerpt from the Governor’s speech:

“Our state’s economy could take off like a rocket ship if we could just come together on major pro-jobs changes that need legislation to take effect. Lawmakers from both parties deserve credit for working for many months to find ways to reduce regulatory costs and property tax burdens that make businesses in Illinois less competitive than our neighbors. Hopefully we can build upon these initial proposals to ensure they drive big results on job creation. And hopefully we can work together to cut the red tape even more – reducing filing fees and costly licensing barriers that prevent hard-working Illinoisans from qualifying for good, high-paying jobs.”

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft a balanced budget that respects the taxpayers of my district and this state and not spend more than we have,” concluded. Rep. Cavaletto
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois hunters harvested about 11,000 fewer deer during the recent hunting seasons as compared to past seasons.

The Illinois Departmen of Natural Resources numbers show hunters harvested a preliminary total of 144,150 deer during the 2016-2017 seasons, including archery, youth, firearm, muzzleloader and other seasons. That number was 155,229 during the 2015-2016 seasons. Increases were seen in the youth and muzzleloader-only deer seasons. And although the archery and traditional firearm seasons had the most deer taken, the numbers were below last year’s harvests.

State officials say 44 percent of the deer taken were does and 56 percent were males.

Fulton County had the most deer taken with a harvest of 4,014 for the seasons.

Today at 12:00 noon, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his third 'State of the State' address to a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly. You may watch or listen live from your home or office by clicking here.
Every winter, Illinois presents visitors with the opportunity to see more than 3,100 bald eagles in their natural habitat - more wintering American bald eagles, in fact, than in any other state outside Alaska. The first eagles of the season are spotted in Illinois in December and remain in residence until they migrate back north in March, with January and February the optimal time for visitors to see eagles.

To accommodate visitors who want to take advantage of the opportunity to experience the bald eagles' majesty and glory, towns and parks across much of the state will host specially planned eagle observation programs and exhibits throughout the prime-viewing season. For anyone interested in American history, bird-watching and the environment, bald eagle season in Illinois is a not-to-be-missed opportunity.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is pleased to highlight a number of eagle-watching locations and events planned for this winter:

Carlyle Lake Eagle Watch
January 28 (9:00-1:00)
  • Case-Halstead Library
  • The World Bird Sanctuary will present a Bald Eagle demonstration at 10:00 & 12:00
  • Eagle viewing from Carlyle Lake Main Dam, bring binoculars & dress accordingly for the weather.
  • For more information; http://carlylelake.com/eagle-watch-event/, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Carlyle Lake Project Office (618) 594-2484 or email carlylelake@usace.army.mil
State Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) today called on Comptroller Susana Mendoza to release more than $1.1 million in Medicaid payments for the Fayette County Hospital and an additional $130 thousand in Medicaid payments for their Long Term Care facility.

“I’m the first person to say you can’t spend money you don’t have, but these payments are required to be made by order of the court, the money is there, so there is no reason to hold up paying these bills to Fayette County Hospital,” said Rep. Cavaletto.

The hospital employs 320 individuals and is the 2nd largest employer in Fayette County.

As of today the Comptroller has more than $369 million on hand that can be used to pay back bills.





In Illinois, 211 counts of falsification were filed. Additionally, those defendants have been ordered to pay more than $65,000 in restitution and fines, and 21 years of hunting privilege have been revoked.



INDIANAPOLIS — A multi-state investigation into hunting license and permit fraud resulted in more than $85,000 in fines and restitution, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of National Resources.

The investigation was conducted by Indiana Conservation Officers and Illinois Conservation Police, beginning in early 2015 extending through 2016.

Sgt. David Hyatt, Illinois Conservation Police, said "operation double dip" investigated individuals who falsely claimed living in Indiana and Illinois as a way to purchase hunting licenses and deer permits at a cheaper rate.

Both Indiana and Illinois law states, “No person may claim residency in more than one state at the same time for the purpose of purchasing resident hunting or fishing licenses.”

Indiana has recorded an estimated 57 defendants because of this investigation; however, the majority of cases are still pending and final amount of charges has not been determined. Currently, more than $20,500 in restitution has been ordered and 12 years of hunting privileges have been revoked, according to the release.

“Conservation Law Enforcement is an important component in the protection and continual improvement of our state’s natural resources,” said Col. Danny L. East, Indiana DNR Law Enforcement Division director. “The cooperative efforts of both Indiana and Illinois law enforcement divisions were vital to the success of this case.”

In Illinois, 211 counts of falsification were filed. Additionally, those defendants have been ordered to pay more than $65,000 in restitution and fines, and 21 years of hunting privilege have been revoked.
The National Resource Directory, a website that provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels, unveiled an updated design and layout this week. The updates were implemented to make the site more user- friendly for the thousands of service members, veterans and family members who use the Directory each month.

“The National Resource Directory has been an invaluable collection of resources for our service members, veterans and their families,” said James Rodriguez, deputy assistant secretary of defense, Office of Warrior Care Policy. “Improving the site and expanding its capabilities was an easy decision.”

Enhancements to the Directory include a refreshed appearance, updated search engine, and behind the scenes software updates that will improve the speed and accuracy of managing the programs and services listed.

Try the new website yourself by going to www.nrd.gov and let us know what you think on social media through Facebook or Twitter.NRD Screenshot
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner kicked off planning for the state’s 200th birthday Thursday by unveiling the bicentennial logo at the historic Old State Capitol in Springfield, where Abraham Lincoln once served in the Legislature.

Rauner showed off the gold-and-blue symbol with its designer at the first meeting of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, which was formed to organize the festivities in 2018.
“We reflect virtually every aspect of America,” he said. “We are a crossroads of the nation.”

Illinois' bicentennial logo was designed and donated by Ben Olson of the Schaumburg-based public relations firm 3 Monkeys and an Aardvark Studios.

Rep. Cavaletto encourages anyone who has ideas for local activities and programs, please contact our historical organizations:
Governor Bruce Rauner today announced on his Facebook page #GovClassroomVisit for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, encouraging classrooms to submit videos showcasing what they’re learning and how. The videos can focus on anything from computer or technology projects to hands-on assignments and everything in between. They should center around the unique ways Illinois students are learning either inside or outside of their classrooms. The governor plans to do a Learning Tour and visit several schools throughout the state to highlight the hard work and creativity of teachers and students. These video submissions will determine where he goes to learn first.

“I get requests to visit schools both in person and on my social media pages, and I thought a Learning Tour would be a fun way to connect with the students of Illinois,” Governor Rauner said. “We all need to put children and education first. It’s the most important thing we can do as a community.”

Entries should be no longer than 5 minutes in length. #GovClassroomVisit submissions will be taken from January 12, 2017, through February 10, 2017, at 5 p.m. Three finalists will be selected. Those finalists will be posted to the governor’s Facebook page, and the people of Illinois will be able to cast their vote to determine which school the governor visits first.
Cavaletto listens to Republican Leader Jim Durkin's plan forward.
On Wednesday, Rep. John Cavaletto (R-Salem) was sworn in to serve his fifth term in the Illinois House of Representatives. The ceremonies took place at the Sangamon Auditorium at the University of Illinois at Springfield. The representative was joined by his wife Connie and two of his sons as well as local elected officials from the Marion County Board and staff and friends.

“I am eager to continue the fight to turn around the economy in Illinois and my district to create jobs,” said Cavaletto. “With the governor leading the fight, I am hopeful we in the legislature can help craft a balanced budget with reforms that he can sign and we can begin to attract business back to Illinois.”

Constituents can contact Rep. Cavaletto through this on-line web blog to keep updated on the activities of the legislature and log in to watch committee hearings and legislative sessions at www.ilga.gov.
State Representative John Cavaletto (R - Salem) has issued information on several new laws for 2017. Cavaletto is an avid bird hunter and member of the Downstate Sportsman’s Caucus and outlined the laws that took effect January 1st that will have an impact on hunting, fishing and trap shooting in Illinois.
“It is important to educate the public about new laws that effect sportsmen and sportswomen in Illinois,” Cavaletto said. “With 191 new laws taking effect on January 1st, the hunters, fisherman, and trap shooters of Illinois should know how these new laws will affect them.”
Permitting bow-fishing for catfish Public Act 99-867, House Bill 5788
Bow-fishing is the practice of taking a fish with a spear or a bow and arrow. The existing Illinois law limits the kinds of fish that can be taken through bow-fishing. HB 5788 added catfish to the Fish Code list of fish that can be taken with sharp weaponry.

No catch limits on private fish ponds - Public Act 99-532, House Bill 5796
Illinois law limits the number of fish a person with a fishing license can legally catch in a 24 hour period. House Bill 5796 creates an exception for people fishing on fish ponds located on their own private property.

Youth Trapping Licenses - Public Act 99-868, Senate Bill 2410
Persons under the age of 18 may apply for a Youth Trapping License, which will grant to them limited trapping privileges. In order to trap or carry a hunting device, the youth must be accompanied by a parent, grandparent or guardian over 21 who has a valid Illinois hunting license.

Agriculture Education Teacher Grant Program Public Act 99-826, Senate Bill 2975
A school district may apply for a grant to fund 50% of the personal services cost for an agriculture education teacher, or if the school is creating a new agriculture education program, 100% of the cost in the first two years and 80% in the third and fourth years. This new act is subject to appropriation.

Landowner hunting permit procedures  - Public Act 99-869, Senate Bill 3003
Amending the Wildlife Code, SB 3003 allows owners and resident tenants who control 40 or more acres of land in Illinois to apply for and receive without fee deer permits, turkey permits or a combination deer/turkey permit. The law also applies to members of hunting clubs, partnerships or cooperatives if the group owns the land in question.

To learn more about sporting activities and sign up for tournaments, click here to connect to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) has announced that seven community college districts, including Kaskaskia College, will receive emergency funding. Other community colleges receiving the funding include Illinois Eastern Community Colleges, Lake Land College, John A. Logan College, Rend Lake College, Shawnee Community College, and Southeastern Community College.

A total of $3 million will be distributed equally among the seven districts, with each district set to receive $428,571.42 in financial support for essential operations. The districts were selected based on criteria established by the board during a special meeting on December 7, 2016. The criteria was formulated on the assumption that districts with the least amount of local property tax funding will have the hardest time operating without State funding. Colleges meeting this criterion were also required to demonstrate evidence of measures taken to reduce expenditures that required a reduction in staff and programs. (Read the full article at WGEL Radio by clicking here.)