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Update from the Capitol 8/6/2018

Monday, August 06, 2018 - Posted 12:31:44 PM by Rep. Tom Bennett
As always, you can contact me via webform at, or by phone at (815) 844-9179 (Pontiac) or (815) 432-0106 (Watseka). Thank you for the honor of serving as our district's representative in Springfield.

Governor Signs Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission bill into law

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation on Tuesday creating the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission. I was an active co-sponsor of the legislation, appropriately numbered House Bill 66.

The commission will develop plans for celebrating the famous road's 100th anniversary in 2026. Route 66 put Illinois on the national numbered highway network map in the late 1920s as the state became the first to pave the entirety of its share. The creation of the Route 66 Centennial Commission is exciting news for the Livingston County region, as we are the proud home of the Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame & Museum in Pontiac.

Supporting local 4-H at Livingston, Iroquois County Fair livestock auctions

I enjoyed attending the county fairs in Livingston and Iroquois Counties again this year. Helped 4-H by bidding on livestock auctions. Always impressed by our local students and the great job they do as part of 4-H!

Focus on manufacturing in the 106th District

Thank you Adam Dontz, CEO of GLCDEC, for helping us set up a meeting with Mark and Don Slagel about challenges they encounter running their manufacturing facility near Forrest. Property taxes, worker's comp, qualified workers, etc. I also appreciate the things Prairie Central is doing to help young workers and business come together. Great conversations!

Free Senior Fair coming up on August 15

I will be hosting my annual free senior fair on Wednesday August 15 at the Pontiac Rec Center, located at 900 N. Elm Street in Pontiac. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. I am pleased to have the Pontiac Area Chamber, Health Alliance and the Pontiac Parks and Recreation as partners in putting on this event.

We will have health screenings and information on services available to seniors in the area. The event will also feature refreshments and door prizes. For more information, please contact my Pontiac office at (815) 844-9179. I hope to see you there!

How much do we owe?

As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $7.69 billion in unpaid bills to state vendors. This figure represents the amount of bills submitted to the office of the Comptroller and still awaiting payment. It does not include debts that can only be estimated, such as our unfunded pension liability which is subject to a wide range of factors and has been estimated to be approximately $130 billion.

Field Day at Vermilion County Farm

Thank you to Lisa Leigh of the Vermilion County Soil & Water Conservation District for the invitation to the Strip-Till and Cover Crop Seeding Field Day at Dave and Amy Olson's farm in Vermilion County. Good chance to learn about best management practices for soil health. Great weather and nice turnout. Thanks again!

Visit to the Illinois Fire Institute in Champaign

Thank you for the invitation to visit the Illinois Fire Service Institute to see how our firefighters across Illinois are trained to deal with a number of different situations; from fighting building fires, car and bus crashes, bridge collapses and a host of other challenges. This is truly a remarkable facility in Champaign. Many have been trained here. This is for both full-time and volunteer firefighters.

Did You Know?

With August arriving, it is only a few weeks until our local high school sports teams will be back in action. According to the 2005 book Why Mascots Have Tales; The Illinois High School Mascot Manual by Fred Willman, the most common high school mascot in Illinois is the Eagle, with 43 different schools throughout the state known as the Eagles, Golden Eagles, Mighty Eagles or Screeching Eagles.