On January 1st, 191 new laws go into effect in Illinois. One is a law sponsored by Representative John Cavaletto on behalf of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to promote economic growth in Illinois with the expansion of hunting of game birds. One bill passed during the ‘Veto Session’ in November to help Sandoval School District 501 in November awaits the governor’s signature.

“I only introduce legislation brought to me by constituents. I call it the ‘Lincoln Policy’ because that was Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy when he was a state representative in the Illinois House of Representatives,” said Rep. Cavaletto. “There are plenty of laws on the books already and we should only pass more laws if absolutely necessary. The most important bill we should be working on is a balanced budget,” added Cavaletto who serves on the Appropriations – Public Safety Committee.

Over this 99th General Assembly (2015-2016) Rep. Cavaletto was the Chief sponsor of 28 bills and Co-sponsor of 50 more. Of the 28 Chief bills, the four that became law included the Animal Disease Lab building transfer to Kaskaskia College to benefit the Agriculture Education programs; a change in the teacher licensing guidelines to help Centralia High School’s vocational education program; and a debt limitation bill to benefit Sandoval School District’s ability to build new school facilities already approved by the local residents. The bill awaiting the Governor’s signature includes language to extend the deadline on selling bonds for the Sandoval school project by 5 years to 2022.

Rep. Cavaletto also sponsored ten House Resolutions honoring people of distinction like Dr. Bingham of Effingham and communities and groups in the 107th district like Greenville’s Bicentennial, Salem’s 150th Anniversary on becoming incorporated as a city, and The Abraham Lincoln Presenters Convention in Vandalia in 2015.

Several bills introduced to help clarify grandparents’ rights who are raising grandchildren and other bills to fight waste, fraud and abuse by putting a photo on LINK cards never made it out of committee for votes by the House. The Representative plans to keep fighting for these issues and reintroduce the same or similar legislation in the 100th General Assembly to begin January 11th.

“My priority continues to be creating good paying jobs for our area so there are more tax payers instead of raising taxes on those who are already stretched to the limits,” Cavaletto added.

Learn more about the 26 laws that may be of interest to you by clicking HERE.

Read Michael Lucci's article for Illinois Policy by clicking HERE.
Seed Solutions partnered with Linco Precision to host the Planter Technology Institute late last week. The Institute is a mobile, climate controlled expandable trailer with a video wall and demonstration units.

Brian Zeeb, of Seed Solutions, told WGEL the goal of the program was to help farmers plant a good crop and ensure good seed-to-soil contact to boost yields through the growing season. Mr. Zeeb said we can expect continued advancements in farming technology and more high tech educational tools like the Planter Technology Institute. He said there will be 9 billion people by the year 2050. He said farmers across the Midwest, the state of Illinois, and here in Bond county will have to utilize technology to feed that population.

(Learn more at WGEL Radio's web site by clicking HERE.)
Morgan Mulvany and Paul Polanski accept the Illinois House
Certificate at my district office in Salem on December 19, 2016.

"In recognition of receiving the 'Silver Award' under the National Quality Awards sponsored by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living"

Founded in 2004, SSC Odin Operating Company LLC is a mid-sized organization in the skilled nursing care facilities industry with 99 beds located in Odin, IL. It has 150 full time employees and participates in Medicare and Medicaid.
Abuse of the elderly and adults with disabilities is the least recognized form of family violence. The fiscal year 2014 Annual Report covering July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014 there were 14,371 reports of abut received by the program (including 2,607 reports involving adults with disability age 18-59).

To report suspected abuse, financial exploitation or neglect of an older person or a person with disabilities age 18-59 call the statewide, 24-hour Adult Protective Services Hotline: 1-866-800-1409,
1-888-206-1327 (TTY).

For residents who live in nursing facilities, call the Illinois Department of Public Health's Nursing Home Complaint Hotline: 1-800-252-4343.

For residents who live in Supportive Living Facilities (SLFs), call the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services' SLF Complaint Hotline: 1-800-226-0768.

Abuse takes many forms, and in most cases victims are subjected to more than one type of mistreatment. In Illinois, 54% of adult abuse reports allege financial exploitation; approximately 23% allege physical abuse; 52% allege active or passive neglect; and 43% allege emotional abuse.
Physical Abuse – causing the infliction of physical pain or injury to an older person.

To learn more about identifying abuse and helping those around you, click here to connect to the Illinois Department on Aging.
Pre-Drill Briefing with Illinois State Police
As part of a two-day mock terrorism scenario held in Salem December 7 & 8, State Representative John Cavaletto was asked to serve as the "dignitary official" who traveled around town simulating a typical day's schedule of meetings and unexpected stops that included the Salem Fire Station, a local business and then the Salem Community High School for a mock assembly in the gymnasium.

This "State Counter Terrorism Scenario" was planned and coordinated by the Illinois Terrorism Task Force of the Illinois State Police with federal funding from the Department of Homeland Security. More than 300 state, local, and federal law enforcement, fire, EMS (emergency medical services) and paramedic personnel participate in the multiple drills. Only two drills are conducted each year around the state, one up north and one in southern Illinois.

The Counter-Terrorism Simulation begins...
"We hope we never have to utilize this magnitude of emergency personnel for any kind of terrorist situation, but it's just like when we do fire drills and tornado drills to keep our students safe and get them out of harms way as quickly as we can," commented Rep. John Cavaletto, Minority Spokesperson of the Public Safety Appropriations Committee in the Illinois House of Representatives. "I want to thank all of the students and school personnel who helped to make this counter terrorism drill a success and thank you to all of the Illinois State Police and first responder personnel from Salem and surrounding communities for all of your help and professionalism needed to make something of this magnitude work," Cavaletto added.
Mock motorcade en route to various locations around Salem, IL.

First stop of the motorcade was the Salem Fire Department.
Students evacuate the gymnasium after mock explosions.

Motorcade with 'dignitary & staff'' leaves the mock explosion site.

Emergency personnel coordinate safe evacuation of students & staff.

"Training Exercise In Progress" at Salem Community High School

The Salem Community Activities Center served as 'Central Command'

“Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we're curious...and curiosity keeps leading us down prednisone new paths.” --Walt Disney

Find out more and register to participate by clicking here.
The Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS) was awarded two projects totaling $10.1 million Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the Department's CarbonSAFE R&D program to develop technologies to mitigate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Including cost share, total funding for the two projects is more than $12.6 million.

ISGS, a division of the Prairie Research Institute (PRI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was awarded funds to evaluate the feasibility of commercial-scale (50+ million metric tons) geological storage of industrially sourced CO2 ($8.9 million). This project builds on the internationally recognized project of the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium (led by ISGS) to store one million tons of this greenhouse gas in the Mt. Simon Formation 7,000 feet beneath the Archer Daniels Midland facility in Decatur, Ill. (Learn more about the impact of these studies by clicking HERE.)
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and honor the men and women who died there with a ceremony in Springfield.

The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs says the event is scheduled for Wednesday at the Disabled American Veterans Hall. It will include the reading of a proclamation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner and a wreath laying in the waters of Lake Springfield.

The Sangamon County Inter-veteran Honor Guard also will play “Taps.”

More than 2,300 U.S. service members died when Japanese planes struck the naval base in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. The attack propelled the U.S. into World War II.