Beware the Ides of March! It is March 15, 2019 and there is much to talk about after a busy week in Springfield. This week Committees were busily sending items to the House Floor where a few heated debates took place and some controversial bills were sent to the Senate.
I am also proud to have partnered with Rep. Terri Bryant to sponsor legislation creating a task force to study the feasibility, cost, and impact of reopening the minimum security facility at Tamms Correctional Center.
Finally, you’re invited to a March for Life rally at the State Capitol in Springfield on March 20th at 1:30 p.m. We’ve got all you need to know about the Pro-Life rally in this week’s edition of the Windhorst Weekly.
LGBTQ School Curriculum and Equal Pay Bills Advance Over Strong Objections
HB 246 says that in public the teaching of history of the United States shall include a study of the roles and contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the history of the country and the State. I voted NO.
HB 345 stipulates that individuals must be 21 or older to purchase tobacco and e-cigarette products in Illinois. The 118th district is neighbors to both Kentucky and Missouri, states with decidedly lower tobacco taxes. This measure will likely result in even more Illinoisans taking their business across state lines to purchase tobacco products, which will ultimately mean less tax revenue for the State of Illinois. The legislation also removed any penalties for underage smoking, which I found to be absurd and will likely only lead to more eunderage smoking, which the law was designed to prevent.
The legislation passed the House and Senate and now heads to the Governor’s desk. I voted NO.
Springfield….State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) joined forces in Springfield this week to pass legislation that creates a Task Force to study the reopening and repurposing of the shuttered Tamms Correctional Center.
Bryant was the chief sponsor of HB 210, and Windhorst served as chief co-sponsor of the measure.
“Reopening and repurposing the Minimum Security facility in Tamms would be helpful in reducing our crowded prison population, and would provide badly needed, good paying jobs for Southern Illinoisans,” Bryant said. “I have worked very hard to get this legislation to move beyond the Committee process. I have been a strong advocate for reopening the Minimum Security facility in Tamms since before I started running for office. There are very powerful forces that closed the supermax, and I want everyone to know that this Task Force will not be studying reopening the supermax.”
“I’m hoping that my colleagues will see how well the Murphysboro reopening and repurposing has gone, and that the Task Force would look deep into the economic impact that Tamms had on the area when it was up and running as a supermax, and the economic impact to the entire region since the facility was closed,” Bryant said.
Rep. Windhorst says that the Tamms Minimum Security Task Force will be made up of 2 members of the House and Senate, the Director of Corrections, a representative of AFSCME, an appointee of the President of Shawnee Community College, an appointee of the President of Southern Illinois University, the Mayor of Tamms, and a member of the Alexander County board.
“The goal of the task force will be to study the regional impact that the facility closures had on Southern Illinois, and to study the feasibility of reopening the shuttered minimum-security facility,” Windhorst said. “Reopening Tamms’ minimum-security facility could help alleviate overcrowding, make our correctional officers safer, and provide good paying jobs to an area that has been economically devastated.”
Having earned unanimous committee support on Wednesday night, HB 210 moves to the House floor for consideration.
Pro Life Rally Coming to Springfield on March 20
Another way you can show your support for the sanctity and innocence of babies in the womb is to march on Springfield with fellow pro-life believers on Wednesday March 20th. A pro-life rally will take place at 1:30 in the State Capitol rotunda.