The highlight of the week in Springfield was supposed to be the governor’s Budget Address, but coverage of that speech was Trumped as news broke Tuesday morning that the President would be commuting the sentence of disgraced former Governor and convicted felon Rod Blagojevich.
The resulting 24-hour news cycle after Blagojevich was released was certainly something to behold. I was a prosecutor for 14 years, and one of the items I considered when I recommend a prison sentence in certain cases was whether the offender took ownership and expressed remorse for their crimes. Despite being convicted of 17 different counts, Blagojevich has steadily maintained that he did nothing wrong, even calling himself a ‘freed political prisoner’ during a bizarre press conference in front of his Chicago home. I can only hope that the media’s love affair with him will soon fade. Rod disgraced the office, ruined Illinois’ finances, and was only really ever worried about himself and using his office for personal gain.
Rod Blagojevich’s crimes as Governor were serious, and I believe the punishment he was given was warranted. President Trump’s Justice Department has done yeoman’s work to find and stop corrupt politicians currently serving in Illinois. I am hopeful that their work will continue despite this setback for ethics reform for Illinois.
Budget Address Reaction
METROPOLIS – State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) was appointed to serve on a state panel that will review and hear challenges to the recent appointment of Eva-Dina Delgado to the House of Representatives. Delgado was selected to fill the vacancy of State Representative Luis Arroyo. Arroyo resigned late last year amidst an ethics scandal tied to a wide-spread federal corruption investigation. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and House Democrat Anne Stava-Murray both filed official challenges to Delgado’s appointment.
Representative Windhorst will serve on the bipartisan committee with Republican State Representatives John Cabello, Avery Bourne, and Blaine Wilhour, and Democrat State Representatives Emanuel Chris Welch (chair), Kelly Burke, John Connor, Fred Crespo and LaToya Greenwood. The group will meet for the first time on Tuesday, February 25 to establish the procedure and rules for the challenge process.
“As a member of the qualifications challenge committee, I’ll be reviewing evidence and listening to testimony regarding Rep. Delgado’s recent appointment,” Rep. Windhorst said. “The public needs to have confidence that the appointment of the new representative was conducted appropriately and according to the law.”
State Fire Marshal Opens Small Equipment Grant Applications
Springfield, Ill – The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) today announced the application period is open for the Small Equipment Grant Program. All interested departments should send an application to OSFM no later than February 29, 2020. OSFM will award $3.5 million to eligible fire departments and ambulance services during this application period.
The Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants of up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. This program is an innovative approach to a problem that has long caused difficulties for the fire departments and not-for profit ambulance services in Illinois, particularly those that have hardships in generating the necessary revenue for small equipment. The purpose is to allow eligible applicants the opportunity to purchase small equipment that they may otherwise not be able to purchase. Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments are eligible to apply. In addition, stand-alone, not-for-profit ambulance service providers are eligible to apply.
Fire department, fire protection districts and township fire department applicants are required to have participated in the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of two years prior to applying.
Additional information including the application can be found
Completed applications should be submitted to:
Office of the State Fire Marshal Small Equipment Grant Program
1035 Stevenson Drive
Springfield, IL 62703
My office in Harrisburg is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. You can reach me any time by calling 618-294-8703 or contact me via my website at www.ilhousegop.org/contactwindhorst or by emailing Windhorst@ILHouseGOP.org
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