Update from the Desk of Rep. Halbrook

Last Week of Veto Session In The Books

Illinois General Assembly concludes Fall Veto Session.Week two of the Fall Veto Session was characterized more by what the Democratic Supermajority failed to deliver instead of what they did deliver.

Heartbreaking: Invest in Kids Program Ending

Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch refused to call the Invest in Kids renewal legislation for a vote, essentially killing the popular program that helps underprivileged students throughout Illinois.

Resolution To Put Prayer Chapel Back Into Capitol

House Resolution HR 495 has been introduced by the Illinois Legislative Prayer Caucus (ILPC) to reinstate a prayer room in the Illinois State Capitol. Unfortunately, during a 2009-2013 renovation of the West Wing of the Capitol, the nondenominational chapel was transformed into a House committee room. So far it has 16 both Republican and Democrat Co-Sponsors.

I am the Chairman of the ILPC and I filed the resolution stating, “Prayer was a vital part of the founding fathers’ lives as they sought the direction, protection and wisdom of God. Our great need of God’s help today is no different…”

Delbra Pratt, State Director of the Illinois Prayer Caucus Network, added “President Lincoln has been quoted as having said, ‘I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.’ “

Citizens who support the reinstatement of a prayer room in the Illinois State Capitol building can add their names to a growing list by visiting the website of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation at https://cpcfoundation.com/keep-faith-in-illinois/.

Decades Long Ban on Nuclear Moratoriums Lifted

With growing support for both nuclear power and other forms of so-called ‘green” energy, structures that generate electricity without releasing carbon dioxide, this ban or moratorium has come to be seen by some as obsolescent. Advocates point to the recent moves in research and development toward the operation of smaller, so-called “modular” nuclear-power plants. These are plants, designed under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), that can generate up to 300 megawatts of power. This is less than one-third of the size of the current operating nuclear reactors of Central and Northern Illinois, which generate electric power and operate in locations such as Braidwood and Byron.

These small modular reactor (SMR) plants can be designed so they do not get hot enough to create a major nuclear meltdown, such as the events familiar worldwide at Chernobyl and Fukushima. In addition, a modular nuclear power plant is said to generate less radioactive waste, and in particular, they are said to generate much less high-level waste, than is generated by the same level of electricity produced by a traditional nuclear power plant. New legislation, HB 2473, authorizes the construction of new modular reactors in Illinois, with power outputs up to 300 MW, starting in calendar year 2026. The owners of the proposed new modular reactors that are authorized by this bill will have to have plans in place for reactor decommissioning, environmental monitoring, and emergency preparedness. The bill does not contain language authorizing the construction of full-size nuclear reactors in Illinois.

The House vote on HB 2473 was 98-8-0. The bill was approved on Thursday, November 9.

Right of First Refusal Put On Back Burner

Another hotly contested energy bill in the Illinois General Assembly involved the construction of power lines. Pritzker issued an amendatory veto to a bill that would have granted downstate utilities the right of first refusal for such projects. Sponsors said they were abandoning their efforts for now and hope to bring back the right of first refusal bill in the spring.

Other elements of that vetoed measure were approved in a separate bill by the legislature before they adjourned Thursday. Among those provisions were efforts to expand solar projects on schools, authorizations for studies related to offshore wind, energy storage and a high voltage underground transitions line, among other issues.

Post Veto Session Town Halls Coming Up

There are two remaining town halls scheduled to fill you in on what happened and didn’t happen during Veto Session. We hope you can join one of them!

– Monday, November 20th 7:00pm-8:30pm @ Effingham City Hall, 201 E Jefferson Ave.– Tuesday, November 21st 7:00pm-8:30pm @ US Army Corps of Engineers Lake Shelbyville Visitors Center, 1989 IL-16

My Office Can Help

As your state representative, my office is available to assist you with any issues you may have when interacting with a state agency. Please call our office to get help or schedule an appointment to see me. Or contact me at Halbrook@ilhousegop.org. Find more information and events on my website www.rephalbrook.com.

Shelbyville Office: 203 N Cedar St. Shelbyville 62565 217-774-1306Effingham Office: 304 E Jefferson Ave, Suite A Effingham 62401 217-342-0220