From Quad-City Times, June 29, 2018
by Sarah Ritter, Quad-City Times

Exelon officials celebrated a new $7 million Professional Learning Center expansion in Cordova, two years after it was announced the power station would close.

"If you step back, in an alternate universe, in a place where we didn't take action, this plant already would be no more," Site Vice President Ken Ohr said. "Instead we're with all the folks here after having the success that was incredible in the making in the state of Illinois, and the hard work of all of our employees to keep the lights on. (That's) combined with the citizens of the Quad-Cities, the Chamber and legislators on both sides of the aisle." Read more here.



Illinois State Representative Tony McCombie (R), left, tours a computer lab in the new 36,000-square foot addition to the Professional Learning Center at the Exelon Quad-Cities Generating Station Cordova Friday, June 29, 2018.


State Rep. Tony McCombie and State Sen. Neil Anderson are announcing a community-wide effort to feature Hero Street in Silvis on a new U.S. postage stamp.
While just a block and a half long, Second Street (Hero Street) in Silvis is the home of more than 100 men and women who served in the U.S. Military. There is no other street of similar size in the country that has contributed as many men and women in service to our country. Of the more than 100 men and women who served, eight were killed in action, either during World War II or the Korean War.
Joining them were Maria Mier Llaca, a board member from the Greater Quad Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Community Affairs Chairperson for the League of United Latin American Citizens Council 10, Augustine Ruiz from the U.S. Postal Service, and family members of loved ones who lived on Second Street. Leaders from local veterans organizations and Latino organizations were also in attendance.
Learn more: http://www.kwqc.com/content/news/Anderson-Latino-leaders-announce-effort-to-feature-Hero-Street-in-Silvis-on-new-postage-stamp-486492611.html 

Funding will foster future of Illinois agriculture

SPRINGFIELD (June 15, 2018) – Gov. Bruce Rauner joined the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture Raymond Poe, local officials, and the Stremsterfer family at Stremsterfer Farms in Pleasant Plains today to announce the release of $16M in agriculture grants. The funds being released from the fiscal year 2018 budget will fund soil & water districts, county fairs and agriculture societies, and the University of Illinois Extension services.

“These three entities provide services that are vital for the future of Illinois agriculture,” Rauner said. “From protecting our farmland for future generations to fostering agriculture careers and educating consumers, these organizations support Illinois agriculture, the backbone of our state’s economy.”

“Funding for these organizations comes at a critical time,” said Ag Director Raymond Poe. “We must continue to fund these organizations in order to sustain their key programs. I want to thank our agricultural partners for commitment to Illinois agriculture and for their cooperation in these fiscally challenging times.”

Soil and Water Conservation Districts, which protects our state’s farmland through strategic conservation efforts, will receive $6 million. The 97 districts around the state play a central role in efforts to protect and sustain the viability of Illinois soil and water resources in order to preserve our farmland for future generations. The Department will be issuing more than $61,000 to each of the districts to help fund operations. 

“As a result of this funding, the SWCD’s of Illinois will be better positioned to support important conservation efforts such as the statewide Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy,” said Steve Stierwalt, President of the Association of Illinois Soil and Water Conservation Districts. “This funding also ensures that SWCD’s have the resources needed to continue to provide important technical expertise, assistance, and cost-share agreements to not only farmers for the installation of conservation practices such as grassed waterways, filter strips, and cover crops – but also urban, suburban, and other rural landowners.”

More than $54,000 will be sent to each of the 92 county fairs across the state. It will help operations at the fairs and may be used to support critical facility rehabilitation needs. Illinois county fairs are economic drivers for rural Illinois. A study from the University of Illinois shows county fairs generate more than $90 million annually and create more than 1,000 jobs each summer. In addition to providing family friendly entertainment, county fairs provide an outlet for our state’s youth to become involved and engaged in Illinois agriculture. 

“County fairs are a big footprint of rural Illinois and a huge part of the economic strength and morale of each county in Illinois,” said Gary Hadden with the Morgan County Fair. “We appreciate Gov. Rauner making these funds available as this will provide a great boost to local counties across the state to help make necessary upgrades so they can increase activities. This will bring more people to their county fairs and with the increase of travel, people will spend more money to help stimulate the Illinois economy.”

More than 1.5 million Illinois residents take part in programs offered by the University of Illinois Extension Service. Extension provides educational assistance in the areas of energy and environmental stewardship, food safety and security, economic development and workforce preparedness, family health, financial security and wellness, and youth development. The Department of Agriculture will disperse $5 million dollars to assist the organization with its core mission.

“Conservation is key to being good stewards of the land,” Travis Stremsterfer said. “Our family has always believed that we should leave the land in a better condition than when we received it, as a way to ensure that we are leaving behind an agricultural legacy for future generations. We have been farming here in Sangamon County since 1910 and I look forward to passing that tradition down to my children.”

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Ensures access to quality health care for 3 million Illinoisans

SPRINGFIELD (June 21, 2018) – Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced that the federal government has approved the state’s plan to protect safety net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.

“This is a critical step in the making sure our safety net and rural hospitals can keep their doors open in underserved communities,” Rauner said. “Our teams worked hard to build a more equitable model while making sure hospitals can offer more urgent and outpatient care in their communities.”

The plan was created with Senate Bill 1773, bipartisan legislation that Rauner signed in March. It ensures the state will continue to receive federal matching funds to offer services for Medicaid beneficiaries through the Hospital Assessment Program, which brings in $3.5 billion annually. The new program takes effect July 1.

A bipartisan group of legislators worked with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to redesign the program, create a more equitable reimbursement process, and ensure more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

“The Department is pleased that the federal government has approved this plan, which will mean that dollars follow services for Medicaid patients more closely,” said Teresa Hursey, Interim Director of HFS. “The new program reflects the reality that healthcare delivery has changed dramatically over the last ten years, and it draws down as much federal revenue as we believe is permissible.”

Prior to the new program, the state used old data sets, which were sometimes based on care that was provided as far back as 2005, to reimburse hospitals for Medicaid services. The new model applies updated data and also ensures that more of the reimbursements are based on actual services hospitals provide.

It also dedicates more than $260 million to help hospitals transform their operations to better serve their communities, such as offering more urgent and outpatient care.


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We kicked off Flag Day at the Silvis Fire Dept with one of my favorites, Liam Wilcox! We celebrated the American flag and cheered as Liam replaced his 100th flag!



Savanna…State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) joined Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, former NASA Astronaut Capt. Daniel C. Brandenstein, former NASA Astronaut Brigadier General Robert L. Stewart, as well as numerous members of Captain Dale Gardner’s family including his daughter Lisa Gardner Hoefler for the dedication of the Dale Gardner Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and plaque unveiling.

“What an exciting day for the city of Savanna, its neighbors across the Mississippi – Sabula – and the thousands of drivers who will use this bridge every day,” Gov. Rauner said. “The Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge is more than a transportation structure, it is a tribute to all of our men and women who have served including astronaut Dale Gardner. This bridge will ensure that Dale’s life and his amazing accomplishments will forever be remembered.”

House Joint Resolution 58 designated the Savanna-Sabula Bridge as the "Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge" sponsored by State Representative Tony McCombie (IL–71st) in the Illinois House and Senator Neil Anderson (IL–36th) in the State Senate was unanimously adopted by both houses in Illinois General Assembly. The plaque was unveiled today by its designer Alan St George, Governor Rauner, and the Mayor of Savanna.

“Growing up in Savanna my Mom would often reminisce about her classmates, but always had a special place for her friend, the astronaut Dale Gardner. She was so proud of him and because of her memories, I felt like I knew him too. Today, after meeting so many of his family members, I know that he was a special person and left a positive mark on everyone he met.” said Rep. McCombie. “It was truly an honor to be asked by Dave Engaldo and the Savanna High School Class of 1966 to carry HJR 58. The amount of work and dedication it took to naming and celebrating our beautiful bridge spanning the Mississippi is truly amazing. The Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge is a wonderful tribute to all of the veterans that serve our country and give us our Freedom. ”

Dale Gardner was a the valedictorian of Savanna Community High School class of 1966, and earned a Bachelor of Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois in 1970 with a 5.0 GPA. After graduation he joined the US Navy where he earned his Naval Flight Wings and rose to the Rank of Captain. In 1978, NASA selected Captain Gardner to be an astronaut where he logged 337 hours in space, and orbited the earth 225 times. Before passing away On February 19, 2014, at the age of 65, he earned numerous awards and medals for his service and accomplishments.

At the dedication former NASA Astronauts Capt. Daniel C. Brandenstein and Brigadier General Robert L. Stewart shared their memories of Capt. Gardner – describing to the crowd how unbelievably smart and talented a person Dale was.

The new Dale Gardner Veterans Memorial Bridge cost $80 million, and replaced the outdated and functionally obsolete 20 foot wide half mile long Savanna-Sabula Bridge.

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During the period of June 15, 16, 17 and 18, 2018, it shall be legal for any person to fish in waters wholly or in part within the jurisdiction of the State, including the Illinois portion of Lake Michigan, without possessing a sport fishing license, salmon stamp or inland trout stamp.

Fishing Regulations visit
https://www.ifishillinois.org/regulations/2018FishingGuide.pdf

Fishing Info visit
https://www.ifishillinois.org/

Fish question email Fish Dept. at
DNR.Fisheries@illinois.gov

Happy Father's Day!!
If you and your family are interested in visiting a County Fair this year, Rep. McCombie’s office has two (2) free passes to use for free admission to any fair in Illinois. Any resident of the 71st District can reserve our passes on a first come first serve basis, to visit any fair in 2018.

The pass is provided to Rep. McCombie’s office by the Museums in the Park Organization. Only 2 people can reserve the pass at any time. The passes must be picked up and brought back to the district office. Constituents need to call for an appointment to come to the district office to pick up the pass before visiting the museums. *Passes to the local fairs are expected to go quickly!

To find a list of fairs, dates, and times, please visit: https://www.illinoiscountyfairs.org/fairs 

Please contact Rep. McCombie's office at (815) 632-7384 for additional information, and to provide your name and address along with the dates you are requesting the County Fair Pass. 
Walmart unveiled a new associate education benefit designed to remove barriers to college enrollment and graduation. The program is another step in the company’s commitment to train and educate workers to advance in the jobs of today -- and the future.

In partnership with Guild Education, a leading education benefits platform, Walmart associates will be able to access affordable, high-quality associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Business or Supply Chain Management. Under the program, which will be made available to all Walmart U.S. and Sam’s Club associates, Walmart will subsidize the cost of higher education, beyond financial aid and an associate contribution equivalent to $1 a day. Degrees will be offered through the University of Florida, Brandman University and Bellevue University – nonprofit schools selected for their focus and strong outcomes on serving working adult learners.

Walmart is also committed to an independent evaluation of the outcome of its new offering. The Lumina Foundation has agreed to research and measure the impact and effectiveness of the program and will work with the Walmart team to share findings.

These programs are available to full-time, part-time and salaried Walmart U.S. store, supply chain, home office and Sam’s Club associates. For the full announcement with additional details visit here, and for more information about Walmart visit here.
If you and your family are interested in visiting some of Chicago’s world-class museums, Rep. McCombie’s office has a museum pass to use for free admission for select Chicagoland locations. Any resident of the 71st District can reserve our Constituent Education Resource Card on a first come first serve basis, to visit any of the following museums in 2018:

 • Adler Planetarium
 • The Art Institute of Chicago
 • Brookfield Zoo/CZS
 • Chicago Botanic Garden
 • Chicago Children’s Museum
 • Chicago History Museum
 • Dusable Museum of African American History
 • The Field Museum
 • Lincoln Park Zoo
 • Museum of Contemporary Art
 • Museum of Science and Industry
 • National Museum of Mexican Art
 • National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
 • Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
 • John G. Shedd Aquarium

The pass is provided to Rep. McCombie’s office by the Museums in the Park Organization. Only one group of up to four (4) can reserve the pass at a time. The pass must be picked up and brought back to the district office. Constituents need to call for an appointment to come to the district office to pick up the pass before visiting the museums.

Please contact Rep. McCombie's office at (815) 632-7384 to provide your name and address along with the dates you are requesting (can be used for up to 3 days in row) to reserve the Constituent Education Resource Card.

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We had breakfast with the fine folks of the Twin Cities Sunrise Rotary to discuss the budget and then lunched with area law enforcement from the Northwest IL Criminal Justice Commission to discuss the importance of training!





Savanna…State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) is announcing that she will be hosting traveling office hours in four towns in the 71st District in June.


If you live in the area and have concerns, suggestions or problems related to state government, residents are encouraged to stop by and talk with Representative McCombie or a member of her staff.

Dates, times, and locations of traveling office hours are as follows:

Rapids City Community Center, Wednesday, June 13, 10:00am – 12pm
·         1204 4th Ave, Rapids City

Coal Valley City Hall, Wednesday, June 13, 2:00pm – 4:00pm
·         900 1st Street, Coal Valley

Thomson (York Township) Library, Thursday June 14, 1:00pm – 3:00pm
·         1005 W. Main Street, Thomson

Rock Falls City Hall, Tuesday, June 19, 9:30am – 11:30am
·         603 W. 10th St., Rock Falls

Rep. McCombie will continue to hold traveling office hours in communities across District 71 to hear the needs of constituents. Constituents may schedule an appointment by calling (815) 632-7384, but appointments are not required.

IL 5 Road Closure in East Moline
(REVISED CLOSURE DATES)

Dixon, IL – The Illinois Department of Transportation announces that IL 5 in East Moline between Morton Drive and Barstow Road will be closed to all through traffic from Wednesday, June 6 through Friday, June 8, 2018. The closure will allow the BNSF Railway to perform needed maintenance to their at-grade crossing located in this area.

To allow continued traffic movement, a detour will be posted utilizing Morton Drive and 40th Street.
Drivers are asked to be alert for the road closure and use alternate roadways when traveling in this area.

Please reduce speed and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.
For IDOT District 2 updates on Twitter, follow us at http://twitter.com/IDOTDistrict2.

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Rep. McCombie Votes YES on Balanced Budget on Thursday, May 31, 2018

State Rep. Tony McCombie (IL-71) voted in favor of the first truly balanced budget since 2001 which passed with broad bipartisan support:

“When I first took the oath of office, January of last year I asked members of the General Assembly to respectfully come together, consider each other’s priorities, and negotiate a balanced budget. This budget, unlike last year, accomplishes this. The budget is not perfect but it includes my top priorities of no additional tax increases, fully funding education, securing MAP Grants, increasing local government dollars, paying our front line workers, fully funding our agencies & social services and paying our past due bills. The legislature still has much work to do and I look forward to being part of the solution to structurally reform Illinois in the years to come.”

The budget passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers, and was signed by Governor Rauner today.

Bill Ensuring DCFS Workers Receive Assistance from Local Law Enforcement Passes Both Houses

Senate Bill 3105 sponsored by Rep. Brian Stewart (IL-89) and chief-co-sponsored by Rep. Tony McCombie (IL-71) passed both houses. It will allow DCFS workers and law enforcement to more easily work together and pass jurisdictional lines to protect children.

DCFS investigators often visit homes where they are not welcome, and deal with families impacted by domestic violence, drug abuse, and criminal activity. Under current law, these workers are not allowed to carry weapons, but ‘may’ ask local law enforcement for assistance.

When signed into law a child protective investigator would be permitted to request assistance from local law enforcement officers to be provided at a mutually available time if the investigator has a reasonable belief that there is a potential for violence. Law enforcement officers ‘shall’ assist child protective investigators in receiving law enforcement assistance from other jurisdictions.

This legislation is in response to the brutal assault and resulting death of DCFS worker Pam Knight of Dixon in February. Pam Knight was not accompanied by an officer when she was brutally attacked.

Veterans (and one guest) get free admission to John Deere Classic

Thanks to Ray'z Barber Shop and Lowe's, all military personnel currently holding a Common Access Card (CAC), as well as those who have retired from Armed Services and Veterans will be given free admission along with one (1) guest each day from Thursday, July 12 – Sunday, July 15. This offer applies to active duty, retired military and veterans of the armed forces only, and not civilian or contractor CAC card holders. Appropriate identification must be shown at the front gate to receive daily ticket or you may register online through SheerID. Veterans may display Department of Defense Uniform Services or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs cards, or copy of DD214 form.  All military guests are invited all week to the air-conditioned Trophy Suite behind #18 tee for VIP golf viewing.

Events in your area! I have made a commitment to attend traveling office hours in all corners across the district, and be open for questions. I hope you can attend some of my events! Click Here to see the full events page.

Contact me! As always, if you have concerns, questions, or would like to reach out to my office for any reason you can do so by emailing mccombie@ilhousegop.org, calling my office at (815) 632-7384, or visiting my website at www.repmccombie.com.