Rep. Tony McCombie and Senator Neil Anderson served up Coffee & Conversation in Rock Island on August 30 at Theo's Java Club.



Rep. Tony McCombie was happy to join Illowa Construction Labor & Management Councils Breakfast to kick off Labor Day Weekend at Tax Slayer Center on August 30, 2018.


Rep. Tony McCombie and Senator Neil Anderson provided a legislative update at the Silvis Rotary Club meeting on August 30, 2018.






State Representative Tony McCombie announced that Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 3093, a bill Rep. McCombie sponsored stating that a general homestead exemption applies to a life care facility.

McCombie sponsored the legislation to grant a general and senior homestead exemption to residents in facilities like Friendship Manor in Rock Island, saving a resident about $1,100 per year.

“Our seniors deserve all the benefits they would receive in their home even if they are living in a life care facility,” said Rep. Tony McCombie. “Under the provisions of this legislation, the eligible individual’s bill from a life care facility would be reduced by the amount of the exemption they receive.”

“On behalf of our board, our staff, and most importantly, our residents, I would like to thank Governor Rauner for clarifying the law that our residents are entitled to receive the homestead property tax exemption. I also want to thank Senator Neil Anderson for sponsoring SB 3093 in the Senate, and Representative Tony McCombie for promoting the Bill to the Illinois House of Representatives,” said Ted Pappas, Jr., President and CEO of Friendship Manor.

Friendship Manor is the Illinois Quad Cities only Continuing Care Retirement Community. They are a faith-based, nonprofit, charitable Continuing Care Retirement Community. Their life care plan guarantees that if a resident’s financial resources are depleted, they will never be asked to leave because of inability to pay.

Governor Rauner signed SB 3093 into law as Public Act 100-1077 on Friday, August 24, 2018.

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ComEd/Exelon is participating in the Energizing Student Potential (ESP) program that provides funding and curriculum resources to educate students in grades 5-8 about energy. Schools can apply to receive a cash grant for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) activities in the classroom and an energy fair, $2,000 for hands-on kits and curriculum, and teacher training.

Here’s what schools need to know:

Energizing Student Potential (ESP) is a STEM-focused energy program for grades 5-8.

ComEd/Exelon partner with Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, North Shore Gas, and BP America to fund the program.

Curriculum resources are provided to schools to educate students on energy.

Link for schools to apply: https://app.wizehive.com/appform/login/ESPIL2018

Deadline to apply is September 9.

For more information, visit Energizing Student Potential.


Rep. Tony McCombie enjoyed helping out at the West Carroll Thunder game on Friday night.




Great to sit with area educators, businesses and manufacturers to learn how we can help develop opportunities in our region! We have more career opportunities right now than people... check it out!

Read more here

Photo Credit: Alex T. Paschal/apaschal@saukvalley.com


State Representative Tony McCombie announced that Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 2637, a bill Rep. McCombie sponsored to improve the accuracy of reporting of Minority & Female participation in building trades apprenticeships programs. 

“The signing of this legislation will ensure more accurate reporting of demographic trends in the State’s building trades apprenticeship programs,” said Rep. Tony McCombie, Chief Sponsor of Senate Bill 2637. “By reporting these trends at the end of the apprentice program’s 45 day grace period (March 31) rather than March 1st, the information reported will be more accurate.”

“Maximizing female and minority participation in apprenticeship programs is a priority for Local 150,” said James M. Sweeney, President-Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 150. “Ensuring that reporting is as accurate as possible is a critical part of the recruiting process, and we thank Representative McCombie for her leadership on this front.”

Senate Bill 2637 was signed into law by Governor Rauner on August 10 as Public Act 100-797. Rep. McCombie had also sponsored House Bill 5595 addressing the same issue. That legislation was vetoed by Governor Rauner on August 17 after the Governor signed SB 2637, as it was then duplicitous with the enactment of Public Act 100-797 the week prior.

The State Construction Minority and Female Building Trades Act was established in Illinois with the intent to spur better participation of minorities and women in the construction fields, especially those fields then tend to rely on union shops. Fines are issued by the Illinois Department of Labor if an organization does not file a report after a grace period to comply. Both the Illinois Department of Labor as well as the Operating Engineers union supported Senate Bill 2637 and urged passage to improve the accuracy of the reports.
Rep. McCombie stopped by and met with Gold Star FS in Lyndon to learn about their operations and how they contribute to our agriculture industry.



State Representative Tony McCombie announced that Governor Rauner signed House Bill 5502, a bill Rep. McCombie sponsored to remove an unnecessary testing requirement in order to encourage new real estate appraiser trainees to enter the industry.

“The signing of HB 5502 is the first step to rebuilding the appraisal industry here in Illinois.  Due to the increased cost of education and mandates, those receiving licenses have continued to decline,” said Rep. Tony McCombie.  “I am pleased to have sponsored this bill and the signing of the legislation is a positive change for Illinois.  HB 5502 will grow jobs and opportunities for people wanting to enter the real estate appraisal field.”

The Illinois Coalition of Appraisal Professionals suggested this legislation as a way to allow individuals to sit for the examination while they are still attending classroom instruction.  Further, there are some associate real estate trainee appraisers who do not wish to advance to become real estate appraisers, but they are currently capped at four years.  The work of these individuals typically includes conducting research on properties, dealing with customers, and writing appraisal reports, but some do not want to perform the actual appraisals.

By reducing a barrier to entry and increasing labor market liquidity within the industry, Rep. McCombie believes the industry can be rebuilt in Illinois.

HB 5502 was signed into law as Public Act 100-832 on August 13, 2018.
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Metform is now hiring for the following positions: 

1. CNC Process Engineer
2. Fasteners Engineer
3. Draftsman
4. Machinist/CNC Lathe Programmer
5. Maintenance Mechanic
6. Material Handler
7. CNC Operator
8. Hotform Tool Setup

BENEFITS & COMPENSATION:

· Effective Immediately: Competitive Wages, Holiday Pay (10 days/year), Free Wellness Program, Employee Giveaways and Discounts
· After 30 Days: Medical, Dental, Vision, Short-Term and Long-Term Disability, and Life Insurance
· The first of the month after 90 Days: 401K with Employer Match, Vacation
· After 1 Year: Tuition Reimbursement (upon approval)
· And more!

Please go to their website for details and applications: www.maclean-fogg.com/careers


From the Galesburg Register-Mail
Swanson Bill creates Silver Alert for Soldiers
By Rebecca Susmarski
August 13, 2018- Read Full article at: http://www.galesburg.com/news/20180813/swanson-bill-creates-silver-alerts-for-soldiers

A new law aims to help Illinoisans locate missing members of the U.S. Armed Forces at risk of committing suicide.

Illinoisans will receive silver-alert notifications when service members with a history of depression or those receiving treatment for mental health conditions go missing starting Jan. 1, 2019. Like amber alerts for children and silver alerts for the elderly, the messages for service members will appear on cell phones, televisions, markers over interstates and in other forms of media. The alerts will apply to active-duty service members, veterans and those in the reserves from all five military branches.

The law, which Gov. Bruce Rauner signed on July 27, changed the state’s definition of “high-risk missing person” to include such service members. State Rep. Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, introduced House Bill 4212 in January to help more military families find their service members.

Swanson, a veteran of the U.S. Army, understands the tragedy families of service members experience when a loved one takes their life. His longtime friend Reggie Larson lost his brother, Rudy, to suicide in 2015. Rudy served in the U.S. Army “for several tours of duty,” and his duty stations included Germany, Kosovo and Fort Hood, according to his obituary.

"It’s certainly devastating,” Swanson said. “We go through the struggles of why: why him or her?”

Swanson first heard about the idea for the bill through a referral of state Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna. One of McCombie’s constituents reached out to her to let her know about the existing “green alert” law in Wisconsin that helps track missing military members.

“Tony reached out to me and said, ’hey, I think this is some good legislation; can you help my constituent with this?” Swanson asked. “It’s a team effort. ... I hope we can save some lives.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs conducted a study in 2014 that found a total of 193 Illinois veterans committed suicide. The tally included 183 men and 10 women.

Augustana College Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing provides many hearing services at reasonable prices. Specifically, they offer: 

hearing testing
hearing aid fittings
custom molds for hearing protection
tinnitus group educational sessions
individual tinnitus counseling and sound therapy for tinnitus relief
Newborn hearing screening
Auditory Processing Disorders evaluation and treatment

They see patients of any age and any means. They accept Medicare and Illinois Medicaid, and have been one of the only clinics to offer Illinois Medicaid in our area.

Do you experience ringing or buzzing in your ears? If so, you are not alone! Tinnitus is the perception of a sound when no external sound is present. There is no pill to cure tinnitus, but there are many options to help manage it.

Augustana’s next Tinnitus Group session will be September 7th at 1pm. Interested individuals may visit their website at: www.augustana.edu. Click on Center for Speech, Language, and Hearing at the bottom of the main augie page. They offer sound therapy and counseling, which are proven treatments for tinnitus. The fee for this session is $65.
Another good day in the books at The Great River Tug Fest!
Rep. McCombie fell in love with Tug Fest three years ago. Rep. McCombie started the day on Saturday with the Port Byron Fireman eating pancakes, watched the ladies AGAIN defeat Iowa, enjoyed the festivities, and met with constituents.



Rock Falls Police and Children Together (PACT) Program was a success on Friday! Thank you for spending the week with these kids and sharing your time with them!



IDNR OSLAD and LWCF Grant Program Applications being Accepted

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced applications are being accepted for grants through the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grant programs beginning on August 1, 2018.

The OSLAD program is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public outdoor recreation areas. OSLAD is a matching program that provides an advance payment (for development projects only) that is 50 percent of the grant award amount shortly after the grant agreement is executed. The local agency must demonstrate and possess the ability to finance the remaining costs of an approved project prior to receipt of remaining grant funds. This program is funded through a percentage of the state’s Real Estate Transfer Tax

The LWCF is a program that utilizes federal dollars to acquire land to be used for outdoor recreation. This program provides up to 50 percent of the certified market value of property acquired to be developed into outdoor recreation areas. No advance payment is allowed on acquisition projects. LWCF is funded nationally by revenue from offshore oil and gas leases.

Both programs are managed in Illinois by the Department of Natural Resources with concurrent application due dates, equal grant maximums and similar general rules.

The application period opened August 1 and applications must be submitted to the IDNR by 5:00 p.m. on October 1, 2018. The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at: https://www.illinois.gov/sites/gata/Pages/default.aspx.

Consult the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov for more information, or call the IDNR Grants main line at (217) 782-7481.

State Fire Marshal and the Illinois Finance Authority Opens Applications for Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs

Fire departments in Illinois that need assistance purchasing emergency vehicles can now apply for a loan through the Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) and the Illinois Finance Authority (IFA) announced that the application process is now open.

The Fire Truck and Ambulance Revolving Loan Programs are designed to assist emergency personnel purchase vehicles they otherwise couldn't afford. Under the programs, zero interest and low-interest loans are provided to fire departments, fire protection districts or non-profit ambulance services for the purchase of ambulances and fire trucks.

The ambulance loans are available for amounts up to $200,000 and can be repaid over a 10-year period. Fire truck loans are available for amounts up to $350,000 and can be repaid over a 20-year period.

Most Illinois fire departments, fire protection districts and township fire departments are eligible to apply. In addition, not-for-profit ambulance service providers are eligible to apply.

Since the inception of these programs more than $33 million in loans for fire trucks and $2.5 million in loans for ambulances have been given out to over 200 fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services across the state.

Additional information including the application can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/sfm/Iam/FireDepartment/Grants-and-Loans/Pages/default.aspx

Completed applications should be submitted to:

Office of the State Fire Marshal

Revolving Loan Programs

1035 Stevenson Drive

Springfield, IL 62703

2018 Apprenticeship Expansion Grant Notice of Funding Opportunity

The State of Illinois has posted a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to fund projects that demonstrate how apprenticeship programs can be developed and administered across workforce, education and economic development organizations throughout the State.

Illinois recognizes apprenticeships are a proven work-based learning strategy connecting individuals to a career pathway. The State increased the number of Registered Apprenticeships from 13,754 in Federal Fiscal Year 2016 to 15,186 in Federal Fiscal Year 2017. Although a solid foundation is in place, Illinois recognizes more resources are required to meet the goal of expanding Registered Apprenticeships 25% by 2020. The purpose of this NOFO is to request proposals from eligible organizations capable of implementing the apprenticeship expansion priorities of Illinois' Unified State Plan and the Illinois Apprenticeship Committee the support of Apprenticeship Intermediaries and Regional Apprenticeship Navigators.

Apprenticeship Intermediaries

Intermediary organizations act as apprenticeship program sponsors and perform administrative responsibilities such as registering businesses and apprentices, tracking activities, and reporting results. This eases the burden for businesses, particularly small companies that do not have the personnel to execute such tasks. In this model, the Apprenticeship Intermediary sponsors or administers the apprenticeship programs, coordinates with employers to hire apprentices, facilitates the provision of related technical instructions and other components of the program. This NOFO will support Apprenticeship Intermediary activities including the funding of apprenticeship demonstration projects.

Regional Apprenticeship Navigators

A strong apprenticeship program requires building and maintaining effective partnerships between the business, workforce system, and education/training providers. The objective of the Apprenticeship Navigators is to expand apprentice sponsorship by employers and intermediaries in existing and new occupations throughout the state. This NOFO will support business outreach with employers and workforce professionals to expand the use of apprenticeship as a work-based learning strategy.

Eligible costs

It is expected that 4-7 grants of $50,000 to $500,000 will awarded under this NOFO. The goal is to fund 2-3 projects in northern Illinois, 1-2 projects in central Illinois, and 1-2 projects in southern Illinois. Funding awards will correspond with the project's anticipated outcomes and deliverables. The Department of Commerce may elect to award larger amounts based on strength of application or performance during the grant period. The Department of Commerce expects to award $1-3 Million in Apprenticeship Expansion grants.

Eligible Applicants

The Department of Commerce places special emphasis on partnerships and sustainability within the Governor's Economic Development Regions (EDRs) throughout the State of Illinois. Applicants should document how the project will impact workforce, education and economic development and be replicated throughout the State (if applicable). Proposals will be accepted from Organizations with the administrative capacity and a history of successfully implementing innovative pilots and other priority projects are eligible to apply for funding.

Information Sessions & NOFO WEBSITE

It has become increasingly difficult for schools to fund learning opportunities outside the classroom. To help them out, Target launched field trip grants in 2007. Since then, they’ve made it possible for millions of students to go on a field trip.

As part of the program, Target stores award field trip grants to K-12 schools nationwide. Each grant is valued at $700. Target accepts grant applications between noon CT Aug. 1 and 11:59 p.m. CT Oct. 1.

Learn more here.
Rep. Tony McCombie visited the Sterling Rotary Club on Tuesday, August 7 for a presentation regarding Illinois' decreasing population.  Thanks to the Sterling Rotary Club for hosting this informative presentation.


State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) is helping spread the word that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is accepting grant applications from not-for-profit organizations and units of government interested in developing projects to enhance wildlife habitat through the Illinois Habitat Fund and the State Pheasant Fund. The IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources administers these special grant programs that are funded by Illinois sportsmen and women through the purchase of Habitat Stamps. Rep. Tony McCombie sponsored an amendment pushing for the release of funds for this grant program.

Applications for grants this year through the Illinois Habitat Fund and the State Pheasant Fund must be submitted by Sept. 1, 2018.

For information on project eligibility, grant applicant registration requirements, and other information about the grant programs, check the IDNR website at this link:

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/grants/Pages/Special-Wildlife-Funds-Grant-Program.aspx
The Illinois Department of Transportation, announces that a lane closure will be installed on the US 67 Centennial Bridge in Rock Island County, Illinois.

The lane closure will begin Monday, August 6, 2018 and go through Thursday, August 9, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. The lane closure will be in the Illinois bound outside drive lane.

Workers will be performing a bridge inspection. Please slow down and use extreme caution while driving through all work zones.

State Representative Tony McCombie (IL-71st) announced that Governor Rauner signed House Bill 4589, the first bill she shepherded through the Illinois House from bill drafting to bill signing.

A local bank in Savanna brought forth the idea for this legislation to Rep. McCombie because larger banks were regulated less than smaller banks under previous law in Illinois.  The bill provides that a smaller savings banks shall have their books, records, and accounts examined at least once every 18 months (rather than at least once every 12 months) in the same manner as a larger State Bank. 

“This bill is a great step forward in regulatory reform for small savings banks. Ultimately, our customers and community will reap the rewards,” said Steve McIntyre, Secretary of First Savanna Savings Bank.  “We applaud the efforts of Tony McCombie to make this bill become reality.”

“This will lessen the burden of the current auditing procedures that Savings Banks must comply with each year,” said Rep. Tony McCombie.  “The audits that must be completed on the annual basis are burdensome and costly to banks that have minimal total assets.”
Starting August 1st, people can dial (833) 808-1234 to access potential cost savings on Lilly insulins.
The new helpline, launched by Eli Lilly and Company, will assist individuals who need help paying for their insulin. Through customized solutions that meet an individual’s personal needs, including increased financial assistance, multi-lingual operators will provide short- and long-term options for diabetes patients to better access life-saving insulin.
Congratulations to the Sauk Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Jacobs Family for hosting such a wonderful event this evening!



Rep. Tony McCombie spoke to the Morrison Rotary Club on Wednesday, August 1 to provide a legislative update and answer member questions about state government.
Hiring!
ISP RECRUITMENT: Illinois State Trooper
The Illinois State Police Merit Board is currently processing applications for Cadet Class 129, tentatively scheduled for April, 2019. In order to be considered for Cadet Class 129, the Merit Board must receive a completed application and required documentation by August 15, 2018.