Governor Bruce Rauner has signed SB 2059 and issued the following statement:
“This legislation doesn't solve our budget crisis or help our economy grow, but it does represent a first step toward compromise between Democrats and Republicans. Now is the time to build on this bipartisan momentum and focus on enacting a truly balanced budget for Fiscal Years 2016-2017 alongside meaningful reforms that create jobs and free up resources for education, social services and infrastructure.”
Bill No.: SB 2059An Act Concerning AppropriationsAction: Signed Effective: Immediately
SPRINGFIELD – Officials with the Illinois State Police (ISP) announce two successful convictions resulting from investigations conducted by the ISP Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau (MFCB).
Phyllis Wilson, age 51 of Maywood, Illinois, and Lucinda Germann, age 59 of Rockford, Illinois, both plead guilty to felony counts of Vendor Fraud. The ISP MFCB received a tip through the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Fraud Hotline that Wilson was being paid for services to an individual that was already in the care of a nursing home in Hinsdale, Illinois.
The ISP MFCB began an investigation and it was determined that Wilson was being paid for services she was not actually providing. Wilson was arrested, charged, and pled guilty to one count of Vendor Fraud. She was sentenced to three years in prison. The total amount of the Medicaid fraud was $6,105.During October of 2013, the ISP MFCB received information from the IDHS that Germann submitted fraudulent time sheets for personal assistant services which were not provided to a Medicaid recipient.
The investigation revealed that Germann was submitting time sheets claiming she provided services to a subject who was actually incarcerated during the same time. On March 11, 2016, Germann pled guilty to one count of vendor fraud. She was sentenced to three years in prison and was ordered to pay restitution for the full amount of fraud she committed. The total amount of the Medicaid fraud was $7,241.
>04-17 a possible arson fire was reported in rural Paxton.
>04-17 deputies assisted an Iroquois County deputy with a traffic accident in rural Ashkum.
>04-17 a deputy conducted a welfare check in Piper City. The resident was having a medical emergency so an ambulance was called to the scene.
>04-18 a barn burglary was reported in rural Kempton.
>04-20 a deputy assisted the Sullivant Township Fire Dept. with a residential fire in rural Sibley.
>04-20 a dog was found tied to a bridge in rural Sibley. The animal was taken for treatment by the Ford County Animal Control Officer.
>04-21 a Piper City resident reported being the victim of credit card fraud.>04-22 a complaint of barking dogs in Melvin was received.
>04-22 a Sibley resident reported being the victim of a theft. During the week deputies handled 6 civil matters and issued 1 traffic citation.
>04-23 Jonathon McGrew of rural Melvin was arrested following an injury accident in rural Melvin. He was charged with Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident, Leaving the Scene of a Property Damage Accident, Failure to Reduce Speed to Avoid an Accident and Cellphone use While Driving.
Springfield, IL – State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) is sponsoring legislation that would help ensure public safety in the event of a nuclear emergency.
Senate Bill 3411 would appropriate $650,000 from the Nuclear Safety Preparedness Fund to help compensate local governments for expenses related to nuclear safety preparedness.
“My legislation helps local governments that are near nuclear facilities pay for training and other expenses to prepare for nuclear emergencies,” Rezin said. “This is critical, as we must be ready to respond if something drastic happens. Everyone must be on the same page. Public safety is of the essence.”
As Minority Spokesperson on the Senate’s Energy Committee, member of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Energy Committee, and participant in the upcoming Legislative Energy Horizon Institute, Rezin is a leading voice on energy issues and an advocate of energy in the 38th District, known as the Energy and Chemical Corridor of America.
“We have dozens of energy and chemical producers in our region, supplying millions of people with power at a low cost, employing thousands of workers, and giving local economies and the state’s economy a huge boost,” Rezin said. “I believe our region, as the Energy and Chemical Corridor of America, can play a big role in boosting Illinois’ economy and bring jobs back to the state.”
April marks the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The U.S Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are sponsoring the 2016 National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign. The Illinois State Police (ISP) will be joining those efforts to crackdown on motorist who fail to abide by the texting while driving law and other distracted driving violations.
The ISP will be using a combination of traditional and innovative strategies to crackdown on motorists who text while driving. The national “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” high-visibility enforcement campaign has two goals: conduct intense enforcement of anti-texting laws; and couple these efforts with advertising, media and social media outreach to inform drivers about the enforcement and convince them to obey the law.
“Driving and texting is not only dangerous and irresponsible—it’s illegal,” said ISP Colonel Tad Williams. “Drivers who break our state’s texting law will be stopped and fined. Texting and driving is a safety issue, and we’re trying to work toward a resolution by identifying violators. If you drive and text, you will pay,” Williams added.
Violating Illinois’ texting law, which became effective on January 1, 2014, can be costly. A first violation for this offense is $120 and can increase with multiple violations or if a violation occurs in a work zone or school zone.
>04-11 a deputy assisted the Illinois State Police with a reported car fire on I57 at the 259 mile marker.
>04-13 a deputy assisted Paxton Police officers with a disturbance.>04-13 a vehicle was reported stolen in rural Sibley.
>04-13 a deputy assisted the Ford County Corner with an unattended death in rural Paxton.
>04-14 an Elliott resident was taken by Gibson Area Ambulance to Champaign for a mental health evaluation.
>04-16 a rural Paxton subject was taken by Gibson Area Ambulance to Champaign for a mental health evaluation.
>04-16 some type of large machinery snagged a telephone line at 500N 1000E Road. The incident caused an estimated $20,000 in damage to wires and poles.
>04-16 a commercial burglar alarm was received in rural Paxton. No cause for the alarm could be found.
>04-16 a fuel theft was reported in rural Gibson City. During the week deputies handled 1 civil matter and issued 9 traffic citations.
>04-12 a pickup driven by Michael Eigenbauer of rural Piper City left the roadway and drove into a deep water-filled ditch at 1700E 3500N Road. A passenger had to be transported to a Kankakee hospital for injuries suffered in the crash. Eigenbauer was issued multiple citations for the crash.
>04-16 a vehicle driven by Michael Thompson of Ludlow struck one driven by Jodi Thompson of St. Louis, Missouri. One occupant had to be transported to the hospital for injuries received in the crash. The crash occurred at 2600E Rt9.
>04-16 Vincent Moya of Piper City was arrested at Rt115 and 1200N Road. He was charged with Driving Under Revocation, Possession of Cannabis, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Obstructing Justice for trying to destroy evidence.
Illinois State Police (ISP) officials today announced a successful conviction resulting from a thorough investigation by the ISP Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau (MFCB) and aggressive prosecution by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.
In June 2015, the ISP-MFCB received a complaint reporting Lola L. White, 53, of Shumway, Illinois, the administrator of Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation, Effingham, Illinois, appeared to be transferring money from an elderly person’s bank account into her personal bank account. It was reported that White was the trustee of the elderly person’s trust and had Power of Attorney over his assets. The elderly person was a resident at Evergreen Nursing and Rehabilitation. During the investigation it was discovered that White misappropriated $93,632.95 from the elderly person’s trust account and his life insurance accounts.
On April 1, 2016, White was charged with a Class 3 Felony Theft and entered a guilty plea and accepted a pre-negotiated plea agreement in which she was sentenced to 24 months of Second Chance Probation, 30 hours of community service, and $1,367.00 in court costs. The $93,632.35 in misappropriated funds was repaid in full to the elderly person’s trust account. The case against White was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Counsel Steve Swofford.
Governor Bruce Rauner announced he signed Executive Order 16-05 creating the Health Care Fraud Elimination Task Force.
The Task Force will take a holistic and comprehensive approach in the prevention and elimination of health care fraud, waste and abuse in taxpayer-funded programs. Governor Rauner made today’s announcement at the Annual Ethics Officer Conference, hosted by the Executive Ethics Commission.
“Reducing fraud and waste is critical in state government to ensure we are delivering the best value to consumers and taxpayers,” Governor Rauner said. “For the first time, we are bringing program-specific and agency efforts together to collaborate and take a multi-pronged approach to preventing and eliminating fraud, waste, and abuse.”
The Task Force will study and utilize the best practices of these agency fraud prevention units, the efforts of the federal government and other state governments, and those in the private sector to root out fraud, waste, and abuse. The costs of state-administered health care programs are driven up when abuse of the system goes unchecked. Annually, Illinois spends more than $19 billion on state-administered Medicaid programs and the State Employee Group Health Insurance Programs.
Governor Bruce Rauner submitted a request for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) assistance to help people and businesses in Christian and Iroquois counties recover from severe storms and floods that occurred in late December.
If approved, the SBA declaration would enable people and businesses in those counties, as well as counties contiguous to each, to apply for low-interest, long-term loans.
“Nearly three months after floodwaters receded, many people still are trying to repair or rebuild their homes and replace personal property damaged in the floods,” said Gov. Rauner. “If approved, these low-interest loans could speed up the recovery process for many people and businesses.”
The state of Illinois requested federal assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help people recover from the floods, but that request was denied on March 10. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) consulted with the affected counties to see if any additional damage had been reported that could have been used to support an appeal of the denial. However, only minimal damage information for homes and businesses was reported by the impacted counties.
Gov. Rauner today also announced that IEMA will work with FEMA to review additional local government expenses related to the disaster that were recently submitted by eight counties. IEMA and FEMA will review new information submitted by officials from Alexander, Calhoun, Cass, Clark, Madison, Monroe, Randolph and St. Clair counties early next week to determine if those costs could support a state appeal for federal assistance to local governments. On March 10, FEMA also denied the state’s request for federal assistance for local governments affected by the December floods. The total costs to state and local governments included in that request totaled $15 million, which was less than FEMA’s population-based threshold for Illinois of $18.1 million. Although state officials understood the total costs fell below the threshold, federal assistance was requested due to the devastating impact of the disaster to the local infrastructure and economy, particularly in areas that were still recovering from flooding that occurred in mid-2015.
Gov. Rauner on Thursday added Clark County to the state declaration for the disaster after local governmental expenses related to the flooding in that county were submitted to IEMA.
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is committed to supporting courageous family members battling tough circumstances.
There are many within Illinois communities who have family members suffering from various forms of Leukemia. The Illinois State Police, in a cooperative effort with the National Marrow Donor organization - Be the Match, is initiating several donor drives across the state.
The cure for blood cancers like Leukemia is in the hands of ordinary people willing to donate, and donor drives like these can make a difference in a life saved. Marrow donation starts with a simple cheek swab to determine if there is a patient match who could benefit from your donation. Your willingness to give can save a life. Please share this information with friends and family members.
“This is a statewide initiative by all members of the ISP to make a difference in not only an individual’s life, but in the lives of all of their loved ones,” said ISP First Deputy Director Chad Peterson. “This is also our opportunity to further serve the communities where we all live and work. Please join us at one of the donor drives across the state and share in the opportunity to save a life,” Peterson added.
For more information about Be The Match visit https://bethematch.org/
CHICAGO - One of Rod Blagojevich's last chances to reduce his prison sentence was hindered by the U.S. Supreme Court this week.
The court refused to hear the former Illinois governor's appeal of his remaining corruption convictions, including the attempt to sell the Senate seat which was once occupied by President Obama. This lets a July ruling stand from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago which says Blagojevich crossed the line when he sought money in exchange for naming someone to fill Obama's old seat. The justices did not explain the decision.
Previously, the lower court tossed five of 18 convictions for Blagojevich and said he should be resentenced on the 13 remaining counts. No resentencing date has been set, but it could occur this year.
Springfield, IL – To bring more honesty, transparency, and public trust to Illinois government, State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Peru) is pushing several pieces of legislation that would tighten rules for constitutional officers and legislators.
“It’s no secret Illinois has a dark history when it comes to unethical behavior of elected officials,” Rezin said. “We must do all we can to make sure everything that goes on in Springfield is open and truthful, and not done in a cloud of smoke or political controversy.”
Rezin’s Senate Bill 2764 would enhance the state’s grant-making process by preventing elected officials from abusing their power when awarding grants. The legislation would impose a blackout period on constitutional officers and legislators from announcing grants close to an election; require a merit-based review of how grant recipients are selected, which will require documentation of award decisions including evaluation and scoring of applicants; and authorize a state agency to stop payments to any grant recipient that is not in compliance with the agreement.
The legislation is in response to the months-long audit review of former Gov. Pat Quinn’s controversial Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI). Many questioned Quinn’s political motives with the more than $50 million NRI launch, when it occurred just before the 2010 gubernatorial election.
>03-20 a deputy assisted the Paxton Police with a domestic disturbance.
>03-22 a lost Chihuahua dog was found wandering on Stockholm Road and was taken to Daisy Mae Kennels.
>03-23 a deputy assisted a Gibson City police officer with a call involving an altercation on E. 8th Street.
>03-24 a deputy assisted the Roberts/Melvin Fire Dept and Gibson Area Ambulance personnel with a possible heroin overdose in Roberts.
>03-26 a lost brown Labrador Retriever dog was found wandering on Rt45 and was taken to Daisy Mae Kennels.
>03-26 a deputy assisted a Gibson City police officer with transporting his arrestee to the jail.
>03-26 a deputy assisted Gibson City police officers with transporting two of their arrestees to the jail.
>03-26 an Aggravated Battery was reported in Melvin. The victim had to be airlifted to a Champaign hospital. During the week deputies handled 4 civil matters and issued 9 traffic citations.
Around 200 customers of Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative were without power for more than an hour Thursday after a vehicle struck a utility pole southeast of Fairbury.
“We had to disconnect power so the energy crews could safely get to the accident to take care of the people involved in that,” explained EIEC spokesman Mike Wilson.
The outage mainly impacted residents of southern Livingston County although a few customers in Ford and McLean counties were in the dark as well.
Even though it was an unfortunate situation, Wilson believes everything went according to plan as the person involved in the wreck waited for crews to arrive and safely disconnect the power before trying to leave. There was no immediate word on injuries. The wreck occurred along Livingston County road 600 North and an officer from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to the scene. Rainy weather was reported at the time of the wreck.
A Streator woman has been charged with one count of aggravated driving while under the influence in Livingston County Court.
Denise Woodring, 53, was involved in a crash which resulted in a fatality Wednesday. State Police reports indicate that just before 7 p.m., a witness observed a vehicle traveling east on Route 17. The vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and struck a westbound vehicle driven by Dr. Riyaz H. Nomani.
Following the wreck, Woodring has hospitalized while Dr. Nomani was pronounced dead at the scene. Initial toxicology reports indicate Woodring had an illegal substance, cocaine, in her system at the time of the accident. Police lab tests will be forthcoming.
"On behalf of myself, and the rest of the staff at the Livingston County State's Attorney's Office, I want to express our deepest sympathies to the family of the victim," Livingston County State's Attorney Seth Uphoff said in a statement Friday.
Woodring, who reportedly has a prior record of driving under the influence in 1992, was arrested and is being held at the Livingston County Jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond.
CLINTON - A 46-year-old Clinton man is dead following a police standoff Friday.
The man reportedly had a history of mental illness and the standoff involved officers from the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department and Clinton Police. Authorities received word the man was armed and suicidal and arrived to find him in a front yard holding a club and butcher knife. Officers fired when the man came toward them with the knife.
State Police are investigating the incident and the subject was pronounced dead at the scene.
3-8-16CHICAGO – Governor Bruce Rauner issued the following statement on the death of First Lady Nancy Reagan:
The Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative announces a Name & Logo Contest, designed to produce a name and logo for the new organization it is creating.
The past two years, a group of Rt. 66 stakeholders, facilitated by the World Monuments Fund and the National Park Service, have been
working to establish a new organization dedicated to fostering collaboration amongst all Route 66 stakeholders, with a specific mission to:
Revitalize and sustain Route 66 as a national icon, for the benefit of all Route 66 communities, travelers, and businesses/attractions, through collaborative partnerships focused on promotion, preservation, research/education, and economic development.
But let’s face it, as an organizational name – “The Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative” is something of a mouthful! So, we’re holding a contest to come up with a name and logo for this new organization – and everyone, everywhere is invited to take part. The goal is to identify an easy to remember name and a quickly recognizable logo, which reflect the mission of the Road Ahead Initiative and assist in efforts to market, promote, and establish a brand for this new organization.
For additional information or answers to questions, please visit the Route 66: The Road Ahead Initiative informational website at:
Governor Rauner and members of the General Assembly discussed bipartisan legislation to reform Illinois’ criminal justice system. The three bills came from recommendations by the Governor’s Criminal Justice and Sentencing Reform Commission.
“Today we are taking action to reform the criminal justice system in Illinois,” Governor Rauner said. “This package of bills takes the first steps to break the cycle of recidivism, by aiming to reduce both prison admissions and the length of someone’s prison stay. I thank the legislative sponsors for their work on these important pieces of legislation.”
The three bills deal with judicial sentencing, electronic monitoring and providing offenders ID cards when leaving prison. The proposed legislation includes:
· SB 3164 requires review of a pre-sentencing report, as well as an explanation of why incarceration is appropriate for offenders with no prior probation sentences or prison convictions prior to sentencing. Last year, nearly 60 percent of new prison admissions for Class 3 or 4 felonies had no prior convictions for violent crimes. Sending low-level offenders with no prior probation or other convictions inefficiently uses prison resources and potentially makes low-level offenders more susceptible to reoffending. This legislation is sponsored by Sen. Michael Connelly and Rep. Brian Stewart.
· SB 3294 expands the use of electronic monitoring to help transition offenders back into society. This will increase public safety by more effectively focusing IDOC’s supervision and programming resources to reduce recidivism. This legislation is sponsored by Sen. Kwame Raoul and Rep. Elgie Sims.
· SB 3368 requires the Secretary of State and the Illinois Department of Corrections work together to provide state identification so offenders can transition into society more easily. This legislation is sponsored by Sen. Karen McConnaughay and Rep. John Cabello.
FORREST - The nice weather on Saturday brought out a great crowd for the annual Prairie Central FFA Farm and Home Show in Forrest. “4-H Melts Your Heart” was the theme of the Forrest Fireflies booth at the north end of the gym. The club served snow cones this year and even had a goat and chicks on hand for the little ones to enjoy.
“Everybody seems to be driven toward the animals,” admits 4-H leader Mary Vaughan.
Vaughan said club members have been busy with community service work and are planning a promotion during June with Midwest Dairy for Dairy Month. The Forrest Fireflies includes 40 members ranging from students in third grade to seniors in high school. This year, they are having 4-H alumni come back to speak.
“We had a really great video from Nicole Wenger who is a med student at Ohio State. We had Jack Rich who is in the Marching Illini and the president of the Orange Crush,” Vaughan added.
Sealtite Insulation had one of the larger displays at the show.
“We really try and support local events like this and try to give back to the community. People have been very good to us here,” Jeremy Leman explained.
Kelly Kinate, who has American Family Insurance offices in Pontiac and Fairbury, was pleased with the turnout.
“We’ve got a lot of folks coming in and so it looks like we are going to have a pretty successful show this year.”
In addition to the show, a pork chop and pork burger lunch was served from 11-2. The next big event is the March 17 hog roast and auction at Prairie Central High School in Fairbury. A full meal will be served starting at 4:30 with the auction at 6:30 p.m.