Working for Illinois Caucus

House Downstate Democrats work for the good people of Illinois

State Rep. Connor wants to focus on helping families, end gridlock in new term

John Connor
John Connor

State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, began a new term Wednesday by urging his colleagues in the General Assembly to move beyond the partisan gridlock and work together to improve the lives of all Illinois residents.

“This new General Assembly is an opportunity to move beyond the paralyzing games we faced under Gov. [Bruce] Rauner,” Connor said in a statement. “I am focused on passing legislation that will move Illinois forward by investing in our schools and lowering the property tax burden on families throughout our community.”

Connor said the General Assembly should act to protect health care, prepare for the jobs of the future through education and training, and put the state back on sound financial footing by continuing to shorten the time in which state bills are paid to avoid millions of dollars in interest payments down the road.

His legislative agenda for the 101st General Assembly is centered on feedback he received from his constituents. Connor said he intends to work on legislation that will lower the tax burden on local families and continue to fight against the privatization of water systems in his district. He also is interested in Will County’s plan for another bridge to the Lockport area.

Connor also wants residents to reach out if they have concerns about legislation or state services. He plans to host community events and regularly walk door-to-door to hear directly from residents about the issues that matter to them.

Connor’s office can be reached at 815-372-0085 or He recently moved his office to the Crestlake building in Crest Hill.

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Politics,Region: Suburbs


January 10, 2019 at 10:43PM

State Rep. Connor moves district office to Crest Hill

John Connor
John Connor

State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, announced on his Facebook page that his local district office is moving from Romeoville to Crest Hill.

As of Friday, his office will be located at 16151 S. Weber Road, Suite 103, at the Crestlake Professional Center in Crest Hill. His now former office was located in the 200 block of Romeo Road in Romeoville.

Connor was first appointed to represent the 85th District, which includes all or parts of Lockport, Crest Hill, Romeoville and Woodridge, in June 2017 after Emily McAsey stepped down to move out of the state. He was elected for his first full term this past November. He used to work in the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office under Jim Glasgow.

For information on Connor’s new office, call 815-372-0085 or email

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City: Joliet,Region: Joliet,Region: South Suburbs,Opinion

via The Herald-News

January 6, 2019 at 11:29PM

Did J.B. Pritzker make empty promises during his campaign?

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin joins Rick Pearson 4/8/18.


Did J.B. Pritzker make empty promises during his campaign?

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin joins Rick Pearson 4/8/18.

Rick Pearson is joined by Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs to discuss where Republicans fit into the new dynamic of Democrats expanding their legislative majorities. Jim shares details about two new legislation expected to come into play within the next week that will affect tollway authorities and agency members; as well as his opinions on J.B. Pritzker capability of fulfilling all of the commitments he made during his campaign.


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Region: Chicago,Shows,Politics,City: Chicago

via The Sunday Spin: Politics with Rick Pearson – WGN Radio – 720 AM

January 6, 2019 at 08:59AM

Newly elected state rep to leave Vernon Township post

Vernon Township Supervisor Daniel Didech will officially leave the post as he heads to Springfield as the newly elected Democrat state representative for the 59th District.

A special board meeting has been called for 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the township office, 3050 N. Main St., Buffalo Grove. Didech has tendered his resignation and the board is expected to choose a successor at the meeting. The pending position was advertised in a recent township newsletter and three candidates were interviewed, Didech said Friday.

In November, Didech, a municipal attorney, defeated former Lincolnshire Trustee Karen Feldman to take the seat held by Democrat Carol Sente, who did not seek a fifth term. He’ll be sworn in Wednesday with other state legislators as the 101st General Assembly.

He was elected supervisor in 2017 and had an active tenure. He led an initiative, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters in November, to eliminate the local highway district and its elected highway commissioner and shift oversight of its duties to the township board starting in 2021.

Didech said he also successfully fought to lower the township’s property tax levy by more than 5 percent, modernized the township’s food pantry, increased transparency and accountability of expenditures and "shut the door on a culture of corruption" that served insiders.

During his time as supervisor, he, the township board and highway commissioner were sued by Assessor Gary Raupp alleging they held an illegal meeting to deal with claims of sexual harassment against Raupp’s son and another employee.

The suit has been settled, with the assessor agreeing to put policies and training in place, Didech said.

"I look forward to bringing this brand of independent leadership down to Springfield, where our work at Vernon Township can serve as a model of how to reform government, pursue justice and equality, and reduce the tax burden on middle-class families while improving services that are provided to our neighbors," Didech told township trustees in his letter of resignation.

Illinois faces many challenges after four years of "reckless leadership, unnecessary tax increases and irresponsible cuts to social services," Didech said, and it will be a full-time endeavor to get the state back on track.

He said he will work to consolidate layers of government while trying to build coalitions to make progress on that and other matters.

"I’m not going down there to work for the insiders," he said Friday.

The 59th District spans portions of 21 towns, including large sections of Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Vernon Hills and Mundelein.

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via Daily Herald

January 6, 2019 at 08:46AM

State rep. delivers clothing drive donations to MorningStar Mission in Joliet

John Connor
John Connor

State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, recently visited MorningStar Mission in Joliet to deliver donations from the clothing drive he hosted earlier in December with state Rep. Larry Walsh Jr., D-Joliet.

“MorningStar Mission is a wonderful organization that does important work in our community,” Connor said in a news release. “The winter months can be especially difficult for those in need, and I hope that the donations from our clothing drive can help make a difference.”

MorningStar Mission is an organization that offers programs for families, young men and at-risk youth. The organization also provides thousands of food baskets and gifts to families and individuals in need during the holiday season and gives school supplies to more than 300 children at the beginning of each school year.

“Helping those in need is important during the holiday season, but is necessary year-round,” Connor said. “I’m grateful for everyone who generously donated, and I encourage residents to visit MorningStar Mission’s website to find information.”

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Feeds,City: Joliet,Region: Joliet,Region: South Suburbs,Opinion


January 1, 2019 at 11:00PM

Connor-backed Health Care Violence Prevention Act to take effect in 2019

John Connor, D-Lockport
John Connor, D-Lockport

Legislation backed by state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, will require hospitals and other health care facilities to develop a workplace violence prevention program to help address increased violence toward registered nurses.

The law takes effect in January, according to a news release from Connor’s office.

“Workplace violence committed against nurses has been increasing in recent years, and something needed to be done in order to prevent future incidents from occurring,” Connor said in the news release. “I am hopeful that the Health Care Violence Prevention Act will being about better safety guidelines to prevent violence toward nurses and allow for better working environments moving forward.”

The bill was prompted by incidents last year in Geneva and Joliet where medical professionals were held hostage and assaulted.

The law will require hospitals and correctional agencies to create a workplace violence prevention program that must reference Occupational Safety and Health Administration guidelines.

The measure also requires hospitals to establish protocols for the intake and treatment of incarcerated individuals, and for in-hospital emergencies. It also creates whistleblower protections for nurses who take action on instances of workplace violence.

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December 26, 2018 at 10:30PM

State Rep. Says New State Law Would Have Helped Vet Whose Remains Were Found Along Fox River in Kendall Co.

A new state law that becomes effective on January 1st will include what is called a “Silver Alert” for missing veterans, particularly those suffering from a physical or mental health condition.

House Bill 4212 amends the Missing Persons Identification Act to add veterans and active duty members suffering a physical or mental health condition in an attempt to reduce the suicide rate.

Law enforcement will be able to issue a “Silver alert” for a missing veteran. Like an Amber alert, the public will be notified in an effort to quickly locate a missing veteran and perhaps save a life.


Representative Stephanie Kifowit. (Photo provided)

The measure was a bi-partisan effort that passed unanimously. Democratic State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego says the new law, “would have helped the Soesbe family when their son Trey, a National Guardsman, who struggled with depression, was missing for two years.”  

As WSPY reported in August, the Kendall County Coroner’s Office positively identified 30-year-old Trey Nathan Key Soesbe of Aurora as the man whose remains were found by kayakers near the Route 30 bridge between Oswego and Montgomery.

Soesbe, a former Army National Guard Specialist, was reported missing in December of 2015 and was last seen by a family member Dec. 29, 2015 when he was dropped off at a homeless shelter in Aurora but never registered or spent a night there.

Police say Soesbe suffered from alcoholism and bipolar disorder. In July of 2016, Soesbe’s father wrote an email to Kifowit about his son recalling when Kifowit had visited Soesbe and his father two years prior to the disappearance.

Soesbe’s father in the email said that Trey Soesbe’s sister had contact with Soesbe, who’s phone allegedly went dead after he told her he was “down by the river by some dangerous people.” His remains were found on an island in the river on August 4, 2018.

Kifowit said in a statement on Friday about the law, “I think of Veterans such as Trey Soesbe, and hope that this law will help our struggling Veterans. The State of Illinois must help search for Veterans in danger and I will continue to support legislation that helps all Veterans readjust to civilian life.”

The legislation was proposed by Republican State Rep. Dan Swanson of Woodhull who was a 2nd Lt. in the Army National Guard. Rep. Kifowit served as a United States Marine.

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Region: Northern,News,City: Morris,Region: Morris

via – RSS Results of type article

December 21, 2018 at 05:45PM

Stuart encourages food pantry donations

State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) attended the annual Christmas luncheon of the Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees on Monday to discuss the canned food drive and other accomplishments of the organization this past year.

“This chapter of SOAR is one of the most active in the nation and has done so much to help steelworkers and local community organizations here in the Metro East, like TWIGS, Faith in Action, and others, through winter clothing drives and various fundraisers. Last year, they stepped up to help provide winter clothing to laid-off steelworkers in the area,” Stuart said. “This year, now that many of the steelworkers have rejoined the workforce at the mill, they are using their resources to help the entire community through a canned food drive.”

Stuart will collect canned and nonperishable food items from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Dec. 20 at her constituent services office, 2105 Vandalia St., Unit 16, in Collinsville. She will also collect donations from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, at her Holiday Open House, also at her local office.

“I am proud to support our active and retired steelworkers in any way I can, whether through legislation to help promote buying local and American-made goods, or through canned food collections for them to give back and donate to local food pantries,” Stuart added. “I encourage everyone to join local steelworkers and me to donate nonperishable goods and help those in need this holiday season.”

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December 14, 2018 at 10:05PM

Local Representatives Backing House Joint Resolution for Illinois State Police to Process Forensic Evidence Faster

Democratic State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit of Oswego and Republican State Rep. Mark Batinick of Plainfield are both backing a House Joint Resolution that is calling on Illinois State Police to review their procedures in order to quicken the pace of DNA testing in violent crimes including shootings, murders and sexual assaults.

ISP reported the average amount of time to process DNA evidence for all criminal cases, including sexual assaults, is 285 days.

House Joint Resolution 140, if passed, would require the Auditor General to conduct an audit of ISP.

The audit of ISP would include, according to the text of the resolution, "an examination of the division’s equipment, procedures and staffing levels."

Additionally, the resolution grants law enforcement the support tools needed to access data from the nationwide Combined DNA Index System.

Batinick is a chief co-sponsor of the resolution, which was filed with the clerk in early September by Rep. State Rep. David McSweeney of Park Ridge.

Kifowit says she’s "hopeful that this audit will provide insights on how to resolve this issue."

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December 8, 2018 at 06:31PM

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