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Bristow Postpones Events, Offers Assistance to Businesses Affected During Closures |

To help maintain the health and well-being of the community, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, will be postponing all of her planned events for the month of March and is working to connect local small business owners with resources during the planned closures of restaurants and other establishments.

“With the concern surrounding COVID-19, my office will follow the guidelines and recommendations set forth by the Center for Disease Control and the Illinois Department of Public Health and discourage public gatherings,” said Bristow. “My priority is to keep our communities safe and healthy, including those who are already most vulnerable to this virus, like those with pre-existing conditions and our seniors. I want residents to know that I am in contact with our local health officials and IDPH to communicate accurate information to the public about this ongoing situation.”

The following events hosted by Bristow will be postponed for a later date:

Mar. 23 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mar. 23 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Mar. 28 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Mar. 30 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“If you are a small business owner and you have questions or need assistance during these closures of restaurants, bars and other establishments, please reach out to me at and I will send updates as soon as more information becomes available,” said Bristow. “This includes any information regarding small business loans, unemployment benefits for individuals, and any other resource that may emerge during this very difficult time for many.”

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March 17, 2020 at 07:31AM

Rep. Bristow and Citizens Utility Board Host Clinic

Two weeks from today State Representative Monica Bristow (D-Alton) and the Citizens Utility Board will co-host a utility bill clinic for residents.

The clinic will be focused on educating and assisting residents in cutting costs on their energy bills as well as valuable information on scams, helping you find the best utility rates and more.

Bristow tells the Big Z the CUB exists solely to help you.

click play for Bristow’s commentso

The free clinic will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, March 23nd at the Roxana Public Library located at 200 N. Central Avenue in Roxana. Registration is required. To register contact the CUB at 1-800-669-5556 ext. 111 or email


(Copyright WBGZ Radio /

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Region: Metro East,City: Alton,Feeds,News,Southern,Metro East

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March 9, 2020 at 05:00AM

111th House district race one of state’s most expensive

State Rep. Monica Bristow

Among all races for the Illinois General Assembly during this election cycle, Metro East’s 111th House of Representatives District has become the fifth most contested in the state, according to the campaign finance tracking website, Illinois Sunshine.

So far, contributors have donated a total of $756,500.79 to the two candidates in the district — with the bulk of that going to first-term incumbent Rep. Monica Bristow, a Democrat from Godfrey.

That’s likely because in 2018, Bristow won her first term by just 356 votes — making the 111th one of the most competitive districts in the state, according to Republican challenger Amy Elik of Fosterburg.

As of Feb. 21, Friends of Monica Bristow, the incumbent’s campaign organization, had raised some $639,864.64 for her reelection bid, according to Illinois Sunshine.

Citizens for Amy Elik, on the other hand, has raised just $31,583.00, since the campaign organization was formally established on Nov. 17 of last year. The Elik campaign currently has $22,078.40 in cash on hand; including $2,000 raised since the start of this year.

The Bristow campaign has no debt, according to campaign final reports filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE). Elik’s campaign has $2,050 in debts and obligations.

In addition, Bristow has also had the benefit of $85,053.15 in support, to date, from independent entities, outside her campaign. Elik so far has enjoyed no independent support.

GOP challenger Amy Elik

“Independent expenditures” are defined in election law as expenditures made, in support-of or opposition-to a declared candidate for office in an election, by a super PACs or similar organization, without direct coordination with any candidate running for that office .

Neither the Bristow or Elik campaigns have funds earning interest through investments. Neither has been the subject of independent opposition campaigning.

A self-described conservative Democrat, Rep. Bristow has been a leading advocate for economic development in the Riverbend area.

Before running for state representative, she was, from July 2003 to November 2017, president of the River Bend Growth Association, the chamber of commerce and economic development agency for 10 communities in Madison and Jersey counties.

Prior to that, she spent 22 years with Olin Corporation; working in various capacities including human resources, compensation and public relations.

Elik is a CPA and auditor, with two decades of experience with clients in both the public and private sectors, according to her campaign website.

She is also a longtime Foster Township Trustee and former board member at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Alton.

As a Fosterburg Township trustee, she has cut the township’s tax levy by 20 percent.

Elik cites education, wasteful, spending, Second Amendments rights, protection for the unborn, and taxes as her top campaign issues.

The 111th State House District covers all or parts of Alton, Bethalto, East Alton, Edwardsville, Elsah, Godfrey, Granite City, Hartford, Madison, Pontoon Beach, Roxana, South Roxana, and Wood River.

In the 95th House District, incumbent Rep. Avery Bourne of Morrisonville will be challenged by Lawrence Oliver of Dorsey in the March 17 Republican primary.

State Rep. Avery Bourne

Rep. Bourne, the youngest person ever elected to the Illinois General Assembly, has to date raised $93,462.03 for her election bid; with $78,616.68 in cash currently available. She reports $53.15 in independent support.

Oliver, a chemical engineer with a background in environmental testing, reports no fundraising.

The Republican primary winner will face Democrat Chase Wilhelm of Coffeen, a Princeton Theological College graduate and Illinois Department of Corrections chaplain, who reports $2,810 in fundraising; all still in his campaign coffer.

The 95th State House District covers northeastern Madison County and areas to the northeast. It includes Benld, Brighton, Bunker Hill, Gillespie, Mt. Olive, New Douglas, Staunton, Piasa, and Worden

108TH State House

In the 108th State House District, incumbent Rep. Charles Meier of Okawville faces no opposition in the GOP primary, but has raised $115,218.23 so in his reelection bid. With $6,500.00 raised since the start of this year, Citizens for Charlie Meier still has $63,775.82 in its treasury for the fall general election campaign.

Rep. Meier is among a handful of Metro East candidates enjoying a bit of independent support — valued at $53.15 in state campaign finance reports.

He is one of only two Metro East area State House candidates encountering independent opposition efforts — valued at $3,040.69 in state campaign finance reports.

The 108th District includes all of Clinton County as well as parts of Madison, St. Clair, and Washington counties.

Lawrence Oliver of Dorsey

In the 112th State House District, first term Rep. Katie Stuart of Edwardsville faces no primary or general election opposition.

Nevertheless, the Democrat and former Southern Illinois University mathematics instructor has attracted $490,096.83 in campaign support during this election cycle. That includes $478,583.30 in campaign contributions and $11,513.53 in independent support.

Including $109,800 received since the start of this year, the Friends for Katie Stuart campaign committee currently has $446,458.46 in cash on hand.

The 112th District covers central Madison County and a section of north central St. Clair County.

In 113th House District, Assistant Majority Leader Jay Hoffman of Swansea faces no primary or general election opposition but has drawn $1,152,268.22 in campaign support – the fifth highest total for any Illinois House candidate this year.

In addition to $1,152,215.07 in cash or in-kind contributions, the Committee to Elect Jay C Hoffman reports supporting independent expenditures of $53.15.

Including $13,000 in contributions this year, the former prosecutor has $803,840.06 in cash on hand in his reelection treasury.

The 114th District covers sections of central and northeastern St. Clair County and a small section of southeastern Madison County.

In the 114th Illinois State House District, incumbent LaToya Greenwood of East St. Louis also faces no challengers in either the Democratic primary or the fall general election

She reports $145,180.97 in campaign support, including $145,127.82 in cash or in-kind contributions to the Friends of LaToya N Greenwood and $53.15 in independent support. Her campaign has $97,731.51 in cash on hand and has reported no contributions since the close of the last ISBE quarterly reporting period on Dec. 31.

The 114th District cover central St. Clair County including Alorton, Belleville, Brooklyn, Cahokia, Centreville, East St. Louis, Fairview Heights, Mascoutah, Millstadt, O’Fallon, Sauget, Scott Air Force Base, Shiloh, Swansea and Washington Park.

In the 116th State House District, incumbent Rep. Nathan Reitz of Steeleville faces no opposition in next month’s Democratic primary. The Friends of Nathan Reitz have raised $141,544.13 to date with $78,448.95 in cash currently on hand.

On the Republican primary ballot in 116th district:

  • Kevin Schmidt of Millstadt, who has raised $22,200 during this campaign cycle. Including $20,000 raised since the start of this year, the Schmidt for Illinois campaign committee still has $20,942.24 in its treasury to spend.
  • David Holder of Baldwin, who has raised $8,869; all over recent weeks and still available to spend.
  • David Friess of Red Bud, who has raised $7,332.02, since declaring his candidacy, and still has $4,450.47 to spend.

Friess is the other Metro East State House candidate facing considerable independent opposition expenditures, so far totaling $15,769.69.

District 116 covers all of Monroe and Randolph counties, plus parts of St. Clair and Perry counties.




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March 4, 2020 at 04:13PM

Bristow to Host Property Tax Office Hours in Alton

ALTON, Ill. – To help local residents find property tax relief, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, is hosting Property Tax Office Hours for residents of Alton Township. The event will be held on March 12 at Senior Service Plus, located 2603 N. Rodgers Ave. Alton, IL, from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.

“This event will give residents the opportunity to learn about and take advantage of current tax exemptions and find tax relief,” said Bristow. “By sitting one-on-one with staff from the assessor’s office, residents will be able to learn more about what they can do to save on their property taxes”.

Bristow’s free property tax event will let residents engage with members of the Alton Assessor’s office to learn about exemptions and the property tax appeals process. Residents are encouraged to bring a copy of their most recent property tax bills and a valid state ID.

“It is important for homeowners to have the opportunity to come, ask questions, and learn from property tax experts,” continued Bristow. “This event will also educate attendees about new laws, proposals, and how to save money on property taxes to local homeowners.”

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March 3, 2020 at 10:03AM

State declares February as Career and Technical Education Month

The Illinois Senate adopted Senate Resolution 983 on Feb. 26, declaring February as Career and Technical Education Month in Illinois.

This resolution brings awareness to the career and technical education that prepares students for high-wage, high-demand careers. CTE covers many fields, including healthcare, information technology, manufacturing, hospitality, and more. It encompasses many types of education, from classroom learning to certification programs to work-based learning opportunities outside of the classroom. 

“I have prioritized creating a skilled workforce in Illinois, and it depends on giving students the opportunity to attend high-quality trade schools in our state,” state Sen. Rachelle Crowe said. “We need to be encouraging success from outside a traditional classroom. This resolution works to bring awareness to the vital contributions labor workers provide in economic development efforts. Technical, vocational and trade education strengthens the Metro East at its core.”

Career and technical education delivers options for students pursuing college and rewarding careers; it delivers real-world skills to students, and it delivers a high school experience with more value. Parents and students both want their child or themselves to pursue a career they are passionate about. CTE lets students explore careers and find out what they want, or don’t want, to do after high school. CTE makes the future more affordable by helping families save money and wisely invest their time. CTE students can earn a paycheck, marketable certifications and even earn college credits while in high school, which can lead to better opportunities whether they pursue college or a career. There are a growing number of scholarships designed to help CTE students. 

“Each year, it’s important to recognize the accomplishments and opportunities coming from the world of Career and Technical Education. With career opportunities increasing for those with trade and technical skills, the state of Illinois needs to let students and business owners know that the state will continue promoting and investing in these careers,” state Rep. Monica Bristow said. “As a member of both the Higher Education Committee and the Economic Development committee, I recognize that CTE is an incredible avenue to meaningful and lucrative careers. I am happy to support February as CTE Month to recognize the work being done in the field and increase awareness about the opportunities for those entering the field.”

Career and technical education provides learners with the knowledge and skills they need to be prepared for college and careers. CTE gives purpose to learning by emphasizing real-world skills and practical knowledge within a selected career focus. Students take specialized courses, in addition to required courses, and often have the opportunity to participate in internships, engage with mentors and practice what they are learning through hands-on projects. Students can participate in CTE at the middle school or high school level and at postsecondary institutions. 

“Career and technical education creates meaningful pathways for students that allows them to learn through real-world application, explore career fields, and learn technical and employability skills that will last them a lifetime,” Madison County CTE Director Kaleb Smith said. “One important element of CTE is that it doesn’t limit a student’s future career options, it expands them. Students who utilize CTE programs can follow a path that leads to an industry credential, an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree, or beyond. Going through a CTE program really does help a student find who they are and what they want to be and send a student down a path that leads to a meaningful career.”

For more information, visit or call (618) 656-0415. Madison County Career and Technical Education’s address is 6161 Center Grove Road in Edwardsville.

The RiverBend Growth Association provided this article.

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February 28, 2020 at 11:33AM

Connor responds to Gov. budget address

State Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, issued the following statement after Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s annual budget address Wednesday:

“As we begin another budget process, it is important to recognize that tough decisions will need to be made. We must continue to pay down old bills and meet our pension obligations, but also fund the commitments made to our schools and lifesaving services such as domestic violence shelters and senior care.

“I want to make sure we are helping residents receive quality, affordable health care, as well as expanding opportunities for early childhood education. Property taxes continue to be a burden on too many families, and I want us to take steps to effectively lower bills for all homeowners.

“I look forward to working with the governor and members on both sides of the aisle as we review today’s proposal’s specifics and gather input from residents and stakeholders. There will need to be difficult decisions, but together we can craft a responsible, balanced plan that reflects our shared values and works to build a stronger Illinois.”

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News,Region: Joliet,Region: South Suburbs

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February 19, 2020 at 03:59PM

Manley responds to Gov. budget address

To highlight her plans to pass a balanced state budget, state Rep. Natalie Manley, D-Joliet, issued the below statement following Governor JB Pritzker’s budget address:

“While significant progress has been made to put Illinois in a better financialposition, there is still much more work to be done to pay off the state’s old bills and provide property tax relief to local homeowners. I look forward to working in a bipartisan manner to craft a state budget plan that prioritizes these needs and lifts up Illinois’ families.

“To be a strong voice for our community, I continually meet with local leaders, knock on doors in local neighborhoods and host legislative advisory committees and other events to hear the thoughts and concerns of community residents. I know firsthand that working and middle-class families are being crushed by an unfair, immense tax burden. I will not support a budget plan that balances on the backs of middle-class families, seniors or other vulnerable residents. Instead we need a balanced, bipartisan budget that invests in our schools, public safety and other important programs with no new tax increases.

“To build a stronger Illinois, my top priorities continue to be real property tax relief and a Fair Tax plan to relieve the burden felt by local families. I will continue advocating to ensure our voices are heard in the state Capitol and working to pass a balanced, bipartisan budget plan.”

For more information, please contact Manley’s constituent service office at 815-725-2741 or

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News,Region: Joliet,Region: South Suburbs

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February 19, 2020 at 03:59PM

St. Rep. Yednock says governor’s budget address lays out a plan for the state’s future

St. Rep. Lance Yednock says political parties don’t matter to him or his neighbors, but results do. The Ottawa Democrat says one of the things he’s fighting for is lower taxes. His statement after the governor’s budget address Wednesday says Pritzker laid out a blueprint for the state’s financial future. He says the state needs to pay down its backlog of old bills and live within its means.

Yednock’s statement:
“Today’s address laid the blueprint for Illinois’ financial future. To put our state back on the right financial track, we must ensure that the state pays down its backlog of old bills and shows financial responsibility in its budget. The governor has the opportunity to continue moving Illinois forward by prioritizing middle-class families in Illinois while correcting the errors made by his predecessor, and I stand ready to work with my colleagues to accomplish that.

“Since day one, I have heard from residents in the Illinois Valley about the need for meaningful tax relief, and I’ve heard them loud and clear. For too long, legislators have punted the football on this issue, but it’s time for Springfield to tackle the most pressing issues head-on. We need to make sure working families aren’t priced out of their homes, and we can do that by reforming a broken system that doesn’t work for the middle class. Local families have to live within their means and their household budget, and it’s time for the state to do the same.
“My priority remains protecting working families. That means fighting for affordable health care, higher wages, realized pension payments, and lower taxes for the middle class. There is so much more work left to be done and I’ll work with Republicans and Democrats to get them done. Political parties don’t matter to me or my neighbors; but results do, and I am committed to making sure that our state works for all Illinois residents.”

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February 19, 2020 at 03:31PM

State Rep. Bristow to Help Local Residents Find Property Tax Relief With Sen. Crowe

WOOD RIVER – To help local resident find property tax relief, state Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, is hosting Property Tax Office Hours with Sen. Rachelle Crowe, D-Glen Carbon, for residents of Wood River Township. The event will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at Wood River Township Assessor’s office, located at 49 S. 9th Street, from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m.

“One of the best ways people can find property tax relief is by ensuring they are taking advantage of current property tax exemptions. The best way to find out which exemptions you qualify for is by sitting down with your local township or county assessor,” said Bristow. “This event will allow folks to sit down one-on-one with property tax experts from the assessor’s office and ask questions about how to save on their property taxes.”

Bristow’s free property tax event will allow residents to engage one-on-one with members of the Wood River Township Assessor’s office to learn about exemptions and the property tax appeals process. Residents are encouraged to bring a copy of their most recent property tax bills and a valid state ID.

“I encourage homeowners that are concerned with the rising costs of their property taxes to come and ask questions,” continued Bristow. “With new state laws and proposals, it’s good to stay up to date about how you can save on your property taxes.”

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February 3, 2020 at 02:07PM

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