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Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) recently announced that the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) has signed off on Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) release of $11.3 million statewide for community college capital projects, the first round of this funding will be released this fiscal year.

“Community colleges play a crucial role in developing our workforce,” said Rep. Meier. “These repairs and upgrades are long overdue. Investing in capital improvements at Kaskaskia College will help improve the quality of education the community college provides to the region.”

Kaskaskia College will receive $179,435 from the state to help replace original flooring and tile, make ADA compliant upgrades, fix walkways affected by erosion, and update signage as requested by first responders. Kaskaskia College will also provide funds to complete the projects.

“Infrastructure investment is a catalyst for job creation and economic development,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “We signed a bipartisan budget in June that includes funds for improvement projects that benefit local businesses and residents. This kind of investment is how government can play a positive role in the Illinois economy.”

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce today released their legislative ratings for the 100th General Assembly. Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) was awarded the “Champion of Free Enterprise” award, in recognition of his support for voting to further economic opportunities for Illinoisans.

The Illinois Chamber’s Legislative Ratings tracks votes important to the state’s business community and grades legislators based on their support of pro-business issues during the two-year legislative session.

“I’m happy to receive this award for having a pro-jobs and pro-economic growth voting record in the legislature,” said Rep. Meier. “It’s important to me that we continue to work on a business climate that is more business friendly. Jobs provide families more opportunity, and more jobs equals a better quality of life for Illinoisans.”

The Illinois Chamber honored 34 members of the Illinois House of Representatives and 13 members of the Illinois Senate with its biennial “Champion of Free Enterprise” award, given in recognition of their support for voting to further economic opportunities for Illinoisans.

“The Chamber’s Legislative Ratings lets Illinois families, small businesses, and taxpayers know if legislators voted in favor of private sector job creation and a stronger economy,” said Todd Maisch, president and CEO, Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “While most Illinois lawmakers continue to provide lip service to the need for pro-growth reforms, these 47 lawmakers are committed to supporting and defending Illinois employers throughout the State.”

To be eligible for the “Champion of Free Enterprise” award, a lawmaker must have received an average of 85 percent or better voting record over the previous two General Assemblies with the Illinois Chamber.

To view the breakdown of members of the House of Representatives, click here.

Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) was recently inducted into the Illinois 4-H Foundation Hall of Fame. The 4-H Foundation presented the award to Rep. Meier on Ag Day at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield on Wednesday, August 15.

“I am honored and very much appreciate the recognition from 4-H,” said Rep. Meier. “As a farmer I recognize the important role 4-H has in educating our next generation in a variety of skillsets.” I am proud to support 4-H and will continue to help inspire our youth.”

Illinois 4-H Hall of Fame inductees have a track record of exemplary service to 4-H or outstanding career and community achievement and were nominated by either county University of Illinois Extension staff or by the Illinois 4-H Foundation Board.

According to the Illinois 4-H Foundation, “Charlie represents 4-H in everything he does. He uses his head, heart, hands and health daily and his only goal is to make our county and world a better place. As busy as Charlie is he continues to make the time to bond with the youth of Washington County during fair season while manning the food stand for the livestock shows/auction and still remains active with the Washington County Federation. Charlie is responsible for the County Wide 4-H Pork Chop Fundraiser which is responsible for paying the enrollment fees for all traditional 4-H club members – thereby benefiting all 4-Hers in the county.”

Rep. Meier congratulated three constituents from the 108th
District that were also honored with a 4-H Hall of Fame Award at the State Fair on Wednesday. Sheila Lueking from Centralia (Clinton Co.) and Jim and Elaine Thurnau from St. Jacob (Madison Co.).

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) will host his fifth annual Senior Citizen Health fair Wednesday, August 29 at the Weinheimer Community Center, located at 1100 Main Street in Highland, from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The fair is free and open to the public.

Attendees at this year’s free Senior Fair will receive helpful guides, literature, and other
resources from various government agencies and local businesses. Staff from the General Assembly
will be available to talk with constituents about their questions. Refreshments will be provided and
attendees are encouraged to sign–in for a chance to win a door prize at the end of the event.

Who: State Representative Charlie Meier
What: Senior Citizen Health Fair
When: Wednesday, August 29 9am -11am
Where: Weinheimer Community Center, located at 1100 Main Street in Highland

Space is still available for local businesses, government and non-profits interested in setting up a free booth at the Senior Fair. For more information, contact Rep. Meier’s office at 618-651-0405.

Legislation sponsored by Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) to provide more transparency when a state designated agency visits Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs) a.k.a. “group homes” was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on Friday, August 3. Currently, 3,097 Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs) operate in the State of Illinois.

“This new law will help determine what is going on in the CILAs and how our most vulnerable is cared for,” said Rep. Meier. The Auditor General’s report released on July 19th confirmed lack of inspections for CILAs. Now, every CILA visit by Equip for Equality will be made public. I look forward to working with Equip for Equality to make this happen.”

The new law P.A. 100-0694 (HB 5636) requires the State of Illinois’ current designated agency (Equip for Equality) to submit a report to DHS detailing how many visits the agency made, which facilities were visited, and the nature of each visit, so that DHS and the public can be sure that the designated agency is being diligent and effective in the protection of the State’s most vulnerable population. The new law also adds CILAs to the facilities the designated agency has access to.

Today, the Auditor General released a performance audit of the Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs) program administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS). The audit was directed by House Resolution 34 sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville). Rep. Meier requested the audit in light of the abuse and neglect which took place throughout the state in group homes for the developmentally disabled dating back to 2011.

According to State Representative Charlie Meier, “This audit reaffirms that more work must be done to improve the quality of care our most vulnerable population should expect to receive. Not all group homes are bad, but there is no excuse for these mistakes to happen again. Since 2015 the state has made improvements; however there is always room for improvement. I won’t give up advocating for better care for our developmentally disabled. In the meantime I will continue to review this audit with my staff in order to help advocate for more improvements.”The following is an excerpt from the Auditor General’s report which can be found at
Gov. Bruce Rauner today vetoed Senate Bill 2368, saying it was a politically motivated attempt to undercut the good work of the Metro East Sanitary District (MESD) Board of Commissioners.
The sanitary district provides flood protection and sewer services within numerous communities near the Mississippi River in Madison and St. Clair counties. The bill, passed by both Houses in May, would in effect replace a current Madison County-based commissioner with the mayor of Granite City and oust the sanitary district’s executive director.

Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville, applauded the governor’s action.

“This bill would be detrimental to Metro East taxpayers, which is why I voted against it in the House,” Meier said. “Today, MESD is operating at a surplus and now can afford to make repairs due to the fact that new leadership took over in 2017.”