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State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) welcomed the creation of two new “Opportunity Zones” in Clinton, Marion, and Washington Counties. The Opportunity Zones are aimed at boosting jobs and economic development in the region. The new zone in Clinton County begins along the eastern shores of Carlyle Lake, extending East to the border of Marion County, including Centralia and Central City. The Washington County zone stretches from I-64 in Nashville and goes as far south as Nixon Road.

According to State Rep. Charlie Meier, “Our region has a tremendous opportunity to create more jobs and more economic development. The creation of Opportunity Zones will allow for private tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need. I’m excited about the possibilities this incentive will bring to southern Illinois.”

On Friday, May 18th, Governor Bruce Rauner announced 327 census tracts were submitted by the State of Illinois to the U.S. Treasury Department for consideration as Opportunity Zones. The U.S. Treasury Department approved the recommendations, as permitted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. 1,305 qualifying low-income census tracts were available for selection, of which only 25% could be nominated by the Governor for inclusion in the program. The zones cover more than 85 counties throughout the state and aim to support the future of Illinois through economic growth and investment.

For more information on Opportunity Zones, please visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) website here.

On Thursday, the Illinois House of Representatives adopted a resolution honoring our veterans by designating Old US 50 in Clinton County, Illinois as the “Clinton County Veterans Memorial Road”. House Joint Resolution 100 (HJR 100) sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) passed unanimously in the House of Representatives.

“It is highly fitting that we pay honor and respect to the truly great individuals who have served our country and, in doing so, have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation,” said Rep. Meier. “Their sacrifice and service is a reminder that freedom is not free but comes at a cost. We should always remember the men and women who helped preserve the freedoms that we all enjoy.”

HJR 100 now heads to the Senate for approval. Upon passage in the Senate, the Illinois Department of Transportation will be directed to erect at suitable locations, consistent with state and federal regulations, appropriate plaques or signs giving notice of the name “Clinton County Veterans Memorial Road” along Old US 50 in Clinton County.
State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) announced today that $52,627 in state-sponsored per capita grant money has been approved for libraries located in the 108th Legislative House District.

According to State Representative Charlie Meier, “Libraries serve the community in more ways than one.  Today’s library is not just about books, libraries offer computer and internet access, this can be helpful if you want to apply for a job online but don’t have access to a computer or internet at home. I’m happy to announce that eight libraries in my district will receive grant funding to help improve the service to the communities they serve.”

The Public Library Per Capita Grants Program was established to assist public libraries to improve and increase library services within their service areas. Grant amounts of up to $1.25 per person served are available, on an annual basis, to all Illinois local public libraries through an application process. The Equalization Grants Program was established to help public libraries with a low library tax base. By providing additional funding, these grants help ensure a minimum level of funding for library services.

Libraries within the 108th Legislative House District that will receive funds include; Breese Public Library for $5,552.50; Case-Halstead Public Library for $4,101.25; Germantown Public Library District for $2,403.75; Louis Latzer Memorial Public Library for $12,398.75; Nashville Public Library for $4,072.50; New Baden Public Library for $4,186.25; Trenton Public Library for $3,393.75; Tri-Township Public Library District for $16,518.75.

Per Capita Grant funding allows resources for expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology.

This week, State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) invited the All Saints Academy of Breese eighth grade girls’ volleyball team to the State Capitol to recognize their recent state championship victory. The Saints won the 2018 Southern Illinois Junior High School Athletic Association (SIJHSAA) Class S State Championship.

“It is my honor to recognize the achievement of these young ladies,” said Meier. “Winning a state championship is an impressive accomplishment in its own right, but these young ladies did it in truly incredible fashion by going undefeated with a perfect record of 31-0. Congratulations to the Saints, their coaches and their families on this wonderful success.”

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) honored the Okawville High School varsity boys basketball team, the Rockets, on winning the 2017-2018 Illinois High School Association Class 1A State Championship during Tuesday’s session of the Illinois House of Representatives.

“I am extremely proud of the Okawville boys basketball team on winning their first state championship,” said Rep. Meier. “The dedication and hard work that took place in order to win a state championship is a skillset the team can carry-on throughout life. Congratulations to my hometown team, the Okawville Rockets on winning the state championship.”

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville), along with his House Republican colleagues recently co-sponsored House Resolution 975 to state their opposition to a proposed progressive income tax on Illinois residents. The Resolution was introduced by Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).

“More taxes will not solve Illinois’ spending problem,” said Rep. Meier. “People are leaving our state as a result of having the highest tax burden in the country. We need to do more with less while growing our economy. More jobs, spending less, and no more taxes is the common sense approach my colleagues in the legislature should follow.”

Illinois already has the highest effective state and local tax burden in the nation, according to a report by WalletHub. Studies have shown that states with progressive income taxes create even more of a tax burden on the middle class and dissuade economic prosperity.

According to House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, “The General Assembly cannot continue spending money frivolously and expect Illinois taxpayers to pick up the tab with more tax increases like this progressive income tax proposal from the Democrat party. It is our constitutional duty to protect our constituents, and we will remain firm as a caucus on blocking any progressive tax measures.”

The Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee voted down legislation to allow non-resident active duty members and their spouse living in Illinois from obtaining a concealed carry license. The legislation sponsored by State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) would be helpful to service members and their families, particularly stationed at Scott Air Force Base.

“I have been pushing for this bill ever since ISIS put out their hit list on our current and former service members,” said Rep. Meier. “Our veterans put their lives at risk to protect our freedom, it’s common sense that we allow them to protect themselves and their family when they are in public.”

House Bill 4177 creates an exemption for non-resident active duty members of the Armed Forces or their spouses to apply for concealed carry licenses.  Provides that whether or not the laws of the state where the non-resident resides are substantially similar to Illinois, the Illinois State Police shall allow by rule a non-resident license application if the applicant is an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in this State or the spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States stationed in this State.

Rep. Meier added, “I won’t give up trying to make this bill become law – we owe it to our veterans. This bill has bipartisan support, it even passed the Illinois Senate last year. It’s a common sense bill to help those who protect us by offering them their Constitutional right to protect themselves and their families from danger.”