Latest News

The Illinois Valley is under a flood warning following the massive amounts of rain and melting snow over the last 24 hours. The Illinois River has risen nearly 9½ feet in 24 hours and the National Weather Service now projects major flooding that could crest 6 inches short of the record flood of April 2013.

Rep. Long's office is aware of the situation communities like Marseilles and Ottawa are currently in and is in touch with IEMA. If there is anything they can do to assist in the aftermath of the flooding, they will be there. 

Springfield State Representative Jerry Long (R-Streator) has introduced legislation which would make it the exclusive right of the General Assembly to pass legislation regarding right-to-work zones and other issues concerning union security agreements . The bill, House Bill 5470, contains similar language from Senate Bill 1905 which failed to pass last year but excludes the portion regarding class misdemeanor and private right of action for violations of the Act.

            “I am very happy to introduce HB 5470,” said Rep. Long.  “This bill is a wonderful compromise to SB 1905. My legislation will not only eliminate right-to-work zones, but it will put Illinois on a competitive track with surrounding states to ensure that we can experience the growth of the economy that is currently happening nationwide.” 
Included in this proposal is workers’ compensation reform first proposed in House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s HB 4068 known as the “Capitol Compromise.” One of the new reforms involves the consideration of an impairment report when determining the level of permanent partial disability. Additional factors, such as age, occupation and earning capacity will now be considered by The Commission when determining an employee’s level of disability.  The proposal also clarifies that injuries will not meet the causation standard if they occurred while traveling away from the employer’s premises when not required for job duties. This legislation also institutes reporting requirement for self-insured employers and penalties will be increased for certain types of workers’ compensation fraud.

“It’s time for a true compromise,” said Rep. Long. “At this point, we need to stop increasing the taxes, regulations, and fees that are chasing our citizens and jobs out of Illinois and enact smart reforms that will grow our economy into the future.”

Rep. Long has a track record of supporting unions and job creation in his district. For more information about bills Rep. Long sponsors, visit or contact his office by phone at (815)-510-9689 or by email at
Springfield… School Library Grants have been issued from the State Library via Secretary of State Jesse White’s School Library Grant program to schools here in the 76th District. The grant totals $9,992.25 with no school receiving less than $750.

“As a former public school teacher and administrator, I know our school libraries are very important in helping students learn and prepare themselves for the future,” said Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White. “Illinois was the first state to implement a school district grant program for libraries, and I am pleased that we can continue to provide them with some of the financial resources they need to produce well-educated students.”

The School District Library Grant Program is designed to help provide more library books and materials for the students of public schools in Illinois. The state legislature has authorized up to a $.75 per pupil expenditure for qualifying schools. The grant award is based on funds appropriated by the General Assembly and the official enrollment as of the previous September 30th of a school district.

 “I’m very happy to announce that this grant money will be put to good use here in our district’s schools,” said State Rep. Jerry Long (R-Streator). “I will continue to look for grants that improve education in our community.”
Wheeling... A new partnership between Illinois and FirstNet will ensure that the lifesaving advantages of enhanced wireless broadband technology are available to public safety personnel statewide, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced today.

“Communication is a life or death proposition in emergencies. Opting in to FirstNet’s dedicated network means first responders — fire, EMS, police — always have an open channel when it comes to doing their lifesaving work,” Rauner said against a backdrop of officials from numerous first responder agencies who gathered at the MABAS Readiness Center in Wheeling.

Illinois joins dozens of states opting in to the national First Responder Network, a communications network that is being built, operated and maintained at no cost to participating states through a public-private partnership between FirstNet and AT&T.

FirstNet participation will:

Provide first responders with prioritized network access;
Connect subscribing first responders with critical information needed in a highly secure manner, whether for day-to-day operations or large-scale emergencies;
Create an efficient communications experience for public safety personnel in jurisdictions across the state when responding to natural disasters;
Enhance network coverage across the state’s diverse landscape, particularly benefitting those in rural areas;
Drive infrastructure investments and create jobs across Illinois; and,
Usher in new lifesaving tools, including apps, specialized devices and technologies, with the potential for future integration with NextGen 911 networks and Smart Cities’ infrastructure.
Joe Galvin, statewide interoperability coordinator for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, said today’s opt-in letter signing culminates a years-long effort to ensure broad-based participation.

"Illinois has assembled a 100-member multidiscipline, multijurisdictional stakeholder group that has provided input on what emergency responders will require in a broadband network,” Galvin said. “All the information gathered has been provided to the First Responder Network Authority and has been incorporated in to the offering provided to Illinois.”

“FirstNet is a major step forward for law enforcement — and for all first responders,” added Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz. “Whether we’re heading toward the aftermath of a tornado or an incident involving an active shooter, public-safety workers need their communications devices to work, oftentimes in adverse conditions. This will give them the best possible chance to save lives and provide aid to the injured.”

FirstNet, short for First Responder Network Authority, is an independent authority established within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration. It grew from a key 9/11 Commission finding that clogged communication lines made it impossible to warn firefighters that the Twin Towers were collapsing, and generally hindered effective response.

“The ability to exchange data between public safety agencies and various other disciplines will be greatly enhanced with the development of the FirstNet network,” said Chief Jeff Macko, president of the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System. “Voice communications on FirstNet will be a significant supportive adjunct to the current land mobile radio systems.”

Alsip Fire Department Deputy Chief Robert Ricker agreed that FirstNet will be a blessing.

“This will provide enhanced communication capabilities for first responders from all levels of government, whether operating at a small local event or a larger regional disaster,” he said. “With FirstNet, we will have additional tools at our disposal to help with decision-making.”

Joseph Klinger, acting director for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, also welcomed today’s announcement.

“This decision is a culmination of a four-and-a-half-year effort leveraging input from first responders across all of Illinois,” he said. “It is essential for lifesaving activities that public safety has the ability to make cellular phone calls, access critical information and transmit video during an incident.”

And Kirk Lonbom, the acting secretary of the Illinois Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT), said the action demonstrates the governor’s vision to modernize state government.

“The decision to opt in to FirstNet will enable DoIT to provide enhanced services and innovative solutions in support of public safety and emergency management,” he said.

“Governor Rauner's decision to join FirstNet demonstrates his strong support and dedication to public safety throughout the state,” added First Responder Network Authority CEO Mike Poth. “We are honored to serve Illinois’ first responders and deliver to them a reliable, broadband communications network that will help them save lives and protect communities.”  
YORKVILLE (Nov. 5, 2017) — Gov. Bruce Rauner today declared a statewide harvest emergency to assist farmers and grain handlers who are grappling with the fallout of rain-related delays.
“Illinois is home to 72,000 farms on 26.7 million acres. We are among the top three corn producers in the nation,” Rauner said while visiting Stewart Farms in Yorkville Sunday afternoon. “Moving corn and other crops in a timely and efficient manner affects the bottom line of hard-working farmers. This declaration is an appropriate response to an urgent need.”
Under a new law Rauner signed Aug. 11, the declaration permits drivers of trucks carrying agricultural commodities over state highways to obtain a free permit to exceed gross vehicle weight limits by 10 percent. Further, local authorities may waive the permit requirement at their discretion. The emergency declaration is in effect for 45 days beginning today, Nov. 5.
The Illinois Department of Transportation already is mobilizing the permitting process and notifying law enforcement agencies throughout the state. More information is available at
“I would like to thank the governor for making this declaration today,” said Richard Guebert Jr., president of the Illinois Farm Bureau. “This harvest season emergency declaration will improve the transportation of our crops.”
According to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Illinois corn harvest at the end of October was 17 percentage points behind the prior year and 11 percentage points behind the five-year average. The corn harvests in the Northwest, Northeast and East regions are especially hard hit. Harvesters of a variety of crops made up ground toward the end of October, but early delays still are causing backups in the transportation chain.
Jeff Adkisson, executive vice president of the Grain and Feed Association of Illinois, also praised the governor’s action, noting that a bumper crop combined with the harvest delays to compound the situation.
“In years when harvest is better than anticipated, crops like corn and soybeans may need to be stored in piles outside of the traditional concrete or steel bins or tanks,” he said. “This declaration will allow grain elevators to transport commodities out of their facilities quicker, thus making room for grain stored on the ground to be moved to more suitable storage structures.”
Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Raymond Poe said the action will encourage the farming community.
“Illinois farmers work tirelessly year-round, even more so around harvest,” he said. “The Department of Agriculture would like to thank Gov. Rauner for making this declaration and for his support of Illinois farmers.”
And state legislators also welcomed the harvest emergency declaration.
State Rep. Toni McCombie, R-Savanna, co-sponsored HB 2580, which amended the state vehicle code to allow for exceeding trucks’ gross weight limits when a governor declares a harvest emergency.
“Mother Nature has presented Illinois farmers with a rainy spring and fall, making this year’s harvest challenging,” she said. “The State of Illinois was proactive when we foresaw an emergency this year.”
“Farmers form the backbone of our state’s economy,” said state Sen. Neil Anderson, a Republican from Andalusia who sponsored the legislation in the Senate. “Declaring a harvest emergency will reduce red tape and allow those farmers who are still in the field to focus on getting their crops in before winter really takes hold.
“The sooner farmers can get their commodities to market, the more stable the market will be for the consumer.”
State Rep. Dan Swanson, R-Alpha, a member of the House Agriculture and Conservation Committee, said the rainy planting season caused corn and beans to mature later this fall.
“As a result, many farmers are behind in getting their crops harvested,” he said. “With this declaration of a harvest emergency, we will allow farmers the ability to get more grain to the storage sites quicker.”
Springfield…Today, State Representative Jerry Long (R-Streator) voted against HB 4117, which contained language that would have made many law abiding gun owners into felons while hurting the local economy.

“This piece of legislation had broad language that did not just include trigger modifications,” stated Rep. Long.  “Any law abiding citizen who replaced even a spring in their gun could find themselves slapped with a heavy fine or jail time. On top of its effect on the people of the 76th District, it would have negatively affected our local economy. Gun manufacturers like MMC Armory in Putnam County, as well as private and public shooting ranges throughout the district, would have seen a loss in revenue.”

The bill failed in the House with only 48 of the required 71 votes. For more information regarding this legislation please contact the office of Rep. Long at (815)-510-9689 or via email at

Ottawa…Representative Jerry Long (R-Streator) and the Citizen’s Utility Board (CUB) are hosting a free, cost-saving clinic on Friday, October 13th from 11am to 1pm to help consumers analyze gas, electric, and telecom bills to save money. The Utility Cost Savings Clinic will take place at Village Hall in Ottawa, 301 West Madison Street. Rep. Long would like to extend this invite to everyone in his district who is not on municipal electric. 

“I am partnering with CUB to bring this cost saving event to the district,” said Rep. Long. “For over thirty years, this nonprofit organization has been working statewide to save consumers money and I am excited to have them host an event locally. Remember to bring your most recent copy of your utility bills!”

Since 1984, CUB has been working to lower rates and better service from the state’s investor-owned electric, gas, and telephone companies. They have saved consumers more than $20 billion by blocking rate hikes and winning consumer refunds.

Please RSVP to this event, as seating is limited. Those who would like to attend should call Rep. Long’s district office at 815-510-9689.