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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 https://truckpermits.dot.illinois.gov/.
“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 long@ilhousegop.org.



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.




Springfield, IL… State Rep. Jerry Long (R-Streator) today released the following statement following the passage of House Bill 40, a piece of legislation that would expand state employee insurance as well as public aid to cover the expenses of obtaining an abortion or assisted miscarriage:

“Regardless of my personal opinion or religious beliefs, HB40 is an example of the lack of responsibility held by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle when it comes to the job of drafting a constitutionally-mandated, balanced budget.  It is one more assault upon our ability to dig our way out of a deep financial hole that the Democrats put us in in the first place. HB40 will have a $60 million impact on our budget when it is completely unnecessary. I have heard from the people of my district and they very clearly told me not to vote in favor of this legislation. It is deeply concerning that we can’t come to a conclusion on the budget and instead are forced to discuss taxpayer funding of abortions.”

HB40 will now move to the Senate for deliberation.  For any more information regarding legislation passing through the house, Rep. Long urges constituents to check ilga.gov or to contact his office at long@ilhousegop.org or (815)-510-9689.

CHICAGO (Sept. 27, 2017) – Governor Bruce Rauner and Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti today encouraged Illinois residents to help the millions of Americans struggling to recover from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria by donating money or time to trusted voluntary, faith-and-community-based charitable organizations.
 
“Mother Nature has devastated Puerto Rico, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, the U.S. Virgin Islands. As we’ve seen whenever disaster strikes in Illinois, people are eager to help in any way possible,” Gov. Rauner said. “Now, it’s time for us to show that compassion and generosity to help our fellow Americans who have been devastated by hurricanes. We know recovery will take months, even years, so we ask you to please open your hearts to help those struggling to recover.”
 
Rauner directed people to the www.Ready.Illinois.gov/hurricanehelp website that directs them to a list of organizations where they can donate.
 
“Many organizations have already been vetted by the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, so you can be assured that your donations to these groups will go where help is truly needed,” said James K. Joseph, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. “Volunteers should never self-deploy to a disaster site. Anyone seeking an opportunity to get involved in response and recovery operations is encouraged to volunteer with local and nationally known organizations, such as those vetted by the National VOAD,” he added.
 
People are advised against donating unsolicited goods, such as used clothing or household items, since they may not meet the needs of those affected. They are encouraged to make financial donations to the organizations. “This allows these reputable organizations to obtain needed resources nearer to the disaster location and more efficiently manage logistics and transportation costs related to moving large volumes of donated items,” added Lt. Governor Sanguinetti. 
 
“Your support now and in the future, will help many Americans in their time of need,” said Gov. Rauner.
Oglesby, IL…Today, State Representative Jerry Long (R-Streator) hosted a self-defense class for students at IVCC.  Students in attendance learned from martial arts expert and Illinois State University Police Officer Jeremy Butler. 17 female students attended the 2 hour class.
Photo courtesy of Ali Braboy and the LaSalle News-Tribune

“As a father of three daughters, I remember constantly being worried about their safety while at school,” Rep. Long stated. “Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. So I wanted to offer a class that would empower female students and give them the knowledge and confidence to thwart an attack. I look forward to offering this class again in the future.”


The class touched on many topics including the psychology of the attack, tactics to help identify a possibly dangerous situation, and how to break free and fight back. Further information about the instructor can be found at www.BNMartialarts.com.
Springfield…State Rep. Jerry Long (R-Streator) released the following statement on the passage of Senate Bill 1947, historic education funding reform.

“This bill represents concessions from both parties and from both chambers,” stated Rep. Long. “This compromise prioritizes funding for our most impoverished schools and students while securing historic funding levels for all 852 school districts in Illinois. No school district will lose money.

“In response to my concerns as well as other Republicans, Chicago Public Schools’ normal pension costs will be paid in the same manner as all other school districts—outside the school funding formula.

“This is a good compromise that should be signed into law as soon as possible so that our schools can remain open.”