It is with bittersweet emotion I leave you with this final Parkhurst Pulse. Still, I am honored to introduce the upcoming “Haas Heartbeat” to continue the tradition of independent and community leadership for the 79th District.
It was my distinct honor and privilege to serve as your State Representative over the last four years. I am sad to resign as your State Representative on December 6, 2020, but I am heartened and eager to continue to serve the constituents of the 79th District as a Circuit Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit starting December 7, 2020. It is my pleasure to announce one of my first official acts as Circuit Judge will be to swear in Jackie Haas as your new state representative on December 8, 2020. Please welcome her, and I am confident she will continue the tradition of outstanding constituent services along with our great team of staff and interns!
Speaker Madigan canceled Veto Session allowing the Governor to continue his rule of One and sidelining the representative government we so desperately need during this challenging time. The House will convene for the new 102nd General Assembly in January 2021.
Please contact my District Office with any questions or concerns regarding state issues. We are here to help!
Very truly yours,
79th District State Representative
Fighting for You!
Legislation for the 79th
As your Representative, I have worked hard to introduce legislation to benefit the people of the 79th District.
Addressing the substitute teacher shortage: In 2018, I met with teachers from across the 79th District to discuss issues facing them in the classroom. From these meetings, I introduced HB5627 to increase access for more substitute teachers into our schools.
Shining a Light on Government: The former Kankakee Valley Park District executive director's conviction for stealing tens of thousands of dollars in public funds inspired me to file legislation to prevent this in the future. In 2018, I introduced HB 4803 and HB 4827 to prevent officers of local governments and park districts from serving simultaneously as treasurer.
Mason's Law: During a New Bill Roundtable in 2019, I met with Greg Knorr. He recently lost his son in an accident on a rural road. Lehigh Rd and 115 and Clifton Slab and Route 45 were the sights of terrible fatal accidents. I introduced Mason's Law in memory of his son, Mason Knorr, to increase the penalties of drivers who ignore traffic signs and cause serious bodily injury.
Natural Gas to Pembroke Township: Residents of Pembroke Township and Hopkins Park do not have natural gas access. They rely entirely on propane tanks for heating. I worked with Senator Joyce, Nicor, and Mayor Mark Hodge to introduce legislation to bring natural gas to Pembroke Township by introducing pilot program legislation for this area.
Helping Students with Dyslexia: Many schools throughout Illinois lack the necessary tools to help students with dyslexia. Without these tools, students continue to slip through the cracks. I introduced HB 4406, which became part of the bigger Equity in Early Education Screening Act to give schools and teachers the screening tools to identify and accommodate students with dyslexia to achieve a positive educational experience and life path. It is a life changer!
Projects around the 79th
Nucor Expansion: I actively advocated for economic development and growth in the 79th District. My efforts were successful with Nucor Steel in Bourbonnais receiving the $180 million Merchant Bar Expansion Project for our District.
The decision came down to Nucor Bourbonnais or a Nucor plant in Ohio. After two months of talks with state leaders, public utilities, and Nucor, Nucor Bourbonnais was selected! Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Governor Rauner supported Bourbonnais Nucor’s efforts to win this project. Their site visit was instrumental. It was a victory for us all.
Route 50/Armour Rd/CSL Expansion: Working on expanding our businesses in the 79th District is important to all of us. After years of advocacy, working with IDOT and attaining two governor visits to CSL, success was ours in obtaining a new stoplight for a second entrance to CSL and for the IDOT expansion project for the existing entrance on Armour Road with increased lanes from bridge to bridge and a stoplight to replace the current 4 way stop. I was honored to join CSL Behring in their groundbreaking ceremony for the new entrance on IL-50.
Kankakee River State Park Campgrounds: Since 2017, I heard the endless calls to reopen the Kankakee River State Park campgrounds. Listening to you, I worked diligently with legislative leaders, IDNR, the Capital Development Board, two governors, Senator Joyce, and the state park site supervisor to identify the problems at the campgrounds and worked to fix them. Over the years, I provided constant updates regarding the status of these projects. I am overjoyed to see the reopening of the Potowatomi campground this year. <[link removed]> More work is to be done, but residents will be able to enjoy the campgrounds once again.
Pembroke Public Library District: As your State Representative, I support and represent all people in the district. I worked closely with the Pembroke Township Library District to write and successfully obtain a grant from the Illinois State Library to pave their gravel parking lot. Libraries are so important for young children where small improvements like this can make a huge impact, and Pembroke Library also serves as their community center.
Over these past four years, I hosted various events to serve the people of the 79th District.
To help get rid of old, sensitive documents, I hosted several Shred Events in Coal City, Bradley, and Aroma Park. I met so many wonderful people. One event had over 100 attendees!
Many legal permanents residents live here in the 79th District. I partnered with immigration groups to help these individuals become bonafide U.S. Citizens!
A healthy blood supply means lives are saved. I hosted many blood drives to keep our local blood supply safe and assist many Illinois areas where there is a critical blood shortage.
In Illinois, 52% of births are covered by Medicaid and 23% of families live below the poverty line. However, there is no assistance for struggling mothers to purchase diapers and wipes. I hosted Diaper Drives to help those struggling families and mothers.