the Final Parkhurst Pulse!
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
Projects around the 79th
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.
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.
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. More work is to be done, but residents will be able to enjoy
the campgrounds once again.
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.