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From the Illinois Emergency Management Agency: Illinois averages at least five major winter storms that impact millions of people. 

Being prepared for winter doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time. It could be as simple as making sure your vehicle is in good winter driving condition, adding a winter survival kit to your car, changing your furnace filter and stocking or updating a home emergency supply kit. 

Preparing for winter also means adjusting your driving habits. Snowy or ice-coated roads and reduced visibility due to fog or blowing snow result in thousands of motor vehicle crashes in Illinois every year. Many of these can be avoided by simply slowing down on city streets, rural roads and highways. Recent traffic studies have shown that many times, minor accumulations of snow or ice on roads can be just as dangerous for motorists as major snowstorms. 

Use this Winter Weather Preparedness Guide, developed by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS), to help you and your family prepare for and stay safe during winter weather. It includes information about winter travel safety guidelines, winter weather terminology and tips on how to prepare your home and vehicle for winter storms. 
State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) has filed legislation in the Illinois House that targets a fundraising loophole for those seeking state office. House Bill 363 would prohibit anyone seeking election to a state office or any political organization acting on their behalf from holding a fundraiser in Sangamon County on any day the General Assembly is in session.

"Under current state law," Butler said, "it is commonly believed that fundraisers already cannot be held in Sangamon County on session days. The reality is that the current prohibition does not begin until February of each year, thereby allowing fundraisers on January session days. In fact, in January 2017 there were legislative candidates who held fundraisers on a session day in Sangamon County. Additionally, current state law allows fundraisers on sessions days outside spring or veto session days.

"Today’s fast paced political climate has caused what seems like an unending election season," added Butler, "something the Legislature attempted to address when the current law was enacted as part of ethics reforms. This was a step in the right direction, but obviously it did not follow through on the true spirit of the law: to not fundraise in Sangamon County on days the legislature is in session. Through House Bill 363 we are closing this loophole."
Today, State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) was appointed by House Republican Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) to the post of House Republican Conference Chairman, a part of Leader Durkin’s leadership team. Butler is the first Sangamon County resident to be a member of the House Republican Leadership since former Rep. Raymond Poe in 2002.

“I want to thank Leader Durkin for this appointment. It is an honor to be selected as part of the leadership team,” said Butler. “Personally, this is especially meaningful as the 87th District is largely the district once represented by Abraham Lincoln, who also served in a leadership position in the Illinois House.”

Butler continued, “Serving on behalf of the people of the 87th District as the Republican Conference Chairman is truly humbling and I will endeavor to demonstrate the values of our area as a member of leadership.”
Join State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) and State Representative Mike Murphy (R-Springfield) for some coffee and conversation on Thursday, January 17. Butler and Murphy will be at Mel-O-Cream Donuts in the Fairhills Shopping Center in Springfield from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

“Now that the 101st General Assembly is underway, Representative Murphy and I look forward to this opportunity to meet with constituents and discuss the issues facing our state,” said Butler.

The conversation with Butler and Murphy is open to all residents of the 87th and 99th Districts. No cost to attend, refreshments will be provided.
Statement by State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield):
"It has been the honor of my life to represent the people of the 87th District since 2015. This last year was especially meaningful as we celebrated Illinois’ Bicentennial and I had the privilege of serving as co-chair of the Bicentennial Commission.

“As the 101st General Assembly begins; it is no secret that our state is not without challenges. We need to address economic reforms to stem the flow of residents out of Illinois, redistricting reform to end the stranglehold of gerrymandering, and budgeting reform to hold the line on spending. Throughout our history, Illinois has been a leader among all states. It is time, once again, to tackle big issues that face us. My hope is that Governor-Elect Pritzker continues his commitment to work in a bipartisan manner during this new session. If that is the case, then I am optimistic in our ability to once again overcome the challenges before us and move Illinois forward.”
Immediately upon ringing in the New Year, 253 new laws will take effect in 2019 that have wide ranging impact. Here are few highlights Illinois families should know about:
  • Children under the age of 2 years old must be restrained in rear facing car seats unless they weigh 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall. (PA100-0672)
  • Every Illinois school will be required to conduct at least one law-enforcement led active shooter drill per year. School safety drills must be conducted within 90 days of the start of the school year. (PA100-0996)
  • Nursing mothers, upon request, will be exempt from jury duty. (PA100-0696)
  • The definition of stalking is expanded to include messages sent through social media. Additionally, businesses, places of worship and schools can seek restraining orders against stalkers. (PA100-1000)
  • The Lyme Disease Prevention and Protection Act is enacted, opening the door in Illinois for new treatments for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. (PA100-1137)
  • All children in kindergarten and the second, sixth, and ninth grades of any public, private or parochial school shall have a dental examination. (PA100-829)
For over 30 years, the Golden Apple Awards for Excellence in Teaching & Leadership have honored outstanding educators. The awards honor Pre-K through 12th grade teachers and rotate grade levels each year in the following categories: Pre-K-3rd grade, 4th-8th grade and 9th-12th grade. In addition, the awards honor one or more Pre-K through 12th grade school leaders each year. This year, nominations are being accepted for Illinois high school teachers and Pre-K-12th grade school leaders. 

Nominations are due by Saturday, December 15th. Find information for submitting nominations below.