Bryant’s Bulletin: May 21, 2024

Sen. Bryant, Rep. Elik Urge Senate To Act on House Bill 4241


At a recent press conference in Springfield, and Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) and Rep. Amy Elik (R-Alton) urged the Senate to act on House Bill 4241, which unanimously passed the House last month. The bill, which protects high school students age 18 and older from sexual abuse by an educator, currently sits in Assignments in the Senate.

House Bill 4241 protects students age 18 and older by creating the offense of abuse of power by an educator or authority figure. Any sexual contact by an educator or staff member with a student, even if they are 18 or older, is an abuse of authority. Criminal charges must be levied so that offenders cannot just leave a job and move on to other opportunities where they could prey on children.

HB 4241 states that abuse by an educator or authority figure involving sexual conduct is a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a Class 4 felony for a subsequent offense or if there is more than one victim. For acts of sexual penetration, Class 3 and 4 felony charges are applicable.

Sen. Bryant says that our kids can’t afford to wait any longer for this issue to be addressed and that the passage of House Bill 4241, lawmakers ctakers heard their cries for help and acted.

Rep. Elik also called for the passage of a bill she filed last spring, House Bill 1275. This bill states that no contributory fault may be attributed to a child sexual abuse victim. Rep. Elik will continue to work with fellow lawmakers to get this bill through the General Assembly.

CTU’s Day Off

Hundreds of members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) took a taxpayer-funded day off at the Capitol May 15 to demand $1 billion more in state funding for Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Hypocrisy was on full display as the union’s members took a day away from the classroom, forcing the district to spend significant taxpayer dollars on substitute teachers, while also paying salaries of the CTU members who traveled to Springfield. Republican lawmakers held a press conference to highlight the special funding CPS receives that’s not made available to other schools in the state that face far greater financial challenges.

Under the Evidence-Based Funding (EBF) model, school districts are divided into a four-tier system with Tier One school districts being those that have the greatest need for new state funding to adequately educate their students. Since the funding formula was passed, and with additional state support, CPS has already moved up to Tier 2.

Senator Bryant noted that for many years CPS has received a disproportionate share of the state’s education resources through special carve-outs and unique grants, such as hundreds of millions from the Chicago Block Grant that was written into the CPS base as part of the formula.

Republican lawmakers also hit on the fact that in a tight budget year for the State of Illinois, the demands made by the Chicago Mayor and the CTU members are tone-deaf to the fiscal realities Illinois faces in crafting the Fiscal Year 2025 budget. Members of the Senate Republican Caucus say they will continue to stand up for taxpayers as well as provide equal funding for schools throughout Illinois.

Illinois Pays Tribute to Fallen Firefighters in Annual Memorial Ceremony

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State leaders gathered in Springfield on May 14 to attend the 31st Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Medal of Honor Ceremony. 

The service and ceremony were held at the Bank of Springfield Center, bringing together scores of firefighters from across Illinois to honor and remember their fallen brothers and sisters.

This occasion included a tribute to five Illinois firefighters who died in the line of duty last year: 

  • Chicago Firefighter/EMT Jermaine Pelt
  • Chicago Fire Lt. Jan Tchoryk 
  • Chicago Fire Lt. Kevin Ward
  • Chicago Firefighter/EMT Andrew “Drew” Price
  • And Maroa Countryside Fire Protection District Chief Larry Peasley

Another 12 firefighters from around the state were honored with medals of honor or valor for acts of outstanding bravery.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the toll on firefighters’ lives continues to rise, with 25 casualties recorded already this year in the United States. Among them was an Aurora firefighter who tragically lost their life in the line of duty just last month. 

Legislation to Save Money on Local Road Projects and Improve Government Transparency Advances

The General Assembly has passed legislation to require Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) road studies on traffic and environmental impact to be made public, which could potentially provide savings on local projects while improving transparency on state decisions.

House Bill 5138, sponsored by State Senator Jason Plummer, specifically requires that IDOT make public any study or survey that concerns traffic or the environmental impact of road construction projects.

The legislation passed the Senate on May 16 and now heads to the Governor.

Governor’s Hometown Awards


The Governor’s Hometown Awards (GHTA) program is now accepting applications for projects that made a meaningful impact on local quality of life from January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023.

The program honors those who’ve gone above and beyond to enhance their communities. Townships, villages, cities, and counties with projects sponsored by a local government unit and supported by dedicated volunteers are encouraged to apply.

Winning projects in their respective categories will be awarded the Governor’s Certificate. Additionally, population division winners will earn an invitation to compete for the Governor’s Cup in Springfield this August.

For more information about the program, including how to apply, please visit the Illinois Department of Human Services’ website.

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