State Representative David A. Welter (R-Morris) released the following statement today in response to Governor Rauner's announcement that he will sign House Bill 40 into law:

"In government as in life, your words are only as good as your deeds. Today, Governor Rauner reneged on a commitment he made this spring to veto House Bill 40. I share the deep and profound disappointment of mothers, fathers and families across Illinois who stand for the sanctity of life and the principle of limited government. We are dismayed by the Governor's action today to compel taxpayer funding of abortion without restriction."
State Representative David A. Welter's office participated in the Illinois Valley Flood Resiliency Alliance workshop in Ottawa on Tuesday sponsored by State Senator Sue Rezin. The workshop featured presentations on various flood-related issues by officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois State Water Survey.

Representative Welter is committed to working with local, state and federal emergency management officials on flood preparedness and response issues to protect families and communities throughout the Illinois River Valley.
View from Eagle Cliff at Starved Rock
State Park in Utica. Photo credit: Kathy
Casstevens-Jasiek, Starved Rock Lodge
Looking for fun, family-friendly fall activities close to home? The Ottawa Times has published "Things To See & Do: Sept. 22 - Nov. 12"! Highlights include the Grundy County Corn Festival September 27-October 1; Ottawa's annual Scarecrow Festival on September 30 and much more!

To view the full list of upcoming local events, please click HERE.

Together let's celebrate all that makes the Illinois River Valley such a great place to live, work, play and raise a family -- especially in the autumn!

State Rep. David A. Welter (R-Morris) hosted an ice cream recognition party in Morris on Thursday for students and their families who completed his "Readasuarus" Summer Reading Program. Students in first through fifth grades were challenged to read 8 books during their summer break. Rep. Welter presented each summer reader with an official certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives at Thursday's celebration for the students and their families.
MORRIS– State Representative David A. Welter (R-Morris) invites local families to attend a free Children’s Health & Safety Fair at from 9:00am – Noon on Saturday, September 16 at Saratoga Elementary School, located at 4040 N. Division Street.

The event features over 30 state and local agencies, non-profit organizations and businesses covering a wide range of educational, health and child care, recreational and community services for families and children. Special attractions include the Traveling World of Reptiles Show and the popular Touch-A-Truck exhibit featuring over 15 trucks and a medical helicopter located in the parking lot. 

Admission to the event is FREE with complimentary refreshments and a drawing for giveaways. Information will be available on topics such as bicycle safety, after-school programs, nutrition, internet safety, the Illinois State Treasurer’s I-Cash program and more.  

“As parents, my wife and I value the many outstanding individuals and organizations in our community who offer programs and services that help kids to grow, learn, and explore many interests,” said Representative Welter. “Our Children’s Health & Safety Fair showcases the tremendous local resources and activities available to kids right here in our own backyard. I encourage every local family to stop by and check out all that our community has to offer.” 
The Illinois House of Representatives approved bipartisan compromise legislation on school funding reform on August 28 by a vote of 73-34-3. I was among those voting Yes. While far from perfect, this bill represents concessions from lawmakers from both parties in the Illinois House and Senate to ensure that all Illinois public schools are able to remain open and receive their fair share of state funding.

No school district will lose money under this plan. Yet unlike previous measures, there are no special deals for one school district. In response to concerns expressed by myself and others, Chicago Public Schools’ normal pension costs will be paid in the same manner as all other school districts. All 852 school districts in Illinois will now be treated the same. Also included in the bill is a reduction of unfunded state mandates on our local schools.  This is a significantly positive aspect.

One feature of the reform bill that has received mixed reaction from constituents like you who have reached out to me to share your feedback is the creation of a new system of Illinois income tax credits.  The tax credit scholarship program included in the law will help students who come from low- and middle- income families to enroll in Illinois private schools. Those children who move from a public school to a private school save the public school resources to reinvest, which is good for all.

It is encouraging that Republicans and Democrats have come together on a compromise that prioritizes the best interests of school children in every part of the state to lift up families regardless of their income.  While I did not agree with every aspect of the bill, the positive aspects far outweighed the shortcomings in my estimation. The Governor signed the bill into law on August 31.