A year-long celebration of the state’s 200th birthday culminated this week in a Grand Bicentennial Party, the Governor declared Christian County a disaster area after tornadoes ripped through central Illinois, and seven Illinois hospitals have been listed among the best in the nation.
In other action, former State Representative Brian Stewart of Freeport was sworn in as 45th District State Senator on December 5, replacing State Senator Tim Bivins of Dixon, who has retired.
Also during the week, state lawmakers joined the nation in mourning the passing of former President George H.W. Bush on November 30. And the Senate is mourning the loss of former State Sen. Tom Johnson (R-West Chicago), who died December 3 after a brief battle with cancer. In 1993, Johnson was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives and served the 50th District until 2003. From 2011 to 2013, Johnson served as the State Senator for the 48th District.
Happy 200th Birthday, Illinois!
On December 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. The Illinois Bicentennial has been celebrated with a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are Illinois Proud.
On December 3, 2018, Illinois celebrated its 200th Birthday with more than 2,300 Illinois citizens coming together at the Bicentennial Birthday Party on Chicago’s Navy Pier.
“Tonight, we recognize some of the great contributions Illinois has made to society and the world.” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “The milestones featured during our 200th birthday represent opportunities to reflect on our past and understand the great assets our state has to build on for the future. We have a lot to be proud of ... and lot to build on.”
More information, about the Illinois Bicentennial is available at https://illinois200.com/.
Disaster declaration gives access to state assistance
Governor Rauner has declared Christian County a state disaster area after three tornadoes, including an EF-3, ripped through Taylorville and surrounding areas on Dec. 1. More than 20 people were injured, and hundreds of structures were damaged or destroyed.
The state disaster declaration makes available a wide variety of state resources that can help affected communities respond and recover from the storms. The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has been activated in Springfield to support local governments as they assess damage caused by the long line of severe storms and tornadoes that moved through the state. IEMA also sent liaisons to local Emergency Operations Centers to coordinate assistance requests.
Senator Brian Stewart officially sworn in
Senator Brian Stewart of Freeport was sworn in as 45th District Senator December 5 at the Lincoln Douglas Debate Square in Freeport by the Honorable Michael P. Bald, Presiding Judge of Stephenson County.
“I want to thank my family, friends, and especially Senator Tim Bivins for supporting me in this endeavor,” said Senator Stewart. “I am truly honored to have this opportunity and am confident that my extensive experience and proven commitment will help me represent the citizens of the 45th District in the State Senate and help move all of Illinois forward.”
Illinois legislators are scheduled to return to Springfield January 7 before the 101st General Assembly is inaugurated on January 9. Senator Stewart says bipartisan pension reform, balanced budgets, and common sense economic growth initiatives are immediate priorities.
Illinois honors former President
The Governor has ordered United States and Illinois flags to fly at half-staff until December 30, to honor former President, George H.W. Bush, who died on November 30.
On December 1, Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady and House Republican Leader Jim Durkin issued a statement on the passing of the nation’s 41st President:
“Today we mourn the passing of an extraordinary American hero. George H. W. Bush dedicated himself to serving our nation, and the legacy he leaves behind will be forever cherished by every American.
Whether it was flying fighter jets during World War II, serving as President of the United States, or simply talking about his children and grandchildren, President George H. W. Bush never sought to bring the focus upon himself, rather his actions and words reminded us of what true public service looked like.
Today, as we look back at his tenure as president, we are reminded of a time where political differences were respected, and where civility and decency were the norm. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Bush family during this difficult time, and we thank them for sharing this amazing man with our Nation.”
Seven Illinois hospitals named to annual best list
Seven hospitals in Illinois are among 118 hospitals across the U.S. included in Leapfrog Group’s annual list of the nation’s highest-quality hospitals.
In Chicago, the winners include Northwestern Memorial Hospital, University of Chicago Medical Center, Amita Health Saints Mary and Elizabeth Medical Center and Amita Health Resurrection Medical Center. Also making the list are OSF Holy Family Medical Center in Monmouth in western Illinois, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital in Geneva.
Five Illinois hospitals made the list last year.
The 2018 Top Hospitals award were identified by comparing hospitals’ performance on national standards of patient safety, quality, efficiency and management structures that prevent errors. More information about the seven Top Hospitals in Illinois is available at https://www.chicagobusiness.com/health-care/seven-illinois-hospitals-named-annual-best-list.