News

  • November 17 - 21 Update

    Dear Friends, When I traveled to Springfield this week for the Veto Session, there was a sense of optimism in the Capitol. This month’s election has set a different tone for moving our state forward. For far too long, we’ve been in the doldrums. read more...
  • 2014 Veto Session Preview

    Despite previous speculation, it is unlikely an extension of the tax increase will be on the agenda. However, a minimum wage hike could be considered by the General Assembly, and the House of Representatives has planned a November 18 “subject-matter-only” hearing on a controversial education funding reform measure, Senate Bill 16. read more...
  • Honoring America’s Servicemen and Servicewomen

    The Senate Republican Caucus offers our thanks to the American military veterans who have answered the call to duty. As a democracy, our country stands out from other nations that have been devastated and crippled by tyranny. It was the selfless patriotism and unparalleled courage of our veterans that secured the many freedoms we enjoy each and every day. read more...
  • Fracking rules approved

    Members of JCAR passed hydraulic fracturing rules on Nov. 6 as part of their consent agenda, which meant no debate on the issue took place during the meeting. read more...
  • Constitutional amendments approved by voters

    Two new amendments to the Illinois Constitution, which were placed on the ballot by the General Assembly, were approved by voters. These amendments are effective once the election results are certified. read more...

:LaHood Opinion: Approved fracking rules mean economic growth for Central and Southern Illinois

PRINGFIELD – As children head back to school, the summer fair season is wrapping up, but is always ends with our state’s two largest celebrations of agriculture -- the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and its southern Illinois cousin – the DuQuoin State Fair. Agriculture is the basis of the Illinois economy and it looks like Illinois farmers have the potential to have another good year. Our Illinois agricultural industry is on track for back-to-back quality years after dealing with historic drought in 2012. The easiest way to tell whether or not producers have had a good year, is if tax revenues are up. One-quarter of Illinois’ economy is based in the agriculture sector and it should be a top priority of the legislature to enact policies that allow the sector to grow. Illinois is the third largest producers of commodities in the United States and we continue to expand our agricultural reach throughout the world. - See more at: http://www.senatorlahood.com/Media/News/NewsDetails/TabId/795/p/16719/v/2000/-LaHood-Opinion-New-911-Dialing-Law-Further-Protects-Safety-of-Illinoisans.aspx
SPRINGFIELD – As children head back to school, the summer fair season is wrapping up, but is always ends with our state’s two largest celebrations of agriculture -- the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and its southern Illinois cousin – the DuQuoin State Fair. Agriculture is the basis of the Illinois economy and it looks like Illinois farmers have the potential to have another good year. Our Illinois agricultural industry is on track for back-to-back quality years after dealing with historic drought in 2012. The easiest way to tell whether or not producers have had a good year, is if tax revenues are up. One-quarter of Illinois’ economy is based in the agriculture sector and it should be a top priority of the legislature to enact policies that allow the sector to grow. Illinois is the third largest producers of commodities in the United States and we continue to expand our agricultural reach throughout the world. - See more at: http://www.senatorlahood.com/Media/News/NewsDetails/TabId/795/p/16719/v/2000/-LaHood-Opinion-New-911-Dialing-Law-Further-Protects-Safety-of-Illinoisans.aspxA seemingly insolvable $100 billion pension deficit has thousands of Illinoisans running for the hills and credit rating agencies issuing more negative reports.

Peoria, Ill. – Nearly two years after the Illinois General Assembly passed the “Hydraulic Fracturing Regulatory Act,” the final rules that will govern the “fracking” process were approved on November 6 by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR). As Illinois’ unemployment rate still remains higher than its surrounding states and its overall fiscal climate pales in comparison to the rest of the nation, the final approval of fracking regulations could not have come at a better time for Central and Southern Illinois.

Hydraulic fracturing or as it’s commonly known as, “fracking,” is the extraction of natural gas and oil from the earth through horizontal drilling. The extraction process uses sand, water and sometimes gas mixtures to break into the underground rock formations to release the natural gas or oil.   

Senate Bill 1715 was signed into law in 2013 to regulate the hydraulic fracturing industry. As a proponent of the bill, I agree with experts that the new state law provides some of the most stringent environmental/public safety regulations for high volume fracking in the United States. For two years, lawmakers, energy companies and environmentalists held meetings and public hearings to address key concerns about how the fracking industry would be regulated.  The final rules that were recently approved to govern the process ensure that environmental and public safety concerns have been adequately addressed.

Click to read more of LaHood's Opinion...