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State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) has been named a “Champion of Free Enterprise” by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce for his 2017-2018 voting record in support of the Illinois business community. With this designation, Hays will leave office this week having earned the Champion of Free Enterprise Award for his votes during all eight of his years of service in the House of Representatives.

“It is a pleasure to accept this distinction, as it validates my commitment to making Illinois a more business-friendly state,” said Hays. “As I look back on the impact I may have had as the voice of the 104th District, I can think of no greater honor than to be recognized for my votes on behalf of those who create jobs and drive our state’s economy.”

The Chamber’s ratings are based on legislators’ votes on the key business legislation during the 100th General Assembly. The votes in the Senate and House were selected based on their impact on the business community. In cases where more than one roll call was taken on a bill, the most significant vote impacting the resolution of the issue was selected for scoring. For 2017-2018, the Illinois Chamber studied legislators’ votes on the following bills: SB 08, SB 09, SB 20, SB 81, SB 193, SB 904, SB 1451, SB 1502, SB 1719, SB 2213, HB 162, HB 302, HB 791, HB 2525, HB 2622, H 2771, HB 3419, HB 3449, HB 4081, HB 4163, HB 4324 and HB 4572. Click here to view a summary of the bills.

“The Chamber’s legislative ratings let Illinois families, small businesses and taxpayers know if legislators voted in favor of private sector job creation and a stronger economy,” said Todd Maisch, President and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce. “While many Illinois lawmakers continue to provide lip service to the need for pro-growth reforms, State Representative Chad Hays is committed to supporting and defending Illinois employers throughout the state. He will be sorely missed in the General Assembly because he has been a true champion for taxpayers and job creators.”

“Creating jobs and promoting business growth is an issue of paramount importance in Illinois right now,” said Hays. “As a legislator, it is a policy area I have always taken very seriously. Our path toward future financial stability as a state relies on business-friendly, pro-growth policies.”

Legislators with Illinois Chamber ratings averaging 85% or better over the previous two General Assemblies have demonstrated their commitment to legislation that frees the entrepreneurial spirit and therefore qualify for the award. honored State Rep. Chad Hays (R-Catlin) this week for his eight years of service in the Illinois House of Representatives on behalf of the citizens of Illinois' 104th District. "March Forth Moments" are small audio clips that recognize good news in the Danville area community, and Hays is the latest community leader to be recognized.

Hays will step down from his seat later this week.

Click here to listen to the clip.
State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) announced today that State funds awarded to the Danville Art League for infrastructure and safety improvements that have been delayed since 2009 have been authorized for release by the Governor’s Office of Management & Budget (GOMB). The funds were initially awarded as part of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s (DECO) Illinois Jobs Now! Capital Plan, but only a portion of the funds were ever delivered.

“The Danville Art League was awarded a $75,000 grant in 2009, but some of the money never arrived,” said Hays. “They received nothing between 2009 and 2014, then eventually received $15,734 in December of 2014. The League then received $40,516 in 2015, but the balance remained bottled up in Springfield. I am pleased to know the remaining $15,734 has been authorized to be released.”

The Danville Art League is located at 320 N. Franklin Street in downtown Danville. The goals of the League are to stimulate creativity and art appreciation through classes and informal sessions at the League’s studio or in the field, and to facilitate an appreciation and understanding of the accomplishments of others. The Art League also provides local artists with locations for exhibiting their work and acts as a resource center for the public.

“The Danville Art League is a staple of the downtown area, and it provides a valuable service for those who live in the area,” Hays said. “With the remainder of their DECO grant now on its way, the League will be able to finish with infrastructure improvements that will allow those who live in Danville and the surrounding communities to enjoy the League’s offerings for years to come.”
Candidates running for local public office will now be able to electronically file Statements of Local Interests with county clerk offices thanks to legislation sponsored by State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) that was signed into law today.

HB 4395 gives local and state government the ability to modernize part of a candidate’s filing and reduce clutter. “The statement of economic interest is an important document that every candidate must file, and this measure updates archaic processes so that local candidates can take advantage of Internet technology when filing this information,” said Hays. “The provisions of this bill will simplify and modernize the process and bring a new level of efficiency to candidate filing requirements.”

Chief Senate Sponsor Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) said, “Any time we can speed up, simplify and improve the efficiency of government, it is a good move. This is just another small step toward those goals.”

For state legislative candidates, the ethics officer for the individual caucus would determine whether the members of that caucus would file electronically or on paper. Statewide candidates who file with the Illinois Secretary of State would still be required to file on paper.

As he signed HB 4395 into law, Governor Bruce Rauner said, “My administration has worked to modernize processes across state government,” Rauner said. “We have strived to reduce regulation, streamline paperwork and provide more efficient and modern government services. This is another step in that process.”
This morning State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) sat down with radio host Linda Bolten of WDAN to record a final "Newsmaker" segment as an Illinois lawmaker. He talked about the accomplishments and challenges during his tenure in the House of Representatives and about his next chapter, which begins when he officially steps down from his House seat on September 7 to become the Executive Director of Crosspoint Human Services in Danville.

Click here to listen to the full interview.
Individuals living in poverty will soon have greater opportunities to successfully transition to self-sufficiency due to legislation sponsored by State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) that was signed into law on Friday.

SB 3232 creates a five-year program within the Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide an intensive workforce training program and a multi-generational healthy family initiative. Rather than being funded with taxpayer dollars, the programs rely solely on private funding through not-for-profit organizations. Key to the programs’ success is a provision that allows newly gained income to be disregarded for purposes of program eligibility, so that participants can make real, sustained progress toward self-sufficiency without fear of having to leave their program too soon.

“Eligibility requirements for state assistance are rigid, and we’ve seen time and time again instances where those truly seeking a better life for themselves and their family are forced out of programs before stability and self-sufficiency are achieved at sustainable levels,” said Hays. “The 36-month income disregard included in this new law allows program participants to focus on gaining valuable workforce and parenting skills that will help them move forward without having to contend with a sudden loss of services if they exceed income eligibility levels.”

According to Hays, the idea for the legislation was brought forward by Champaign-Urbana’s Carle Foundation Hospital, which currently operates two programs that assist low-income individuals with gaining self-sufficiency. The Job Readiness and Learning Program prepares people for full-time employment through a combination of classroom ad on-the-job training for difficult to place entry-level workers within the Carle system, and the Health Beginnings program is a free, Nurse Family Partnership program for pregnant women at or below the poverty level. “The work Carle Foundation Hospital does in this area is commendable, and I fully expect this new law will increase their success rates. This was the final bill I passed as an Illinois lawmaker, and I am extremely proud that my final bill has the potential to promote real meaningful change in the lives of struggling Illinoisans who are working toward a better life.”

Upon hearing of the bill’s passage, Carle President and CEO James C. Leonard, MD said, “It is truly life-changing when so many people pool their time and talent to improve how the system works so our friends and neighbors can become not only self-sufficient but successful both at work and at home.”
State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) announced today that over $83,000 in Small Equipment Grants are headed toward fire protection districts in the 104th District. The grants are being distributed through Illinois’ Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM).

According to Hays, more than 100 departments statewide are taking a share of $2.2 million in grant funds. “These grants provide much-needed funding to help our fire districts purchase or replace necessary equipment,” said Hays. “The money headed to the 104th District will certainly be put to good use as our firemen and women work to keep our communities safe.”

Grant awards in the 104th District include:
  • Gifford Fire Protection District: $12,670.00 for seven sets of turnout coats and pants 
  • Rantoul Fire Protection District: $21,010.94 for one gear washer and two gear dryers 
  • Georgetown Fire Protection District: $24,691.20 for 24 hand-held radios with speakers 
  • Ridge Farm Fire District: $24,636.00 for 12 sets of bunker gear (pants and coats) 
The OFSM Small Equipment Grant Program was established to provide grants up to $26,000 for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment at fire departments and not-for-profit ambulance services across Illinois.

“This program provides an innovative approach to a problem that has long-caused difficulties for fire departments and ambulance service providers in our area,” Hays said. “These critical service providers traditionally have a difficult time generating the funds needed for purchasing small equipment that is necessary for the job, and I appreciate the State Fire Marshall’s recognition of this fact and the office’s willingness to offer these grants.”