Latest News

On Wednesday, students from across the state who participate in 4-H programs visited the State Capitol to visit with lawmakers and discuss the importance and benefits of 4-H. Rep. Hays is shown here with a local group from Vermilion County.
State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) has passed legislation in the Illinois House that will help individuals living in poverty successfully transition to become self-sufficient members of their community through job skills and healthy family programs.

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. The programs would be privately funded 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.

“Becoming financially stable is extremely difficult when those seeking job skills training face harsh eligibility cliffs and are forced out of programs before stability and self-sufficiency are truly achieved,” said Hays. “By allowing for a 36-month income disregard, program participants can 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. An additional benefit is there is no impact on the state budget for these programs; they are entirely funded by community-based non-profits. I applaud Carle Foundation Hospital for the work they do in this area, and expect the provisions of this bill will increase their success rates.”

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.

“Just as Carle leaders from multiple areas joined forces to support people in our community, Illinois lawmakers from both parties partnered to move this legislation to the governor's desk,” said Carle President and CEO James C. Leonard, MD. “It is truly life-changing when so many people pool their time and talent to improve how the system works today so our friends and neighbors can become not only self-sufficient but successful both at work and at home.”

SB 3232 was approved by the Senate in April and will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for final action.
This week Rep. Chad Hays welcomed leaders from Urbana's Carle Foundation Hospital to Springfield. This year Hays is the Chief Sponsor of legislation requested by the hospital leadership that supports citizens as they seek training ad a pathway back into the workforce.
In spite of overwhelming bipartisan support for a fair maps process in Illinois, the citizens of the state were once again denied an opportunity to vote on whether or not the map-making process for Illinois should be removed from the hands of politicians. The deadline for putting such a measure on the November 6 ballot was Sunday, May 6.

Article XIV of the Illinois Constitution requires a minimum six-month window between when a constitutional amendment ballot referendum is approved by three-fifths of both chambers of the General Assembly and the next General Election. Consequently, there will be no “Fair Maps” referendum on the November 6 ballot this year.

State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin), who co-sponsored two pieces of fair maps legislation this year, said the lack of legislative action points to poor leadership in Springfield. “I am extremely disappointed that yet another year will pass when voters are denied an opportunity to vote on fair maps for Illinois,” said Hays. “My constituents often ask me what one thing they could do to help turn the state around. I tell them without hesitation that they should educate themselves on how legislative maps are drawn in this state and get behind an initiative that removes opportunities for gerrymandering and ensures a fair and transparent map process.”

Hays is a Chief Co-Sponsor of HJRCA 46, which would provide for the creation of an independent legislative redistricting commission that would lead a detailed review process of maps submitted by any Illinoisan who would wish to suggest a map. The commission, appointed equally by the four legislative leaders from the Republican and Democratic caucuses, would provide the public with necessary data and tools with which to create map proposals, and a multi-faceted scoring rubric would be used to rank all submissions with higher scores generated by maps that keep municipalities and counties together and which are compact in nature.

He is also a co-sponsor of HR 995, which expresses support for independent redistricting reform and advocates for a non-partisan map-making process for the upcoming redistricting cycle. Both proposals would have applied to redistricting beginning in 2021 for the elections to be held in 2022.
With winter finally in the rear-view mirror, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Gov. Bruce Rauner are encouraging all drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts to be extra cautious as more bikes start hitting the roads.

Although motorcycles represent 3% of total vehicle registrations in Illinois, they account for 15% of traffic fatalities. There were 1,097 traffic fatalities in Illinois in 2017 – 162 were motorcyclists, eight more than 2016, according to preliminary data.

During the riding season, “Start Seeing Motorcycles” banners and yard signs will be on display throughout the state, reminding the public to always stay alert for motorcycles. All riders are urged to take precautions to ensure they stay visible to other motorists. By wearing the appropriate protective gear, getting regular maintenance checks and taking advantage of IDOT’s free motorcycle safety courses, they make the roads safer for themselves and other drivers. A motorcycle can easily be hidden behind other vehicles so all other motorists are advised to avoid distractions and be on the lookout at all times.

“Warmer weather means more bikes on the road and more interaction between motorcyclists and other vehicles,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “The number of fatalities and injuries involving motorcycles is heading in the wrong direction. That’s unacceptable. By staying alert and extra vigilant, we can begin to reverse these trends.”

Start Seeing Motorcycles is made possible by the teamwork among IDOT, the Illinois State Police, Gold Wing Road Riders Association, A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) and other organizations that promote motorcycle education, awareness and safety

“Riding motorcycles safely is just as important as driving cars safely,” said Illinois State Police Director Leo P. Schmitz. “All of us have a responsibility to do our part to ride and drive safely. We want to remind motorcyclists of riding dangers, practicing safe riding habits, ensuring they are operating a safe vehicle having the correct classification on their driver's license We are also asking drivers to keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.”

Visit startseeingmotorcycles.org for more information on IDOT’s free motorcycle training and safety programs.
State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) announced today that $91,294 in state-sponsored per capita grant money has been approved for libraries located in the 104th Legislative House District.

The Public Library Per Capita Grants Program was established to assist public libraries to improve and increase library services within their service areas. Grant amounts of up to $1.25 per person served are available, on an annual basis, to all Illinois local public libraries through an application process.

“Investing in our local public libraries is vitally important,” said Hays. “Libraries are often a focal point of a community and I am pleased to know that a portion of this year’s per capita library grant allocation will be put to good use right here in the 104th District.”

Libraries within the 104th Legislative House District that will receive funds include:
  • Catlin Public Library District for $4,125.00 
  • Danville Public Library for $41,283.75 
  • Georgetown Public Library for $4,342.50 
  • Oakwood Public Library District for $7,683.75 
  • Rantoul Public Library for $16,176.25 
  • Elwood Township Carnegie Library for $2,058.75 
  • Westville Public Library District for $15,623.75 
Per Capita Grant funding allows resources for expenses such as materials, personnel, equipment, electronic access, telecommunications and technology.