Springfield – State Representative Randy Frese (R-Paloma) commended the launch of a new not-for-profit Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation which will build capital improvements at the Springfield and DuQuoin fairgrounds. Governor Bruce Rauner helped unveil the foundation on Agricultural Day at the Illinois State Fair.
The Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation, established by leaders within the agricultural community, will be overseen by a volunteer board representing a diverse cross section of the agriculture industry. In conjunction with the Department of Agriculture, board members will build relationships with private sector businesses and individuals to develop strategies that raise private funding for the State fairgrounds, which combined carry $180 million in deferred maintenance costs.
Rep. Frese stated, “This foundation will be a great benefit to Illinois’ taxpayers and agricultural industry, as it will make the fairgrounds less reliant on state money while giving the care of its agricultural legacy to people that take great pride in that legacy. I applaud this move to keep the fairgrounds in good shape so that generations of Illinoisans will have a venue to enjoy Illinois’ best products.”
The Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield includes more than 170 buildings spanning 360 acres of land, with buildings as old as 124 years. The Du Quoin State Fairgrounds includes more than 20 buildings spread across over 1200 acres of land, with buildings as old as 93 years. Many of the buildings on both fairgrounds are in dire need of restoration, including paint, plumbing, roofing, and structural repairs.
Rep. Frese with local Members of the FFA on the House Floor in Springfield.
Springfield – Honoring a commitment to Illinois’ veterans, including those at Quincy Veterans Home, State Rep. Randy Frese (R-Paloma) announced that Governor Rauner signed his legislation that creates a new revenue stream to supplement funding for Veterans Homes, and also better staff them.
The legislation will allow Illinois Veterans Homes to issue decals for special license plates. Currently there are many special decals that support Veterans, but none that specifically support Veterans Homes. All costs and fees for the new decals shall go toward additional funding for Illinois Veterans Homes.
Additionally, the Governor signed legislation that provides educational grants for eligible registered professional nurses working in Veterans Homes. Each year an individual receives a grant under the program, called the Nurse Loan Repayment Program, he or she must complete a 12-month period as a registered nurse in a State Veterans Home.
Rep. Frese stated, “I introduced and passed this legislation to increase funding for Veterans Homes and to increase the pool of applicant nurses looking to work at these Homes. Together these new laws should better equip our Veterans with the resources they need and help the staff that serves them.”
House Bills 6149 and 5938 were signed into law on Sunday, during a ceremony to honor Illinois’ Veterans at the State Fair, and are now Public Acts 99-0814 and 99-0813.