September Updates for Rep. Ozinga

Mapes Trial

On August 24th, Tim Mapes, former Chief of Staff for Speaker Michael Madigan, was found guilty for perjury and obstruction of justice. 

When he was found guilty, another domino fell in the corrupt Madigan machine. Since my first day in office I have been a champion of passing strong, comprehensive ethics reform. There have been many bills filed to end the plague of corrupt and unethical behavior inside our state’s government, but none have been called for a vote.

It’s time to put aside party politics and address this issue head on. Let’s work together to put forth ethics reform legislation that the people of Illinois can be proud of.

Nuclear Energy

Recently, Governor J.B. Pritzker vetoed Senate Bill 76 which would lift the current ban on constructing new nuclear energy facilities. The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the General Assembly and passed with a vote of 84-22-3 in the House and 36-14 in the Senate. In response to this, I called on my fellow legislators to override this veto in our upcoming fall legislative session. 

“Illinois deserves the ability to build safe, reliable, and cost-efficient nuclear energy facilities in order to meet our energy needs. Senate Bill 76 would remove the current moratorium on nuclear facilities and allow us to move towards an energy-independent future for our state, which is why I proudly joined as a co-sponsor on this bill. Unfortunately, Governor Pritzker put the interests of progressive activist groups before the people of Illinois and vetoed this bill.”

“To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, I say this: In today’s hyper-partisan political landscape, finding common ground can feel impossible. Do not squander this opportunity to reach across the aisle and work together on an issue that we all agree on. Join us in voting to override the Governor’s veto. The people of our state deserve a cooperative government that is dedicated to choosing solutions, not sides.” 

National Suicide Prevention Month

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. This reminds us that we can all take action to prevent suicide. Here are 5 action steps that can make an impact on someone’s life:

ASK – Ask the tough question. When somebody you know is in emotional pain, ask them directly: “Are you thinking about suicide?” Studies show that asking at-risk individuals if they are suicidal does not increase suicides or suicidal thoughts. In fact, findings suggest acknowledging and talking about suicide may in fact reduce rather than increase suicidal ideation.

BE THERE – If your friend is thinking about suicide, listen to their reasons for feeling hopeless or in pain. Listen with compassion and empathy, without dismissing or judging. Increasing someone’s connectedness to others and limiting their isolation (both in the short and long-term) has shown to be a protective factor against suicide.

HELP KEEP THEM SAFE – Is your friend thinking about suicide? Ask if they’ve thought about how they would do it and separate them from anything they could use to hurt themselves. Knowing the answers to each of these questions can tell us a lot about the imminence and severity of danger the person is in. The 988 Lifeline can always act as a resource, if you aren’t entirely sure what to do next.

HELP THEM CONNECT – Help your friend connect to a support system, whether it’s the 988 Lifeline, family, friends, clergy, coaches, co-workers or therapists, so they have a network to reach out to for help.

FOLLOW UP – Check in with the person you care about on a regular basis. Making contact with a friend in the days and weeks after a crisis can make a difference in keeping them alive.

Keep Up to Date

Click here to visit my website. There you can contact my office, see what legislation I am working on, and more.

I will continue to update you monthly via this e-newsletter about events and programs I will be hosting throughout the summer, as well as important information as we move into our Fall legislative session.