Port Henry Planning, Estate Tax, New District Director, and More

Port Henry Holds Master Plan Kick Off Meeting

The City of Henry kicked off its Port Master Plan effort to elevate the economic future of the City and the surrounding Central Illinois region. The study is being funded by state and local contributions, including a Port Facilities Capital Investment Grant from the Illinois DOT. The master plan’s data driven approach will provide insights about current and future markets for the port and provide directions on best land uses in and around the new port as it develops. Land use guidance will be grounded in local and regional business and civic expectations. 

The Port Master Plan Kick-off Meeting was hosted by Ozinga Companies near the site of the future port. Twenty-four stakeholders representing various state and local interests braved the warm temperatures to hear a briefing from the consulting team led by Quetica, LLC. Quetica is a Service-Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business that specializes in freight and supply chain planning based in Minneapolis. The project overview discussed the approach, data needs, schedule, and future stakeholder engagement opportunities. 

Attendees were polled about their expectations for the study, preferences for future communication mediums and thoughts about the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the region. As the project progresses future updates will be posted to the City of Henry website. The consulting team is very interested in hearing from regional businesses about their current supply chains and shipping practices. Any business or public officials interested in taking part in a brief 30-minute interview should email Ben Zietlow at  benjamin.zietlow@quetica.com or Ann Schnieder at:  Annschneider100@gmail.com.

We Need to Reform the Estate Tax

The weight of the Illinois estate tax now falls disproportionately on farmers and small businesspeople. There is a growing push among Illinois lawmakers to reduce or eliminate it altogether. 

House Republicans have sponsored numerous measures to reduce or eliminate the Illinois estate tax including HB 1459, a January 2023 measure to increase the exemption threshold on Illinois estates subjected to Illinois estate taxation from $4 million to $12 million. Although advocates testified before the House Revenue and Finance Committee in favor of the proposal, the House Democrats did not allow it to get out of committee. We will be pushing again in the veto session to give Illinois families a break from the estate tax.

Around the District

I was proud to join in the opening ceremonies for the 75th Annual Central States Thresherman’s Reunion in Pontiac, celebrating its rich history and unveiling the new Imkee Museum and Bill Carroll Memorial Corn Crib. The 37th J. I. Case Heritage Foundation Expo definitely highlighted the progress of our Nation’s agricultural and industrial heritage. Bravo to all of the wonderful volunteers who made this great event happen!

Touring the ADDWC of Woodford County was one of the highlights of my summer. Each day, ADDWC enriches the lives of adults with developmental disabilities through social engagement, employment, life skills, vocational training and by providing supportive housing environments. Thank you to Tyler Rogers, CEO and Roger Crow, Senior CDS Director for the guided tour and for all that your staff does each and every day.

The Pontiac Thresherman’s Parade this week was one for the books and Team Tipsword was proud to participate! Volunteers should be very proud of all they accomplished.

Welcome our new District Director, Beckie Johnson!

Beckie brings extraordinary experience in State Government, having served previously for Senator Terri Bryant and former Senator John O. Jones! Beckie will be based out of the Pontiac office primarily focused on constituent services, community events, and district operations. Betsy and I could not be happier to have Beckie join TEAM TIPSWORD! Deb Karch, our Chief of Staff is very excited too.

Illinois’ fall 2023 Waterfowl Season Has Begun

Although affected by the September bag limits, early Canada goose hunting began on Friday, September 1.  The September rules for licensed Illinois hunters are forked between two different super-regions of Illinois. In the localities defined by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) as being in the Prairie State’s north zone and central zone, the September subsection of the goose-hunting season authorizes the shooting of up to a five-bird daily bag limit. However, for those local areas defined as being in the south zone and the south-central zone, the daily bag limit for September drops to two birds.  In the following weeks, IDNR will open legal hunting seasons for teal, rail, duck, and snow geese.