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Mokena, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed (R- Mokena) was recently awarded recognition through the title of "Guardian of Small Business" by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The NFIB is Illinois' largest small business association, representing 11,000 businesses across the state. Every two years the organization scores legislators based on key small business votes they take in Springfield. Rep. McDermed received the award for her 100% voting record on small business legislation.

“Small businesses are and will continue to be the building blocks of any state’s economy.” Rep. McDermed said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for my record of support and I will continue to promote the small business community and the jobs they create.”

Illinois small businesses make up 98% of all Illinois businesses and employ nearly half of the workforce. Illinois is not seen as a business friendly state and receives poor marks regularly from national surveys. A recent small business survey from Thumbtrack found that Illinois got Fs in overall friendliness, ease of starting a business, employment, labor and hiring, tax code and licensing.
Springfield, IL… State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) has been chosen by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin to sit on the Illinois Sentencing Policy Advisory Council (SPAC). She replaces former State Rep. John Anthony who resigned from the House of Representatives in June.

The SPAC advises the Governor on legislation and compiles data on incarnation rates, their financial cost, and how to improve the state’s criminal justice system through reform. Last year’s report from the council found that in Illinois the recidivism rate is 48%, meaning the within 3 years of release, 48% end up back in prison, at a high cost to the state, those re-incarcerated, and their victims.

“I am pleased that the Governor’s administration has made criminal justice reform, including sentencing, a major initiative of his tenure,” Rep. McDermed said. “Now Illinois can really get to work on reforms that can rehabilitate both this state and its citizens. We must have fair sentencing that will still deter future criminals and policies in place to get offenders back on their feet as productive members of society.”

The council is a 19 member nonpartisan group consisting of state and local criminal justice system stakeholders including legislators, retired judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, corrections and court officials, law enforcement, victims' rights advocates, and academics. Rep. McDermed currently sits on the Juvenile Justice and System-Involved Committee in the House. 
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Office of Energy Assistance recently announced that the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will begin accepting applications for winter heating assistance for seniors and people with disabilities beginning September 1, 2016.

LIHEAP and the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP) program are funded as part of the stopgap funding plan signed into law by Governor Rauner.

LIHEAP is a state and federally funded energy assistance program for low-income families, in which heating bill payments are made on behalf of households. Applications are processed through a network of 35 local administering agencies around the state. These agencies will begin accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis from the elderly and people with disabilities starting on September 1, 2016.

Read more on the Caucus Blog
Frankfort, IL…  Area residents are encouraged to sign-up to donate blood at an upcoming drive to be held at 11032 W Lincoln Hwy in Frankfort on Thursday August 25th  from 4:30-7:00pm. The event is being sponsored by State Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) together with Heartland Blood Centers. Those interested in donating blood should call Rep. McDermed’s office to schedule an appointment at (815) 277-2079 or visit heartlandbc.org.

Heartland works with 63 Illinois hospitals and has a commitment that all theblood they collect will go to local area hospitals. More than 500 donations are needed daily to save patient lives and donating one unit of blood can help save up to 3 lives.

“Blood donation is quick, easy and, saves countless lives in our community each year,” Rep. McDermed said. “Blood donations drop off significantly over the summer, I encourage local residents to sign-up today to come out for a great, much needed cause.”

Donors are required to be in good general health and feeling well, be at least 17-years-old (or 16-years-old with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 lbs. Everyone who donates will receive a free t-shirt.

Please call Rep. McDermed’s office with any questions or to schedule an appointment at (815) 277-2079.

Upcoming Blood Drive
       Blood banks across the state see a precipitous drop in donations over the summer. So I’m partnering with Heartland Blood Centers to host a blood drive on Wednesday August 25 from 3:30-7:30pm in the parking lot of my office (11032 W Lincoln HWY, Frankfort). Every donation helps to save lives. Please call my office at (815) 277-2079 or email me to schedule your donation appointment.

Flurry of Bills Signed
       The Governor has been busy signing in to law multiple bills that we in the General Assembly passed in the spring including:
       SB2343, the new Citizen Privacy Protection Act limits the use of the widely-discussed transmitter called “Stingray,” which has been extensively marketed to police forces.  Stingray transmitters broadcast a signal that looks like a cell site.  The phony ‘repeater’ is treated as a friend by all of the cellphones within electronic earshot, and the devices promptly share the phone’s location and who it is talking to or texting at the time. 
National Night Out- an event to foster good relationships
between neighbors and with the local police

Seniors came out to peruse local vendors and state agencies at
Rep. McDermed's annual Senior Fair
Women attend a self defense seminar taught by One Light