OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (February 2023)

Senator Patrick Joyce
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OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (February 2023) (Kankakee, IL) — February is an important month for our state and national history. We celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday, Presidents Day, and Black History Month, among other notable milestones.

There are many quotes from Mr. Lincoln that have resonated throughout history. But I think this one rings true in Springfield: “If you would win a man to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.”

As we begin the earnest work of the 103rd General Assembly in 2023, I am co-chairing one of two Senate committees where my fellow co-chair is a Republican.

Traditionally, committee chairs are members of the majority party, which has been the Democratic Party in the Illinois Senate since 2003. But I will share leadership duty of the Senate State Government Committee with Senator Sally Turner, a Republican from Lincoln just north of Springfield. My new colleague Democratic Sen. Mike Halpin will co-chair the Senate Higher Education Committee with Republican Sen. Dale Fowler from Southern Illinois.

I believe this is an earnest effort by our Democratic and Republican leaders to put into action the words I have shared in this space since I joined the Senate three years ago: we are better when we work together. I look forward to working closely with Sen. Turner and my colleagues to find common ground for improving state government operations and being responsible with taxpayer dollars.

I was proud to see Gov. Pritzker carry the cooperative theme out in his State of the State and budget address he delivered in the House chambers on Feb. 15. We will be working to build on the principles he outlined and the good progress we have made to keep taxes in check, pay down our debt, balance our budget, and invest in education, health care, law enforcement and other key priorities. I will fight to make sure our voices in the South Suburbs are heard this session.

Our state’s transportation infrastructure is essential to our success. I was honored to be named 2022 Railroader of the Year, along with Mark Denzler of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association, by the Illinois Railroad Association earlier this month.

Governors State University is receiving $445,000 for emergency education relief in a recent grant awarded by the Illinois Board Higher Education, which will give more students a better chance to go to college and succeed.

The Illinois EPA has also announced $130,000 is headed to three communities in the 40th Senate District to help replace lead water lines: Chicago Heights, South Chicago Heights, and Steger.

I will have more updates on my work in Springfield as the spring legislative session progresses. You can see the various bills I am sponsoring at the Illinois General Assembly website: https://ilga.gov/senate/SenatorBills.asp?MemberID=3164&Primary=True.

I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at http://www.senatorpatrickjoyce.com/. I will continue to share the latest news on my website and on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/senPatrickjoyce40/.

Sen. Patrick Joyce

D-Essex, 40th State Senate District

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (February 2023)

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