OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (June 2024)

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce
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Veteran's Memorial Park

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OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (June 2024) (Kankakee, IL) — We have ended another legislative session in Springfield. As we reflect on our work to move our state forward, we must not lose sight of why we are able to have policy debates and make these important decisions.

I was fortunate to offer some thoughts at a local Memorial Day ceremony through my staff right after our legislative session ended. We used the opportunity to ask those attending to remember the soldiers who have fought for our freedoms – the freedoms to agree and disagree, respectfully, without fear of repercussions that others around the world face for their beliefs.

I have seen firsthand the sacrifices of selfless men in my family: my father-in-law served in Korea, World War II and Vietnam, and my uncle was a paratrooper who saw the devastation firsthand in Hiroshima after the bomb drop that ended our last World War.

On July 16, we will honor the veterans who played key roles in developing the atomic weapons that have proven to preserve our freedoms. Atomic Veterans Day, as outlined in Senate Resolution 799, helps remind us that soldiers exposed to nuclear radiation served selflessly so we could be free.

We continue to honor veterans at the State Capitol by investing in important programs such as Illinois Joining Forces, where care coordinators help veterans in need connect with programs and services that help best meet those needs. We are helping veterans get housing, social services, and higher education opportunities to show we do care about them and want them to succeed after they have served.

As our political debates take center stage in the coming months, let’s not lose sight of why we can agree to disagree and the great fortune we have living in a country where freedoms matter.

I want to thank former Gov. Pat Quinn for his years of dedication to remembering the brave men and women who have fought and died for these freedoms. I was proud to join him for the opening of the Portrait of a Soldier exhibit at the Kankakee Public Library in late May, telling the story of the faces of the ultimate sacrifices made so we can live free.

We considered critical legislation to end the legislative session, including our latest state budget. I voted against the budget this year, not because I do not believe in many of the investments we are making in it to support our schools, our health care systems and other critical needs. But as I noted in a recent interview, I believe we owe it to our hardworking families in Illinois to re-evaluate our spending: reduce our debt, reduce our local property tax burdens, and skip legislative pay raises.

Over the coming months, we will be talking more about the important legislation and projects we have supported from this spring session. I encourage you to follow along with the legislation I worked on this spring: https://ilga.gov/senate/SenatorBills.asp?MemberID=3164.

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 (June 2024)

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