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Articles written by Andrew Chesney


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  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|May 22, 2024

    Those of us who grew up in stable homes with solid role models are very fortunate. While most of us probably did not know or appreciate it at the time, we were taught from an early age the difference between right and wrong, the proper way to treat people, respect toward others, and the importance of telling the truth and obeying the law. We were told that school was important, homework was to be done, and curfews were to be met. We had siblings that looked out for us. When we broke the rules, o...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|May 8, 2024

    As your Senator of the 45th District, I am privileged to be the legislative voice of about 220,000 citizens in Northwest Illinois. I gauge opinions and priorities by reaching out to the public through mailed surveys, town hall meetings, telephone town hall events, conversations at coffee shops and other places where people gather, or by simply stopping by your door for a quick chat. The results of these efforts are three-fold. First, they ensure my constituency is appropriately represented in...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Apr 24, 2024

    It’s no secret that Governor JB Pritzker is the most liberal governor our state has ever seen. After all, he made Illinois the abortion capitol of the United States and brought us mandatory LGBTQ curricula in schools, free healthcare to migrants and illegal immigrants, and the SAFE-T Act, which eliminated our cash bail system. The Governor is also responsible for appointing people to serve on a little-known panel called the Prisoner Review Board (PRB), a 15-member group that serves as I...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Apr 10, 2024

    Northwest Illinois is home to some of the most fertile soil in the state, nation, and world, and the farmers who work this land are vital to this state’s top economic driver- agriculture. Knowing this, when I was elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 2018, one of the first things I did was form an Agriculture Advisory Committee. I was raised in this region, so I recognized at an early age the impact farming and agribusiness have had on people’s livelihoods. Having grown up around the ind...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Mar 20, 2024

    As a public official, I have always fought to lower taxes for my constituents. From my time on the Freeport City Council to my tenure in the Illinois House of Representatives to my current role as the State Senator for the 45th District in Northwest Illinois, lightening the tax burden for Illinoisans has always been a focal point of my legislative agenda. When Governor JB Pritzker recently announced he wanted to eliminate the state sales tax on groceries, I was surprised, but also encouraged....

  • Valentines For Seniors

    Andrew Chesney|Feb 28, 2024

    My office recently completed its first annual Valentines for Seniors program, and the response from the community exceeded all expectations. Between February 14th and 15th, my staff and I delivered over 2,300 valentines to 30 different nursing homes and assisted living, rehabilitation, and memory care centers in the seven-county region that makes up the 45th Senate District. The smiles on the seniors' faces were priceless, and it was evident they felt appreciated and valued. Cards were made by...

  • From The Senate Seat

    Andrew Chesney|Feb 14, 2024

    The same Chicago Democrat who brought us the SAFE-T Act (House Bill 3653) has filed new legislation that would further threaten public safety and impede law enforcement efforts to keep our communities safe. As you may recall, the so-called SAFE-T Act was pushed through in the middle of the night when fewer eyes were following the legislature’s action. As I have stated many times, this law does nothing to improve safety in our communities. It heaped a slew of new mandates on police officers r...

  • From The Senate Seat

    Andrew Chesney|Jan 31, 2024

    During the 2023 session, Republicans in the Senate and House fought hard to continue a tax credit scholarship program for low-income Illinois school children. Through private donations made to a special fund, children in schools that were failing them for whatever reason had an opportunity to improve their chances for academic success by moving to a learning environment that met their needs. Donors to the program received a 75% Illinois income tax credit in exchange for their donations. It was i...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Jan 17, 2024

    For the last 18 months, Governor JB Pritzker has quietly issued consecutive 30-day disaster proclamations for the State of Illinois as it relates to the migrant crisis and the hordes of non-citizens making their way to Illinois from the U.S. southern border. These orders grant him massive power to bypass the Legislature, a co-equal branch of government, and move and spend budget dollars how he sees fit. Indeed, Governor Pritzker and I do not agree on much, but we agree that the flood of...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Dec 20, 2023

    Christmas is right around the corner, and once the hectic pace of the holidays subsides, Illinoisans will reflect and also look forward with hope as they make resolutions for the new year. Everyone’s slate is clean on January 1. New stories can be written based on decisions people make each day. If you could place Illinois on a better path, what changes would you resolve to make? I dream of an Illinois where people can afford to support their families without the continuous worry of higher t...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Nov 22, 2023

    The General Assembly recently completed the 2023 Fall Veto Session, and there was no shortage of political gamesmanship on display. It is typical during veto session to examine bills with upcoming sunset dates and determine which ones will be continued. Two sunsetting bills took center stage during this year’s veto session. The first is 2017 legislation sponsored by Senator Kwame Raoul who now serves as Illinois’ Attorney General. The legislation, SB1722 (Public Act 100-0003), established hig...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Nov 8, 2023

    Multiple news sources recently reported that in September, U.S. border agents processed more than 200,000 migrants who crossed into the United States illegally. That’s an average of over 6,600 people per day. The actual number is much higher! As the southern U.S. border crisis continues to consume and overwhelm available resources in border states like Texas and Arizona, desperate state leaders are doing everything they can to handle the influx of illegal immigrants. Part of their response is t...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Nov 1, 2023

    Legislators are preparing to head back to Springfield for the Fall Veto Session, which is scheduled for October 24-26, and November 7-9. Veto Session is the time when legislators can act on items that received full or partial (amendatory) vetoes from the Governor. As the Senator for the 45thDistrict, I look forward to representing the values of Northwest Illinois families during the upcoming veto session. During the spring 2023 legislative session, more than 550 bills were approved and sent to...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Sep 6, 2023

    Illinois’ annual celebration of agriculture just ended with the closing of the Illinois State Fair on August 20th. We had some livestock participants and winners in various categories from the 45th District, and I want to thank all the FFA, 4-H, and other livestock exhibitors who took the time to raise, groom, feed, and prepare their animals for the show. I am sure it was a great experience. Our area was on the receiving end of another distinct honor this year, as the State Fair’s coveted “Bu...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Aug 16, 2023

    What would happen to your family budget if you doubled your spending over a six-year period? I think we all know it would be an unsustainable and irresponsible path that leads to a lot of credit card debt and an eventual fiscal cliff. Yet that is exactly what your state government has done with the General Fund and other state and federal budget funds since Governor JB Pritzker took office. Between Fiscal Year 2018 and Fiscal Year 2024 (current year), state government appropriations have...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Aug 2, 2023

    Some of my favorite childhood memories involve trips to the county fair, and this time of year counties across Illinois are continuing their traditions of bringing people together for celebrations of community spirit. From hot dogs, lemon shake-ups, cotton candy, and funnel cakes, to livestock exhibits, carnival rides, concerts, and pageants, county fairs offer something for everyone. The centerpiece of county fairs is livestock exhibits and judging. In the months and sometimes years leading up...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Jul 19, 2023

    The State of Illinois lost a great legislator last year when Republican State Representative and Floor Leader Mark Batinick retired. He was a fiscal hawk who was a true problem-solver. He did not promote a partisan agenda, but instead viewed policy ideas, regardless of who sponsored them, through a comprehensive lens of cost-benefit-consequence. Mark and I had a conversation the other day about the dangers of unintended consequences, and how sometimes legislation that looks and sounds good can a...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Jul 5, 2023

    There is no denying Illinois has an outmigration problem. And it is not just retired people leaving Illinois for warmer climates. The most recent data available show that Illinois is losing residents of all age ranges and income brackets. Census estimates claim Illinois’ population shrank by over 104,000 people between July 2021 and July 2022. These numbers are the second worst in the nation. It is especially disheartening when states all around Illinois are experiencing an increase in p...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|May 31, 2023

    No one likes paying taxes. And in Illinois, we pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation. The headlines proclaiming Illinois has one of the worst overall tax burdens in the United States have become so prevalent, that people have become desensitized to it. Rather than accepting it as “normal for Illinois” we should be asking “Why is this normal in Illinois?” Tax bills are arriving, and in Northwest Illinois families everywhere are scratching their heads, wondering why it costs s...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Apr 5, 2023

    Many say the only constant in life is change. We see this as businesses continually adapt to remain competitive and profitable, and schools respond to economic trends to produce graduates that can succeed at jobs many of us never thought would even exist when we were young. While the rate of change can be dizzying, one thing that will never change is the value and importance of the Illinois farmer. I was born and raised in Northwest Illinois, home to several of the more than 70,000 farms in...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Mar 22, 2023

    A primary responsibility of state government is to protect those who otherwise cannot protect or take care of themselves. Sadly, in too many cases, the State of Illinois is failing these most vulnerable citizens and their families. In Northwest Illinois, we are far removed from the atrocities that have been uncovered at the Choate Mental Health and Developmental Center in the southern Illinois community of Anna. But with the state-run Mabley Developmental Center located nearby in Dixon, you...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Mar 8, 2023

    We all have an internal compass that guides our decisions and our behavior. And for those who seek public office, their ethical standards should be beyond reproach. Most people enter politics for the right reasons. They want to give back to their communities. They want good schools, or good parks or library systems. They see a problem and want to be part of the solution. These community leaders go about their work honestly, ethically, and with little fanfare. In Springfield, I work alongside...

  • From The Desk Down State

    Andrew Chesney|Feb 22, 2023

    Friday, February 10 marked the 2023 bill filing deadline in Springfield, and at the end of the day there were 2,442 Senate Bills and 2,000 House Bills filed. Almost all are bills of substance seeking a legislative change. About a dozen of these bills are mine, and they address a variety of issues that those living in Northwest Illinois have said are important to them, like protecting Second Amendment rights for lawful gun owners, supporting law enforcement officers, and strengthening the...

  • State Rep's Report

    Andrew Chesney|Jan 11, 2023

    I hope this finds you and your family well and wish for you the best of the holiday season. As we approach the year’s end, I want to take a moment to thank you for the privilege of representing your interests in Springfield. I am humbled by and grateful for the trust you have placed in me. On your behalf, I cast votes on hundreds of pieces of legislation this year and on January 1 more than 180 of those bills will go into effect as new state laws. Some of those include: - The cost of license p...

  • State Rep's Report

    Andrew Chesney|Dec 14, 2022

    I hope this update finds you enjoying the holiday season with family and friends. The Illinois House and Senate recently convened in Springfield for the second week of Veto Session, concluding December 1. The session dealt with major issues of State policy on which action was required prior to the end of the year. Illinois Democrats passed changes to the so-called “SAFE-T” Act during the final hours of Veto Session. The SAFE-T Act legislation, HB 1095, passed with the minimum required number of...

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