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Happy New Year everybody!  Have you made any New Year’s resolutions yet?  We’ve all heard about the success rate of resolutions.  If we follow the law of averages then by February most of our resolutions are out the window and we wait until the next year to repeat the same cycle.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all!  This week, for the first and only time this year, I will not be talking politics.  I think in 2016 we’ve had our fill.  And as I said in the Christmas column, don’t spend the Holidays arguing politics with family!

Christmas is without a doubt my favorite time of the year.  I’m not quite sure how to explain it exactly, but during the two weeks leading up to Christmas, everyone just appears to be happier, and it couldn’t come at a better time considering we are suffering through a cold spell in the dead of winter.

Being an elected State Legislator is an honor and a privilege.  That being said, the job is part-time, and many of us in the legislature have full time careers outside of our government capacity. However, some legislators consider this part-time job to be their full-time job.  So when Comptroller Munger started putting politicians’ pay at the back of the line, these full-time legislators bristled.

I’m going to start this column off on a positive note before we talk about some of the issues going on in Springfield.  How about those Forreston Cardinals?  State Champions again for the second time in three years.  I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that we have one of the best athletic conferences in the state here in Northwest Illinois.  We are proud of our student athletes, and we are especially proud that a local team has once again become state champions.  Congratulations to Forreston High School!

***Guest Column***

I would like to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. Friends, rule number one this holiday is to not talk politics. The last thing you want is to have Uncle Pete and Cousin Chuck at each other’s throats with the turkey carving knife. Enjoy the holiday and enjoy the company of your family!

Before I continue my theme of addressing the results of the 2016 election, I would like to respond to a bill that many of you have contacted my office about – the serialization of handgun ammunition. I oppose the bill for three reasons: 1) Only law abiding citizens would be hurt by the law. Criminals would simply buy ammunition from other states or steal ammunition from upstanding citizens. 2) The bill would cause ammunition prices to skyrocket. 3) I believe the bill to be “crony-capitalist” in nature. One company stands to make millions from the bill, and that doesn’t sit well with me. I am not voting for the bill.

During the final stretch of the Presidential campaign the Clinton team advocated unity after the election. Many believe this is because she was convinced she was going to win in a landslide. But even after her surprise defeat, the very next day she called for unity during her concession speech. She did not mention her lead in the popular vote, but she spoke of the need to come together and wish the next President of the United States the best. With her concession speech the 2016 elections came to a close. 
***Guest Column***

If you will allow me, I would like to share some of my thoughts on President-elect Trump’s victory. But first, on this Veteran’s Day I would like to thank all veterans who are fighting or who have fought for our country to give us the right to vote and allow us to make this the greatest country on earth. Secondly, I would like to thank the nearly 38,000 of you who voted for me. Though I ran unopposed, the fact that 85% of the district chose to fill in the circle for me was extremely humbling. I am forever grateful and it is an honor and privilege to represent you in Springfield.

All of you who read my column know that I did not weigh in on the top of ticket or really any of the ticket for that matter. It is my belief that as your State Representative, I’m here to represent you and not to tell you how to vote.

Speaking of telling you how to vote – never underestimate the power of a people who refuse to be told what to do or how to think. That’s a big part of what happened last Tuesday. Donald Trump is an imperfect vessel, and we all knew it, but what he stood for was so much bigger than himself. Please allow me to explain.