Brian's Column 04-17-2015

Legislative Session
I made the long drive to Springfield Tuesday morning, and, along with the rest of the Illinois General Assembly, I’ve spent most of this week in session or in committee. We still have not heard any budget bills in session yet, but stay tuned. I will keep you updated as soon as we do.

Holocaust Remembrance
This past Thursday, April 16, was the seventy-second anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising and internationally recognized as Holocaust Remembrance Day. While some choose to forget the horrors of the Holocaust and others choose to blatantly deny its having ever happened, may we never let the blinders of history cause us to forget the consequences of the past. Never forget. Never again.

150th Anniversary of President Lincoln’s Death
Wednesday of this week marked the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death. President Lincoln, leader of the Union during the Civil War was assassinated just a few days after the Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant. The President served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for twelve years before later serving in the United States Congress. He also led the movement to relocate the state capital to Springfield, where my fellow legislators and I continue to serve our state.

I am proud to honor a President who rose to the presidency with little formal education, who emancipated an entire people from slavery, and who managed to keep our country together through one of the most trying times in our history. Though he was not born and raised in Illinois, he spent his young adult years here developing into the leader and President he would become in the 1860s. In a time in our state when we are struggling to regain our financial footing, learning from President Lincoln is more important than ever. His example can teach us the value of hard work, the importance of collaboration with people who are not necessarily like-minded, and the significance of valuing sound decision-making over popularity.

President Lincoln supposedly once stated “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?” As a man who included members of the opposing party in his cabinet, he understood the value of breaking down political barriers to do the most good for the most people. Our State can benefit from his example today. It’s time for Illinois politicians to do away with party politics and voting based on the letter after our names. Let’s work to find common ground and determine what we can do that will benefit the people of Illinois.

As always, you can reach me or Sally at 815/232-0774 or email us at repstewart@gmail.com. You can also visit my website at www.repbrianstewart.com or follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

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