“Many people don’t realize that programs like WIC and SNAP do not pay for diapers, rash creams or other infant supplies. Diapers are an essential and often overlooked need for families struggling financially around the holidays,” said Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) on Friday.

Recognizing this significant need in the community, State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) announced on Friday that he will again be hosting a Holiday Diaper Drive beginning Monday to address the insufficient supply of diapers to keep infants in need clean, dry, and healthy. The Holiday Diaper Drive will run from November 12 through December 7. Donors may drop off unopened packages of diapers (all infant and toddler sizes and brands welcome), baby wipes, and diaper rash cream to State Representative Ryan Spain’s Peoria District Office (located at Illinois Central College North Campus, Arbor Hall, Suite B, 5407 N. University St., Peoria). Diapers will be donated to local food pantries and diaper pantries throughout the 73rd Legislative District to help those in need this Holiday Season.

Rep. Spain continued, “many families need help with basic needs like diapers to ensure the best start for their children. I felt compelled to act on behalf of these hardworking families trying to do best for their children but in need of a helping hand.”

Children under the age of 5 comprise 13 percent of the State’s SNAP recipients and more than 25% of WIC recipients are infants. Diapers cost an average of $18 per week or $936 per year. According to the National Diaper Bank Network, low-income families report a shortage of 50 diapers per month. Donations to Rep. Spain Holiday Diaper Drive are encouraged through December 7 in order to get the diapers to pantries and to families before the holidays.

More investment is coming into the Warehouse District due to continued collaboration among community leaders.  Representative Spain recognized the large investment of Cullinan Properties and Diane and Doug Oberhelman into a new project which is expected to be a catalyst for future redevelopment activity downtown.

The project, First Ascent Peoria, will be located at 927 SW Washington St in the former Hagerty Brothers Co building originally built in the 1920s. First Ascent Peoria is a climbing facility and health club. The first of its kind in the area, First Ascent will offer a world class climbing gym with over 10,000 square feet of top rope and lead climbing terrain and over 3,000 square feet of bouldering terrain. Fitness enthusiasts will also enjoy the facility’s yoga studio with 20 yoga classes per week and top-notch fitness equipment.  First Ascent Peoria is scheduled to open the first quarter of 2019.

State Representative Ryan Spain appreciates the Oberhelman’s and Cullinan Properties investing the needed capital for this project, as they, “support Peoria’s Warehouse District and look forward to its continued growth,” said Spain.

“Capital investments like this are critical for innovative projects to move forward.  I want to thank the owners of First Ascent Peoria, and Cullinan Properties and the Oberhelman’s for helping to bring their vision to fruition.  This development will continue to attract young professionals to our downtown core, as well as fostering a happier, healthier community,” Spain continued.

Recognizing the meaningful impact agriculture has on our State, National, and Global competitiveness, the Illinois Farm Bureau recognizes legislators with a strong voting record in favor of the industry.  This week, Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) was among the organization’s honorees for his pro-agriculture voting record during his first term in the Illinois House of Representatives.

“I am honored to be recognized by the Illinois Farm Bureau for my voting record in support of agriculture.  As a legislator who did not grow up on a family farm, I am so grateful for the warm welcome and helpful education provided by our local and state farm bureau leaders.  Farm Bureau members are dedicated advocates who effectively communicate the issues important to their families,” said Rep. Ryan Spain.   

Spain was awarded the Friend of Agriculture Award by Peoria County Farm Bureau Member Fred Carroll and Peoria County Farm Bureau Manager Patrick Kirchofer on October 16 in rural Kickapoo.  

“Illinois farmers feed the world and generate enormous impact for our local economy,” said Rep. Spain.  “The Farm Bureau does a great job with programs like ‘Ag in the Classroom’ to make sure consumers understand where their food comes from and the work that goes into creating it.”

“As a strong advocate for farmers, I am pleased to work tirelessly with legislators on both sides of the aisle to stress the importance of agriculture in our economy,” said Spain, who represents portions of Peoria, Woodford, Marshall, Stark, Bureau, and LaSalle counties in the Illinois House.


State Representative Ryan Spain announced that Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White, will be awarding a 2019 Project Next Generation (PNG) grant to Brimfield Public Library as well as 30 other libraries throughout the State.

“Brimfield Public Library has an excellent track record as strong stewards of grant funding,” said Rep. Ryan Spain.  “I am pleased Secretary White awarded their application funding.”

The Brimfield Public Library District will receive $21,770 in grant funding as part of Secretary White’s announcement of more than $525,000 in statewide funding.

“I established this innovative program when I first became Secretary of State to give students an opportunity to receive hands-on experience with the latest technological tools at their local library,” said Secretary White in announcing this year’s awards. 

Project Next Generation is a mentoring program administered through Illinois public libraries.  Project mentors work with middle and high school students as the participants develop skills to use various technologies, achieve success through project-based learning and gain life skills, such as effective communication, goal setting, and conflict resolution.

Recipients were awarded grants from the Illinois State Library using federal Library Services and Technology Act funds provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  Grants were awarded to public libraries that serve culturally diverse, low-income and underserved populations.  For more information, visit http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/library/grants/png.html.

Rep. Spain attended the Peoria County Farm Bureau Picnic & the Woodford County Farm Bureau Picnic, both on August 20.  Below is a photo from the Woodford County Picnic in Eureka.

Rep. Ryan Spain & Senator Chuck Weaver hosted their annual Senior Fair at Snyder Village in Metamora on Thursday, August 9, 2018.  Dozens of exhibitors and seniors attended to learn more about state and local agencies and services.

State Representative Ryan Spain is seeking volunteers for his Second Annual Summer Reading Club Ice Cream & Swimming Party. The party is held to reward students of the 73rd Legislative District for reading eight books over the course of the summer. Volunteers will be asked to help check readers into the party and work at the ice cream tables. “It’s incumbent on all of us in the community to encourage students to get ahead by becoming better readers. Volunteering at my Summer Reading Party is a fun way to get involved in helping young people get ahead,” said Rep. Spain.

The party will be held in the beginning of August at Shore Acres in Chillicothe. Those interested in volunteering can learn more by contacting Carrie Frank at Rep. Spain’s Peoria District Office at 309-690-7373 or e-mail repryanspain@gmail.com.

State Representative Ryan Spain joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, in voting YES on an FY 19 State Budget that is balanced and relies on “no new taxes”.

“This full-year budget funds many of our priorities, like mental health and addiction treatment services, restores some funding cut previously to local governments, and offers new pension reform measures including voluntary buyouts and other measures to help local districts control costs,” said Rep. Spain.  “I am proud to support this budget, recognizing much work remains to put Illinois on a better fiscal footing and make critical reforms to control our costs long-term.”

The FY 19 State Budget fully funds the new bipartisan K-12 education funding formula to local schools, funds the MAP grant program as well as providing a four-year commitment for MAP recipients, creates a new merit-based scholarship program to keep students in Illinois, provides a 2% operations funding increase for universities and community colleges (including Illinois Central College and Illinois Valley Community College), includes funding for Medicaid Adult Dental Preventative Services and projects $445 million in budget savings through pension reform measures.

“We know this budget is not perfect but is rather the result of compromise and good-faith negotiations,” said Rep. Spain.  “However, we must focus our efforts now on serious, long-term changes to our state’s pension systems and other state funding.  We cannot continue to limp along and pretend major policy changes are not needed, but rather must put Illinois on a new path toward a better outcome.”

The State Budget and Budget Implementation Bills received strong, bipartisan rollcalls in the Illinois House and Senate and will now go to the Governor.

State Representative Ryan Spain announced the official launch of his Second Annual Summer Reading Club Program for grade school students who live within the 73rd Legislative District.  The program is offered to encourage students to read over the summer and promote the lifelong benefits of literacy.

“Students who read over the summer enter the school year in the fall ahead of students who do not read over the summer.  This is a fun way to reward students with a free ice cream and swimming party for simply reading eight books over their summer break and returning a form signed by a parent or guardian to invite them to a swimming party.  It’s important for all of us in our communities to encourage students to get ahead by becoming better readers,” said Spain.

Brochures were distributed recently through area schools, but are also available on Rep. Spain’s website at www.repryanspain.com or by calling his Peoria District Office.  Participation in this program can overlap with any other summer reading program offered through area libraries.  Participating students have until July 31st to read their eight books and will be invited to a Summer Reading Ice Cream & Swimming Party in August upon completion of the program.  Attendees of the party will also be given an opportunity to receive information on college savings programs offered through the State of Illinois.

Completed application forms can also be submitted online here.


State Representative Ryan Spain joined Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz in urging Illinois firearm owners to file paperwork early to renew their Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Cards as the first wave of the 10-year renewal will create a backlog of renewal applications.

Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz recommends, “gun owners get their renewal application in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card our before expiration.”

“With more than 50,000 FOID cards due for renewal between June 1 and August 1 due to amendments to State laws on the 10-year renewal process in 2008, I am urging my constituents who are FOID holders to renew as early as possible to allow adequate time for processing before expiration,” said Rep. Spain on Tuesday.

The Illinois State Police oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards that are required to buy or possess a firearm or ammunition in Illinois.  FOID card applications require state and federal background checks, as well as review of the database from the Illinois Department of Human Services to confirm applicants have not been in a mental institution in the past five years.  Persons with common names may find additional delays as identities are confirmed.

Illinois State Police have already sent renewal notices to those whose cards will expire June 1.  Applicants can visit the ISP’s Firearms Services Bureau website at ispfsb.com to renew online.  The cost of the card is $10. 

Applicants must be Illinois residents and include their Driver’s License or State ID card number.  Applicants under the age of 21 must have a parents’ signature on the application.  Anyone who needs assistance with the FOID card renewal, and those who prefer paper applications, may call 217-782-7980 and select menu option 0.  Applicants should also make sure the name and address on FOID applications match the records on file for them at the Secretary of State’s Office, otherwise the renewal process will be delayed further.

State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) co-sponsored House Joint Resolution 124 to adopt a revenue estimate to begin the budgeting process for fiscal year 2019.

“When I was sworn in as State Representative, I pledged to adhere to the US and State Constitution. Our State Constitution mandates the Illinois General Assembly set a revenue estimate and not spend more than we bring in as a State. In the time I have served in Springfield, the legislative majority has not followed these requirements, with terrible fiscal consequences,” critiqued Rep. Spain.

House Joint Resolution 124 adopts a revenue estimate of $37.672 billion for fiscal year 2019, based on the estimate provided by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA).

“After setting a revenue estimate, our appropriations committees can then take up the hard work of crafting a balanced FY 19 State Budget that does not spend more than we bring in,” Spain continued.

A revenue estimate is required by state law:

The House and Senate by joint resolution shall adopt or modify such estimates as may be appropriate. The joint resolution shall constitute the General Assembly’s estimate, under paragraph B of Section 2 of Article VIII of the Constitution, of funds estimated to be available during the next fiscal year (25 ILCS 155/4(a))

It is also required by Subsection (b) of Section 2 of Article VIII of the Constitution of Illinois:

Appropriations for a fiscal year shall not exceed funds estimated by the General Assembly to be available during that year.

After a phone call on Friday with Dr. Shah, Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) is sharing important information about the risk of synthetic cannabinoid products. Dozens of people in Illinois, including two who died, have experienced severe bleeding, such as coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody nose, and/or bleeding gums, after using synthetic cannabinoids. The Illinois Department of Public Health strongly urges everyone NOT to use synthetic cannabinoids. Synthetic cannabinoids are human-made, mind-altering chemicals that are either sprayed on dried, shredded plant material so they can be smoked or sold as liquids to be vaporized and inhaled in e-cigarettes and other device. They are not safe and can be unpredictable, dangerous, or even life-threatening.

Governor Bruce Rauner signed bipartisan legislation today that protects safety net and rural hospitals while ensuring continued federal support for quality healthcare to more than three million Illinoisans.

Senate Bill 1773 ensures the state will continue to receive federal matching funds to offer services for Medicaid beneficiaries through the Hospital Assessment Program, which brings in $3.5 billion annually.

The Hospital Assessment Program is set to expire at the end of June. A bipartisan group of legislators worked with the Illinois Health and Hospital Association and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) to redesign the program, create a more equitable reimbursement process, and ensure more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

“Our teams worked hard to make sure our most vulnerable citizens can continue to receive quality medical services and to keep hospitals in underserved communities,” Gov. Rauner said. “I’d like to thank all the legislators, state officials, and stakeholders who worked to restructure the program. Their unwavering dedication will help keep the Medicaid program sustainable for the future.”

The state currently uses old data sets, sometimes based on care that was provided as far back as 2005, to reimburse hospitals for Medicaid services. The new model will use updated data and also ensure that more of the reimbursements are based on actual services hospitals provide. It also dedicates more than $260 million to help hospitals transform their operations to better serve their communities, such as offering more urgent and outpatient care.

“This legislation increases dynamic, claims-based payments so that dollars follow services for Medicaid patients, and it updates outdated utilization data that doesn’t reflect the current delivery of services,” said Felicia Norwood, Director of HFS. “Healthcare delivery and where our beneficiaries receive their care has changed dramatically over the last ten years and our hospital reimbursement structure should recognize these changes. The new program draws down as much federal revenue as we believe is permissible and helps hospitals transition to more effective healthcare delivery models over time.”

The Federal government will need to sign off on the new terms of the program before it can take effect.

PEORIA… State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) passed Senate Joint Resolution 35 in the Illinois House on Tuesday, March 6th honoring the life of Senior Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens by designating Illinois State Route 29 in Chillicothe as the “Senior Chief Petty Officer William ‘Ryan’ Owens Memorial Highway”.

“This is the most important actions we take in this chamber; honoring our fallen heroes,” said Rep. Ryan Spain in advocating passage of SJR 35 in the Illinois House.

“Ryan Owens grew up in the 73rd District, attended Illinois Valley Central High School in Chillicothe and was the first American combat death of 2017. Ryan played football and baseball for the IVC Grey Ghosts and wanted to be a navy seal ever since he was a freshman in high school. He wanted to serve his country and this past January, made the ultimate sacrifice in doing just that,” continued Rep. Spain.

Ryan Owens was fatally wounded during a night raid against Al-Qa’ida in Yemen with his elite counter-terrorism unit, SEAL team 6. Defense Secretary James Mattis praised Owens’ service saying he, “gave his full measure for our nation and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service.”

HJRCA 43 is a constitutional amendment that would address legislative AND Congressional gerrymandering

SPRINGFIELD (February 26, 2018) – Today, House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (HJRCA) 43 was filed to amend the Illinois Constitution in order to put an end to Congressional and legislative gerrymandering in the Land of Lincoln.

CHANGE Illinois, as a part of the Illinois Redistricting Collaborative, has spent the last four months drafting this amendment and worked with Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) to get it filed in the Illinois General Assembly. HJRCA 43 is modeled after former Rep. Jack Franks’ proposed amendment: HJRCA 58 which received 105 yes votes from the Illinois House in 2016.

“Our redistricting reform amendment establishes an independent redistricting commission to draw Illinois’ maps and make it clear that the public not politicians should control the process,” said Brad McMillan, Co-Chair of CHANGE Illinois and the Illinois Redistricting Collaborative. “With this amendment now filed, Illinois voters around the state can ask their members of the Illinois House and Senate if they’ll support this specific, concrete solution to end gerrymandering.”

“An independent and transparent process for redistricting is critical for the protecting the core principles of our democracy. For too long, politicians have chosen their voters instead of voters choosing their elected officials,” said Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria), Chief Sponsor of HJRCA 43. “Changing the way we draw legislative maps is one of the most meaningful reforms we can make to increase fairness in Illinois. This amendment will have a lasting impact on Illinoisans’ trust in their government for decades to come.”
PEORIA… State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) issued the following statement following the Governor’s Budget Address on Wednesday, February 14th:

“While the Budget Address traditionally kicks off the budgeting season for the Illinois General Assembly, the legal onus is on the Illinois House to start the process by setting a revenue estimate, according to the Illinois Constitution.  Unfortunately, the legislative majority has thrown this requirement out the window while I’ve been serving in the Illinois House,” Spain critiqued.  “I hope that will change this year.  Governor Rauner was right to point out that jobs are growing in states surrounding Illinois.  Even manufacturing and union jobs are growing in states like Indiana, which many would have you believe is a State far worse for union jobs than Illinois.  Something’s got to give.  We must address the needed structural reforms that have been roadblocked for far too long while Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa and other midwestern states have significantly outpaced job growth in Illinois,” Spain continued.

Click Here for Live Streaming Video.

Rep. Ryan Spain was a Guest Reader at Kellar Primary School in Peoria on February 5th.  He enjoyed Reading to students in Ms. Ganschow's class and appreciated their participation in their classroom.  Kellar Primary School has a very strong Guest Reader Program involving hundreds of community leaders each year.
PEORIA… State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) issued the following statement following the Governor’s State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 31:

“Governor Rauner was right to call for a laser-like focus on economic development needed in Illinois.  Illinois has so much going for it as the World’s 17th largest economy and we can be much greater, but it requires a somber recognition that we must address the systemic issues plaguing our state to move forward.  Issues like public-employee pension reform, property tax reform, and a strong focus on business development will be needed to right the ship of state.  In a collaborative fashion much has been done together, but we won’t have the where-withal to keep progress moving without real recognition that policies that have pushed hundreds of thousands of jobs out of Illinois over the past two decades must be changed,” said Rep. Spain.  “I am eager to continue the work toward reform needed.  The seeds have been planted for change, but we must continue to tend a “bipartisan recognition of our unrealized potential” for those seeds to bear fruit.”

Representative Spain also took his second State of the State Address to recognize accomplishments made since the last address.  “In last year’s State of the State Address, Governor Rauner highlighted legislation I sponsored to allow volunteer work at State Parks and Trails.  This legislation has since been passed and enacted and is bearing fruit in additional volunteers working at our parks and trails.  Recreation enthusiasts as well as conservationists will benefit for years to come because of this important legislation.  This is a great example of ways we have and can continue to work together,” continued Spain.


Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his Annual State of the State Address on January 31 at Noon.  Tune in live by clicking here.
PEORIA… State Representative Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) announced over $17,000 will be awarded to 73rd District school libraries in the coming weeks from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s office as part of the School District Library Grant Program.

“School libraries are an important resource for students and educators and I am very happy to see this funding go to benefit students in our area,” said Rep. Ryan Spain in response to the grant announcement.

School districts that applied for the grant are awarded at least $750 to improve their library services.  This program is designed to help provide more library books and materials for students at public schools in Illinois.  The state legislature has authorized up to $.75 per pupil expenditure for qualifying schools.  The grant award is based on funds appropriated by the Illinois General Assembly and the official enrollment as of the previous September 30th of a school district.

“As a former public school teacher and administrator, I know our school libraries are very important in helping students learn and prepare themselves for the future,” said Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White.  “Illinois was the first state to implement a school district grant program for libraries, and I am pleased that we can continue to provide them with some of the financial resources they need to produce well-educated students.”

73rd District Public Schools to receive the funds are as follows: Bradford CUSD #1 ($750.00), Illinois Valley Central Unit District #321 ($1,482.75), Metamora Township High School District #122 ($750.00), Dunlap CUSD #323 ($3,358.50), Peoria Public School District #150 ($8,988.75), Princeville CUSD #326 ($750.00), Midland CUSD #7 ($750.00), and Stark County CUSD #100 ($750.00).