Latest News

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Highland) released the statement below following Governor Rauner’s annual budget address before the General Assembly:

“I agree with Governor Rauner when he said we must ‘think anew and act anew’. It’s time to look forward instead of what’s behind us. We have an opportunity today to fix our broken state by growing our economy, paying down our debt and passing a balanced budget. We must work together. If so, we can move Illinois forward.”
Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) was recently chosen by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin to serve as Republican Spokesman for the Agriculture and Conservation Committee. The Spokesman role serves as the top spot for a republican member serving on the important house committee. Rep. Meier replaced retired State Representative Don Moffitt who was appointed assistant director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture effective January 17th.

“I look forward to representing the agriculture and conservation community while serving as spokesman of the committee,” said Rep. Meier. “I grew up on my family farm which is over 112 years old - parts of my family have farmed in America for 200 years. I till the same land my great grandparents tilled years ago. To this day, my family farm is very diverse, we produce corn, soybeans, wheat, hay, and raise beef cattle. It is very important to me to ensure Illinois Ag continues to be a leading producer of corn, soybeans and swine.”

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, marketing of Illinois' agricultural commodities generates more than $19 billion annually. Illinois' 74,300 farms cover nearly 27 million acres - about 75 percent of the state's total land area. Furthermore, Illinois ranks third nationally in the export of agricultural commodities with $8.2 billion worth of goods shipped to other countries.
On Thursday, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a motion in St. Clair County court to stop the Comptroller from sending paychecks to all state employees effective February 28, 2017.

Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) today released the following statement:

“This is just another political stunt by a Madigan from Chicago. If she really wants to help the legislature pass a budget, then I ask her to please call Speaker Madigan and ask him to sit down and negotiate a balanced budget with both Republicans and Democrats. The state does not have a budget because Speaker Madigan has not shown the willingness to negotiate.

“Lisa Madigan’s attempt to prevent all state employees from receiving a paycheck is foolish and irresponsible. We all want to pass a state budget, but shutting government down and putting lives at risk is not the way we reach an agreement towards a balanced budget.”
Governor Bruce Rauner presented his third annual State of the State today before members of the Illinois General Assembly at the state capitol in Springfield.

Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) released the following statement:

“Over the last two years Governor Rauner made several notable accomplishments such as delivering $700 million more for our schools, restoring ethical standards to the Governor’s office, creating new jobs, and streamlining state government. The Governor recognized challenges still exist and I agree with him that both Democrats and Republicans must work together. By working together we can get Illinois back on track by increasing jobs and growing our economy. 2017 marks a new session and a new General Assembly, I look forward to working with both parties and the Governor to make Illinois a better state to live and work.”
Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) was sworn into office as State Representative of the 108th District at a ceremony held Wednesday, January 11 at the University of Illinois – Springfield. The year 2017 is important for the legislature as it begins the 100th Illinois General Assembly.

“I’m grateful to return to the House of Representatives for another term,” said Rep. Meier. “I strive to do the very best I can for the individuals and families I represent. Today we are faced with many challenges ahead and passing a balanced budget will be at the forefront.”

Over the last 18 months, the Democrat controlled legislature has failed to pass a balanced budget by only passing unbalanced budget proposals which spend anywhere from $4.5 billion to $7.5 billion more than what the State has in the bank. In 2016, Governor Rauner presented the legislature with two options in order to pass a state budget – work with the Democratic majority on reaching a balanced budget or give the Governor the authority to fashion a balanced budget.

Rep. Meier added, “In addition to passing a balanced budget. I will continue to support legislation that creates more jobs, delivers property tax relief, fully fund our schools, and be a strong advocate for the safety and well-being of our developmentally disabled.”

Rep. Meier is a lifelong resident of Washington County who lives on his family’s Centennial Farm outside of Okawville. A farmer and real-estate developer, Meier has previously served as an elected member of the Washington County Board.   Additionally, Meier has served as a board member for Southwestern Illinois RC&D (a conservation-focused organization), the Vice-Chair of B.C.M.W. (a multi-county social services organization), a longtime member of the Addieville Area Jaycees, and multiple other local organizations.
Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) served on the joint House and Senate Human Services Committee hearing held in Chicago on December 13. The committee discussed the abuse and neglect which took place at state funded group homes throughout Illinois and heard testimony from Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) Director James Dimas regarding what went wrong, the improvements the department has made, and how the state agency plans to make improvements moving forward.

“I expressed my concerns for several years regarding the abuse and neglect with the prior administration and my concerns were left unanswered,” said Rep. Meier. “It’s refreshing the Rauner administration has and continues to listen. I am pleased to know the new administration has made and is currently taking the necessary steps to improve the safety and well-being of Illinois’ most vulnerable.”

The legislative hearing was prompted as a result of the Chicago Tribune publishing a series of articles which identified 1,311 cases of documented harm occurring in state funded group homes for the developmentally disabled since July 2011 and determined at least 42 deaths linked to abuse or neglect in group homes or their day programs over the last seven years. The Tribune articles came to light thanks to the Murray Parents Association working with the newspaper to expose the abuse and neglect which took place in group homes throughout the state.
Illinois State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) and the Murray Parents Association are heading to Chicago on December 13th for a joint House and Senate Human Services Committee hearing to discuss the abuse and neglect which took place at group homes for individuals with developmental disabilities. The committee scheduled the hearing following two investigative reports published in the Chicago Tribune concerning the abuse and neglect which took place in multiple Community Integrated Living Arrangements (CILAs) otherwise called “group homes”.

“At the hearing we will discuss what went wrong and how to improve the safety and care for all individuals living in group homes,” said Rep. Meier. “Nothing can be done to bring back the lives lost or erase the abuse which occurred. However, the State is finally starting to listen by taking the necessary steps to properly care for and protect individuals living in group homes. During these hearings I will question the lack of oversight as well as discuss the need for southern Illinois to have a crisis center in order to help improve the safety and well-being of residents living in group homes.”

The Tribune reported in their story titled SUFFERING IN SECRET: Illinois hides abuse and neglect of adults with disabilities, identified 1,311 cases of documented harm since July 2011 and determined at least 42 deaths linked to abuse or neglect in group homes or their day programs over the last seven years. The Tribune articles came to light thanks to the Murray Parents Association working with the newspaper to expose the abuse and neglect which took place in group homes throughout the State.