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SPRINGFIELD… State Representative David Leitch (R-Peoria) announced today that a bill he is sponsoring to allow for Cystic Fibrosis License Plates in Illinois has passed an important House Committee this morning.

Leitch received unanimous committee approval of House Bill 1459 on Wednesday morning, moving the bill to the Illinois House Floor.  Under provisions of the bill, cystic fibrosis awareness license plates will be created by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office.  Funds raised from this new license plate will be deposited in the Cystic Fibrosis Fund.  Money raised in this fashion will then be paid as grants divided evenly between the Chicago and Peoria offices of the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for the purpose of cystic fibrosis research, education, awareness, and treatment.

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disorder that affects not only the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine.  Long-term issues include difficulty breathing, coughing, and frequent lung infections.  Unfortunately, there is not yet a cure for cystic fibrosis and those afflicted with the condition have an average life expectancy of 37-50 years of age.

“This is for Lillian,” said Troy Stringer of Edelstein, who drove to Springfield today to testify in favor of the bill on behalf of his daughter, who has suffered from Cystic Fibrosis since birth.  [License plates] will be an ongoing way to raise a little bit of money each year to get us closer to a cure as well as raise awareness.”

Andrea Stringer, Lillian’s mother, described the impact of Lillian’s condition on her family, “Lillian is six years old and in first grade. She has been in and out of the hospital many times and has had many surgeries, procedures and tests. She is sick a lot and misses a lot of school. Last year, she missed over 30 days of school because of cystic fibrosis. This year she has already missed school due to being in the hospital.  She spends around three hours a day just on her treatments alone, and takes around 30 medications a day.”

Rep. Leitch said it is, “a great honor to be able to speak up for those who are afflicted by this terrible disease.  When approved, I hope that this will help with research, treatment, and awareness so that we can move toward making life as normal as possible for patients like Lillian.”
Rep. Leitch can be reached at his Peoria Legislative Office at 309-690-7373.

Peoria, IL … State Representative David Leitch (R-Peoria) said Caterpillar’s announcement it will build its new global headquarters in Downtown Peoria will have an, “impact for decades” on Central Illinois’ future growth and development.

Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman spoke before a crowd of federal, state and local dignitaries and leaders on Friday to announce Caterpillar’s new corporate campus will be built in a largely expanded footprint extending several blocks near Caterpillar’ current headquarters.  The plan is for a new three tower building on a downtown campus that encompasses over 31 acres of Downtown Peoria along the Illinois River.

“We’re here in Peoria to stay.  Our long-term future is here,” said Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman in announcing the new headquarters campus.

Leitch praised Caterpillar Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman and the Board of Directors for its vote of confidence in Peoria and in Illinois. “This was a courageous decision,” Leitch said, “with so many other states offering large incentives to relocate, Caterpillar rejected those offers.  In addition, Caterpillar has not sought any incentives from the State of Illinois.”

“Having been a part of Downtown development projects since the mid 1970’s, I can tell you firsthand that the impact of this decision cannot be overestimated.  This is going to not only mean jobs at Caterpillar’s headquarters, but it is also expected that a number of Downtown development announcements will be made now that developers have the assurance that Peoria will remain Caterpillar’s global headquarters,” said Leitch on Friday from Peoria.

“I cannot wait to see what Downtown Peoria will look like in the future,” Leitch went on to say.

For further information on this or other state issues, please do not hesitate to contact Rep. Leitch’s District Office at 309-690-7373.

Springfield, IL… State Representative David Leitch (R-Peoria) issued the following statement after Governor Bruce Rauner’s first Budget Address on Wednesday.

“The Governor emphasized the urgent need to restructure this year’s budget- FY 15, with its $1.6 billion shortfall.  We’ve all been hearing about the crisis right now in childcare because that program is out of money, court reporters will miss payroll next month, and the prison system will miss its payroll in early April.  This should be addressed immediately.  Even so, we still face a budget deficit of $6.2 billion for FY 16.  The Governor confronted these financial truths as he delivered his budget address today,” said Rep. David Leitch

“While it’s difficult news, it is refreshing to hear the Governor’s budget presented on-time, unlike past years, and with such honesty,” continued Rep. Leitch.

For more information about this issue, please contact Rep. Leitch’s office at 309-690-7373.