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Second weekend of firearm deer season shows harvest improvement numbers. The preliminary total tag count is 80,021 deer for the seven days that hunters were allowed to hunt with shotguns in Illinois. This marks an increase of 462 animals from the 79,559 deer harvested in the comparable 2016 season.

Harvested deer by county in the 107th District:
      Bond - 323
      Clinton - 370
      Effingham - 385
      Fayette - 690
      Marion - 898
     
Key to the successful season numbers was a strong harvest in the second firearm weekend ending December 3, in which hunters were able to drop and tag more than 3,600 additional deer compared with the second weekend of 2016. This enabled the overall season to end up in the black despite a slow statewide start during the first shotgun weekend.

While the shotgun season is now over, additional seasons remain. The muzzleloader-only season is December 8-10; two antlerless-only/CWD deer seasons will follow the muzzleloader season in certain Illinois counties, concluding on January 14, 2018; and deer bowhunters will be able to use their bows until Jan. 14 as well.
Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced the launch of a statewide helpline to provide immediate assistance for those impacted by addiction to opioids and other substances.

The helpline will provide a confidential outlet for individuals experiencing opioid use disorders, their families and anyone affected by the disease 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Helpline specialists are trained in evidence-based approaches to help connect callers with treatment and recovery-support services. To reach the helpline, individuals can call 1-833-2FINDHELP.

State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) joined fellow southern Illinois legislators in Mt. Vernon on Wednesday to meet with the Japanese Consul General Naoki Ito, and discuss on-going business projects that will create more jobs in the southern Illinois region. Rep. Cavaletto is shown in the photo with Consul General Ito and George Evans, Dean of Career and Technical Education and who was named this week as the Interim President for Kaskaskia College.

Learn more about the Japanese Consul General's visit by clicking here to read the article by WJBD-WSIQ Radio.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law today a tax credit worth up to $750 for property owners in 18 Illinois counties where flood damages were sustained in July.

The bill, signed at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago this morning, creates a natural disaster credit that eligible, affected property owners may apply to their 2017 Illinois income taxes.

Included counties are Cook, Lake, Kane, McHenry, Alexander, Clinton, Jackson, Marshall, Union, Woodford, Carroll, Henry, Jo Daviess, Lee, Ogle, Rock Island, Stephenson and Whiteside — all of which were declared state disaster areas by the governor last summer.

“July’s severe storms pushed rivers and lakes over their banks across a wide swath of Illinois,” Rauner said. “Many home and business owners are still working to restore their properties after the inundation of water, debris and mud they suffered through, in some cases for weeks. In northeastern Illinois counties, the flooding was unprecedented. This tax credit offers a measure of much-needed relief.”

Qualified properties include a taxpayer’s principle residence or land owned by a small business, but not a rental or leasing business. The allowable income tax credit will be the lesser of $750 or the deduction allowed under the Internal Revenue Code for each taxpayer who owns qualified property in a county declared a state disaster area.

The bill provides that township assessors shall issue eligibility certificates for appropriately requesting property owners, and those assessors shall certify to the Illinois Department of Revenue listings of flood-damaged properties.

The fiscal impact to the state is estimated at $4.6 million, based on damages previously reported to the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.
State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) announced today that the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Project Next Generation grants are being processed and paid right now. The grants are administered through the State Librarian who is the Secretary of State. Centralia Regional Library District is the recipient of a $10,000 grant.

“I am pleased to have one of the libraries in my district receive this grant,” commented Rep. Cavaletto. “We work with libraries on a regular basis through the Summer Reading Club and as locations for public information programs like the recent Property Tax Seminar at the Bryan-Bennett Library in Salem.”

The project grants are intended to bridge the technological divide of residents within communities. The grants allow public libraries to pair technology with tutoring to assist students, aged 10-18, in developing skills that they may find useful in school and later in life employment. The grants are made, based upon community need, and allow access to technology and computers that would typically not be available to the students that participate in this program.
State Rep. John Cavaletto, on behalf of the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus in the Illinois General Assembly, presented a check for $200 to Athletic Director Scott Steward for the Salem Community High School Bass Team.

These funds will go to purchase life jackets for students for tournament fishing competition. The two finalists will wear them to the State Tournament.

“It is a good feeling to be able to support these young people in their team competitions," said Rep. Cavaletto. "This year we were able to support three grant applications from Marion County to encourage young people to enjoy the outdoors and learn to fish and shoot safely."
Trapshooting Team Members from Iuka and Kinmundy accept the grant check from
Rep. Cavaletto are (l-r) Tyler Gordon, Cole Gordon, and Macy Donoho


State Rep. John Cavaletto, a member of the Illinois Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus in the Illinois General Assembly, presented a check for $200 to three members of the Southern Illinois Sportsman's Trapshooting Team.

These funds will go to support this youth sport shooting team to help purchase team jerseys, targets for practice, and entry fees for competitions and clinics. Trapshooting is a specific form of shotgun clay target shooting. Trapshooting is a game of movement, action and split-second timing. It requires the accuracy and skill to repeatedly aim, fire and break the clay discs which are hurled through the air at a speed of 42 mph, simulating the flight path of a bird fleeing a hunter.

“I’m happy the Sportsmen’s Caucus is able to support our young people in Marion County who are interested in this sport,” said Rep. John Cavaletto.