SPRINGFIELD – With the oaths of office administered Wednesday, Grundy County is now represented by four individuals in the Illinois General Assembly.
All 118 members of the House of Representatives took the oath of office for the inaugural of the 98th General Assembly at the University of Illinois-Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium in a noon-time ceremony.
State Representatives Pam Roth and Katherine Cloonen were sworn in to represent their respective portions of the county in the House. It is Cloonen’s first term in office.
Also on Wednesday Sue Rezin and Toi Hutchinson were seated again to serve county constituents from their Senate posts.
Roth (R-Morris) was sworn in to her second term as state representative for Illinois’ 75th District, bringing years of both public and private sector accounting experience and community involvement with her to Springfield.
Roth was appointed to the State House in December of 2010 and, during her first two years, she passed legislation to overcome funding shortfalls, worked to bring a common-sense approach to the state’s out-of-control budget, and has fought to help veterans, local charities, and parks.
“It is truly an honor to have been chosen to represent the people and communities of the 75th District,” Roth said.
“I will utilize my background as a small business owner and experience in the areas of finance, education, and community involvement to serve the needs of our district. I am eager to begin working with my new colleagues in both parties to tackle the very serious economic challenges that face our state.”
Roth previously served on the Saratoga School Board, beginning in 2007, and became president of that board in 2009.
Prior to taking office as state representative, Roth served as a senior financial analyst for a nuclear power facility in Morris, where she was responsible for the creation and management of a $120 million annual budget.
Previously, Roth managed financial operations for a $1.8 billion Everglades restoration program in Florida.
Roth is also a certified public accountant with a degree in accounting from the University of Nevada – Las Vegas.
“First and foremost, we must continue to rein in state spending and create a business-friendly environment that will ultimately create jobs for Illinoisans,” Roth added. “As a wife, mother and accountant, I will continue to bring a real-world perspective to Springfield on how today’s urgent economic challenges are affecting families and threaten our kids’ future. Together, I know we can accomplish much.”
Locally, Roth is involved as a volunteer for the Morris Warriors Football, as a member of the Century Club and the Women’s Auxiliary for the Fraternal Order of Eagles, and former Cub Scout Pack 476 Committee Chair.
The newly created 75th District includes portions of Grundy, Will, La Salle and Kendall counties. Representative Roth’s office will remain in Morris, where she resides with her husband, Steve, and their two sons, Jared and Jakob.
Newly sworn-in state Rep. Katherine “Kate” Cloonen (D-Kankakee) is eager to get to work on behalf of her constituents and start addressing the many important issues facing the state.
Cloonen will focus her efforts on creating jobs, improving our children’s education, cutting wasteful spending in state government, and being an accessible lawmaker.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the residents of the 79th District and I look forward to tackling the serious challenges we face in Illinois,” Cloonen said. “Now is the time for us to work together to address Illinois’ issues and improve the lives of its residents. I am humbled to serve as state representative and I will honor that trust by working hard for the residents of our district.”
Cloonen, a former small business owner, will work to prioritize spending to eliminate waste and protect vital services, while fighting against unnecessary tax increases. Cloonen also plans to address rising property taxes by introducing legislation aimed at improving property tax calculations.
As a former teacher, Cloonen will work with parents and educators to strengthen educational opportunities for children.
To encourage accessibility and provide residents an opportunity to meet their new representative, Cloonen will be hosting an office grand opening at her new, full-time constituent service office from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 4. Her office is located at 1 Dearborn Square, Suite 419, Kankakee.
“I encourage area residents to join me for this open house to discuss important state issues before the legislative session gets into full swing,” Cloonen said. “I have said from day one I want to be as open and accessible for my constituents as possible.
“Throughout the year, I will be hosting a variety of town hall meetings, area visits, coffee shop stops and other events designed to give constituents an opportunity to share their thoughts and concerns. I look forward to seeing many of you at my open house and remember my door is always open.”
The 79th District includes all or portions of Aroma Park, Beecher, Bonfield, Bourbonnais, Braceville, Bradley, Buckingham, Cabery, Chebanse, Coal City, Diamond, Essex, Gardner, Herscher, Hopkins Park, Irwin, Kankakee, Limestone, Momence, Peotone, Reddick, South Wilmington, St. Anne, Sun River Terrace and Union Hill.
For more information, please contact Cloonen’s constituent service office at (815) 939-1983 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) was inaugurated into Illinois’ 98th General Assembly on Jan. 9, with her family, staff and other supporters present. The inauguration marks Sen. Rezin’s second term in the Illinois Senate.
Sen. Rezin said that this General Assembly will be full of challenges, adding that inaction on several major issues would be detrimental for the state. She feels confident that bipartisan reforms will take place in order to put Illinois back on the road to a gradual recovery.
“It’s not going to be easy, but it absolutely must be done,” she said.
As a part of the inauguration ceremonies, Sen. Rezin was asked to nominate Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) for a third term as leader. Sen. Rezin said she was honored to second Sen. Radogno’s nomination to lead the Senate Republican Caucus for the 98th General Assembly.
Sen. Rezin acknowledged her family, staff and others who have supported her during her time in the legislature.
“I appreciate the support I have received from my family and others,” Sen. Rezin said. “I could not have gotten here without them, and their continual support is much appreciated.
“It is an honor to continue to represent the 38th District in Illinois. I feel that we have accomplished a lot for the district, but I look forward to accomplishing even more during this new General Assembly.”