PRESS RELEASE: House Republicans Push for Vote on Landmark Fracking Agreement

April 30, 2013 

Springfield. ..With tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in new revenue at stake, a group of House Republicans today called for a House vote on a bi-partisan fracking agreement currently stuck in the Rules Committee. 

fracking-drill-snackableHydraulic fracturing, more commonly referred to as fracking, is the extraction of natural gas and oil from the earth through horizontal drilling.  The extraction technique involves injecting water, sand and chemicals into rock to release the natural gas.  More than a year of negotiations involving both energy and environmental organizations resulted in a bi-partisan agreement that permits high volume fracking while enforcing some of the nation’s strictest water and air protections.  House Bill 2615 establishes the permit process, property owner notification, defines prevention standards and public input timelines. With widespread agreement and more than 50 bi-partisan House sponsors, Republican Representatives today called for the measure to be released from the Rules Committee for prompt consideration by the full House. “Fracking in Illinois will be the biggest job creator our state has seen in years,” said Rep. David  Reis (R-Ste. Marie), a negotiator and chief co-sponsor of the measure.  “We’ve got an agreed bill with business, union, agricultural and environmental leaders and progress should not be stalled due to political games.  With thousands of jobs to be created under this measure, in addition to millions of new revenue for state and local economies, our top priority must be moving this bill forward and signing it into law.” “Expanding the fracking industry in Illinois will create more jobs and grow our economy,” said Rep. Mike Bost (R-Murphysboro), another chief co-sponsor.  “Illinois needs jobs, our state government must stop the political games and pass House Bill 2615 to expand fracking in Illinois.  The legislation introduced would make Illinois’ fracking industry the most regulated of any state while safeguarding our water supply and bring thousands of jobs to our state.  Illinois has an opportunity at its fingertips, let’s stop sitting on our hands and use this opportunity to put people back to work.”  “Illinois has the potential to be on the cutting edge with hydraulic fracking. This agreed-to process by all stakeholders will propel Illinois and the Midwest into economic heights never before reached,” said State Rep. Brad Halbrook.  New natural gas production in Illinois could create more than 45,000 jobs and $9 billion in economic development, according to an Illinois Chamber Foundation study.  The report identified potential economic benefits to the state at three hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling scenarios (low, medium and high): lowest scenario creating 1,034 new jobs and the highest scenario 47,312.  The study concluded fracking in Illinois, under modest assumptions, will be a significant creator of new jobs translating into billions of dollars in economic impact for the state.  “I think we have created model legislation for the United States for safe hydraulic fracturing; to do fracking in way that provides a competitive basis so that we can get these important resources out the ground, to aid the public in our energy supply and yet provide the best possible safety to the public, air, and water,” said Rep. Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago). “Not only will this provide a more competitive basis in the industry, but also creates a step towards an affordable energy solution that is a friendlier alternative to the environment.”  “Our state is in a deep financial crisis and we need jobs.  Illinois’ unemployment rate continues to be higher than the national average. While this is not the cure to all of our woes, it is a step we need to take to start growing the economy, which will not only help our unemployment situation, but also our state budget,” added House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego).  “We need to seize this opportunity to create jobs and bring in new revenues as soon as possible.”
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Guest Reading at Walnut Trails Elementary in Shorewood

April 26, 2013 (Shorewood)  Rep. Cross read to the fourth graders at Walnut Trails Elementary in Shorewood on April 26, 2013.  The kids were very attentive and excited to read! DSCN1470
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Ovation to Business Award goes to Home Depot!

April 26, 2013 Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) and his Ovation to Business Advisory Committee presented his monthly Ovation to Business award to Home Depot in Shorewood this morning for their dedication to civic involvement and work on behalf of the local business community.  [caption id="attachment_3428" align="alignleft" width="300"]Rep. Cross presents April 2013 Ovation to Business Award to Home Depot in Shorewood. Rep. Cross presents April 2013 Ovation to Business Award to Home Depot in Shorewood.[/caption] “Home Depot, under the leadership of store manager, Marc Hanouw, has set a high standard as a partner and full member of the Shorewood community,” said Cross.  “The activities and programs sponsored and supported by the Home Depot Team throughout the community is truly impressive.  From the ‘Kids Workshop’ events on the first Saturday of every month to holding ‘Kids Clinics’ at local schools and pre-school facilities teaching children motor skills, Home Depot represents the best virtues of civic service and helping Shorewood be an even better ‘home’ for all residents. I am pleased to present them with this award.” Home Depot is located at 621 Brook Forest Avenue in Shorewood.  The business employs 150+ during peak season (100 during regular season). In addition to donations of free vegetables for schools with ‘grow their garden project,’ Home Depot partners with the Shorewood Community to sponsor Community Garden and Crossroads Fest, as well as many Chamber events. Annually, Home Depot makes a donation to the City of trees and pumpkins for the ‘Fall Fling’ and associates volunteer to help children decorate pumpkins. “One of Home Depot’s Core Values is Building Strong Relationships and I take a personal ownership in working with our Community. I have a great relationship with the City and Chamber of Commerce and we help in any way possible to make Shorewood and the surrounding communities a better place,” said Marc Hanouw. “ Rep. Cross is currently accepting nominations for future recipients of the Ovation to Business Award. You can find and submit the application form on Rep. Cross’ website,   You can nominate a small, medium or large business in the 84th district that is sustaining or growing jobs as well as involved in community service. Not-for-profit organizations are also eligible for nomination. If you have any questions, please call Lois Maguire at (815) 254-0000.  Cross’ Ovation to Business Advisory Committee will review the applications and make award recipient recommendations.
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Drug Forum Information and Resources

Danger in our backyard logoApril 25, 2013 Thank you to all of the residents who joined us for tonights' "Danger in Our Backyard" free forum.  You can find contact information for the various speakers and presenters below. Click here to see the Linden Oaks' PowerPoint Presentation.

Rep. Tom Cross-Illinois State Representative, 97th District 815-254-0000

Rep. Kay Hatcher-Illinois State Representative, 50th District 630-553-3223

John Roberts - Roberts / Co-Founder of HERO (Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization) 312-513-1878

Beth Sack –  Manager of Addiction Services; Linden Oaks 630-646-8057

Becky Rudolph -Kendall County Health Dept. 630-553-9100

Rob Bender - Tri-County Counseling 630-450-1863

Lindsey Vass –  Rosecrance; Treatment Facilities in Chicagoland Area 815-985-5617

Kimberly Groll-  Licensed Professional Counselor/Cert. Alcohol & Drug 630-632-4060

Pamela Rodriguez- President/TASC (Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities) 312-573-8238

Paula Cacossa –  The Truth About Drugs – provides info to ALL groups 630-908-7415

Gloria Bloodsaw –Outreach Coordinator, Gateway Foundation Alcohol & Drug Treatment 312-285-3132

Bob Eigenbauer- CEO, Shield Genie; keeping kids safe on the internet 630-337-6575

Dave Dapkus-  Reformers Unanimous; non-profit faith-based recovery clinics 630-421-0117

Marne Fauser- Community Outreach Director, Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association 217-528-7335

Chris Reed – The Other Side; Addiction Recovery Services-Providing communities  with sober entertainment & fellowship 847-307-1143

A special thank you to NIDA; National Institute On Drug Abuse for providing booklets. Please visit their website:

Click below to see photos from April 27th forum.[slideshow id=36]

Thank you to ALL speakers & participants of this most necessary event for our community-they have ALL participated at no charge! The event has been planned and guided by a collaborative, public-private partnership with Rep. Tom Cross & Rep. Kay Hatcher, Oswego Police Department, Linden Oaks, Oswego School District 308. And thank you to Linden Oaks for providing refreshments.
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PRESS RELEASE: Illinois House Republicans Unveil Welfare Reforms

April 23, 2013 [caption id="attachment_3389" align="alignright" width="300"]CrossPress House Republicans discuss common sense welfare reform package in Normal on April 23, 2013. From Left to Right, Rep. Barb Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake), Rep. Adam Brown (R-Champaign), Rep. Pam Roth (R-Morris), Rep. Dan Brady (R-Bloomington), and Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego)[/caption] House Republican Leader Tom Cross and House Republican lawmakers unveiled a package of legislation designed to reduce fraud and misuse of the state’s welfare system today. The lawmakers were in Normal and Decatur Tuesday to announce their legislation.  The welfare reform package focuses on reducing the fraudulent use of LINK cards (food stamps), the misuse of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (cash) benefits, and preventing criminals from receiving welfare benefits. The goal of the legislation is to save taxpayer dollars and preserve benefits for those most in need. “The General Assembly needs to pass strong welfare reforms now to put a stop to the waste, fraud and abuse of the welfare system,” said Rep. Adam Brown (R-Champaign). “With 4.7 million Illinoisans on welfare, more than one-third of our citizens are receiving taxpayer-funded benefits. Welfare costs are skyrocketing while Illinois faces an ongoing fiscal crisis. We must work to reverse this trend.” House Bill 133 ensures that a person using a LINK card is the authorized user. The proposal would require all LINK cards to display a photo of the cardholder to ensure that the person presenting it at the checkout counter is the same person who is entitled to use it. The names of all secondary users will also be placed on the card. Secondary users will be required to show a valid photo I.D. before they can use the card. “This program is so important to those in need that we must make sure people who are not entitled to benefits are not fraudulently obtaining them. Putting photographs on the LINK cards is one way we ensure that the intended benefits go to the intended recipients,” said Dan Brady (R-Bloomington). House Bill 2784 guarantees that cash assistance benefits are used for the basic needs that they are intended for. TANF benefits are intended to provide financial assistance to help pay for basic needs such as food, shelter, utilities, and other necessary expenses, however under current law a person is free to spend this cash without restrictions. The legislation would prevent TANF benefits from being used to purchase alcohol, lottery tickets, firearms, and other specified goods and services. [caption id="attachment_3395" align="alignleft" width="300"]House Republican lawmakers stopped in Decatur as well to talk about the welfare reform package on April 23, 2013.  From Left to Right, Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) Rep. Brown, Rep. Cross, Rep. Roth, and Rep. Wheeler. House Republican lawmakers stopped in Decatur as well to talk about the welfare reform package on April 23, 2013. From Left to Right, Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) Rep. Brown, Rep. Cross, Rep. Roth, and Rep. Wheeler.[/caption] "The TANF program is designed to assist those families that simply need a little help,” said Rep. Pam Roth (R-Morris). “Unfortunately there are those that abuse this system and use the benefits to purchase non-essential items such as lottery tickets, alcohol, concert tickets, gambling games, and even movie rentals. House Bill 2784 will ensure that TANF benefits are being used for their intended purpose, for families that need a helping hand.” House Bill 3174 and House Bill 2490 would prevent criminals from receiving aid. These bills would suspend public aid and benefits to inmates at State correctional facilities and recipients with outstanding warrants. “The reason we are all here is to make sure that those who deserve these vital services, receive these vital services,” said Rep. Barb Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake). “We are in the middle of a financial crisis here in Illinois. We cannot ask our public servants, teachers, and taxpayers to carry the load of Illinois’ debt while criminals are receiving state benefits.” “These are common sense proposals that need to be considered in Springfield during this spring session,” said House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego). “We need to make sure that our system is not being abused so that the people, who need these services most, have access.”
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Rep. Cross Announces flood updates and info

In need of flood assistance?

Stay updated and informed on the recent flooding throughout the state by clicking on the helpful links below. Contact Map for Local Red Cross and County EMA offices 

Red Cross Hotline 1-800 Red-Cross 

Federal Links 

State of Illinois Updates and Links

House Republican's Caucus Blog

Oswego Patch

Plainfield Patch

Click below to see some of the photos from in and around the 97th district. [slideshow id=35]
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Photos: Family Matters Forum April 2013

April 22, 2013 Rep. Cross invited residents of his district to learn more about options to plan for their aging parents needs on April 22, 2013. [nggallery id=34]
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Cross announces major highway projects for 97th district

April 18, 2013

Rep. Tom Cross (R-Oswego) announced today that millions in road construction projects in the 97th district will be moving forward as part of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s six year road plan. 

“Infrastructure and road improvements are so important for the safety and quality of life for our residents,” said Cross.  “We are happy to report that these projects will be underway in the next few years.”  5157442In Will County, there will be several projects slated to begin in Fiscal Year 2014 including: 
  • Engineering on I-80 from Ridge Road to US 30 (Lincoln Highway) including congestion mitigation, $300,000
  • Adding Additional lanes, reconstruction, construction engineering, and utility adjustment at U.S. 30, IL 59 to north of I-55 ($29.3 million)
  • Adding left and right turn lanes on U.S. 30 at I-55 ramps ($1 million) 
In the next several years, there are a few more significant projects that will advance in Will County (FY15-FY19): 
  • Purchasing land and adding new traffic signals on US 30 at 119th ($1.75 million)
  • Reconstruct the intersection on U.S. 30 at Heggs Rd. ($1.25 million) 
The Illinois Department Fiscal Year 2014-2019 Proposed Highway Improvement Program totals $9.5 billion and includes an FY 2014 annual program of $2.24 billion.   The proposed highway improvement program provides funding to maintain 2,142 miles of highways and replace or rehabilitate 517 bridges. Some highlights in Kendall County include:
  • Major interchange reconstruction at IL Route 47 and I-88 (Ronald Reagan Memorial Tollway);
  • Congestion mitigation on US Route 30 West of Dugan Road to West of IL Route 47, and bridge work on the US Route 30 bridge over IL 47;
  • Additional lane construction and bridge replacement on US Route 34 from east of Eldamain Road to Center Parkway in Yorkville;
  • Additional lane construction and new storm sewers on US Route 34 from IL Route 47 to Orchard Road west of Oswego;
  • Resurfacing of US 34 from the Fox River Bridge to IL Route 71 in Oswego;
  • Congestion mitigation work on IL Route 47 and US Route 30 from the Kane County Line to Kennedy Road North of Yorkville;
  • Intersection improvement and traffic light installation at IL Route 47 and Main Street South of Elburn;
  • Bridge replacement on IL Route 56 at Hankes Road;
  • Additional lane construction on IL Route 71 west of IL Route 47 to east of IL Route 126 
IDOT’s six year plan also includes funding for passenger rail development in Kendall County, the purchase of new busses for service expansion into Kendall County and improvements at the Aurora Municipal Airport.  The total cost of the statewide construction program is $12.62 billion over the next six years, of which $7.2 billion comes from the federal government, $1.9 billion from state funds and the rest from local and other sources. Click here to see the entire list of projects for Kendall and Will Counties.
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Cross' Legislative Survey

  legislative survey graphicPlease click here to take Rep. Tom Cross' legislative survey.
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Press Release: Oswego Traveling Office Hours April 30

April 17, 2013 Oswego…Illinois House Rep. Tom Cross (R- Oswego) invites all citizens of the 97th District to attend his traveling office hours in Oswego on Tuesday, April 30.  welcome“This is a great opportunity for residents to have a chance to meet with our staff and discuss issues of concern regarding state government,” said Cross.  “We are always happy to hear the concerns, opinions and suggestions from our constituents.”   The purpose of traveling office hours is to provide access and services to constituents at a convenient location and time. The traveling office hours will be held on Tuesday, April 30 from 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the community room at the Oswego Village Hall, 100 Parkers Mill in Oswego.  For more information, please contact Cross’ district office at 815/254-0000.
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