State Representative Tom Demmer was selected to attend The Council of State Governments’ Medicaid Leadership Academy Sept. 26-28 in Washington, D.C.

Federal government representatives and officials from health policy organizations and state Medicaid programs presented at the event, highlighting innovative programs in states that are improving health outcomes and reducing health care costs.

“Medicaid provides coverage for millions of Illinoisans and is one of the largest parts of the state budget. I have worked hard to improve health access for people across our state. This policy academy helps us find new ideas that are working well in other states and bring them back to Illinois,” said Rep. Demmer.

Presentation topics included dementia-competent care in Virginia, a telehealth diabetes monitoring program in Mississippi, a proposal in Oklahoma to move to value-based prescription drug purchasing and a Medicaid managed care organization’s work to address social determinants of health in Pennsylvania.

Thirty-three people, including legislators and regulators, from 24 states were selected to participate.

“CSG is very proud of the Medicaid academy series that began in 2012,” said Debra Miller, CSG’s director of health policy. “The meetings have been attended by more than 200 established and emerging leaders in health care and Medicaid policy from across the country.”

The Medicaid academy series exposes legislators to thought leaders and experienced program administrators and provides opportunities for peer discussions among legislators about promising approaches from other states and lessons learned.

The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.

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State Representative Tom Demmer announced on Tuesday that the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) has signed off on Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) release of $11.3 million statewide for community college capital projects in the first round of this funding to be released in this fiscal year.
The release includes $154,285 to Sauk Valley Community College to help replace the original 50+ year-old air handlers campus wide.  State funding will cover one air handler, while the remaining seven air handlers will be covered with local funds.  The efficiency and air quality will be greatly improved when the old units are replaced.
“We are making investments in higher education to improve facilities, reduce operating costs, and to ensure the colleges can focus on providing top notch education and training to be qualifies for great local jobs,” said Rep. Tom Demmer.
Sauk Valley Community College will be putting up $2,245,715 in local funds to complete the project.
“Infrastructure investment is a catalyst for job creation and economic development,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “We signed a bipartisan budget in June that includes funds for improvement projects that benefit local businesses and residents. This kind of investment is how government can play a positive role in the Illinois economy.”

State Representative Tom Demmer announced on Tuesday that the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) has signed off on Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) release of $11.3 million statewide for community college capital projects in the first round of this funding to be released in this fiscal year.

The release includes $220,005 to Kishwaukee College for extensive repair and accessibility improvements to the Greenhouse and Head House as part of the school’s horticulture program. These facilities were built in 1970. The seals to the glass wall and ceiling panels are beyond repair, making it difficult to maintain temperatures or a weather seal.

“We are making investments in higher education to improve facilities, reduce operating costs, and to ensure the colleges can focus on providing top notch education and training to be qualifies for great local jobs,” said Rep. Tom Demmer.

Kiskwaukee College will be putting up $164,570 in local matching funds to complete the project.

“Infrastructure investment is a catalyst for job creation and economic development,” said Gov. Bruce Rauner. “We signed a bipartisan budget in June that includes funds for improvement projects that benefit local businesses and residents. This kind of investment is how government can play a positive role in the Illinois economy.”

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State Representative Tom Demmer is helping spread the word about a new website launched this week linking employment and higher education data so users can compare the relative earnings value of college degrees.
The planning tool (http://ILCollege2Career.com) was unveiled by Governor Bruce Rauner at his quarterly Children’s Cabinet meeting on Thursday. 
 “Data can help drive better decisions by students to increase their earnings prospects right here in Illinois,” said Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon).  “This is an innovative new tool to bring our education system into the 21st Century and allow data to help drive results for Illinois students and future workers.”
The data is broken down by schools and area of study, so that students may compare the earnings potential of degree programs from different public and private institutions in the state.  ILCollege2Career.com is the product of collaboration between the Governor’s Office, Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB), the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).
“ILCollege2Career.com is groundbreaking for our state,” Governor Rauner said while introducing the tool to cabinet members at the meeting at Springfield High School.  “Education has been my top investment priority for many years.  In order to grow our economy, we need to give our young people the best education system possible, so they will choose to live, learn and work here in Illinois.”
All 48 community colleges and 60+ four-year universities in Illinois participated in the project.
“As a state, we are moving away from just gathering data for compliance purposes to using data to transform decision-making at the local, regional and state level,” said Karen Hunter Anderson, executive director of the Illinois Community College Board.  “The Illinois College2Career tool gives high school students and parents, as well as nontraditional students, more transparent and easily accessible information about their post-secondary choices and careers.”

Representative Tom Demmer will be honored by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce for his pro-jobs voting record over the past two years in the Illinois General Assembly.

The Illinois Chamber honored 34 members of the Illinois House, including Demmer, and 13 members of the Illinois Senate with its biennial “Champion of Free Enterprise” award given in recognition of legislators’ support for voting to further economic opportunities for Illinoisans.

“The Chamber’s Legislative Ratings lets Illinois families, small businesses, and taxpayers know if legislators voted in favor of private sector job creation and a stronger economy,” said Todd Maisch, president and CEO of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

The Illinois Chamber’s Legislative Ratings tracks votes important to the state’s business community and grades legislators based on their support of pro-business issues during the two-year legislative session. Rep. Demmer has an average score of 92% over his past two terms.

“We all know we need to grow our revenue base in Illinois, and the best way to do that is with job creation and retention. That’s why I am proud to vote in favors of economic growth and job creation and honored to be recognized by the Chamber for continuing to do so,” said Rep. Demmer.

To learn more about the ratings and bills included, please visit the Illinois Chamber’s website at http://ilchamber.org.

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Representative Tom Demmer will be holding his annual Senior Citizens' Health Fair will be on September 7, from 10:00am until Noon, at the Lee County Council on Aging-Post House Ballroom, located at 100 West Second Street in Dixon. The fair is free and open to the public.

Representative Demmer stated, “I always enjoy meeting with constituents to discuss the services that state and local agencies provide. The Senior Citizens' Health Fair will feature non-profit organizations and businesses in the area who offer services that help to improve the lives of seniors.”

All attendees will be encouraged to sign in for a chance to win a door prize and also help themselves to free refreshments as they peruse the fair.

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Legislation sponsored by State Representative Tom Demmer was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on Friday in an effort to modernize the enabling statute that guides how the state provides substance use disorder treatment services for its citizens. 

“House Bill 4795 provides a more efficient and focused foundation for substance abuse disorder treatment delivery in Illinois,” said Rep. Demmer following the bill signing.  “As we continue to combat the opioid epidemic and related issues, the changes contained in this legislation will provide better outcomes and a more complete and flexible continuum of care for those in need.”

These changes bring the Act into the 21st century by eliminating all stigmatizing references, definitions, and mandates to better reflect contemporary standards and updates the lexicon and terminology to reflect current scientific evidence-based practices.  These amendments provide a more cohesive link between statute and policy.  The bill also updates licensure requirements to codify policy practices, provides crystalized definitions of recovery support, streamlines advisory bodies, makes clarifications between service types, and modernizes justice-involved practices. 

House Bill 4795 was signed into law by Governor Rauner as Public Act 100-759 on Friday, August 10th by Governor Bruce Rauner.


State Representatives Tom Demmer issued the following statement today following Governor Bruce Rauner’s signing on House Bill 4847, a bill sponsored by Rep. Demmer to clarify and expand the types of cases Adult Protective Services may investigate:

“This legislation clarifies that Adult Protective Services may investigate claims of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation of adults living in a DHS-funded facility even when the abuse happens outside the facility, or when the alleged abuser is not an employee of the facility,” said Rep. Tom Demmer.  “This bill helps protect seniors and closes a jurisdictional loophole.”

The legislation was supported by the Illinois Department on Aging, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Department of Human Services, and many other senior advocacy organizations.
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State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) has been appointed to the post of Deputy House Minority Leader today, earning him a #2 spot in the House Republican Caucus.  This recognition follows a Spring Session that saw Demmer lead the charge on enacting both a new Hospital Assessment Program on behalf of his caucus as well as successfully negotiating a bipartisan, historic State Budget agreement which resulted in “No New Taxes” and provides stability to state finances.

Demmer is serving in his third two-year term in the Illinois House, where he has quickly gained a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful legislators in the House Republican caucus.  Rep. Demmer’s appointment was announced by House Minority Leader Jim Durkin on Monday, “It is an honor to have Tom Demmer serve as our next Deputy Minority Leader in the House Republican caucus,” Leader Durkin said.  “In his time as a legislator, Tom has become a leading voice for our caucus and a fighter for our Republican principles in Illinois. He was instrumental in passing our state’s first balanced budget in decades earlier this year and I look forward to working with him in getting more important reforms passed for Illinois.”

Demmer is the Director of Innovation & Strategy at KSB Hospital in Dixon. Prior to his election to the General Assembly, he served on the Lee County Board.  Demmer graduated from the University of Dayton, after having served as a White House intern in the Office of the Vice President of the United States in 2006.  Demmer is a 2016 Henry W. Toll Fellow with the Council of State Governments. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home Preservation Foundation.  He is a co-founder of the Future Caucus of millennial legislators in Illinois and has balanced a work-load of serving on 14 committees in the Illinois House this Spring Session.

“I thank Leader Durkin for his confidence and support,” Demmer said.  “I am proud of the work our caucus has done to fight for a better future for Illinois, and I look forward to continuing to work with all stakeholders to bring new opportunities for Illinois families.”

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June 26, 2018
by Vinde Wells, Shaw Media

Photo Credit: Earleen Hinton/ehinton@shawmedia.com


OREGON – The Eternal Indian might just be ready to crack a smile.

Plans are being completed and the paperwork is being prepared for restoration work to finally begin on the Black Hawk statue, after years of on-again/off-again efforts to restore the local landmark.


State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, said Tuesday that he’s been in touch with state agencies and officials ever since money for the statue was finally freed up almost a month ago.

The state budget included the long-awaited release of a $350,000 grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for repairs to the wounded warrior overlooking the Rock River.

Demmer said he’s been working closely with the IDNR ever since the budget was approved and “everything seems to be in place and ready to go for the grant. … It’s going well. We haven’t run into any problems.”

The grant was approved in 2009, but was never paid due to the state’s ongoing budget woes.

Demmer said IDNR officials told him last week that they’re working on mixtures for the concrete to repair the cracks in the crumbling statue and rebuild areas where chunks of the 100-plus-year-old landmark have fallen off.

The money should be released sometime after the state’s new fiscal year begins Sunday.

Read more here.

State Representative Tom Demmer successfully negotiated a bipartisan State Budget agreement which results in “No New Taxes” and provides stability and predictability as well as takes steps to put Illinois on a far better fiscal footing.

“This is the first bipartisan negotiated budget agreement in years,” said Rep. Demmer.  “This budget is not reflective of everyone’s desires, but it is a realistic plan that is the product of compromise and negotiating between both chambers as well as both sides of the aisle.”

The $38.5 billion spending plan offers new pension reform measures like voluntary buyouts and capping end-of-career salary increases that cause pension spiking, which should help local school district control costs.  The new school funding formula is fully funded in this budget, ensuring K-12 schools receive the funding promised to them.  State Elected Official pay raises for legislators are prohibited.  Local Governments will receive an over $120 million increase over the current budget.  A new Adoption Tax Credit is created and a new scholarship program to retain students in Illinois higher education system was created and funded with matching funds from universities.

Rep. Tom Demmer was the chief negotiator for the House Republicans in the budget negotiations along with Rep. Greg Harris negotiating on behalf of the House Democrat caucus.  Both negotiators were very complimentary of the good faith negotiations between all sides.





Honoring the quick thinking and brave actions of the Dixon, Illinois school resource officer who thwarted a school shooting two weeks ago, Gov. Bruce Rauner has proclaimed May 30, 2018, Officer Mark Dallas Day in Illinois. Rauner, along with State Sen. Tim Bivins (R-Dixon) and State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) met with Dallas, his family, and members of the Dixon Police Department in his Capitol office on Wednesday.

"Mark Dallas was not only a hero to the hundreds of lives he protected at Dixon High School, but he serves as a great example to us all of putting service above self," Demmer said. “Mark has brought the best law enforcement has to offer as a school resource officer and we are a grateful state for his decisive action and service. We all celebrate Mark Dallas Day in Illinois today. May we also work for a world that never needs this type of heroism again."

On May 16, 2018, Dallas confronted an armed former student who had fired a gun at Dixon High School where students were gathered for a graduation rehearsal. As a result of Dallas’ decisive action, no students were harmed.

“We can no longer deny that school shootings have become a horrific part of our new national normal. It is a normal that we must change,” said Dallas, advocating for school resource officers in Illinois public schools.

“Today, I come before you not as a police officer who loves his job, but as a dad who loves his kids. I ask you to support the placement and training of school resource officers in schools throughout this state. You will save our children’s lives by doing so.”

This legislative session, Rauner is urging support for measures to free up local revenue to hire more resource officers, like Dallas, who can intervene and prevent school violence before it happens. Rauner’s amendatory veto of House Bill 1468 and standalone measure House Bill 5887 would allow school authorities to, by referendum, use existing sales tax revenue to hire school resource officers and mental health workers based on local determinations of need.

“Our schools need more heroes,” Dallas said. “Our elected officials have the power to be just that. You are, and you will be, the true heroes for our children when you support the training and placement of school resource officers in our public schools.”

“Every school should have a Mark Dallas,” Rauner said. “These officers are experienced resources that can keep our students and teachers safe and focused on learning.”

Dallas has 24 years of law enforcement experience, serving 15-years on the Dixon Police Department and the last five years as the school resource officer for Dixon High school. As the school resource officer, he serves as a law enforcement officer, law-related counselor, and a law-related education teacher working closely with the students and staff while acting as a liaison for the police department.

Full Press Conference video below:



State Representative Tom Demmer voted YES on House Bill 4290 on May 24 to release $63 million in back pay to state employees for money they earned under the contract negotiated with previous Governor Pat Quinn.

“This is the state’s oldest unpaid bill and a debt owed to our employees for services already provided,” said Rep. Demmer following his vote. “Governor Quinn broke his word on this agreement and it is past time to clean up the financial consequences of those dealings.”

In January 2011, then Governor Quinn and the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) struck a deal in which union state employees would give up half the value of their contractually mandated pay raises in exchange for a promise that Quinn would not lay off 2,600 workers or close any state facilities until July 2011. AFSCME also accepted furlough days and other concessions to save the state about $50 million.

However, in July 2011, Governor Quinn reneged on scheduled pay raises, and state workers have never received the money they earned. The passing of HB 4290 ensures state workers will be paid. HB 4290 will now to the Senate for approval.


State Representative Tom Demmer announced the official launch of his Summer Reading Club Program for grade school students who live within the 90th Illinois House District.  The program is offered to encourage summer reading among local youth and promote the lifelong benefits of literacy.  Free brochures are available for download on Rep. Demmer’s legislative website at tomdemmer.com or by calling his Rochelle District Office at (815) 561-3690.



“Students who read over the Summer are better prepared to return to school in the Fall.  Reading is fun, as well as being great for education, enjoyment, and lifelong learning.  I am proud to join area schools and libraries in helping promote summer reading to area students,” said Rep. Demmer.

Participating students are tasked with reading eight books over their summer break.  Books from local library programs are accepted; and books of 150 pages or more count as two books.  After a student completes his or her reading list, they must have a parent or guardian certify the reading was accomplished and return the signed form on the brochure to Rep. Demmer’s office by the deadline of Friday, August 10th.

Rep. Tom Demmer with 2017 Summer Reading Club Party winner Haleigh Stenzel (Amboy Junior High School), May 7, 2017.
Students who successfully complete the reading club will receive a certificate of participation and one reader will be selected to win a party for their entire class during the upcoming school year.  Details will be worked out directly with the winning reader and their school.



 Participants may submit completed applications online here.

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State Representative Tom Demmer welcomed new “Opportunity Zones” in Illinois, including two zones in the 90th District covering portions of the communities of Dixon and Rochelle.

“These zones were created with the intention to spur private, tax-free investment in low-income areas with economic need.  This new program attempts to benefit residents in the zones as well as buoying additional private development and job creation,” said Rep. Demmer.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for communities throughout Illinois,” said Governor Bruce Rauner.  “These zones include some of the most underserved areas of the state that have the greatest potential for improvement.  They represent a broad cross-section of Illinois that includes rural, urban, and suburban in-need communities that are ripe for investment and job creation.”

Governor Rauner announced 327 census tracts were submitted by the State of Illinois to the U.S. Treasury Department for consideration as Opportunity Zones.  The U.S. Treasury Department approved the recommendations, as permitted by the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.  1,305 qualifying low-income census tracts were available for selection, of which only 25% could be nominated by the Governor for inclusion in the program.  The zones cover more than 85 counties throughout the state and aim to support the future of Illinois through economic growth and investment.

For more information on Opportunity Zones, please visit the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DCEO) website https://www.illinois.gov/dceo/Pages/OppZn.aspx.


State Representative Tom Demmer joined Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz in urging Illinois firearm owners to file paperwork early to renew their Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Cards as the first wave of the 10-year renewal will create a backlog of renewal applications.

“More than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal between June 1 and August 1 due to amendments to State laws on the 10-year renewal process in 2008.  I am urging my constituents who are FOID holders to renew as early as possible to allow adequate time for processing before expiration,” said Rep. Demmer on Tuesday.

Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz recommends, “gun owners get their renewal application in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card our before expiration.”

The Illinois State Police oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards that are required to buy or posses a firearm or ammunition in Illinois.  FOID card applications require state and federal background checks, as well as review of the database from the Illinois Department of Human Services to confirm applicants have not been in a mental institution in the past five years.  Persons with common names may find additional delays as identities are confirmed.

Illinois State Police have already sent renewal notices to those whose cards will expire June 1.  Applicants can visit the ISP’s Firearms Services Bureau website at ispfsb.com to renew online.  The cost of the card is $10. 

Applicants must be Illinois residents and include their Drivers License or State ID card number.  Applicants under the age of 21 must have a parents’ signature on the application.  Anyone who needs assistance with the FOID card renewal, and those who prefer paper applications, may call 217-782-7980 and select menu option 0.  Applicants should also make sure the name and address on FOID applications match the records on file for them at the Secretary of State’s Office, otherwise the renewal process will be delayed further.

DIXON… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) joined a group of Illinois legislators from the House and Senate this week in announcing the creation of a Children’s Health Caucus. The caucus will examine data on the current health and well-being of Illinois children and adolescents.

The caucus will be co-chaired by Sen. Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), Sen. Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria), Rep. Camille Lilly (D-Chicago) and Rep. Demmer.

Rep. Tom Demmer said he expects the caucus to meet several times during the course of the year.

“Yet, in between those meetings, it is important that caucus members work to foster discussion about child health policy issues within each of our respective House and Senate caucuses,” said Demmer. “We can use our roles as legislators to champion the cause of children’s health and well-being with our colleagues when it comes to the appropriations process and substantive legislation.”

“Children face a unique set of health care challenges that require solutions based on sound, up-to-date data,” said Morrison. “It is imperative the health issues facing children are addressed early on to prevent more medically-complex conditions that can end up being more expensive and more difficult to treat later in life.”
DIXON… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) issued the following statement following Governor Rauner’s Budget Address on February 14th.

“Governor Rauner was spot-on in pointing out that we must allow our economy to grow at a faster rate than our government.  He presented a number of relevant statistics about job growth in our surrounding states.  This job growth in nearby states, of course, leads to fewer opportunities for families and less revenue for government, here in Illinois.  I agree with the Governor that we must reform our state government to create a better pathway for citizens of Illinois.  I look forward to the work ahead to accomplish this goal,” said Rep. Tom Demmer following the speech on Wednesday.



Click Here for Live Streaming Video.


Governor Bruce Rauner will deliver his Annual State of the State Address on January 31 at Noon.  Tune in live by clicking here.
DIXON… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) was presented with the Illinois Association of Park Districts’ (IAPD) Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award at its annual conference held last weekend.

“We are very pleased to recognize Representative Demmer as one of the Illinois Association of Park Districts’ Outstanding Legislators of the Year. During his time in the General Assembly, he has demonstrated a keen understanding of the vital role that park districts play in improving the quality of life in communities throughout Illinois. We are extremely grateful for his tremendous support of our efforts to ensure that park districts continue to provide local citizens with the highest quality parks, recreational programming and other valuable services in the most efficient manner possible,” said Peter Murphy, IAPD’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award was presented at the IAPD/ Illinois Parks and Recreation Association’s annual conference, attended by over 4,000 park and recreation elected officials and professionals.

“I am honored to receive this award from IAPD and look forward to continue working on ways to maximize park district use to add to the quality of life of all Illinois residents,” said Rep. Demmer.

IAPD was established in 1928 and is the oldest state association for parks, recreation, and conservation in America.  The association serves more than 2,100 elected park, recreation, and forest preserve district members who govern more than 355 agencies employing 67,000 individuals.

IAPD strives to improve Illinois’ quality of life through park districts, forest preserves, conservation and recreation agencies by establishing grants and other new revenue streams for park land, facilities and services; educating the public about the positive effects parks and recreation have on communities; and meeting the problem of decreasing open space in Illinois.


DIXON… State Representative Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) announced today that Public Library Construction Act Grant Program checks to complete library construction projects funded in Fiscal Year 2013 with Build Illinois Bond funding will be issued in the coming week, including to the Sandwich Public Library District for $89,928.69.

 “I am grateful the Sandwich Public Library District is receiving the final portion of state funding for their new library construction,” said Rep. Demmer.  “I work closely with libraries as part of my annual Summer Reading Club and I am always happy to support their important educational work in our communities.  Our libraries are a great community asset for all ages.”

The Public Library Construction Act grants are administered through State Librarian and Secretary of State Jesse White’s office and were funded in FY 13 as part of the Build Illinois Bond program.  The project grants were aimed at assisting communities with costs for new library construction.  The new building for the Sandwich Public Library opened in late 2014 at 925 S. Main Street in Sandwich.  This grant check is the final installment of the funds granted to Sandwich Public Library District to help cover construction costs. 

“Libraries are such vital resources for communities like Sandwich,” said Illinois Secretary of State and State Librarian, Jesse White. “I look forward to working with Rep. Demmer and his colleagues as we continue our efforts to improve both library infrastructure and services in the  years ahead.”

More information on Sandwich Public Library’s programs, services, and events can be found at http://www.sandwichpld.org/.  Rep. Demmer can be contacted at his district office located at 1221 Currency Court, Rochelle, IL 61068 or by calling the office at (815) 561-3690.