Taxpayers Freedom Caucus

House Republican legislators form new legislative group to advance reform agenda

May 21, 2020

For Immediate Release


Springfield, IL – The lack of meaningful action to address the state’s financial woes has prompted a group of legislators to create the Illinois Taxpayer Freedom Caucus that will operate within the House Republican Caucus.  Their primary focus will be promotion of the structural and ethical reforms Illinois desperately needs.


Members of the Taxpayer Freedom Caucus include Representatives John Cabello (R-Machesney Park); Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford); Blaine Wilhour (R-Effingham); Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur); Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville); Chris Miller (R-Oakland); Allen Skillicorn (R-Crystal Lake); Darren Bailey (R-Xenia); Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport); David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills); Amy Grant (R-Wheaton); Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro); Randy Freese (R-Quincy); Dave Severin (R-Benton); Tom Morrison (R-Palatine); Tom Weber (R-Lake Villa); Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis); Dan Swanson (R-Alpha); Charlie Meier (R-Okawville); and Tony McCombie (R-Savanna).


The members of the IL Taxpayer Freedom Caucus are issuing the following statement:


“There is a growing number of legislators who are tired of the business as usual politics that is bankrupting our state.  We have major fiscal issues and structural imbalances that stifle our ability to grow, create jobs and aggressively utilize our many natural advantages.  

We need to do more than just tinker with a few policies.  We need to transform how our government works.


The Democrat party in Illinois is too unaccountable.  The lack of a proper check on their influence has resulted in an agenda that is extreme, one-sided and renders vast regions of our state powerless.   


The current political operations in Illinois have shown that they are unwilling to meaningfully address these imbalances in a way that is sustainable for the future.  

Spending reform, economic growth, and ethical government are the answers to our problems.  Enacting policies that allow our economy to grow and dealing with our major budgetary and debt drivers in a way that is fair to all taxpayers is our only pathway to economic prosperity and stability in Illinois.


The pandemic has exposed the failure of the current economic policies in Illinois.  If we had taken the proper steps to control spending, reform our structural imbalances, and eliminate the influence peddling in our government, we would be in a much better position to deal with these emergencies and our children and grandchildren would not be burdened with an endlessly oppressive tax system.


This caucus intends to work within the Republican Caucus to present honest assessments and provide realistic solutions.  We acknowledge that at this point, none of the answers are easy or popular but we were sent to Springfield to deal with the real issues. “


The Caucus will meet this week and elect officers.



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Reopen Region 6 Press Release

Halbrook Looks for Reopening Solutions

April 23, 2020


Contact: Brad Halbrook


Shelbyville, IL - State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) says the Governor’s 30-day extension of the government shutdown of the economy is the wrong approach and it’s time to reopen the economy on a regional basis. 


“Taking a regional approach makes complete sense as so many areas in our state have not seen significant hospitalizations,” Halbrook said. “Illinois already has emergency medical service regions. Why not utilize the regions we already have to begin the process of reopening the economy in communities not as affected by the coronavirus?


Illinois has 11 EMS regions. Halbrook today is announcing a committee of community leaders tasked with finding workable and safe solutions to reopening the Illinois economy.  The committee would be focused on Illinois’ Emergency Medical Service Region 6 which has shown a low rate of COVID-19 infection and has steadily maintained its health care capacity below crisis levels.


“The Champaign EMS region has kept its infection rate extremely low,” said Halbrook.  “It’s time to safely reopen areas of the economy and give businesses and consumers the right to mutually trade goods and services. This can be done safely and responsibly on a region by region basis.”


On Tuesday evening, Rep. Brad Halbrook talked with Governor Pritzker.  


“The Governor specifically asked me for ideas to open up the economy,” Halbrook said. “This committee will be charged with doing that.”


The Champaign EMS region has a daily infection rate that is more than 80% lower than the Cook County infection rate. 


“Citizens in east central Illinois have responded to the challenge of COVID 19 by increasing social distancing and using proper hygiene,” Halbrook said. “It’s time to give this area and other similar areas of the State the right to relax restrictions on commerce, social, and religious activities.”


Initial members of the committee are


Jeff Voigt Edgar County Board Chairman

Larry Ferguson Mayor of Arcola

Anna Herschberger Owner, Yoders Kitchen, Arthur

Denise Johnson Craig’s Barbers, Shelbyville 

Katie Ohmes              Oak Terrace Resort, Pana

Doug Dyer Sullivan Auto Center, Sullivan


Also the following legislators are on the committee

Rep. Dan Caulkins

Rep. Blake Wilhour

Rep. Mike Marron

Rep. Darren Bailey

Rep. Chris Miller


The goal of the committee is to encourage collaboration between business and government leaders to establish best practices to open up commerce in their area. Plans will be drafted on a county by county basis although it is anticipated that many elements of the plans will be similar.


“It remains unclear on who within the small business communities most affected by this shutdown was involved with the Governor’s office in putting together his plan,” said Halbrook.  “Our goal is to listen to the people most affected by this shutdown to get their ideas about how to restart their particular industries.”



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Gov JBP E O 3.20.20

Following is a link to GOV JBP Executive order that he rolled out @3:00p today 3.20.20

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Restaurant & Bar Closures 3.16.20

Monday 3.16.20 6:00am

Yesterday on Sunday 3.15.20, Gov. Pritzker issued a press release ordering the closure of Restaurants and Bars at the close of business today. I have been in communication with the Govenor's office about this. Additionally I have communicated via phone or text message with eating establishment owners from across the district. 

At the time, we do not have a copy of the Executive Order (EO) however we anticipate seeing it very soon. I like you have many questions, what are the details, what authority does the governor have to exercise these powers, what is the enforcement, and the list goes on. 

My #1 priority is the health and safety of our families, these circumstances are very serious. I believe that we must have the facts about the seriousness of COVID-19 at the same time understanding the seriousness and impacts to shut down the restaurant industry to the extent that the governor is proposing. 

At this time I am urging restaurant owners to continue to serve their customer's as they always have, to put into practice the health and safety recommendations form the CDC, IDPH & local health departments. To take common sense approaches to ensure the health & safety of their clientele. At the same time, I and our team will dig into this issue and disseminate the info as it becomes available. 

As always, feel free to contact me @217.774.1306 or


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Champaign City Council Update 3.16.20

The Mayor of Champaign along with the City Council has decided to use the occasion of the coronavirus situation to extend broad emergency powers to city officials despite strenuous objections of many Champaign residents.

While it is important and necessary for all levels of government to work together in emergency situations like this, there is no need for this overreach. The mayor has said that the City has no intention to seize private property or close businesses, but yet the ordinance that passed has language to do just that. If there is no intention to take these draconian actions – why include them in the ordinance?

From the ordinance:


  • (3) Order the closing of all retail liquor stores, including taverns and private clubs or portions thereofwherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted;
  • (8)(a)Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency
  • (12) Require closing of business establishments

Everyone is very concerned about the public health crisis facing our nation right now, but this should not be an excuse for City governments to give them broad authority to take personal property and to unilaterally close businesses. We all want to protect the health and safety of our communities, but we also must be respectful of our rights and liberties guaranteed by our Constitution.


Champaign, IL attempts to suspend constitutional rights and impose martial law.

By: Mark Glennon

Do they have the slightest understanding of the United States Constitution?

On Friday, the Champaign, Illinois City Council unanimously approved an ordinance giving the mayor and city manager sweeping emergency powers in response to coronavirus.

Champaign IL City Council

Its scope is mind-boggling. The city has tried to talk back the intended scope of the ordinance and claim their effort is constitutional, as reported by the Champaign News-Gazette.

However, the text of the ordinance speaks for itself. Judge for yourself. Key parts are here [emphasis added]:

After the declaration of an emergency, the Mayor may in the interest of public safety and welfare make any or all of the following orders and provide the following direction:

(1) Issue such other orders as are imminently necessary for the protection of life and property.

(2) Order a general curfew applicable to such geographical areas of the City or to the City as a whole, as the Mayor deems advisable, and applicable during such hours of the day or night as the Mayor deems necessary in the interest of public safety and welfare.

(3) Order the closing of all retail liquor stores, including taverns and private clubs or portions thereof wherein the consumption of intoxicating liquor and beer is permitted;

(4) Order the discontinuance of the sale of alcoholic liquor by any wholesaler or retailer;

(5) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, or giving away gasoline or other liquid flammable or combustible products in any container other than a gasoline tank properly affixed to a motor vehicle;

(6) Order the discontinuance of selling, distributing, dispensing or giving away of explosives or explosive agents, firearms or ammunition of any character whatsoever;

(7) Order the control, restriction and regulation within the City by rationing, issuing quotas, fixing or freezing prices, allocating the use, sale or distribution of food, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services or the necessities of life;

(8) (a) Order City employees or agents, on behalf of the City, to take possession of any real or personal property of any person, or to acquire full title or such lesser interest as may be necessary to deal with a disaster or emergency, and to take possession of and for a limited time, occupy and use any real estate to accomplish alleviation of the disaster, or the effects thereof;

(b) In the event any real or personal property is utilized by the City, the City shall be liable to the owner thereof for the reasonable value of the use or for just compensation as the case may be.

(9) Order restrictions on ingress or egress to parts of the City to limit the occupancy of any premises;

(10) To make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing;

(11) Temporarily suspend, limit, cancel, convene, reschedule, postpone, continue, or relocate all meetings of the City Council, and any City committee, commission, board, authority, or other City body as deemed appropriate by the Mayor.

(12) Require closing of business establishments.

(13) Prohibit the sale or distribution within the City of any products which could be employed in a manner which would constitute a danger to public safety.

(14) Temporarily close any and all streets, alleys, sidewalks, bike paths, public parks or public ways.

(15) Temporarily suspend or modify, for not more than sixty (60) days, any regulation or ordinance of the City, including, but not limited to, those regarding health, safety, and zoning. This period may be extended upon approval of the City Council.

(16) Suspend or limit the use of the water resources or other infrastructure.

(17) Control, restrict, allocate, or regulate the use, sale, production, or distribution of food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources.

(18) Suspend or limit burning of any items or property with the City limits and up to two (2) miles outside the corporate limits.

(19) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened areas within the City if the mayor deems this action is necessary for the preservation of life, property, or other disaster or emergency mitigation, response or recovery and to prescribe routes, modes of transportation and destination in connection with an evacuation.

(21) Approve application for local, state, or federal assistance.

(22) Establish and control routes of transportation, ingress or egress.

(23) Control ingress and egress from any designated disaster or emergency area or home, building or structures located therein.

(24) Approve the transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of City departments and agencies for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency or disaster services.

(25) Accept services, gifts, grants, loans, equipment, supplies, and/or materials whether from private, nonprofit, or governmental sources.

(26) Require the continuation, termination, disconnection, or suspension of natural gas, electrical power, water, sewer, communication or other public utilities or infrastructure. 

(27) Close or cancel the use of any municipally owned or operated building or other public facility.

(28) Declare, issue, enforce, modify and terminate orders for quarantine and isolation of persons or animals posing a threat to the public, not conflicting with the directions of the Health Officer of the community.

(29) Exercise such powers and functions in light of the exigencies of emergency or disaster including the waiving of compliance with any time consuming procedures and formalities, including notices, as may be prescribed by law.


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New Illinois Effingham

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Halbrook 2020 Budget Statement


News From the

Illinois General Assembly


For Immediate Release                   Contact: Rep. Brad Halbrook

   February 19, 2020                         774-1306


Rep. Halbrook: Governor’s Budget Proposal is Just More “Tax and Spend”


Springfield…Following the Governor’s budget address today, State Representative Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) says the outlined proposal is simply more of the same “tax and spend” that continue to drive Illinois deeper into debt.


Halbrook is issuing the following statement on JB Pritzker’s Budget Address:


“The Governor today tried to make the point that Illinois is united. He said in his address that ‘trying to separate Chicago from the rest of Illinois, whether rhetorically or literally, will not solve the economic challenges of downstate Illinois. Quite the opposite. Some of you need to stop pretending that one part of Illinois can exist without all the others. We are … one Illinois.’


I appreciate the sentiment that Illinois is one state, but the truth is Chicago politicians continue to attack our values and our way of life. The message the Governor is sending to the thousands of people who are upset enough with what is happening in our state that they want to form a new state separate from the City of Chicago is to sit down and be quiet and just accept having their values trampled. This not the way to win over residents of rural Illinois.


There was nothing in the Governor’s speech to give downstate residents any hope that he is going to stop attacking our values and our way of life. In fact, just the opposite. The Governor wants to preach unity, but his actions tell a much different story. He is going to continue to double down on his extreme, liberal agenda and continue to divide Chicago and downstate Illinois. 


It is clear our point of view matters little to this Governor. His budget is just the same as the record $40 Billion spending plan he signed last year except the new budget sets a new record by adding another $2.2 billion in spending, and he’s relying on his graduated income tax increase scheme to pay for it. Illinois families are already the highest taxed in the nation, and more people have fled our state in the past ten years than any other. What we heard today is just a continuation of the Democrats’ tax and spend philosophy that created this mess in the first place. We don’t need more taxes. We need reforms and sadly the Governor made it clear reforms such as spending, and pension reforms are off the table.”


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The President's Team

I am proud to report that I have been selected to serve as an Alternative Delegate for our President Donald Trump to the Republican National Convention next year. 

If you support the President and want to see him re-elected next year, then I hope you'll download a copy of the President's delegate petition and ask a few of your friends to sign it and then mail it back to me at Citizens for Brad Halbrook PO Box 644, Shelbyville IL, 62565

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2019 Announcement

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Trump 45 by Auto-Ordnance Raffle

Enter for your chance to win a Limited Edition 1911 Trump 45 by Auto-Ordnance. All it costs is $20 for a ticket, or you can improve your chances by getting three tickets for $50 or seven tickets for $100. 

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