ROCKFORD State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, will host an informational meeting to update interested members of the public, school choice advocates and the media on Illinois’ new School Scholarship Tax Credit program from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 7 at the Diocese of Rockford, located at 555 Colman Drive in Rockford.

The meeting will include discussion of the School Scholarship Tax Credit guidelines, roll out, and recently released rules from the Illinois Department of Revenue. Attendees will also have an opportunity to ask questions about the process and engage in dialogue about how to utilize the program to benefit local students and families.

"Illinois’ new scholarship tax credit program will open doors for students from all walks of life to access excellent schools and allow parents the opportunity to choose which type of education best fits their family,” Representative Sosnowski said. “I encourage everyone interested in providing the best quality education for all our kids to attend this informational meeting and get your questions answered.”

Community Clothing, Food, & Toy Drive Information

#GivingTuesday (November 28th ) is the international kick-off day for making donations over the Christmas holiday season. There are many effective, useful, and worthy charity programs. I encourage you to inspire your family, friends, and colleagues to help support a program or organization you admire for its contributions to the community. Below are some opportunities for giving I have been made aware of this holiday season. Remember your support is key to helping the charity of your choice be successful.

Belvidere Police and Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS), will be collecting non-perishable food, toiletries, new toys, gloves, hats, mittens, and scarves. Drop off locations and dates may be found here.

Please visit Amazon Smile when holiday shopping, all you need to do is visit and select Aunt Martha's as your charity. Then, you can shop as you normally do and Amazon will donate a percentage of your purchases to Aunt Martha's Health & Wellness at no expense to you.

Children's Home + Aid Holiday Shoppe is a store where children shop with volunteer Shoppe elves while their parents take a break. Gifts are priced from $1 to $5.  Proceeds benefit MotherHouse Crisis Nursery. Click here for location and date information.

Culvers in Belvidere is selling calendars for $2 to benefit the Belvidere-Boone County Food Pantry. There are several coupons for savings included with the calendar. The pantry is looking for non-perishable food items, clothing, and other household products. Please click here for location and drop off times.

Making a donation in an honoree's name is popular this holiday season. Consider donating to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. For a$10 donation, you will receive a 5x7 holiday card to mail to the honoree. A $10 donation will provide $80 worth of groceries for a family. Donations are 100% tax deductible. To find out more ways to help or make a donation click here.

ROCKFORD State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) is encouraging constituents in Boone and Winnebago Counties to shop local this Saturday, November 25 in support of small and family-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday, which has grown into a national tradition since its inception in 2010. 

“With this upcoming weekend being the busiest shopping weekend of the year, this is a terrific opportunity to rediscover the abundance of goods and services available here in our own backyard,” Representative Sosnowski said. “By shopping local this Saturday, you are helping our community’s best and brightest entrepreneurs continue to provide jobs for thousands of Stateline area families.”

There are 1.2 Million small businesses in Illinois, employing 2.4 Million people across the state. Small businesses account for 99.6% of all Illinois businesses, employing 46% of the state’s total workforce. Construction, real estate and arts, entertainment & recreation are the three largest small business employers in Illinois. Small business created 43,836 net jobs in Illinois in 2014.

For a directory of local businesses in your community, please click on either of the following links:

Representative Sosnowski serves the 69th District, which includes portions of Rockford, Belvidere, Roscoe, Rockton, South Beloit, Cherry Valley, Machesney Park, Poplar Grove, Garden Prairie, Capron, New Milford, Shirland and Timberlane.

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Thank you to all those who participated in the 69th District Photo Challenge Contest. There were many great pictures of scenic locations in Winnebago and Boone Counties submitted by talented constituents.

Congratulations to the winners; Sharon Thomas (Rockford Arboretum, Top Left), William Eklund (Belvidere Park, Bottom Left) and Karen Snyder (Belvidere Park, Bottom Right).

To all our veterans, active-duty military, National Guard, reservists and their dependents, 

I wanted to share this news with you about a new hotline and legal support services network available to you, regardless of where in Illinois you call home. Please feel welcome to share this information with family, friends and neighbors. 

Sincerely Yours, 

- State Rep. Joe Sosnowski

State Rep. Joe Sosnowski
By Karen Kidd | Rockford Sun

The recently failed Student Acess Bill, which would have broadened financial aid available to students regardless of documentation status, was defeated because it was money the state doesn't have to spend, according to Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford).

"Our state universities have already been forced to do more with less during the two-year-long state budget impasse from which they are still recovering,"Sosnowski told the Rockford Sun. "A majority of Illinois House members recognize that wherever you stand on the issue of federal immigration reform, we should not extend taxpayer-funded benefits to those who have not yet attained legal citizenship."

Sosnowski argued that the priority needs to be on reversing the out-migration of Illinois’ best and brightest students who have been leaving en masse to attend colleges and universities elsewhere.

"Once we lose them, it’s not likely that many of them ever come back," he said. "This has a long-term negative impact on Illinois’ economy and separates thousands of parents from their adult children who, after college, are likely to start their careers and a family of their own in whichever state they left Illinois for..."
State Rep. Joe Sosnowski's office attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Rockton today for the new Field House at Hononegah Community High School. Participants included Superintendent Dr. Lynn Gibson, School Board President David Kurlinkus, Hononegah High School Principal Eric Flohr, Rockton Mayor Dale Adams, Roscoe Mayor David Krienke, South Beloit Mayor Ted Rehl, and several Hononegah school board members and local township officials. 

United States and State flags at half-staff from Sunrise on Thursday, November 9, 2017, until Sunset on Saturday, November 11, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner has issued a notice that all persons or entities covered by the Illinois Flag Display Act are to fly the flags at half-staff in honor of:

Rockford Police Officer Jaimie Cox

State agencies are asked to lower the United States flags and the State flags at all buildings from:

Sunrise on Thursday, November 9, 2017, until
Sunset on Saturday, November 11, 2017

Here is the Governor's Proclamation in memory of Officer Cox:

By Jack Wuest
Executive Director, Alternative Schools Network

In a state wracked by partisan stand-offs, a new, life-changing policy occurred with nearly unanimous, bipartisan legislative support and the governor’s signature.

This new law will improve prosperity by allowing Illinois residents over 21 to obtain a high school diploma. This was the work of state Rep. Joe Sosnowski and state Sen. Steve Stadelman. Currently, dropouts cannot earn high school diplomas once they reach 21. They are limited to GED certificates.

The diploma offers a better path to job training and colleges and universities. Data released by the governor suggests a diploma can boost lifetime earnings by more than $670,000…
State Rep. Joe Sosnowski attended a presentation on new neurological surgeries and a tour of the new addition at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford on Friday.