Representative David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) attended the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting ceremony for the newly redesigned McDonald's in Mount Prospect. The state of the art facility is a part of the Bear Family Restaurants franchise, a local Chicago area based company.

Harris noted how McDonald's, an Illinois based company headquartered in Oak Brook, has had a significant impact on the Illinois economy. The Bear Family Restaurants McDonald's franchises alone employ more than 1,000 employees throughout their various suburban locations and have held true to the McDonald’s model of providing good food at reasonable prices. It was in 1955 that McDonald's opened their historic Des Plaines, IL location that featured the golden arches which have become the iconic symbol of the McDonald's brand worldwide.
Brad Cole, Executive Director of the Illinois Municipal League, presents Rep. Harris with a plaque for his support of municipal issues.
Rep. Harris was recognized recently by the Illinois Municipal League for his conscientious attention to issues effecting municipalities both large and small throughout Illinois. Harris has often spoken on the House floor on legislation that impacts cities and villages. He works hard to ensure that legislation does not have a negative effect on municipalities.
In a lengthy and impassioned floor speech, Rep. David Harris expressed his frustration, irritation and concern over the prolonged impasse on passing a current Fiscal Year budget for the State of Illinois. The new Fiscal Year started on July 1st and because of various continuing appropriations and court orders, State expenditures are on track to exceed State revenue by as much as $5 billion or more if there is no budget in place. And the situation gets worse each day that passes without a budget.
Rep. Harris presented a Certificate of Recognition to Christine Guth in honor of her retirement as an employee of Wheeling Township. Christine was retiring after 13 years of dedicated service to the township and its citizens. She was the Assistant Director of Senior and Disability Services. Working with the Meals on Wheels program for seniors and the Make-A-Difference Fun Fair for children with disabilities were just part of her many functions. She distinguished herself in everything she did, and she will be missed.
Rep. Harris (left) with Christine Guth and Wheeling Township Supervisor Michael Schroeder

Rep. David Harris (center) poses with River Trails Park District officials and local Cub Scouts as a memorial Heritage Oak tree is planted during ceremonies celebrating the Park District's 50th anniversary.
River Trails Park District, which takes in parts of both Mount Prospect and Prospect Heights, celebrated its 50th Anniversary on Saturday August 1st. Bret Fahnstrom, the Executive Director of River Trails, set up a fun and enjoyable evening at Woodland Trails Park. There was a band playing from 6-8 p.m., and there was a childrens' movie that started in the park at dusk. In addition, a time capsule was buried with various contemporary objects. Also, a Heritage Oak tree was planted that will grow into a large tree that will provide great shade in the park. Rep. Harris participated in the planting of the tree and other activities during the evening.
Rep. Harris (left) and his son Court (right) join with other golfers at the St. Coletta Golf Outing.
Rep. Harris and his son recently attended the St. Coletta Golf Outing at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Long Grove, IL. St. Coletta is located in Jefferson, WI, and it operates a very successful Illinois Residential program for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Rep. David Harris sent a letter to the Comptroller on July 1, the first day of the new Fiscal Year, telling her to hold his paycheck if State employees don't get their paychecks.

Due to the current budget impasse, it is possible that State employees may not get paid on time at the end of the month. If that is the case, then Harris believes it would not be right for him to be paid.

In his letter to the Comptroller, Harris wrote "Legislators are state employees, and I believe that it is inappropriate for legislators to receive their salaries if other state employees are not receiving theirs." He goes on to say "I do not want my salary paid until other state employees receive their salaries."

You can read the full text of Harris's letter here...
State Rep. David Harris congratulates Township High School Dist. 214 board member Miriam (Mimi) Cooper with a Certificate of Recognition at the Dist. 214 Board Meeting in honor of her being named to the 2015 Illinois Super Lawyers list.
Speaking on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives, State Rep. David Harris took a moment to honor one of Illinois' most successful people, Lester Crown. Crown will celebrate his 90th in the coming days. Crown is one of the state's most notable businessmen, philanthropists and civic leaders. Crown has been President of Henry Crown & Company since 1969, sits on the Board of Maytag, and also sits on the Board of Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital.

Speaking on the floor of the Illinois House of Representatives, Rep. David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) commended Walgreens for bringing Red Nose Day to the U.S. Walgreens, an Illinois based company, recently merged with a European chain, and from that merger brought a long standing tradition to fight childhood poverty from Europe to the U.S. Red noses are sold for $1, of which 50¢ is given to fight childhood poverty. This year, five million noses were sold and a telethon was held with NBC to raise even more funds.
Rep. David Harris (center) meets with (from left) Park District Exec Director Steve Scholten, Vice President Myles Naughton, President Maryfran Leno, Commissioner Will Ploger and Commissioner Tim Gelinas.
The Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) recently held its Annual Legislative Day in Springfield, and the Arlington Heights Park District officials turned out in force. There are a number of key issues on the legislative agenda this year that impact park districts, and Rep. Harris was able to discuss many of them in detail with the officials during their visit to the State Capitol.
Harris presents a Certificate of Recognition to Master LEGO Architect Adam Reed Tucker
State Rep. David Harris recently presented Adam Reed Tucker, one of only 14 Master Certified LEGO architects worldwide, with a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representative for his creative work.
Rep. Harris with members of the Hersey HS Debate Team
on the Speaker's Podium in the House of Representatives
Rep. Harris hosted the John Hersey High School Debate Team in the State Capitol recently as the team prepared for the Illinois High School Association's Debate Team competition held in Springfield on March 20 - 21. Harris escorted the team members on a tour of the Capitol and made arrangements for them to hold a debate practice in one of the rooms used for House Committee meetings.

The team did well in the competition this year. Seven of the nine debaters qualified for spots in the semi-finals. And Freshman Ethan Bowers surprised everyone by winning All-State Honors, besting 183 competitors.
Rep. David Harris with WP First Captain Austin Welch
State Rep. David Harris recently met Austin Welch, the First Captain of the U.S. Corps of Cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They were both attending the West Point Society of Chicago's Annual Founder's Day Dinner.

The First Captain is also called the Brigade Commander, and his position is similar to a student body president. The First Captain implements a class agenda, and he acts as a liaison between the Corps of Cadets and the USMA Administration. Welch is at the top of a pyramid of cadet commanders who make up the chain-of-command for the Corps of Cadets at West Point.

First Captain Welch is from Winnetka, Illinois, and he intends to branch Aviation after his graduation from West Point. Rep. Harris retired from the military after 33 years of active/reserve service with the rank of Major General.
State Representative David Harris (R-Arlington Heights) has authored House Bill 2508, better known as the Right to Try Act, to allow terminally ill patients access to experimental treatments. If the legislation becomes law, it would make Illinois a national leader by allowing patients who have exhausted all other treatment options the ability to utilize promising treatments that are still awaiting final FDA approval.

“Sadly, terminally ill patients often lose their struggle for life because they cannot wait several years for the FDA to approve a potentially life-saving treatment,” said Harris. “While testing new medical treatments is hugely important to ensuring their safety and effectiveness, it is reasonable to allow someone who has been diagnosed as terminally ill to use one of those treatments with the recommendation and supervision of their doctor."

The Right to Try Act provides that an eligible patient with a terminal illness who has considered all other treatment options approved by the FDA may acquire from a manufacturer an investigational drug, biological product, or device that has successfully completed Phase I of a clinical trial, but has not yet been approved for general use by the FDA. The Phase I classification means that preliminary clinical trials have shown the treatment to be promising.
Gov. Rauner will be giving his first budget address today at noon. If you would like to watch the address, click the link below. The video will be available a few minutes before the address begins.

Watch video here:
Rep. Harris (center) presents Alex Todd, Prospect Heights Library Executive Director, and his staff with a Certificate of Recognition for their work on "Polish Storytime."

Representative David Harris presented a Certificate of Recognition from the Illinois House of Representatives to Prospect Heights Library Executive Director Alex Todd and his staff for their outstanding work in developing the "Polish Storytime" hour at the library.

"Auschwitz is the epitome of evil in this world." - Rep. Harris
In remembrance of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz at the end of World War II, Rep. Harris spoke on the House floor expressing the sentiment that we will NEVER FORGET.

Click here to hear his comments.
Rep. Harris (center) presents a House Certificate to Kerry Pearson (left), President of the AHML Board, and Jason Kuhl, Executive Director of the AHML.
Representative Harris presented a Certificate of Recognition from the House of Representatives to the Arlington Heights Memorial Library at the January 20th meeting of the Library Board.

The Arlington Heights Memorial Library (AHML) achieved a “Five Star” rating by the publication Library Journal in its national ranking called “America’s Star Libraries.” Only 1.1% of public libraries across the nation achieve the superlative Five Star rating, and this is the 7th year in a row that the AHML has earned this distinction.

AHML Board President Kerry Pearson and Executive Director Jason Kuhl accepted the Certificate on behalf of the Board at its January 20th meeting. The Board, the staff and the Arlington Heights community that supports the AHML deserve great credit for this outstanding community resource.
Rep. Harris with Chicago Archbishop Cupich 
Representative Harris had the opportunity to meet with the new Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, His Eminence Blase Cupich, at the Inauguration of the Illinois House of Representatives on January 14th.  Archbishop Cupich delivered the benediction prayer at the conclusion of the ceremony.  It is widely expected that Archbishop Cupich will be elevated to a Cardinal of the Catholic Church in the near future.

Rep. Harris is Catholic, and he attended St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights and then Georgetown University in Washington, DC.  He and the Archbishop had a brief but enjoyable conversation about the various challenges that each of them face in the year ahead.

The 99th General Assembly now begins its work for the 2015 and 2016 sessions.  Budget and fiscal matters will be the top priorities for the new General Assembly.