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WESTMONT, IL --- Wednesday, January 28, 2015 --- At the 21st Annual State Directors’ and 11th Biennial First Term Legislators’ Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida, State Representative Patti Bellock (R-IL) was sworn in as a 2015 State Director with Women In Government, following her election to this position by her fellow state legislative colleagues this past year. 

“Women In Government congratulates Representative Patti Bellock in her position as a State Director.  State Directors play a critical role in setting policy priorities for our organization,” said Dyan Alexander, Executive Director of Women In Government.  “Patti Bellock is a recognized leader in Illinois, and we are excited that she will now share her leadership skills with other women policymakers throughout the country.”
First female Deputy GOP Leader in state history looks ahead to tackling new challenges

SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) was sworn into office for a new two-year term serving Illinois’ 47th District on Wednesday, citing her eagerness to work with Governor Bruce Rauner and his team to reform the state’s budget and spending policies and strengthen the state’s safety net for vulnerable families.  All 118 members of the House of Representatives took the oath of office for the inaugural of the 99th General Assembly at the University of Illinois-Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium in a noon-time ceremony.

In addition, Bellock was also reappointed Deputy Minority Leader by House GOP Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). First appointed to the post in October 2013, Rep. Bellock is the first woman to serve in the #2 leadership position for House Republicans in Illinois history.

SPRINGFIELD – The Auditor General today released a troubling audit on the failure of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to report missing children in state custody dating back to 2011. The audit comes on the heels of an ongoing investigation into abuse and lack of supervision in DCFS residential facilities, the subject of an upcoming Illinois House hearing scheduled for January 7. The reports involve cases of physical and sexual abuse of children in state custody; including exposure to drugs, acts of violence and forced prostitution.

The audit released today was conducted in response to a legislative measure adopted in May, HR 120, directing the Office of the Auditor General to conduct a management audit of the DCFS search for missing children. The Resolution asked the audit to determine for calendar years 2011–2012: (1) the number of children reported missing; (2) whether timely reports of missing children were made to required parties; and (3) the steps followed to locate and recover missing children, including compliance with procedures.
CHICAGO – House Republicans today praised the scheduling of a hearing of the Human Services Committee for Wednesday, January 7 to receive testimony regarding documented abuse at DCFS Residential Facilities throughout the state. The hearing comes in response to a series of disturbing reports exposing cases of physical and sexual abuse of children in state custody; including exposure to drugs, acts of violence and forced prostitution.

Deputy House Minority Leader Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale), the Republican Spokesperson on the Human Services Appropriations Committee, applauded legislative leaders for scheduling the upcoming hearing and stressed the need for an immediate response by DCFS officials.

"We absolutely must do a better job of protecting every child in the DCFS system and come up with remedies to prevent the exploitation and physical or sexual abuse of these kids,” Bellock said. “The safety of children must be our paramount priority. The current system is clearly failing too many kids and putting thousands at risk. I join Governor-elect Rauner’s call for a bipartisan response by the General Assembly to approve needed reforms with built-in accountability.”

The Human Services Committee hearing is scheduled to take place at 10:00am on Wednesday, January 7 at the Michael A. Bilandic Building. The facilities in question where documented abuse has occurred are contracted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to provide supervision and therapy for youth who have suffered abuse and neglect or have serious behavioral and mental health issues.

“Accounts of the abuse that has gone unchecked in some Illinois youth facilities is an absolute tragedy,” added Rep. Bellock. “These children are put in state care to protect them from danger. One thing is clear: we need to make changes to ensure these children are cared for and protected moving forward without delay.”

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WESTMONT– Deputy House Minority Leader and State Rep. Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) issued the following statement today upon news of the death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka:  

"Judy Baar Topinka was a trailblazer for women in Illinois government. Her fearless tenacity, unbridled energy and indomitable spirit made her a remarkable leader and true public servant. Illinois is a better state for having had the benefit of her leadership, and all of us who knew her and who were privileged to call her a friend have lost someone near and dear to our hearts. I extend my deepest condolences to the Topinka family at this difficult time."

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Illinois House of Representatives Adopts Resolutions to Honor Athletes

Hinsdale, Ill. – November 18, 2014 – Hinsdale Township High School District 86 today announced that members of all the Hinsdale Central IHSA State Championship teams have been invited to the Illinois House of Representatives to be present for the adoption of House Resolutions 1211, 1328, 1329, 1330, 1331 and 1332. The resolutions are all sponsored by Representative Patti Bellock.

HR1211 was introduced this summer to honor the Hinsdale Central Boys’ Tennis Team for its remarkable record as well as its three consecutive State wins. During this fall’s athletic season, Hinsdale Central won five State tournaments, an IHSA record. After each win, Rep. Bellock graciously extended the invitation to include all the winning teams from the spring and fall: Boys’ soccer, cross country and golf, girls’ tennis and golf.
By Merrill Matthews          

Every state is struggling with the explosive growth and cost of its Medicaid program. Illinois, however, found a way to reduce Medicaid spending significantly, freeing up money for other important projects—or better yet, tax cuts.

Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for the poor and disabled, covered 72.2 million people for at least one month in 2012, according to estimates from the Department of Health and Human Services....