Dear friend,

Session is ramping up in Springfield as budget negotiations begin and legislation moves through the Senate. I’m leading a number of measures, including one brought to me by a Rock Island probation officer. When it comes to voting on important legislation and negotiating the state budget, I will always put the residents of Western Illinois first.

Read on for legislative and district updates, as well as resources available for you and the community.

If you need assistance with state services or have questions or thoughts about legislation, please reach out to my Rock Island office at (309) 558-3612, Galesburg office at (309) 297-4483 or visit my website.


Mike Halpin
State Senator | 36th District

Legislative Updates

Rock Island probation officer’s idea moves forward

The goal of this measure is to discuss the benefits of community-based correctional facilities and specialty courts in Illinois. Some of the best ideas are brought up by community members who see the issues on the ground and want to work with legislators in Springfield to solve them. I want to thank Rock Island probation officer Andy Boswell for bringing this idea to our office. Read more here.

Beginning budget negotiations

The governor outlined his proposal for the Fiscal Year 2025 budget last month – and negotiations have now officially began.

I hope to see a budget that prioritizes stability and growth in Western Illinois. To read my full budget proposal statement, click here.

District Updates

Grant for Rock Island studio

I helped secure a $3.8 million film infrastructure grant for Fresh Films, which will be used to build a new film studio in Rock Island County. Strategic state investments in our film industry, including Fresh Films and the amazing work done at the Quad Cities Regional Film Office, will boost our local economy and give producers an affordable alternative to complete their projects. Read more here.

Securing funding to help with nursing shortage

Nearly $100,000 is heading to Carl Sandburg College to help increase the number of professional nurses in Illinois. If we want better health care access, we have to make strategic investments in the health care workforce. There is a pressing need for professional nurses in hospitals and medical centers across Western Illinois. That’s why it’s so critical we actually try to solve the issue, and not just sit on our hands. Read more here.

Wrestling state champs

I want to give a special shout out to a few local high school students that won state at the 2024 IHSA State Wrestling Tournament:

Girls 155-pound: Maryam Ndiaye – Moline High School

Boys 2A 113-pound: Truth Vesey – Rock Island High School

Boys 2A 190-pound: Andrew Marquez – Rock Island High School

You have made our community proud!

Programs & Resources

Scholarships available for minority teachers

Minorities interested in pursuing or enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate teaching program should check out the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program. All qualified minority students and bilingual minority applicants are encouraged to apply here by March 31!

Women’s History Month

This Women’s History Month, we celebrate the countless women whose tireless efforts have brought us closer to justice and equality. As women and girls today reach for new heights, they stand on the shoulders of generations of pioneers.

Let’s celebrate Women’s History Month by supporting women-owned businesses throughout Illinois. Check out some incredible women-owned businesses who are making Illinois a rich and vibrant place to explore and live here!

Grants available for local grocers

A total of $3.5 million in grants is available for grocers. They can apply for grants to upgrade heating, ventilation and air conditioning equipment; refrigeration units and freezers; lighting systems; and other systems providing significant energy savings. Apply online by March 25.

Utility bill assistance available

Families who earn up to two times the federal poverty level may be eligible for energy bill assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. LIHEAP helps households with natural gas, propane and electricity bills by providing a one-time payment directly to the energy provider. Learn more about LIHEAP and submit a request for services form to determine your eligibility here.

Do you have unclaimed property?

The state treasurer's unclaimed property program –known as I-Cash – is one of the state's oldest consumer protection programs, dating back to 1962. To learn more about the program, or to see if you have property to claim, visit

Complete your Medicaid renewal

Don’t risk losing your coverage! Medicaid no longer renews automatically. Illinois is in the process of mailing annual Medicaid renewal letters, and residents are encouraged to verify their eligibility and due date. Make sure you and your family are covered by visiting and clicking “Manage my Case” or by calling 1-800-843-6154.