Let’s face it, reading or watching most news outlets today can be a bit depressing. It appears that we are irreparably divided on so many critical issues faced by our Nation and the State of Illinois. Last month, however, I received proof that at least one divide can be healed. We can support business and job growth and at the same time be good stewards of the environment.

I’ve written many times about the importance of improving our jobs climate here in Illinois. Over the past four years, our communities have lost both jobs and families to neighboring states with more welcoming policies, but with some work, we can turn that around. Since joining the General Assembly, I have sponsored and supported numerous bills to reduce fees, costs, and regulations for employers who want to locate in Illinois. For those efforts, I received a 100 percent voting record from the National Federation of Independent Business, an organization that advocates for small businesses here and across the country.

We’ve all seen stories in the media that pit business interests against the environment. So a legislator who receives a 100 percent pro-business rating must not be environmentally friendly, right? Wrong. Last month I also received my second 100 percent rating on the environmental scorecard from the Illinois Environmental Council.

Some of the pro-environment issues included in this year’s scorecard are:

  • SB2298: Legalizing the growing of industrial hemp, benefiting Illinois farmers and soil.
  • SB2773: Helping communities access funds for clean energy projects.
  • HB4790: Increasing the market for compost use in Illinois.

I am proud to support important environmental issues in the House, and am proud to demonstrate that you can be both pro-environment and pro-business. Don’t believe it when someone tries to tell you that the two issues are incompatible. With all of the negativity we see and read in the news today, it’s good to know that no division is truly irreparable. It’s also good to know that there are news sources, like Positively Naperville, committed to reminding us that there is plenty of good news to share each month.