The spring legislative session has official come to an end. Sadly, the majority party passed an irresponsible and unbalanced budget through stalling tactics that didn’t take everyone’s concerns into account. We will press forward, and I will continue to fight for the needs of everyone in our communities to the full extent of my power. This is not an end, but only the beginning. I know that together, we can make the communities we call home better places to live, work, and raise a family. Thank you for being the heart and soul of the places we call home.
State Representative David Friess
Rep. Friess Resolution Passed: New Chester Bridge to be Named “Don Welge Memorial Bridge”
On the evening of May 25th, during the final stretch of the 2023 spring legislative session, a resolution put forth by State Representative David Friess (R-Redbud) passed the Illinois House of Representatives. HJR 38 designates the new Chester Bridge over the Mississippi River along Illinois Route 150 and Missouri Route 51 as the “Don Welge Memorial Bridge.”
Don Welge was the President and CEO of the Gilster Mary-Lee Corp., a private label food manufacturer headquartered in Chester. Mr. Welge grew up in Chester and lived there for the majority of his life before passing away after contracting COVID-19 at the age of 84. He was a beloved member of the community, devoted to his family and church, and a staunch advocate of the Boy Scouts and local charities.
The current Chester Bridge is the only motor-traffic bridge spanning the Mississippi River between St. Louis and Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Construction began on the bridge in 1941 and was finished the following year. The bridge officially opened on August 23rd, 1942. Approximately 6,400 vehicles use this bridge every day.
A new Chester Bridge is being constructed and slated for completion in 2026. MoDOT approved this project in light of the fact that the old Chester Bridge was not created for newer vehicles and was in need of a modern replacement. The new Chester Bridge is being built with the history and significance of the original in mind.
“Don Welge was an incredible businessman and one of the most generous people you’d ever meet. He was a huge supporter of charities, including the Boy Scouts. He did so much good in Chester and the surrounding communities. I’m thrilled that we are able to honor his memory through this resolution,” Rep. Friess said.
Rep. Friess Cell Phones for Soldiers Program
State Representative David Friess’ district office is collecting used cell phones to be recycled, refurbished, and reused. All of the funds will help purchase care packages and the refurbished phones are distributed to our soldiers stationed overseas.
Please donate your old phones by bringing them to our district office at 143 South Main St. in Red Bud. Please feel free to call our office at 618-282-7284 if you have any questions about the program.
David Friess Statement on FY24 State Budget
State Representative David Friess issued the following statement on the FY24 Illinois state budget:
“Illinois families are still grappling with high inflation. Groceries, utilities, gas, and other living expenses have all gone up. That isn’t stopping Illinois Democrats from working to lock Illinois taxpayers into long-term spending commitments for new programs and pet projects. Not only that, but they’ve done it all at the last minute, choosing to unveil the budget after their own self-imposed deadline. These stalling tactics need to end so that Illinois can have a fair, sustainable, and responsible budget once again.”
Rep. Friess Appears on Newsradio WJPF to Provide a Spring Legislative Session Recap
Rep. Friess joined Newsradio WJPF last week to discuss the end of the spring legislative session. Full interview below:
Illinois State Trooper Cadet Classes
The Illinois State Police Merit Board is processing applications for a Traditional Cadet Class, and a Fast Track Class. Both classes are tentatively scheduled to begin in April 2024. Visit illinoistrooper.com to apply.