District candidates voice their stances

District candidates voice their stances

By Matt Daray

Terri Bryant is one of two Republican candidates seeking the Republican nomination for the 115 District seat in the Illinois House of Representatives.

She has strong opinions on major areas of concern in Illinois including fracking, pension reform and budget issues.

Bryant, a 20 year veteran of the the Department of Corrections is a mother of two and lives in Murphysboro.


She said her interest in politics has been a life-long passion.

“I guess I’ve been interested in politics all my life,” she said. “In fact, the day Nixon resigned, I was in middle school. I was in the middle of a softball game …as soon as they said Nixon was going to resign, I collected up all my equipment … and ran home to watch the news.”

She said she became more interested in politics in 2007 when she opposed a proposal for safety tax. Bryant became involved with the Illinois Lincoln Excellence in Public Service Series to help her improve her public speaking. Bryant also served as the Illinois GOP Coordinator for Coalitions for three years, a position where she learned to bring opposing viewpoints to the table and discuss their differences.

“I felt like I was the most qualified person in this district to run,” she said. “I’ve been active in state-wide politics, I’ve been very engaged in what goes on in state governments with the Department of Corrections, I’ve seen firsthand all the waste that goes on in state government and I really believe that I’m the one who can bring small business as well as public service together at the same table.”

She said she thinks fracking regulations are very strong at this time and the regulations have provided a safe way to frack without hurting the environment.

“Safely done, fracking creates a hundred thousand jobs or more in Illinois,” she said. “So, it’s not just an issue of environmentalism, it’s an economic engine for the state. And fracking isn’t just about the fracking jobs and sinking the well. It’s about the collateral and peripheral jobs that come.”

Marijuana legalization


Bryant said she does not believe marijuana should be legalized for recreational use, but does support the drug for medical purposes.

Small business/ Workman Compensation

Bryant said workman’s compensation reform is not a popular topic, but dealing with fraud in the system could help benefit small businesses statewide.

“If we can get a handle on workman’s (compensation) fraud, then I think we can help to reduce workman’s comp rate, it will help draw some small businesses in and it’ll give a relief to a small business owner,” she said.


Bryant said the temporary tax increases on small business owners are hurting them and Bryant wants to find a way to remove the tax or let it die.

Illinois budget issues

Bryant said big changes must be made to the budget to turn around, but these changes will take time to implement.

People look at the budget and they say, ‘Well, that’s only a hundred thousand dollars. That’s only going to make a small dent,’ she said. When you add a hundred thousand here and a hundred thousand there, it starts to create a pretty good sized fix.

Pension Bill

Bryant said she opposed the recently passed pension reform bill.

She said she will continue to oppose the bill because the state has a contract with already-retired individuals and changes need to be made for those coming into the pension system.

Monetary Award Program grants

Bryant said she is a strong supporter of MAP grants because she is a former recipient of one, which helped her afford school. She said while she supports the grants, she knows cuts must be made.

“The money has to be found. We can’t just wake up one day and say, ‘Hey, let’s do MAP grants.’”

Affordable Care Act

She said the act has a negative effect on small businesses.

“When you’re talking about issues with small business, it’s an issue that’s killing and will kill small business,” she said.

Matt Daray can be reached at [email protected], or 534-3311 ext. 254.