Andrew Chesney


Andrew Chesney


Senator Chesney’s Week in Review

Senator Chesney Joins Master Farmer Lou Lamoreux at Award Ceremony
At the end of March, I joined Lanark farmer Lou Lamoreux and his wife Sue in Bloomington as Lou was recognized as a Master Farmer by Prairie Farmer Magazine. Of the thousands of farmers in this state, only four are chosen annually for this prestigious award. It was an honor to be with Lou and his wife as he was honored for exceptional agricultural production skills, commitment to family, and service to the community.

Lou, along with his wife, son, nephew, and brother, feed 2,250 head of fat cattle, run a 250-head cow herd, and farm 1,900 acres of corn, soybeans, pasture, wheat, and rye. Lou has served on the Illinois Corn and Illinois Beef Association boards and is a former member of the Carroll County Board. He is a respected leader in this region.

Lou is also the Chairman of my Agriculture Advisory Committee, and his leadership has been extremely valuable. When I launched the committee as a member of the House of Representatives in 2018, he helped recruit agriculture leaders from the five counties in my former House District. When I was elected to the Illinois Senate in 2022, he assisted with expanding the committee to enlist membership from the additional counties I now represent.

My Agriculture Advisory Committee held its first meeting of 2024 on March 26. The group, which includes over 30 farming and agriculture leaders from across the 45th Senate District, will meet 3-4 times annually to ensure that agriculture remains Illinois’ top business.


Senate Republicans Introduce Legislation to Reform Prisoner Review Board
In response to a controversial decision made by Governor JB Pritzker’s Prisoner Review Board (PRB) to release a convicted domestic abuser who allegedly murdered a young boy less than 24 hours later, the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus has introduced reforms aimed at prioritizing victims, depoliticizing the appointment process, and ensuring accountability for decisions made by the board.

Crosetti Brand, a dangerous felon with a history of domestic violence, is accused of stabbing his former girlfriend and killing her son as the boy attempted to defend his pregnant mother from the brutal attack. The incident has sparked outrage and prompted action from Republican leaders.

The proposed reforms unveiled by Republicans include:

  • Putting Victims First – Requires the Prisoner Review Board to immediately inform a victim of the early release of a prisoner, including following a hearing about whether or not to revoke parole. Mandates yearly training for board members on domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Putting Experience Ahead of Politics – Requires that appointees to the Prisoner Review Board must have at least 20 years of cumulative experience in the criminal justice system.
  • Increasing Transparency and Holding PRB Accountable – Requires the PRB to written notice publicly available within 24 hours of a decision to release in cases following a final revocation hearing when an individual has violated the conditions of their mandatory supervised release.


Republican lawmakers also introduced new legislation to increase penalties for violating orders of protection, aiming to provide greater protection for victims of domestic violence.

Crosetti Brand’s case is just the latest in a string of controversial decisions made by the PRB, which has released numerous convicted murderers and violent offenders under Governor Pritzker’s watch. In recent years, members of the Senate Republican Caucus have raised serious questions about the highly political process the Governor had used to appoint controversial members to the board.

I view this legislation as a first step in the larger process of reforming how the Prisoner Review Board operates.


Measles Outbreak Continues to Grow 

Migrant shelters in the City of Chicago are experiencing a sudden outbreak of the contagious childhood disease measles, raising concerns about what this means for the health and safety of the entire state.

Until recently, Illinois citizens had largely been unaffected by the potentially deadly disease due to advancements in immunization practices. However, the Illinois Department of Public Health has recently reported over 50 confirmed cases of measles in the Chicagoland area, with most being connected to Pilsen migrant shelter. The outbreak at the Pilsen migrant center began with eight cases in early March, including five children and has slowly spread to several suburbs.

Additionally, the Chicago Department of Public Health also confirmed on April 4 a small number of tuberculosis cases have been detected at migrant city shelters in the City.

While tuberculosis can be treated by antibiotics, measles cannot, with most cases affecting children younger than the age of four.

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