POMONA – Citing the need for meaningful tax, pension, ethics and spending reforms, State Representative Paul Jacobs Monday formally declared his candidacy for State Representative in the newly drawn 118th District.
Paul Jacobs is presently the State Representative for the 115th District. The redistricting has added most of the population of Williamson County to his district and renumbered it the 118th. The 118th District also includes Alexander and Pulaski counties, and he continues to represent much of Jackson County and all of Union County.
Four of his optometric offices are located within the new 118th District. Jacobs has had businesses in Williamson County for almost 40 years, and he has practiced in Union County for 37 years and in Jackson County for 42 years.
He started one of the first wineries in the state 26 years ago. Von Jakob Vineyard in the heart of the orchard industry in Alto Pass and Pomona. It quickly turned into a major regional tourist attraction, with visitors from literally all over the world.
Jacobs’ business background is ideal to represent the people of the 115th and the new 118th District. He has produced hundreds of jobs and trained workers who are employed in many Southern Illinois businesses.
“With the latest census data for 2021 reflecting another 115,000 people leaving the state last year because they have lost confidence in the direction the state is going, we must rebuild that confidence by fighting for lower taxes on working families and fewer regulations on our small businesses,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs noted there are many policy battles taking place in Springfield, but he said he is pleased he has been able to work with Democrats to craft some good legislation last spring. One of his bills, HB 682, was not brought out of committee for a floor vote, but a similar bill was negotiated in the Senate to reduce the small trailer fees from $118 to $36. He co-sponsored it in the House. He also co-sponsored bills that dealt with dental telehealth, optometry telehealth and medical telehealth. These all were passed in a bipartisan manner. In addition, he co-sponsored the mid-wife practice act that has been 20 years in the making.
“Healthcare is evolving as a result of the pandemic, and out of necessity, services such as telemedicine are now widely available,” Jacobs said. “We need to make sure we are doing our due diligence to allow these changes to take place and to ensure the safety of patients. I am proud I was able to work with the other side of the aisle to pass good bills for Illinois patients.”
One of Rep. Jacobs’ priorities next spring will be enacting legislation to provide grant money for the Willing Partners Canine Education, INC. in Benton, which is a not-for-profit organization that trains service dogs to assist veterans in their PTSD recovery.
“This is another bipartisan effort to provide some resources to help a local organization continue to serve our veterans,” Jacobs said. “We did not get this legislation through this year, but I hope we can get this done next spring.”
Jacobs is pro-life and is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and of funding our police for our safety and he opposes vaccine mandates at the federal state and local level.
“As an optometrist, I work with patients all of the time to discuss treatment options that work best for them and their situation because no two people are alike,” Jacobs said. “Respecting the rights of patients is a big deal to me, and I will stand up for their right to make their own healthcare decisions.”