A small group gathered Tuesday evening at the Pontiac City Council Chambers for a Town Hall meeting led by Congressman Timothy Johnson, R-Urbana.
Johnson addressed the group on subjects including the economy and the Farm Bill.
“The amount of money we’re spending and what I think are misplaced priorities are not serving us well,” Johnson said.
He touched on the Farm Bill, which is currently working its way through the Senate.
“We passed the bill in the House Agriculture Committee. I’m a major sub-committee chair in the Ag Committee. We’re still waiting action in the full House and hopefully we are able to dovetail that with the Senate to get a bill. I feel that it’s important that we have a farm bill so we can establish ag policy for the next five years in the U.S. Generally, and certainly in light of this bad drought we had this year, crop insurance provisions of the bill are extremely important,” Johnson said.
He added that other important parts of the bill include commodities, nutrition, biotechnology, research and trade.
“It’s an extremely important bill and very important for the future of the country,” he stated. “Hopefully we’ll be able to enact a bill so producers and beneficiaries under the bill will know what to expect for the next five years.”
Johnson will remain busy until his term expires at the beginning of January.
“We’ll just continue to have these Town Hall meetings. We also have several ag meetings that are scheduled in the course of the next few weeks,” he said. “Until your term is done, I think you have an obligation to make sure that you’re doing your job and that’s what I’m doing.”
He also had kind words for all of the area legislators who are in office now and will continue after January.
“I think Livingston County has been extremely well served in the past with Tom Ewing and I hope I’ve done a credible job and I have total confidence that Adam Kinzinger (R-Joliet) will be a superb congressman for this area. I think his integrity, hard work, intelligence and commitment to the issues are second to none,” he said, adding that he feels the same way about Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, who is a congressman for the 18th Congressional District.
Johnson said that he has kept interest in local happenings, especially the threat of the shuttering of Dwight Correctional Center, amongst other Department of Corrections facilities.
“I’m very opposed to the closing of Dwight Correctional Center and, frankly, what I think are impaired pensions on a state level,” he said. “I feel very strongly on those issues, although I don’t get a vote on them.”
He then praised the area state representatives.
“You will soon have Jason Barickman (R-Champaign), who is a good friend of mine. You’ve been well served by Shane Cultra (R-Onarga) and Dan Brady (R-Bloomington) as well,” he said.
Johnson will retire at the end of his term in January and has no plans on staying in politics. He is planning on teaching a Political Science course in the spring at Illinois State University. He says he has high regard for the school and its programs and hopes to serve the program well.