Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0247
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Full Text of HR0247  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives are saddened to learn of the death of former
4State Representative Ann Simonsen Hughes, a resident of
5Woodstock since 1967, who passed away on March 3, 2021; and
6    WHEREAS, Ann Hughes's life made her a symbol of what
7McHenry County was and what it would become; in her first years
8in our state, she worked with the people of Illinois who grow
9things by serving as secretary and treasurer of the Hughes
10family's hybrid seed company; and
11    WHEREAS, As a taxpayer, Ann Hughes become interested in
12the work and challenges of the taxing bodies of Woodstock; she
13ran for and won election to the Woodstock District 200 School
14Board and the McHenry County Board; and
15    WHEREAS, Ann Hughes was a woman educated in science; she
16graduated from Wells College with a degree in biology in 1965;
17as time passed, she became more and more aware of what a highly
18educated and increasingly attractive place to live that
19McHenry County was becoming; and
20    WHEREAS, As McHenry County grew as a friendly place for
21professionals to live, Ann Hughes, with executive business



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1experience, won election to be chairperson on the McHenry
2County Board; and
3    WHEREAS, McHenry County grew fast in the 1970s and 1980s;
4the county almost doubled in population and earned an
5additional seat in the Illinois House of Representatives in
6the redistricting after the 1990 census; and
7    WHEREAS, Continuing her life as a community leader, Ann
8Hughes was nominated on March 17, 1992 to represent the
9newly-redrawn Sixty-Third Representative District in the
10Illinois House as a member of the Republican Party; on
11November 3, 1992, she was elected to serve her first term by a
12landslide margin of almost 12,000 votes; and
13    WHEREAS, Ann Hughes established herself as an authority on
14McHenry County interests and issues; in her first year in the
15Illinois House, aware of the importance of safe boating to
16Eastern McHenry County, she was the chief House sponsor of SB
17734; signed into law as Public Act 88-175, the law added
18cannabis and other drugs to the Boating Under the Influence
19Law; and
20    WHEREAS, Aware of the vanishing green and open spaces of
21McHenry County, Ann Hughes, in her second year of office, was
22the chief House sponsor of SB 1191; signed into law as Public



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1Act 88-657, the law granted substantial property tax benefits
2to properties dedicated as natural areas and open space; this
3law helped generate what has become a network of conservation
4easements throughout Illinois, especially, but not limited to,
5the suburbs of Chicago; and
6    WHEREAS, After the election of November 8, 1994, Ann
7Hughes joined her fellow House Republicans as the majority
8party in the Illinois House of Representatives within the
9Eighty-Ninth General Assembly; she quickly established her
10determination to use her majority status to seek agreement and
11consensus, including in some cases bipartisan consensus, on a
12wide variety of issues; and
13    WHEREAS, Aware of the issue within McHenry County
14involving townships and the government of the county,
15Representative Ann Hughes sought a consensus outcome and
16successfully sponsored HB 438 (Public Act 89-365) to allow
17dissolution of all of the townships in a county if a concurrent
18supermajority of a majority of the population in the county,
19comprising of majorities of the votes in at least
20three-fourths of the townships, seek the dissolution of the
21township form of government in that county; and
22    WHEREAS, On the east side of the Fox River in Fox River
23Grove, Algonquin Road approaches, and crosses, the main line



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1of the former Chicago and North Western Railroad; on the
2morning of October 25, 1995, a southbound passenger train
3running on what is now the Metra Northwest line collided at
4this crossing with a school bus; seven high school students
5were killed in the tragic accident, and a memorial stands at
6the site to this day; and
7    WHEREAS, Representative Ann Hughes and the rest of the
8Illinois General Assembly responded to the disaster; she
9chaired and co-chaired a series of hearings to gather
10information on the technical facts of the complex intersection
11where the accident occurred and on interactions between
12vehicles and rail crossings in general; and
13    WHEREAS, Public Act 89-658, initiated by Representative
14Ann Hughes as HB 3436, was among her chief achievements as a
15legislator; this measure enacted a series of rail crossing
16safety enforcement measures that remain in place as of 2021,
17including the requirement that buses and their drivers always
18stop, look, and listen before crossing a railroad line; and
19    WHEREAS, The now-familiar signs on railroad crossings,
20warning vehicles and pedestrians of a fine if they trespass on
21a crossing when the crossing signal flashes a warning, can be
22traced back to Representative Ann Hughes's Public Act 89-658,
23which was signed into law on August 14, 1996; and



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1    WHEREAS, After winning election to a third term on
2November 5, 1996, with her now-customary landslide majority of
3more than 17,000 votes, Ann Hughes retired from office in June
41997 to resume life with her family; and
5    WHEREAS, Ann Hughes and her husband, Earl Hughes, Jr., had
6three sons, David, Donald, and James Hughes; as an active
7family and community leader, by the time of her death, she had
8eight grandchildren, Andrew, Megan, Samuel, Grant, Jack,
9Madelyn, Molly, and Jeffrey; she was also close to her nephew,
10Richard Freytag; therefore, be it
13we mourn the loss of former State Representative Ann Simonsen
14Hughes of the 88th, 89th, and 90th General Assemblies; and be
15it further
16    RESOLVED, That we observe the legacy of Ann Hughes's
17commitment to transportation safety, environmental protection,
18and frugal local governments; and be it further
19    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
20presented to the family of Ann Hughes as an expression of our
21deepest sympathy.