Rauner appoints Tim Butler as Bicentennial Commission co-chair

Rauner appoints Tim Butler as Bicentennial Commission co-chair

Rauner appoints Tim Butler as Bicentennial Commission co-chair

Gov. Bruce Rauner announced he has appointed Illinois Rep. Tim Butler to serve as co-chair of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. Butler joins fellow co-chairs Gloria Castillo and Lori Healey.

“I would like to thank Gov. Rauner for this tremendous honor,” said Butler, R-Springfield. “For me, the Illinois Bicentennial is personal. I’m proud that my family’s roots extend to the very beginning of our state and I look forward to continuing the Bicentennial Commission’s work as we celebrate all that is Born, Built, and Grown in Illinois throughout 2018.”

Butler symbolizes the Bicentennial theme. A Peoria native, he is the great, great, great-great-grandson of Lewis Barker, who was elected in 1818 as the state senator from Pope County and who served during the first four Illinois general assemblies.

Butler is currently serving his second term and represents the same district Abraham Lincoln represented during his time in the Illinois House of Representatives.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

“Tim wears his pride for his home state on his sleeve,” commented Stuart Layne, executive director of the Illinois Bicentennial Office. “He has been an incredible asset to the Bicentennial Commission, and he has enthusiastically worked to create a successful Bicentennial celebration.”

Butler also has sponsored several Bicentennial-related bills, including adding Dec. 3 to the Illinois Commemorative Dates Act to ensure that Illinois Statehood Day is celebrated annually across the state.

“Tim has been an outstanding member of the commission, bringing a terrific perspective and point of view,” said Lori T. Healey, CEO of the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority and co-chairwoman of the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. “As we enter the final months of the celebration, we welcome his increased leadership and involvement as co-chair.”

Butler fills the commission spot vacated by Randy Dunn.


On Dec. 3, 1818, Illinois became the 21st state in the union. The Illinois Bicentennial is a yearlong celebration of what has been BORN, BUILT & GROWN in the state and a reminder of why we are #IllinoisProud. Citizens are encouraged to participat

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

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His columns are archived here. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

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