John M. Shimkus is serving his 12th year in Congress and represents the 19th District of Illinois.
John serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He has gained seniority and is now the ranking Republican on the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. He also sits on the Subcommittees on Telecommunications and the Internet, Energy and Air Quality, and Environment and Hazardous Materials.
John has been quite successful in getting legislation passed and signed into law. His efforts have focused on safety issues and alternative fuels, particularly important in his rural district.
<em>Legislation on emergency safety</em>
John sponsored legislation that was signed into law in 1999 by President Clinton designating 9-1-1 as the universal emergency number, including cellular phones.
In 2004 he was able to get E-911 legislation signed into law by President Bush. This law expanded federal grants for deployment of equipment able to locate 9-1-1 callers from wireless devices.
<em>Legislation on other safety issues</em>
In 2002 John sponsored legislation signed into law that increased federal oversight of automobile tires.
Also in 2002 John sponsored legislation signed into law that established the www.kids.us Internet domain that provides a safe place on the web for young children to surf and learn without potential predators looming online.
In 2003 John sponsored legislation signed into law providing for the placement of heart defibrillators in schools.
<em>Legislation on alternative fuels</em>
In 1998 John sponsored legislation signed into law that put biodiesel on the map. His bill changed our nation's alternative fuel policy from one of vehicle purchases to actual alternative fuel usage.
John has been tireless since then in fighting for increased use of biodiesel, made from soybeans and other products, and ethanol, made from corn and other products. His efforts on behalf of the renewable fuel standard were instrumental in its inclusion in the energy bill signed into law in 2005. He has subsequently introduced and fought for legislation encouraging coal to liquid fuel production.
John married Karen Muth in 1987. They met while he was assigned to his last active Army duty station in California. They have three sons: David, 15, Joshua, 13, and Daniel, 8. The family maintains their residence in Collinsville, Illinois, John's hometown. The Shimkus family are active members of both Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Collinsville and Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Collinsville.
<strong>Education and Work History</strong>
John received his Bachelor of Science degree in general engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point. He served over five years active duty in the Army following his graduation, then entered the Army Reserves. John retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel as of June 1, 2008, closing out 28 years of military service.
After leaving active duty John obtained his teaching certificate from Christ College Irvine, California (now Concordia University Irvine). He returned home to teach at Metro East Lutheran High School in Edwardsville, Illinois.
In 1989 John won his first election, becoming a Collinsville Township trustee. He quit his teaching job the following year and won a successful campaign for Madison County (Illinois) treasurer. While serving as county treasurer John began studies for his master's degree in business administration. He graduated with his MBA from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 1997.
In 1996 John won his first term as a United States Representative.
John maintains offices in Collinsville, Springfield, Harrisburg, Centralia, and Olney, Illinois, in addition to his office in Washington, D.C. John's Congressional staff assisted over 1,000 people in 2006 alone with their problems dealing with various government agencies.
In addition to serving on his committee and on various caucuses, John is a United States delegate to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He is the ranking Republican of this delegation and serves on the NATO-PA Defense and Security Committee. This is the inter-parliamentary organization of legislators from the member states of the North Atlantic Alliance.
<strong>Honors and Awards</strong>
John has been conferred with honorary doctor of laws degrees from Concordia University Irvine (2004) and Concordia University Nebraska (2005). In 2007 he was presented the Christus Vivit award by Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.
John has received hundreds of awards in appreciation of his work in the U.S. House. Some of the more special honors have been from the Southwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging, the Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities in Illinois, and various Boy Scout groups.