Proudly serving on the new Truth in Public Safety Working Group
The House Republicans have formed a series of “working groups” this spring to craft and propose ideas to tackle many of our state’s most pressing issues. I’m pleased to let you know that I will be working on the Truth in Public Safety Working Group to make our neighborhoods safe again, protect law-abiding citizens, and respect law enforcement.
The other House Republican working groups include:
- Sustaining & Protecting At-Risk Kids: to protect children in the state’s care from abuse and neglect
- Supporting Women and Families: to make Illinois a place where families can move and grow for generations
- Reigniting Illinois’ Strong Economy: to improve Illinois’ business climate, while still protecting workers and using our strengths – geography, workforce, and resources – to bring job creators and opportunity home
- Literacy Improves Future Endeavors: to address learning loss, improve reading literacy, and restore Illinois students to a place where they are competitive in today’s world
My first bills have been introduced
As I have said previously, protecting families’ right to defend themselves is a priority. To that end, I have introduced legislation I hope to pass this spring to do just that. House Bill 2922 would eliminate Firearm Owners ID cards in Illinois. In addition, I am sponsoring a potential amendment to the Illinois Constitution (HJRCA 0009) that would ensure Illinois gun owners not only have the right to own firearms, but to carry them as well. Every spring, legislators on the other side of the aisle push a barrage of bills that chip away at our Constitutional 2nd Amendment rights, and our right to protect ourselves and our families. It’s no surprise that crime has been on the rise in Illinois, and It’s past time to reverse course and to protect law abiding gun owners so they can help protect their families.
This spring I am also proposing new legislation to help protect seniors and other vulnerable members of our communities. House Bill 2921 would establish a new statewide 5-year pilot program that will provide grants to counties and municipalities interested in maintaining a local recovery program for individuals who wander due to medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Autism and others. Under the program, those who wander can receive a bracelet that emits a unique radio signal that would be identified and tracked by search teams.
I have also filed legislation targeted at preventing voter fraud in Illinois elections. House Bill 2928 would require voters to present an acceptable photo ID or a voter identification card to cast an in-person ballot. For mail-in ballots, new guidelines would be put in place for comparing the signature on the ballot with the voter’s signature on file. Additional legislation (HB 2929) would put new procedures in place for ensuring deceased voters are routinely removed from the voter rolls. These are simple, common-sense steps we need to take to ensure our elections are secure and honest.
You can view a complete list of legislation I am sponsoring here.
The Illinois Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case against the SAFE-T Act on March 14.
Moody’s Analytics releases Year 2023 economic report with downbeat aspects
The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA) contracts with economic database firm Moody’s Analytics to survey current numbers and trends generated by the Illinois economy as a whole. These trend lines can be significant in developing a picture of the future economic prospects of the State of Illinois.
An economic crash took place in Illinois in March 2020, due in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic and private-sector shutdown orders. This crash was followed by a relatively powerful economic recovery. However, Moody’s analysts are starting to see storm clouds on the horizon, which they want the General Assembly to look at. One of the data sets used by Moody’s is a regular, repeated household survey of employment to determine how many Illinoisans are working full-time and part-time. Moody’s sees the results of this survey as “downbeat,” noting that fewer Illinois residents are getting jobs than are residents of other states.
These job numbers signal that future Illinois income tax payments and sales tax receipts could be disappointing, with lower-than-expected numbers of Illinoisans collecting paychecks and making purchases.
Senior Citizens Tax Deferral Program – deadline approaching
If you are a senior homeowner, you may be eligible for the Senior Citizens Real Estate Tax Deferral Program, which allows qualified seniors to defer all or part of their property taxes and special assessment payments on their principal residences. Seniors needing assistance paying their property taxes have until March 1, 2023 to apply for the program.
The program, which works like a loan, allows qualified seniors to defer a maximum of $7,500 per tax year (increased from $5,000 last year). Deferred amounts are borrowed from the state, which pays the tax bill to the County Collector’s Office. The program was also expanded this year to increase the household income threshold qualification from $55,000 to $65,000.
To apply for the program, contact your local County Collector’s Office to receive an application.
National FFA Week
I hope our local FFA chapters had a great National FFA Week this week. Cheers to all of the young leaders participating in FFA programs here and across the nation! #NationalFFAWeek
What’s the “coolest thing made in Illinois”? The initial round of voting is now open in the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s fourth annual “Makers Madness” contest.
Around the district
Had a wonderful time at the Ole Farmers Breakfast at the Eureka United Methodist Church. I really appreciate the conversation and the feedback on what’s happening in Springfield.
Congratulations to the Toluca-Rutland Fire Protection District on their new LUCAS device-an automated, battery powered CPR device. This can be a true life saver!