Stacking the Election Deck, Fallen Officers Memorial, Grants Available, and More

Today was another deadline day in the House as we focused on considering and amending bills advanced to us by the Senate.  The deadline for advancing bills through committee has been extended by a week for 30 bills. Our tentative adjournment is just a few weeks away on May 24th.

Stacking the Election Deck

The Governor signed Democrats’ overtly partisan elections bill into law this morning, not even two full days after it was filed in the House. Just yesterday the Governor said at a press conference that he hadn’t yet seen the details of the bill.

Aside from being passed with no transparency or time for public input, this law changes the election process mid-cycle and adds three non-binding (meaning Democrats don’t have to act on the results) referendum questions to the ballot, which is the maximum number allowed for statewide initiatives, just to block any potential citizen-driven referendum questions.  

By the way, this was originally a bill to protect child welfare that the majority party in the House gutted at the last minute and replaced with their election language. Read more below.

Honoring Fallen Heroes at the Capitol

Thursday was a bittersweet day at the Capitol. I was proud to stand with my law enforcement brothers and sisters from across the state to remember the heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving their communities. At the Illinois Peace Officer Memorial Ceremony this morning we came together to honor the Illinois officers who lost their lives in 2023 and we prayed for their families and loved ones. We will never forget their bravery, service, and sacrifice. And we will never stop hoping for the year we will have no new names to add to the memorial.

Community College Collaboration

Also this week, the Illinois Community College Collaborative was joined by ICCTA, ICCB, community college advocates, Presidents, and Trustees, to meet with state lawmakers and announce the launch of its new unified brand. The Community College of Illinois “For Every Student, For Every Community” campaign will focus on our 48 Illinois Community Colleges and the vital educational benefits they provide.

Illinois Community College Trustees Association Heartland Community College The Community Colleges of Illinois Illinois Valley Community College Illinois Community College Board

Grants are Available!

There are a variety of grant opportunities available this month through The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. 

DNR is hosting an informational zoom on the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grant (OSLAD) on Wednesday May 15th at 11:00a CST.

Park districts and units of local government are invited to attend and learn about the application process for OSLAD, how the grant works, and more! Here is the link for the event: OSLAD Grant Submission Webinar for Potential Applicants.

DCEO has a variety of grant opportunities open to our communities. Information on each is available on their website

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Happy Cinco de Mayo on Sunday! This holiday celebrates Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, and is a great day to celebrate the heritage, culture, and history of Mexico!