Senate Budget Committees Continue to Meet
As the General Assembly enters the home stretch to the scheduled session adjournment date of May 31, the Senate appropriations committees continue to meet to discuss budget requests from the state’s agencies, boards, and commissions. Lawmakers will use this information as they prepare to enter into budget negotiations in earnest over the coming weeks.
This week, the Senate Appropriations II Committee heard testimony from the University of Illinois, as well as some of the state’s largest agencies—including the Departments of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Natural Resources, and Agriculture.
Legislation Caps State Spending, Links Spending to Economic Growth
Nearly 20 years of annual overspending exacerbated by the lack of job-creating, economic-stimulating reforms have contributed to a fiscal crisis that is stymying employment opportunities and driving residents out of Illinois. In response, a measure has been introduced that would place a cap on state spending, while also linking state spending growth to economic growth.
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 21 would limit the growth of government, ensuring state spending can only increase if the Illinois economy is robust enough to sustain the spending increase. Supports say the reform will not only have a positive impact on Illinois taxpayers, it will attract job creators, grow the state’s flagging population and boost local and state economies.
Eight for ’18 Update
When the Illinois Senate returns to session next week, it will be taking up some items of Sen. Schimpf’s Eight for ‘18 Agenda.
Those items include:
- Senate Bill 3307 – Strategic Planning Studies through IDNR – Provides that each strategic plan shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations to improve the functions of the World Shooting and Recreational Complex and Pyramid State Park going forward, including fiscal recommendations and an evaluation of the intergovernmental and private agreements in place. Provides that the first strategic plan required for each location shall be completed on or before December 31, 2020. Provides that every 10 years thereafter, the Department shall complete strategic plans for both the World Shooting and Recreational Complex and Pyramid State Park.
- Senate Bill 2658 – Education Teacher Licenses – Provides that a Professional Educator License with Stipulations with a provisional educator endorsement obtained by a service member or a spouse of a service member is valid until June 30, immediately following three (rather than two) years of the license being issued.
The pension buyout bill as well as the AFSCME back pay bill have been assigned to a committee. The Senate Joint Resolution (SJR 54) to form a task force to study the possibility of the Southwest Illinois Connector project now has 17 co-sponsors.
Schimpf to Sign On to Senior Fraud Protection
Sen. Schimpf plans to sign onto a bill that is set to better protect seniors from consumer fraud.
Scam and fraudulent schemes targeting older Americans are becoming increasingly prevalent – this is why he is supporting legislation to help protect our populations’ most vulnerable. If you review Senate Bill 1409, you will see it targets the financial abuse of our senior community and those with disabilities.
If signed into law, this measure would prevent an individual convicted of financial abuse of anyone over the age of 60, from hiding their criminal history. The bill also addresses a limitation in current law that would make it difficult, if not impossible, to prosecute a financial crime against a senior citizen if the suspect lives in a different county than their victim. This legislation enjoyed bipartisan support and passed the Senate unanimously. It is currently pending consideration in the Illinois House of Representatives.
If you think you may be the victim of consumer fraud, or you would like more information about current scams targeting the senior community, please call the Attorney General’s Senior Citizen Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-243-5377 or 1-800-964-3013 (TTY).
Schimpf Teleforum in the Works
Are you looking to get more engaged with the issues that impact southern Illinois? Now is your chance! On Wednesday, April 11, Sen. Schimpf will hold a Teleforum at 6:40 p.m. All you need to do is call from a reliable landline or cell phone and listen in.
- To join the call, dial 877-229-8493
- When prompted, enter the code: 116447
- If you want to join the queue to ask a question, PRESS STAR THREE (✱ 3)
The Teleforum is subject to the schedule of the Illinois Senate. Be sure to check senatorschimpf.com for event updates or cancellation information. All questions are welcome and he will be waiting to hear from you!
Illinois State Police to Begin Providing Prescription Drug Collection Receptacles
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is teaming up with the Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation to help decrease prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.
Five ISP District headquarters across the state will house receptacles for people to drop off their unused and unwanted prescription medications. Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation provided the receptacles for initiative.
Receptacles will be placed at their District headquarters in Des Plaines, Elgin, Joliet, Collinsville, and LaSalle.
“These receptacles will help us keep drugs out of the wrong hands and will reduce the odds for accidental overdoses and future drug dependency,” said Sen. Schimpf. “Prescription drug abuse is a real issue and unfortunately, it’s all too often the gateway to opioid drug addiction.”
People will be able to drop over-the-counter and prescription medications into the receptacles, including controlled substances, pet medications, drug samples, vitamins, liquids and creams. For safety reasons, needles, thermometers, IV Bags, bloody waste and hydrogen peroxide cannot be accepted and should not be deposited into the receptacles.
The initiative is another step in the state’s effort to reduce opioid-related deaths in Illinois by 33-percent in three years.
If you or someone you know is struggling with opioid use disorder, call Illinois’ Opioid Helpline at 1-833-2FINDHELP.
Around the District
Anna-Jonesboro High School
Students at Anna-Jonesboro High School got a one-of-a-kind visit this week. On Tuesday, April 4, Sen. Schimpf stopped by the school to give a brief lesson in Illinois State Government. Sen. Schimpf focused on the Illinois Legislative process and what measures can be undertaken to increase student safety in the event of an active shooter.
Rebound High School
Sen. Schimpf joined Governor Bruce Rauner, State Sen. Dale Fowler (R-59), and others at Rebound High School in Carbondale on Friday, April 6. The lawmakers were present for an event to showcase local community volunteer efforts on the subject of Autism.
The mission of the school is to create a non-judgmental, flexible, school which enhances individual self-worth, prepares students for the work-world and continuing education, and develops responsible citizens.