Senator Schimpf unveils 2019 legislative priorities
State Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) unveiled his legislative goals and priorities for 2019, with a strong focus on state government reforms and advocacy for the citizens of the 58th Legislative District.
“I believe these ideas can attract bipartisan support and I look forward to making the case for them to my fellow General Assembly members,” said Senator Schimpf. “These certainly won’t be the only bills I file this spring, but they represent a strong starting point for restoring trust in government, encouraging regional economic growth, and protecting the people of Southern Illinois.”
Senator Schimpf has a number of reform proposals that he believes would help make Illinois government more effective and accountable. These include:
· Modifying Senate rules so that each Senator has a minimum of 5 bills that are guaranteed a committee hearing, ensuring that critical legislative proposals receive a vote.
· Amending the Illinois Constitution to create a single 6-year term for governors, allowing the chief executive time to work while reducing the influence of politics and the next election.
· Eliminating the possibility of a budget impasse by automatically freezing existing discretionary spending levels if a new budget is not passed by May 31.
· An additional constitutional amendment that would require a 72 hour cooling-off period between when budget bills move from the 2nd to 3rd reading. This would eliminate the all-too-common practice of filing budget bills and then voting on them before lawmakers have had a chance to review them.
“I believe these are common-sense, bipartisan changes that would improve how state government operates,” said Senator Schimpf. “The last two in particular would provide a major increase in transparency for the budget-making process.”
Schimpf also plans to file several bills that are focused on issues affecting the people of the 58th Senate District, including:
· Legislation to allow the state of Illinois to recognize the licenses of realtors and nurses who are spouses of active-duty military members stationed in Illinois, by creating a reciprocity process to recognize their existing licenses.
· Legislation expanding the ability of the Kaskaskia Port District, an important economic engine in southwestern Illinois, to compete for grants.
· Legislation increasing protections for first responders and corrections officers, by reinstating the death penalty as an option for inmates who kill corrections officers and including first responders as a protected class under Illinois Hate Crimes laws.
· Legislation extending the time deadlines for the Southwest Illinois Connector Task Force.
Upcoming Town Hall in Carbondale
Do you have questions about these legislative priorities, or on other issues in state government? Senator Schimpf will be hosting a Town Hall forum in Carbondale on Saturday, February 2nd, from 9am to 11am, at 217 E. Main Street in Carbondale. The event is free and Senator Schimpf encourages you to invite your friends.
Pritzker assumes office
A new Administration took control of the Governor’s office this week with recently-elected Democrat Governor taking the Oath of Office on Jan. 14 and beginning his term in public office.
Senate Republicans remain hopeful as the new Administration transitions into power, emphasizing their willingness to work with Gov. Pritzker to address key issues facing the taxpayers and businesses of Illinois.
As Gov. Pritzker assumes office and prepares to deliver his first-ever budget address before the General Assembly on Feb. 20, Senate Republicans remain cautiously optimistic that compromise and bipartisanship will be encouraged under the leadership of a Democrat-controlled General Assembly. However, members of the super-minority in the Senate underscore the need for Illinois to embrace reforms, encourage economic prosperity and provide for a balanced spending plan that does not add to the burdens placed on the shoulders of Illinois’ residents.
Lawmakers will return to the State House on Jan. 29 to resume spring session.
With the recent severe winter weather and the potential for more snow this weekend, Senate Republicans are sharing some helpful tips from the American Red Cross on winter storm safety.
One helpful winter safety tip is to prepare for a power outage. The American Red Cross recommends assembling an essential supplies kit that includes:
· Portable, battery-powered radio
· At least one gallon of water per person
· Small supply of nonperishable food
· First aid kit
The Red Cross also recommends not driving unless absolutely necessary. However, if you do have to drive, ensure that your vehicle is winterized and has a full tank of gas.
More helpful tips on how to prepare for the cold weather can be found at http://www.redcrossillinois.org/winter-safety.