Eight for ’18 Agenda Underway
All of Sen. Schimpf’s Eight for ’18 legislation has been filed as of Friday, Feb. 16. The following is a summary of each bill. You can search for each item on ilga.gov.
- Resuming Promised Bond Payments to the City of Sparta; Appropriates $3.6M to fulfill the contracted payments to Sparta from Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) associated with the World Shooting and Recreational Complex; last year we failed to make the promised payments for the first time. (SB2430)
- Back Pay for State Employees; Back pay is a fairness issue as many state employees have already received this pay; the bill uses numbers supplied by the Office of Management and Budget. (SB2602)
- Southwest Illinois Connector; Establishes a Task Force to study the cost, feasibility, and environmental impact of a four lane highway from Carbondale to the Metro East; the resolution directs the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to provide information, but does not otherwise commit state resources. (SJR54)
- Military Teacher Licensing; Expands provisional educator licensing for active duty military members and their spouses to three years (the most common deployment length). (SB2658)
- Tax Credits for Hiring Graduates of the State University System; Companies would be eligible for a $500 tax credit (for up to five years) when they hire a graduate of the Illinois state university system; the program would be capped at $25 million. (SB3194)
- IDNR Strategic Planning Studies; Requires Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to complete studies of the mission and economic impact of the World Shooting and Recreational Complex and Pyramid State Park (the largest state park in Illinois). (SB3307)
- Pension Buyout; Requires the State Employees, State Universities, and Teachers Retirement Systems to offer certain inactive members the opportunity to receive an accelerated pension benefit payment equal to 70 percent of the net present value. (SB3073)
- Department Consolidation; Combines the Treasurer and Comptroller offices into a Comptroller of the Treasury; (SJRCA24); eliminates the office of the Lieutenant Governor. (SJRCA23)
Case of Legionnaires’ Disease discovered at Chester Mental Health Center
The patient at Chester Mental Health Center (CMHC) who was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ Disease on Feb. 14, is out of the hospital and in stable condition back at CMHC according to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS).
A spokesperson from the agency has been in regular contact with Sen. Schimpf and is continuing to provide updates on the case.
Staff have heightened their clinical vigilance while actively monitoring for additional cases. Out of an abundance of caution, IDHS has turned off the water to the unit where the patient lives and is continuing to supply bottled water for staff and residents.
Art Contest in the Works
Art students from high schools across Illinois Senate District 58 are encouraged to participate in Senator Paul Schimpf’s “Celebrate the State” High School Art Competition. The contest opened on Thursday, Feb. 15 and runs through April 24.
Participating students are encouraged to create an original piece of artwork featuring what Illinois pride and culture means to them. The contest is a way for students to recognize the significance of Illinois’ Bicentennial celebration and exhibit pride in the State of Illinois.
“Art competitions educate and inspire our youth,” said Schimpf. “The arts open the door to creativity and confidence and are proven to enhance students’ academic performance.”
Winning artwork will go on display in Sen. Schimpf’s capitol and district offices for the remainder of the year. Contact Karri Nichols via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page for a Day Program Gains Momentum
Two students from Waterloo High School visited the Illinois State Capitol this week as Sen. Schimpf’s Honorary Pages for a Day.
Ethan Kirchner (left), a junior, and Jordyn Kretchmer a sophomore were all ears on the Illinois Senate floor on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Then on Wednesday, Feb. 21, Sen. Schimpf was joined by Ronald Periman Jr. and Lauren Miley of Centralia High School.
The program gives high school students from the Dist. 58 the chance to learn about the legislative process and interact with lawmakers. The students experience first-hand what it is like to be a legislator on the Illinois Senate Floor. Sen. Schimpf was grateful they could all spend the day in Springfield.