During the week Senator Schimpf visited Spero Family Services in Mt. Vernon to discuss the Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program. NFP is a community health program for first-time mothers and their children living in poverty.
U.S. Supreme Court says courts don’t have role in policing partisan gerrymandering
On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts have no role in deciding whether legislative and Congressional maps are drawn for the benefit of a certain political party. Senator Schimpf stated that this is exactly why the Illinois General Assembly needs to take action on the bipartisan SJRCA4, which would allow the voters of Illinois to decide whether that the state should move to a non-partisan system for drawing legislative maps.
“We have a chance to let the people have the final say on fixing our broken redistricting system,” said Senator Schimpf. “We owe it to them to pass the legislation and put the question on the ballot.”
Illinois’ current system of drawing districts gives the party in power ultimate authority to redraw maps to its benefit. Reforming the way maps are drawn has bipartisan support in Illinois, which is why Senate Republicans are urging the Governor to follow through with his pledge to support fair maps, taking the power away from politicians and putting it in the hands of the people.
You can voice your support for fair maps by signing my petition here: http://senatorschimpf.com/
Recreational cannabis legal in Illinois beginning Jan. 1
Illinois is now the 11th state to legalize the recreational use and sale of cannabis. The new law, which was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 25, sets in place regulations for businesses, possession limits for consumers, tax rates, and a process for expungement of records.
Adults 21 years and older can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis or five grams of concentrate. Those with medical cannabis cards can grow up to five plants for personal use.
Businesses must be properly licensed and follow strict regulations to sell cannabis products; however, local governments have the option to opt out of allowing dispensaries in their jurisdiction.
The sale of cannabis is subject to an excise tax at both the wholesale and consumer level. Municipalities and counties can also impose taxes. However, medical marijuana is exempt from all taxes.
The law also puts a process in place for those with possession offenses or manufacture/deliver offenses of 30 grams or less to be expunged by the Governor. Those convicted of crimes dealing with 30 grams or more must apply to the Prisoner Review Board for possible expungement.
Adults can begin buying and using cannabis legally starting Jan. 1, 2020.
Several new laws taking effect July 1
Not only will a new fiscal year begin on July 1, but several new laws will also take effect starting Monday. From increasing the age to purchase tobacco products to changing what is considered a full day of school, these new laws cover a wide range of topics.
Perhaps the most high-profile of these new laws to take effect on July 1 is the new law that increases the age to purchase tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or alternative nicotine products from 18 to 21. Furthermore, it eliminates penalties for underage possession; however, retailers will still be fined for selling restricted products to underage customers. A number of communities in Illinois already have Tobacco 21 rules, but beginning July 1, this will be the statewide standard.
New Laws Taking Effect July 1
Tobacco 21 (HB 345/PA 101-0002): Raises the legal age to purchase tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or alternative nicotine products to 21.
Texting While Driving Penalties (HB 4846/PA 100-0858): States that first-time incidences of driving while operating a handheld mobile device are considered a “moving violation,” and the operator using a hand-held device could face a $75 fine. Previous law considered first-time offenses as a “non-moving violation.”
State Hospital Residents ID (SB 2903/PA 100-0717): Requires the Secretary of State to issue a standard Illinois ID card to a person upon conditional release or absolute discharge from the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Chronic Absence Data Collection (HB 5771/PA 100-0819): Requires any preschool that receives funding via the Preschool for All program to collect and review its chronic absence data and determine what systems of support and resources are needed to positively engage chronically absent students and their families to encourage the habit of daily attendance and promote success.
School Report Card Attendance (SB 1532/PA 100-0448): Provides that the State Report Card for schools must contain data on average daily attendance.
Instructional Day Definition (SB 28/PA 101-0012): Defines a school instructional day as a minimum of five clock hours of seat time. Provides that the following participation in dual credit enrollment, in a supervised career development experience, in a youth apprenticeship or in a blended learning program will be counted towards the calculation of clock hours of school work per day. Also, expands the e-learning pilot program to all school districts and provides that the regional offices of education or intermediate service centers have the responsibility to verify e-learning programs prior to their use in a school district.
Diversion from Institutionalization Homes Program (SB 2424/PA 100-0924): Requires the Illinois Department of Human Services to create the Diversion from Facility Based Care Program consisting of at least six homes in various locations to serve individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are at risk of institutionalization.
Government Entity Billing (SB 544/PA 100-0994): Amends the Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act to allow for billing of certain government entities by circuit clerk for civil filing fees and to clarify civil case debt collection fees.
Illinois Liquor Control Commission Reorganization (SB 3022/PA 100-1050): Removes the Illinois Liquor Control Commission from its reorganization under the Illinois Department of Revenue.
Meat Products for Personal Use (SB 1364/PA 100-1185): Expands the options a Type I meat processing establishment may pursue to process or slaughter meat for its own personal use.
Criminal Fines (Senate Bill 1328/PA 100-1161): Increases the minimum felony fine from $25 to $75.