Senator Schimpf's constituents will have multiple opportunities to meet with him outside of Springfield in the coming months. Last Saturday, Senator Schimpf had the first of his "Coffee & Conversation" meetings in Bluford. The event was a tremendous success, attended by over thirty residents of Jefferson County. “These events are a great way to get feedback on important issues from the people I serve, which helps make me a better Senator,” said Senator Schimpf. The next "Coffee & Conversation" meeting will take place on Saturday, July 20th at the Steeleville Senior Center, followed by a session on July 27th in Columbia, Illinois. Constituents will also have the opportunity to visit with Senator Schimpf at one of his three upcoming senior fairs in the district. Senior fairs will take place on July 24th in Carbondale, July 30th in Red Bud, and August 14th in Mt. Vernon. Lastly, constituents can also visit with Senator Schimpf at one of his offices in Waterloo, Mt. Vernon, Sparta, or Murphysboro. You can schedule an appointment by calling (618) 684-1100.
Exemption for Sparta World Shooting Complex signed into law
Events at the Sparta World Shooting and Recreation Complex will have new protections to allow them to continue to attract large events and vendors, due to legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Paul Schimpf (R-Waterloo) that was signed into law on July 12th.
“This is the result of Southern Illinois leaders coming together and working to protect an important local economic driver from over-burdensome state rules,” said Schimpf. “This new law will help protect the future of the Sparta complex by ensuring that it will be able to continue to draw world-class events.”
Senate Bill 1139 provides specific exemptions for businesses and firearms sales at WSRC events that would have been severely effected, limited, or outright banned by the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.
Without the exemptions, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act would have increased costs and administrative burdens for many of the vendors that typically set up during events at the World Shooting Complex in Sparta. These new regulations could have led to national shooting events choosing a different venue. Senator Schimpf voted against the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.
In addition, the legislation also updates concealed carry regulations and allows current and retired police officers to carry while hunting.
“I would like to thank Governor Pritzker for recognizing the importance of the WSRC to the area and signing this legislation into law,” said Schimpf.
Let the voters decide
Senate Republicans are renewing their push to passing a state Constitutional Amendment that will allow voters to decide who gets to draw legislative maps.
The recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court leaving redistricting to state legislatures shows that now is the time for the Illinois General Assembly to vote on Senate Joint Resolution-Constitutional Amendment 4 (SJRCA 4).
This bipartisan measure, which has 37 sponsors (enough to pass the measure), would give the people of Illinois the opportunity to amend our Illinois Constitution and create a new, non-partisan system for drawing maps.
SJRCA 4 would place the question of fair maps on the ballot for the next statewide election and if approved would establish an independent redistricting commission, increase transparency in the process and provide for public hearings to allow for input from residents.
Governor asks citizens to report flood damage
On July 15, Gov. J.B. Pritzker asked Illinois residents to assess local flooding damage and report it to their county’s emergency management agencies. The information will be used to assess whether the state receives Federal Recovery Assistance.
A formal request for federal assistance must be submitted by Aug. 3, which is 30-days after the last impacted river fell below major flood stage. To help counties with the necessary reporting requirement, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has made available teams to assist with the damage assessment process.
The State of Illinois has established a website (https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/2019floods) that allows residents and business owners to submit an initial damage report online. Once reported via the state’s flood recovery website, the submission is forwarded to the appropriate county emergency management agency for follow-up reporting.
More protections for sexual assault victims
A new law will give sexual assault victims more protections when reporting the crimes to police or receiving treatment at a hospital.
Under previous law, when victims of sexual assault came into contact with police, such as when going to the hospital for treatment, the victims faced the possibility of being arrested if they had outstanding warrants, even in cases of minor non-violent offenses or unpaid fines.
House Bill 92 requires police officers to request a waiver of the required execution of arrest warrants, as long as they aren’t for a violent offense or parole violation.
One year since Governor’s Mansion reopened
A year ago, the Illinois Governor’s Mansion reopened to the public after a privately-funded three-year renovation spearheaded by former Gov. Bruce Rauner and first lady Diana Rauner.
The renovation focused not just on structural repairs and construction updates, but also on improving the visitor experience with dedicated art spaces, expanded programming, full accessibility for visitors, and a focus on Illinois’ rich history.
The Governor’s Mansion is open to the public for tours daily from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. More information is available at https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/governorsmansion.