Legislation, Constituent Services, Community Survey, Unemployment Insurance
In This Issue:
- Springfield Update: Preview of the Upcoming Year
- Constituent Services: We’re Here to Serve You!
- Community Survey: Staying Informed and Getting Involved
- Unemployment Insurance Benefits and 2020 Taxes
- IDES Fraud: Protecting Yourself
- February Coffee & Conversation
My staff and I have been busy over the past few weeks meeting with constituents, drafting bills, and establishing our office to support the 41st District community. We’re excited to share some of those updates with you here.
Meanwhile, 2021 is on track to be one of the snowiest in recent years. We’re fortunate to be part of a vibrant community that gives us plenty of opportunities to stay engaged from the warmth of our homes. This month, consider taking part in Black History Month activities. Our own North Central College has a number of programs open to the public. This week also marks the Lunar New Year, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum has a great family-oriented program taking place on February 13 to celebrate the Year of the Ox.
We’d love to hear from you about how we can be most useful to you. Feel free to reply to this email or take our community survey--both go straight to my inbox and we make changes based on what you tell us you want.
Stay warm and safe,
Springfield Update: Preview of the Upcoming Year
These past two months, my office and I have been talking with constituents and working with legislative staff to craft bills that address the problems and issues you’ve told us about. Deadlines to submit those bills are fast approaching, and my colleagues and I in the 102nd General Assembly have been filing bills every day. You can see that progress on my ilga.gov bills page.
Most of these bills come directly from constituents. Writing a bill may seem like a big endeavor, but it really starts with a conversation. When you let us know about issues or problems you’re experiencing, we can work with you to determine if a legislative solution makes sense.
Constituent Services: We’re Here to Serve You!
Beyond legislative duties, there are a number of ways my staff and I can serve you. Recently, for example, we’ve been working with constituents by following-up on unemployment claims and fraud reporting, as well as FOID applications. We’ve also been reaching out to seniors to help them sign up for COVID-19 vaccine appointment notifications. Other ways we can help include:
- Resources for jobseekers and unemployed
- Veterans’ benefits
- College financial aid information
- Professional license applications
- Other state services
Sometimes it’s tough to know where to even start, so just give us a call or email (630-296-4157 or firstname.lastname@example.org), and we’re happy to assist.
Community Survey: Staying Informed and Getting Involved
Please let us know how you’d like to keep in touch and the topics you’d like to hear about. We can partner with state agencies and groups across our state (like the Treasurer’s Office) to hold events such as Senior Resource Fairs and Health Fairs.
We’re also establishing the following Citizen Advisory Panels to get targeted feedback on legislation and programs in the following areas:
- Economic Development
- Diversity & Inclusion
- Seniors’ Issues
- Women’s Issues
- Veterans’ Issues
Please let us know of topics you’d like us to cover and/or if you’re interested in joining any of our Citizen Advisory Panels by filling out this survey: https://www.repyangrohr.com/survey.
Unemployment Insurance Benefits and 2020 Taxes
We know that with the pandemic, many in our community have had to file for unemployment insurance benefits. Even if it isn’t your first time doing so, it likely doesn’t happen often, and you might not remember all the steps involved.
One reminder for those who filed for benefits: By now, you should have already received your 1099-G form from the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) for benefits received in 2020. This would have come to you electronically or by mail, and you’ll need this form to file your tax returns. If you haven’t already received it, you can go to IDES’ 1099-G Form site to get a copy and find answers to other commonly asked questions.
IDES Fraud: Protecting Yourself
In Illinois and across the country, we’ve seen massive levels of unemployment claims fraud. If you’re the victim of fraud (one of the ways people have been finding out has been receiving 1099-G forms, see above) there are a few steps you should take to protect yourself:
1. Report Fraud to IDES: https://www2.illinois.gov/ides/Pages/Report-Identity-Theft.aspx
2. File a non-emergency police report.
In Naperville, you can do that electronically: https://naperville.policetocitizen.com/Home
Warrenville residents are asked to contact their police department directly only if they have personally lost money.
3. Monitor your credit report and consider applying a credit freeze, especially if you don’t plan to open new lines of credit in the near future. The Federal Trade Commission has authorized AnnualCreditReport.com to provide these reports from all three national credit reporting services, and it’s providing free weekly reports through April 2021.
February Coffee & Conversation
We host 41st District Coffee & Conversations on the last Saturday morning of each month. In January, we were thrilled to talk with a few dozen community members via Zoom. We were especially honored to be joined by constituents Bill and Dawn, who have been instrumental in working with us on a bill to honor the memory of their son, Alex, and will help those with substance abuse issues.
Join us for our February 27 Zoom chat by registering here: