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Term Limits, Committees, and COVID-19 Vaccine Benchmarks

In This Issue:

- House Leadership Term Limits

- Committee Assignments

- Vaccine Benchmarks & Accountability



Dear Friends,


I recently returned from Springfield, and I’m happy to share with you developments in one of the areas our community has long sought: leadership term limits. That, along with final committee assignments, will help us achieve increased accountability and better outcomes for our district and our state.


We’ll see those effects play out in the mid- to longer-term, but right now my office and I continue to be focused on COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Below, I’ll share some of the data we’ve been using to benchmark and measure our progress on this front.


We pursue these areas because you’ve told us this is what you care about. You can also see those efforts on my ilga.gov bills page. Thank you to all who have offered their voice--please continue to do so.


Sincerely,


Janet


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House Leadership Term Limits

In the continued signs of our state’s evolution and progress (one of the most recently notable being January’s election of Chris Welch to Speaker of the House), on February 10, I was excited to cast a historic vote for House Rules that now impose a 10-year term limit for Speaker of the House as well as Minority Leader. This rule strikes a good balance between ensuring leadership experience and protecting against too much concentration of power.


Another rule change that may seem arcane but helps address this power concentration issue is the requirement that all bills introduced in odd number years (when most major bills are introduced) go to a functional committee and not get stuck in the Rules Committee. As a result, legislators like me must and should work with the more than three dozen committee chairs and subject matter experts to substantiate the merits of our bills.


The new rules also allow for remote committee work--a welcome change following a year that saw the House mostly closed for business. This is a move that is markedly more cost effective than renting the outside venues we would have needed to meet safely according to social distancing guidelines.


Committee Assignments

The core of legislative work takes place in committees, and I’m thrilled to be assigned to the following committees:

- Appropriations – General Services

- Elementary/Secondary Education: Curriculum & Policies

- Financial Institutions

- Insurance

- Personnel & Pensions


So many of us chose to live in our community because of its stellar schools, so it was important to me to be able to continue the work I did on the Naperville 203 school board as part of the Elementary and Secondary Education committee. In talking with constituents, I know access to good healthcare is also so important to all of us, so I’m looking forward to the voice we can now add through my seat on the Insurance committee.


And while our community cares deeply about these services, we also care that we’re spending and using our resources wisely. I will make sure we do so by bringing my business and investing experience to the committees in charge of general appropriations, financial institutions, and pensions.


Vaccine Benchmarks & Accountability

Widespread vaccination of our community is the key to our schools and economy continuing to move forward. If you haven’t already, please register with our local county health departments, which are largely responsible for the administration of vaccines. For DuPage county, that link is here, while for Will County, the link is here.


While patience is key, the data I've seen shows that we are getting greater vaccine supplies and that trajectory should continue. Below is some of the data I’ve crunched to monitor the situation. When we look at the numbers, it's clear that Illinois had a slower start than other states, but we've accelerated faster and now have a higher proportion of residents that have had at least one dose of the vaccine compared with most other states. Within our district, we're doing particularly well in DuPage.


I'll keep working with our state agencies and offices to address the challenges you've told our office about in getting vaccines. Our county health departments remain the best sources to keep updated about vaccine appointments, and you can also receive additional updates via these constituent newsletters.




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