Veto Session Wrap Up
In This Issue
· Veto Session Highlights
· Going on Now: Mobile Museum of Tolerance
· Tonight: Environmental Townhall
· General Townhall: November 10
· Museum Pass for the Holidays
· Citizen Advisory Panels
· Monthly Coffee
I’ve been in Springfield over the last two weeks, where my colleagues and I passed a number of important pieces of legislation. They include bills to support our schools’ teachers and support staff through COVID as well as setting up our state to be a powerhouse for electric vehicle manufacturing.
The next time the General Assembly is schedule to be in Springfield is January 4, when our next legislative session begins. I’m grateful to the many in our community who worked with us throughout the summer on legislation to introduce in 2022. We will hold our second series of citizen advisory panels on issues like Education, Healthcare, and Economic Development throughout November and December, and I’d love to see you there and work with you on our district’s legislative agenda.
In the meantime, our district office remains busy, and we have a number of other events coming up. Today and tomorrow, for instance, you can visit the Mobile Museum of Tolerance at the Naperville 95th Street Library, sponsored in conjunction with Senator Laura Ellman. This evening, we have an Environmental Townhall with Senator Ellman and Representative Terra Costa-Howard. And on November 10, I will hold a General Townhall for our district. I hope to see you soon at one or many of these events!
Veto Session Highlights
Generally each fall, the Illinois General Assembly convenes for a veto session that focuses on passing more time-sensitive pieces of legislation. By the accounts of my longer tenured colleagues, this year’s veto session (which just wrapped up over the last two weeks of October) was among the busiest they’ve ever seen.
I served as the House’s chief sponsor of HB 2778, the COVID Wage and Benefit Protection for Schools bill, which passed the legislature with broad bipartisan support (92-23 in the House and 53-1 in the Senate). Over the last almost two years, when we have lauded our educators and support staff for the Herculean efforts they’ve made to keep our schools running, teach our kids, and keep them safe and healthy, HB 2778 was a way for our state to put real action and results to those words.
The legislation ensures that support staff, such as teachers’ aides, bus drivers, and food service workers, receive their wage and benefits on days when schools are unexpectedly closed for emergency purposes. It also provides administrative days for school workers so that they don’t have to use their earned sick days when forced to be out of school for COVID-related reasons. In my own household, for example, just three months into the school year, we are already on our second 10-day quarantine period because of close contact with others testing positive for COVID. Asking our educators and support staff to keep our students safe on the backs of their limited earned sick days was untenable, and HB 2778 addressed this issue.
Other legislation that passed this veto session include:
HB1769, Reimagining Electric Vehicles Act. A number of EV manufacturers and parts suppliers are in the midst of making longterm investment decisions on where they will assemble vehicles and build parts. The REV Act positions Illinois as the premier choice for these activities and is expected to bring thousands of jobs to our state, all while moving us forward on our goal of putting 1 million electric vehicles on Illinois roads by 2030.
HB1291, Congressional Maps. The congressional maps passed last week reflect the loss of one congressional seat in Illinois, due to downstate population loss. (In the last decade, Cook and its surrounding counties have seen population growth of 129,216 people, while the remaining counties outside the Chicago metropolitan area saw a population decline of 147,340 over that period). Whereas our Illinois district’s current congressional representation is encompassed within the 6th (Casten), 11th (Foster), and 14th (Underwood) districts, only the 11th and 14th congressional districts overlap with our state district in the new map. Follow this link for a detailed map of the new districts.
SB1169, Healthcare Right of Conscience Act. HRCA was originally passed into law to support healthcare providers who had a moral objection to providing reproductive healthcare, and most states in our country have similar laws. Recently, though, a small minority of people working in particularly risksensitive environments--like schools, nursing homes, and healthcare facilities--were using this law to try to bypass requirements to regularly test for COVID in cases where they were not already vaccinated. SB1169 clarified the narrower intent of HRCA. Those that have religious or medical exemptions from vaccines continue to have those rights, but their choice to not be tested to protect public health will not be covered under HRCA.
Going on Now: Mobile Museum of Tolerance
Senator Laura Ellman and I are proud to work with the Naperville Public Library to bring our community the Mobile Museum of Tolerance! Join us from noon to 6 pm November 1-3 for this exhibit that aims to stand up to hate and strive toward positive social change.
When: Monday, November 1 through Wednesday, November 3
Time: Noon – 6:00 pm each day
Where: 95th Street Library, 3015 Cedar Glade Dr., Naperville
General Town Hall: November 10
The 102nd Illinois General Assembly has just wrapped up its first legislative season, and our 41st district office is fast approaching its first-year anniversary! Join us on November 10 as we review the major objectives and key results from Springfield and our community’s constituent office.
When: Wednesday, November 10; 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Where: Facebook Live
Museum Pass for the Holidays
With the holidays and school breaks coming up, now is a great time to plan ahead and reserve our district’s Museum Pass! The pass gives residents in our district complimentary visits to world-class museums, zoos, and parks. Some of the most popular destinations so far have included:
The Art Institute of Chicago
Chicago Children’s Museum
The Field Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art
Museum of Science and Industry
John G. Shedd Aquarium
The pass can be used for the holder plus three guests. The pass is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be picked-up and returned to our district office. Once we have your request, we will contact you to arrange a time to pick up the pass and accompanying authorization of use letter.
Citizen Advisory Panels
The legislation I write and sponsor comes directly from our community’s feedback and priorities. One of the targeted ways we try to get your ideas is via our district’s Citizen Advisory Panels. Please consider joining our next round of panels, which will take place throughout November and December.
Seniors’ Issues: November 16, 6-7:30 pm
Healthcare: November 16, 7:30-9 pm
Women’s Issues: November 18, 6-7:30 pm
Diversity & Inclusion: November 18, 7:30-9 pm
Environment: November 30, 6-7:30 pm
Veterans’ Issues: November 30, 7:30-9 pm
Economic Development: December 7, 6-7:30 pm
Education: December 7, 7:30-9 pm
We usually get together on the last Saturday of each month for coffee and conversation to chat about the latest happenings in Springfield and our district. With the Thanksgiving holiday falling on that same week, though, we’re moving up November’s coffee to Saturday, November 20. I look forward to seeing you there!