Senator Syverson’s Week in Review: Nov. 7 – 11

SPRINGFIELD – Springfield, Ill. – The General Assembly will return to Springfield Nov. 15 as part of the annual fall “veto session.” However, prior to the fall veto session, Gov. Bruce Rauner has called for a Nov. 14 meeting of the state’s legislative leaders to jump-start the collaborative process as the leaders attempt to address the serious issues facing Illinois.

This week, Senate Republican lawmakers will join their fellow Americans in honoring United States servicemen and women on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11.  And as hunting season begins in earnest, hunters are cautioned to be safe out in the field.

Fall veto session to begin November 15

Out of nearly 450 bills passed during the spring legislative session, Gov. Rauner issued 40 vetoes. Lawmakers will return to the Statehouse Nov. 15 to consider vetoed legislation, as well as other measures, as part of the annual fall veto session.

Legislation that could be considered next week include:

SB 250: Allows for automatic voter registration when Illinois residents get a driver’s license, update their driver’s license information or conduct a transaction with the Department of Human Services, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department of Employment Security, or Department on Aging. The Governor vetoed the legislation, recommending changes that would: ensure voter integrity is maintained, guarantee the state agency information is reliable and accurate, assure the state has the time and resources to implement the proposed law and ensure the state maintains compliance with federal law.

SB 730: Expands eligibility requirements for the Child Care Assistance Program. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the associated expansion costs, which would exceed $200 million in fiscal year 2017 and $500 million each year thereafter.

SB 1059: Allows retired state university employees who return to work after receiving a lump-sum retirement distribution to receive additional health benefits without making additional contributions to the retirement system. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing unequal benefit distribution and potential unforeseen costs to the state pension system.

SB 2204: Lessens residency requirements for student members of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing proposed changes that could result in a non-Illinois resident serving on the board.

SB 2439: Imposes an additional pension liability for local governments’ police and firefighters, despite a local referendum rejecting an expansion. The Governor vetoed the legislation calling it an “end-run around local referendum results.”

SB 2531: Requires an economic development council that receives public money to include members of a labor council and persons from minority groups on its corporate board. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the additional mandates this would impose on job creators.

SB 2536: Makes costly changes relating to the Child Care Assistance Program. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the significant associated costs.

SB 2600: Imposes a mandate on municipalities that establish commissions to advise on tax increment financing (TIF). The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the associated mandate, which inhibits local municipalities’ ability to make decisions for their communities.

SB 2819: Permits Cook County to use funds from additional sources to cover the Cook County Pension Fund’s administrative and annuity expenses. The Governor vetoed the legislation saying this bill unnecessarily restricts how Cook County spends additional resources and fails to address the underfunding of that pension fund.

SB 2931: Increases wages through an automatic 15 percent pay increase for certain in-home care providers. The Governor vetoed the legislation citing the lack of a funding source for the approximately $87 million in associated costs.

SB 2982: Prevents commercial property owners from performing major projects on their own roof without a license. The Governor vetoed this legislation saying it curtails the existing right of business owners to do roofing work on their own property.

SB 440: Makes changes to Chicago Police and Firefighter Pension system. By amendatory veto, the Governor recommends additional changes.

SB 2465: Eliminates the Illinois Department of Corrections’ little-used ability to sue an inmate to recoup the costs of their imprisonment. The Governor’s amendatory veto instead recommends establishing specific guidelines to limit when the authority can be used.

SB 2964: Changes the government body responsible for determining prevailing wage rates to be used on certain government infrastructure projects. The Governor’s amendatory veto recommends changes to the legislation to primarily restore current practice.

Three-fifths of the members in each chamber must vote to override a veto in order for the legislation to become law. If vetoed bills are not acted on, they will eventually be considered “dead.”

Often action on bills vetoed by the Governor represents a very small portion of the issues considered during the fall legislative session. However, it’s widely anticipated that any action on the state budget or more controversial issues will be held until a January “lame duck” session that would be held after the first of the year and prior to the 100th General Assembly being sworn into office. During that time, the number of votes required to pass legislation that has an immediate effective date would once again only require a simple majority. It’s during a lame duck session when difficult or politically unpopular measure are approved by relying on support from outgoing legislators who are no longer accountable to the voters.

Honor America’s veterans, send some holiday cheer to our military men and women

Veterans Day is Nov. 11, and one way Illinoisans can honor America’s active duty servicemen and women is through a moment of silence. A resolution was recommended by Congress encouraging the public to remember and honor those who are serving or have served, with a two minute moment of silence beginning at 1:11 p.m.

The time of 1:11 p.m. was selected based on the Armistice Day tradition of commemorating the end of WWI at the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month, which is why Veterans Day falls on November 11.

Those residents looking for a more tangible way to let American servicemen and women overseas know they are being thought of, are encouraged to participate in the state’s Military Holiday Card Drive, in partnership with the United Service Organizations of Illinois.

Sending a holiday card to servicemen and women overseas is a simple, yet heartfelt, way to show our military men and women that their sacrifices are appreciated and spread to a little holiday cheer even though they are far from home.

Express your gratitude by sending a holiday card (through mail delivery only) now through November 30 to:

USO of Illinois
333 S. Wabash Ave., 16th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604

Hunters urged to be safe as fall hunting seasons begin in earnest

As Illinois’ busiest hunting seasons begin, sportsmen are being encouraged by the state’s Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) to be safe while out in the field.

Illinois’ most popular hunting season, the seven-day firearm deer season, begins on Friday, Nov. 18.

 

The Illinois Firearm Deer Season legal hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

In a written statement, IDNR officials drew special attention to the proper use of Fall Arrest System (FAS) safety harnesses when using a tree stand, noting that of the 25 hunting incidents reported in 2015, 15 involved tree stands.

Hunters using a firearm are also encouraged to treat every firearm as if it is loaded and also keep it pointed in a safe direction.

Hunters who take a deer during the firearm season in most Illinois counties must register the deer they harvest online, or through a toll-free phone check-in system.  The online deer registration is available through this link:  http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/HarvestReporting.aspx

 

The toll-free phone deer registration line is 1-866-IL-CHECK (1-866-452-4325). Hunters registering deer through the online or phone systems must do so by 10 p.m. on the day they take the deer. 

In a number of northern Illinois counties where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in deer, hunters are required to register all deer harvested during firearm season by taking them to a check station (listed below) between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.  Biologists will be present to take CWD samples for testing at the time of registration.  Testing is voluntary, but all hunters with adult deer are encouraged to participate.  The counties where hunters are required to check in their deer at check stations are:

 

Boone:  Boone Co. Fairgrounds, 1/2 mi. north of Rt. 76 and Business Rt. 20, Belvidere

DeKalb:  Shabbona Lake State Park, 4201 Shabbona Grove Rd., Shabbona

Grundy:  Gebhard Woods State Park, 401 Ottawa Street, Morris

Jo Daviess:  Elizabeth Community Building, 210 N. West St., Elizabeth, IL, 1/2 mi. west of business district on Hwy. 20, next to the Highland C.C. Elizabeth campus

Kane:  Use Boone, DeKalb, Kendall, or McHenry check station

Kankakee:  Kankakee River State Park Visitor Center, 4 mi. northwest of Bourbonnais at 5214 W. State Rt. 102

Kendall:  Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area, 4.5 mi. west of Yorkville at 13608 Fox Road

LaSalle:  Buffalo Rock State Park, 3 mi. west of Ottawa on Dee Bennett Road

Livingston:  Pontiac Sportsman’s Club, northwest of Livingston Co. Fairgrounds at 18663 4-H Park Road, Pontiac

McHenry:  Moraine Hills State Park McHenry Dam Day Use Area, east of McHenry on River Rd., 2.2 mi. south of Rt. 120

Ogle:  Castle Rock State Park, Rt. 2, 3 mi. south of Oregon, IL

Stephenson:  County Fairgrounds, 1 mi. east of Rt. 26 and Fairgrounds Rd., Freeport

Will:  Des Plaines Game Propagation Center, east of I-55 at 30550 S. Boathouse Road, Wilmington

Winnebago:  Rock Cut State Park, 6425 Hart Rd., Loves Park, 0.9 mi. east of N. Perryville Rd. on Hart Rd.

 

Hunters participating in the CWD sampling can check the status of their deer (listed by phone number) through the IDNR website.  Hunters who provide samples from deer that test positive are notified by the IDNR.  For more information on CWD in Illinois, check the website at www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/CWD.

 

For a detailed information sheet on firearm deer hunting in counties with check stations for chronic wasting disease sampling, go to the IDNR website at: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Documents/DeerCheckCWDCounties2016.pdf

 

In addition to the seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Season, other deer hunting seasons in the state include the three-day Muzzleloader-only Deer Season on Dec. 9-11, and the seven-day split Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season and Special CWD Deer Season (in select counties) on Dec. 29, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017 and January 13-15, 2017.  The Illinois Archery Deer Season, which opened on Oct. 1, is open through Jan. 15, 2017 (except closed in counties open to Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 18-20 and Dec. 1-4).

 

For more information on Illinois deer hunting regulations:  www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/deer.

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