Senate Week in Review: March 11-15, 2024

SPRINGFIELD – Senate Republicans spotlighted new initiatives during the week to empower parents and protect children, and to ensure that only citizens are allowed to vote in elections.

Another bill would stop governments from charging tax penalties and interest on properties owned by people who have died.

In other news, FFA students and a variety of farm groups from across Illinois visited the Capitol to promote the agriculture industry.

Senate Republicans Highlight Legislation to Protect Kids

State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) says Senate Republicans are promoting two bills they filed as part of their ongoing efforts to empower parents and protect children.

Senate Bill 2590 would create the Adult Content Age Verification Act, requiring pornography websites to verify a person’s age before allowing them to view content. The legislation identifies the “reasonable age verification methods” a business must follow to comply.

A recent report found that on average most teens are first exposed to online pornography at age 12. More than half were exposed accidentally, including from friends or classmates, search engine results, social media, or by clicking links, according to the report’s findings.

A second bill would provide transparency on school curriculums for parents. Senate Bill 2772 would require schools to list learning materials and curriculum details on district websites. School boards would be required to update information for the following semesters on their websites by August 1 and January 1 of every school year. The material must remain publicly available until the next report is completed and posted.

Ensure U.S. Citizenship Required to Vote in Illinois

New legislation aims to eliminate perceived vagueness in the state constitution that activists have capitalized on to push voting for noncitizens in local elections.

Senator Syverson says while state and federal law clearly require U.S. citizenship to vote in State and Federal elections, recent proposals to allow noncitizens to vote in local and municipal elections have garnered headlines. A city ordinance proposed in Evanston would allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections for mayor and city council. Another proposal filed in the Senate would extend voting rights to noncitizens in school board elections.

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 14 would require citizenship to vote in any Illinois election.

The proposed amendment would strike the words “in State Elections” from the third article of the state constitution. This removal of these words would make it abundantly clear that U.S. citizenship is required to vote in any election in Illinois.

For the amendment to become a part of the state constitution, it would need to be approved by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly by May 5 and placed on the November 5 General Election ballot to be approved by voters.

Stop Property Tax Penalties Charged to Deceased

A new bill aims to provide relief, ensuring grieving families aren’t on the hook for government interest and penalties that are still being charged on property after the owner has died.

Senate Bill 2832 would allow the estate of a deceased individual to apply for a waiver with the county treasurer to prevent interest and penalties from being charged on delinquent property taxes for the deceased individual. The waiver would apply from the date of the decedent’s death until either the estate is closed, or the property is sold, transferred, or conveyed.

Agriculture Groups Visit Capitol

Every year during the spring legislative session, farmers, representatives from ag industry associations, and members of high school FFA chapters take part in what they call Illinois Ag Lobby Day. Their goal is to advocate for agriculture and remind legislators how important the industry is to Illinois.

On March 13, high school agriculture students from across the state came together in Springfield to speak on behalf of their industry. Senator Syverson says it’s a great experience for the students to get involved at a young age and underscored the importance of agriculture as the state’s top industry.

Dave Syverson

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