Monday, July 24, 2023 | 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
New District Office Open House with Senator Tom Bennett and Congressman Darin LaHood.
1715 N. DIVISION ST., STE E MORRIS, IL 60450
Join Congressman LaHood and Senator Bennett as they open their new constituent services district office. Light refreshments will be available.
Friday, July 28, 2023 | 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Coffee and Conversations with Senator Tom Bennett
Building relationships, one cup at a time.
WATSEKA TABLE RESTAURANT 101 N. JEFFERSON ST. WATSEKA, IL 60970
Come out for a conversation with your elected official and help to brew a better future. Coffee will be provided.
Supreme Court Upholds SAFE-T Act
On July 18, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the highly controversial SAFE-T Act. Despite strong opposition from law enforcement and state’s attorneys across the state, the court issued a split 5-2 decision in favor of the no-cash bail provisions found within the law.
Senator Bennett says that the elimination of cash bail without broad authority given to judges to hold individuals pre-trial is dangerous and jeopardizes public safety.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court is giving counites 60 days to implement the law, which will take effect statewide beginning Monday, Sept. 18. Many counties have expressed concern over the negative impact the law will have on the safety of its residents, as well as the financial impact eliminating cash bail will have on local government budgets. Senator Bennett says those costs will likely be made up by an increase in property taxes, a decrease in government services, or both.
Since its infamous late-night passage on the final day of the 2021 lame-duck session, the SAFE-T Act has been highly criticized for the lack of input allowed by law enforcement, state’s attorneys, and judges by the Majority Party leaders who forced the legislation through the General Assembly with little-to-no time for public scrutiny.
Disaster Proclamation Issued for Counties Hit by Severe Weather
After the severe weather, tornadoes, and straight-line windstorms that Illinois saw toward the end of June and beginning of July, the Governor has issued a disaster proclamation for eight Illinois counties. This proclamation went into immediate effect for Coles, Cook, Edgar, Hancock, McDonough, Morgan, Sangamon, and Washington counties to address results of inclement weather occurring from June 29 to July 4.
This disaster proclamation comes after many citizens have highlighted the struggles they are facing because of this weather. Illinois residents have been combatting flooding and power outages in some places, as well as other damage from the strong storms.
Declaring the weather event, a disaster is an important step in increasing local communities’ access to state resources and emergency personnel. This comes after the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security (IEMA-OHS) released reports saying that local resources and community capabilities have been exhausted and that State resources are needed to respond to this emergency.
ISP Submits Entry for America’s Best Looking Cruiser Contest
The American Association of State Troopers (AAST) is conducting its 10th annual “Best Looking Cruiser” contest. Started as a friendly competition between state agencies, this contest features picture submissions from 45 states depicting each of the state’s police cruisers in their natural habitats. The Illinois State Police entry is shown resting beneath a picturesque statue of Abraham Lincoln.
Last year, about 510,000 votes were cast in the contest, and Kentucky took home the prize for Best Looking Cruiser. Voting is all done electronically, and the survey can be found online. The poll will be open until July 31 at 11:00 a.m. CST. Last year, Illinois didn’t get sufficient votes to be featured in the following year’s calendar, so residents are encouraged to cast their votes for the Illinois State Police cruiser.
How much do we owe?
As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $614,021,595.42 to state vendors, including 11,241 pending vouchers. This figure represents the amount of bills submitted to the office of the Comptroller and still awaiting payment. It does not include debts that can only be estimated, such as our unfunded pension liability which is subject to a wide range of factors and has been estimated to be more than $139 billion. At the same time last year, the state’s accounts payable stood at a little less than $2 billion.
Did You Know?
Senator Bennett was glad to stop by at the Fire House in Morris last weekend to see approximately 80 law enforcement officers from all over the state complete another leg of their 4-day bicycle trip around central Illinois to raise funds and bring attention to our fallen law enforcement.
Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) Special Events provides survivors, law enforcement officers, and their communities with the opportunity to come together and support C.O.P.S. These special events are planned to promote awareness, provide peer support, and raise money to help C.O.P.S. continue its mission to rebuild the shattered lives of survivors whose loved ones died in the line of duty.
Click here to visit their website to learn more or donate.
This Week in the 53rd District
Senator Bennett – Working full-time to represent you!