Update from Senator Bennett: Aug. 4

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Governor Signs Multiple Sen. Bennett-Sponsored Bills into Law

As the 60-day deadline approaches for some of the Legislature’s passed bills, the Governor officially signed over 130 bills into law on July 28. Several of those bills were sponsored by Senate Republicans. Here are some notable ones sponsored by Senator Bennett:

House Bill 3203 – Sponsored by Senator Bennett, this new law expands the availability of fentanyl test strips, allowing them to be sold over-the-counter and enables county health departments to provide them for free.

Senate Bill 2340 – A new law on the books aims to keep kids safer by reducing the chance of them being struck by a vehicle while getting on a school bus. The legislation, co-sponsored byState Senator Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City), requires that on a route where a child must cross the road, the school bus must be equipped with an extended stop arm with flashing red lights that partially obstruct the roadway.

House Bill 2855 – updates requirements for the Lyme Disease Task Force to make sure that the best individuals possible are serving on the panel.

House Bill 3277 – Changes legislation that allows local gardeners, farmers, and neighbors to sell small amounts of compost without a permit.

Illinois State Police Civilian Crash Reporting System

The Illinois State Police is launching a Civilian Crash Reporting System. This system will let people submit crash reports online instead of having to wait at the scene of the crash, allowing the public to make reports from safer locations than the side of the road. So far, the online reports are limited to single car, property-damage only crashes without injuries that occur on either Interstates or U.S. or Illinois Routes. Crash reports can be filled out on the Illinois State Police website.

DNR Applications for OSLAD Program Grant Application Open

Applications are now being accepted for the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grant (OSLAD) program. The OSLAD Program through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and open space.

All local governments must be authorized by Illinois law to spend public funds for those purposes. School districts are ineligible. These projects can vary from smaller neighborhood parks to larger community or county parks or nature areas.

Under this program, most grants will only cover up to 50% of approved project costs. However, for those in economically distressed communities the amount can be increased to 100% of costs. A list of those communities can be found online. Grants for acquisition projects can be awarded up to $1.725 million, while development or renovation projects are limited to a maximum of $600,000. All applications must be submitted prior to 5:00 p.m. on Aug 31. There are multiple steps to completing an application, however it can be started online.

How much do we owe?

As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $1,280,454,957.55 to  state vendors, including 14,316 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?

Illinois 4-H members have been working hard all summer on their exhibits for their local fairs, but now it is time for the 4-H General Project Show at the Illinois State Fair! If you want to see what 4-H all is about, this is the place to be. There will be award-wining 4-H members displaying their projects during 3 days of the Illinois State Fair from August 11th through 13th from 9:00am to 4:00 pm. The show will be in the Orr Building. You can also check out the 4-H members exhibiting in the state fair junior livestock show as they compete for grand champion honors in sheep, goats, swine, dairy, and beef. Here at the 4-H General Project Show, the best of the best is displayed!

To view more information and to see what day members from your county will be there, click here.

Map of Illinois State Fairgrounds.

This Week in the 53rd District

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