Update from Senator Bennett: July 1st

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, Sept. 10th, 2024 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 a.m.

ICASH Event with Senator Tom Bennett

See if you are owed money, and to receive help filing a claim.

Metamora Village Hall

102 N. Davenport St., Metamora, IL

Illinois’ Culture of Corruption in the Headlines

Democrat Ed Burke, Chicago’s longest-serving alderman, a longtime-ally of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and a towering figure in city politics, has been sentenced to prison time in the latest in a long history of high-profile corruption cases to rock Illinois.

Burke, who used his significant influence to steer business to his law firm in exchange for helping companies navigate the Chicago City Council, was convicted on 13 charges of bribery, racketeering, and extortion. He was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $2 million for leveraging his position to improperly influence business dealings for personal gain.

Senate Republicans cite this conviction as further evidence of the urgent need for tougher ethics reforms to hold politicians accountable and make it easier for law enforcement to investigate public corruption. Senate Republicans have continued to fight the culture of corruption that has long tainted Illinois politics, pushing for greater accountability and transparency. Recent proposals from Republican lawmakers include stronger revolving door prohibitions, banning elected officials from working as paid lobbyists and campaign finance reforms.

Laws Taking Effect July 1

Several new laws are set to take effect on July 1, including measures allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain Illinois driver’s licenses, protections for the children of social media influencers, additional safeguards for independent contractors, and changes to school assessment tests.

Undocumented Immigrants Drivers’ Licenses

Public Act 103-0210 allows non-citizens to obtain standard driver’s licenses. This replaces a previous system in which they were allowed to obtain licenses that indicated they were not citizens. Now, they will be able to get the same licenses as Illinois citizens.

Underage Professional Vlogger Protections

Public Act 103-0556 seeks to protect children from exploitation by requiring influencers to set up a trust fund for their child if they earn income from their child’s likeness.

Regulation for District-Administered Assessment in Schools

Public Act 103-0393 requires school boards to hold a public vote before approving a new contract for district-administered assessments.

Freelance Worker Protections Public Act 103-0417 creates the Freelance Worker Protection Act to create protections for independent contractors.

IDOT’s Fiscal Year 2025-2030 Plan Released

IDOT’s newest Multi-Year Improvement Plan (MYP) is the largest in state history, investing $41.42 billion over the next six years in various projects touching every county in Illinois. Funding for the projects will come from a combination of federal, state, and local dollars.

This program is part of the ongoing Rebuild Illinois Program, designed to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure. The primary goal of this funding is to modernize Illinois roadways. In this annual update to the MYP, $29.65 billion is earmarked for roads and bridges, while the remaining $11.77 billion is allocated for public transit, freight, and passenger rail, as well as other projects. Information about the plan can be found on IDOT’s website

Did You Know?

Who’s left behind in Pritzker’s FY2025 Budget?

  • No funding for school construction capital grants.
  • K-12 mandated categorical funding at $133 million less than recommended by State Board.
  • Colleges and universities funded at a fraction of what they said they need to operate.
  • Caretakers for Developmentally Disabled community see their wages falling further behind.
  • No fix for looming Tier II pension system.

Taxpayers on the hook for the tax hikes.

How much do we owe?

As of the time of this writing, the State of Illinois owes $415,543,047.94 to  state vendors, including 2,485 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.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

This Week in the 53rd District

Working full-time to represent you!

Tom Bennett

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