Happy Fall to all!
As we head into November, I am reminded of how wonderful this time of year is. The Fall colors were beautiful this year, and I know we are all beginning to look forward with anticipation to Thanksgiving gatherings and to holiday celebrations that will be here before you know it. In this season of Thanksgiving, please know how grateful I am to serve as your State Senator. It is a privilege to be your voice at the Capitol, and I want to remind everyone that I welcome comments, suggestions, and opinions. Please reach out to my legislative office at any time if there is an issue you would like to discuss.
Fall Veto Session gets underway in Springfield
State lawmakers were back in Springfield the last week of October for the first three days of the annual fall Veto Session. During the 2023 spring session, more than 550 bills were passed through both chambers of the General Assembly and sent to the Governor for final action. Gov. JB Pritzker signed all but six into law. Of the six bills, three received total vetoes, and an additional three received partial, or amendatory, vetoes.
Legislators can override a full veto with a 3/5 vote in the House and Senate. If a vetoed bill is not called for a vote, the veto stands, and the bill dies. For bills that received amendatory vetoes, the Legislature can either vote to approve the Governor’s amended bill language with a simple majority vote, or lawmakers can override the amendatory veto with a 3/5 vote to approve the original bill. It’s up to the leaders of the Majority Party to decide which, if any, bills are called for reconsideration.
There was little action on vetoed bills during the first week of veto session; however, the Illinois Senate took the opportunity to take up other measures that are now on their way to the House of Representatives for consideration.
Lawmakers will return for the final week of veto session starting Nov. 7.
Senate Republicans still collecting submissions for Veterans Wall of Honor
To show appreciation for veterans’ sacrifices and service, the Senate Republican Caucus is once again showcasing veterans’ legacy of service on a “Wall of Honor” that will be on display in the Capitol rotunda Nov. 7-20. With Veterans Day coming up on Nov. 11, it’s a perfect opportunity to share amazing stories of our heroes with those who visit the State Capitol.
Submissions should include a photo and a written story (maximum 250 words), along with the following information: name, military branch, and conflict served if they served during a time of war. Submissions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 6. Submissions can also be mailed to: Veterans Day “Wall of Honor,” 110D Statehouse, Springfield, IL 62706.
For more information about this tribute to veterans, please call (217) 782-7219.
Applications for Illinois’ Electric Vehicle Rebate Program now underway
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just launched an incentive program for the purchase of electric vehicles with cash.
As of November 1st, state residents can earn up to a $4,000 rebate for the purchase of an all-electric vehicle or a $1,500 rebate for the purchase of an all-electric motorcycle.
Applicants must apply for the rebate within 90 days of a vehicle’s purchase. The application period runs through January 31, 2024, or until funding runs out.
For a list of eligibility requirements for the rebate, click here.
RTA now offering Access to Transit funds
The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) is now offering assistance for improving municipal areas around transit stations and stops. The Access to Transit program helps communities improve the infrastructure around their transit stations and stops, making connections for pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit riders safer, more accessible, and more attractive. Since 2012, Access to Transit has funded 46 projects around the Chicago region for more than $25.5 million in total investment. The application portal for 2023 is now open, and applications will be accepted through December 15.
Click here to access the application.
Senator Lewis & Rep. Sanalitro host successful drug drop-off event in Roselle
October 28 was National Prescription Drug Takeback Day, and State Representative Jennifer Sanalitro and I partnered with the Roselle Police Department for a very successful drug drop-off event at the Roselle Police Station.
By properly disposing of unused and expired medications, people are preventing accidental poisonings and the misuse of drugs. It also keeps unused or expired drugs out of the water supply.
Two large drums of medications were collected during the four-hour event. The drugs are being safely destroyed by the Roselle Police Department.
ISP announces three dates and locations for “Assault Weapons Ban” gun registration process
A new Illinois law, which bans a long list of firearms, magazines, and other devices, will be the subject of public hearings hosted by the Illinois State Police (ISP).
These hearings are in response to the registration process outlined in the new law, which requires individuals who possessed one or more of these now-banned firearms prior to the Act taking effect on Jan. 19, 2023, to submit an endorsement affidavit through their Firearm Owner’s Identification Card account in order to legally maintain possession.
In an effort to clear up confusion and concerns about the registration process, the ISP is holding three public hearings across the state. The hearings are open to the public but can also be heard via WebEx. Persons wishing to speak at a public hearing must do so in person and must submit a completed witness slip. The dates and locations for the hearings are as follows:
- Thursday, November 2, 2023
9:30 a.m., Room D1 of the Stratton Building, 401 Spring Street, Springfield
- Friday, November 3, 2023
9:30 a.m., Room C-600 of the Bilandic Building, 160 N. La Salle Street
- Monday, November 6, 2023
9:30 a.m., Caseyville Community Center at Village Hall, 909 South Main Street, Caseyville
For more information and to access the WebEx links, click here.
Illinois benefits from federal grant for regional clean hydrogen hub
Illinois is set to benefit from the recent announcement that the Midwest Alliance for Clean Hydrogen’s (MachH2) bid to create a regional hydrogen hub has been awarded a billion-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
The MachH2’s Midwest Hydrogen Hub will be located throughout Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan, and will be utilized for decarbonization purposes through strategic hydrogen uses including steel and glass production, power generation, refining, heavy-duty transportation, and sustainable aviation fuel. The Midwest Hydrogen Hub plans to produce hydrogen by leveraging the region’s diverse energy sources, including low-cost nuclear, natural gas, and renewable energy. Given Illinois’ vast and diverse energy portfolio, including being a national leader in nuclear energy production, Illinois will likely play a vital role in the hub’s hydrogen production.
The hub is also expected to create more than 12,000 good-paying jobs throughout its construction and roughly 1,500 permanent skilled jobs.
The Midwest Hydrogen Hub is one of seven regional clean hydrogen hubs that were selected to receive a total of $7 billion in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding to accelerate the domestic market for low-cost, clean hydrogen.