Seth Lewis Sworn in as Senator of Illinois’ New 24th District
The 103rd General Assembly was sworn into office on January 11, and it is a privilege to now serve as the representative voice of Illinois’ newly-drawn 24th Senate District in DuPage and suburban Cook Counties.
After serving two years in the House of Representatives, I will continue be a strong voice for fiscal responsibility, ethics, and government transparency in the Senate, and look forward to reaching across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to Illinois’ most pressing problems.
As the vetting process for bills begins, I have been chosen for leadership roles on the Senate Appropriations- Public Safety & Infrastructure, and Senate Public Health Committees. It is a privilege to be chosen as the ranking Republican on the Appropriations- Public Safety & Infrastructure Committee, where I will be able to leverage my engineering and small business experience, and previous service as a fire district trustee to help create sound public policy. I’ll also be serving on the Transportation, Financial Institutions, Appropriations- Health & Human Services, and Environment & Conservation Committees.
I look forward to serving on all of these committees, and appreciate the opportunity to have a hand in the shaping of laws that will make Illinois a place where people want to live and raise their families.
The 24th District office is up and running in Carol Stream, and my talented staff is ready to hit the ground running to provide assistance to all residents of the 24th District. This is a shared office with newly-elected State Representative Jennifer Sanalitro. Our street address is 962 west Army Trail Road in Carol Stream, and our mailing address is PO Box 8547, Bartlett, IL 60103-8547. You can reach the office by phone at (630) 349-0645, and by email by visiting my website (SenatorLewis.com) and clicking on the “Contact” link.
The new 24th Senate District includes all or portions of Addison, Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Elk Grove Village, Carol Stream, Hanover Park, Itasca, Roselle, Naperville, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton, Winfield, and Wood Dale in DuPage and suburban Cook Counties.
First Annual “Valentines for Seniors” Card Drive Underway in 24th District
Our first community outreach effort for the year is a “Valentines for Seniors” card drive. To brighten the days of seniors and make sure they know they are a valued part of the community, I am hoping students from public and private schools, church groups, scouting organizations and other groups to create homemade cards that will be delivered to assisted living centers, nursing homes, and long-term care facilities across the 24th Senate District. Several cards have been delivered, but we could certainly use more so we can maximize the number of cards we deliver. It just takes a few minutes to make a card or write an encouraging note, and that small gesture will make a big difference to our area’s seniors.
Cards, poems, and other well-wishes will be collected between now and February 7 at the Carol Stream office and through the Bartlett PO Box. Those dropping off cards in person can place them in the valentine mailbox outside of the office. The deadline is fast approaching and I would appreciate any cards you would be willing to contribute.
Senate Republicans File Legislation Rejecting Progressive Income Tax
With the start of the new General Assembly, there is talk of resurrecting the progressive income tax ballot question that failed by a large margin in 2020. In a showing of caucus solidarity, I recently stood with my Senate Republican colleagues as we announced the filing of Senate Resolution 27, which calls on the Illinois Senate to reject any progressive income tax measure that is introduced in the 103rd General Assembly.
The voters of Illinois already rejected this kind of tax structure. In fact, in 2020 the Progressive Income Tax Constitutional Amendment failed in 101 of 102 counties. The Legislature should respect the will of the people, and walk away from any plans to resurrect any form of a progressive income tax. I will be fighting against any bill that seeks a progressive tax structure and am proud to co-sponsor SR 27.
Enhanced SNAP Benefits to End on March 1
Since April of 2020, all Illinois SNAP households have received both regular monthly benefits and an emergency SNAP allotment due to COVID-19. Under direction from the federal government, SNAP benefits will return to pre-pandemic levels on March 1, 2023. Each SNAP household will receive benefits based on their normal eligibility determination process that considers household size, income, and other deductions. Customers will receive normal SNAP benefits through their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card on their regularly scheduled issue date.
The end of the SNAP emergency allotment will constitute a total decrease of between $95 and $255 per household per month. The amount will vary and depend on each household’s size and financial circumstances. To prepare for the change, IDHS recommends that SNAP customers visit https://abe.illinois.gov/abe/access/ and update their account if there is a change in address increase in housing costs, or decrease in income. IDHS has put together a resource page to help SNAP households with the transition.
While the federal government is providing guidance that encourages states to return to pre-pandemic levels of government intervention, Illinois is in the middle of Governor Pritzker’s 39th continuation of COVID executive orders that grant him expanded power.
Nominations for Senior Hall of Fame
The Illinois Department on Aging is accepting nominations for 2023 inductees to the Senior Illinoisan Hall of Fame. This honor is open to adults ages 65 or older who excel in the categories of community service, education, performance and/or graphic arts, and the labor force. Each year, four people are added who have contributed greatly to these fields. The nominations are open until June 1, and anyone can nominate a candidate. Additional information on the process, the online nomination form, and a printable version of the nomination form is available on IDoA’s website.
The process to nominate someone for the Senior Illinoisan Hall of Fame is relatively easy. Nominators must submit an application with answers to five questions that detail the nominee’s contributions and provide a photo of the nominee. The pool of nominations will then be reduced to a list of 44 people. From this list, a panel of judges will select the final four to be added to the Hall of Fame. Generally, one person is chosen to represent each individual field, although occasionally more than four people are selected.