The McDermed Dispatch March 30th

Welcome to my newsletter, it an honor to serve you as your representative in Springfield!
My Legislation
         HB3983– State policy and law regarding the location of adult entertainment facilities has been unclear and led to complex constitutional questions. This bill shores up, and constitutionally strengthens, the state’s laws in respect to the setbacks of these facilities from schools, day care centers, parks, and places of worship. The measure establishes at least a 250 foot minimum separation between these facilities and that municipality’s border. This will allow cities to locally control where adult entertainment facilities are located while protecting their neighboring communities that may have a different standard. The bill passed unanimously out of committee on Wednesday March 26th.

House Deadline Passes  
        Including action in “committee deadline week,” which ended on Friday, March 27, the Illinois House advanced 512 bills from committee to the House floor in this spring session. House committees began meeting in February to take testimony and hear advocacy from witnesses, proponents and opponents for and against the measures filed by House members.  This work was finished up this week.  After the conclusion of the two-week “Easter break,” the House and its committees will consider floor action and amendments to the House bills that advanced out of committee. The House will also start looking at bills coming over from the state Senate.  Less than 13% of the bills filed this spring were able to achieve approval by a House committee.  

        On Tuesday March 25th, the House passed HB317 and HB318, which were necessary to fix the $1.6 billion dollar hole in the unbalanced FY15 budget that was passed last year. The fix averted a potential fiscal disaster as the funds for certain state services, such as child care and prison guards, were set to run out of money at the end of this month. The bill was passed with bipartisan support and contains no new borrowing or revenue increases.
       The measure creates a 2.25% budget cut across the board with exceptions for pensions, state employee health care and programs to aid the mentally ill, developmentally disabled and autistic children. The Local Government Distributive Fund, which gives a portion of the state income tax to local governments, will be left intact. Governor Rauner was given the discretion to use $97 million dollars to help school districts that might be most harmed by the cuts in the middle of the school year and another $90 million to plug any unexpected problems as they arise before the end of the fiscal year.
        On Thursday, the Senate passed the bill as well and Governor Rauner signed it that evening. I am hopeful we can take some of the lessons learned from this as all eyes now turn to the FY16 budget.

Springfield Visits
                                                            Local 4H Students                                               
As a State Legislator I am always being visited in Springfield by groups looking to share more about their organization or their thoughts on a particular piece of legislation. It is always a pleasure to meet with these groups especially when their representatives are from the 37th district.
Will County Farm Bureau
Concealed Carry 
         On March 16th, the online application for FOID cards went active. Until now the Illinois State Police (ISP) has required Illinois firearms owners to submit paper applications for a concealed carry permit. The ISP will no longer accept the current FOID paper applications however, like the Concealed Carry License (CCL), the new FOID application will be available through the Department’s website or through the paper alternative call center method for those individuals who do not have computer access (217-782-7980). This follows up on the start up period of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, in which more than 91,000 Illinois residents have earned permits that enable them to carry concealed firearms. 
Senior Event
        In conjunction with the Frankfort Township Assessor’s office annual Senior Freeze Day, on April 10th from 10am-2pm, I will be hosting a senior fraud and scam information event.  A representative from the Attorney General’s office will be on hand to discuss common scams and frauds specifically directed at senior citizens. Plenty of informational pamphlets will be available. The event will be held in the Assessor’s office conference room at 11000 W Lincoln Hwy.

Looking Ahead
         The legislature may be on Spring Break for the next two weeks, but I have a full schedule of events touring the district. I’ll be at the annual Frankfort Township senior spring fling on Tuesday. I’ll also be touring the Will Grundy Center for Independent Living and Misericordia Home, both facilities for supporting those with disabilities. As a first time legislator I think it’s important that I take every opportunity I can to see more of the district to get a better idea of what the state can do to help.
My survey is scheduled to be mailed out at the end of this week, keep an eye out and share your thoughts on state issues!
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact my district office at (815) 277-2079 if you have any questions or concerns.