August is upon us, which means many of us are getting ready to send our kids back to school. This month, we saw a number of bills signed into law and Governor Pritzker recently announced a significant investment in growing Illinois’ childcare workforce, which is a vital investment in Illinois families and our economy.
Recently, I was honored to join the Korean American Association of Chicago in presenting an Appreciation Award to Mr. Sung Woo Lee, who has shown exemplary public service by cleaning up trash and refuse at Flick Park every day for the last two years. Congratulations to Mr. Lee for this much deserved award.
Also, please take note of the section below regarding phishing scams purporting to be from the Illinois Secretary of State. Many people, especially seniors, are being targeted by this scam. Do not click on any link in a text or email purporting to be from the Secretary of State–see below for more information.
State Representative, 17th District
Increased funding for Early Childhood workforce
Recently, Governor JB Pritzker announced a $200 million investment of federal funds in additional training, mentorships, and scholarships to pursue advanced credentials for the childcare workforce over the next two years. The governor additionally signed HB 2878, establishing a statewide early childhood consortium to strengthen access to high quality child care and direct this funding to where it can be most effective.
Both this investment and the legislation to establish an early childhood consortium have been projects I have worked on with the House Democratic Women’s Caucus to ensure Illinois provides adequate funding for early childhood development.
Governor signs more bills into law
Over the past month, the Governor has taken action on several bills that I sponsored in the House. A summary of each bill that has now become law is below.
HB 369 – Amends Illinois law to ensure abused, abandoned, and neglected immigrant youth can apply for a special immigrant juvenile visa up to age 21 as provided by federal law.
HB 714 – Removes all costs and fees for disability claimants seeking to obtain medical records in order to apply for benefits including Veterans’ Disability benefits, Social Security Disability benefits or aid to the Aged, Blind or Disabled benefits.
SB 1561 – This important legislation strengthens the Illinois Human Rights Act to prevent discrimination by third-party lenders. SB 1561 will expand anti-discrimination protections for consumers of these financial services, closing any gaps in the law that would leave vulnerable people at risk for exploitation.
SB 1970 – Empowers families to provide greater support for loved ones receiving treatment in mental health facilities by allowing access to critical information about their care and discharge plan.
SB 676 – This bill allows the Secretary of State to extend a temporary driver’s license (TDL) up to 90 days for an individual who has an application pending with the US Citizenship and Immigration Service. Federal application delays put people at risk of losing driving privileges through no fault of their own. This extension will allow those going through the immigration process to continue to use their vehicle lawfully.
ISBE back to school guidance and masking at schools
Governor JB Pritzker issued a new executive order on August 4th that requires all students and employees in K-12 schools (both public and nonpublic) to wear masks regardless of vaccination status.
Currently, the CDC recommends that all children return to full-time, in-person learning with layered prevention strategies in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19, including universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools.
ISBE is committed to in-person learning this school year and has published extensive guidance for schools ahead of students returning to classes at the end of this month. You can take a look at the ISBE guidance, HERE and read their Frequently Asked Questions HERE.
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds coming to our communities
At the end of July, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced the availability of ARPA funding to local municipalities with populations under 50,000 residents. The money can be used to cover expenses incurred while responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Village of Glenview has been allocated $6,431,248.66, Wilmette $3,682,592.69 and Golf $67,020.50. Municipalities with populations over 50,000 residents will receive ARPA funding directly from the Federal government.
Back to Business (B2B) Grant program launched
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) is launching a new $250m grant program to assist small businesses that experienced revenue losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on the program, and eligibility requirements visit DCEO’s website HERE.
Flick Park testing continues
The COVID-19 testing center run by Northshore Clinical Labs in partnership with the Glenview Park District at Flick Park is ongoing. Registration is required, you can make an appointment HERE.
SOS Phishing notices
The Secretary of State wants to remind residents to be vigilant for scams attempting to obtain your personal information. Do not click on unsolicited texts or emails that claim to be from the Illinois Secretary of State. Please know Illinois driver services offices will never seek your personal information in this way, but scammers will. If you receive a scam email or text, do not click on the links or provide personal information and delete the messages immediately.
Skokie SEED Seminars Applications Open
For the fifth year, Skokie Cares is sponsoring SEED (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity) seminars for people who live or work in Skokie or who have children who currently attend a Skokie school. As part of the community’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Applications will be accepted from August 1-22 through the skokiecares.org website.
Property Tax Appeal Workshop 8/24
Join us on Tuesday, August 24th at 6 PM at the Robert Crown Center to learn about the tax appeal process and how to appeal. Board of Review Commissioner Mike Cabonargi’s office will present on how tax assessments are made and demonstrate the appeal process.
Afterwards, analysts will be on hand to answer any questions you may have.
DISTRICT SHOUT OUT – Sung Woo Lee
On August 15th, I joined the Korean American Association and Korean Consulate General of Chicago’s celebration to mark Korean Independence Day and participate in the presentation of the civic Appreciation Award to Mr. Sung Woo Lee, a Glenview resident, who was recognized for his service to the community in voluntarily cleaning trash at Flick Park every day over the last two years. Mr. Lee’s selfless dedication to beautifying our public spaces is an example to us all.
Thank you to my Interns!
This week our Summer interns, Noah and Sahib, finished up their time with my office. They have both been fantastic members of my team working on researching legislation, organizing events, helping with constituent services and doing outreach.
I am proud of all the work they accomplished over their short time with us and look forward to what they will achieve in the future.
- Skokie Backlot Bash. The Village of Skokie’s annual Backlot Bash will take place August 27th through the 29th. Come see the music, food, farmers market and more over the course of the weekend. You can read more about the event at their website HERE.
- Mother-Daughter Summer Tea. Sip tea and share small plates of food at an elegant tea party. Grandmothers, aunts and other adults are welcome to attend this event hosted by the Northbrook Park District on Saturday, August 21, 2:00pm-3:30pm at the Leisure Center in Northbrook. You can register for the event HERE.
- “Farmers Market” Botanical Art Exhibit now through September 14th, see art by members of the Reed-Turner Botanical Artists Circle at the Glenview Public Library.
- I was honored to speak at the annual Evanston Firefighter Memorial Service by Chief Paul Polep and Evanston Fire Fighters Local #742. The service remembers the lives of Firefighters Marty Leoni, William Craig, George Stiles and all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our community.
- Senator Laura Fine, Representative Robyn Gabel and I hosted an End of Session town hall event at the Evanston Ecology Center. It was great to speak with constituents in person and talk about the issues we have been working on in Springfield as well as hear their ideas on new legislation for next year.
- My office co-hosted a shred day alongside several other local elected officials in Skokie. It was a great success with residents coming out to recycle old documents. If you missed this one, stay tuned for upcoming events.
- My staff visited TAZ/MBL Recycling in Palatine, which specializes in construction and demolition recycling. This was a great opportunity to learn about how everything coming through the facility is being reused and recycled.