Update from Senator Plummer: April 30

Legislation to Combat Food Deserts Passes Senate Republicans are working to combat food insecurity throughout Illinois by passing legislation to increase access to food in underserved areas. Senate Bill 3265, sponsored by Senator Dale Fowler, creates a program within the Illinois Department of Agriculture tasked with developing strategies to ensure fresh, nutritious food is available in food deserts while also providing education on food preparation and nutrition. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food deserts are areas where people have limited access to a variety of healthy and affordable food. The proposed legislation emphasizes a comprehensive approach, aiming not only to increase food access but also to strengthen local food systems and understand the root causes of food insecurity. Lawmakers are optimistic about the bill’s potential to improve food access and education statewide. The proposal received unanimous support in the Senate on April 12 and now heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Senate Republicans Advance Legislation to Provide Flexible Daycare Scheduling Options As families throughout the state struggle to make ends meet due to high inflation and other economic pressures, Senate Republicans have advanced legislation that would support working parents by providing greater flexibility in scheduling childcare. Most daycare centers operate from 8:00 AM to 5:30, presenting a significant problem for shift workers who often work overnight or early morning hours. Republican legislation that recently cleared the Illinois Senate would create a more flexible childcare system to meet the different needs of working parents. Senate Bill 3207, sponsored by Senator Jil Tracy, authorizes daycare centers to operate for 24 hours and provide child care for up to 12 hours for parents employed in a position requiring regularly scheduled shifts. A 10-hour period must elapse between daycare visits. Senate Bill 3207 received unanimous support when it passed out of the Senate on April 12. The legislation now advances to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Legislation to Provide Stability for Abused Children Passes the Senate Senate Republicans have advanced legislation to ensure that children taken into Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) custody don’t have to change schools. Currently, when a child is taken into DCFS custody, they often end up in a new home outside of their school district. Senate Bill 2824, filed by Senator Steve McClure, ensures that all children who have been removed from their homes by DCFS can stay in the same school if the agency determines it to be in the best interest of the child. This includes situations where a student is moving from elementary to middle school or from middle school to high school within a school district. Senator Plummer said that allowing children to remain in their current school provides a measure of stability and familiarity for children who desperately need it. Senate Bill 2824 passed the Senate and now awaits action in the Illinois House.
New Legislation Ensures Accessible Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for People with Disabilities Legislation calling for greater accessibility to ease the challenges faced by people with disabilities when charging their electric vehicles (EVs) has advanced in the Senate. Senate Bill 3323, introduced by Senator Dan McConchie, mandates that all EV charging stations are readily accessible, spaced adequately for accessibility needs, equipped with longer charging cords, and meet technical standards to ensure accessibility for all. While gas stations in America are accessible for most people with disabilities, current laws overlook EV chargers. The proposed legislation would ensure all charging stations are designed to be independently usable by individuals with disabilities. This includes those who might have trouble using their hands, people with limb differences, or individuals reliant on special driving controls. Senate Bill 3323 received unanimous support in the Senate and now advances to the House of Representatives for further consideration.
Illinois State Police Welcomes New Troopers from Cadet Class 146 The Illinois State Police (ISP) recently welcomed nine new troopers from Cadet Class 146 into the ISP family. The graduation ceremony took place at the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield on April 12. Cadet Class 146 underwent a demanding 28-week program that covered various aspects of law enforcement, including cultural diversity, procedural justice, domestic violence, and firearms training. Additionally, they underwent a 14-week field training component with one-on-one mentoring. Since 2019, the ISP has grown its numbers by adding 512 new troopers to its ranks. The fresh recruits will be assigned to the following Troops across the state: Troop 3 Chicago: 7 troopersTroop 4 Peoria: 1 trooperTroop 7 Champaign: 1 trooper To encourage more individuals to join the force, the ISP has extended the application deadline for the next round of recruits to May 1, 2024. Aspiring candidates interested in joining the Illinois State Police are encouraged to visit the Illinois State Police Merit Board website at www.illinoistrooper.com for further application details.
Jason Plummer

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