Update from Senator: Plummer July 3

Happy 4th of July
Happy 4th of July – Please Stay Safe Senator Plummer is hoping you will be able to enjoy a great Independence Day with family and friends. He is also encouraging people to stay safe as they celebrate. According to the Red Cross, the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public show put on by professionals. However, they offer the following tips for setting off fireworks safely: Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.” Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets. The Independence Day weekend is expected to be a busy weekend for travel, meaning motorists need to be cautious. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, during the 2023 Independence Day weekend, there were 15 fatal crashes in Illinois. To help keep roadways safe this year, Illinois State Police, along with local departments, are stepping up enforcement to ensure that drivers are sober, wearing a  seat belt, and obeying traffic laws.
Illinois’ Culture of Corruption in the Headlines Democrat Ed Burke, Chicago’s longest-serving alderman, a longtime-ally of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and a towering figure in city politics, has been sentenced to prison time in the latest in a long history of high-profile corruption cases to rock Illinois. Burke, who used his significant influence to steer business to his law firm in exchange for helping companies navigate the Chicago City Council, was convicted on 13 charges of bribery, racketeering, and extortion. He was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $2 million for leveraging his position to improperly influence business dealings for personal gain. Senate Republicans cite this conviction as further evidence of the urgent need for tougher ethics reforms to hold politicians accountable and make it easier for law enforcement to investigate public corruption. Senate Republicans have continued to fight the culture of corruption that has long tainted Illinois politics, pushing for greater accountability and transparency. Recent proposals from Republican lawmakers include stronger revolving door prohibitions, banning elected officials from working as paid lobbyists and campaign finance reforms.
New laws July 1
Laws Taking Effect July 1 Several new laws have taken effect, starting on July 1, including measures allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain Illinois driver’s licenses, protections for the children of social media influencers, additional safeguards for independent contractors, and changes to school assessment tests. Undocumented Immigrants Drivers’ Licenses Public Act 103-0210 allows non-citizens to obtain standard driver’s licenses. This replaces a previous system in which they were allowed to obtain licenses that indicated they were not citizens. Now, they will be able to get the same licenses as Illinois citizens. Underage Professional Vlogger Protections Public Act 103-0556 seeks to protect children from exploitation by requiring influencers to set up a trust fund for their child if they earn income from their child’s likeness. Regulation for District-Administered Assessment in Schools Public Act 103-0393 requires school boards to hold a public vote before approving a new contract for district-administered assessments. Freelance Worker Protections Public Act 103-0417 creates the Freelance Worker Protection Act to create protections for independent contractors.
ISP Partners with Texas DPS to Enhance Child Protection Training A new Illinois State Police (ISP) partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety trained officers to better protect at-risk Illinois children. This joint venture allowed ISP officers to participate in the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) training program. The goal of the IPC training is to help officers identify signs of child exploitation, victimization, and abduction. The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), other law enforcement agencies and child advocacy groups also attended the training. Illinoisans are encouraged to report any suspicious activities involving minors to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Additional resources can be found at www.humantraffickinghotline.org.
Road Construction
IDOT’s Fiscal Year 2025-2030 Plan Released IDOT’s newest Multi-Year Improvement Plan (MYP) is the largest in state history, investing $41.42 billion over the next six years in various projects touching every county in Illinois. Funding for the projects will come from a combination of federal, state, and local dollars. This program is part of the ongoing Rebuild Illinois Program, designed to improve the state’s transportation infrastructure. The primary goal of this funding is to modernize Illinois roadways. In this annual update to the MYP, $29.65 billion is earmarked for roads and bridges, while the remaining $11.77 billion is allocated for public transit, freight, and passenger rail, as well as other projects. Information about the plan can be found on IDOT’s website.
Jason Plummer

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