This week, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) advanced legislation to the House floor to improve the availability of school choice options for Illinois parents. House Bill 3257 removes limitations on the number of charter schools allowed in Illinois.

“Every child’s first teachers are their parents, which is why it is so important for parents to have a say in where their child is educated,” said Wheeler. “Many parents have this opportunity by choosing to live in a community with excellent public schools, like ours, but not every parent has this option. House Bill 3257 addresses this by giving more parents the opportunity to send their child to a great school by removing the limits on charter schools in Illinois.”
From the Tribune: More Illinoisans die from an opioid overdose than from the barrel of a gun. But imagine the public outcry if a state-run program was passing out weaponry to civilians.

Enter Illinois' workers' compensation system, which contains a little-known loophole that puts injured workers at risk of drug addiction and overdose. Doctors treating injured workers in Illinois through the workers' comp system can sell the drugs they prescribe directly out of their office. And that comes with life-threatening consequences.
It was another busy few weeks in the 64th District with lots of events taking place. Many of our communities hosted Chamber of Commerce Business Expo's, including Spring Grove, Johnsburg, Wauconda and Fox Lake. The expo's featured hundreds of local businesses and vendors featuring their products and services.

The Fox Lake Area Chamber of Commerce Business and Craft Expo was held at Grant Community High School and was well attended. Over 85 businesses were represented at this year’s event. There were many activities for children and families, including martial arts demonstrations, balloon artists and games, and several local restaurants offered samples and inexpensive treats. Additionally, Several Grant students were dressed as beloved story characters for pictures with children and attendees.
In an effort to make state government and the legislative process more accessible to Illinois residents, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is providing a link to translate the Illinois General Assembly website, www.ilga.gov, into various different languages.

The Illinois General Assembly website contains legislator profiles, full text of all legislation introduced in the House of Representatives and State Senate, live audio and video feeds of legislative session and committee hearings; as well as a wide variety of other legislative information and support services.

Please click any of the links below to translate the Illinois General Assembly website into your preferred language:

Spanish         Español
Arabic          عربي               
Hindi           हिन्दी      
Chinese (Simplified) 中文简体               
Chinese (Traditional) 中文繁體                
Japanese        日本語 
Korean          한국어             
Russian         Русский 
French          Français    
German        Deutsch             
Italian            Italiano           
Polish             Polski        
Greek             Ελληνικά 
State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is sponsoring legislation to give residents the option to consolidate unnecessary local governments through referendum. House Bill 496, which advanced to the full House this week, allows residents to consolidate townships that are coterminous with a municipality to reduce duplicate costs and services.

“As the recent report from the Tax Foundation shows, Illinois has the third highest property taxes in the nation,” said Wheeler. “We know one of the primary factors driving our high property taxes is that we have more local governments than any other state. House Bill 496 puts the control directly in the hands of residents to reduce their tax burden and save money through a direct vote.”
This week, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) advanced legislation through the Illinois House of Representatives to make it easier and more cost effective for counties to do business. House Bill 1800 makes it easier for counties to negotiate contracts to utilize crops as snow breaks in winter.

“I’m glad this piece of legislation was able to move through the committee process and advance out of the House so quickly,” said Wheeler. “This is a straight forward piece of legislation that gives our counties the latitude they need to find cost savings for residents by utilizing natural structures as snow breaks in winter and reduce the cost of snow removal services.”
The Crystal Lake Food Pantry recently had an Open House to show off their beautiful new facility. The Pantry moved to its new location at 42 East Street in Crystal Lake off Route 176 several months ago.

The new centrally located facility makes it easier to serve the Pantry’s clients. Since 1 in 7 people currently need help to feed their families, the Pantry helps 547 families per month in the area, up 10% from last year. Surprisingly, over 36% the Pantry’s customers are under the age of 8 years old, while 9% of their customers are over the age of 60. In keeping with their motto, “no one should go hungry,” the Pantry is planning more outreach in the future to expand services for seniors, and their many volunteers from Scouts to Churches will help make sure that the goal is met.

Are you a developer, business, municipality, local agency, or resident that lives or works in Lake County? If so, you're encouraged you to attend an Open House on March 15, to provide feedback on proposed changes and revisions to Lake County ordinances that may affect you.

Several Lake County Departments are reviewing and updating ordinances, and you are invited to join them for an open house to review the changes, provide feedback and ask questions. They are bringing each of these departments together in one spot so that customers and stakeholders can get all of the information you need in one stop.

Please attend one of these meetings, or submit comments through the Ordinance website.

Two Open House Sessions Available:
Date: Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Times: 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. OR *4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Lake County Division of Transportation, 600 Winchester Road, Libertyville

*The Health Department will be conducting a formal Public Hearing at 4 p.m. as part of this open house. See Public Hearing Notice.