The much anticipated new science building at the College of Lake County opened for classes this week. Thanks to the advocacy of State Representative Barbara Wheeler, the state of the art facility was approved for $17.5 million in project funding by the Illinois Capital Development Board.

From the Daily Herald: "What they will find is a modern, energy-efficient building that's a big step up from the old digs.
Everyday in the United States, doctors and hospitals use over 36,000 units of red blood, 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma while treating patients. A single donation could be used by multiple patients and save lives. Consider giving blood this January. 

The American Red Cross offers a convenient zip code search where you can find upcoming blood drives near your community, Click Here
State Representative Barbara Wheeler joined the #WearBlueDay campaign to raise awareness about the pervasive impact of human trafficking in the United States. Rep. Wheeler has made the fight against human trafficking a focus of her legislative work in Springfield and recently joined the board of Refuge a Women, a non-profit that helps victims recover.

Learn more about the #BlueCampaign and the collaborative work of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, law enforcement and leaders across the country to end this terrible human exploitation here: https://www.dhs.gov/blue-campaign.
State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) said it is good news that the University of Illinois (U of I) System plans to extend its current in-state tuition freeze for another year, but more is needed.

“The cost of a public university education has risen 200 percent across the country in the past two decades,” said Wheeler. “Illinois students have felt these rising costs more than our neighboring states and it’s caused a dramatic brain drain as students have chosen to leave Illinois. I’m pleased the U of I System is responding to the problem by continuing their in-state tuition freeze, but considering the dramatic increase in college costs, more has to be done.”

The Board of Trustees for the U of I System, which consists of universities in Chicago, Springfield and Urbana-Champaign, is expected to vote on the undergraduate in-state tuition freeze proposal next week. President Tim Killeen said the tuition freeze, begun in the fall of 2014, has increased enrollment by 6.6 percent. While undergraduate in-state tuition will be frozen, undergraduate mandatory fees and room-and-board rates will not be frozen, nor will graduate and professional program tuition.
January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month. On Thursday, January 11, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, State Representative Barbara Wheeler and leaders across the country are encouraging Americans to #WearBlueDay to support human trafficking awareness. Join the awareness effort to end this terrible practice by wearing your blue and share #WeWearBlueBecause

From the Lake County Health Department: Radon is a radioactive gas naturally found in rock and soil. It typically moves up through the ground to the air above and into your home through cracks and other holes in the foundation. Your home traps radon inside, where it can build up. Any home may have a radon problem. This means new and old homes, well-sealed and drafty homes, and homes with or without basements. 

The Health Department offers short-term testing kits for $10.00. The cost includes return postage, laboratory analysis and interpretation by Health Department staff. Test kits are also available from area hardware and building supply stores. If test results reveal elevated levels of radon in your home, contact a radon professional to evaluate and fix the problem. For more information and to request a short-term testing kit, contact the Health Department at: (847) 377-8020 or Click Here.
The “Illinois 1818” postage stamp celebrates Illinois’s 200th birthday, will have no denomination and will be permanently valid for U.S. postage use. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) stamp’s simple design features twenty stars, paying tribute to the first 20 American states, and then superimposed on an outline map of Illinois is the image of a rising sun in honor of Illinois, the 21st state. The Flag Act of 1818, enacted on the eve of Illinois’ entry into the Union, standardized the custom of adding one star for each state and keeping thirteen stripes for the original 13 States. Another 2018 USPS stamp will commemorate the Flag Act flag.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation supported by Rep. Barbara Wheeler that substantially reduces startup, annual filing and other fees for limited liability companies (LLCs), the organizational structure preferred by many of Illinois' 1.2 million small businesses.

The new law will encourage more businesses to form in Illinois rather than go to other states to escape high fees. Effective immediately, the filing fee for new LLCs drops to $150 from $500 and annual report fees drop to $75 from $250. Previously, Illinois charged fees that were among the highest in the nation.

The bill, SB 867, was signed in the presence of dozens of small business advocates gathered at Level Office, an LLC that provides shared office space for startups. 
The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County will be hosting two household chemical drop-off events at their facility located at 1311 N. Estes Street Gurnee, IL 60031 on Saturday, January 13 and Monday January 22. 

APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED for Household Chemical Waste Events located at the Gurnee Facility to ensure safety & efficiency. Collections are for residential waste only. No business waste will be accepted. All SWALCO HCW Collection Events are FREE for Illinois residents ONLY.
The Illinois Tax Credit Scholarship Program, “Invest in Kids,” provides a 75 percent Illinois state income tax credit to individuals and corporations that contribute money to a non-profit Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO). The SGOs award scholarships to eligible students from low-income families. These scholarships allow schools across the state to provide quality educations to young students who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend the quality school of their parents choosing.

Through this program: 
  • An individual or corporation will receive a 75 percent credit on donations to an SGO. For example, if a person donates $100,000, they will receive a state tax credit of $75,000. 
  • Individual donors can designate their donations to a specific SGO. 
  • The credit can be rolled over for five years. 
  • Donors are prohibited from receiving a federal tax deduction for these donations. 
  • The program is capped at $100 million in donations, resulting in $75 million in total tax credits issued.