In January of 2016, an important new law to fight human trafficking took effect in Illinois, the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act. This law (Public Act 99-0099), which State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) carried through the Illinois General Assembly, utilizes the business community to ensure human trafficking victims have access to essential services. 

“Human trafficking is a much more pervasive practice than many of us realize and it is essential that we increase awareness and engage the public to fight this form of modern day slavery,” said Wheeler. “The Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act makes information about a very important resource available to victims and witnesses, which has taken us another step closer to ending this horrific practice.” 

The Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act provides that specified businesses and establishments conspicuously provide information concerning the availability of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC). The law not only helps victims of this heinous crime gain access to the resources they need to overcome the trauma they have experienced, but also acts an avenue for anyone who observes or suspects trafficking the ability to report it to the proper authorities. 
From the Lake County Sheriff's Office: On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is taking back unwanted prescription drugs. Each year, the Sheriff’s Office partners with the DEA on the national ‘Drug Take Back’ program which encourages the public to prevent substance abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

The service is free, anonymous, and offered at the following three locations:
  • Beach Park Village Hall, 11270 W. Wadsworth Road, Beach Park 
  • Long Grove Fire Protection District, 1165 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove 
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 27551 Volo Village Road, Volo
The House bill voting deadline will come at the end of this week on Friday. April 27 is the cutoff date for bills originating in the House to be favorably considered by the full House in floor debate and sent to the Senate for final passage. Bills that are not passed by the deadline will be sent to the House Rules Committee, which is the primary pathway under the rules of the House to “table” bills that will no longer be considered. 

Following the House deadline for consideration of its own bills, the focus will shift toward consideration of Senate bills. The House will reconvene on Tuesday, May 8 to hold committee hearings for testimony and discussion of bills that originated in the Senate. Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly will have a four-week period to consider the bills passed by the other chamber and reach final compromises on the difficult issues of 2018. The House and Senate are scheduled to adjourn regular session on Thursday, May 31.
Last fall, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) began to work with the Illinois State Police (ISP) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) to address a reporting issue linked to mental health concerns and gun violence. A review of required reporting showed a number of hospitals were failing to report certain mental health admissions to keep guns away from potentially dangerous individuals. House Bill 4855, which passed the House today, addresses this reporting problem by clearly defining when a hospital needs to report a mental health admission.

“As I have said before, even though we already have rules in place to keep firearms out of the hands of someone suffering from a potentially dangerous mental health problem, if those rules are not being followed, it means nothing,” said Wheeler. “However, if those rules lack clarity, the fault is with the rules and we need to correct them.”

The recently formed Public Safety Task Force pointed out the statistical reality that two-thirds of gun deaths are attributed to suicide. This is one of the reasons Illinois law already requires hospitals to report certain mental health admissions to ensure that people at risk of harming themselves or others will not have access to firearms. The lack of clarity in the reporting process occurred because current state statute ambiguously defines what constitutes a “patient” receiving mental health treatment and under what circumstances it needs to be reported. This led many hospitals and medical facilities to underreport required admissions to DHS and ISP.
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is teaming up with the Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation to help decrease prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.

Governor Bruce Rauner announced at the beginning of April that five ISP District headquarters across the state will house receptacles for people to drop off their unused and unwanted prescription medications.

Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation provided the receptacles for initiative. The foundation was created by David and Gail Katz, whose son died in 2007 from an overdose of prescription medication.
Celebrate Earth Day by checking out these family-friendly events.
  • The Forest Preserves are celebrating Earth Day (April 22) with a week of free nature programs April 16 to 22. Enjoy Acoustic Bat Monitoring, a Guided Nature Paddle, a Woodpecker Walk and more. Locations vary based on program. Learn more.
  • Enjoy a day of fun, free outdoor activities as Lindenhurst celebrates Earth Day from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 21. The celebration will include a 5K run and walk, recycling opportunities, a Concert for the Earth, an Earth Day kite fly and more. Learn more
  • Join the first Earth Day Expo from noon to 4 p.m. April 22 at Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills. Participate in the Cardboard Challenge, enjoy face painting, music and more. Learn more
  • Enjoy a recycling experiment, scavenger hunt, music, recycling opportunities and more at a free Earth Day and Recycling event from 1 to 3 p.m. April 22 at the Dunbar Recreation Center in Mundelein. Learn more
5 Steps to Your Next Job New time and location!
Dates:
Monday, April 16 to Friday, April 20 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm each day
Location:
Round Lake Public Library 906 Hart Rd. Round Lake, IL

Attend a 5-day interactive workshop series. This series covers the entire job search process from researching careers to landing your next job. Attend all 5 days to earn a certificate! Reservations recommended 847.377.3439 or email elocke@lakecountyil.gov

Additional Featured Events:
Job Searching Over Age 50
April 11 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Cook Park Library
413 N. Milwaukee Ave. Libertyville
847-362-2330
From Lake County: The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) is gearing up for a busy road construction season. In 2018, Lake County will have nearly $100 million in road projects under construction, including 30 new projects. There will also be several resurfacing projects, culvert replacements, signal modernizations, and enhancements to the non-motorized network.

View the Interactive Construction Map to find a project you are interested in and connect to the latest information and important updates.
The newly-formed bipartisan bicameral Legislative Public Safety Working Group met late yesterday to begin discussions on a wide range of issues that impact the safety and security of Illinois citizens.

The meeting was the first in what Governor Bruce Rauner and legislators expect to be a series of discussions this session on a comprehensive approach to public safety. Rauner is working to engage with legislators to collaborate on critical issues of gun trafficking, school safety, mental health and crime prevention.

Yesterday’s meeting centered on gun issues and school safety. On the latter, the administration shared recommendations developed by a panel of school administrators, police and fire officials who are members of the Illinois Terrorism Task Force. Potential action items include behavioral threat assessments, information sharing among schools, student safety tip lines, active shooter drills, and enhanced fire alarm protocols.
Today, the Legislative Public Safety Group will hold its first meeting. In response to recent acts of mass violence around the country, Governor Bruce Rauner called for the creation of this group to work with his administration. This working group will work with the administration to develop bipartisan legislative proposals to address several factors causing incidents of mass violence. State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake), who has already been working on several bipartisan public safety initiatives, will play a key role in the work of this new group.

“The incidents of mass violence which have happened in our society demonstrate that we are dealing with an issue bigger than just guns falling into the hands of bad people,” said Wheeler. “We need to address what is leading people this type of behavior by considering a multitude of factors. If we can more effectively identify those at risk, it will allow us to create better measures to protect our schools and places of work, help those suffering with mental illness and ensure law enforcement is better equipped to prevent something from happening in the future. Several of my colleagues and I have already begun to work together with this mindset, so I hope this public safety group can be the final piece of puzzle to get things done.”
From the Lake County Treasurer's Office: The more than 20,000 Lake County taxpayers who prepaid their property taxes last December are allowed to deduct their prepaid property taxes on their 2017 federal tax return, according to a statement from the U.S. Treasury Department. 

“The Lake County Treasurer’s Office is very pleased to be able to provide clarity on this question for local taxpayers,” Lake County Treasurer David Stolman said. “I would like to thank Congressman Peter Roskam (6th District) for his assistance in seeking confirmation that taxpayers in Illinois are not bound by previous IRS guidance regarding the prepayment of property taxes.” 

The U.S. Department of the Treasury agreed that an advisory issued by the IRS does not address Illinois and, therefore, taxpayers in Illinois are not bound by the IRS guidance and are able to deduct their prepaid property taxes.