This week, both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) to support the Fox Waterway. Senate Bill 2696 furthers the mission of the Fox Waterway Agency to ensure the safety, cleanliness and usability of the waterway along the Fox River and Chain O’Lakes.

“The Fox River and Chain O’Lakes are beautiful natural resources that drive critical economic activity for our area,” said Wheeler. “Through Senate Bill 2696, the Fox Waterway Agency will be better equipped to ensure the environmental and economic viability of these natural resources and I look forward to the Governor signing the legislation into law.”
Today, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) and the Illinois House of Representatives honored Dixon Police Officer Mark Dallas, the school resource officer whose quick action saved numerous lives on May 16, 2018. Governor Bruce Rauner has also declared today Mark Dallas Day.

“Officer Dallas is a true hero in every sense of the word,” said Wheeler. “His immediate recognition of the situation and quick action to disarm the gunman that day at Dixon High School averted what could have been a terrible attack and saved numerous lives. Officer Dallas, for your bravery and selfless action to save lives by going into harm’s way, we thank you.”

On May 16, 2018, Dallas confronted an armed former student who had fired a gun at Dixon High School where students were gathered for a graduation rehearsal. As a result of Dallas’ decisive action, no students were harmed. Dallas was honored by House Resolution 1114, which also commended the lockdown procedure put into place by the educators and students at Dixon High School who all acted calmly in the face of the incident.
Following the violent attack in Parkland, Florida, it became clear it could have been prevented had the school had the ability to petition the court for protection. Recognizing this reality, State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) and State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) began crafting bipartisan legislation to address a similar gap in Illinois law. Along with the help of Lake County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Salvi, Senate Bill 3411 would allow a school, place of worship or workplace to seek protection.

“Even though we already have specific rules in place to keep firearms out of the hands of someone who may be suffering from a potentially dangerous mental health problem or who has exhibited signs of violent behavior, a gap currently exists in our law. This legislation helps us close that gap and improve public safety,” said Rep. Wheeler. “I want to thank Senator Raoul for carrying this legislation in the Senate, Lake County Judge Joseph Savli for helping us find a solution to address this issue, and all of the members of the Legislative Public Safety Group who came together to support this legislation.”
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis has published state gross domestic product (GDP) numbers for 2017 as compared with 2016. The federal data table has mixed numbers for Illinois. On the one hand, Illinois’ economy grew in real terms in 2017, with real (inflation-adjusted) GDP rising 1.2% as compared with 2016. The Land of Lincoln’s per capita numbers were even better, with Illinois residents enjoying real GDP in 2017 that was 1.5% greater than that of 2016. 

On the other hand, most U.S. states continued to outperform Illinois. The Prairie State scored 33rd in real 2017 GDP growth among the 50 states, with 32 states outperforming Illinois’ growth rate. Furthermore, Illinois’ good per-capita GDP numbers were helped out by our State’s declining population, with a smaller number of people sharing a slightly larger pie. 
For more than 24 months, from the end of June 2015 until mid-July 2017, the state of Illinois spent taxpayers’ money without an approved budget. The partial withdrawal of Illinois’ legislative branch from the job of overseeing and controlling Illinois spending effectively kicked this oversight power over to the federal and state judiciary, and created wide gaps between Illinois spending areas. Although the General Assembly maintained partial oversight of state spending through continuous public hearings and discussions of spending programs and issues, this partial oversight fell short of the mandate contained in subsection 2(b) of Article VIII of the state Constitution. This subsection requires the General Assembly to make annual formal appropriations for all expenditures based upon funds estimated to be available in the approaching fiscal year. 
FOID cards are required for the legal possession or purchase of a firearm in Illinois. People seeking to renew these cards should submit their applications in a timely manner. Since June 1, 2008, an Illinois FOID card has been valid for 10 years. In the summer of 2008 many Illinois residents applied for 10-year cards, and these cards are all expiring this summer. 

The Illinois State Police urges Illinois current and prospective gun owners who are looking towards applying for or renewing a FOID card this summer to submit their application as soon as possible. The vast majority of applications are submitted online. Delays could happen as the State Police works through the statistical bulge of applications that are expected to come in this summer. 

From the Lake County Clerk: Door-to-door sales people working in unincorporated Lake County must carry a solicitor’s certificate while on the job. 

Every solicitor must:
  • Register annually in-person with our office. Registration is free. 
  • Work only between the hours of 11 am and 7 pm. 
  • Carry his/her own Certificate of Registration bearing the sales person’s name, employer’s name, manufacturer’s name, type of business, and our embossed seal. 
  • Observe any “No Solicitation” signs. 
  • Respect your request if asked to leave. 
If a solicitor comes to your door, ask to see the certificate before conducting any business. You may report unregistered vendors to the Lake County Sheriff’s office (847.549.5200).