Senate Week in Review: Oct. 7 – 11, 2019

McHenry, IL. – In this report, you’ll find the final details of my summer survey, school visits, and a State Police phone scam warning. There’s also still time to honor your veteran loved one.

In other news, the Illinois Lottery added two instant games to its lineup to raise money for breast cancer awareness and for homelessness. 

Summer Survey Part 3
In two previous columns, I presented the survey results from my printed summer newsletter. Participation in the survey was available through the newsletter and also online at my legislative website:
www.senatorwilcox.com. Here are the results of the online portion of the survey: 

Do you think the Illinois Constitution should be amended to take the process of drawing legislative district maps out of the hands of self-interested lawmakers to make the process independent and non-partisan?

  • Yes      147
  • No       4
  • Undecided/No Opinion   5 

Illinois leads the nation with nearly 7,000 units of local government. Knowing that these government entities often contribute to increased costs for local taxpayers through extra layers of taxation, do you support a consolidation of township government?

  • Yes      112
  • No       25
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion   19

To help with public pensions costs, it’s been suggested that local school districts should be responsible for paying into their teachers’ retirement plan rather than all taxpayers across the state. Do you agree?

  • Yes      90
  • No       41
  • Don’t Know/No Opinion   25

Respondents were also to rank 10 key issues in order of importance: (with 1 being the most important and 10 being the least important:

  1. Property Tax Relief
  2. Taxes are too High
  3. Job Creation/Economic Growth
  4. Ethics Reform
  5. Public Safety/Crime
  6. Healthcare/Human Services
  7. K-12 Education
  8. Saving for Retirement
  9. Senior Programs
  10. College Education

School Visits
During the week, I visited two of our great local schools: Landmark Elementary in McHenry on October 8 and Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake on October 9. 

At Landmark, I met with Second and Third Graders at the school’s Innovation Center (pictured left). The students created electrical circuits to light an LED on hand-drawn monster images (pictured right). I want to thank teacher Krista Guest for her hospitality and congratulate her and her enthusiastic students for their hard work. 

At Prairie Ridge I was Principal for a Day. I spoke with two AP Government classes. The students in this introductory college-level course in U.S. government and politics recently completed a national-level, simulation/roleplay discussing the banning of vaping. 

By the way, vaping could very well be an issue legislators will take up during the fall Veto session. The online Illinois news site The Center Square reportsthe American Lung Association of Illinois wants lawmakers to take up measures to ban flavored vaping products.” 

Telephone Scam Warning from ISP
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is warning the public of a phone scam currently circulating throughout the country, including Illinois. 

The scam call involves a claim the person’s grandson has been arrested or is in trouble. While the Caller ID on the phone indicates the State Police are calling, the ISP says the call is not them. Citizens are advised to hang up immediately and cautioned to not provide any personal information. If you’ve been a victim of such a call, contact the State Police at 217-782-7980. You can also file a report with the Illinois Attorney General’s office at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/about/contacts.html.

New Illinois Lottery Games
The Illinois Lottery’s “Carolyn Adam’s Ticket for the Cure” instant scratch-off game is back, coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The Lottery also issued a new game, “Easy as 1-2-3” to address homelessness.

Since the game’s inception in 2006, as “Ticket for the Cure,” more than $13 million has been raised for breast cancer research, awareness and education in Illinois. The game was renamed after Carolyn Adams, the former Illinois Lottery Superintendent, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2007. Each Carolyn Adams Ticket for the Cure costs $3. The ticket features a top prize of $50,000. 

Meanwhile, the “Easy as 123” scratch-off ticket began last month. It’s the first-ever Illinois Lottery game that addresses homeless. It’s $2 to play, with a maximum prize amount of $20,000. Proceeds go to the state’s Homeless Prevention Revenue Fund administered by the Illinois Department of Human Services. The fund provides rent and utility assistance to those in need.  

Honoring Veterans
There’s still time to honor your veteran loved one with a place on the Wall of Honor (pictured left) at the State Capitol for Veterans Day. 

It’s easy to submit a photo and written story (max: 250 words). Please email submissions to:

veteransday@sgop.ilga.gov by November 3, along with the following information: name, military branch (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard, Navy) and conflict served (Afghanistan, Iraq, September 11, Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, WWII, WWI, Peacetime, other). Military photos are preferred but not necessary. The same information and photos can also be mailed to Veterans Day Wall, 309 G Statehouse, Springfield, IL 62706. If you have questions, please call (217) 782-7330. 

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