Senate Week in Review: March 9 –13, 2020

McHenry, IL – In this report, a reminder about an important election coming up on March 17; the 2020 Census is officially underway and; there are real facts and figures about the coronavirus you can access. In other news, recently filed legislation could help veterans get a head start on their civilian careers. And, it’s nearly time for the start of Illinois’ 2020 Trout Fishing Season. 

2020 Primary Election
Illinois’ 2020 Primary Election is Tuesday, March 17. As the Declaration of Independence states, governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed…” We are the “governed” and that means true authority lies with us, the citizens. You can find your polling place by contacting your County Clerk’s office. 

McHenry County – County Clerk – 815-334-4000. They have an online search for polling places, which can be found at: https://mchenry-il.connect4.clarityelections.com/

Lake County – County Clerk – 847-377-2000. You can search online for Lake County polling places at: https://www.lakecountyil.gov/4085/Find-Your-Voting-Site

Participating in the Census helps your community
With the census invitations beginning to hit mailboxes, you may be wondering what this statistical picture of our nation is used for and how it can help our communities.

In addition to determining your representation in Congress, census data is also used to direct federal tax dollars to communities throughout the country. 

When you wake up and drive to work, you’re driving on roads or riding on public transit systems that were, in part, funded by federal tax dollars. When you drop off your kids at school, census results have helped determine how money is allocated to their school for the Head Start program, school lunch programs, and grants that support teachers and special education. 

Additionally, billions of dollars in federal funding is allocated for more than 100 programs like Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), emergency services, senior services, veterans programs, and more. Participating in the 2020 census means helping to shape the future of your community by ensuring your community receives its fair share of federal resources. 

Real coronavirus facts and figures
At my legislative website you will find three quick links (buttons) for the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and John Hopkins University. These are three science-driven, online sites for you to see the current status of the virus in Illinois, the United States and the world. I would encourage you to look at all the information and reach your own decision about the virus, based on available facts. 

IDPH has a statewide coronavirus/COVID-19 hotline (1-800-889-3931) and website if you have questions. The website link: IDPH.illinois.gov

Senate advances veteran job training legislation
If you’re a member of the military stationed in Illinois, you could soon get a head-start on your civilian career thanks to legislation that recently advanced out of committee in the Illinois Senate.                             

Senate Bill 2925 aims to connect Skillbridge, a Department of Defense apprenticeship program designed to provide service members with civilian work experience, with Illinois-based employers. 

In the Skillbridge program, service members in their last 180 days of service are given the opportunity to gain civilian work experience in industry-specific training, apprenticeships, or internships. The new legislation provides a tax credit for businesses that take part in the program, which incentivizes the businesses to connect with service members stationed in Illinois. 

On March 3, the Illinois Senate Veterans Affairs Committee voted to advance the legislation for consideration to the full Senate. 

Get ready for Trout Fishing Season
Opening day for the 2020 season is Saturday, April 4. However, there is an early opportunity at select trout sites for the Spring Catch-and-Release Fishing Season**. No trout may be kept during the catch-and-release fishing period, March 21 – April 4, but anglers can keep trout after the opening of the regular season beginning April 4.

All anglers – including those who intend to release fish caught before April 4 – must have a fishing license and an Inland Trout Stamp, unless they are under the age of 16, blind or disabled, or are an Illinois resident on leave from active duty in the Armed Forces. The daily catch limit for each angler is five trout.

Illinois 2020 fishing licenses and Inland Trout Stamps are available now at IDNR Direct license and permit locations, including many bait shops, sporting goods stores and other retail outlets. For a list of locations, check the IDNR website at this link: https://dnr2.illinois.gov/dnrdirectmonitor/VendorListing.aspx.

Fishing licenses and trout stamps also can be purchased by using a credit card through IDNR Direct online via the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/LPR/Pages/default.aspx, or by calling IDNR Direct toll-free at 1-888-6PERMIT (1-888-673-7648). 

Trout fishing sites in and around the 32nd District area include:

  • Boone County: Mill Race Ponds, Belvidere
  • Lake County: Banana Lake, Lake County Forest Preserve District
  • Lake County: Sand Lake at Illinois Beach State Park
  • McHenry County: Lake Atwood, McHenry County Conservation District
  • McHenry County: Piscasaw Creek, McHenry County Conservation District
  • Ogle County: Pine Creek in White Pines Forest State Park ** – Spring Catch-and-Release site
  • Winnebago County: Baumann Lake, Cherry Valley
  • Winnebago County: Four Lakes, Winnebago County Forest Preserve District

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