Capitol Report from Senator Craig Wilcox

Wilcox hosts successful town hall meeting in Harvard
I want to thank everyone who came out to Harvard City Hall last week for my listening tour town hall meeting. I was joined at this regional event by my colleague State Senator Dave Syverson of Rockford. Together, we held a panel discussion about important legislative issues that affect Illinoisans, and then we spent about an hour taking questions from a very engaged audience.

These town hall meetings- and especially Q&A sessions- are a great way for me to truly understand the priorities and concerns of the people I represent in Springfield. Again, thanks to everyone who came to the event. It was a really successful exchange of ideas.

My staff and I are already working on a robust calendar of community outreach events for 2022, so I invite you to visit my web site (SenatorWilcox.com) regularly to learn about upcoming outreach events near you.

Senator Wilcox opposes repeal of Parental Notice of Abortion Act
Democrat leaders in the Senate and in the House of Representatives garnered enough votes on a bill in late October that would repeal parental notification of abortion in Illinois, despite Republican lawmakers and some Democrat lawmakers taking a strong stand for parental rights in assuring the physical and mental well-being of their minor children.

In my opinion, House Bill 370 is a direct attack on parental rights and will leave countless young girls vulnerable at a time when they desperately need support and guidance. Passed by a 32-22 vote in the Senate on Oct. 26, and a 62-51 vote in the House on Oct. 27, House Bill 370 has not yet been acted on by the Governor more than three weeks later. I would expect the Governor to do what he usually does with extremely unpopular legislation. Look for him to sign this horrible bill into law late on a Friday, or over the holidays when fewer people are paying attention.

The Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 requires that parents of minors be notified before their child receives an abortion procedure. Currently, the law simply stipulates that a parent be informed of the procedure. Parents are not required to provide consent. Should Gov. Pritzker sign House Bill 370, minor children would no longer have to inform their parents prior to undergoing the medical procedure.

IDOT launches new road conditions map for winter weather travel
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced this week the launch of a new and improved winter road conditions maps on its Getting Around Illinois website.

With winter weather approaching, the new tool will help travelers get more reliable information to help plan their commute when hazardous weather strikes.

Instead of continuing to display conditions by county, the revamped map will show how weather events are impacting roads under the jurisdictions of the more than 120 snow-and-ice team sections that work out of IDOT facilities throughout the state. Additionally, conditions on interstates and U.S. routes, which carry the most traffic in Illinois, will be given priority reporting status and appear more boldly on the map.

A short video on how to utilize the map and review conditions can be viewed here.

It’s Turkey Time! Tips for a safe and happy holiday dinner
If you’re hosting on Thursday and have a large turkey on the menu, I hope you have moved it to the refrigerator to thaw.

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and the Illinois State Fire Marshal’s Office is offering tips for a safe holiday dinner.

House fires are four times more likely to happen on Thanksgiving Day due to the nature of involving more cooking equipment. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, each year from 2017 to 2019, an estimated average of 2,300 residential building fires were reported to fire departments in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing food, not just during the holiday season but all year.

  • Never leave food that you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling unattended! If you leave the kitchen, even for a short amount of time, turn off the stove.
  • Frying a turkey has become more popular in recent years.
    • Make sure to not overfill oil in the fryer. Fill the pot you plan to use to fry the turkey with water and place the turkey in. This will help to determine how much oil is needed without causing oil to spill out when you are ready to fry, which could lead to a fire.
    • Use the turkey fryer outdoors ONLY!
    • Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying.
    • Use long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when you handle the pot!
  • Create a “Kid Free Zone” of at least three feet around the stove or anywhere you are preparing hot food or drinks.
  • Keep the area around the stove clear of towels, papers, potholders or anything that can burn.
  • Smother small flames in a pan by sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and leave the lid over the pan while it cools.
  • If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire, just get out! Call 9-1-1 or your emergency number from outside the home.

 

As we head into the official start of the 2021 holiday season, I would like to wish you and your family a very safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.

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