Capitol Report from Senator Craig Wilcox

Governor Signs Several Senate Republican-Sponsored Bills into Law

As the 60-day deadline approaches for some of the Legislature’s passed bills, the Governor officially signed over 130 bills into law on July 28. Several of those bills were sponsored by Senate Republicans.

Here are some notable ones that I was proud to sponsor/co-sponsor or support:

House Bill 2579 amends the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act by allowing the Department of Revenue to deny the registration application of any business filed by an individual who is delinquent on their taxes.

House Bill 3203 – Expands the availability of fentanyl test strips, allowing them to be sold over-the-counter and enables county health departments to provide them for free.

Senate Bill 1072 – Officially recognizes the Honor and Remember Flag as the State symbol of concern for and commitment to honoring and remembering the lives of all members of the United States armed forces who have lost their lives while serving or as a result of service and their families.

Senate Bill 1875 – Allows out-of-state residents to apply for police officer positions at Illinois universities. Previously, non-Illinois residents could only apply if all Illinois applicants were deemed unqualified.

House Bill 2245 – Establishes a 24-hour, every day of the week vehicle theft hotline in Cook County to facilitate the location of a stolen vehicle and provide police with more information in the case of those cars being used to commit additional crimes.

DNR Applications for OSLAD Program Grant Application Open

Applications are now being accepted for the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development Grant (OSLAD) program. The OSLAD Program through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is a state-financed grant program that provides funding assistance to local government agencies for acquisition and/or development of land for public parks and open space.

All local governments must be authorized by Illinois law to spend public funds for those purposes. School districts are ineligible. These projects can vary from smaller neighborhood parks to larger community or county parks or nature areas.

Under this program, most grants will only cover up to 50% of approved project costs. However, for those in economically distressed communities the amount can be increased to 100% of costs. A list of those communities can be found online. Grants for acquisition projects can be awarded up to $1.725 million, while development or renovation projects are limited to a maximum of $600,000. All applications must be submitted prior to 5:00 p.m. on Aug 31. There are multiple steps to completing an application, however it can be started online.

2023 State Fair to kick off in Springfield

The first official day of the 2023 Illinois State Fair is this Thursday, August 10. The opening night Twilight Parade is set for 7:00 PM Thursday, and the Fair runs for 10 days through Sunday, August 20.

Entertainment at this year’s Illinois State Fair includes concerts by Old Dominion, the Doobie Brothers, Alanis Morrisette, REO Speedwagon, Tim McGraw, Nelly, and Maren Morris, just to name a few.  Click here for more information about performances and other entertainment.

Just some of the themed days for the 2023 State Fair include:

Upcoming Events in the 32nd District

I have a few community outreach events coming up that might be of interest. Mark your calendars now for the following:

  • August 16, Unclaimed Property Day: 2:30 PM-4:30 PM, Fox Lake Public Library, 255 E. Grand Ave., Fox Lake
  • August 31, Barks and Brews: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Kishwaukee Brewing Company, 1900 Dillard Court, Woodstock
  • September 14, Conversations Untapped: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Cary Ale House & Brewing, 208 W Main St, Cary
  • September 19, Virtual FAFSA Information Meeting: 6:00 PM-7:00 PM, online, to receive the webinar link, RSVP to Lori at
  • October 10, Conversations Untapped: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub, 10 W Grand Ave, Lake Villa
  • October 12, Conversations Untapped: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Rivalry Alehouse, 945 Main St, Antioch

  • October 17, Senior Fair: 10:00 AM-12:00 Noon, Grand Oaks Recreation Center, 1401 IL-176, Crystal Lake
Craig Wilcox

Want to stay up to date with Senator Wilcox?

Sign up for his E-Newsletter below: