Capitol Report from Senator Craig Wilcox

Popular Barks & Brews Event Scheduled for August 31

What’s better than casual conversation with your Senator while sipping delicious craft brews? Dogs, of course! I’m hosting my Second Annual Barks & Brews event this Thursday, August 31, from 5:30 PM until 7:00 PM at Kishwaukee Brewing Company, 1900 Dillard Court, in Woodstock.

Helping Paws Animal Shelter will have a group of dogs available for adoption at the event, and those who find a pet they would like to adopt can then set an appointment to complete the adoption process at the shelter. No same-day adoptions will be permitted.

My dog Daisy is a rescue and I have always been an advocate for pet adoptions. I hope we are able to place several dogs through this collaborative event. For additional information, please contact Lori at

Other upcoming community outreach events in the 32nd District include:

  • September 14, Conversations Untapped: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Cary Ale House & Brewing, 208 W. Main Street, Cary

  • September 19, Virtual Student Financial Aid Information Meeting: 6:00 PM-7:00 PM, online, to receive the webinar link, please RSVP to Lori at

  • October 10, Conversations Untapped: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM, Timothy O’Toole’s Pub, 10 W. Grand Avenue, Lake Villa

  • October 12, Conversations Untapped: 5:30 PM- 7:00 PM, Rivalry Alehouse, 945 Main Street, Antioch

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

Tax credit information on purchase of back-to-school supplies

By now most kids are back in school, and because the Pritzker Administration did not extend the sales tax holiday on school supplies this year, I wanted to remind taxpayers that a tax credit may be available to offset some of those costs. Specifically, taxpayers may be able to claim school expenses for their K-12 students on their 2023 Illinois individual income tax returns.

Tax credits are available for both student and teacher expenses. Click here to learn more.

School bus safety reminder

It’s back-to-school season with most Illinois public schools now back in session. With the start of school comes an increase in the number of school buses on the roadways. It’s important that motorists take extreme caution when approaching a stopped school bus.

When coming to a stopped school bus, vehicles should leave a distance of at least 20 feet to allow students to safely cross the roadway. Violations for passing a school bus include a minimum fine of $300 and a three-month driver’s license suspension for the first offense and a minimum fine of $1,000 and a one-year driver’s license suspension for any subsequent offense.

According to the Illinois State Police, most of the children that are killed in bus-related crashes are pedestrians, ages five to seven years old, who are getting on or off the bus. However, a new law I was proud to support aims to reduce the number of incidents.

Signed into law earlier this summer, Senate Bill 2340 requires that on a route where a child must cross the road, the school bus must be equipped with an extended stop arm with flashing red lights that partially obstruct the roadway. This new law is designed to alert motorists of the stopped school bus so that students can safely make their way on and off the bus.

Learn more about the rules of the road and school bus safety at the Illinois State Board of Education’s website.

Governor takes action on remaining bills; all but six become law

As of Aug. 18, all legislation that passed the General Assembly during the 2023 spring session has now been acted upon by the Governor. With more than 550 bills being approved by both legislative chambers, all were signed into law with the exception of six, which were either vetoed or received amendatory (partial) vetoes.

For the bills that received total vetoes, the Legislature will now have an opportunity to override those vetoes with a 3/5 majority of votes to enact the law. If a vetoed bill is not called for a vote, the veto stands, and the bill dies.

For the bills that received amendatory vetoes, the Legislature can either vote to approve the Governor’s amendments to the bill with a simple majority vote, or lawmakers can override the amendatory veto with a 3/5 majority vote to approve the original bill. If the bill is not called for either vote, the bill dies.

The General Assembly reconvenes for the annual fall veto session beginning in late October, which is a period designated to take up any vetoes that have been issued.

To learn more about the bills that passed the General Assembly, check out the Senate Republican “At A Glance” document, which summarizes all approved legislation from the spring session.

Craig Wilcox

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