Capitol Report from Senator Craig Wilcox

New Legislation Gives Law Enforcement More Authority to Evict Squatters 

Law enforcement would be given more authority to evict squatters who are illegally residing in other people’s homes under legislation I am co-sponsoring this year.

Senate Bill 3658 targets situations where a person moves into a house while the occupants are out of town, then claims to have a lease triggering an expensive and lengthy process for the rightful owner to regain control of their home.

The bill states that no person shall have a right or legal standing to occupy or remain on or in any real property, residence, or structure if the person has no written property interest under a written lease or rental agreement with the owner of the property listed in county tax records or the owner’s agent; has no documentation of payment of rent made to the owner of the property or the owner’s agent; and fails to provide any evidence of an oral or written agreement in which a property interest is claimed. 

The legislation was heard during an April 16 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, and the committee voted 8-0 to recommend approval to the full Senate. 

Hundreds rally in support of Second Amendment at Statehouse

The streets of Springfield were filled with hundreds of supporters of the Second Amendment on April 18 as Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day (IGOLD) took center stage. 

This annual event brings together gun owners, Second Amendment advocates, and lawmakers in a collective effort to uphold constitutional rights and safeguard the interests of law-abiding gun owners. 

The group began their day in downtown Springfield, hosting a rally at the Bank of Springfield Convention Center. They then marched a half-mile to the Capitol, heard from various speakers, and met with their local lawmakers to discuss legislative issues related to the Second Amendment. 

I believe this event is more important than ever considering the recent years of attempts to erode law-abiding constitutional rights by the Majority Party. 

Senate Republicans Highlight Major Issues with Likely-Unconstitutional University Funding Plan  

Members of the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus are calling attention to serious issues with a proposed funding formula for the state’s higher education system. Specifically, Republicans take issue with elements of the formula that base the amount of funding to state universities on a student’s race. The formula would fund higher education institutions on a per-student basis, with tiers of $2,000, $4,000, $6,000, and $8,000, based on multiple factors, including race.  

They noted that under the recent Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard ruling, basing funding levels on race is likely unconstitutional. Additionally, that type of plan would violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, jeopardizing any and all federal funding for the schools. The Senators pointed to the University of Illinois, which received more than $750 million in funding in 2023, as an example of what could be at stake.

Republican lawmakers also raised concerns that the formula does not consider the cost of operating medical schools, graduate programs or necessary deferred maintenance.

Senate Republicans are hoping to draw attention to the proposed formula and ensure proper vetting before the associated legislation comes up for a vote.

Deadline Approaching for “My Inspirational Teacher” Essay Contest

The deadline to participate in my first annual My Inspirational Teacher Essay Contest is quickly approaching. Middle School/Junior High School students in the 32nd Senate District have an opportunity to showcase their favorite teacher’s talents and explain how that teacher has made a special difference in their lives by writing a 250-500-word essay about the one teacher who has been the most inspirational to them in their educational journey thus far.

Click here to view a short video about the contest.

Students should relay how a teacher’s specific actions made a positive impact, and also outline the results of exactly how the teacher changed them as they continued through school. Each entry must include the child’s name, school, and grade level, and the teacher’s name, school, and the subject taught. A panel of education leaders will read and evaluate the essays, and will consider persuasiveness, correct spelling and grammar, and adherence to contest instructions.

There will be several winning essays, and the grand prize-winning essay will be posted on Senator Wilcox’s website ( Excerpts from all winning essays will be displayed for a week in the State Capitol rotunda in Springfield.

Eligible Participants: Middle School/Junior High School Students
Theme: How My Teacher Inspires Me
Entry Deadline: April 30, 2024
Announcement of Winners: Winners will be notified by email

The 32nd Senate District includes all or portions of the following communities: Antioch, Bull Valley, Cary, Crystal Lake, Fox Lake, Island Lake, Johnsburg, Lake Villa, Lakemoor, Lakewood, Lindenhurst, McCullom Lake, McHenry, Oakwood Hills, Port Barrington, Prairie Grove, Richmond, Ringwood, Round Lake Beach, Spring Grove, Trout Valley, Volo, Woodstock, and Wonder Lake.

For additional information about this essay contest, please contact Abby at, or at 248-930-8294.

Legislation Moves to Require Notification of Pesticides in Cities and Towns 

While many communities rely on pesticides to manage weeds and insects, residents often find themselves in the dark about when and how these chemicals are applied. The Illinois Senate is working to bring transparency to the process by passing legislation mandating notification procedures for pesticide application. 

The legislation was created at the request of an Illinoisan who discovered that pesticides were being applied near his home without warning or notification, and he was unable to find out who was spraying the chemicals and what the chemicals were. Particularly disturbing to the constituent was that he witnessed overspray hitting children playing, swimming pools, and the exterior of homes. 

Senate Bill 3342 passed the Senate and now awaits action in the Illinois House. 

The bill requires that an applicator provide public notice before pesticides are applied on a public right-of-way inside the borders of a municipality, to all residents within 200 feet of that right-of-way. The public notice would also include contact information for the applicators. 

2024 ‘Coolest’ Thing Made in Illinois Announced

A mining truck manufactured by Komatsu recently emerged as the winner of the 2024 Makers Madness contest, earning the title of “the coolest thing made in Illinois.” 

Beating out more than 200 other entries for the coveted title, the Peoria-made truck, was crowned through the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association’s fifth annual contest. The truck has a hauling capacity of up to 400 tons, boasts cutting-edge features such as new innovations in suspension transmission, electric drive technology, and autonomous operation. 

Three other finalists were also recognized at the ceremony, including Mullen’s Imitation French Dressing, The MQ-25 Stingray Drone Refueler, and Enviro Buildings’ Mod Box. 

Craig Wilcox

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