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The College of Lake County (CLC) recently held a "soft opening" for its new Science and Advanced Technology Building on the Grayslake Campus. The ceremonial ribbon cutting was meant to show appreciation to legislators, including State Representative Sheri Jesiel, for their advocacy efforts in garnering the state funds necessary for the building's completion. 

Construction of the energy sustainable new building is expected to be fully complete in early 2017. Representative Jesiel and others were able to secure $28.3 million from the Illinois Capital Development Board for the project. 

The building will primarily serve science programs by providing advanced chemistry, biology, engineering and sustainable technology laboratories including a mechatronics and engineering laboratory as well as four laser and photonics laboratories. These new laboratories are expected to help CLC produce a more hands-on, workforce ready STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduation field.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel joined Dr. Matt Mayer as Principal for a Day at the Kenneth Murphy School in Beach Park

Governor Bruce Rauner has announced a new council to promote economic growth and job creation. The Illinois Competitiveness Council, which will review all agency rules and regulations, will help by cutting the overly burdensome bureaucratic red tape which Illinois citizens and businesses must deal with.

The goal of the council is to save Illinoisans at least $250 million in direct license fee costs over the next decade, and save Illinois taxpayers and business owners at least 4 million pages in paperwork. It will work to ensure current regulations are up to date and relevant to today’s industries and practices; ensure the language in rules are easy to understand; reduce the amount of unduly burdensome requirements on businesses, social service providers, and citizens through both time and cost; and ensure there is a clear need for the regulation.

The Council will be comprised of a representative of each of Illinois’ regulatory state agencies. Illinois citizens are encouraged to talk directly to the Council and a website has been set up where they can report burdensome red tape they are familiar with.  
Illinois has set a goal to increase the proportion of adults in Illinois with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60% by the year 2025. College Changes Everything is a movement started by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to help further that goal. 

The U.S. Department of Education has moved up the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) process, and students are now able to file their applications beginning on October 1st. Since the FAFSA will be available at the same time students will be completing their college applications, ISAC has labeled October as College Changes Everything Month, essentially combining the activities of College Application Month and Financial Aid Awareness Month. 

As part of this effort, the University Center of Lake County is collaborating with multiple partners to host a series of financial aid workshops in high schools, colleges, libraries, and nonprofit organizations. Every workshop will be held in a computer lab so that students and families can electronically submit their 2017-18 FAFSA. The FAFSA is required to access any federal student aid and to access the State of Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds. Many colleges and universities also rely on FAFSA data to determine eligibility for the institution’s own financial aid funds. Some financial aid is awarded to eligible students on a “first-come, first-served” basis so students are encouraged to send in their FAFSA application ASAP. 

2016 Lake County sessions:

State Representative Sheri Jesiel visited Westlake Christian Academy in Grayslake on Thursday September 29th and spoke to students of various ages about being a State Legislator. Rep. Jesiel took questions from engaged and interested students in a senior year government class on the current issues facing the state. The students were excited to speak with Rep. Jesiel and hear about how the topics they are studying are actually applied in Illinois. “It is great to see future citizens asking smart questions about what is happening in government,” Rep. Jesiel said. “The decisions we make in Springfield will impact their future and I hope that more students become interested and get actively involved in government.” 

The Illinois General Assembly took action this spring to expand the ways that young citizens can get involved in elections, which is intended to increase their participation in the democratic process. A new law allows 17-year-olds, who will be 18 by the general election, to sign and circulate petitions, vote in primary and local elections and serve as election judges.
Rep. Jesiel then spoke with a second grade class on much less serious matters. In addition to explaining her role as a State Legislator, she took votes from the class on pizza versus ice cream to explain about rules and how voting works. 

Antioch, IL… A law signed last month by Governor Rauner created the Human Trafficking Task Force to study the growing impact that human-trafficking is having in Illinois and offer solutions by June of 2017 as to how the state of Illinois can strengthen its efforts to fight the problem and help its victims.  State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) has been leading the fight in Springfield to combat human exploitation and was the chief sponsor of the bill to create the task force, House Bill 2822.

 “I feel strongly about this issue, which is why I worked hard to get this task force created and I look forward to finding solutions by serving on it,” Rep. Jesiel said. “Right now there are lapses in Illinois' laws and practices that have left us with no set method on how to handle these victims who often have no family or support system. The task force will examine the ways that all levels of law enforcement and social services can work together to both help current victims and prevent new victims of this terrible crime.”

"Human trafficking” is a euphemism used to describe the forced movement or confinement of human beings.  Most, but not all, of the victims of human trafficking are girls or women, and most, but not all, are trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation.  The National Human Trafficking Resource Center, which operates a nationwide hotline (1-888-373-7888) to report cases of human trafficking, reports that since 2007 they have received 130,485 reports of human trafficking throughout the United States. In some cases, more than one person is being victimized. The Center further discloses that 3,646 cases of alleged human trafficking have been reported to it so far this year throughout the U.S., including 94 cases from Illinois, which is on pace to exceed last year’s 122 reported cases. 

The bill to create the task force was a major piece of legislation championed by Rep. Jesiel in her first term in the Illinois House of Representatives. House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has appointed Rep. Jesiel, along with Representatives Barb Wheeler (R- Crystal Lake) and Patti Bellock (R-Hinsdale) to serve on the task force.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R- Winthrop Harbor) was recently given a "Guardian of Small Business" award by the National Federation of Independent Businesses. The NFIB is Illinois' leading small business association, representing 11,000 businesses across the state. Every two years the organization scores legislators based on key small business votes they take in Springfield. Rep. Jesiel received the award for her 83% positive voting record. 

 “As major sources of job creation, ingenuity, and services, small businesses are and will continue to be essential any state’s thriving economy.” Rep. Jesiel said. “It’s an honor to be recognized for my record of support and I am committed to fighting for our struggling small business community and future entrepreneurs.”

The State as a whole receives poor marks in the area of small businesses. A recent small business survey from Thumbtrack found that Illinois got Fs in overall friendliness, ease of starting a business, employment, labor and hiring, tax code and licensing. Illinois was second to last among the 50 states, with Connecticut ranking as the worsts. This is the third year in a row Illinois has received a failing grade from Thumbtack surveys.

Illinois small businesses make up 98% of all Illinois businesses and employ nearly have of the workforce. Last year, Illinois grew at an annual rate of 1.6% which was slower than the overall US growth rate of 1.9%.