GURNEE – Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is sponsoring House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendments 1 and 2 (HJRCA 1 and HJRCA 2) to revive efforts to implement term-limits and reform redistricting of elected offices. HJRCA 1 seeks to limit the number of terms in office for Illinois State Senators and Representatives, while HJRCA 2 seeks to reform the redistricting process by taking the process of drawing legislative and representative districts out of the hands of the officials holding those respective offices.

“Illinois has been plagued by career politicians that have driven our state into one of the worst fiscal nightmares to ever impact state government,” said Jesiel. “Calling for term-limits and redistricting free of political bias are important steps to help counteract this type of continued behavior and restore Illinois to a state we’re proud to call home.”

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 seeks to prohibit members of the Illinois General Assembly from serving more than ten years in office. This Amendment to the Illinois Constitution would essentially limit Illinois State Senators to three terms (one term of two years and two terms of four years) and Illinois State Representatives to five terms in office. It also stipulates that no person can use a combination of the offices of Senator or Representative to serve more than ten years. Currently, neither of these offices have any limit on the number of terms or years served, or limitations on an elected official holding a leadership role in their respective body of the legislature.
Medical Reserve Corps Needs Volunteers
Lake County residents seeking a volunteer opportunity with free training for widespread emergency situations may want to join the Lake County Medical Reserve Corps. A medical background is not required for those wanting to volunteer. An informational meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, in Room C002, Building C, at the College of Lake County, 19351 West Washington St., Grayslake. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and a resident of Lake County or one of the adjacent counties. 
For more information about the Medical Reserve Corps, contact Chet Splitt, MRC coordinator, at csplitt@lakecountyil.gov or (847) 377-8358.


Amazon/Internet Sales Tax
·         State to redouble efforts to collect sales taxes from non-traditional businesses; Amazon to start collecting sales tax.  Under federal law, each state must fulfill certain legal conditions in order to enjoy the right to mandate that a business that is not physically located in Illinois must charge Illinois sales tax when physically selling something to an Illinois resident.  New administrative rules, which took effect on January 1, 2015, expand the definition of out-of-state retailers that fall under these conditions and are subject to these requirements.  This technical-sounding change in State law could lead to more demands for sales taxes popping up on Illinois residents’ video screens in future as we shop online for taxable goods and services.  The Associated Press has the story.

Illinois consumers already routinely pay sales taxes of 6.25 percent and up on goods purchased over a traditional sales counter and physically carried out of the store.  Goods purchased online and shipped by parcel delivery do not have a physical location that matches the traditional legal definition of where a State sales tax can be charged and collected.  Many of the 50 U.S. states have taken actions aimed at creating statutory laws, case laws, and administrative laws that will govern these online sales and legally enable sales taxes to be charged and collected.  The change in Illinois administrative law was pushed through by officials for the former Gov. Quinn administration.  It covers entities that sell $10,000 or more in taxable goods and services to Illinois residents in the prior year through catalog, mail-order, and Internet sales platforms.  Amazon.com has agreed to cooperate with Illinois’ new law and rules, and will start charging and collecting Illinois sales taxes on February 1, 2015 for deliveries made to addresses in Illinois.   

FY16 Budget
· Illinois State Board of Education requests budget hike of almost 11 percent. The Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois’ chief agency that oversees elementary and secondary education, has the right to submit a public budget request to Governor Bruce Rauner. On Wednesday, January 21, ISBE’s governing board recommended that the State increase funding for elementary and secondary education by 10.7 percent in fiscal year 2016 (FY16). Monies designated in this budget area will cover the State’s general state aid (GSA) grants to local school districts, as well as many targeted programs that are partially or mostly funded by the State. Additional State aid includes general funds intended to partly cover the cost to local school districts of “mandated categoricals,” programs mandated by State or federal law. There have been sharp increases in the costs of many programs intended to help students with special needs and enable local school districts to meet their responsibilities to students with individualized education plans (IEPs). Federal and local tax funds are also used to cover these mandated costs, as well as the general cost of teaching students and maintaining each school district.

Local Road Construction Notice
Sheridan Road. Beginning in February, IDOT will begin work on traffic signal modernization on Sheridan Road. The project consists of traffic signal modernization and modifications, timing optimizations, curb and gutter removal and replacement, and sidewalk removal and replacement. The project will go from Grand Avenue to IL 173 in Beach Park, Waukegan, and Zion and is estimated to be completed in November.

Specific details of the construction will be discussed at a preconstruction meeting between IDOT and the contractor on February 3, 2015 at 10a.m. at the IDOT facility at 201 W. Center Court, Schaumburg, IL 60196. For any questions concerning this project, please contact Area Construction Supervisor Mary Ellen Mack at (847) 705-4465.

Governor Bruce Rauner and Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti
•    Rauner takes oath of office; freezes nonessential State spending.  As he launched into his duties as Governor of Illinois, Bruce Rauner issued a series of executive orders to freeze all nonessential State spending, including spending on infrastructure projects.  Announcing that he will serve without pay, the new Governor announced he would impose a new code of ethics on himself and his office as part of a dramatic shift in the State political culture.  

Governor Rauner has appointed Leslie Munger to be the new Comptroller of Illinois, replacing the late Judy Barr Topinka.  He has made budget reform, job creation, economic growth, and educational reform four of the top priorities of his new administration.  He and his staff have signaled their readiness to use additional executive orders to reorganize State agencies, abolish redundant and unnecessary offices, and reduce State spending. The new Governor is deeply concerned about Illinois’ economic standing in relation to comparable and neighboring states, and believes that genuine sacrifices will be necessary for the State to regain its standing and provide opportunities to young workers and families. 
The Lake County Board’s Summer Youth Employment Program offers youth, age 14-18 (or 14-22 with an Individualized Education Plan) the opportunity for a paid, part-time work experience over the summer.  Youth are matched with local worksites and gain valuable experience while earning a pay check.  Applications are available beginning on Feb. 1 online or at the Lake County Job Center in Waukegan and are due on Feb. 28.  For more information, visit www.lakecountyjobcenter.com.


SPRINGFIELD – Today Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) took the Oath of Office for her first full term in the Illinois House of Representatives. Jesiel was appointed last year to fill the void of retiring Representative JoAnn D. Osmond and won a resounding victory in the fall to serve the full term of the 99th General Assembly.

“Taking the Oath of Office was an exciting and humbling experience,” said Jesiel. “I have to thank the voters of the 61st District that have given me this opportunity. Illinois has been stymied over the past several years by a lack of leadership in the executive branch, but with the inauguration of Gov. Rauner on Monday, we have an opportunity to bring meaningful change to our state. I look forward to working with Gov. Rauner to change the course that Illinois has been on to once again make Illinois a state to be proud of.”


Governor OKs New Eavesdropping Restrictions

·         New law allows citizens to record law enforcement officers.  Last week, Gov. Quinn signed SB 1342 into law as P.A. 98-1142; the measure puts new eavesdropping restrictions into place after the Illinois Supreme Court threw out the previous eavesdropping law last March.

As a result of the March court ruling, all Illinois residents had absolutely no expectation of privacy in regards to eavesdropping or digital recordings in public or private, not just law enforcement officers.  There were no protections in place for anyone in Illinois against being recorded against their wishes.

Under the previous law, recording anyone against their will in Illinois could be punishable under a Class 4 felony with a one to three years sentence.  For eavesdropping upon law enforcement (State’s Attorneys, Police Officers, and agents of the Attorney General) that punishment was significantly higher at a Class 1 Felony punishable with a four to 15 year sentence.


As of January 1, 2015, more than 200 new laws took effect in Illinois. Here is a brief summary of a few of these new laws.  For a complete list of new laws by category, please click here.

·         Access to Birth Certificates of Adopted Persons
Allows adult grandchildren to access birth certificates and other information regarding their deceased grandparents if the grandparent was adopted. Also allows a birth parent of an adopted child to receive a non-certified copy of an original birth certificate if certain conditions are met. PA 98-0704 (HB 5949)

·         Ban Synthetic Microbeads in Cosmetic Products
Prohibits the manufacture or sale of any cosmetic products that contain synthetic plastic microbeads, a pollutant composed of non-biodegradable solid plastic particle used to exfoliate or cleanse in a rinse-off product. Illinois is the first state to enact such legislation, aimed at protecting the Great Lakes and other bodies of water. PA 98-0638 (SB 2727)