The nationwide Standardized Achievement Test (SAT), historically used as by college-bound students as an entrance exam, has previously been chosen by the ISBE as a universal test to be administered throughout Illinois high schools to measure high school performance and student aptitudes. It is necessary that each high school administer the same test; this will generate standardized results that can be used to measure not only students but also their schools.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has now set forth the SAT scores that will be seen as “minimum proficiency” scores. By vote of the statewide board in October 2017, ISBE is recommending that all students and their schools achieve a minimum proficiency, and average aggregated group minimum proficiency, of 540 in math and 540 in literacy (reading/writing). These minimum proficiency scores will be referenced in future reports on school and school district performance.
Last week, House Democrats attempted to use the recent Las Vegas tragedy to make criminals out of many law-abiding gun owners.

House Bill 4117 would have prohibited the knowing sale, manufacture, purchase, possession, or carrying of a trigger modification device. The bill was described by its sponsors as a way to ban what are called “bump stocks.” However, the measure went well beyond bump stocks. House members concerned about HB 4117 described a wide variety of additional firearm fittings and modifications that affect the trigger of a firearm and would be subject to a ban under the proposed measure. It was also stated that language in the bill that purported to carve out an exception for members of law enforcement was badly written and inadequate for the purpose of protecting the police. After an Illinois House debate on Thursday, October 26, HB 4117 was defeated by a vote of 48-54-0.
The Illinois House met on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday of this week. On the agenda were vetoes issued by the Governor to the General Assembly earlier this year. Chief sponsors of the vetoed bills could ask their colleagues to consider voting to override the veto messages. Overriding a governor’s veto requires a three-fifth majority in both houses of the General Assembly.

In addition to veto motions, the House also voted on housekeeping and sunset-law measures to be passed before the end of the calendar year. An example of this pre-end-of-year housekeeping was SB 1381, a bipartisan bill to maintain the State’s unemployment insurance (UI) system and UI laws for calendar years 2018 and 2019.
(Left to Right) Superintendent Keely Roberts, teacher
Jeff LaBelle and State Rep. Sheri Jesiel.
Recently, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) was given a tour of renovated facilities at Zion Central Middle School by Superintendent Keely Roberts and teacher Jeff LaBelle. Zion Central is part of an innovative learning space redesign undertaken by Zion Elementary District 6 to implement expanded programing designed to prepare students for the changing practical and technological skills needed to succeed in high school and career.

“It’s great to see how District 6 is taking this innovative approach to improving their learning environment for students,” said Jesiel. “Implementing programs focused on the changing practical and technological skills needed to succeed is exactly what is needed as our career environment continues to change so rapidly in the 21st century. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and was excited to observe the enthusiasm that the students and teachers have for these new opportunities to learn relevant skills.”
Former members of the Guard and Reserve who do not have any periods of active duty other than their initial active duty for training and annual training are now eligible to receive “Veteran” on their driver’s licenses. "This bill ensures that every man and woman who has served this state and nation is recognized,” said Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Erica Jeffries. "Our veterans have given so much for us, and I am glad Illinois is taking this step to expand designations."

Last year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed Senate Bill 2173 to allow National Guard members and reservists to obtain the veteran identifier on their Illinois driver's license.
Illinois residents are advised to be on alert for a renewed phone scam in which callers pose as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials in an attempt to scare people into sending money to pay for allegedly unpaid taxes. Consumers report being contacted by scammers pretending to be IRS officials who leave threatening messages that include a number for consumers to call in order to avoid lawsuits or prosecution.

Scammers also “spoof” phone numbers, causing caller ID devices to display what appears to be a legitimate call from the IRS, with identifiers such as “IRS” or the (202) area code for Washington, D.C. The scam artists claim they are representatives of the federal government collecting on unpaid taxes and leave threatening messages or instruct their targets to make a payment to them through a prepaid debit card.

It is critical to know that the IRS does not call and tell people they are under investigation or that they owe money. If you receive a call like this, even if your caller ID shows what appears to be a legitimate name or number, hang up immediately.
From Lake County: The flood of 2017 caused major flooding throughout Lake County resulting in significant property damage. The Stormwater Management Commission of Lake County is hosting a Flood Proofing Expo and Workshop for homeowners and property owners across 52 municipalities on October 19, 2017 from 3-8 p.m. at the Libertyville Sports Complex, 1950 US Highway 45. There is no charge to attend the Flood Proofing Expo. 

Participants will have the opportunity to learn about various products, services, and solutions to minimize flood damages to their homes and properties. The expo portion of this event will provide the opportunity to explore exhibitor tables for companies, vendors, and other resources. Presentations by industry experts will take place every hour, where participants can learn about drainage systems and ask questions about anything from flood insurance to best practices for flood damage protection. 

For more information, Click Here.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is one of four Illinois lawmakers appointed to serve on the Advisory Council on Early Identification and Treatment of Mental Health Conditions. The advisory council will look at how Illinois can increase early detection of mental health and substance abuse conditions and improve access to treatment in Illinois.

“It normally takes around ten years to properly diagnose and treat a mental health condition, particularly in children and young adults,” said Jesiel. “When you factor in how substance abuse can exacerbate a mental health condition like depression, it makes it that much more pressing to improve our ability to more quickly identify when someone needs assistance and ensure they have access to effective treatment.”

Jesiel said she hopes the advisory council will lead to the enactment of legislation or new protocols to saves lives, such as the 2015 law she supported to provide life-saving naloxone for heroin overdoses. Jesiel noted that suicide is the second leading cause of death in Illinois for those 10 to 34 years of age, often a result of untreated depression frequently caused by substance abuse. In addition, since so many recent incidents of violence have been found to have been the result of a mental health and/or substance abuse condition, addressing both conditions in tandem is critical.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Veteran’s Assistance Commission, several local law enforcement agencies and many local high schools to collect coats and outerwear for the Lake County Law Enforcement Veteran's Coat Drive. The collection period run until Wednesday, November 8.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office and our law enforcement partners invite you to join them in bringing gently used coats, gloves, hats, socks and scarves to one of the following locations: 
  • Lake County, IL Government, 18 N County Street, Waukegan 
  • Lake County Sheriff's Office, 25 S Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Waukegan 
  • Lake County Sheriff's Office, 1301 N Milwaukee Avenue, Libertyville (entrance off Winchester Road) 
  • Bannockburn Police Department, 2275 Telegraph Road, Bannockburn 
  • Deerfield Police Department, 850 Waukegan Road, Deerfield 
  • Gurnee Police Department, 100 N O'Plaine Road, Gurnee 
  • Hawthorn Woods Police Department, 2 Lagoon Drive, Hawthorn Woods 
  • Highland Park Police Department, 1677 Old Deerfield Road, Highland Park 
  • Lake County State's Attorney's Office, 18 N County Street, Waukegan 
  • Lake County Coroner's Office, 18 N County Street, Waukegan 
  • Libertyville Police Department, 200 E Cook, Libertyville 
  • Mundelein Police Department, 221 N Lake Street, Mundelein 
  • Round Lake Park Police Department, 215 E Main Street, Round Lake Park 
From the University Center of Lake County: For the tenth consecutive year, University Center of Lake County has collaborated with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission and multiple partners across Lake County to organize a series of workshops at which students and families can electronically submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The 2017-18 series will begin on October 2. These workshops are held in the computer labs of high schools, colleges, libraries, and nonprofit organizations. Volunteers trained by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission are available to provide assistance; at least one volunteer at each site speaks Spanish.

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. Students seeking financial aid to attend college from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 are encouraged to apply as early as possible.