In January of 2016, an important new law to fight human trafficking took effect in Illinois, the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act. This law (Public Act 99-0099), which State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) carried through the Illinois General Assembly, utilizes the business community to ensure human trafficking victims have access to essential services.

“Human trafficking is a much more pervasive practice than many of us realize and it is essential that we increase awareness and engage the public to fight this form of modern day slavery,” said Wheeler. “The Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act makes information about a very important resource available to victims and witnesses, which has taken us another step closer to ending this horrific practice.”

The Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act provides that specified businesses and establishments conspicuously provide information concerning the availability of the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (NHTRC). The law not only helps victims of this heinous crime gain access to the resources they need to overcome the trauma they have experienced, but also acts an avenue for anyone who observes or suspects trafficking the ability to report it to the proper authorities.

To improve the scope and effectiveness of the Human Trafficking Resource Center Notice Act, Wheeler engaged another advocate in the fight against human trafficking, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor). Working across party lines, Wheeler and Jesiel were able to engage additional advocates and unanimously pass House Bill 4340 through the Illinois House of Representatives.
From the Lake County Sheriff's Office: On Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Lake County Sheriff’s Office is taking back unwanted prescription drugs. Each year, the Sheriff’s Office partners with the DEA on the national ‘Drug Take Back’ program which encourages the public to prevent substance abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. 

The service is free, anonymous, and offered at the following three locations:
  • Beach Park Village Hall, 11270 W. Wadsworth Road, Beach Park 
  • Long Grove Fire Protection District, 1165 Old McHenry Road, Long Grove 
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 27551 Volo Village Road, Volo
New speed limits are now in effect on several Chicagoland tollways including I-80, I-88, I-90, I-390, I-94, I-294 and I-355.
The House bill voting deadline will come at the end of this week on Friday. April 27 is the cutoff date for bills originating in the House to be favorably considered by the full House in floor debate and sent to the Senate for final passage. Bills that are not passed by the deadline will be sent to the House Rules Committee, which is the primary pathway under the rules of the House to “table” bills that will no longer be considered. 

Following the House deadline for consideration of its own bills, the focus will shift toward consideration of Senate bills. The House will reconvene on Tuesday, May 8 to hold committee hearings for testimony and discussion of bills that originated in the Senate. Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly will have a four-week period to consider the bills passed by the other chamber and reach final compromises on the difficult issues of 2018. The House and Senate are scheduled to adjourn regular session on Thursday, May 31.
This week, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) unanimously passed legislation through the Illinois House of Representatives to ensure a person-centered approach for people with developmental disabilities.

“Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, which is what House Bill 5537 is all about,” said Jesiel. “State and Federal law already calls for a person-centered approach to planning for people with developmental disabilities, but in the past, part of Illinois’ community-integrated living arrangements act contradicted this approach. Passing House Bill 5537 eliminates this contradiction and ensures anyone who has a developmental disability is afforded the dignity they deserve.”
The first hint of warm, spring weather is here and motorcycle riders are looking to rev up and hit the open road. To ensure rider safety, the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police are reminding motorcyclists to “Ride Smart” before rolling out on the first ride of the season. 

The annual campaign urges riders to take precautionary measures before getting back on their bikes by conducting pre-ride T-CLOCS safety inspections of their equipment and sharpening their skills with a motorcycle training class offered by IDOT. 
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is teaming up with the Save a Star Drug Awareness Foundation to help decrease prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse.

Governor Bruce Rauner announced at the beginning of April that five ISP District headquarters across the state will house receptacles for people to drop off their unused and unwanted prescription medications.

Save A Star Drug Awareness Foundation provided the receptacles for initiative. The foundation was created by David and Gail Katz, whose son died in 2007 from an overdose of prescription medication.
Celebrate Earth Day by checking out these family-friendly events across the county.
  • The Forest Preserves are celebrating Earth Day (April 22) with a week of free nature programs April 16 to 22. Enjoy Acoustic Bat Monitoring, a Guided Nature Paddle, a Woodpecker Walk and more. Locations vary based on program. Learn more.
  • Enjoy a day of fun, free outdoor activities as Lindenhurst celebrates Earth Day from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 21. The celebration will include a 5K run and walk, recycling opportunities, a Concert for the Earth, an Earth Day kite fly and more. Learn more
  • Join the first Earth Day Expo from noon to 4 p.m. April 22 at Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills. Participate in the Cardboard Challenge, enjoy face painting, music and more. Learn more
  • Enjoy a recycling experiment, scavenger hunt, music, recycling opportunities and more at a free Earth Day and Recycling event from 1 to 3 p.m. April 22 at the Dunbar Recreation Center in Mundelein. Learn more
For more information on actions you can take to make a more sustainable Lake County, visit sustainablelakecounty.org.
From Lake County: The Lake County Division of Transportation (LCDOT) is gearing up for a busy road construction season. In 2018, Lake County will have nearly $100 million in road projects under construction, including 30 new projects. There will also be several resurfacing projects, culvert replacements, signal modernizations, and enhancements to the non-motorized network.

View the Interactive Construction Map to find a project you are interested in and connect to the latest information and important updates.
Today, State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) joined House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) and other House colleagues to file House Resolution 975 to state their opposition to a proposed progressive income tax on Illinois residents. The legislators announced the filing of the resolution at a press conference at the Illinois Capitol in Springfield.

“Since my district is on the Wisconsin border, I am contacted almost daily by constituents and businesses seeking relief from the high cost to live and work caused by the tax burden imposed here in Illinois,” said Jesiel. “The number one issue these people are already facing is not a matter of if they will leave Illinois, but when they will be able to leave.”

Jesiel noted a typical family in her district living in a $250,000 home, earning an average annual income of $55,000 is already paying $10,000 in taxes on their home and their income taxes increased to over $2,700 annually last year due to the state’s income tax increase. If their income taxes increased again by just 1% or 2%, they would be looking at another increase of close to $1,000 or more.

“People simply cannot afford a progressive income tax,” said Jesiel. “If we are serious about being a compassionate state that provides for our most vulnerable, then we need to realize our current tax system is turning ordinary citizens into the vulnerable. Instead of imposing more taxes that drive people out of Illinois, we need to pull back the reins of taxation and live within our means to allow families and businesses to prosper.”
5 Steps to Your Next Job New time and location!
Dates:
Monday, April 16 to Friday, April 20 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm each day
Location:
Round Lake Public Library 906 Hart Rd. Round Lake, IL

Attend a 5-day interactive workshop series. This series covers the entire job search process from researching careers to landing your next job. Attend all 5 days to earn a certificate! Reservations recommended 847.377.3439 or email elocke@lakecountyil.gov

Additional Featured Events:
Job Searching Over Age 50
April 11 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM
Cook Park Library
413 N. Milwaukee Ave. Libertyville
847-362-2330
From the Lake County Treasurer's Office: The more than 20,000 Lake County taxpayers who prepaid their property taxes last December are allowed to deduct their prepaid property taxes on their 2017 federal tax return, according to a statement from the U.S. Treasury Department.

“The Lake County Treasurer’s Office is very pleased to be able to provide clarity on this question for local taxpayers,” Lake County Treasurer David Stolman said. “I would like to thank Congressman Peter Roskam (6th District) for his assistance in seeking confirmation that taxpayers in Illinois are not bound by previous IRS guidance regarding the prepayment of property taxes.”