As lawmakers prepare to return to Springfield, State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is providing an update on the upcoming scheduled fall Veto Session.
Senators and Representatives will be back at the Capitol beginning Nov. 13 to consider 37 separate pieces of legislation passed during the spring session, but amended or rejected by the Governor this summer.
The Governor used his Amendatory Veto authority to change 13 bills and executed Total Veto actions on 24 other measures.
Legislative measures on the Veto Session agenda include, business regulations, insurance, taxation, legal reforms, immigration, voter integrity standards, education, natural resources and the environment.
In other news, First Lady Diana Rauner is leading an effort to provide holiday cheer for Illinois members of the military.
The 2018 Holiday Hero Drive sends holiday cards and socks to Illinois service men and women, including those currently overseas. The drive is in partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO) of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), and the Illinois Governors Mansion Association.
Cards and socks also can be dropped off at one of more than 80 local Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA) veteran service officer locations around the state or, at the Governors Mansion, 410 E. Jackson St., Springfield. IDVA runs 49 full-time and 35 part-time offices in 80 out of Illinois 102 counties. The offices are staffed by more than 60 individual Veteran Service Officers. Locations can be found here: https://www2.illinois.gov/veterans.
Cards and socks can also be mailed now through Nov. 20 to the following address:
USO of Illinois Holiday Hero Drive
333 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60601
Meanwhile, the Veterans Day Wall of Honor is now up and ready for viewing in the Illinois State Capitol. This initiative is a joint effort between the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs to honor Illinois veterans.
Photos and written submissions highlighting and remembering veterans across the state are on display in the Capitol Rotunda from November 5 to November 16, showcasing our veterans legacy of service.
In local news, Senator Fowler attended Shawnee Community Colleges 2nd annual legislative luncheon on November 1. The annual luncheon is dedicated to discussing issues and opportunities for Illinois higher education system.
Also in reference to Illinois education system, the Evidence-Based Funding Property Tax Relief Grant application period is now open to interested districts. According to the Illinois State Board of Education, the State Board will provide up to $50 million in property tax relief grants to eligible school districts beginning in fiscal year 2019.
According to their site, eligible districts are those that exceed a threshold tax rate and that agree to abate a portion of taxes, up to a statutory limit, in the coming tax cycle. In return, qualifying districts may receive a state grant in an amount that is a proportion of the tax relief provided. The threshold tax rate will be determined based on applications received by ISBE.
The application period will end at 4 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2019. No late submissions will be accepted. Visit ISBE.net for more information or to find additional resources.