Before preparing to return to Springfield to hear the Governor’s annual Budget Address be delivered on Feb. 20, State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) spent the week in District hosting mobile office hours, visiting with local organizations and exploring business development opportunities in Southern Illinois.
Sen. Fowler kicked off the start of the week in Marion, hosting another round of his mobile office hours for area constituents. Sen. Fowler is traveling across the District, stopping in all 13 counties to bring district office services to residents. Sen. Fowler’s next mobile office event will be held on Feb. 25 at the Benton City Hall from 12 – 2 p.m. Constituents are encouraged to stop by, bring questions and speak with Sen. Fowler about the issues that matter most to those in the community.
In other news, Sen. Fowler went across state lines this week to explore possible business development expansion in Southern Illinois. On Feb. 15, Sen. Fowler toured Two Rivers Fisheries facility in Wickliffe, Kentucky. The business cleans, process and packs Asian carp meat for shipping. Sen. Fowler spoke with Angie Yu, owner and president of the packing plant, to discuss the possibilities of expanding the business in Southern Illinois.
Also happening this week, Sen. Fowler spoke before members of the Harrisburg Kiwanis Club. At the meeting, Sen. Fowler discussed his local foundation and improvements being made to state parks across the district.
In other news, after passing the Illinois House on a party-line vote, a controversial $15 per hour minimum wage is on its way to Governor JB Pritzker’s desk. The plan, if signed into law, would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour over 6 years, and to $13 per hour during the same period for those under 18.
Opponents of the plan noted the vast differences in the cost of living across Illinois. They also raised concerns that the incremental increase could have far-reaching implications for employers across the board, including an increase in annual costs for state agencies, local school districts, human service providers and hospitals.
Pritzker is expected to sign the measure into law.
Finally, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) recently announced that the Illinois Helpline for Opioids and Other Substances has received 10,000 calls. The confidential, 24-hour hotline is designed to help provide support for people dealing with substance abuse, or their families. The program launched in December of 2017.
The number for the hotline is 1-833-2FINDHELP, and can also be accessed online at HelplineIL.org.