The spring legislative session came to an end on June 2 with lawmakers taking up debate on a number of controversial issues, including a devastating measure that expands legal abortions in Illinois and the disappointing approval of 2.4 percent cost-of-living adjustment to legislators’ base salaries.
State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) voted against the $1,600-per-year salary increase when it came before the Senate, noting that lawmakers should reject a pay increase that would only add to the demands placed on taxpayers.
Senator Fowler also voted against the dangerous abortion bill which recklessly expands abortion rights to allow late term, partial birth and sex-selective abortions. Senate Bill 25 would also require private insurance companies to cover abortion, and could require doctors, nurses and hospitals to perform abortions without any regard for their personal beliefs or their constitutional rights.
On a more positive note, a measure that would have required fingerprinting to apply for a Firearm Owner’s Identification (FOID) card and increased fees was stalled in Senate committee. Senator Fowler adamantly opposed the costly infringement on privacy rights of citizens and intends to stand against the measure if Democrat lawmakers bring it back before the General Assembly when lawmakers return to the Capitol in October.
In more local news, now that session has concluded, Senator Fowler is turning his attention to in-District activities scheduled to take place this summer.
On June 18, Senator Fowler is partnering with Representative Dave Severin to host a Senior Fair at the HUB Recreation Center in Marion. From 9 to 11 a.m., area seniors are welcome to join the lawmakers and take advantage of a number of free health screenings being made available. A number of vendors will also be on hand, providing helpful information to participants. Attendees can sign-up for a free smoke detector.
Then, on July 13 Senator Fowler will be hosting his first-ever Kids Fishing Derby at the John A. Logan College Pond. From 9 to 11 a.m., area residents are invited to bring their kids and spend the morning fishing with Senator Fowler and representatives from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Attendees can bring their own fishing pole or borrow one from IDNR. Parents MUST accompany children. Free snacks, beverages and legislative brochures will be provided. Interested participants should RSVP to Senator Fowler’s District Office by July 9 at 618-294-8951.
Also happening in the month is Senator Fowler’s second Senior Fair of the summer, this time partnering with State Senator Schimpf and State Representatives Bryant and Windhorst and taking place at the Carbondale Civic Center.
From 9 to 11 a.m., vendors will be offering free health screenings, including blood pressure, blood sugar and grip testing. Additionally, there will be a free trigger point chair massage. Area residents are encouraged to come out and learn more about helpful programs that benefit seniors.
Finally, finishing out the month on July 27 and 28, Senator Fowler will be hosting my second-annual Southern Illinois Made Expo.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, the Southern Illinois Expo will be underway. The Expo is a premier opportunity for the business community of Southern Illinois to showcase Southern Illinois made products, speak with consumers and sell their goods. Meanwhile, the public can explore what’s being produced and offered by the businesses operating locally, employing residents and driving the economy.
For more information on this one-of-a-kind Southern Illinois event, visit simade.org or reach out to my District office at 618-294-8951.