Week-in-Review: April 23-27

The Illinois Senate adjourned on April 26, with lawmakers set to return to the Capitol on May 1 to continue legislative action.

While budget negotiations are ongoing, Sen. Fowler is joining with his Republican colleagues to call for bipartisan cooperation in developing a revenue estimate for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2019 budget. While budgeteers continue to meet, Republican lawmakers are asking for that revenue estimate so negotiations can continue toward a balanced budget. Underscoring the need to come together  Republican leaders in the General Assembly introduced resolutions in the Senate and House last week, calling for the revenue estimate to be certified.

Republican lawmakers are also pushing for legislation that would place a cap on state spending, taking steps to ensure that state government doesn’t overspend. Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 21 would link the growth of state spending to the growth in the state’s economy.

In other news from the Capitol, Sen. Fowler is sponsoring legislation aimed at bringing awareness to increased workplace violence in state-operated facilities. Senate Bill 3075 requires state-operated facilities under the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, the Department of Corrections, the Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Human Services to submit quarterly reports tracking workplace violence to the General Assembly.

The safety reporting measure received unanimous support when it came before the Senate and will now advance to the House for further action.

Also coming before the Senate last week was legislation that would hold inmates responsible for their acts of public indecency while serving their sentence. Sen. Fowler supported the measure when it came before the Senate, but also noted that this is a problem not just happening in adult penitentiaries. Sen. Fowler voiced his concern that the same lewd behaviors are happening in the youth centers across the state and should also be addressed.

In other news, hundreds of gun right advocates visited the Capitol on April 25 as part of the Illinois Rifle Association’s annual Illinois Gun Owner Lobby Day. Sen. Fowler joined the crowd for their annual rally outside the Capitol, speaking to the group about the importance of preserving and protecting Second Amendment rights. 

Also happening at the Capitol last week was the ABATE of Illinois State Legislative Day. ABATE members, which stands for “A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education,” visited the State House to discuss issues impacting Illinois’ motorcycle community. Sen. Fowler welcomed ABATE representatives Barb and Bob Isaac from West Frankfort to the Senate floor for a conversation about ABATE’s legislative concerns.

Last week, Sen. Fowler also joined Landmarks Illinois for their announcement of the 2018 Most Endangered Historic Places event in Springfield. Making the list was Kincaid Mounds, a historic archeological site in Southern Illinois. The list is created to focus attention on sites threatened by deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funds, or inappropriate development and to bolster local advocacy efforts and build support for each property’s eventual preservation.

News from the District

Before leaving for Springfield, Sen. Fowler joined Black Diamond Harley-Davidson for their 10th scholarship ceremony on April 21. Sen. Fowler spoke at the ceremony and presented certificates of appreciation to the owners of Black Diamond, applauding them for their continued growth and contributions to Southern Illinois. Since beginning operation, the program has awarded approximately $500,000 in scholarship funds to area students.

Sen. Fowler joined the Ferrell Hospital Community Foundation for their Hee Haw Banquet, benefiting the Eldorado-based healthcare facility. The Senator emceed the event, using the evening to underscore the impact the hospital has on the community.

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