Week-in-review: November 12-16, 2018

State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) joined fellow lawmakers for the first week of scheduled fall veto session. During the week, lawmakers took votes on several pieces of legislation that had received the Governor’s veto earlier this year.

Lawmakers also took the opportunity while in session to move new legislation, including Senator Fowler’s bill that would allow for a transfer of property ownership of the Hardin County Work Camp to Hardin County.

Senator Fowler sponsored the bill to allow for Hardin County and the surrounding communities to utilize the currently vacant facility, paving the way for future job creation and economic opportunity. 

According to the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, who continue to spearhead efforts to reopen the facility, the detention facility offers the potential of creating dozens of new jobs and housing upwards of 100 inmates.

House Bill 3274 unanimously passed out of the Senate on November 15. House Bill 130, which is an identical measure to House Bill 3274 and also sponsored by Senator Fowler, received a support from a total of 98 House lawmakers when it came for a vote this week.

Senator Fowler also came together with fellow Republican Senate lawmakers to vote to retain State Senator Bill Brady as Senate Republican Leader.

In a statement, Brady commented on the vote:

“I am humbled and honored to have the full support and confidence of my Senate Republican colleagues. A leader is only as strong as the team around him, and I’m truly fortunate to have such a talented and hard-working caucus supporting me,” said Brady (R-44th District). “As we prepare for a new General Assembly, with a newly-elected Democrat Governor, Senate Republicans are willing to work in collaboration with the other side of the aisle on the important issues facing Illinois families. However, collaboration should not be confused with capitulation. Senate Republicans will continue the fight for reforms that attract businesses and jobs, and we will continue to stand up for the hard-working, over-taxed, residents of Illinois. We can move Illinois forward if we work together to find common ground.”

In other news, Illinois’ firearm deer season begins November 16.

Senator Fowler is reminding deer hunters to focus on safety as the 2018 Illinois Firearm Deer Season opens this week.  The seven-day firearm season runs from Nov. 16 to Nov. 18. A second round of firearm deer hunting will be held from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2.

IDNR safety educators remind hunters using tree stands to use a Fall Arrest System (FAS) safety harness. Nationally, more than 80 percent of reported tree stand incidents involve hunters who were not using a fall restraint system. As additional precautions, hunters should check the harness, straps, ladder and other equipment to make sure they are in good working order.  Hunters should also be aware of weather conditions that could make stands and steps slippery, and to have a mobile phone within reach to call for help, if needed.

Hunters can review tree stand safety online at http://www.huntercourse.com/treestandsafety/

Safety educators and IDNR Conservation Police also remind everyone hunting with a firearm to:

Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, and never assume a firearm is unloaded;
Always point a firearm in a safe direction;
Be sure of the target, and make sure there are no other hunters, homes, buildings, vehicles or other animals beyond the target;
Keep their finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until they are ready to shoot.

Legal hunting hours for the firearm deer season are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.

Hunters who take a deer during the firearm season in most Illinois counties must register the deer they harvest online, or through the toll-free phone check-in system.  To register their harvest by phone, hunters can call 1-866-IL-CHECK (1-866-452-4325). A link to the online deer registration system is available here: https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Pages/HarvestReporting.aspx

Hunters registering deer through the online or phone systems must do so by 10:00 p.m. on the day they take the deer. 

In many northern Illinois counties where chronic wasting disease (CWD) has been detected in deer, hunters are required to register all deer harvested during firearm season by taking them to a check station between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  Biologists will be present to take CWD samples for testing at the time of registration.  Testing is voluntary, but all hunters with adult deer are encouraged to participate.  Information on the counties where hunters are required to check in their deer at check stations is available on the IDNR website at:

https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/Documents/2018%20CWD%20Counties%20Deer%20Hunting%20Information%20Sheet.pdf

Hunters participating in CWD sampling can check the status of their deer (listed by phone number) through the IDNR website.  Hunters who provide samples from deer that test positive will be notified by the IDNR.  For more information on CWD in Illinois, check the website at:

www.dnr.illinois.gov/programs/CWD.

In addition to the seven-day Illinois Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2, other deer hunting seasons in the state include the three-day Muzzleloader-only Deer Season on Dec. 7-9, and the seven-day Late-Winter Firearm Antlerless-only Deer Season and Special CWD Deer Season (in select counties) on Dec. 27-30, 2018 and Jan. 18-20, 2019.  The Illinois Archery Deer Season, which opened on Oct. 1, is open through Jan. 20, 2019 (except closed in counties open to Firearm Deer Season on Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2).

For more information on Illinois deer hunting regulations, check the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations 2018-2019 at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/hunting/documents/HuntTrapDigest.pdf

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