Week-in-review: November 19-23, 2018

State Senator Dale Fowler is joining the rest of the 59th Senate District in congratulating the winners and honorable mentions of the 2018 Governor’s Hometown Award winners. Honorees from across the state were recognized for projects that improved their community’s quality of life.

Honorees from the 59th District included projects based in Marion, Harrisburg and Royalton.

Projects included:

The Harrisburg Free Lunch Program was collaborative effort between Harrisburg Unit #3 School, the City of Harrisburg and area legislators to provide free lunches to anyone 18 or under all summer. The program served over 10,000 meals in 2017. This innovative program received an honorable mention in the Education category.
The Girl Scout Silver Award Carnival was established to benefit the Lighthouse Shelter, a homeless shelter based in Marion which suffered flooding damage in 2017. The Girl Scouts of Southern Illinois Troop #8893 put on a fall festival carnival to raise donations for the Shelter. This generous endeavor received an honorable mention in the Disaster Services/Public Safety category.
The Royalton Community Garden was a project focused on empowering youth in the community. Girl Scouts worked in conjunction with local officials to plan, plant and maintain a community garden. This creative project in leadership was declared a winner in the Environmental Stewardship category.

 “Congratulations to all the winners and honorees of the Governor’s Hometown Awards. You have gone above and beyond to make a difference and have a lasting impact on your hometowns,” said Senator Fowler. “Their hard work, service to their communities and passion for helping others deserve recognition and you have made the 59th District proud.”

In other news, Senator Fowler returned to the District this week, gearing up for the final week of the Fall Veto Session next week. Meanwhile, in less than two months, the new General Assembly and Governor will take office.

If you’re traveling this week, expect more delays and crowds, as it’s shaping up to be one of the busiest travel weeks in years. Also, how much money do you plan on spending this holiday season? See where you fall with the release of the 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey.

Final Week of Veto Session begins Nov. 27, dates for incoming General Assembly, Governor set

Lawmakers return to Springfield Nov. 27 for the final week of the Fall Veto Session to take further action on a number of pieces of legislation that were either vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner or amenditorily vetoed by him.

Last week, the Senate passed legislation that would increase the age from 18 to 21 for individuals to purchase cigarettes or other tobacco products. The Senate also passed legislation that would put more regulations in place for car and ride-sharing companies and put them on equal footing with car rental companies. Both those measures move to the House of Representatives for further action.

Meanwhile, the new General Assembly will be sworn into office Jan. 9 and Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker will be sworn into office Jan. 14.

Thanksgiving travel predicted to be busier this year, highlights include busiest time in Chicago area

Hitting the road, the railway, or the airport this Thanksgiving week? Expect more vehicles and longer lines, according to AAA.

AAA projects that 54.3 million Americans will be traveling at least 50 miles or more to see family and chow down on turkey, an increase of 4.8 percent from 2017, making it the busiest Thanksgiving travel week since 2005.

It’s recommended you get to airports and train and bus stations extra early to allow for longer security lines and potential delays.

Holiday spending to increase this year – where do you fall in how much you’ll spend?

The 2018 Holiday Shopping Survey recently released by Wallet Hub shows 35 percent of Americans plan on spending more than $500 this holiday season, compared to 33 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, 15 percent say they will spend more than $1,001 and 19 percent say they will spend less than $100.

The survey also showed more people are better off financially this year compared to last year, with six in 10 people reporting that now versus five in 10 in 2017.

Electronics leads the list of most desired holiday gifts at 31 percent followed closely behind by gift cards at 30 percent. 

While big box stores tend to get the most attention on Black Friday on Nov. 23, the busiest shopping day of the year, small businesses are reminding shoppers about Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24. This national campaign is intended to encourage shoppers to check out their local small businesses and support all they do for their local communities.

Dale Fowler

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