Week-in-Review: May 13-17

With only ten remaining days in the spring legislative session calendar, lawmakers are working earnestly to move legislation before the General Assembly adjourns on May 31.

As the clock ticks down, a number of critical issues remain unresolved including the approval of a budget for Fiscal Year 2020. State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is hopeful that as budget negotiations continue, critical funding for a river port terminal in the City of Cairo will be included in ongoing discussions.  

Other important topics of conversation in the Statehouse include the overhaul of Illinois’ income tax system from a flat tax to a graduated tax system, legalized sports betting, and a massive infrastructure program with a source of revenue to pay for it.

Legislative committees have scheduled hearings on the issues in the coming days, but there is no guarantee that action will be taken on the bills.

In more local news, a number of upcoming opportunities and events are taking place in district in the coming summer months.

On Tuesday, June 18 Sen. Fowler is partnering with State Representative Dave Severin to host a Senior Health Fair at the HUB Recreation Center in Marion. From 9 to 11 a.m., area seniors are invited to attend the free event and take advantage of the screenings and helpful information available.  Attendees have the chance to win a free door prize and sign-up to receive a free smoke detector. For more information, call 618-294-8951 or email senatorfowler59@gmail.com.

Sen. Fowler is hosting his first-ever Kids Fishing Derby on Saturday, July 13 at John A. Logan College Pond in Caterville. From 9 to 11 a.m. kids of all ages are invited, with the accompaniment of a parent or guardian, to 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. Free giveaways, refreshments, snacks and legislative brochures will be available. Interested participants should RSVP to Senator Fowler’s Office at 618-294-8951 by July 9. 

Shortly after his fishing derby, Sen. Fowler will be welcoming businesses from across the region to his second-annual Southern Illinois Made Expo on July 27 and 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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.

As July gets nearer, vendor booths are filling up fast. Interested vendors can visit simade.org to register. Residents are also encouraged to use the website to stay up-to-date on information and exciting opportunities happening during the Expo.

State News :

Honoring Firefighters in Springfield

On May 14, Senate Republican lawmakers joined firefighters and their families from around the state who traveled to Springfield to participate in the 26th Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Firefighting Medal of Honor Awards Ceremony.

The ceremony, which takes place every year in May, honors those who have made the supreme sacrifice, and those who have demonstrated extraordinary acts of bravery and heroism to protect fellow firefighters and civilians.

The Illinois Fallen Firefighter Memorial, which is located on the Capitol’s southwest lawn, lists the names of those who have given their lives in the line of duty. Inscribed on the memorial are the words, “Dedicated to the firefighters of Illinois who have given their lives in the line of duty and to those who heroically serve with courage, pride and honor.” This year, one name was added: Firefighter Juan Buccio of the Chicago Fire Department.

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