Week-in-Review: July 15 to 19

State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) is partnering with several other state officials to host a free Senior Health Fair on July 24 at the Carbondale Civic Center.

From 9 to 11 a.m., the group of elected officials will be bring together several vendors at the Carbondale Civic Center to offer free screenings and helpful information to area seniors. Medical screenings being provided include: blood pressure, blood sugar and grip testing. There will also be a free trigger point chair massage available.

No registration or entrance fee is required. All attendees will be entered into a drawing for special door prizes to be awarded just prior to the end of the event.

Attendees are encouraged to stop by, enjoy free refreshments and explore the wide array of information and services available for area seniors. Participating vendors will be offering information on a number of topics.

Any questions can be directed to Senator Fowler’s office at 618-294-8951.

Later in the week, Senator Fowler will be offering traveling office hours during his upcoming Southern Illinois Made Expo. On July 27 and 28, constituents are encouraged to stop by Senator Fowler’s Legislative Information Booth, speak with staff and ask their questions.

Office hours will be held just outside the Pavilion located at 1602 Sioux Drive in Marion from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Appointments are not required.

The public is also invited to attend the Expo taking place inside the Pavilion. The event will feature dozens of area vendors, showcasing their products, creations and tasty treats made and sold in Southern Illinois. Senator Fowler is encouraging everyone to come out and support their local business community. More information can be found at senatorfowler.com.

State News:

In other news, Senate Republicans are renewing their call to pass a state Constitutional Amendment to allow voters to decide who gets to draw legislative maps.

Illinois citizens affected by spring and summer flooding are being asked to report any damage to local officials to help the state qualify for federal aid.

In other action, new laws will provide protections for sexual assault victims, and help an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recreational site in in southern Illinois continue to operate successfully.

Let the voters decide

Senate Republicans are renewing their push to passing a state Constitutional Amendment that will allow voters to decide who gets to draw legislative maps.

The recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court leaving redistricting to state legislatures shows that now is the time for the Illinois General Assembly to vote on Senate Joint Resolution-Constitutional Amendment 4 (SJRCA 4).

This bipartisan measure, which has 37 sponsors (enough to pass the measure), would give the people of Illinois the opportunity to amend our Illinois Constitution and create a new, non-partisan system for drawing maps. 

SJRCA 4 would place the question of fair maps on the ballot for the next statewide election and if approved would establish an independent redistricting commission, increase transparency in the process and provide for public hearings to allow for input from residents.

Governor asks citizens to report flood damage

On July 15, Gov. J.B. Pritzker asked Illinois residents to assess local flooding damage and report it to their county’s emergency management agencies. The information will be used to assess whether the state receives Federal Recovery Assistance.

A formal request for federal assistance must be submitted by Aug. 3, which is 30-days after the last impacted river fell below major flood stage. To help counties with the necessary reporting requirement, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency has made available teams to assist with the damage assessment process.

The State of Illinois has established a website (www.Illinois.gov/2019Floods) that allows residents and business owners to submit an initial damage report online. Once reported via the state’s flood recovery website, the submission is forwarded to the appropriate county emergency management agency for follow-up reporting.

More protections for sexual assault victims

A new law will give sexual assault victims more protections when reporting the crimes to police or receiving treatment at a hospital.

Under previous law, when victims of sexual assault came into contact with police, such as when going to the hospital for treatment, the victims faced the possibility of being arrested if they had outstanding warrants, even in cases of minor non-violent offenses or unpaid fines.

House Bill 92 requires police officers to request a waiver of the required execution of arrest warrants, as long as they aren’t for a violent offense or parole violation.

Exemption for World Shooting and Recreation Complex

A new law will provide specific exemptions for businesses and firearms sales at the World Shooting and Recreation Complex events that would have been severely affected, limited, or outright banned by the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

Without the exemptions, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act would have increased costs and administrative burdens for many of the vendors that typically set up during events at the IDNR site in Sparta.

These new regulations could have led to national shooting events choosing a different venue.

Dale Fowler

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