Capitol Update

Last week we saw even more failures from the Pritzker administration. I have mentioned multiple times in this newsletter the changes that are necessary to better care for our citizens with developmental disabilities. Last week a house hearing was held on the failures at IDFPR with providing timely professional licenses and we also saw the release of a damning audit of DCFS. I’ll mention more about both below. Additionally, the House returns for Veto Session in three weeks and I expect we will be taking up legislation on some controversial topics. I will talk more about those in the coming weeks.

Legislative Update

DCFS Audit Shows Agency Failures

An audit released last week shows that the Department of Children and Family Services has even more problems than we thought. There were even more problems found during this audit than the last, meaning that the agency is failing more kids rather than improving. What struck me the most were some of the facts highlighted in this article:

“In an adverse opinion, the Illinois Auditor General highlighted 33 mistakes, including that in 96% of cases, DCFS failed to notify a school in a timely manner when credible evidence of abuse was found and in some cases not notifying the schools for years….

In the most serious cases involving child death, injury, malnutrition and sex abuse, DCFS is required to notify local police authorities within 24 hours. The agency failed to do so 20% of the time, in some cases waiting up to 43 days, according to the audit.”

Children and taxpayers alike deserve much better from our state agencies. These failures are sickening. You can read more about the audit finding here:

IDFPR Delays

Another state agency is underperforming under the Pritzker administration, and this time it could cost residents their jobs. There are dozens of careers in Illinois that require a professional license and those licenses are handled through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). We have been receiving calls for weeks now in our office on all licensing questions. There are long delays with people waiting for months with no information on when they can expect their license. In the meantime, people need their license in order to do their job. And no matter how hard we try and how many calls we make, we are still unable to get answers.

That’s why last week there was a hearing in the House to investigate why it is taking so long for the agency to get back to Illinoisans trying to renew their license or receive their professional license for the first time. It specifically focused on healthcare licenses. The answers were disappointing and there are no meaningful solutions in sight. There has got to be a better way. I will keep pushing for changes. But, Governor Pritzker needs to be held accountable for all of this agency failures under his watch. You can learn more about the hearing here.

Senior Fair Vendors Welcome

In a couple of weeks on Tuesday, October 17th, I am hosting a free Senior Fair in Highland. I would love more vendors who would be willing to participate by setting up a table at the fair. Area businesses, non-profits, medical professionals, and local governmental entities are welcome to join.

This Senior Fair is an opportunity for local and state agencies to inform Senior Citizens of the benefits that are available to them to help improve the lives of Seniors. This event is FREE and a great opportunity to promote your business, program, or nonprofit.

Potential vendors may complete the registration form here:…/1FAIpQLScgkjs9Lb…/viewform

Local Fire Department Grant Opportunity

As I mentioned last week, the Office of the State Fire Marshal announced the application period is open for the Small Equipment Grant Program. The OSFM will award $4 million to eligible fire departments and ambulance services for the purchase of small firefighting and ambulance equipment. All interested departments should send an application to OSFM electronically or postmarked by December 15, 2023.

Additional information including the application can be found here:

This Week On The Farm:

The night bloomer has been beautiful this summer. It’s just like the one Mr. Wilson had on Dennis the Menace.

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