I hope you and your family had a fun and safe Halloween. As I wrote to you last week, the first week of veto session was slow, with only one bill being voted on in the house. This week we were all back in our districts. And, next week we return to the capitol for the second week of Veto Session. While I’m sure there may be some tricks in store from the Democrats, I’ll make sure I have some treats (cold Ski) ready and stocked in my office fridge.
In the Halloween spirit, here is a recent picture of a spooky night on the farm:
Ending Sanctuary State Status in Illinois
Last week I told you about some of our top priorities for the Veto session. Those included oversight for state agencies, promoting reliable and affordable energy, bringing down the high cost of living, ethics reform, and ending Illinois’ status as a Sanctuary State.
Today, I want to tell you a little bit more about our proposal and why it is important. In 2017 the legislature passed a bill that keeps law enforcement in Illinois from cooperating with federal immigration authorities to arrest, detain, or deport undocumented immigrants within Illinois. This is the definition of a “Sanctuary State.” I voted against that legislation in 2017 because I knew that illegal immigration was a problem and if we didn’t enforce federal immigration laws, it would only get worse.
That is exactly what happened. The Biden administration has not been enforcing our border or our federal immigration laws and now we have a crisis at our borders that is spreading to all areas of our nation. There are an estimated 628,000 undocumented immigrants in Illinois today. This costs Illinois taxpayers around $3 billion a year. Programs benefiting undocumented immigrants in Illinois are so expensive that even state Democratic leaders have written letters to the President asking for help paying for the programs.
This must be stopped. The federal government needs to get its act together and enforce our borders. And here at the state level, we can start by making Illinois a place where we enforce immigration laws and end our status as a sanctuary state. That’s why I am cosponsoring House Bill 4187 that repeals the sanctuary state law and would allow our local law enforcement to once again coordinate with federal immigration authorities.
Continuing the Fight for the Dignity of Work
Last week in Springfield, we held a press conference highlighting the important service that workshops around the state provide for those with developmental or intellectual disabilities. They don’t just provide care throughout the day, they provide work opportunities. However, there is legislation pending in Springfield that would raise the costs of operating these workshops significantly.
I spoke with Andy Banker from FOX 2 News at Community Link in Breese this week about the importance of keeping these workshops open. If this bill were to pass, 50-70% of the jobs provided by these workshops would be eliminated by 2027. That is unacceptable and would leave many of these families with no affordable option for care for their loved ones throughout the day. You can see the whole story here: https://fox2now.com/news/illinois/disagreement-over-paying-disabled-workers-minimum-wages-in-illinois/
Documentary on Life in Nursing Homes During the Pandemic
We all know someone who was in a nursing home while the COVID pandemic restrictions were in place. Many people were left with only visits with family through glass windows or through iPad screens. It was heartbreaking and unnecessary. That’s why last year, I passed legislation that will make sure that people have the right to see their family and loved ones. The bill we passed requires that during a public health emergency, residents in healthcare facilities can still have visits with loved ones.
This topic has gotten a lot of attention. That’s because in our gut, we know that it was wrong of the Governor and others to force some of our most vulnerable citizens into isolation from their loved ones, leaving some people to even die alone.
There is a new documentary on PBS that highlights five disabled artists and their experience as residents in a healthcare facility throughout the pandemic. The documentary is called Fire Through Dry Grass and you can watch it online here:
This Week On The Farm:
Plants were pulled from the garden as we prepared for the frost.
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