The Illinois General Assembly has been on a two week break from session in Springfield. I have kept my schedule busy by attending as many events and district meetings as possible during the spring break.
I look forward to returning to the capitol next week to represent you as the legislature enters the final five weeks of the 2023 legislative session.
Here is an update on some of the bills I passed out of the House so far this year.
ELIK LEGISLATION HEADS TO THE SENATE
The House of Representatives passed over 400 bills this spring, including several of my bills. My legislative proposals include addressing the teacher shortage, improving background checks on contractors providing transportation for foster children, and honoring Constitution Day in the state.
The legislation I passed out of the House of Representatives awaits action in the Senate. Upon passage in the Senate, the legislation I sponsored will head to the Governor’s desk for consideration. Here is a brief description of each bill passed:
ADDRESSING ILLINOIS’ TEACHER SHORTAGE
With nearly 3,000 teaching positions left unfilled as of February 2023, I introduced House Bill 1297 to allow a private school teacher or administrator the option to purchase up to 2 years of service credit if a teacher completed at least 10 years of service as a teacher.
This is another incentive to encourage former teachers to come back to teach in our schools. With almost 3,000 educator positions unfilled, the legislature needs to continue to find ways to help recruit more educators in Illinois.
STRENGTHENING BACKGROUND CHECKS CHILD TRANSPORTATION PROVIDERS
Recommended by the Illinois State Police, I sponsored House Bill 2618 to improve background checks on every driver who applies for employment with a transportation provider under contract with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). This legislation requires applicants to have their fingerprints electronically submitted to the State Police for criminal history record information. The applicants’ fingerprints will be checked against State Police and Federal FBI criminal history records databases.
Strengthening background checks on DCFS transportation providers will improve the safety of all foster children receiving a ride from a state agency provider. This improves legislation I sponsored that was signed into law last year that requires proper training for drivers on the installation and operation of a child car seat, possession of a valid driver’s license and an adequate driving record, proof of insurance, and proper vehicle maintenance.
HONORING CONSTITUTION DAY
Introduced at the request of the Madison County Regional Office of Education, I sponsored legislation (House Bill 1273) to commemorate September 17 each year as Constitution Day and shall also be a commemorative holiday within school calendars. Constitution Day is recognized federally but not by the State of Illinois, this will not require schools to close for the holiday.
Not all Illinois schools celebrate or recognize Constitution Day. This legislation if it becomes law will ensure schools are celebrating and honoring the Constitution by recognizing the holiday under Illinois law.
HOUSE BACK IN SESSION
The Illinois House of Representatives is back in session on Tuesday, April 18. You may listen or watch live at Noon here.
NEED ASSISTANCE WITH STATE GOVERNMENT?
If you have an issue or need help navigating state government. My office is here to help you. If my office may be of assistance please contact my district office in Alton at 618-433-8046.
-Rep. Amy Elik