Capitol Update

Last night I co-hosted a telephone town hall with Representatives Meier and Schmidt. Over 4,700 residents in the Metro East participated. If you were one of them, thank you for joining us!

Enclosed is a brief update for this week. I wish you, your friends, and your family a Happy 4th of July!


Lawmakers look to lift the ban on nuclear energy permits

Illinois lawmakers and Rep. Elik worked to lift the 36-year-old ban on new nuclear energy construction permits this spring, with Senate Bill 76 receiving bipartisan support and headed to the Governor. Since 1987, Illinois has prohibited new nuclear construction. However, Illinois remains a nuclear power with 11 current operating reactors, the most of any state. Illinois is in the top three states with 54 percent of its energy generation being nuclear, while also having the most generating capacity (11.6 gigawatts) of any state.

Due to a continued ‘War on Coal’ by many Illinois Democratic lawmakers, all investor-owned coal plants must close by 2030 and coal-fired power plants owned by municipalities must reach zero emissions or shutter by 2045. With the demand for electricity continuing to rise and nearly seven gigawatts of coal capacity being pulled off the grid in the next eight years, the General Assembly acted to help ensure the ability to produce sufficient energy safely and efficiently. While this does not do much about the threat of rolling brownouts nor address immediate energy deficits, it is a step toward ensuring future baseload capacity for residents and job creators.

Nuclear energy is a low-carbon energy source that can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and it is not dependent on wind or sunlight. Construction of nuclear power plants can stimulate economic activity and job growth, and these power plants can meet a significant portion of a region’s energy demand. The nuclear industry has also made a number of technological advancements and safety improvements over the years.

Illinois taxes on groceries, gas increase on Saturday

Starting July 1st, Illinois residents will begin to pay more on basic necessities such as gasoline and groceries.

Last year, Gov. JB Pritzker signed a temporary initiative, the Family Relief Plan, designed to ease the effects of inflation on residents by suspending the 1% sales tax on groceries and freezing the motor vehicle tax at 39.2 cents per gallon.

On July 1st, 2023, those freezes will come to an end.

Read the rest of WTVO’s report on taxes here.

July 4th Fireworks

Fireworks Laws in Illinois and Safety Tips. As a general rule, consumer fireworks are not legal in Illinois. The Pyrotechnic Use Act, passed in 1942, bans the sale, possession and use of all consumer fireworks. These items are legal to buy in most other states but not in Illinois:

  • Firecrackers
  • Bottle rockets
  • Roman candles

Violations of this law can result in large fines or even jail time, especially in cases where the fireworks are brought in from another state and transported across state lines. Illinois is one of only three states to ban all or most consumer fireworks.

Also, certain municipalities and villages may have additional laws on the books to limit the usage of devices the PUA deemed as legal. Novelty fireworks-type devices that are not considered consumer fireworks and are legal in Illinois include:

  • Sparklers
  • Some small cap guns
  • Snake or glow worm pellets
  • Smoke devices
  • Trick noisemakers
  • Booby traps
  • Snappers
  • Trick matches
  • Cigarette loads

To learn more, visit the Illinois State Police website at

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.

E-mail correspondence

If you would like to contact Rep. Elik’s office by e-mail. Please contact us at as the e-mail used to send these e-newsletters does not accept e-mails or transfer them to the office, I apologize for any inconvenience.