From State Rep. Steve Anderson:
Happy Holidays! As the year comes to a close, I want to take the time to wish you and your family peace, joy, good health and happiness during this holiday season and throughout the New Year. I also want to update you with important news in our community and legislative updates from Springfield.
Illinois Department of Public Health – Safe Holiday Cooking
As Christmas approaches, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is distributing its online safety brochure, Food Safety During the Holidays, and renewing its advice on safe conduct when things to eat are being handled or being processed at room temperature. The IDPH brochure includes a chart showing minimum safe meat-thermometer temperatures for roasted meat and poultry, and a list of minimum standards to be used followed in the use and disposal of leftovers.
Digital Drivers Licenses
As a member of the Electronic Drivers’ License Task Force, I sponsored SJR 11, to look into the technological possibility of allowing digital drivers licenses on smartphones. The digital license would contain the same information as what is found on a plastic driver’s license. It would display as an app on the license holder’s smartphone. Any movement toward digital driver’s licenses will have to be implemented by the Driver Services Division of the Office of the Illinois Secretary of State. If the resolution creating this Task Force is amended by SJR 36, the Task Force will be asked to report to the General Assembly on its findings no later than May 1, 2016.
Don’t Get Pulled Over! Secretary of State No Longer Mailing Vehicle Registration Renewal Reminders
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced in September that his office would suspend mailing out vehicle registration renewal reminders to the public due to the lack of a state budget. In order to receive a reminder, you must sign-up to receive electronic notices through the Secretary of State’s web site www.cyberdriveillinois.com.
Click here to sign up, you will need your Registration ID and PIN number found on your current registration card. If you do not have your current registration card, please call the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980 to obtain your Registration ID and PIN number.
When making the announcement, White noted that suspending this service would save approximately $450,000 per month, and allow his office to prolong the mailing of vehicle registration renewal stickers, titles and license plates to vehicle owners. While those who receive emailed vehicle registration renewal notices will continue to have access to a pin number needed to renew their sticker on-line, those who do not sign-up for the electronic alerts will now have to renew their vehicle stickers in person at a Secretary of State office.
While the state budget impasse has reached its six month mark, legislative leaders continue to meet with Governor Bruce Rauner to discuss the state government budget stalemate, and issues standing in the way of the enactment of constitutional balanced budgets for FY16 and FY17. Their second round of budget talks took place on December 8th. The meeting, held behind closed doors, yielded mild optimism and word that more talks are planned for the near future. The third in this series of meetings was held in Chicago on Thursday, December 17.
The high-level meeting follows sharp criticisms leveled against the Democrats’ leader in the Illinois House, Speaker Michael Madigan. The powerful Democratic legislative leader and party chairman had previously told attendees at a gathering, held on Wednesday, December 9 at the City Club of Chicago, that the State needed to look at re-instituting a 5.0% personal income tax rate on individual Illinois incomes. Madigan’s move in January 2011 to pass a bill to enact the first 5.0% individual income tax rate was the largest tax-hike law in Illinois history. Speaker Madigan’s spokesman told the press that the House leader would not be able to attend the December 17 meeting and the Speaker was not in attendance. The State continues to operate in FY16 without a constitutional balanced budget.
Senate Bill 2039
On Monday, December 7th Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2039, which appropriated $3.1 billion in what are called “other state funds” which Illinois receives from taxes and fees other than sales, income, and other general revenue taxes. This money has been “frozen” so far this year due to the lack of an approved balanced budget. Passage of SB 2039 into law unblocked these program lines and released funds for streets, roads, and highways, 9-1-1 call centers, firefighter training, lottery payouts and local first-responders and local governments. The bipartisan House vote was one of the key moves sending this to the Governor for his signature.
Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger said this legislation will allow her office to swiftly process payments so local governments can provide critical services to families and communities, 911 emergency phone services, lottery winners and domestic violence shelters. Munger applauded the General Assembly and Governor for reaching an agreement on the newly authorized funding, and encouraged all involved to build on that momentum.
Please feel free to share this information with family, friends, and neighbors. If you have any questions or concerns you are welcome to contact my office at 630-457-5460 or email me at [email protected].