Senator Barickman, along with several other lawmakers, recently took part in the McLean County Chamber of Commerce's "State of the State" event to discuss the recent legislative session.
Illinois’ Earthquake Zones
The recent 7.1 magnitude earthquake in California and its thousands of aftershocks led IEMA to recently issue a call on its Facebook page for earthquake awareness and preparedness in Illinois:
“The recent earthquakes in southern California serve as a stark reminder that earthquakes can happen anywhere in the world and at any time of day! Teach your family and co-workers the importance of learning how to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On.’”
The agency suggests a number of tips for earthquake preparedness, including assessing your home for safety and being prepared for self-sufficiency for 14days.
More information can be found athttps://www2.illinois.gov/iema/Preparedness/Pages/Earthquake.aspx.
IEMA also created a number of helpful videos, which can be found at https://www2.illinois.gov/iema/Mitigation/Pages/EarthquakeMitigationVideos.aspx
Southern Illinois is bordered by two seismic zones, the Wabash Valley Seismic Zone on our east and the New Madrid Seismic Zone on our west and south. The agency says more than 3,000 earthquakes have been recorded in the New Madrid Seismic Zone since 1974, most of which were so small as to go unnoticed. The New Madrid Seismic Zone is the more active of the two, according to a Northwestern University study published in 2010. The largest quakes ever recorded in the continental United States occurred along the New Madrid Seismic Zone during the winter of 1811-1812. Three major quakes ranged from 6.8 to 8.8 magnitude.
Summer Heat Hits Hard
If you need to escape from the high heat and humidity, the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) says you can get relief by visiting one of the 120 state facilities that serve as cooling centers. Cooling centers are located at IDHS offices throughout the state and the seven Illinois Tollway Oases in Chicago. They will be open to the public during regular business hours.
Search for the cooling center nearest to your location at www.KeepCool.Illinois.gov.Additional information about the state's cooling centers is available by calling the IDHS toll-free hotline (800-843-6154).
Disaster Planning Involving Youth
Also during the month of July, IEMA is focusing on preparing young people for emergencies. IEMA says preparing them individually, and as part of the family, can instill confidence at a time when panic can easily rise.
The agency suggests the following tips:
- Involve children in the development of a family emergency plan;
- Use real-world events to teach about emergency situations and disasters;
- Use media coverage of current disasters (floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, power outages), talk to children about how your family would respond if this happened to you; and
- Discuss where to go, what to do and how you will ensure their safety during an emergency.
For more information about youth preparedness, visit Ready.Illinois.gov.
State Police Recruitment
The Illinois State Police are looking for ways to increase the number oftroopers and are reinstituting their “Fast Track” program, which offers current certified police officers the opportunity to join the ISP.
Fast Track is an accelerated 13-week training program for current police officers, as opposed to the typical 26-week class for new cadets. To qualify for Fast Track, applicants must be a current certified police officer, a graduate from an accredited law enforcement academy and have at least two years of experience while employed full-time.
According to ISP,“Individuals interested in applying for a future Fast Track Cadet Class must complete the online application on the ISP Merit Board’s website at https://www.illinoistrooper.com/online-application/.”
The Fast Track Cadet Class is expected to begin in the spring of 2020.
U.S. Supreme Court says courts don’t have role in policing partisan gerrymandering
On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts have no role in deciding whether legislative and Congressional maps are drawn for the benefit of a certain political party. Senator Barickman noted that this is another example of why the Illinois Senate should be allowed to vote on the bipartisan SJRCA4, which would allow the voters of Illinois to decide whether that the state should move to a non-partisan system for drawing legislative maps.
“People should be picking their representatives instead of politicians picking their voters,” said Sen. Barickman. “We have the opportunity to make that happen, by letting the voters decide during the next election.”
Illinois’ current system of drawing districts gives the party in power ultimate authority to redraw maps to its benefit. Reforming the way maps are drawn has bipartisan support in Illinois, which is why Senate Republicans are urging the Governor to follow through with his pledge to support fair maps, taking the power away from politicians and putting it in the hands of the people.
You can voice your support for fair maps by signing my petition here: http://jasonbarickman.org
Recreational cannabis legal in Illinois beginning Jan. 1
Illinois is now the 11th state to legalize the recreational use and sale of cannabis. The new law, which was signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 25, sets in place regulations for businesses, possession limits for consumers, tax rates, and a process for expungement of records.
Adults 21 years and older can possess up to 30 grams of cannabis or five grams of concentrate. Those with medical cannabis cards can grow up to five plants for personal use.
Businesses must be properly licensed and follow strict regulations to sell cannabis products; however, local governments have the option to opt out of allowing dispensaries in their jurisdiction.
The sale of cannabis is subject to an excise tax at both the wholesale and consumer level. Municipalities and counties can also impose taxes. However, medical marijuana is exempt from all taxes.
The law also puts a process in place for those with possession offenses or manufacture/deliver offenses of 30 grams or less to be expunged by the Governor. Those convicted of crimes dealing with 30 grams or more must apply to the Prisoner Review Board for possible expungement.
Adults can begin buying and using cannabis legally starting Jan. 1, 2020.
New Laws That Took Effect July 1
Tobacco 21 (HB 345/PA 101-0002): Raises the legal age to purchase tobacco, electronic cigarettes, or alternative nicotine products to 21.
Texting While Driving Penalties (HB 4846/PA 100-0858): States that first-time incidences of driving while operating a handheld mobile device are considered a “moving violation,” and the operator using a hand-held device could face a $75 fine. Previous law considered first-time offenses as a “non-moving violation.”
State Hospital Residents ID (SB 2903/PA 100-0717): Requires the Secretary of State to issue a standard Illinois ID card to a person upon conditional release or absolute discharge from the custody of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
Chronic Absence Data Collection (HB 5771/PA 100-0819): Requires any preschool that receives funding via the Preschool for All program to collect and review its chronic absence data and determine what systems of support and resources are needed to positively engage chronically absent students and their families to encourage the habit of daily attendance and promote success.
School Report Card Attendance (SB 1532/PA 100-0448): Provides that the State Report Card for schools must contain data on average daily attendance.
Instructional Day Definition (SB 28/PA 101-0012): Defines a school instructional day as a minimum of five clock hours of seat time. Provides that the following participation in dual credit enrollment, in a supervised career development experience, in a youth apprenticeship or in a blended learning program will be counted towards the calculation of clock hours of school work per day. Also, expands the e-learning pilot program to all school districts and provides that the regional offices of education or intermediate service centers have the responsibility to verify e-learning programs prior to their use in a school district.
Diversion from Institutionalization Homes Program (SB 2424/PA 100-0924): Requires the Illinois Department of Human Services to create the Diversion from Facility Based Care Program consisting of at least six homes in various locations to serve individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are at risk of institutionalization.
Government Entity Billing (SB 544/PA 100-0994): Amends the Criminal and Traffic Assessment Act to allow for billing of certain government entities by circuit clerk for civil filing fees and to clarify civil case debt collection fees.
Illinois Liquor Control Commission Reorganization (SB 3022/PA 100-1050): Removes the Illinois Liquor Control Commission from its reorganization under the Illinois Department of Revenue.
Meat Products for Personal Use (SB 1364/PA 100-1185): Expands the options a Type I meat processing establishment may pursue to process or slaughter meat for its own personal use.
Criminal Fines (Senate Bill 1328/PA 100-1161): Increases the minimum felony fine from $25 to $75.