Legislative News from Senator Don DeWitte

Fall Veto Session gets underway in Springfield

State lawmakers were back in Springfield this week for the first three days of the annual fall Veto Session. During the 2023 spring session, more than 550 bills were passed through both chambers of the General Assembly and sent to the Governor for final action. Gov. JB Pritzker signed all but six into law. Of the six bills, three received total vetoes, and an additional three received partial, or amendatory, vetoes. 

Legislators can override a full veto with a 3/5 vote in the House and Senate. If a vetoed bill is not called for a vote, the veto stands, and the bill dies. For bills that received amendatory vetoes, the Legislature can either vote to approve the Governor’s amended bill language with a simple majority vote, or lawmakers can override the amendatory veto with a 3/5 vote to approve the original bill. It’s up to the leaders of the Majority Party to decide which, if any, bills are called for reconsideration.  

There was little action on vetoed bills this week; however, the Illinois Senate took the opportunity to take up other measures that are now on their way to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Lawmakers will return for the final week of veto session starting Nov. 7.

Senate Republicans push for elimination of sunset date for Invest in Kids Act

Since the inception of the Invest in Kids program in 2017, more than $308 million in private donations have been made to a tax credit scholarship fund that has provided more than 38,000 scholarships to help low-income K-12 students in struggling schools optimize their chances for academic success by attending a school of choice. Unfortunately, without a legislative intervention during Veto Session, Invest in Kids expires on Jan. 1, 2024, potentially forcing students to have to leave their current schools.

Last week I had a chance to talk with a group of about 55 students and family members who rely on Invest in Kids scholarships so they can attend St. Mary Catholic School in Elgin. Click here to view a video of their visit to the Capitol.

My Senate Republican colleagues and I have set the removal of the sunset date as a top priority for the fall Veto Session, and I believe that any family with a child who is struggling at their current school should be able to apply for a tuition scholarship, so they have the ability to place their child in a school environment they believe is better suited for them. 

Those who agree that the Invest in Kids tax credit scholarship program needs to be made permanent are encouraged to add their name to a Senate Republican petition located at  

Coat deliveries underway from DeWitte’s Winter Coat Drive

We were in Springfield until Thursday last week, but on Friday I made coat deliveries from my 2023 Winter Coat Drive. I’m shown in this photo collage dropping off coats at Lazarus House and at the Salvation Army in St. Charles.

Overall, we collected over 230 coats. This exceeded all expectations, and will ensure that kids, teens, and adults in our area will be ready when the really cold weather hits. Thanks again to all who donated a new or gently used coat to this event!

In addition to Lazarus House and the Salvation Army, coats were also dropped off at Kids in Need-McHenry County, and the Elgin Wayside Center.

ISP announces three dates and locations for “Assault Weapons Ban” gun registration process

A new Illinois law, which bans a long list of firearms, magazines, and other devices, will be the subject of public hearings hosted by the Illinois State Police (ISP).

These hearings are in response to the registration process outlined in the new law, which requires individuals who possessed one or more of these now-banned firearms prior to the Act taking effect on Jan. 19, 2023, to submit an endorsement affidavit through their Firearm Owner’s Identification Card account in order to legally maintain possession.

In an effort to clear up confusion and concerns about the registration process, the ISP is holding three public hearings across the state. The hearings are open to the public but can also be heard via WebEx. Persons wishing to speak at a public hearing must do so in person and must submit a completed witness slip. The dates and locations for the hearings are as follows: 

  • Thursday, November 2, 2023
    9:30 a.m., Room D1 of the Stratton Building, 401 Spring Street, Springfield
  • Friday, November 3, 2023
    9:30 a.m., Room C-600 of the Bilandic Building, 160 N. La Salle Street
  • Monday, November 6, 2023
    9:30 a.m., Caseyville Community Center at Village Hall, 909 South Main Street, Caseyville

For more information and to access the WebEx links, click here. 

Senate Republicans still collecting submissions for Veterans Wall of Honor

To show appreciation for veterans’ sacrifices and service, the Senate Republican Caucus is once again showcasing veterans’ legacy of service on a “Wall of Honor” that will be on display in the Capitol rotunda Nov. 7-20. With Veterans Day coming up on Nov. 11, it’s a perfect opportunity to share amazing stories of our heroes with those who visit the State Capitol. 

Submissions should include a photo and a written story (maximum 250 words), along with the following information: name, military branch, and conflict served if they served during a time of war. Submissions should be sent to by November 6. Submissions can also be mailed to: Veterans Day “Wall of Honor,” 110D Statehouse, Springfield, IL 62706. 

For more information about this tribute to veterans, please call (217) 782-7219. 

Illinois communities set Trick-or-Treating hours

It’s that time of year when little ghosts and goblins take to the streets in search of candy and other treats. Communities all across the state are setting Trick-or-Treating hours for either Halloween Day on October 31, or during the weekend preceding the 31st

Most communities have their Trick-or-Treating hours posted on their official websites, and if none are posted, those wishing to participate in Trick-or-Treating are encouraged to call their city or village hall to learn dates and times for celebrating. 

The National Safety Council offers the following safety tips for Trick-or-Treaters: 

  • All costumes, wigs and accessories should be fire-resistant. 
  • If children are allowed out after dark, fasten reflective tape to their costumes and bags, or give them glow sticks. 
  • A responsible adult should accompany young children on the neighborhood rounds. 
  • If older children are going out alone, plan and review an acceptable route. 
  • Agree on a specific time children should return home. 
  • Teach children never to enter a stranger’s home or car. 
  • Instruct children to travel only in familiar, well-lit areas and stick with their friends. 
  • Tell children not to eat any treats until they return home so that treats can be checked by an adult. 

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