Legislative News from Senator Don DeWitte

As Committee Deadline Approaches, DeWitte Seeks Input on Legislation

This Friday is an important week at the Capitol, as all bills must clear a substantive committee by the end of the day on Friday, March 15. As of Friday, March 8, there were still 692 bills that await a hearing before one of the many Senate Committees.

Legislators are busy behind the scenes trying to shore up support for their initiatives because a majority vote by a committee is needed before any measure can move to the Senate floor for full consideration and a vote.

In my initial review of legislation still waiting to be heard, I decided this was a good time to seek input from my constituents. To that end, I have created a short survey that seeks opinions on pending legislation and bills that have passed in recent years. Please take five minutes or so to submit a survey. You can access it here.

Senate Republicans Push for Transparency on Noncitizen Spending

Governor JB Pritzker’s non-citizen welfare policies have exhausted state resources and helped create the largest migrant crisis in the Midwest. The Governor’s financial gimmicks and loopholes make it impossible to know exactly how many taxpayer dollars he has used to fund his invited migrant crisis. This lack of transparency is even more egregious considering Governor Pritzker has proposed nearly $1 billion in tax hikes on Illinois families to continue to pay for the migrant crisis he created.

In response, I have cosponsored legislation to give Illinois taxpayers much-needed transparency on the migrant crisis. Senate Bill 3170 would require the Illinois Department of Human Services to work with relevant State agencies, to prepare an annual report to the General Assembly identifying all state spending on services and resources for migrants. It would also be available to the public on the department’s website.

The report would include details of services and resources provided by various state entities, including but not limited to the State Board of Education, Department of Human Services, Department of Public Health, Illinois Emergency Management Agency and Office of Homeland Security, Department of Central Management Services, Department of Labor, and Department of Healthcare and Family Services.

The report is required to include the following information concerning expenditures:

  • Total amount spent on noncitizen and asylum-seeking populations in the previous fiscal year.
  • Specific appropriations authorizing the spending.
  • Any transfers among line-item appropriations associated with noncitizen and asylum-seeking populations.
  • Total number of families or individuals impacted by each service or resource.
  • Funding sources of the service or resource.
  • Contracts awarded to organizations providing services or resources in various categories such as emergency shelter, food, health screenings, legal services, job readiness support, enrollment in public schools, long-term housing, mental health assessments, and other related spending.

Further, the legislation requires the Governor to include a detailed accounting of all proposed spending on noncitizen populations in future state budgets, providing an additional layer of transparency to the people of Illinois.

The people of Illinois deserve to know how much of their tax dollars are being spent on migrant services, especially when the Governor is trying to raise their taxes by $1 billion.

Republicans Push Back Against Another Gerrymandered Map

Last week, Illinois Senate Republicans stood up against the unfair process of gerrymandering by unanimously voting against legislation to enact a gerrymandered Chicago School Board map favored by Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and his special interest allies. Senate Republican members heard from concerned parents and Chicago community activists who testified against a map that they said empowered special interests instead of Chicago students, especially those from minority communities.

The witnesses raised concerns about a lack of transparency in the map process that they believe will disenfranchise voters in their community.

Senate Republicans also joined opponents in voicing concerns about the influence that Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and other special interests had in the map process. I support maps drawn by independent commissions as they do in many other states, rather than politicians influenced by special interest groups.

March is Women’s History Month

Friday, March 8 was International Women’s Day, and in Illinois, the month of March is designated to acknowledge and commemorate the many great achievements made by women. This month-long celebration is also used to inspire and encourage the next generation of female history-makers.

In 1982, Congress requested that President Ronald Reagan declare Women’s History Week as the second week in March. The idea of expanding this to Women’s History Month was petitioned to Congress by the National Women’s History Alliance in 1987.

Lottie Holman O’Neill, a Republican, was the first woman elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1922. She served a total of 40 years, and her service has been commemorated with a statue in the rotunda of the Illinois State Capitol.

The Illinois Senate Republican Caucus was the first caucus in Illinois to elect a woman to its highest position, with former Senator Christine Radogno serving as Minority Leader from 2009 until 2017. The women of the caucus continue to work to pass important legislation, from advancing the state’s energy sector to protecting the rights of citizens and families.

For ways to celebrate women-owned businesses in Illinois, visit the Enjoy Illinois website at

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