Legislative News from Senator Don DeWitte

Senator DeWitte Offers Spring 2024 Survey

The 2024 legislative session is in high gear, and lawmakers are vetting hundreds of bills in the Senate and House. There are some very interesting initiatives that have been filed as legislation this year, and I would like to hear from you on some of the more controversial items.

To that end, I have published an online legislative 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.

I will read every survey that is submitted, and I look forward to your comments. The survey also includes an open-ended section where you can comment on issues not included in the survey or expand on survey answers. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Constitutional Amendment to Ensure U.S. Citizenship Required to Vote in Illinois

In response to growing efforts from activists to allow non-citizens to vote in Illinois’ local elections, new legislation filed by Senate Republicans aims to eliminate perceived vagueness in the state constitution that activists have capitalized on to push voting for non-citizens. I am proud to co-sponsor this new legislation.

While state and federal law clearly require U.S. citizenship to vote in State and Federal elections, recent proposals to allow non-citizens to vote in local and municipal elections have garnered headlines. A city ordinance proposed in suburban Evanston would allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections for mayor and city council. Another proposal filed in the Senate by a Democrat this year would extend voting rights to noncitizens in school board elections.

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 14 (SJRCA 14) would require citizenship to vote in any Illinois election. The proposed amendment would strike the words “in State Elections” from the third article of the state constitution. This removal of these words would make it abundantly clear that U.S. citizenship is required to vote in any election in Illinois. For the amendment to become a part of the state constitution, it would need to be approved by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly by May 5 and placed on the November 5 General Election ballot to be approved by voters.

Legislation to Stop Property Tax Penalties Charged to Deceased

The last thing a grieving family should have to worry about after the loss of a loved one is the government charging interest and penalties on bills they may not even know exist, yet in Illinois, even after someone has passed away, governments may still be charging them interest and penalties on property taxes. New legislation I am co-sponsoring aims to provide relief, ensuring grieving families aren’t on the hook for penalties incurred after their loved one has passed.

Senate Bill 2832 would allow for the estate of a deceased individual to apply for a waiver with the county treasurer to prevent interest and penalties from being charged on delinquent property taxes for the deceased individual. The waiver would apply from the date of the decedent’s death until either the estate is closed, or the property is sold, transferred, or conveyed.

Agriculture Students Visit the Capitol

On March 13, high school agriculture students from across the state came together in Springfield to speak on behalf of their industry.

Every year during the spring legislative session, farmers, representatives from ag industry associations, and members of high school Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters take part in what they call Illinois Ag Lobby Day. Their goal is to advocate for agriculture and remind legislators how important the industry is to Illinois.

FFA involvement allows students to get involved at a young age, and their visit to the Capitol last week underscored the importance of agriculture as the state’s top industry.

Attorney General Lists Top 10 Most Frequent Scams Illinoisans Fell Victim to in 2023

During National Consumer Protection Week, the Illinois Attorney General’s office released a list of some of the most common scams that plagued Illinois residents in 2023. Construction/home improvement repairs, identity theft, and consumer debt were the top three categories of scams that Illinois residents faced last year. This is the third straight year that the top spot was taken by home repairs.

The largest complaint in the home improvement category involved contractors failing to show up and complete the job once a down payment was made. According to the Illinois Attorney General’s office, a primary key for protecting yourself from identity theft is to frequently change passwords and not share personal information online. Unsolicited calls and texts are another way scammers attempt to retrieve your personal information, and leaving those calls unanswered is the best way to avoid being scammed.

For more information on how to defend yourself from these scams and to report fraud, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website at

Senate Republicans Highlight Legislation to Protect Kids

This year I am championing two bills that protect kids and empower parents. Both were highlighted at a Capitol press conference held on March 14.

Senate Bill 2772 would require schools to list learning materials and curriculum details on district websites. The bill would also require school boards to update information for the following semesters on their websites by August 1 and January 1 of every school year. The materials would have to remain publicly available until the next report is completed and posted.

A second bill would protect children from sensitive online content. Senate Bill 2590 would create the Adult Content Age Verification Act, requiring pornography websites to verify a person’s age before allowing them to view content. The legislation identifies the “reasonable age verification methods” a business must follow to comply.

A recent report found that on average most teens are first exposed to online pornography at age 12. More than half were exposed accidentally, including from friends or classmates, search engine results, social media, or by clicking links, according to the report’s findings.

March is National Reading Month

To encourage daily reading by Americans young and old, March has been designated National Reading Month. March was selected as National Reading Month to honor the birthday of Dr. Seuss, one of the nation’s most celebrated authors of children’s stories.

According to experts, reading comprehension is an important factor in educational and professional growth. Consistent reading has shown to improve memory, cognitive function, and vocabulary. They say that initiatives like these are especially important as youth reading scores decline across the nation.  Making reading fun is the key to improving these scores.

While reading with children, parents should ensure that the literature is fun, relatable, and enjoyable. Consistently making time to read with children is an often overlooked and unappreciated part of this experience. Children watch everything their parents do, so parents reading will encourage them to read more as well. Illinoisians young and old can celebrate by picking up a book during March and all throughout the year.

Want to stay up to date with Senator DeWitte?

Sign up for his E-Newsletter below: