Legislative News from Senator Don DeWitte

DeWitte 2024 Spring Events Kick Off with Shred Event and Food Drive on May 4

Start gathering your sensitive documents and receipts, because I’m kicking off my 2024 spring/summer events calendar with a FREE document shredding event that will be held on Saturday, May 4 in St. Charles. I will be partnering with State Rep. Dan Ugaste for this event.

A shred truck will be on site at the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps Community Center, located at 1710 S. 7th Avenue, from 9:00 AM until 11:00 AM or until the truck is full. Non-perishable food items will also be collected.

Participants are asked to follow traffic signs and remain in their vehicles. Shred truck staff will unload cars. Parking will be available for those who wish to see their documents fed into the shredder. While paper folders, staples and paper clips can be fed into the shredder, large binder clips, plastic file folders, and old floppy discs cannot. Additionally, no electronics will be accepted for recycling or disposal. 

For additional information on this event, constituents can call Sen. DeWitte’s office at (847) 214-8245 or Rep. Ugaste’s office at (630) 797-5530.

Opposition Voiced Against Wetland Overregulation 

Ignoring concerns from Illinois’ agriculture community, environmental activists are pushing legislation in Springfield that would grant the state sweeping authority over private land.

The bill was proposed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Sackett v. EPA decision, which rolled back the scope of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) and curtailed overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). WOTUS, a part of the Federal Clean Water Act, has been heavily criticized by farmers, homeowners, and landowners because of the broad authority it gave the government over private land.

Senate Bill 771 would give many of the powers the Sackett v. EPA decision took away from the EPA to the state. The legislation goes even further, creating a new regulatory system at the state level that puts the burden on landowners to hire costly specialists to identify wetlands. It also mandates permits for projects, even on private property, without specifying a timeline – allowing the state to effectively kill projects by not acting on a permit request. Additionally, it allows the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to issue hefty civil penalties of $10,000 per day for violations. 

The legislation has been met with opposition from a broad range of interests, including farmers, business groups, home builders, and energy producers. If passed, it could mean the end of numerous energy projects, costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development. 

I am strongly opposed to the legislation, and believe it infringes on property rights and would create yet another burdensome and costly regulatory process for citizens that could potentially harm Illinois’ agriculture, construction, and energy sectors in the long term.

Senate Advances Legislation to Stop Governments from Charging Property Tax Penalties to Deceased Individuals

Senate Republican lawmakers have advanced legislation to alleviate the financial burdens placed on families dealing with unforeseen property tax penalties in the wake of a loved one’s passing. I am the Chief Co-Sponsor of the bill.

Currently, even when a person has passed away, governments may still be charging their estate with interest and penalties for property taxes, leaving grieving families with unexpected expenses.

Senate Bill 2832, sponsored by Senator Steve McClure, would allow for the estate of a deceased individual to apply for a waiver with the county treasurer that would prevent interest and penalties from being charged on delinquent property taxes.

Senate Bill 2832 passed the Senate on April 9 and now awaits action in the House of Representatives.

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