Legislative News from Senator DeWitte

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

I am kicking off my 2024 spring/summer events calendar with a FREE document shredding event this Saturday 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.

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.

Legislation to Provide Stability for Abused Children Passes the Senate

Senate Republicans have advanced legislation to ensure that children taken into Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) custody don’t have to change schools.

Currently, when a child is taken into DCFS custody, they often end up in a new home outside of their school district. Senate Bill 2824 ensures that all children who have been removed from their homes by DCFS can stay in the same school if the agency determines it to be in the best interest of the child. This includes situations where a student is moving from elementary to middle school or from middle school to high school within a school district. Allowing children to remain in their current school provides a measure of stability and familiarity for children who desperately need it.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and now awaits action in the Illinois House.

DeWitte Hosts Local High School Students for Spring Student Advisory Council Meeting

On Thursday, April 25, I hosted close to 40 high school students from high schools across the 33rd Senate District for my 2024 Spring Student Advisory Council. This is always one of my favorite events of the year.

The Council gathers twice each year. In the fall, the students hear from a few selected community or state leaders who share their paths into public service and answers the students’ questions about their fields of expertise and about the journey that led them on their career path. Then in the afternoon the students collaborate and brainstorm, and ultimately develop their own bill idea that represents an issue that is important to them as 16, 17, and 18-year-olds. Senate staff turns the idea into a “bill,” and in the spring the group reconvenes and moves their legislative proposal through a mock committee process, complete with Republican and Democratic Senators, lobbyists in favor and against the bill, and citizen witnesses. The process concludes with an up or down vote by the “Senators.”

Students get a unique understanding of the importance of understanding both sides of an issue before registering their official support or opposition. It is a life skill that will serve them well in a world where politics is very polarized today.

Legislation to Combat Food Deserts Passes

Senate Republicans are working to combat food insecurity throughout Illinois by passing legislation to increase access to food in underserved areas.

Senate Bill 3265 creates a program within the Illinois Department of Agriculture tasked with developing strategies to ensure fresh, nutritious food is available in food deserts while also providing education on food preparation and nutrition.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, food deserts are areas where people have limited access to a variety of healthy and affordable food. The proposed legislation emphasizes a comprehensive approach, aiming not only to increase food access but also to strengthen local food systems and understand the root causes of food insecurity. Lawmakers are optimistic about the bill’s potential to improve food access and education statewide.

The proposal received unanimous support in the Senate on April 12 and now heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

New Legislation Ensures Accessible Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for People with Disabilities

Legislation calling for greater accessibility to ease the challenges faced by people with disabilities when charging their electric vehicles (EVs) has advanced in the Senate.

Senate Bill 3323 mandates that all EV charging stations are readily accessible, spaced adequately for accessibility needs, equipped with longer charging cords, and meet technical standards to ensure accessibility for all.

While gas stations in America are accessible for most people with disabilities, current laws overlook EV chargers. The proposed legislation would ensure all charging stations are designed to be independently usable by individuals with disabilities. This includes those who might have trouble using their hands, people with limb differences, or individuals reliant on special driving controls.

Senate Bill 3323 received unanimous support in the Senate and now advances to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

Senate Republicans Advance Legislation to Provide Flexible Daycare Scheduling Options

As families throughout the state struggle to make ends meet due to high inflation and other economic pressures, Senate Republicans have advanced legislation that would support working parents by providing greater flexibility in scheduling childcare.

Most daycare centers operate from 8:00 AM to 5:30, presenting a significant problem for shift workers who often work overnight or early morning hours. Republican legislation that recently cleared the Illinois Senate would create a more flexible childcare system to meet the different needs of working parents.

Senate Bill 3207 authorizes daycare centers to operate for 24 hours and provide child care for up to 12 hours for parents employed in a position requiring regularly scheduled shifts. A 10-hour period must elapse between daycare visits.

The bill received unanimous support when it passed out of the Senate on April 12. The legislation now advances to the House of Representatives.

Illinois State Police Welcomes New Troopers from Cadet Class 146

The Illinois State Police (ISP) recently welcomed nine new troopers from Cadet Class 146 into the ISP family. The graduation ceremony took place at the Illinois State Police Academy in Springfield on April 12.

Cadet Class 146 underwent a demanding 28-week program that covered various aspects of law enforcement, including cultural diversity, procedural justice, domestic violence, and firearms training. Additionally, they underwent a 14-week field training component with one-on-one mentoring.

Since 2019, the ISP has grown its numbers by adding 512 new troopers to its ranks. The fresh recruits will be assigned to the following Troops across the state:

  • Troop 3 Chicago: 7 troopers
  • Troop 4 Peoria: 1 trooper
  • Troop 7 Champaign: 1 trooper

To encourage more individuals to join the force, the ISP has extended the application deadline for the next round of recruits to May 1, 2024. Aspiring candidates interested in joining the Illinois State Police are encouraged to visit the Illinois State Police Merit Board website at for further application details.

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