Legislative News from Senator Don DeWitte

Democrat Ed Burke, Chicago’s longest-serving alderman, a longtime-ally of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and a towering figure in city politics, has been sentenced to prison time in the latest in a long history of high-profile corruption cases to rock Illinois.

Burke, who used his significant influence to steer business to his law firm in exchange for helping companies navigate the Chicago City Council, was convicted on 13 charges of bribery, racketeering, and extortion. He was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $2 million for leveraging his position to improperly influence business dealings for personal gain. In my opinion, this is a mere slap on the wrist considering the severity of his crime and the duration of his indiscretions.

Senate Republicans cite this conviction as further evidence of the urgent need for tougher ethics reforms to hold politicians accountable and make it easier for law enforcement to investigate public corruption.

Senate Republicans have continued to fight the culture of corruption that has long tainted Illinois politics, pushing for greater accountability and transparency. Recent proposals from Republican lawmakers include stronger revolving door prohibitions, banning elected officials from working as paid lobbyists and campaign finance reforms.

DeWitte Welcomes New U.S. Citizens at Elgin Ceremony

I am always honored to join Elgin Mayor Dave Kaptain and my fellow legislators from the area to congratulate new Elgin area residents who have chosen to become U.S. citizens. Their stories are always moving, and their journeys are never the same. This year’s event, held on June 27, marked the 20th annual New Citizen Recognition Ceremony.

This annual event is coordinated by Elgin’s New Citizen Recognition Committee, a group made up of community volunteers including representatives from Elgin Community College, the Gail Borden Public Library, the Literacy Connection, and Centro de Información.

Congratulations to all who chose to become U.S. citizens!

Laws Taking Effect July 1

Several new laws are set to take effect on July 1, including measures allowing undocumented immigrants to obtain Illinois driver’s licenses, protections for the children of social media influencers, additional safeguards for independent contractors, and changes to school assessment tests.

  • Undocumented Immigrants Drivers’ Licenses: Public Act 103-0210 allows non-citizens to obtain standard driver’s licenses. This replaces a previous system in which they were allowed to obtain licenses that indicated they were not citizens. Now, they will be able to get the same licenses as Illinois citizens.
  • Underage Professional Vlogger Protections: Public Act 103-0556 seeks to protect children from exploitation by requiring influencers to set up a trust fund for their child if they earn income from their child’s likeness.
  • Regulation for District-Administered Assessment in Schools: Public Act 103-0393 requires school boards to hold a public vote before approving a new contract for district-administered assessments.
  • Freelance Worker Protections: Public Act 103-0417 creates the Freelance Worker Protection Act to create protections for independent contractors.

DeWitte Welcomes Constituents to Traveling Office Hours Event in Algonquin

Last week my office hosted Traveling Office Hours at the public library in Algonquin, and I was able to attend and meet with constituents to discuss issues of importance to them. My staff was also on hand to provide assistance on issues people were having with state agencies and departments.

Traveling Office Hours are hosted throughout the summer in communities in the 33rd District, and I attend them as my schedule permits.

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Algonquin event. I had several good conversations and my staff helped those struggling with an issue involving a department or agency cut through some of the red tape.

Next up on the Traveling Office Hours tour are events on July 11 in South Elgin, July 23 in Crystal Lake, August 1 in Geneva, and August 19 in Carpentersville.

Switch Out Your IPASS Transponder with the new IPASS Sticker at July 10 Event in St. Charles

As you probably know, the Illinois Tollway is phasing out the plastic IPASS transponders and transitioning to a sticker. On Wednesday, July 10 from noon until 4:00 PM, State Rep. Dan Ugaste and I are partnering with the Illinois Tollway for an “IPASS On Demand” event at our shared office in St. Charles.

Officials from the Illinois Tollway will be on hand to help people transfer over to the new sticker technology and ensure people can make the switch without disruption to their IPASS account activity. Along with providing this service, the tollway officials can help people with questions they may have about their IPASS account and with “Pay by Plate” issues.

Once activated, the sticker tag can be used on the Illinois tollway and on E-Z Pass roadways in other states within 24 hours of activation. There is no deposit required for the sticker and the $10 transponder deposit that was paid when a transponder was purchased will transfer to the new account when it is activated. For additional information about this free event, please contact my events coordinator Paige at

Additionally, please mark your calendars for these other upcoming events:

  • July 11: Traveling Office Hours: Gail Borden Public Library, South Elgin Branch, 127 S McLean Blvd, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • July 23: Traveling Office Hours: Crystal Lake Public Library, 126 W Paddock St, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • August 1: Traveling Office Hours, Geneva Public Library, 227 S 7th St, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • August 7: Mobile Secretary of State Event, DeWitte West Dundee Office, 641 S Eighth Street, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • August 19: Traveling Office Hours, Dundee Township Rakow Center, 665 Barrington Ave, Carpentersville, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • August 24: Prescription Drug Drop-Off, West Dundee Police Department, 555 S 8th St, West Dundee, Time TBA
  • September 5: Senior Expo, Dundee Township Rakow Center, 665 Barrington Ave, Carpentersville, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • September 14: Senior Expo, St. Charles Pottawatomie Park (Community Center), 8 North Avenue, St. Charles, 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon
  • September 24: I-CASH Unclaimed Property Day, Algonquin Village Hall, 2200 Harnish Drive, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • October 15: Senior Expo, Crystal Lake Park District Grand Oaks Building, 1401 W. Route 176, Crystal Lake, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Please visit the Events Page on my website to learn more about these and other events.

$53.2 Million is Coming to 33rd District in New IDOT Multi-Year Plan

IDOT’s newest Multi-Year Improvement Plan (MYP) is the largest in state history, investing $41.42 billion over the next six years in various projects touching every county in Illinois. Funding for the projects will come from a combination of federal, state, and local dollars.

I am pleased to announce that $53,220,000 in IDOT funding is coming to the 33rd Senate District. Of this, $24,345,000 is slated for state highway improvements within the district, and $28,875,000 is allocated toward improvements to local highways. The plan has designated $25,860,000 in IDOT funds to be spent on state and local projects in the 33rd District during the current fiscal year.

This funding will provide for vital improvements and will improve safety on our roads and strengthen the integrity of several bridges.

Click here to view the list of projects that are coming to the 33rd District between Fiscal Years 2025-2030, with projects slated for the current fiscal year noted in red. A total of 10 projects that cover 12.98 miles of state highways, and an additional 7 projects that span 2.88 miles of local highways are included for this area in the updated plan.

In this annual update to the MYP, $29.65 billion is earmarked for roads and bridges, while the remaining $11.77 billion is allocated for public transit, freight, and passenger rail, as well as other projects. Additional information about the plan can be found on IDOT’s website.

ISP Partners with Texas DPS to Enhance Child Protection Training

A new Illinois State Police (ISP) partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety trained officers to better protect at-risk Illinois children.

This joint venture allowed ISP officers to participate in the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) training program. The goal of the IPC training is to help officers identify signs of child exploitation, victimization, and abduction.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), other law enforcement agencies and child advocacy groups also attended the training.

Illinoisans are encouraged to report any suspicious activities involving minors to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. Additional resources can be found at

IDNR Offers Free Camping Near State Fairgrounds with Purchase of 2024 Admission Booklet

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is offering free camping near the fairgrounds during the Illinois State Fair.

To be eligible for this promotion, interested fair campers need to purchase a 2024 Illinois State Fair Admission booklet from June 26 to July 3 and plan to camp within the dates of August 11 to 16.

With the booklet purchase, campers and fair attendees can receive up to two complimentary nights at one of the Springfield-area State Parks. The three parks available for this free stay include Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, Sangchris Lake State Park, and Jim Edgar Panther Creek State Fish and Wildlife Area.

For more information, visit the fair’s website at

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