I’d like to give you a brief recap of legislative action during this second and final week of Fall Veto Session. While there were dozens of bills that saw action this past week, you’ll find below those that were of particular interest to those reaching out to me. My vision and goals reflect what I hear every day as I meet and listen to constituents. Please scroll below for updates that may be of interest to you and your family.
If we haven’t met already, I hope to have the opportunity to meet you in the coming months as I attend community meetings and events throughout the district. Being a strong voice for you in Springfield is my priority.
Please do not hesitate to contact my district office in Sycamore if I or a member of our staff may be of assistance to you. You can reach us by phone at (815) 748-3494 or via e-mail at Keicher@ilhousegop.org.
State Representative, 70th District
Veto Session Recap
The Illinois House of Representatives wrapped up the final day of Veto Session on Thursday, taking final action on the remaining bills that had been vetoed by the Governor earlier this year. Here is a recap:
“Tobacco 21” (SB 2332)
This bill would have raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products in Illinois from 18 to 21. This was a difficult choice as I strongly value personal responsibility at adulthood (age 18). I spoke to many constituents on this topic during the 2 weeks prior to this vote and overwhelmingly they suggested 21 was the proper age. I concluded that since in the Spring 2019 the new Governor will propose legalization of Marijuana. Though I oppose legalization, I feel it would be appropriate to have an age of 21 if it was legalized. We would then be in a position as a state where “substances” (alcohol, tobacco, vaping, marijuana) would be unified at a legal age of 21. I voted YES. The bill failed, however, receiving only 62 votes, 9 shy of the 71 needed to override the Governor’s veto.
VOICES Act (SB 34)
Human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children is a critical issue across the country and here in Illinois. The two U.S. Representatives serving our area in Congress, Adam Kinzinger and Randy Hultgren, have been leaders on this issue at the federal level sharing at a recent meeting that the victims of these crimes are just as often immigrants as citizens. Marshaling the resources of state law in partnership with local law enforcement agencies to combat this scourge is a priority of mine as well.
This week the Illinois House voted to approve a bill that protects survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking and other crimes regardless of their immigration status. Too often these victims are afraid to come forward and report what happened to them to the police. The VOICES Act will make it safer for victims of crime to come out of the shadows and enable local and state law enforcement to investigate and hold offenders accountable. I voted YES. This bill passed with 73 votes, two more than the minimum needed to override the Governor’s veto.
Onerous burden on residential property buyers with regard to title insurance (SB 65)
This is a bad bill that would prohibit free competition within the real estate industry by adding unnecessary regulations on residential property buyers with regard to title insurance requirements. Thankfully, the override motion on this bill failed. I voted NO.
Protecting healthcare providers with regard to late payments on workers’ compensation care (HB 904)
Delayed payment has always been an issue in treating injured workers. In a prior law, providers were allowed interest penalties for approved treatments that were not paid. However, there was no enforcement language in that prior law. Without a way to collect interest, healthcare providers are simply on the hook for the costs of the care. If this continues, medical assistance to injured workers may be in jeopardy.
Any reduction in access to medical care will increase the time that injured workers are off of work and increase the long-term effects of their injuries, both of which could actually increase costs for employers. This passage of this bill will help to prevent that. I voted YES.
Dates of 2019 spring session announced
When we adjourned on Thursday, the House announced its schedule for the 2019 spring legislative session. The new 101st Illinois House of Representatives will convene on Wednesday, January 9, for its members to take their oaths of office.
The new session will be an opportunity for House members to file bills on issues of importance to constituents. As in previous years, bills will have to pass through the House Rules Committee and through a substantive committee in order to be heard on the House floor. Various spring 2019 deadlines have been posted on this schedule for House committee action on House and Senate bills.
I will keep you informed of all the new bills I plan to introduce early next year.
Rep. Keicher to Host Citizenship Workshop in DeKalb
Local residents interested in applying for U.S. citizenship are invited to attend a free workshop on Saturday, December 1 I am sponsoring in partnership with Family Focus and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
The Citizenship Workshop is scheduled from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on December 1 at Conexion Comunidad, located at 637 North 11th Street in DeKalb.
We are pleased to offer this workshop for immigrants pursuing their dream of becoming a U.S. citizen. Navigating the process can be complicated and confusing for many immigrants, but help is available, and now is the time. I encourage everyone in the DeKalb area interested in applying for citizenship to attend our friendly, welcoming and free citizenship workshop.
To register, please call (630) 256-7017. Basic information those interested should know before registering for the workshop include:
You are eligible for U.S. CITIZENSHIP if:
§ You have had a green card for 4 years, 9 months and know basic English, or
§ If you are married to a U.S. Citizen, have had a green card for2 years, 9 months and know basic English
English is NOT needed for U.S. Citizenship if:
§ You are 50 years old and have had a green card for 20 years, or
§ You are 55 years old and have had a green card for 15 years
To be able to fill out a citizenship application, attendees will need to bring the following documents:
§ Your Permanent Resident Card (green card) AND Social Security Card AND your driver’s license or state ID
§ Dates of all travels outside US since you received your green card
§ A list of all your home addresses for the past 5 years
§ A list of all your employer addresses, dates, and locations for the past 5 years
§ If currently married, your spouse’s name AND date of birth AND social security number AND immigration number (if applicable) AND date of naturalization (if applicable)
§ Date of ALL marriages and divorces of you and your spouse (if applicable)
§ If you have children—their names AND their addresses (if not living with you) AND their dates of birth AND their green card numbers (if applicable)
§ If you have ever been arrested—reason for arrest AND date AND place it happened AND outcome/disposition
§ Males: your Selective Service number and registration date—if you don’t know, call (847) 688-6888 or go to www.sss.gov
§ Money Order for $725 (double check the correct amount of the current fee before you send your application) payable to US-CIS. For those older than 75 years of age the money order amount is $640
§ Money Order for $50 payable to Family Focus for processing
Spotlight on Local Non-Profit: Goodfellows Annual Christmas Party on December 6
Goodfellows is a local organization that provides Christmas gifts to children in need every Christmas. Over 98% of all money raised is spent on gifts for children in Sycamore and DeKalb. Goodfellows has been around for over 80 years, and have served over 10,000 children.
Goodfellows is hosting their annual Christmas party on Thursday December 6, 2018 from 5pm to midnight at PJ’s Courthouse Tavern in Sycamore, located at 202 W State Street. The Christmas party will feature live music, food, and live raffles. $10 admission. Mark your calendars and support this outstanding organization while enjoying an evening of fun!