Keicher’s Korner: Tele-Town Hall, Legislation Update & More 

I hope you are well! The 2024 spring legislative session is up and running, with House members filing legislation and the committee process underway to review legislation for advancement to the full House of Representatives for consideration. Some of my top priorities for legislation this spring include addressing abuse of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts to provide property tax relief, dealing with roadside trash problems, and ending an onerous requirement on senior citizen drivers, among other priorities.

Among my other committee responsibilities, I was also recently selected to serve on the Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force. The task force was created to improve safety and access to emergency resources following the collapse of an Amazon warehouse that was struck by a tornado in late 2021. 

I’d also like to highlight a Tele-Town Hall meeting I will be hosting tonight live from Springfield. Below is more information about recent happenings at the Capitol and from the 70th District.

 Tele-Town Hall Tonight, Legislation Update & More

Live Tele-Town Hall Tonight.

To assist constituents interested in asking questions or sharing concerns about state issues or legislation, I am partnering with my colleague, State Representative Steve Reick, to host a telephone town hall meeting this week on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, starting at 6 p.m. To join the free tele-town hall meeting, all you need to do is answer the phone call at 6 p.m. However, if you miss the call for any reason, you can join the discussion by dialing in at 1-217-727-6958. To ask a question during the call, press “0” (zero).  Read More Here.

Annual Valentines for Seniors Card Drive.

Sen. Dave Syverson and I are once again asking for your help to lift the spirits of seniors in long-term care facilities by making them Valentine’s Day cards. Last year, more than 10,000 valentines were collected from community members, churches, schools, businesses, and other groups from around the 35th Senate District and 70th House District.

Valentine’s Day cards will be accepted through Feb. 7, and can either be mailed or dropped off at one our shared offices:

527 Colman Center Dr., Cherry Valley, IL  61108

158 W. State Street, Suite C, Sycamore, IL 60178

115 W. Oak Knoll Dr., Route 72, Hampshire, IL 60140

Read More Here.

Working to Send Roadside Trash Problem to the Dump.

For years, I’ve been frustrated with the trash that’s been windblown from waste haulers going from transfer stations to landfills through our communities. Besides the litter problem, trash blowing off waste trucks is a safety hazard, and it is damaging local farmers’ fields and equipment. Current law places nominal fines on the truck driver, but we need a new approach that incentivizes wasting hauling companies to transport trash more securely and support communities when cleanup is needed.

After meeting with waste organizations and working with local leaders, I’ve filed two pieces of legislation to address the problem.  Read More Here.

Bill to End Onerous Requirement on Senior Citizen Drivers.

Contrary to what some folks may think, drivers aged 75 and older are not more crash-prone than younger drivers. Data from the National Safety Council shows quite clearly that drivers 75 and older are involved in fewer fatal crashes than any other age group. Despite this, Illinois is the only state that requires them to retake a driving test to renew their licenses.

It is past time that we fix this onerous hurdle we put in front of seniors in Illinois, and I’m happy to carry legislation to get it done.  Read More Here.

Named to Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force.

I want to thank House Minority Leader Tony McCombie for appointing me to serve on the Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force. As our economy has shifted to increased reliance on warehouse facilities to manage the delivery of goods and services to consumers, we need to ensure these facilities have the right safety features and protocols in place to protect workers from worst-case scenarios. I look forward to utilizing my experience in the insurance industry to help the task force offer proposals that will improve safety standards.  Read More Here.

Small Nuclear Reactors an Integral Part of Illinois’ Energy Future.

A moratorium on new nuclear reactor construction that had been in place since 1987 was lifted by Illinois lawmakers late in 2023, paving the way for small nuclear reactor construction after January 1, 2026. The bi-partisan legislation will help address the demand for energy with downstate coal and gas plants scheduled to shut down in future years.

The new law, which was passed during the fall veto session, will allow the state to build 300 megawatt reactors, known as Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), throughout Illinois. The legislation allowed a study to be conducted on the state’s role in guiding the development of SMRs and allows the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to regulate SMRs.  Read More Here.

I hope you’ve found this update helpful. I’m honored to serve you as your State Representative. As always, please feel welcome to call or e-mail me with any questions, concerns, or feedback on these or any other issues.