Keicher’s Korner: Legislation Update, Upcoming Events & More

At the end of last week, the Illinois House of Representatives came to its “Third Reading deadline,” which represents the final date that a House bill can be debated on the House floor and passed over to the Senate. Failure of a bill to advance by the Third Reading deadline does not necessarily mean that an issue is dead, but that is likely the case. Many bills have come over from the Senate to the House, and some of these bills represent issues and language similar to bills held up in the House. Other pieces of House bill language could be drafted as amendments to Senate bills.

While I’m glad my legislation supporting child victims of human trafficking (HB 5465) and my legislation addressing the windblown trash issue (HB 4848) both passed last week, the ratio of bills being taken up in the House is still frustratingly one-sided. Of the 324 bills that passed the House last week, only 33, a mere 10.2%, were filed by Republican members while all the rest were Democrat bills. And I’m disappointed, despite having more than three dozen bipartisan co-sponsors, my legislation to end the ageist requirement for senior drivers to retake the driving test when they renew their license (HB 4431), regardless of driving record or ability, was not called for a vote and we couldn’t get an answer from the Speaker’s office on why it wasn’t called.

Below is more information about legislation that did advance and other 70th District news.

 Legislation Update, Upcoming Events & More

Bill to help underage trafficking victims recover passes House.

Victims of human trafficking and sexual exploitation, especially children, represent our most vulnerable, and we need to do everything we can to help them through their recovery process. That’s why I’m proud to be carrying House Bill 5465 and to see it pass the House unanimously last week. The legislation builds on a law we passed last year by creating an easier process for child victims of trafficking to have their juvenile records expunged or sealed as a result of any criminal acts they were forced to take part in while being abused. I’m thankful that my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House agreed, and I hope to see the bill receive the same unanimous support when our colleagues in the State Senate take it up.  Read More Here.

Roadside trash problem headed for the dump as bill unanimously passes House.

Rep. Keicher (left) speaks with Vice President of the Kane County Farm Bureau, Dale Pitstick (right), during a tour of Pitstick’s farming operation in 2023.

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.

House Bill 4848 will help us curb the problem by strengthening the current requirement for how waste hauling trucks must cover their loads, as well as holding the companies accountable through an updated violation and fine process. Now that the bill has passed through the House unanimously, I’m hopeful it will receive a similarly high level of support in the State Senate and quickly be sent to the Governor for his signature.  Read More Here.

Bill to improve Scott’s Law awareness passes House.

Scott’s Law is a critical roadway safety law that requires drivers to slow down and move over when passing any vehicle with hazard lights flashing on the side of the road. Unfortunately, far too many drivers still ignore this law, which continues to cause deaths and injuries on our roads. That’s why I’m proud to be a co-sponsor of HB 4711, which requires the Sec. of State to give anyone who gets Scott’s Law questions wrong on their written driving test the facts about the law and its penalties (Up to a $10,000 fine, 2-year suspension of driving privileges, or jail time, in extreme cases).  Read More Here.

Press conference to call for an end to discriminatory driving law.

Last week, Senator Don DeWitte and I joined AARP Illinois for a bipartisan press conference to call for an end to Illinois’ status as the only state to mandate extra driving tests for those 75 and over, regardless of driving record or ability. Despite having more than three dozen bipartisan co-sponsors, my legislation to end this ageist requirement (HB 4431) was not called for a vote and we couldn’t get an answer from the Speaker’s office on why it wasn’t called. I’m still working with advocates and legislators on both sides of the aisle to get this initiative across the finish lie before the spring session ends.  Read More Here.

Additional noteworthy bills that passed the House last week.

In addition to the legislation noted above, below are some other pieces of legislation that passed the House before last week’s deadline that I was happy to support.

  • HB 4629 – Creates the Junk Fee Ban Act. Over recent years, it has become a trend for companies to charge what has become known as “junk fees.” Junk fees are hidden or unexpected charges that are added to goods and services, such as bank accounts, loans, or purchases. These fees are mandatory but not transparently disclosed to consumers, and they can make a profit off of “gotchas” and prevent comparison shopping.
  • HB 4180 – Building on the work I have been proud to be a part of over the past few years to improve coverage and access to breast cancer screening and treatment, this legislation expands insurance coverage of molecular breast imaging (MBI), which is a nuclear medicine technique that uses a radioactive tracer and a special camera to create images of breast tissue to help detect breast cancer.
  • HB 5370 – This legislation seeks to improve road safety by requiring that upon approaching an emergency scene, a stationary authorized emergency vehicle, or a construction or maintenance area or zone, a person who drives a vehicle shall, proceeding with due caution, yield the right-of-way by making a lane change, if possible with due regard to safety and traffic conditions.

IL House honors memory of Deputy Christina M. “Beana” Musil.

A photo of fallen DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy Christina Musil is displayed Thursday, April 4, during her visitation and funeral at Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center. Musil, 35, was killed March 28 while on duty after a truck rear-ended her police vehicle in Waterman. (Photo credit: Mark Busch – Shaw Local News Network.)

I recently had the privilege of leading the Illinois House in a moment of remembrance to honor the memory and service of DeKalb County Sheriff’s Deputy Christina M. “Beana” Musil.

The love and respect that was on display during her memorial service are a testament to the incredible person she was and the dedication she had for serving others. She set an incredible standard for her children and the rest of the community.  Watch the Video Here.

ICash event for constituents on May 6.

Senator Dave Syverson and I are working with the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office to host an ICash event on May 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Hampshire. The State Treasurer is holding more than 3.5 billion dollars in unclaimed funds for Illinoisans. The State holds these lost funds until they are claimed by either the original owner or their heirs. Property is returned at no cost. Come see if the State is holding any funds that belong to you. Staff will be available for assistance at this event.  Read More Here.

Senior Fraud Protection Event.

Scam artists often take age as a vulnerability. As a result, seniors are a frequent target for a wide range of consumer fraud scams. Join me and the Town of Cortland, with the IL Attorney General’s Office, for a presentation on how to avoid fraud and identity theft scams on May 29 at the Cortland Lions Club.  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.