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Rep. Elik's October 2023 Update

This is my sixteenth update to the citizens of the 111th district, as your State Representative. The summer and fall have been very busy for me and my office staff, as we shift gears away from the spring legislative session and back to in-district activities and outreach. In August, we held traveling office hours throughout the district as well as an evening session at the Alton office. During these office hours, we meet with constituents on various issues and work to resolve problems with state agencies. We also hear general complaints and compliments and meet people we may not have met before. Although the traveling office hours are complete at this time, you can always call my office for assistance.

We recently held a Citizens Utility Board (CUB) event at Senior Services Plus in Alton. Citizens Utility Board is a non-profit, non-partisan organization founded to educate and advocate for residential and small-business utility customers. We had high demand for the one-on-one meetings with CUB to review utility bills, so it’s clear this was a helpful and needed event. Everyone who met with a CUB advisor came away with suggestions on how to lower their utility bills. Most suggestions were related to the electric supplier price versus the Ameren price for electricity. You can call CUB and they will review your bills over the phone with you, to see if you have savings available to you. Please call CUB directly at 1-800-669-5556.

I have been attending and speaking at many community events throughout the district, including business and non-profit organization meetings, ribbon cuttings, open houses, tours, food truck festivals, anniversary celebrations and more. I’ve visited several schools throughout the district for back-to-school and Principal for a Day activities. I especially enjoyed reading to 1st and 2nd graders at Maryville Elementary and celebrating Constitution Day at Granite City High School. Constitution Day is now a commemorative holiday for Illinois schools due to legislation that I sponsored in the spring, so I appreciated talking with students about federal and state government.

I’m hosting a prescription drug disposal event on October 18th from 10am to noon at the Glen Carbon Police Department at 149 N. Main Street, Glen Carbon. This free event has proven to be very successful in the past and is a safe way to dispose of old unused medications.

Committee meetings and task force meetings are held from time to time during the summer and fall. I serve on a task force related to barriers to professional licensing in Illinois. Currently the biggest barrier is the excessive amount of time it is taking to get professional licenses issued from the state Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The department is in chaos as they are understaffed and in need of a new computer system. While those specific institutional problems are being addressed, I can offer to advocate for any constituents who have been waiting a long time, by contacting the department on your behalf. Please call my office if you need assistance.

Veto session dates are October 24th-26th and November 7th-9th. During these days, we will be back in Springfield to discuss the bills the Governor has vetoed, and we can also hear new legislation during this time. The Governor total-vetoed three bills, amendatory-vetoed three bills, and item/reduction vetoed one bill, for a total of seven vetoed bills, out of the 597 bills that passed both houses in the spring. It is up to the Speaker and Senate President which bills they may bring up for a vote to override or accept the vetoes.

I am watching to see what transpires in veto session to address the sunset of the Invest in Kids education tax credit scholarship program. The Speaker and Senate President are in the driver’s seat on whether this gets brought to the floor for a vote. Negotiations are ongoing and will determine what happens to the thousands of kids attending private schools with this scholarship program.

I am also watching to see if a supplemental budget appropriation is filed for any expenditures that didn’t get included in the FY2024 budget passed in the spring. It is not unusual to have a supplemental appropriation in the fall session to make any adjustments that have become necessary since the spring.

I am already working on bills for the spring 2024 session. Many constituents have brought ideas to me and I am busy drafting language on various topics. It helps to start early on the drafting process so that when the spring session starts, I’ll be ready to go to committee and present my bills. Sometimes the drafts take a long time to get back from the Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB). The LRB takes our drafts and puts the language into the affected statute(s), and we then work from that LRB draft to make changes or updates as the legislative process plays out.

Anytime we can help you navigate state government agencies or issues, please contact my state office at 618-433-8046 or visit my website at RepElik.com.

State Representative Amy Elik

 



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