Wehrli’s Legislative Update: Jan. 2, 2019

New Year Brought New Laws to Illinois Statutes

On January 1, 253 new laws took effect in Illinois. These laws have a wide raging impact. Just a few of them include: 

  • Children under the age of 2 years old must be restrained in rear-facing car seats unless they weigh 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall. 
  • Government employees who have been fired for misconduct can no longer receive severance packages. Severance packages for all other employees are limited to no more than 20 weeks of pay. 
  • Qualified students can enroll in an unlimited amount of dual credit courses and earn an unlimited amount of academic credits from dual credit courses with certain provisions. 
  • When purchasing any firearm, the buyer must wait 72 hours from the time of the purchase to receive the gun. Under prior law, the 72-hour waiting period only applied to handguns. 
  • Every Illinois school is required to conduct at least one law-enforcement led active shooter drill each year. School safety drills must be conducted within 90 days of the start of the school year. 
  • Nursing mothers will be exempt from jury duty upon request. 
  • Stalking laws are expanded to include messages sent through social media. Additionally, businesses, places of worship and schools can seek restraining orders against stalkers. 
  • The Lyme Disease Prevention and Protection Act was enacted opening the door in Illinois for new treatments for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. 
  • All children in kindergarten and the second, sixth, and ninth grades of any public, private or parochial school shall have a dental examination. 

Read the complete list.

Rep. Wehrli to Host BNSF Service Reliability Town Hall Meeting on January 26 I hear almost daily from constituents who are displeased with the quality of Metra rail service along the BNSF line. Delays have become the norm rather than the exception, and for those who live in the 41st District and rely on Metra to get them to and from work every day, frustration is extremely high.  On Saturday, January 26 I’m bringing together a panel of experts from BNSF Railway and Metra for a Town Hall Meeting. A short presentation will be followed by a Q & A session.

I hope you’ll join me for this informational session, which will be held from 8:00 AM until 10:00 AM on January 26 at the Naperville Municipal Building (Council Chambers). The municipal building is located at 400 S. Eagle Street in Naperville.

Lawmakers Prepare for Start of 101st General Assembly

Next week on January 9 the newly-elected members of the 101st General Assembly will take their oath of office and begin work in the 2019 Legislative Session. While members of the Illinois Senate will take their oath in a ceremony held at the Illinois Capitol, we in the House will attend a swearing-in ceremony at the Sangamon Auditorium on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield. As we begin our work, the House Republican Caucus will include 44 members in the 118-member House of Representatives.

The House Republican Caucus will be led once again by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs). It is my distinct honor to serve on the nine-member House Republican Leadership Team as Assistant Republican Leader. Together with my other colleagues on the leadership team, we will set the agenda for House Republicans in 2019. As inauguration approaches, I am finalizing my own legislative agenda for 2019. I will highlight these bills in a future newsletter. As always, I welcome your input and suggestions for legislative initiatives. If you have an idea for legislation that would be beneficial for the 41st District or for the State of Illinois, please don’t hesitate to email me through the contact form found at www.repwehrli.com, or call my office at (630) 696-4160.

Wehrli Recognized for Co-Sponsorship of Bill that Assists Disabled Persons

Shortly before the holiday break, I joined some House and Senate colleagues for a recognition event hosted by the Association for Individual Development (AID), a not-for-profit that assists developmentally, intellectually, physically and mentally disabled individuals. We were honored for our leadership in getting SB 3041 approved and signed into law.  The bill, now listed in the Illinois Statutes as Public Act 100-1129, provides municipalities and townships with the option of an additional funding source for programs and services for the developmentally disabled. Specifically, the new law permits municipalities and townships through an ordinance to place a referendum before voters for a question of a 0.1% property tax to secure revenues for the care of persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The new law also provides that voters may put forward the referendum question through a petition signed by 10% of the votes cast in the last general election.

I’m shown in the photo above with (from left to right): Incoming AID President Lore Baker, State Representative Jeff Keicher, State Senator Pamela Althoff (retired), State Senator Linda Holmes, AID Client Jim Royster, State Representative Anna Moeller, State Senator Karen McConnaughay (retired), and Retiring AID President Lynn O’Shea.