In a democracy, all voices are considered equal, and while that is not always the case here in the Land of Lincoln, I work hard to bring the voice of the 41st District to bill debates in Springfield. Moreover, with my recent appointment to the House Republican Leadership Team, I have a greater ability to advocate for you and advance issues that are important to you.
This year, legislators are likely to consider some extremely controversial legislation, including a Constitutional change to allow for a graduated income tax, sweeping changes to laws that govern abortions, the legalization of recreational marijuana, expansions to gaming and sports betting, a vehicle mileage tax, a plastic bag tax, and a variety of other taxes on goods and services. I want to provide the community with several opportunities to share opinions about these and other topics.
In late January, I hosted a Metra Town Hall Meeting where information was provided and input was gathered about service reliability issues along Metra’s BNSF Line. In early March, I hosted the first of a series of mobile office hours events where I was able to have one-on-one conversations with constituents on a variety of issues like pensions, property taxes and the Illinois economy. Prior to the vote on legislation to raise the minimum wage, I also published an on-line survey about the issue to gather input from residents. These public outreach efforts are incredibly important as I gather information and bring your voice to policy discussions at the Capitol.
This month I am providing two key opportunities for public engagement. On Saturday, April 13, I will bring a panel of environmental experts together for an Environmental Town Hall Meeting that will be held from 10:00 AM until noon on the North Central College campus. We will discuss a variety of environmental issues and pending bills. The panel of experts includes officials from the Citizens Utility Board, Elevate Energy, the Sierra Club, the Metropolitan Planning Council, the City of Naperville, and others. By taking bold steps to protect our environment, our children and grandchildren can enjoy a healthier future. On Wednesday, April 24, I am hosting an open topic Town Hall Meeting from 7:00-8:30 PM at the Naperville Municipal Building. I will provide a brief Springfield update, but the majority of the meeting will be dedicated to answering questions and seeking input on legislative issues. I truly value your input, and it is a tremendous help as I work on your behalf in Springfield. I hope you’ll attend one or both of these meetings.