Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last week, I returned to the 11th District following a busy fall veto session in Springfield. Our community is buzzing with activity, both regarding big picture issues and topics that affect our neighborhoods at the most local level.
Before we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, I wanted to take a moment to address some highlights from the fall veto session and provide a brief update on some community-related issues.
Despite the short duration of the fall session, several items of note were considered and passed. I sponsored and passed SB 730, which updates and streamlines the process for submitting and reviewing reports of sexual harassment, ensuring the integrity of the investigatory process. This initiative was a follow-up to SB75, a comprehensive, bipartisan bill I worked on this Spring along with Senator Melinda Bush and a broad coalition of stakeholders to address bullying and harassment of any kind in the workplace. Other legislative initiatives headed to the Governor’s desk include the consolidation of downstate police and fire pensions, a trailer bill clarifying details of the cannabis legalization legislation from this past Spring, a cap on insulin prices, a preliminary ethics package and a bill that would allow students two hours off on Election Day to vote.
As you may have heard, the fall session adjourned without consideration of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s legislative proposals. During the veto session, Mayor Lightfoot visited Springfield to meet with legislators, and made a strong argument as to how restructuring of the gaming tax would help to avert a property tax increase. It is likely that this proposal will be revisited in the upcoming session.
The House did pass some minor edits to the gaming bill on the last day of veto session; however these changes did not include the casino tax restructuring Mayor Lightfoot proposed. I spoke on the House floor about this decision, and the fact that revenue from a Chicago casino is critical to ensuring that capital projects across the state are funded and Chicago police and fire pensions are stabilized. I will continue to work with the Mayor’s office to ensure that the tax structure in place for the Chicago casino will provide the revenues necessary to meet our fiscal needs.
As always, my staff and I are available should you have any concerns or feedback you wish to share. Please reach out to us any time at (773) 880-9082 or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends!
Ann M. Williams
State Representative – 11th District