Springfield, IL. – During the first week of the fall Veto Session, ethics was the dominant issue garnering most of the attention of legislators and the Media. Also, a controversial anti-Second Amendment proposal may appear to be on hold for now, but I recommend vigilance. In other news, the Senate approves a bill capping the cost of insulin, a must-have medication and treatment for diabetics.
Ethics: Independent investigations are needed
On Oct. 30, my Republican colleagues and I unveiled a common sense reform of the way the Legislature handles ethics issues involving its members. After a series of federal raids and indictments involving members of the General Assembly became public this year, the people of Illinois deserve better.
Under our proposal (Senate Bill 2297), the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) would have the authority to investigate complaints against legislators and issue subpoenas without approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC), a panel of Senate and House members. By taking politicians out of the equation, the LIG will have the independence necessary to do his or her job.
We can no longer tolerate the “fox guarding the henhouse,” when it comes to investigating serious allegations of wrongdoing. Corruption sows mistrust in our political system and government. That’s not “Of the people, by the people, for the people” government.
Additionally, this reform shouldn’t be seen as the end of the road, but instead as the beginning of a more comprehensive conversation about what can be done to restore honesty and integrity to Springfield, and rebuild the public trust.
The fall veto session continues on Nov. 12, so there’s still time to take corrective action – contained in SB2297 and other measures – to restore honesty and integrity to Springfield.
Second Amendment update
I want to thank the dozens of people who have contacted me about Senate Bill 1966, which would drastically alter state law governing the Firearms Owner I.D. or FOID card. Rest assured I will oppose any effort to undermine or erode the ability of law-abiding citizens to purchase and possess firearms.
SB1966 would increase fees for FOID cards, reduce – by half – the number of years the card is valid, require fingerprints and a background check, bans the private sale or transfer of firearms, and requires those sales or transfers to go through a federally licensed dealer. All of these provision would increase the cost of purchasing and owning a firearm.
The measure would significantly raise the cost of purchasing and owning a firearm, and once again punish law-abiding citizens for the actions of criminals. While there is talk that the legislation doesn’t have enough support in the Senate to pass, SB1966 was approved by the House this spring, and this bad news legislation could come up for a vote at any time with little warning.
I encourage gun owners and those who love our Constitution and our unalienable rights it acknowledges, to remain vigilant.
The Senate took action during the first week of the Veto Session to cap the price diabetics pay for a month’s supply of insulin at $100.
While there are assistance programs, sponsored by the pharmaceutical industry, to help people afford their prescription insulin, insulin is still expensive beyond some people’s ability to pay when the costs exceed hundreds of dollars per month.
The measure would also create a new Insulin Assistance Program under the Illinois Department of Human Services. The program allows for reimbursement to pharmacies for insulin products and related supplies dispensed to an eligible individual.
I voted with the majority to pass the legislation, which now moves to the House. Representatives could take up the bill during the second week of Veto Session, Nov. 12-14.
Energy from the Sun
During the week, I was treated to a tour of the solar array on top of the office building housing the Illinois Environmental Council (pictured left).
The organization is meeting with lawmakers seeking support for renewable energy legislation, although no energy bill appears to be moving during the Veto session. The Council wants to see an increase in renewable energy procurement of 45 percent by the year 2030 and 100 percent by 2050.
Keep In Touch/Stay Informed
There are several ways to keep in touch with me. You can call my district or Capitol offices: 815/455-6330 or 217/782-8000. I also encourage you to visit my legislative website at www.senatorwilcox.com. Click on the Contact tab at the top of the page to email me.
I also post news from the Capitol and the district. You can sign up for my free newsletter, connect to state government agencies and resources. My Veterans section has an extensive list of sites to connect to employment, education, service records and more.