Dear Friends & Neighbors,
On December 18, 2019, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office notified the State Board of Elections that a “programming error” led to well over 500 non-citizens being registered to vote over a 17-month period. The letter was not made public until last week. (My comments HERE and comments from some of my colleagues HERE.)
Thank you to our local Farm Bureaus in Clay, Effingham, Jasper, and Richland Counties for hosting Brenda Matherly with the IL Farm Bureau and conducting a series of “Farmland Assessment” seminars this week for our farmers!
2020 United States Census forms will soon be mailed. Taxpayers can reduce burdens on the budgets of their State and local governments by filling out the forms and returning them by mail or e-mail. Illinoisans have been counted by census since 1820. In that year, United States census takers visited each home and farmhouse on the English-speaking side of the frontier line that then existed in our State, and counted 55,211 people. Illinois’ population has since multiplied to reach an estimated 12.7 million people, a number more than 200 times the population of 1820.
Technology has changed tremendously since 1820. The Census Bureau welcomes households that will respond to the American Community Survey via email. Simple directions, included in the census mailing, will provide guidance on how to respond online.
Some people delay responding to the Census Bureau and, in some cases, the Bureau has to send out individuals to households that have not yet responded. Some communities within Illinois are included in the regions across America where the Census Bureau is hiring thousands of temporary positions as census takers to ensure the massive job of counting more than 300 million Americans is completed on time and under budget.
Census numbers are very important to Illinois. The distribution of U.S. congressional seats, the drawing of lines for members of the Illinois House and the Illinois Senate, and the transfer of many kinds of federal aid money are dependent upon Illinois’ residents all standing up and getting counted. For example, many Illinois police forces receive federal aid that is partly based upon the number of people that these forces have to look after and defend.
Illinois is one of only four states in the U.S. that requires all gun-owning residents to submit personal identification and pay a fee in order to enjoy the right to possess a firearm. I am a chief co-sponsor of House Bill 4067 to repeal Illinois’ FOID Card Act. (Read the bill HERE)
The next Legislative Session will begin next Tuesday, January 28. Many issues are on the table to be dealt with regarding taxes, ethics reform, gaming, gun rights and health care. Heading the agenda list will be the passage of a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21), which starts on Wednesday, July 1. Governor Pritzker will share his priorities with the General Assembly in the State of the State address to be given on Wednesday, January 29. You can learn more about the Illinois General Assembly, research the status of legislation, and follow session days live online at www.ilga.gov.
Many of you have asked me about how to become more engaged in the public policy process. In addition to submitting your opinions on proposed legislation, the first thing you should do is register to vote. You can find more information HERE.
Remembering Our Roots & Defending Our Freedoms
(This section highlights people and places around the 109th District and other topics to honor our nation and appreciate our freedoms.)
LIFE, Liberty & Pursuit of Happiness!
My office in Louisville is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. I also have established Traveling Office Hours each month around the six counties in the 109th District. You can also contact me directly through the Contact Form on my website at repbailey.com.
Visiting Your State Capitol!
If you have a group who is visiting the state capitol, or if you would like to apply for the “Page-for-A-Day” program or be considered to provide the opening prayer in the Illinois House, please contact me at my office or repbailey.com.