Quick update from the road in Northwest Illinois! This past week I met with retired teachers in Carroll County, stopped in Jo Daviess County to celebrate Manufacturing Day with more than a dozen local businesses who took time out of their day to teach hundreds of local high school students about careers in the skilled trades, joined in Oregon’s Autumn on Parade festivities, supported the Savanna Fire Department at their annual Fish Fry, and co-hosted a paper shredding event in Freeport.
More than anything about being your State Representative, I enjoy attending events in the community, listening to your concerns, and learning about the many amazing things taking place here in the 89th!
AUDIT REVEALS URGENT NEED TO BETTER PROTECT CHILDREN IN STATE CARE
In late September, the Illinois Auditor General released a deeply troubling report on severe lapses within the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) that are endangering the well-being of children. The two-year investigation found that DCFS failed to comply with multiple state laws created to keep children safe, the very role the agency is tasked with.
Auditors disclosed that DCFS took between 431-906 days to inform schools about investigations of abuse and neglect when state law requires notification within 10 days. DCFS also waited 218-290 days to report cases of infants testing positive for drugs to law enforcement.
Multiple lawmakers have filed bills to provide solutions. Those include requiring a DCFS caseload tracking system, annual report on ongoing child abuse cases and mandatory intact family services for at-risk families. Yet, those proposals have not moved forward due to lack of support from the House majority.
I have been and continue to be ready to work toward bipartisan solutions to this failed state agency. Last week, DCFS Director Marc Smith announced his resignation effective at the end of the year. While a change in leadership is welcome news, we cannot wait to begin taking steps to ensure the safety of children in state care.
THANK YOU CARROLL COUNTY RETIRED TEACHERS
Last week I had the privilege to meet with the Carroll County Retired Teachers. Saw many familiar faces and also great meeting new folks! We chatted about Northwest Illinois, my path to leadership, bringing balance to Illinois, the Safe-T Act, and of course education! Thank you all for your kindness and special thanks to the women of the Mt. Carroll Methodist Church for a wonderful lunch!
MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE AVAILABLE
The Illinois Housing Development Authority is accepting applications for the Illinois Homeowner Assistance Fund to support homeowners behind on mortgage payments, property taxes or insurance, and homeowner/condo association fees. Homeowners should apply online by Oct. 31 to receive up to $60,000 in mortgage and property tax assistance.
Homeowners are encouraged to attend a webinar before beginning the application process. Webinars will be held:
- Wednesday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. (Spanish)
- Thursday, Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. (English)
- Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 11 a.m. (English)
- Thursday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. (English)
STAND WITH ISRAEL
We stand in solidarity with Israel and extend our deepest condolences for all the innocent lives lost in the heinous acts of violence carried out by Hamas terrorists. Pray for strength and healing for all those hurt in these terror attacks and for those defending Israel.
Free Medicare Seminars
Do you have questions or concerns about Medicare? I am hosting a ‘Medicare 101 Seminar’ to provide you the support and the answers you need! There will be two seminars held in partnership with the Illinois Department on Aging’s Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and two of my colleagues, State Representatives Jeff Keicher and John Cabello. Save the dates for the two events below:
10:00am – 11:30AM
Freeport Public Library
Meeting Room A/B
100 E. Douglas Street
Genoa City Hall
333 E. 1st Street