Springfield, IL…..State Sen. Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) has filed legislation that severely curtails the ability of lawmakers and staff of the Illinois General Assembly from having ownership in, or being compensated by, the gaming industry while in office. Senate Bill 2318, filed by Senator Plummer on Monday, is part of a package of ethics bills Plummer has worked on to address some of the serious conflicts of interest that presently can exist between lawmakers and industries over which they hold significant influence.
“If the average Illinois citizen knew their elected officials were making laws to create and expand protected industries from which they are themselves earning money, they would be disgusted. But that’s what happening and it needs to stop, immediately,” said Plummer. “If we’re going to restore the trust of the people of Illinois in their state government we have to make sure strong and independent voices exist to represent the reform measures that, while maybe not popular among the political class, are common sense and necessary to fix our broken system.”
SB 2318 would specifically bar members of the General Assembly and their immediate family, as well as staff of the General Assembly and their immediate family, from holding an ownership interest in a privately held gaming enterprise or business. It was also bar the same groups of people from holding anything more than a passive interest in any publicly traded gaming enterprise. In addition, the legislation would bar members and staff of the General Assembly and the immediate families of both groups from receiving any form of compensation for services rendered to or employment with any gaming enterprise or business.
“Illinoisans know right and wrong. Their lawmakers should know right and wrong, too,” said Plummer. “In a perfect world, politicians wouldn’t use their positions to profiteer, but Illinois, as we all know, is not a perfect world. Significant ethics reform is badly needed in Springfield and I look forward to working with legislators from across the state and across the political spectrum to address these violations of the public trust and restore confidence in our state government.”
Springfield, IL…State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) and State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) teamed up to urge the legislature to secure state funding to make repairs and improvements to the Kaskaskia Watershed.
“The Kaskaskia Watershed is vital to the economy in southern Illinois,” said Rep. Meier. “These funds will be used to restore and protect the Watershed from further erosion, resulting in the prevention of flooding at Scott Air Force Base and improving the waterway for barges that ship goods down the river.”
The United States Congress established the Kaskaskia Watershed Restoration Act in 2007 and authorized $20 million for critical projects after a Comprehensive Plan is developed. The Comprehensive Plan is stalled due to the lack of financial support from the State of Illinois. Rep. Meier and Sen. Plummer are requesting $300,000 to be included in the upcoming state budget in order to complete the plan and to leverage federal funding to protect the Watershed.
According to Senator Plummer, “Time is of the essence, it’s critical the state allocate much needed funding to protect the Kaskaskia Watershed. It generates over seven million tourists, $162 million from tourism and nearly 560,000 people rely on the Watershed as their primary source of drinking water.”
The Kaskaskia Watershed encompasses 10.2 percent of the State and includes all or parts of 22 counties. The Watershed starts in Champaign County and ends at the Mississippi River in Randolph County, including three authorized Corps projects, Lake Shelbyville, Carlyle Lake, and the Kaskaskia Navigation Project.
Senator Plummer and Representative Meier sponsored identical resolutions that were approved in the spring and fall veto session to help secure state funds for the Kaskaskia Watershed. The resolutions (HR 394 and SR 451) urge all four caucuses and the Governor to consider the Kaskaskia Watershed Comprehensive Plan when creating the upcoming fiscal year budget.
Springfield, IL…..State Sen. Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) is sponsoring legislation that aims to protect taxpayer dollars and safeguard local first-responder pension funds.
Senate Bill 2312, filed by Senator Plummer immediately following the passage of pension-consolidation measure Senate Bill 1300, would close a loophole that could endanger the well-managed pension of first responders in many local municipalities.
“I have been saying for years that we must protect taxpayers and get our arms around the pension mess in Illinois. So, yes, I’m a skeptic when those who have fought common sense reform and soaked the taxpayers every step of the way suddenly appear to take some responsibility,” said Plummer. “Unfortunately, the plan passed last week lacked a simple protection to ensure that local dollars can’t ultimately be used to create a system where well-managed pension funds are used to bail-out those that have been poorly managed. My proposal would add this vital safeguard.”
Senate Bill 1300, which is expected to be signed into law, would take the current 649 local police and fire pension boards that are locally managed and put them under the control of two separate boards in Springfield. The Police Investment Board would administer investment functions for local police departments, and the Fire Investment Board would manage investments for local fire departments. It would also combine the assets of these funds into one pool of funds, but with each local fund getting its own share of the return that is proportional to the amount they have invested in the fund.
Sen. Plummer’s legislation would protect these municipal investments by ensuring that no law would prohibit local funds from continuing to receive a proportional share of the return on their investment. Under Senate Bill 2312, should the assets be mixed with the funds of another municipality, the balance of the investments would be returned to their respective municipal pension funds. This protects our first responders and those who have been doing things responsibly.
“Would you want your 401K or retirement savings transferred to some new agency in Springfield, considering their track record?” asked Plummer. “Or would you prefer to have your retirement savings managed at a local level by people you know with a strong track record of competence and financial solvency? I hear the concerns of local police officers and firefighters loud and clear and, frankly, I totally get it.”
Senate Bill 2312 would only take effect if and only if Senate Bill 1300 is signed into law by the Governor and becomes law in the form in which it passed both houses. Currently, Senate Bill 2312 has not been assigned to a Senate committee.
Springfield – State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) is co-sponsoring Senate Bill 2297, legislation that will help restore public trust in an honest and ethical state government.
At a press conference in the Capitol’s blue room, this morning, members of the Senate Republican Caucus unveiled a legislative proposal to ensure independent investigations of members of the General Assembly.
SB 2297, gives the Legislative Inspector General (LIG) the appropriate tools, which the current LIG has suggested, to conduct independent investigations of legislators.
"This past week has been an embarrassment for the State of Illinois,” said Plummer. “We can no longer rely on a system that allows politicians to police politicians. We need real reform to ensure independent investigations. It’s time to take action to regain the trust of the citizens of Illinois.”
Currently, except in cases alleging sexual harassment, the LIG must get advance approval from the Legislative Ethics Commission (LEC) before opening an investigation, or issuing subpoenas. Additionally, if, during the investigation, the LIG discovers wrongdoing that is beyond the scope of, or unrelated to the initial complaint, they have to go back to the LEC to get approval to investigate further.
Under SB 2297, the LIG would be able to investigate complaints against legislators and issue subpoenas without approval from the LEC. By taking legislators out of the process, the bill ensures independence in the investigation of these claims.
“I’m tired of our great state being a national laughing stock when it comes to corruption and good government," said Plummer. I would encourage my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to work with us in a bi-partisan manner to get this done. We return to Springfield in two weeks for the second week of the fall veto session. I would hope we can move this legislation along at that time.”
The Senate returns for the final week of the fall veto session on Tuesday, Nov. 12.
Edwardsville, IL……A new law sponsored by State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) will update Illinois law and clarify registration requirements for owners of certain fertilizer spreaders and farm wagon type tank trailers. Similar to combines, these tanks and spreaders are only used a couple months a year for off road use and registration should not be required. This new law takes effect on January 1, 2020.
House Bill 2669/Public Act 101-0481 removes the vehicle registration requirement for specific farm wagon trailers having a fertilizer spreader attachment and farm wagon type tank trailers. The new law also removes the $250 registration fee and existing width and weight restrictions for a single unit, self-propelled agricultural fertilizer spreader.
“This new legislation will help the agricultural community by defining which fertilizer tanks and spreaders are to be registered,” said Plummer. “This is one small step in helping to bring some registration uniformity to our local farm machinery owners and operators.”
Additionally, this new law allows the use of a single unit, self-propelled agricultural fertilizer implement, designed for both on and off road use, equipped with flotation tires used for fertilizer or agricultural chemical and having a width of more than 12 feet or a gross weight in excess of 36,000 pound to be used on Illinois roads.
HB 2669/PA 101-0481, which passed the Senate unanimously, takes effect on January 1, 2020.
The Illinois State Police (ISP) is warning the public of a phone scam that is currently circulating throughout the country. A number of residents have reported to the ISP that they have received a call with a voice indicating the person’s grandson has been arrested or is in trouble. While the caller ID shows that the ISP is calling, ISP wants to make sure the public knows these calls are not coming from them.
Citizens should be aware of this scam, and remember that the Illinois State Police does not ask for personal information and will never call to solicit money on behalf of the Department or ask you to send money for any reason. Citizens are advised to hang up immediately and cautioned to not provide any personal information.
The Illinois State Police encourages those that believe they have been the victim of this phone scam to call them at 217-782-7980, or report information on this scam or different types of phone scams to the Illinois Attorney General’s office at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/about/contacts.html
With Veterans Day right around the corner, State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) is encouraging constituents to honor the brave men and women who have served our country. Constituents are encouraged to submit a photo and write a tribute to a loved one who has served in the United States Armed Forces to be displayed on the Veterans Day “Wall of Honor” in the Illinois State Capitol from November 4-15.
“I was proud to serve in the United States Navy with some of the best people our Nation has to offer. We should always thank and honor our veterans for their courage and the many sacrifices they made protecting our nation,” said Senator Plummer. “The least we can do is show respect by sharing a photo and story to honor their service in the Illinois State Capitol.”
To honor an Illinois veteran, please submit photos and written stories (max: 250 words) along with the following information: name, military branch (Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, National Guard, Navy) and conflict and/or era served (Afghanistan, Iraq, Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, WWII, WWI, Peacetime, other). Military photos are preferred, but not necessary.
Please email submissions to email@example.com by Nov. 3. Submissions can also be mailed to Veterans Day Wall, 309 G Statehouse, Springfield, IL 62706. For questions, call (217) 782-7330.
For those who submit a tribute and would like to visit the Capitol to see their loved ones story on display, you can check out this video before you travel to Springfield,https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovxa81OwYYA&feature=youtu.be
With harvest season beginning and an uptake of agricultural equipment on the roadways, Sen. Jason Plummer is reminding motorists to be extra cautious while traveling.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 26 percent of Illinois corn is now considered mature. Meanwhile, soybean coloring is at 53 percent, which means heavy farm equipment traffic is expected to increase on roadways.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, transportation incidents were the leading cause of death for farmers and farm workers in 2016. Motorists are encouraged to slow down and be aware of farmers on the roadways.
To help keep harvest season safe for everyone, motorists can follow these simple safety steps.
• Find the lights on farm vehicles. Farm vehicles are required to have amber and red rear lights. The amber lights should be visible to the front and rear. They should flash as a warning to other motorists.
• Slow down as soon as you see a farm vehicle. Most farm equipment only travels 15 to 20 miles per hour, so it is crucial to slow down before it is too late.
• Be cognizant of the time of year. Harvest season typically runs from September through November. Drivers should expect to see farm vehicles on the road during this time.
State Senator Jason Plummer (54th), today, called for Senate Democrat leadership and the Governor to help advance a Fair Map Constitutional Amendment in the fall Veto Session. Currently, a bipartisan group of 37 Senators have signed on to sponsor Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 4. The amendment would pave the way for independently drawn legislative maps and allow citizens to weigh in on the redistricting process.
"Career politicians in Illinois have mastered the art of disenfranchising voters to the benefit of themselves and their partisan interests," said Plummer. "Unfortunately, despite a veto-proof number of co-sponsors, SJRCA 4 has yet to be called for a vote. I am urging Democrat leadership to release it out of committee and give power back to the people of this great state."
SJRCA 4 has been sitting in the Senate Assignments Committee since January 30, 2019. Fall Veto Session is scheduled for October 28-30th and November 12-14th. With a supermajority in both chambers, Democrats control what legislation gets called for a vote.
By law, every ten years, Illinois' General Assembly and Congressional district maps are redrawn. The Illinois State Constitution requires the General Assembly to agree on a redistricting plan to be voted on by both chambers.
Under current law, it is a winner-take-all system with a Democrat majority in control. This system gives one party too much power and the ability to shift and draw district lines to create an advantage for their respective party and members. The result is "gerrymandered" districts that are oddly shaped, do not fairly represent all citizens and communities, and are uncompetitive at election time, taking away the will of the people.
"We need to take the power to draw these lines from the career politicians," said Plummer. “Both parties have been guilty of this abuse, only when we have a Fair Map Constitutional Amendment will voters and citizens have a say in the process. We must get back to competitive elections and restore trust in the legislative process."
If you agree with Sen. Plummer, please sign his petition to demand a fair map amendment on the ballot. http://senatorjasonplummer.com/Resources/fair-maps-petition/
A new Illinois law will ensure appropriate emergency personnel can respond quickly, and safely in an emergency situation.
House Bill 1876, sponsored by State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville) allows a qualified deputy or assistant fire chief to operate a vehicle with red or white oscillating, rotating, or flashing emergency lights. Under current law, only a fire chief may use such emergency lights.
“As legislators, one of our top priorities has to be providing for the safety of Illinois families. This new law accomplishes that goal,” said Plummer. “I was proud to sponsor legislation that ensures appropriate first responders can swiftly and safely respond in emergency situations.”
While Plummer’s legislation applies to all fire departments in Illinois, it is particularly helpful in smaller communities with volunteer fire departments where the fire chief may not always be able to respond to an emergency. In these situations, a deputy or assistant chief may be the one rushing to the scene to coordinate emergency response. Plummer’s legislation allows them to use emergency lights to get there safely.
"My uncle was a career firefighter and, later, the chief of a volunteer fire department in a very rural town. These small but meaningful changes to existing law help keep our families safe in small communities throughout Southern Illinois,” concluded Plummer.
The new law will take effect January 1, 2020.