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Visiting a Southern Illinois coal mine. Jason will fight for quality Southern Illinois jobs

Senator Plummer Reminds You that Harvest Season is Underway

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.


Senator Plummer calls for Action in Veto Session for Fair Map Constitutional Amendment

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/


Plummer Public Safety Legislation Signed into Law

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.


Senator Plummer’s Legislation to Protect Witnesses and Victims from The Defendant Signed In to Law

Legislation sponsored by State Senator Jason Plummer (54th District) was signed into law in July.  HB 2308 provides that in the event the defendant is unable to post bond, the court may impose a no contact provision with the victim or other interested party that shall be enforced while the defendant remains in custody.

“This is just a good common sense law,” said Plummer.  “We must help protect innocent victims and witnesses from being contacted and harassed from the defendant.”

This legislation was an Illinois Sheriffs Association initiative and was also supported by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

Senator Plummer has been a strong advocate for law and order.  “In many parts of our state, crime is out of control.  It’s time we stand firm with our law enforcement and law-abiding citizens to protect our communities and families.  This is one small step in the right direction.”

The new law takes effect January 1, 2020.  You can follow further action on this legislation on ilga.gov.

The 54th Senate District is comprised of all or parts of the following counties; Bond, Clinton, Effingham, Fayette, Madison, Marion, Washington and St. Clair. 

More information and resources can be found on Sen. Plummer’s legislative website at senatorjasonplummer.com.


St. Louis Cardinals License Plates will be Available in Illinois

The State of Illinois has announced that a new St. Louis Cardinals permanent Illinois license plate will be available for purchase after Labor Day.  The license plates will be sold in support of public schools in Illinois.  The plates with the Cardinals "Birds on Bat" logo will be available with a random number, personalized or vanity.  According to the secretary of state's office, the cost of a random number Cardinal plate for a currently titled vehicle with valid Illinois registration will be $69.  Pricing varies for vanity and personalized license plates.   


Senator Plummer’s Hunting Safety Legislation Signed into Law

Vandalia, IL… Legislation sponsored by State Senator Jason Plummer (54th District) was signed into law on Friday, July 26. House Bill 3462 gives school districts the option to include hunting safety classes as part of their curriculum.

“Students who are exposed to lessons in hunting safety have a greater chance of respecting firearms and using them properly for the rest of their lives,” said Sen. Plummer. “As the law is shifting to emphasize the importance of safe handling—adopting legislation like this could make for an accessible path for students to learn these methods in depth, early on in their lives.”

The new law allows the Illinois State Board of Education to prepare and distribute instructional materials as guidelines for development of a unit of instruction on hunting education.

Current Illinois law requires anyone born on or after January 1, 1980 to present a valid Hunter Education Certificate of Competency issued by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Safety Education Division or another state before being issued a hunting license.

Many states are now requiring adult hunters to furnish evidence of having completed a Hunter Education Course prior to issuance of a non-resident license. An Illinois Hunter Safety Education certificate is accepted by all other states.

The new law takes effect immediately.  You can follow further action on this bill on ilga.gov.

The 54th Senate District is comprised of all or parts of the following counties; Bond, Clinton, Effingham, Fayette, Madison, Marion, Washington and St. Clair. 

More information and resources can be found on Sen. Plummer’s legislative website at senatorjasonplummer.com.


Exemption for World Shooting and Recreation Complex

A new law will provide specific exemptions for businesses and firearms sales at the World Shooting and Recreation Complex events that would have been severely affected, limited, or outright banned by the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

Without the exemptions, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act would have increased costs and administrative burdens for many of the vendors that typically set up during events at the IDNR site in Sparta.

These new regulations could have led to national shooting events choosing a different venue.


Beware of Flood Damage Scams

Record floods have led to disaster proclamations being issued in 34 Illinois counties this Spring. On June 18, Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul warned residents not to fall for flood- damage scams and asked them to contact the Attorney General’s office to report fraudulent activities. Those worried about these scams could also contact the Better Business Bureau to find out if complaints have been made against a specific contractor, and should be wary of any individual who solicits home repair or insurance adjusting services door-to-door.

For those concerned that they may be interacting with a scammer, there are a few simple things that they can do to protect themselves.

Ask to see a permit before entering into any contract. In Illinois, general contractors are not required by state law to be licensed, but municipalities may require permits or have other local requirements. Insurance adjusters must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Insurance, and roofers must be licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Try to get estimates from multiple contractors and make sure you receive it in writing. Never make a full payment until all work has been completed in good quality. Never pay in cash.

Anyone entering a contract has three days to cancel it if it was signed on the contractor’s visit to their home.


'Texting While Driving' Law Goes into Effect on July 1

On July 1, stiffer penalties will be implemented as Illinois’ law regarding the use of hand-held devices behind the wheel takes effect. Passed by the General Assembly last year, House Bill 4846 will count first-time incidences of driving while operating a handheld mobile device as a “moving violation.” Prior to HB 4846, first offenses of distracted driving would be considered a “non-moving violation.”

An operator using a hand-held device while the car is in drive could face a $75 fine. Exceptions to the rule are made for situations such as a driver using an cell phone to report an emergency, using a device in hands-free or voice-operated modes, or a driver using a communication device while parked on the shoulder of a roadway.

Three moving violations in a year can result in a suspended license in Illinois.


Week in Review: June 10-14th

As the summer begins, legislation from the spring legislative session is now being signed into law – beginning with a controversial measure to expand abortion in Illinois and a reinstatement of the five-hour school day minimum

Meanwhile, wet weather continues to put pressure on farmers struggling to get their crops planted. Flooded communities received some major help from prison inmates. In addition, Senator Plummer has several upcoming events in his district.

Controversial abortion legislation signed into law

On June 12, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the “Reproductive Health Act” into law. The law replaces existing statutes and enshrines abortion as a fundamental right in Illinois. All insurance providers will be required to provide abortion coverage without restriction.

I firmly believe the Illinois State Senate turned their back Illinois’ most vulnerable residents, It’s amazing to me that just a week after doctors in San Diego sent home the world’s tiniest surviving newborn – born at just 23 weeks – Illinois has voted to massively expand abortion rights in Illinois. Ronald Reagan once said that what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life. Believing whole-heartedly in the value of each and every life, I voted no.

Opponents of the act note that it eliminates current state law which bans both late term and partial birth abortions, along with potentially infringing on protections for doctors, nurses, and hospitals who refuse to perform the procedures. It also eliminates sanitary protections in current state law that require facilities performing abortions to be held to the same standards as hospitals and surgical facilities.

Five-hour school day minimum reinstated

Also during the week, legislation reinstating a minimum school day length of five hours of class time was signed into law. The new law states that class time now also includes participation in dual credit programs, supervised career development experiences, youth apprenticeship programs, and blended learning programs. The requirement had been removed when the new evidence-based school funding formula was enacted.

Without the minimum, there was no standard in place for how long schools had to hold classes each day to receive credit for the day. The new law also expands an existing e-learning pilot program to all schools statewide.

Wet year putting the squeeze on Illinois farmers

For those travelling rural roads, please be careful when driving and keep an eye out for farm machinery as farmers continue to work to get their crops in the ground following a rainy spring.

Due to continued wet weather throughout the spring and into June, Illinois farmers have struggled to get their crops planted on time. According to the most recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), only 73 percent of the Illinois corn crop has been planted. By comparison, the state corn crop was considered 100 percent planted by the same date in each of the three previous years. Soybeans progress hasn’t fared well either, with the state crop only at 49 percent planted, compared to 96 percent at the same time last year.

According to Bill Graff, Executive Director of the Illinois Farm Service Agency (FSA), which is part of the USDA, for the majority of Illinois farmers, corn must been planted by June 5 and soybeans by June 20 to receive full federal crop insurance coverage. After those dates, coverage drops to lower levels.

Graff also noted that the county USDA emergency boards are currently working to send information and statistics to the Illinois USDA Farm Service Agency, so that the state USDA emergency board can meet and develop a recommendation for a potential disaster declaration.

Inmates helping out with flood protection

Water levels on the Illinois and Mississippi rivers are finally beginning to drop after cresting in the “major flooding” category along much of the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers throughout Illinois.

Communities facing the floodwaters have gotten a helping hand from Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) inmates. According to IDOC, since March their work crews have put in more than 6,000 hours placing sandbags.

In addition, the IDOC facilities have produced one million sandbags, which were distributed by the Illinois Department of Transportation to flooded areas throughout the state.