Continuing our push for fair legislative maps

Continuing our push for fair legislative maps, Senate Republicans are supporting a new amendment to our state’s Constitution that would take the process of drawing legislative districts out of the hands of sitting lawmakers.

In other news, a dozen historic sites in Illinois have been added to the National Register of Historic Places, and nominations are now being accepted for the Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame.

And the Office of the State Fire Marshal is reminding older Illinoisans about the importance of fire safety.

Senate Republican lawmakers join bipartisan push to pass Fair Maps amendment

Senate Republicans joined a group of bipartisan lawmakers February 13 to announce the filing of Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment (SJRCA) 18, which would place a question on the ballot to allow for the creation of a new, independent commission that would handle Illinois’ legislative map-drawing process.

SJRCA 18 would:

  • Establish an independent, 17-member commission appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court, to draw the Congressional and General Assembly district maps.
  • Provide that seven commission members be nominated from each political party, and provide that three commission members will not be affiliated with either political party.
  • Allow the public to provide comment and submit maps during the map-drawing process for consideration by the Commission.

Passing this proposal is an important first step in rooting out government corruption, and would send a strong message to Illinoisans that the status quo in Springfield is no longer acceptable. For SJRCA 18 to be placed on the ballot in the upcoming General Election, it must be adopted by the Senate and the House of Representative no later than May 3.

Illinois sites added to National Register of Historic Places

A dozen sites in Illinois have been added to the National Register of Historic Places of 2019 based on recommendations from the State Historic Preservation Office.

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of properties that merit special attention and preservation. Every Illinois county has at least one property or historic district listed in the National Register. To be eligible, properties must be more than 50 years old.

The 2019 additions are:

  • Chicago Municipal Tuberculosis Sanitarium District, Chicago, Cook County
  • Copley Hospital, Aurora, Kane County
  • First Congregational Church, Des Plaines, Des Plaines, Cook County
  • Louis Fredrick House Barrington Hills, Lake County
  • The Forum, Chicago, Cook County
  • Leaning Tower of Niles, Niles, Cook County
  • Lilacia Park Historic District, Lombard, Du Page County     
  • Alton Gas and Electric Powerhouse, Alton, Madison County
  • Downtown Urbana Historic District, Urbana, Champaign County  
  • Hunziker Winery Site, Warsaw, Hancock County   
  • Paris High School and Gymnasium, Paris, Edgar County  
  • Rollo Congregational United Church of Christ, Earlville vicinity, De Kalb County

Nominations open for Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame awards hosted by the Illinois Department on Aging.

The Senior Illinoisans Hall of Fame was created by the General Assembly in 1994 to honor Illinois residents ages 65 and older for their personal achievements in four separate categories: Community Service, Education, Labor Force, and Performance and Graphic Arts.

The Illinois Department on Aging will be accepting nominations now through May 31. For more information and to download a nomination form, click here.

OSFM stresses importance of fire safety for older Illinoisans

The Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is reminding older Illinoisans about the importance of fire safety.

People older than 65 face the greatest risk of dying in a fire. In 2018, 44 percent of the 118 fire deaths in Illinois were people older than 60. According to the United States Fire Administration, on average, more than 1,000 Americans ages 65 and older die in home fires with the leading cause of these deaths being careless smoking. 

OSFM says to keep these tips in mind to create a fire safe home:

    • Know two ways out of every room. Practice using both ways.
    • Remove any items that may block your way out of the room or your home.
    • Discuss your fire escape plan with family and neighbors. Contact your building manager or fire department to discuss your plan if you need extra help escaping.
    • Keep eyeglasses, keys, hearing aids and a phone within reach next to your bed.
    • Practice your home fire escape drill twice a year.

Jil Tracy

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