Senate Week in Review: Aug. 28 – Sept. 1, 2023

SPRINGFIELD – DMV facilities across Illinois have implemented new procedures and hours of operation, and drivers at several facilities now need to make appointments to get a driver’s license, state ID, or to take a diving test. 

In other news, another individual with close ties to Michael Madigan has been convicted on charges related to the federal corruption investigation into the former House Speaker. 

Also, a mental health program for farmers and their families has been expanded to all 102 Illinois counties. 

DMV changes take effect Sept. 1

State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) says all Secretary of State Driver Services Facilities (DMVs) are adopting new hours of operations as of Sept. 1, while many are moving to appointment-only for select services. 

All DMVs will be now open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Only 16 facilities will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays. 

Also, appointments are now required for driver services at many DMVs, including the issuance or renewal of drivers’ licenses/State ID cards, REAL IDs, and in-car driving tests. Vehicle-related services, such as titles, registrations, or license plate renewals, do not require an appointment. Appointments can be made by visiting, or by calling 844-817-4649. 

Motorists may check for a full list of appointment-only facilities, a list of DMV sites with Saturday hours, and other information. 

Madigan ally found guilty of perjury, obstruction of justice

On Aug. 24, Tim Mapes, often referred to as the gatekeeper to former House Speaker Michael Madigan, was found guilty in Federal Court of lying to a federal grand jury and obstructing the federal investigation into his former boss. 

Jurors deliberated for five hours before bringing forth a “guilty on all charges” verdict. Mapes could face up to 25 years in prison for his crimes and will be sentenced in January. Madigan goes on trial for a long list of charges that include racketeering, bribery, wire fraud, and attempted extortion in April 2024. 

Sen. Tracy continues to advocate for measures that bring about meaningful ethics reform to root out political corruption in Illinois and says this case is just another example of why reforms are needed. 

Mental health grant program for farmers expanded

Following the success of a six-county pilot program in Fiscal Year 2023, a state grant program that provides funding for mental health services for farmers has now been expanded to all 102 counties in Illinois.

Through the Farm Family Resource Initiative, farmers and farm families can access a telehealth helpline and access six free telehealth mental health sessions. The Farmer Assistance Helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-833-FARM-SOS.

The program is also funding up to 20 grants of $1,000 each to support Illinois FFA chapters that put local initiatives in place that encourage access and increase awareness of mental health resources and overall personal wellness. Schools will be able to apply for these grants in fall of 2023. 

Program funding was obtained from a grant application to the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, which is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

Jil Tracy

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