More than 250 new laws take effect in Illinois

The new year brings many new laws into effect in Illinois. More than 250 pieces of legislation make up the final batch of laws approved under Governor Bruce Rauner that took effect on January 1, 2019.

A few of the initiatives put into law are designed to increase safety. One dealing with for child passengers in cars, House Bill 4377, requires all children under the age of two to sit in a rear-facing child seat. Another, Senate Bill 2350, requires Illinois schools to conduct at least one law enforcement led active shooter drill per year.

Related to gun safety, House Bill 2354 allows family members or police officers who believe someone is a threat to themselves or others can to go to court and ask a judge to temporarily remove access to their guns.

The police can now take custody of your dog or cat exposed to weather conditions likely to cause injury or death under Senate Bill 2270.

Have you ever wondered if carnival ride operators have a criminal past? In an effort to increase public safety in response to a murder in Farmer City by a carnival worker, Senate Bill 3240, requires carnival companies to conduct criminal background checks of all employees.

Do you use your personal phone or computer for work purposes? Under Senate Bill 2999, your boss must now have a reimbursement policy in place to compensate you for that usage.

Companies doing business with the State of Illinois or in the EDGE tax credit program must now have policies in place on how they address sexual harassment complaints under Senate Bill 405.

Also related to harassment, Senate Bill 3411 expands stalking laws to include unwanted messages sent and received through social media apps.The new law also allows businesses, places of worship, and schools to seek restraining orders against stalkers.

House Bill 5745 allows nursing mothers to be excluded from jury duty at their request.

And for those hunters wishing to stand out in blaze pink, the color is now an official hunting color, along with blaze orange, in Illinois thanks to House Bill 4231.

The following is a full list of laws taking effect on January 1, 2019: 

HB 00066 –  Creates the Illinois Route 66 Centennial Commission Act for the centennial anniversary of the creation of Route 66

HB 00489 – Designates Dec. 3 each year as Illinois Statehood Day

HB 01010 – Makes elected offices gender neutral, ex: committeeperson or chairperson rather than committeeman or chairman

HB 01190 – Allows a sanitary district to combine and jointly operate the district’s waterworks and sewerage system by ordinance.

HB 01338 – Redefines “unused medication” to include both liquid form and suspensions to the list of other types of unused medications

HB 01464 – Provides that if the court reasonably believes that a pre-trial detainee will give birth while in custody, the court shall order an alternative to custody

HB 01671 – Requires a vehicle transporting a police dog to be equipped with a heat sensor that remotely alerts law enforcement if the vehicle reaches 85 degrees and a safety mechanism to lower the interior temperature

HB 02040 – Allow students at Soaring Eagle Academy to be transported in a multi-function school activity bus (MFSAB) for curriculum-related school activities rather than requiring they be transported on a school bus.

HB 02063 – Allows a victim of sex trafficking and involuntary servitude to bring a civil action against a person who pleads guilty to or is convicted of his/her trafficking, to recover actual sustained damages, court costs, and punitive damages determined by the court.

HB 02354 – Creates the Firearms Restraining Order Act. 

HB 02617 – Requires insurers to provide coverage for medically necessary expenses for standard fertility preservation services when a necessary medical treatment may directly or indirectly cause iatrogenic infertility to an enrollee.

HB 02723 – Allows an individual charged with certain crimes to petition to change their name

HB 03185 – Expands the State Universities Civil Services Act, which establishes rules and procedures governing the employment of professional technical and support staff at Illinois public universities

HB 03648 – Requires the City of Chicago’s Commission on Human Relations administrative hearing officers to be licensed attorneys in Illinois, accepting of legal precedent and impartial in cases to come before the commission.

HB 03920 – Lowers the penalty for driving with a drivers license that was suspended for unpaid parking fines, automated camera enforcement or unpaid child support to a petty offense

HB 04100 – Creates the Healthcare Violence Prevention Act

HB 04212 – Allows for the use of the Endangered Missing Person Advisory (Silver Alert) system for any veteran who is believed to have physical or mental health conditions related to his or her service

HB 04213 – Requires that any state-owned vehicle in need of an oil change be subject to the recommendations of the vehicle’s manufacturer, allowing CMS to use that information to consider policy adjustments

HB 04226 – Requires the Department of Public Health, subject to appropriation, to publish and disseminate a brochure to educate the general public on the effects of concussions in children and discuss how to look for concussion warning signs in children

HB 04231 – Allow hunters to wear solid blaze pink colored clothing, in addition to blaze orange colored clothing, if they are hunting during either the deer or upland game bird seasons

HB 04268 – Expands the consumer rights brochure to include the rights of consumers under the Mechanics Lien Act

HB 04275 – Removes the contract cap of $2,500 per person for basic physical fitness services contracts

HB 04288 – Allows all state National Guard members the protections afforded to all other branches of the military

HB 04309 – Creates the Frail Individual Family Visitation Act allowing people to petition courts for visitation when a caregiver has refused to let them see their frail family member and requires caregivers to notify the individuals family of hospitalizations and relocations

HB 04332 – Allows an identification card issued under the federal Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015 to be an acceptable form of proof required to verify an applicant for a veterans designation on his or her Identification Card or license

HB 04340 – Requires massage establishments, organizers of public events that require a permit, and all primary and secondary schools to post notices informing employees and other members of the public of a helpline to assist any person who is subject to human trafficking

HB 04345 – Designates the third Friday of May every year as First Responder Mental Health Awareness Day in Illinois

HB 04348 – Makes several changes to the Missing Persons Identification Act with regard to law enforcement assisting with the identification of human remains

HB 04377 – Requires any child under the age of 2 years old to be properly secured in a rear- facing child restraint system

HB 04392 – Requires every provider of mammography services to notify a patient if they have dense breast tissue

HB 04395 – Allows a candidate for elective office who is required to file a statement of economic interests in relation to his or her candidacy to use the Internet to file said statement

HB 04428 – Requires that DPH or the enforcing agency shall provide a dairy farm with a paper copy of the dairy farms inspection report at the time of inspection

HB 04440 – Requires the Department of Public Health to provide all nursing home facilities with educational information on all vaccines recommended by the CDC

HB 04472 – Prohibits an out-of-state driver from operating a vehicle without insurance. The operator of the vehicle must keep proof of insurance within the vehicle at all times

HB 04476 – Makes various changes to the Vehicle Code and removes the requirement that a driver sign a citation when cited for a petty offense

HB 04554 – Makes driving the wrong way on a one-way an aggravating factor for DUIs

HB 04568 / Harmon, D / Butler, T / Deletes the June 30, 2019 sunset for the Healthy Local Food Incentives Program. / Human Services

HB 04578 – Changes the late fee penalty for LLC annual report filing from $300 to $100

HB 04658 – Expands existing training for teachers in the identification of warning signs of mental illness and suicidal behavior

HB 04686 – Prohibits an employee of an agency directly providing residential services to a ward of the state from serving as guardian over the ward

HB 04687 – Expands who may petition a court for visitation of a ward of the state after the ward’s guardian has denied it to include a spouse, adult grandchild, parent or adult sibling. Current law only allows an adult child to petition for visitation

HB 04689 – Makes technical and clarifying changes to Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) in order to conform with federal law

HB 04702 – Creates the Uniform Powers of Appointment to codify the existing patchwork of state court cases that constitute the common law rules regarding the powers of appointment

HB 04724 – Streamlines tax exemptions for small oil and gas producers

HB 04736 – Prohibits DHFS from requiring enrollment in the state’s managed care medical assistance program for children on Medicaid through any home- and community- based waiver for medically fragile and technology-dependent persons or children receiving in-home shift nursing services

HB 04741 – Provides that each inmate in the Department of Corrections is entitled to seven in- person visits per month. Each inmate may submit a list of 30 people that are authorized to visit

HB 04746 – Requires the owners and operators of a natural gas storage field, that lies below the Mahomet Aquifer, to immediately notify appropriate governmental and emergency service agencies and all affected private residents of a gas leak, once it is found and the Department of Natural Resources to conduct annual inspections at all gas storage fields, lying below the Mahomet Aquifer, to ensure that there are no infrastructure deficiencies or failures that could pose any harm to public health

HB 04748 – Expands the authority for counties to manage the effects of urbanization on storm water management to an additional 10 counties and allows all other counties to gain this authority through referendum

HB 04765 – Cook County Board would establish a predictable fee schedule for the recording of standard documents, similar to how the rest of Illinois counties operates

HB 04768 – Adds 6 new statements to the oath of office that all school board members in the State of Illinois are required to take

HB 04783 – Combines the Youth Hunting License and the Youth Trapping License into one Youth Hunting and Trapping License. Defines “”Youth”” as persons under the age of 18 and makes conforming changes to statute

HB 04790 – Requires agencies doing landscaping projects to request a base bid with an alternative for compost-amended soil

HB 04795 – Changes the Alcoholism and Other Drug Abuse and Dependency Act and renames it to the Substance Use Disorder Act. It also renames the Division of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse to the Division of Substance Use Prevention and Recovery

HB 04796 – Expands the Order of Protection for foster parents/guardians who are caring for a child that has been subject to abuse or harassment by that child’s birth parents family members or previous household members

HB 04821 – Prohibits insurers from imposing step therapy upon drugs treating stage 4 cancers

HB 04822 – Creates the Local Government Electronic Notification Act with the purpose of facilitating communication from units of local government or county officers to residents and taxpayers

HB 04847 – Allows Adult Protective Services (APS) to investigate claims of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation (ANE) for adults who reside in assisted care facilities if the suspected abuser is a non-employee, including family members, and, the abuse occurs outside of the facility

HB 04848 – Makes it required that a health care facility or practitioner should provide, without charge, one complete copy of a patients records if the patient is an indigent homeless veteran

HB 04855 – Makes more individuals ineligible to hold a FOID card by expanding the definition of “patient” and makes other changes to the FOID Card Act

HB 04858 – A local school district or community college may apply for DCEO grants for the acquisition of land, construction of facilities, and purchase of equipment, dedicated solely to the instruction of occupations in manufacturing 

HB 04867 – Prohibits a court from appointing an individual the guardian/person/estate of an adult with disabilities until the potential guardian discloses the number of adults the person already has guardianship over

HB 04879 – When a power of attorney exists, the agent of the principal must provide records to a representative of the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman within 21 days of a request to be assessed costs and attorney fees by the court

HB 04883  – Allows IDFPR to administer licensure examination for four professions under the Barber, Cosmetology, Esthetics, Hair Braiding, and Nail Technology Act of 1985 after students in those professions complete a set number of hours of study

HB 04887 – Requires the Department of Children and Family Services to assist a youth in care in identifying and obtaining documents necessary to function as an independent adult prior to the closure of the youth’s case to terminate wardship

HB 04888  – Mandates the Illinois Department of Corrections to quarterly collect and publish data on violence within correctional institutions and the release and status of previously institutionalized persons

HB 04908 – Requires all children entering the ninth grade of any public, private or parochial school to have a dental examination. Currently, this is only required of students entering kindergarten, second grade and sixth grades

HB 04909 – Allows birth record fees to be waived for children who were in youth care until they reach age 27

HB 04911 – Amends the Health Care Services Lien Act to authorize ambulatory surgical treatment facilities (ASTF) to place a lien on any damages that may be paid to a patient for the injury necessitating the ASTFs treatment of that patient

HB 04920 – States that proceeds from the sale of oil or gas from non-coal formations held in non- trust estates shall be deemed income

HB 04927 – Requires Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to provide copies of teacher evaluations to the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) within 7 days after issuing the evaluations

HB 04936 – Requires DHS to allow a person who has completed a psychiatric training program certification from any branch of the United States Armed Forces with at least one year of experience in a mental health setting to be recognized as a mental health professional

HB 04944 – Allows truck tractors, semitrailers, or property-carrying vehicles weighing 10,000 to 26,000 pounds to be safety tested every 12 months 

HB 04949 – Bans the practice of “Patient Brokering” where companies use false or misleading advertising to direct patients to mental health or addiction recovery facilities outside the state where the patient’s insurance may not be accepted

HB 04953 – Requires IDFPR to provide a sexual harassment training program and require each applicant and license renewal applicant to complete this training

HB 04954 – Designates Nov. 4 each year as G.I Bill of Rights Day in Illinois

HB 05027 – Repeals the User Advisory Committee of the Illinois Geographic Information Council

HB 05029 – Separates and defines “cat breeder,” “dog breeder,” “boarding,” and “day care operator” and makes conforming changes to the relevant statutes. Currently, “kennel operator” encompasses all 4 definitions

HB 05056 – Sec. of State omnibus clean-up bill. Creates a C class plate for flat weight taxes, requires color copies or scans of IDs from vehicle dealers; allows for vanity plates for funeral homes; allows owners to apply for a junk title without surrendering a certificate of title if there is no lienholder

HB 05057 – Amends a section of the Vehicle Code regarding overweight permits

HB 05070 – Amends the Telehealth Act to include clinicians licensed to provide medical services under Illinois law in the definition of “health care professional.”

HB 05109 – Provides loan repayment assistance to mental health professionals who practice in under-served or rural, federally designated Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas

HB 05122 – Allows certain youth who do not receive a scholarship or fee waiver from the Department of Children and Family Services to receive a tuition and fee waiver to assist them in attending and completing their post-secondary education at a state school

HB 05123 – Amends the Election Code to allow a county board to dissolve its election commission and transfer its functions to the county clerk

HB 05136 – Require joint committees, which review teacher evaluation plans, to meet at least once annually

HB 05143 – Requires the “Dutch Reach” method to be included in the Rules of the Road publication

HB 05155 – Updates the form of consent required for the adoption of a child by adding gender- neutral verbiage, expanding the use of email addresses and cell phones in providing notice, and changing the time frame for which a parent may void their consent for an adoption

HB 05157 – Allows that temporary custodian to serve as a surrogate decision maker for the minor in end-of-life decision-making, if the courts determines by clear and convincing evidence that granting such authority is in the best interest of the child

HB 05201 – Establishes a mechanics lien demand and referral pilot program that is intended to resolve invalid or expired mechanic liens by referring those liens to an administrative judge for resolution

HB 05203 – Requires the Illinois State Police and the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to include age-sensitive interview techniques in their training curriculum

HB 05206 – Allows IDOT to lease locomotives, passenger railcars, and other rolling stock equipment to any state or state agency, public or private entity or quasi-public entities

HB 05210 – Prohibits any State court from denying petitions due to outstanding costs, fines, assessments or fees imposed or established by a court, law enforcement agency or unit of state or local government

HB 05214 – DCEO initiative that is a trailer bill to their omnibus Angel Investment credit bill, SB 2012, which passed in spring of 2017. Revises definitions of “applicant” and “related member,” and clarifies the utilization timeline for “set-aside” credits

HB 05253 – Modifies provisions in the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act requiring State agencies to issue an economic impact analysis when proposing new rules or amendments to rules that affect small businesses

HB 05257 – Requires the Department of Children and Family Services to provide a minor’s guardian ad litem or a minor’s appointed attorney with a copy of each significant event report

HB 05267 – Adds two offenses for which victims are eligible to receive compensation under the Crime Victims Compensation Act: 1) posting identifying or graphic information on a pornographic website and 2) revenge porn

HB 05288 – Requires the Department of Human Services to develop and maintain an online voluntary registry for recovery residences that operate in Illinois to serve as a referral resource for individuals seeking continued recovery assistance

HB 05351 – Telehealth policies must provide coverage for licensed dietitian nutritionists and certified diabetes educators to counsel senior diabetes patients in patients’ homes to remove the hurdle of transportation for patients to receive treatment

HB 05440 – Allows non-resident youth (18 and under) to apply for a Youth Hunting or Trapping License and provides that the fee for a resident youth and a non-resident youth shall be the same

HB 05463 – Requires all school districts to report various class size data to ISBE each year and requires ISBE to publish the data on its website no later than Dec. 1 each year. Sets class size goals for the 2020 school year

HB 05502 – Removes a provision of the Real Estate Appraisers Licensing Act of 2002 that requires passage of an examination before being licensed as an associate real estate trainee appraiser and removes a provision that limits licensees to 2 renewals

HB 05547 – Requires the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit, on biennial basis, of state agencies and their cyber-security practices, with a focus on agencies holding large volumes of personal information

HB 05558 – Amends the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code and requires every mental health or developmental disabilities facility to post in public areas the contact information for the Guardianship and Advocacy Commission (GAC) and the agency designated by the Governor

HB 05573 – Allows crime victims to have support persons present and eligible to testify at trial and prohibits substantive issues from being decided at status hearings

HB 05632 – Requires ambulances or rescue vehicles to use their siren and lamps only when it is reasonably necessary to warn civilians while responding to an emergency or transporting a critical patient in need of immediate medical intervention

HB 05683 – Expands the definition of “Veterans Home” to include any facility operated and maintained by the Department in the City of Quincy to include the temporary Sycamore Facility in Quincy for temporary housing of veterans from the Quincy Veterans home

HB 05690 – Transfers an 80-acre parcel of farmland located in Morgan County, as well as the money remaining in the Kaskaskia Common Fund, to the Kaskaskia Island Drainage and Levee District

HB 05745 – Amends the Jury Commission Act to provide that any mother nursing her child shall be excused from jury service upon request

HB 05749 – Allows the Department of Transportation and local authorities to issue special permits for vehicles hauling agriculture commodities. The permit would provide for a 10 percent above the gross vehicle weight and 10percent above axle weight limit

HB 05752 – Creates the Broadband Advisory Council, a council to expand access to broadband services and technology

HB 05754 – Allows four years’ teaching experience in a school under the supervision of the Department of Corrections to count as experience toward qualification for a Principal Endorsement

HB 05777 – Allows for the consolidation of two or more contiguous municipalities into one city or village

HB 05856 – Exempts vehicles owned and operated by a Mass Transit District from paying tolls on the Toll Highway system

HB 05868 – Permits insurers to provide residential extended care services and support for people battling addiction

SB 00293 – Requires the Department of Children and Family Services to maintain all unfounded reports for at least five years following the date of the final finding

SB 00405 – Requires a sexual harassment policy for all companies that make a bid under the state’s procurement code and requires companies that claim EDGE credits to include their sexual harassment policy in their annual report to the State

SB 00574 – Waives the notice requirement for someone changing their name if the individual is changing their name in conjunction with treatment for a intersexed condition or for the purpose of gender transition

SB 00585 – Makes changes to three different property tax sales fees: expands the automation fee that the purchaser pays each year for subsequent taxes; clarifies that the indemnity fee is set by the county collector and allows counties to charge less than the current rate of $20 per item purchased

SB 00650 – Allows school districts and regional offices of education to file mandate waiver requests electronically

SB 00682 – Updates the Illinois Insurance Code to comply with National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ model act

SB 01246 – Exempts student savings accounts from debt collection agencies similar to ABLE accounts

SB 01707 – Comprehensive mental health and substance abuse package that expands access to life-saving addiction treatment, increases health plan transparency and applies state law parity requirements to school district health plans

SB 02254 – Designates May 17 of each year Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Giloma (DIPG) Awareness Day

SB 02265 – Individuals with developmental or intellectual disabilities would be covered under the Endangered Missing Person Advisory program, which provides a regional system for the rapid information alerts regarding missing persons

SB 02270 – Allows a law enforcement officer to take temporary custody of a dog or cat if the animal is exposed in a manner that is life-threatening or may result in injury

SB 02271 – Provides that a prosecution for any offense involving sexual conduct or sexual penetration in which the victim was 18 years of age or older at the time of the offense may be commenced within one year after the offense is discovered by the victim

SB 02274 – Provides that a transfer between spouses does not disqualify wooded acreage from the provisions for the assessment of untransferred wooded acreage

SB 02278 – Adds veterans/active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces to the definition, “”high risk missing person”” and allows for the use of the Endangered Missing Person Advisory for veterans who have mental or physical health conditions related to their service 

SB 02285 – Allows the Secretary of State to issue a one-time vehicle decal or device to any non- resident of Illinois with a disability displaced by a natural disaster as defined by the federal government. Decal or device not to be valid for more than six months

SB 02289 – Updates the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act and the Illinois Domestic Violence Act

SB 02291 – Requires that the Toll Highway Authority posts the agenda for its board meetings at least two business days prior to when the meeting is held. Requires that the agenda is posted at the Authority’s headquarters and online on their website

SB 02309 – Removes the requirement that a trustee must accept the transfer of real property to a trust before a legal conveyance may be recognized

SB 02328 – Allows a political subdivision to waive the public hearing, evaluation procedure and selection procedure for projects expected to cost less than $150,000

SB 02330 – Would allow victims of domestic violence to waive the publication requirement when filing a name change petition

SB 02341 Adds synthetic cannabinoids to the Controlled Substances Act

SB 02350 – Requires schools to conduct at least one law enforcement drill that addresses an active threat or an active shooter within a school building no later than 90 days after the first day of each school year

SB 02362 – Amends the Procurement Code to exempt the University of Illinois at Chicago from the current 10-year cap on leases if certain requirements are met

SB 02378 – Requires all law enforcement agencies to have an independent agency conduct investigations of officer-involved deaths

SB 02380 – Animal control facilities and animal shelters have to report intake and outcome statistics to the Department of Agriculture

SB 02385 – Creates a notarized form for applicants of Medicaid and LTC Medicaid to provide to financial institutions

SB 02386 – Creates a “reckless dog owner” determination if the owner’s dog is deemed dangerous for killing another dog and is found running at large twice within 12 months of being deemed dangerous. A “reckless dog owner” is prohibited from owning dogs for between 12 and 36 months

SB 02437 – If death occurs between spouses and the marriage is found to be invalid, a beneficiary designation made prior is void. A life insurance company will not be held liable

SB 02459 – Allows the Lake County Board to dissolve the Seavey Drainage District by resolution

SB 02461 – Requires the DCFS to enter into contracts with agencies or to complete development for specialized placements for youth in the Department’s care who are victims of sex trafficking

SB 02469 – An annual report detailing the progress under the Respite Program Act must be submitted from the Director of the Department on Aging to the Governor and General Assembly

SB 02482 – Allows yellow school buses equipped with flashing lights and stop arms to transport children under the age of 18 to any activity

SB 02498 – Expands visitation rights for non-parents

SB 02511 – Requires that additional vehicle back-up lights emit a white or amber light

SB 02514 – Allows state law enforcement agencies to enforce the Smoke Free Illinois Act and changes all fines associated with violations to civil penalties

SB 02516 – Requires employers of mandated reporters to inform their employees of available mandated reporter training

SB 02522 – Prohibits a rental car company from charging a fee of more than $2 each day for the use of an electronic tolling transponder

SB 02524 – Requires the Department of Public Health and the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to collaborate and recommend new state laws for the disposal of unused antibiotics and submit their recommendations to the General Assembly by January 2020

SB 02527 – School boards cannot limit the number of dual credit courses a student may enroll in or the number of credits a student may receive from dual credit courses. Cannot limit student enrollment in online courses

SB 02543 – Allows for the consolidation of mosquito abatement districts

SB 02559 – Requires the Board of Higher Education to develop a three-year education loan information pilot program for students at each public university and community college

SB 02560 – Requires any website that displays a subject’s individual’s criminal record be required to remove the information upon written request 

SB 02579 – Requires the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts to study the fiscal impact of legislation (PA100-285) that expanded juvenile expungements and clarified juvenile record confidentiality requirements on probation departments

SB 02587 Amends the Telehealth Act and adds dentists to list of health care professionals

SB 02598 – Allows a home rule municipality to disconnect territory from a fire protection district if the municipality provides fire service to at least 80% of the territory

SB 02631 – Changes references to restricted faculty licenses to faculty licenses within the Dental Practice Act

SB 02644 – Allows service by email in administrative proceedings

SB 02654 – Requires school boards to include information about influenza and flu vaccinations to parents and students when giving information on immunizations, infectious diseases, medications or other health issues

SB 02707 – Allows the Illinois Civil Service Commission to remand appeals from state employees challenging adverse employment actions back to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for further fact-finding

SB 02713 – Authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to plan, contract and construct recreational trails with public discourse and input

SB 02773 – Makes multiple changes to the Property Assessed Clean Energy Act

SB 02777 – Requires that every prescriber of controlled substances to complete 10 hours of continuing education in safe opioid prescribing practices

SB 02808 – Cleans up language to the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias Services Act

SB 02826 – Expands coverage of Illinois Human Rights Act and gives victims of workplace stalking and harassment further protections by creating provisions such as a reasonable, unpaid leave for court dates

SB 02838 – Requires a public university or community colleges to work with local high schools to grant dual credit to a student who completes an accredited course

SB 02851 – Creates the inclusion of dental service plans on uniform health care benefit information cards

SB 02866 – Provides that IDPH must provide written information about the link between human papillomavirus and specified kinds of cancer to all students entering sixth grade and their parents or legal guardians

SB 02868 – Creates an income tax return checkoff for the Hunger Relief Fund

SB 02877 – Provides that an applicant for licensure as a barber or teacher of barbering may take the licensure examination after completing 1,200 hours in the study of barbering

SB 02884 – Allows the IMRF to adopt rules for Internet balloting or phone balloting in addition to election by mail

SB 02889 – Creates the Epinephrine Administration Act and defines epinephrine injectors to include both auto injectors and pre-filled syringes

SB 02891 – Provides a five-year (up from three years) statute of limitations for prosecution of some forms of fraud or kickbacks

SB 02900 – Provides that if a school board fills a vacancy due to a lack of candidates for election, the district’s voters can elect a board member without restriction by area of residence in the district at the next general election

SB 02904 – Removes the limitation that a collaborating physician may only collaborate with a maximum of five full-time physician assistants to help address the physicians shortage in Illinois

SB 02905 – Makes a series of technical and statutorily-conforming changes to the Public Community College Act that affect the authority of the Illinois Community College Board and local boards of trustees

SB 02907 – Allows agencies and entities currently authorized by law to conduct or obtain national criminal history background checks on individuals to participate in the FBI’s Federal Rap Back Service

SB 02923 – Requires the Township Clerk to attest to all payouts from a township treasury

SB 02925 – Requires the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to develop or approve a curriculum for a certified training program for school resource officers

SB 02939 – Allows out-of-state students and students who have completed the eighth grade to enroll in the Illinois Math and Science Academy. Charges out-of-state students tuition

SB 02940 – Allows electors of a Township to delegate the power to purchase, sell or lease property to the township board for a period up to 12 months

SB 02996 – Clarifies lead poisoning definition and rules for when professionals must report elevated blood lead levels

SB 02999 – Requires employers to reimburse employees for their necessary costs incurred in order to fulfill their job responsibilities, including for “bring your own device” policies which require employees to use personal cell phones, tablets or computers for work purposes

SB 03015 – Allows school nurses to keep asthma medication prescribed in the school’s name

SB 03023 – Allows law enforcement to develop and implement deflection programs that offer alternatives to the traditional criminal justice system and create immediate pathways to substance use treatment and other services

SB 03028 – Removes a section of the Vehicle Code that requires paper applications to be submitted for overweight IDOT permits

SB 03048 – Allows DHFS or managed care organizations to require Medicaid recipients to purchase used or refurbished durable medical equipment if it is less expensive than new and can last at least three years

SB 03049 – Expands the medical providers that can bill Medicaid for telehealth and expands the allowable telehealth services to include clinical psychology, clinical social work and more

SB 03062 – Requires the Department of Public Health to develop a plan and disseminate information about the National Bone Marrow Registry, such as “Be the Match.”

SB 03075 – Requires the Department of Human Services to submit a quarterly report for at least each state-operated mental health center and state-operated developmental centers

SB 03081 – Requires Public Housing Authorities to provide a list of all applicants waiting for admission to any public housing or housing project operated by the Housing Authority, including information on each applicant’s position on the waiting list, upon request by the state

SB 03085 – Requires a notice for the judgment and sale of a drainage or retention basin serving a residential common to be given to each residential homeowner whose property is served by that basin

SB 03093 – Makes changes concerning the maximum reduction under the general homestead exemption for life care facilities

SB 03108 – Expands trafficking definition and provides a civil remedy for human trafficking victims

SB 03109 – Provides that all qualified applicants, regardless of immigration status, are eligible for Illinois professional licenses issued by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation

SB 03134 – Creates flood control commission to study flooding in collar counties

SB 03143 – Requires the Department of Central Management Services to submit an annual report regarding installment purchases or lease purchases of buildings, land or facilities

SB 03148 – Increases the fee for a restricted driving permit from $8 to $12 which shall be imposed annually until the expiration of the two-year permit

SB 03170 – Allows a prescription for medication other than controlled substances to be valid for up to 15 months from the date issued unless the prescription states otherwise

SB 03191 – Allows the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to make expenditures from a members benefits fund, subject to approval by the Director of Veterans’ Affairs, for recognition and appreciation programs for volunteers who assist the Veterans Homes

SB 03193 – A non-veteran spouse shall have the same priority for admission to a Veterans Home as a veteran if they are admitted at the same time to live together

SB 03195 – Abolishes the Farmer’s Market Task force

SB 03212 – Trailer bill to the Natural Disaster Income Tax Credit which moves a section regarding local government officials’ disclosure ability from the FOIA Act to the Income Tax Act

SB 03215 – Makes changes to provisions concerning sales in error in the Property Tax Code

SB 03222 – Requires that the governor appoint to the Workforce Innovation Board two persons who self-identify as individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities and who are engaged in advocacy for the rights of individuals with disabilities

SB 03223 – Repeals provisions permitting the Child Death Review Teams Executive Council to establish in the Southern Region of the state a special Child Death Investigation Task Force

SB 03232 – Creates a five-year demonstration project to provide an intensive workforce training program for entry-level workers and a multi-generational healthy family initiative

SB 03237 – Creates a process for a victim, guardian, employee, group home or similar entity to file an appeal against the Office of Inspector General’s findings

SB 03240 – Requires all carnivals, amusement enterprises or fairs to conduct background checks on all of their employees

SB 03241 – Requires the Secretary of State to issue distinctive registration plates for all covered farm vehicles

SB 03256 – Provides that a firearm shall not be transferred until 72-hours have elapsed since application for purchase

SB 03261 – Authorizes mobile home park owners (instead of municipalities) to obtain a judgment to remove abandoned mobile homes under certain conditions by commencing a proceeding in the circuit court

SB 03263 – Prohibits the Director of State Police from appointing auxiliary state policemen

SB 03285 – Provides that the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity shall develop an economic plan to assist businesses and municipalities located geographically close to bordering states

SB 03290 – Expands the Nursing Home Residents’ Managed Care Rights Law to include MCOs

SB 03295 – Provides pleadings, affidavits or other certified documents will not be required to be sworn before an authorized person

SB 03304 – Makes multiple changes to the Illinois Fire Protection Training Act regarding reimbursements and standards

SB 03309 – Updates the Illinois Abandoned Mined Lands and Water Reclamation Act to make it consistent

SB 03404 – Creates the Survivor’s Bill of Rights, which guarantees additional rights and protections to survivors of sexual assault

SB 03411 – Allows places of employment, places of worship, or schools to petition for an order against a person stalking their locations. Once an order is granted, that person may have to give up their firearms and FOID card

SB 03443 – Extends the authorization for advance deposit wagering on horse racing to Dec. 31, 2022

SB 03466 – Adds as a valid cause to not attend school a circumstance when a person who has custody of a child withholds the child from school due to a bona fide dispute over special education services or placement

SB 03488 – Creates the Anti-Registry Program Act and provides that no agent or agency shall use any moneys, facilities, property, equipment, or personnel of the agency to participate in or provide support for the creation, publication, or maintenance of a registry program

SB 03489 – Registrants of Murderer and Violent Offender Against Youth Registration Act may petition for removal from the list

SB 03503 – Requires every facility that houses a circuit court room to include at least one lactation room or area for members of the public

SB 03504 – Provides that no repossession agency employee may be issued a recovery permit if the person has been convicted of specified crimes

SB 03509 – Extends the ban on ticket quotas to Chicago

SB 03527 – Expands the River Edge Historic Tax Credit

SB 03536 – Early childhood education programs must collect and review chronic absence data and recommend fixes

SB 03547 – Creates the Illinois Service Member Employment Rights & Reemployment Act

SB 03561 – Extends the sunset date for design-build provisions in the Public Building Commission Act from June 1, 2018 to June 1, 2023

Victim in Sunday night homicide identified

Police were still investigating the area Monday morning in the Castle Acres mobile home park. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

O’FALLON – The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis and the O’Fallon Police Department have identified the victim of a shooting that took place in the Castle Acres mobile home park on Sunday evening

Matthew E. Lockett, 24, of East St. Louis, was found in the street by O’Fallon Police officers after they responded to a shots fired call to the Castle Acres mobile home park located in the 1700 block of West Highway 50, behind the Kentucky Fried Chicken. Lockett appeared to be suffering from a gunshot wound and was transported to the hospital where he later died.

During the investigation, a vehicle of interest, a light-colored vehicle, possibly white, with dark colored wheels, was seen leaving the area of the shooting. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Major Case Squad at (618)206-4309 or the O’Fallon Police Department at (618)624-4545.

 

Man shot dead in trailer park

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Police Department and Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis are investigating a homicide that took place in the Castle Acres mobile home park Sunday evening.

According to the O’Fallon Police Department, at approximately 6:52 p.m. the police responded to a shots fired call in the mobile home park, located in the 1700 block of West Highway 50. The first units on the scene found a young black male in the middle of the street believed to be suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

The Major Case Squad has been activated.

Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact the O’Fallon Police Department at (618)624-4545.

The O’Fallon Weekly will update the story with more information as it becomes available.

Candidates file to run in April election

The makeup of the ballot for the April 2, 2019, election has come into focus following Monday’s deadline for individuals interested in running for office to file their necessary paperwork.

In O’Fallon, all but two City Council seats will see a contested race take place.

In Ward 1, Dennis Muyleart, who ran in 2017, will take on Jessica Gunther and Catherine McBride in one of the two three-way races taking place in the city.

Over in Ward 2, incumbent Bob Kueker is being challenged by Jessica Lotz.

Incumbent Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Hagarty is running unopposed for re-election to another four year term.

Ward 4 will see the other three-way race in the April election. Mary Lynam-Miller, Sarah Atterberry, and Todd Roach, who is the son of Mayor Herb Roach, will take each other on for the position.

Ward 5 has both seats up for election, one for a full four-year term and one for a shortened two year term. 

For the four year position, former O’Fallon Alderman Chris Hursey will challenge Gwendolyn Randolph, who was appointed to the City Council by Mayor Roach when Alderwoman Courtney Marsh resigned after moving out of the ward.

Former Central School District 104 Board of Education Member Chris Monroe has filed to run for the two year position. Monroe is unopposed.

In Ward 6, current alderman, Ned Drolet, is retiring. Tom Vorce and Christopher “Casey” Scharven have both filed to run for the seat.

Ward 7 Alderman David Cozad is also stepping away. Nathan Parchman and Brian Gibson are running for the opportunity to replace him on the council. 

In Shiloh, there are three positions on the Village Board up for election. Current trustee Colleen Powers is retiring, while incumbents Kurt Burrelsman and Greg O’Neil have both filed. Julia Warchol Black has filed to run in for the third position.

Voters in Lebanon will have a few City Council races to watch in April. 

In Ward 1, there will be one open seat as incumbent Alderman Frank Almeter is stepping down. Peter J Wehrly and Charles Witty have both filed to run for the position.

Over in Ward 2, incumbent Alderman Landall Mack is running for re-election, and will be challenged by Teddy Sells, Jr. and Robert Lee.

In Ward 3, incumbent Alderman Bruce “Bart” Bartholomew is running for re-election and will be challenged by Jessica Zurliene.

Voters in Ward 4 will have no option in April unless someone opts to run as a write-in, as incumbent Alderman Al Gerdes is stepping down and no one filed paperwork to run for his position.

There is little competition in the various races for school board, only OTHS District 203 and Lebanon CUSD District 9 will see competition. 

In District 203, three seats held by incumbents Mark Christ, Brandt House, and Donna Johnson are up for election. All three have filed to run for re-election, as well as challengers P.K. Johnson and Martha Fraier Stoffel.

In Lebanon, there are also three open seats. Current incumbents President Mike Harter and Vice President Bill Layman will step down. Incumbent Board Member Nancy Henss is running for re-election. Additionally,  Adam Noud, Gary J. Haas, and Yasanne J Garrett have filed to run as well.

There are three open positions in District 90, currently held by Mary Baskett, Rebecca Huller, and Becky Drury. Baskett has chosen to not seek re-election. Huller and Drury have both filed, along with Quennetta Chambers.

Three candidates have filed to run in Shiloh District 85. Leslie Tesluk-Ecker, Theodore “Ted” Schaal, and Kelly Waldrup will all appear on the ballot and run for the three open positions.

Central District 104 has three candidates filed for the three open positions. Andrea Mouser, Laurie Burian, and David Swaney have filed to run. 

Police investigate shooting at St. Clair Bowl

The O’Fallon Police Department are investigating a shooting that took place at St. Clair Bowl late Wednesday evening.

According to a release by the Department, at approximately 10:48 p.m., on December 12, the O’Fallon Police Department responded to St. Clair Bowl, located at 5950 Old Collinsville Road, in regard to a shots fired call.  Upon arrival, investigating officerdiscovered that one subject had been shot inside the business.  The victim was transported to a local hospital with what is believed to be non-life threating injuries.  

A suspect has been identified in the case and has been taken into custody.  

No further information will be released at this time, as the case will be pending review by the St. Clair County State’s Attorney. 

CSX may run trains through town to retrieve cars east of O’Fallon

O’FALLON – You may see trains temporarily using the track running through O’Fallon soon, following a decision by the Federal Railroad Administration to allow CSX to remove the cars stored in Aviston and Shattuc.

CSX’s petition was recently granted, granting the company the ability to operate during daytime hours at speeds not exceeding ten miles per hour, with flaggers and CSX police at every grade crossing.

According to local train expert Steven Gilroy, “You can expect a minimum of two movements through time – one with only engines to go retrieve the cars, and then the other returning later with the cars.  Or perhaps four if they wish to divide it into smaller sections, but anything more than that would seem doubtful to me.”  

Gilroy went on to tell the Weekly that he anticipates the eastbound operation will take place early in the morning to avoid having the train stranded in Shattuc since CSX is limited to daytime operations. 

“Since union agreements require any train crews operating on this line to come from Vincennes, Indiana, it would be a needlessly-expensive operation to bring an additional crew in for the next day. Incidentally, that is why the previous movement took so long.  The train stalled coming from Caseyville and they had to wait to get a new crew from Vincennes to power the helper units which ran behind it up the hill. And then the crew ran out of time farther east, and again, had to wait for a relief crew,” Gilroy explained.

Gilroy speculates that the removal of the train cars in Aviston and Shattuc may be related to a possible sale of the line. 

“You may have noticed recent hi-rail activity again, including an inspection which rolled through midday on [November 26, 2018]. A few months ago, CSX led a series of hi-rail tours for other railroads which are interested in acquiring the line, as well.  The current impetus to remove the cars may purely be for scrap value, though the timing of this, the tours, and CSX’s recent plans to review the line for sale, could suggest we may see new activity on the line soon,” Gilroy said. 

Fifth grade Junior Panthers win CNR Tournament for second year

(Submitted Photo)

The fifth grade Jr. Panthers – Navy team are champions of the CNR Tournament for the second year in a row, held November 17-18 in St. Louis, MO. Pictured from left, front row: Luke Smith, Reagan Woomer, Jase Foster. Back row:  Coach Kevin Smith, Eli Whyte, Ethan Kessler, Owen Stoffel, Sam McCollum, Carson Nix, Coach Patrick Stoffel (not pictured: Maddox Ritzel)

Portz resigns from OTHS

Jason Portz (file photo)

O’FALLON – The District 203 Board of Education took action and accepted a letter of resignation from former O’Fallon Township High School Baseball Coach and Physical Education instructor Jason Portz.

In a release issued by the District following the meeting, the Board accepted Portz’s resignation, effective November 14, 2018. Portz was placed on administrative leave on October 22 while the District investigated is alleged mishandling of OTHS funds and assets as part of the baseball program and as an employee of OTHS.

According to the release, the district was in the process of scheduling a hearing to recommend dismissing Portz as an employee at the time he submitted his letter of resignation. 

“Because of the potential significant costs that can result from a tenured teacher dismissal proceeding and potential appeal, the Administration recommended, and the Board of Education agreed, that the best action for OTHS was to accept Mr. Portz’s resignation and to move forward with its mission of educating students,” the release reads.

The district did say in its release that the O’Fallon Police Department is investigating Portz and his alleged misuse of funds.

“The OTHS Administration and Board of Education will continue to fully cooperate with the O’Fallon Police Department as they further investigate this issue,” the release states.

The Board voted six to one to accept the resignation. Board Member Brandt House voted against accepting the letter of recommendation, preferring instead to directly fire Portz.

“I think based upon the findings that the team presented, we’re all equally, grossly disappointed and offended by the employee,” House said.

Portz resigned his positions as the OTHS baseball coach and the Health, Physical Education, and Driver Safety Department Chairman on June 25 in a letter to District 203 Board of Education President Lynda Cozad. At the time, he cited personal reasons.

Illinois and St. Clair County need a two party system

I’m going to talk politics here, so if you aren’t interested in reading any more about the election, you may want to skip my column this week. But some things need to be said.

Another election is in the books in Illinois and St. Clair County and once again we find ourselves under oneparty rule. While some may argue that its ok because they align themselves with the party in power, in many cases a balanced government ultimately results in a better deal for the taxpayers.

Take a look at the state of our state. We have some of the highest taxes in the nation and have experienced a massive exodus of residents over the past 10 to 15 years resulting in a higher tax burden being laid at the doorstep of the folks unable or unwilling to leave for greener pastures. And what do we as an electorate do when given the opportunity to change course? We enthusiastically vote in the same politicians that raise our taxes time and time again.

The same can be said for St. Clair County. It is completely ruled by one party who finds ways to increase taxes and then turn around and somehow try and convince the people that they really cut them by promoting levy abatements. But I suppose that airport won’t pay for itself…

Now I could be upset at the Democrat Party for winning. But instead I’m choosing to reflect on the current state of the Illinois and St. Clair County Republican Parties and how ineffective both are at giving the voters a viable option on Election Day.

At the state level, it was obvious Governor Bruce Rauner was running head first into a buzzsaw. While he did try to hold the line and fight many of the efforts by Speaker Madigan to push Illinois further downward, he also caved more than a few times, demoralizing his base and giving the opposition fuel in their fight against him.

I believe there was one big straw that broke the camel’s back and that was when Rauner finally got a budget through, but it included a tax increase. Rather than negotiate for something in exchange for the tax increase, such as workers compensation reform, fair mapping legislation, or term limits, he caved and got nothing. Ineffective. Governor Prtizker was a foregone conclusion months ago.

Taking a step outward, the state party is horrible at recruiting and assisting viable candidates for state representative and state senate races. In many cases, it seems that desperate times call for desperate measures and any warm body can be propped up to run. Promises are made to these candidates to fund them with all the money and staff they’ll need, but that assistance only sometimes actually comes through. I can name a number of candidates that were convinced they would have what they need when they started circulating petitions to find themselves with barely a pittance of what they expected three months out from Election Day when the rubber has hit the road.

Locally, the situation is even more dire. 

The St. Clair County Republican Party seems to be as disorganized of a political party that it could be. Fundraising efforts are poor at best, especially when compared to the well-oiled machine in Belleville funded by trial attorneys, unions, and patronage jobs. County candidates receive little, if any, financial support and the party has very few volunteers able and willing to assist candidates with door-to-door campaigning and other efforts. This poor organization is unfair to the men and women who put their names on the ballot and pick up the Republican Party banner as candidates.

Additionally, candidate recruitment is a major problem. I was enthusiastic when Nick Gailius threw his hat in the ring this year for sheriff, if for no other reason than he was highly qualified for the job. While he managed to do the best he could, and raised a decent amount of money to get his message out, none of the other countywide candidates even compared. If you weren’t actively seeking these candidates out, you never knew their names until you were staring at them on your ballot.

Additionally, the local GOP is fractured into many sub-groups and efforts aren’t nearly as coordinated as they need to be. Competing interests interfere with a cohesive message and the effort comes to a halt.

The unfortunate truth of the matter is that until the Illinois and St. Clair County Republican Parties can figure out how to properly operate, both the state and county will remain locked tight under one-party rule. We can blame voter turnout, money disparities, and vote fraud all we want, but other states and counties have found ways to counteract those problems and come out ahead.

A good example is our neighbor to the north, Madison County. Once a democrat controlled stronghold like St. Clair, Madison is now much more balanced, electing members of both parties. My friend Chris Slusser won a hotly contested race to become the Madison County treasurer Tuesday evening. He was appointed in 2016 to the position after the incumbent became the County Board chairman and Chris stepped up and performed great work. I fully expect he will continue to do a good job on behalf of his constituents. 

The Madison County Republican Party once faced most of the same problems as St. Clair County, with the exception of an East St. Louis Election Board that has long outlived its usefulness, and they managed to become relevant. Why can’t the St. Clair County GOP do the same?

Mid-term elections typically aren’t ones where the St. Clair County GOP loses ground. At best they gain a bit, but at worst they hold steady. This year they lost seats and gained nothing. If that isn’t a giant wake up call to party leadership, I don’t know what could be. We can only hope that some solid reflection and assessments are made in the coming few months.

This column is not designed to bash on the Democrats. They ran good races and did what they needed to do to win. I congratulate all of the newly elected and re-elected candidates and wish them well. 

However, this is my very direct way of expressing my disappointment with the two-party system in Illinois and St. Clair County and my way of asking when they will finally get their head into the game and start truly getting organized. There are a lot of people, including myself, that hope it is soon. 

Woman’s Club and Boy Scouts honor Pvt. Alfred Spargo at flag ceremony

(Submitted Photo)

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Woman’s Club and members of Boy Scout Pack 35 celebrated the life and service of US Army Private Alfred Spargo at the club’s monthly flag ceremony.

Spargo was born on July 7, 1894 and attended O’Fallon schools. He entered the US Army on April 13, 1918 during World War I and was assigned to a medical detachment and later transferred to the ambulance corps. 

Spargo left for overseas duty in late 1918, landing in France on October 24. However, early the next year he became sick and died on March 20, 1919 of pulmonary tuberculosis. He was bored at Tiedemann Cemetery in O’Fallon with full military honors. In respect, all businesses in O’Fallon closed during the funeral.

The next ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 1, to honor Laverne Bernhardt, Corporal, US Army World War II.

Bost defeats Kelly in 12th Congressional Race

Mike Bost (R)

BELLEVILLE – Republican incumbent Mike Bost secured another term in Congress Tuesday, defeating challenger Brendan Kelly. Kelly, the current St. Clair County State’s Attorney, conceeded shortly after 10:30 p.m.

Bost expressed his thanks to the voters of the 12th Congressional District for another two years.

“I’m incredibly proud of the campaign we put together. We fought hard, focused on the issues, and always made Southern Illinois values our top priority. I congratulate Brendan Kelly on a hard-fought campaign. It’s the honor of a lifetime serving Southern Illinois in our nation’s capital, and I’m looking forward to doing so for another term.”

St. Clair County Democrats sweep countywide offices, pick up county board seats, win judicial races

Andrew Lopinot

BELLEVILLE – The St. Clair County Democrat Party had much to celebrate Tuesday evening, sweeping all of the countywide races and picking up seats on the County Board.

Incumbent County Clerk Tom Holbrook defeated challenger Duane Henson by more than 18,000 votes, 58 percent to 40 percent.

O’Fallon Ward 5 Alderman Andrew Lopinot will take over as the new county treasurer after downing his opponent Philip Kammann by more than 12,000 votes, 54 percent to 42 percent.

In a hotly contest race for county sheriff, former Fairview Heights Police Chief Nick Gailius was defeated by current sheriff, Rick Watson, by nearly 14,000 votes, 56 percent to 42 percent.

Incumbent Board of Review Member Michael Crockett Jr defeated republican Philip Henning by 9,429 votes, 53 percent to 43 percent.

Republicans also lost seats on the St. Clair County Board. 

In District 19, the seat currently held by David Tiedemann was won by democrat Jana Armstrong Moll against challenger Dan Weidenbenner. Moll won by 89 votes, 51 percent to 47 percent. Tiedemann will retire at the end of his current term at the beginning of December.

Richie Meile

In District 23, current O’Fallon Ward 1 Alderman Richie Meile defeated incumbent republican Fred Boch by 276 votes, 52 percent to 45 percent.

Kenneth Sharkey, democrat county board member for District 27, defeated challenger Matt Stirrup by nearly a thousand votes, 63 percent to 34 percent. 

Following Tuesday’s election, the County Board will now be made up of 21 democrats and eight republicans.

With the election of Lopinot, Meile, and Matt Smallheer, who ran unopposed, O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach will have to appoint replacements for three positions on the City Council. Smallheer is currently a Ward 4 alderman. 

In the races for the 20th Judicial Circuit, democrats Heinz Rudolf, John O’Gara, and Chris Kolker defeated their republican opponents, Katherine Ruocco, Paul Evans, and Laninya Cason.

All election results are unofficial until they are certified by the County Clerk. Absentee ballots had to be postmarked by Tuesday to be counted.

The Weekly is moving (days)

A lot goes into crafting an issue of the Weekly. There’s a lot of organization, time spent away from family and friends, and dedication to getting the work done on time.

One major issue my staff and I have faced since the beginning has been that most government meetings take place on Monday evenings. That presents a major issue for me since Mondays have been our production days since we launched, where I strap myself into my chair and don’t leave until I have the paper laid out.

I’ve talked about the layout process before, how it takes me all day, and often until very early the next morning, to get the paper done. Adding having to write a government meeting story to the mix just delays things further, and I’m not as young as I used to be.

In the past we have shifted our production back a day to Tuesday when Monday is a holiday. This means your paper arrives on Thursday instead of Wednesday. 

I’ve always been led to believe that I didn’t have the option to do that shift permanently at my printer, but last week he informed me that I was wrong and that we could make the switch whenever I wanted.

I have made the switch and the Weekly will now be arriving to you on Thursdays instead of Wednesdays.

This small change allows us so much more flexibility.

First, now production can be spread out over two days (Monday and Tuesday), allowing me the ability to go home and get some sleep at a normal hour.

Second, it will allows us to follow up with questions on Tuesday about things that took place at Monday night government meetings. Additionally, it will allow us to circle back to get information about a meeting we were perhaps unable to attend due to manpower shortages. We are a small staff and we’re trying to be a lot of places at one time.

Third, we can now start to include District 90 Board of Education meetings in a more timely manner. They fall on a Tuesday and so they’re always eight days old by the time they hit the paper. 

Fourth, it gives me my Sundays back. When production was on Monday, I would come to the office on Sunday and work, leaving my family and friends.

Finally, it makes life simpler in that we won’t have to push back for Monday holidays. Now the only holiday we have to consider is Thanksgiving, but we will push up that one week. Ironic, huh? 

Honestly, its a small change for you the reader that will make big improvements for us here at the Weekly.

Regarding submission deadlines, for the time being, we’d like to keep them pretty much the same. However, we obviously have some flexibility. Those deadlines can be found in the information box on page two.

The only change this will have on me in a negative capacity is that I will have to start driving to pick up my papers at the printer, an hour away, again. I had been having them trucked to Troy. But its a small price to pay and I actually enjoy the time in the car after a long week to sit and relax.

We hope you understand why this change ultimately needed to occur and how it will hopefully make the Weekly a better paper. 

Former baseball coach placed on leave during investigation

Jason Portz (file photo)

O’FALLON – Former O’Fallon Township High School Baseball Coach and current PE instructor Jason Portz has been placed on paid administrative leave while the school conducts an investigation into his handling of funds, according to a letter obtained by the O’Fallon Weekly through the Freedom of Information Act.

The letter, which was sent to Portz from Superintendent Dr. Darcy Benway and dated October 23, states that Portz was placed on paid administrative leave as of October 22. 

“You remain on paid administrative leave until further notice, pending the outcome of an investigation into your handling of District funds and assets as part of the OTHS Baseball program and as an employee of the District,” the letter goes on to say.

Portz is still an employee of the District and the letter stated he is still subject to the District’s rules, regulations, and directives.

Portz resigned his positions as the OTHS baseball coach and the Health, Physical Education, and Driver Safety Department Chairman on June 25 in a letter to District 203 Board of Education President Lynda Cozad. At the time, he cited personal reasons.

Auffenberg Auto Mall hosts Trunk or Treat event

Ghouls and goblins were all over the place Friday night at the Auffenberg Auto Mall for a Trunk or Treat event. All five of the dealers, as well as the used car facilities and Allstate office, opened their doors and gave away candy to attendees. Additionally, the dealers had games for kids to play, a costume contest, and a photo booth.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)