On Wednesday, the Illinois House of Representatives passed legislation to expand the State’s promise of equal pay for equal work in Illinois. State Representative David A. Welter (R-Morris) voted in favor of the bill.

"Despite the laws already on the books, too many people, especially women and minorities, are paid less for doing the same work as men," said State Representative Welter. “So today's vote was a step in the right direction to level the playing field and ensure for equal pay for equal work for all Illinoisans."

Illinois passed the Equal Pay Act in 2003, but some studies suggest females still earn less than their male employee counterparts. House Bill 2462 adds further protections to existing law by prohibiting an employer from seeking the salary history of a job applicant and prohibits discrimination against job applicants based on their wage or salary history. It also requires employers to justify gender pay disparity. 

House Bill 2462 passed the Illinois House with a 92-24 vote. It now moves to the Illinois Senate for consideration.

On April 26, the Will County Emergency Management Agency and the US National Weather Service will host a FREE two hour class to educate attendees on how to spot severe storms and tornadoes. The class will be held at Lincoln Way West High School's Performing Arts Center from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. To pre-register, click here.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In a press conference today, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police announced their coordinated effort to crack-down on distracted driving this week.

Every State Police district and nearly 30 county sheriff's departments are participating in Distracted Driving Awareness Week. The campaign aims to enforce distracted driver laws, educate drivers and to encourage driver responsibility.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is committed to helping the 284 municipalities of  the seven counties of the northeastern Illinois region plan for a better future. But we need your help to get the word out.  As you reach out to constituents during the brief recess, we ask that you share the following information about two of CMAP’s most popular initiatives – a program to help your municipal and county leaders and a leadership development program for high school students.

Does your community need some assistance with planning for the future? Join regional leaders at a symposium on the Local Technical Assistance program.

For those of us who choose to recycle, the process may be tricky now that the State of Illinois no longer operates recycling facilities. If you have electronics that you would like to discard, please visit the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's website to see the local retailers who are willing to recycle your e-waste.
The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Friday that the IL 113-BNSF Railway grade crossing in Coal City will be closed on Friday, April 21, 2017. IL 113 will be closed for approximately one day to perform maintenance and repairs.
IL 113 eastbound traffic will proceed north on Broadway Street to North Street; thence east on North Street to First Avenue; thence south on First Avenue back to IL 113
IL 113 westbound traffic will proceed north on Fifth Avenue to North Street; thence west on North Street to Broadway Street; Thence south on Broadway back to IL 113.
In February, Governor Bruce Rauner signed a proclamation declaring April as Illinois Child Abuse Prevention Month. In his proclamation, he encourages citizens to support child abuse prevention programs and report suspected cases of child abuse to the Illinois Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 25-ABUSE.

There are several opportunities to volunteer. One way is through Big Brothers and Big Sisters. According to the organization, little brothers and little sisters are 27% less likely to use alcohol and 52% less likely to skip school. For a complete list of volunteer opportunities, please visit the DCFS website.

On Friday, State Representative David Welter (R-Morris) passed his first piece of legislation out of the Illinois House of Representatives. House Bill 466 amends the Mobile Home Local Services Tax Enforcement Act to bring uniformity between the Act and the Property Tax Code in regards to the period to file petitions for tax certificates of title. The proposed changes will provide greater clarity to county tax collectors and tax purchasers.

“This bill simplifies the filing process for taxpayers and for county treasurers,” said Representative Welter. “Should this become law, it will provide a common-sense change for everyone involved in the filing process.”

Under current law, mobile home purchasers have from 3 to 5 months to give notice of a tax filing to interested parties.  However, in the Property Tax Code, purchasers have from 3 to 6 months to give notice to owners and interested parties.  This change will make the filing and notice timeframes consistent between the two statutes, effectively bringing the process of filing taxes for a mobile home in-line with that of filing taxes for a traditional house.

HB 466 passed the Illinois House unanimously and now moves to the Senate.

On April 5, Mayor Schumacher addressed a room of residents and local civil servants to recap 2016 and laid out the town's goals for the year ahead. Channahon, Ill. was named the 56th safest city in the United States and 4th safest in Illinois. The Channahon police department added a new member last year. His name is "Hutch" and he is the new canine tasked with searching suspects for drugs and weapons. Also, the address awarded the 2017 Police Officer of the Year Award to Officer John Blough, Citizen of the Year to Rich Vanasdlen, and Business of the Year to Doka, USA.

In the coming year, Mayor Schumaker expressed optimism that Channahon will exceed last year's new home owner permits. They have created a balanced budget for the fiscal year and are excited to begin construction on an expansion of the wastewater plant and a new bike path.
OTTAWA — The Ottawa-Naplate Long Term Recovery Team is compiling information to create initial needs assessments from residents affected by the Feb. 28 tornado.

Residents are asked to call the hotline, (800) 451-1954, between noon and 6 p.m. from now through Friday.

While this is an 800 number, callers will reach someone in Ottawa. The information will be shared with agencies that may provide further assistance.

For more information, visit the North Central Illinois Council of Governments, 613 W. Marquette St., Ottawa between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
From the Morris Herald-News:

MAZON – Frank Sereno of Mazon is one of the few to be honored for 70 years of membership at an American Legion, and the only one at Mazon Post 352.

"Most of our members have reached 60 years, and one is at 50 years, but this is the first time anyone has reached 70 years," Jim Sterba with the Mazon post said.

He said he never thought he'd see anyone hit that 70 year mark let alone someone as active and as important to the Mazon group as 92-year-old Sereno.

"We are deeply honored to have veterans like that," Sterba said. "He's always been active at the post."

Sterba said Sereno few in aircraft as a gunman in World War II and he's sure he saw a lot of action and has a lot of history to share.

Sereno, a humble veteran said he didn't want the attention or anyone to make a big deal out of it.

"He's our hero more than anything," Sterba said.

As an active member he participates every Wednesday night in the American Legion Post 352 bingo, and still participates in funerals of fellow members, recently holding the post flag at the funeral of a fellow legion member.

Sterba said for being 92 years old and being as active as he is, he is a model member that any Legion would be proud to have.