Senator Chesney Welcomes 4-H Students and Leaders to the Capitol
Last week was a very busy week in Springfield, but I enjoyed seeing a sea of green shirts in the halls, as 4-H students and leaders were in town to meet and talk with legislators about 4-H programming and all the benefits it has to offer. These two 4-H members stopped by my office for a quick chat and I was inspired by their enthusiasm.
4-H is America’s largest youth development organization, and through chapters across the country (and several in Illinois), youth are taught leadership and life skills that help them throughout their entire lives. Skills are learned through hands-on projects in areas like science, health, agriculture, and civic engagement, and the program also helps youth develop self-confidence, independence, resilience, and compassion.
Chesney Launches Petition in Support of Mayorkas Impeachment
Last week I wrote about a Senate Resolution I filed that provides Senate support for U.S. House of Representatives’ efforts to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. To further keep momentum going on this important issue involving border protection and the subsequent migrant/illegal immigrant crisis in Illinois, I have created a petition that people can sign.
More than 35,000 of the migrants that have entered through the southern border have made their way to Illinois, and upon their arrival, Illinois becomes responsible for their food, housing, healthcare, and other wraparound services. Every dollar spent on services for migrants is a dollar diverted away from Illinois citizens who require state government assistance. This includes the intellectually and developmentally disabled, veterans, seniors, those living in poverty, and other vulnerable citizen groups. This is a crisis that demands action, and you can help.
Please consider signing my petition. You can access it here.
Senate Republicans Highlight Democrats’ Misplaced Priorities Healthcare Cost and Access
A group of Senate Republicans held a press conference on February 8, and highlighted the misplaced priorities that allow noncitizens to receive healthcare at nearly no cost while Illinoisans continue to pay hefty premiums and co-pays for the same services. As they explained how the free healthcare for noncitizens program has ballooned from an estimated $2 million to over $1 billion in just a few years, the Senators drove home the point that Illinois taxpayers are not only paying premiums and co-pays for their own health insurance, but the taxes they pay are also covering the cost of healthcare for the hundreds of thousands of noncitizens that have come to Illinois.
The three Senate Republicans who sit on the bipartisan and bicameral Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) had an opportunity to question Governor JB Pritzker’s Department of Human Services (DHS) officials on February 6, and learned that managed care providers can decide whether or not they will charge co-pays, with one of the largest providers in Cook County already announcing they will not. At the meeting, it was learned that mandatory co-pays will only exist for overnight hospital stays and surgical procedures.
Over the last several months, lawmakers were told the cost of healthcare for noncitizens for the current fiscal year would not exceed $550 million. At the JCAR meeting, DHS officials admitted they were already over budget and announced the cost of the healthcare program was now at $770 million this year, nearly 50% over what was initially promised.
Senator Chesney Provides Legislative Update to DeKalb County Farm Bureau
While much of my time is spent in Springfield this time of year, when I am at home in the 45th District I enjoy meeting with local leaders and business groups. The conversations we have are helpful in making sure I am representing the priorities of the people I represent during policy discussions at the Capitol.
I recently had an opportunity to meet with members of the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. I provided a legislative update on what can be expected during the 2024 session, and we had a great discussion about issues that are important to the group and to the agriculture industry in Illinois.
The State’s Farm Bureau actually got its start in DeKalb when the Illinois Agriculture Association was formed there in 1912. The organization became known as the IL Farm Bureau in 1919. The IL Farm Bureau is the 5th largest Farm Bureau in the nation and is the leading voice of agriculture in this state. The Bureau provides advocacy, access to agriculture/farming information, and education.