Andrew Chesney


Andrew Chesney


Senator Chesney’s Week in Review

Stephenson County Board to Consider Non-Sanctuary County Resolution
Last week members of the Stephenson County Board’s Administration & Legal Affairs Committee recommended approval of a resolution that would make Stephenson County the first county in Northwest Illinois to declare itself a “Non-Sanctuary County.”

If passed, Stephenson County would join other units of local government that have passed resolutions or ordinances prohibiting or restricting the arrival of buses carrying migrants and illegal immigrants and limiting the expenditure of taxpayer funds on these individuals.

The resolution highlights policy decisions that led to the current migrant/illegal immigrant crisis, and in addition to the declaration that Stephenson County will be a Non-Sanctuary County, it urges the Illinois Legislature to repeal the Illinois TRUST Act and restore local law enforcement officials’ ability to coordinate with federal immigration officers on immigration issues.

I commend Stephenson County Board Chairman Scott Helms and Board Member Larry Jogerst for bringing the resolution forward and encouraging their colleagues to recommit themselves to prioritizing the needs of current Stephenson County citizens.

I have been working hard at the state level to address the migrant/illegal immigrant crisis in our communities, but local units of governments need to take proactive steps to protect those they were elected to serve. Local government is the final firewall we have at our disposal to protect our shared constituencies from the open border policies that have been put in place by our federal government and by the red carpet that has been rolled out to migrants and illegal immigrants in Illinois.

The full Stephenson County Board is expected to vote on the resolution at their meeting this Thursday, March 21.


Constitutional Amendment to Ensure U.S. Citizenship Required to Vote in Illinois
In response to growing efforts from activists to allow non-citizens to vote in Illinois’ local elections, new legislation filed by Senate Republicans aims to eliminate perceived vagueness in the state constitution that activists have capitalized on to push voting for non-citizens. I am proud to co-sponsor this new legislation.

While state and federal law clearly require U.S. citizenship to vote in State and Federal elections, recent proposals to allow non-citizens to vote in local and municipal elections have garnered headlines. A city ordinance proposed in suburban Evanston would allow noncitizens to vote in municipal elections for mayor and city council. Another proposal filed in the Senate by a Democrat this year would extend voting rights to noncitizens in school board elections.

Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 14 (SJRCA 14) would require citizenship to vote in any Illinois election. The proposed amendment would strike the words “in State Elections” from the third article of the state constitution. This removal of these words would make it abundantly clear that U.S. citizenship is required to vote in any election in Illinois. For the amendment to become a part of the state constitution, it would need to be approved by both houses of the Illinois General Assembly by May 5 and placed on the November 5 General Election ballot to be approved by voters.


Agriculture Students Visit the Capitol

On March 13, high school agriculture students from across the state came together in Springfield to speak on behalf of their industry.

Every year during the spring legislative session, farmers, representatives from ag industry associations, and members of high school Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters take part in what they call Illinois Ag Lobby Day. Their goal is to advocate for agriculture and remind legislators how important the industry is to Illinois.

FFA involvement allows students to get involved at a young age, and their visit to the Capitol last week underscored the importance of agriculture as the state’s top industry. I was able to meet and talk with several groups, including several FFA students from Scales Mound.




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