The ringing-in of the New Year on January 1st will also mark the start of 237 new state laws. In a legislative session marked by partisan differences on the budget, several of the new laws adopted highlight what members of the General Assembly can accomplish when they agree to work together. Laws scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2016 include: 

Right to Try (P.A. 99-0270, HB 1335) 
Gives terminally ill patients access to medicines that have passed Phase 1 of the FDA approval process but are not yet on pharmacy shelves.  Allows doctors to prescribe to terminally ill patients medicines currently being used in clinical trials.

Increased Penalties for Multiple DUI Offenders (P.A. 99-0296, HB 3533) Requires that repeat DUI offenders must have ALL of their vehicles equipped with Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices, better known as BAIID devices, for longer periods and also requires offenders to be disallowed from reapplying for a license with the Secretary of State’s office until first completing an extended period with a restricted driving permit.

Read the full list of new laws taking effect here.
To the editor:

The end of the year is a customary time to reflect upon what went right during the year and to make plans for improving what didn’t go so well.  Since I serve on a number of House Education Committees, I have been thinking about our educational system--from early childhood to college.  I will be holding one of my Educational Advisory Council meetings later in January to review of the year and invite you to participate in the discussion. 

Our family has a holiday tradition of taking the grandkids for a ride on the “Polar Express” in Waterman.  “At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent….Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.

As we approach a new year, I too believe we can rebuild Illinois to that wonderful place where people can work and afford to call home.  Thank you for helping me pursue that quest.  Have a blessed Christmas and a prosperous new year.

Bob Pritchard, State Representative

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced in September that in the absence of a state budget his office would suspend mailing out vehicle registration renewal reminders to the public.

In order to receive a reminder, you must sign-up to receive an email notice through the Secretary of State’s web site here. You will need your Registration ID and PIN number found on your current registration card. If you do not have your current registration card, please call the Public Inquiry Division at 800-252-8980 to obtain your Registration ID and PIN number.

When making the announcement, White noted that suspending this service would save approximately $450,000 per month, and allow his office to prolong the mailing of vehicle registration renewal stickers, titles, and license plates to vehicle owners. 

While those who receive emailed vehicle registration renewal notices will continue to have access to a pin number needed to renew their sticker on-line, those who do not sign-up for the electronic alerts will now have to renew their vehicle stickers in person at a Secretary of State office.

Observations and comments about state government by State Representative Robert W. Pritchard.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to 
December 14th, 2015
In This Issue:
  Ø  AT&T Helps Fairdale
  Ø  Session Action
  Ø  Youth Council Offers Advice
  Ø  School Test Results Call for Discussion
  Ø  Efforts to Control State Healthcare Costs
  Ø  Be Prepared for Winter
  Ø  ComEd Microgrid Pilot Program Comes to Rockford
  Ø  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

AT&T Helps Fairdale
The DeKalb County Community Foundation received a large check recently from AT&T for its work in rebuilding Fairdale.  AT&T, through its “Investing in Illinois Award,” provides resources and recognition to organizations and programs that improve lives across the state.  
Jaci Kator of AT&T, Bob, Dan Templin—DeKalb County Community Foundation Executive Director, and Bill Nicklas—President of the DeKalb County Long Term Recovery Corporation 
I suggested the Foundation and specifically its fund to assist Fairdale residents for the $5,000 award last spring.  The Foundation helped create the DeKalb County Long Term Recovery Corporation to supervise the contributions and volunteers for rebuilding Fairdale after the April tornado.  While the events in Fairdale have faded from our newspaper headlines, help and volunteers are still needed.  
Sycamore, IL….Over two dozen youth from seven area high schools have been selected to participate in State Representative Bob Pritchard’s (R-Hinckley) Youth Advisory Council.  The juniors and seniors were selected by their teachers for their awareness of public issues, leadership skills, and interest in government and history.

During the next four months, the council will provide Pritchard with a youth perspective on current legislation and state issues, learn more about the operations of state and local units of government, be exposed to various careers in government and discuss ways to influence public policy.  The Council will conclude with a two-day visit to Springfield and meetings with various state leaders and staff.

Pritchard has sponsored a youth council each year since 2004 as a way to engage youth.  “The future of our democracy depends upon an informed and involved citizenry,” he said.
State Representative Bob Pritchard discusses the budget impasse's impact on higher education with WIUS:

"This is one of the biggest investments the state could make for job growth and the increase in earning ability of our citizens and therefore our natural growth in tax revenue," he says. "You know, you don't have to raise taxes; you just have to supply jobs and have people able to earn more at those jobs to generate more revenue for the state."

Read or listen to the rest of the interview here.
Rep Pritchard with Daniel Templin, Executive Director of DCF and representatives from AT&T
The DeKalb County Foundation was a recipient of AT&T's "Investing in Illinois Award". The AT&T “Investing in Illinois Awards” provide resources and recognition to organizations and programs that improve lives in their communities and the state.The foundation, nominated for the award by State Representative Bob Pritchard (R- Sycamore), was presented with a check for $5,000. The money will go towards DeKalb County disaster recovery efforts in Fairdale. The money will assist with the community's rebuilding efforts after being struck with a tornado in April of this year. 
Now that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, its time for ‪#‎GivingTuesday‬ and ‪#‎ILGive‬. #ILGive is a statewide, non-partisan movement to support nonprofit communities in Illinois by increasing individual giving. Last year, they raised over $4 million dollars. This year, over 500 organizations, individuals, and foundations from all over the state have joined the movement to provide creative ways for people in Illinois to give. 

For more information and a list of participating Illinois nonprofits, click here.