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SPRINGFIELD State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, has filed new legislation to allow working families with a child over age 12 to babysit younger children by lowering the minimum age at which a child can be home without supervision from 14 down to 12. Currently under state law, a child under the age of 14 who is left without supervision for “an unreasonable amount of time” is considered neglected; and a parent or other individual responsible for a child’s welfare can be charged with child abandonment for leaving a minor under the age of 13 without supervision by a responsible person over the age of 14 for a period of 24 hours or more.

“This bill to help protect single and working parents from a harsh state law under which they can be charged with neglect and lose custody of their kids for leaving a minor under the age of 14 home without supervision,” Representative Sosnowski said. “Illinois has by far the most restrictive law of its kind in the nation. My bill would reduce the threshold to children under the age of 12, recognizing that working parents who struggle to afford child care should not live under the fear of losing their kids simply for working hard to support their family.”
ROCKFORD Four local school districts will be awarded school library grants from the State of Illinois, State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, announced today. The grants are from the School Library Grant program administered by the Illinois Secretary of State. The list of area school districts slated to receive grants and the amount of each grant is as follows:

School District                                                                               Community         Grant Amount
Belvidere School District #100                                                   Belvidere             $5,922.75
North Boone CUSD #200                                                            Poplar Grove      $1,192.50
Rockton School District #140                                                     Rockton               $1,101.00
Hononegah Community High School District #207               Rockton               $1,555.50

"School libraries are a cornerstone of a quality education,” Representative Sosnowski said. “Whether in printed or digital form, books play an integral role in a child’s ability to learn and develop his or her own potential. We are proud that four of our local school districts serving students in Boone and Winnebago Counties have earned this grant and will utilize them toward improving school library services.” 

SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, filed new legislation today, House Bill 4227, to even the playing field for non-public schools seeking official recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) in order to be eligible to receive funds through the state’s new School Scholarship Tax Credit Program that took effect on January 1.

"I have been working with private schools throughout the Rockford region over the past several months to prepare for the launch of the new scholarship tax credit program, which brought to my attention the hurdles many face in acquiring state recognition,” Representative Sosnowski said.

“I immediately took action to draft this new bill because it is important to guard against excluding schools and actively support the educational institutions working to gain state recognition. Currently, the process for educational institutions to become certified by the state often takes up to a year or longer. Parents and donors deserve the opportunity to support schools as they undergo the extensive steps for state recognition. It is vital to ensure all schools receive adequate support.”
January is National Blood Donor Month! Consider giving blood, because it saves lives. Every day in the United States, doctors and hospitals use over 36,000 units of red blood, 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma while treating patients. Your donation will make a difference. 

To learn where you can give blood to help people in our community, please click the image below.

Ready or Not, Here They Come!

2018 ushers in over 200 new laws to be enacted in Illinois effective January 1. A short summary highlighting a few of the new laws are below. For additional information on all the new legislation, please click here.

Business Focused: 
House Bill 302; P.A. 100-0543: Finding Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits
Requires insurers to request information sufficient to ensure all benefit or proceeds are appropriately distributed to beneficiaries of a deceased individuals' insurance claim. Prior to the enactment of this legislation, it was the beneficiaries sole-responsibility to seek out and claim the insurance benefits.

House Bill 736; P.A. 100-0347: Small Business Grant Program
The legislation offers public-aid recipients with support and guidance in developing new start-up businesses.

Senate Bill 298; P.A. 100-0207: Consumer Fraud Prices - Services
Allows for the differentiating of service prices based on specific factors, including expertise, the amount of time devoted to the task, and the cost of providing the service. Hair salons, tailors, dry cleaners, and barbershops will be required to publicly post a service price list.