Rose Review: April 19th

Opposition Voiced Against Wetland Overregulation 

Ignoring concerns from Illinois’ agriculture community, environmental activists are pushing legislation that would grant the state sweeping authority over private land and trampled on the private property rights of our state citizens.

The bill was proposed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Sackett v. EPA decision, which curtailed overreach by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When it comes to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS), a part of the Federal Clean Water Act, that has been heavily criticized by farmers, homeowners, and landowners because of the broad authority it gave the government over private land.

Senate Bill 771 would give many of the powers the Sackett v. EPA decision took away from the EPA back to the state. The legislation goes even further, creating a new regulatory system at the state level that puts the burden on landowners to hire costly specialists to identify wetlands. It also mandates permits for projects, even on private property, without specifying a timeline – allowing the state to effectively kill projects by not acting on a permit request. Additionally, it allows the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to issue hefty civil penalties of $10,000 per day for violations. 

The legislation has been met with opposition from a broad range of interests, including farmers, business groups, home builders, and energy producers. If passed, it could mean the end of numerous energy projects, raising the cost of energy for our people and costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars in economic development.  Senator Rose, who strongly opposes the legislation, contends that it infringes on property rights and would create yet another burdensome and costly regulatory process for citizens that could potentially harm Illinois’ consumers, and the agriculture, construction, and energy sectors in the long term.

Senate Republicans Introduce Legislation to Reform Prisoner Review Board

In response to a controversial decision made by Governor JB Pritzker’s Prisoner Review Board (PRB) to release a convicted domestic abuser, allegedly leading to the murder of a young boy less than 24 hours later, the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus has introduced reforms aimed at prioritizing victims, depoliticizing the appointment process, and ensuring accountability for decisions made by the board.

Crosetti Brand, a dangerous felon with a history of domestic violence, is accused of stabbing his former girlfriend and killing her son as the boy attempted to defend his pregnant mother from the brutal attack. The incident has sparked outrage and prompted action from Republican leaders.

At a news conference on April 2, Senate Republicans unveiled legislation aimed at reforming the PRB. The proposed reforms include:

  1. Putting Victims First – Requires the Prisoner Review Board to immediately inform a victim of the early release of a prisoner, including following a hearing about whether or not to revoke parole. Mandates yearly training for board members on domestic violence and sexual assault. 
  2. Putting Experience Ahead of Politics – Requires that appointees to the Prisoner Review Board must have at least 20 years of cumulative experience in the criminal justice system.
  3. Increasing Transparency and Holding PRB Accountable – Requires the PRB to written notice publicly available within 24 hours of a decision to release in cases following a final revocation hearing when an individual has violated the conditions of their mandatory supervised release. 

Republican lawmakers also introduced new legislation to increase penalties for violating orders of protection, aiming to provide greater protection for victims of domestic violence. 

Crosetti Brand’s case is just the latest in a string of controversial decisions made by the PRB, which has released numerous convicted murderers and violent offenders under Governor Pritzker’s watch. In recent years, members of the Senate Republican Caucus have raised serious questions about the highly political process the Governor had used to appoint controversial members to the board.  Senate Republicans view this legislation as a first step in the larger process of reforming how the Prisoner Review Board operates.

Sen. Rose Hosts Youth Advisory Council in Springfield

On Wednesday, Senator Rose welcomed high school students from the 51st Senate District to the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield to learn more about the state’s legislative process as part of his Youth Advisory Council (YAC) program.

Sen. Rose’s YAC program allows local high school students to learn more about government through two meetings held each school year. During the fall meeting, students heard from local leaders and had the opportunity to discuss issues important to them. Students got an up-close view of the legislative process. Students were able to visit the Senate and House floor and meet with state leaders, hear from guest speakers, and hold a mock committee hearing.

District Spotlight – Palestine, IL

Mullen’s Dressing Makes Final 4 of “Coolest Thing Made in Illinois”

The Makers Madness tournament is a yearly competition held by the Illinois Manufacturer’s Association to showcase the amazing and wide variety of products made in Illinois. This year, Mullen’s Dressing, made in Palestine, Illinois, reached the final four of the tournament. As one of the finalist companies, Penny Shaw, the current owner of J.D. Mullen Company, and other company officials were invited to the Illinois Governor’s Mansion for a celebratory dinner. To learn more about their story, recipes, and products visit Mullen’s.

Chapin Rose

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