Rose Review: May 21st

CTU’s Day Off

Hypocrisy was on full display as hundreds of members of the Chicago Teacher’s Union (CTU) took a taxpayer-funded day off at the Capitol May 15 to demand $1 billion more in state funding for Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

This “day off”, forced the district to spend significant taxpayer dollars on substitute teachers, while also paying salaries of the CTU members who traveled to Springfield. Republican lawmakers held a press conference to highlight the CTU’s hypocrisy.

Senator Rose noted that for many years CPS has received a disproportionate share of the state’s education resources through special carve-outs and unique grants, such as hundreds of millions from the Chicago Block Grant that was written into the CPS base funding.

Republican lawmakers also hit on the fact that in a tight budget year for the State of Illinois, the demands made by the Chicago Mayor and the CTU members are tone-deaf to the fiscal realities Illinois faces in crafting the Fiscal Year 2025 budget. Members of the Senate Republican Caucus say they will continue to stand up for taxpayers as well as provide equal funding for schools throughout Illinois.

“I don’t represent Chicago,” said Sen. Rose. “I am here to represent the local school kids, teachers, and parents in the 51st Senate District. These CTU members and teachers are beyond hypocrites, given the special sweetheart deals they’ve gotten, to come down here and demand more money that comes at the expense of the kids I represent”.

Legislation to Save Money on Local Road Projects and Improve Government Transparency Advances

The General Assembly has passed legislation to require Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) road studies on traffic and environmental impact to be made public, which could potentially provide savings on local projects while improving transparency on state decisions.

House Bill 5138, sponsored by State Senator Jason Plummer, specifically requires that IDOT make public any study or survey that concerns traffic or the environmental impact of road construction projects.

The legislation passed the Senate on May 16 and now heads to the Governor.

New Legislation Enhancing Roadway Safety Advances

A new bill introduced to reduce the risk of accidents and protect tow truck operators and emergency responders has advanced in the Senate.

House Bill 4255, sponsored by State Senator Erica Harriss, aims to enhance roadway safety in Illinois by allowing the use of green lights on specified vehicles, including tow trucks, fire department, and police vehicles, when at an emergency scene. 

The proposal seeks to address safety concerns highlighted by the tragic loss of a tow truck operator who was struck and killed in a roadway accident while on the job last year. The proposed change would improve visibility for motorists approaching stopped or parked emergency vehicles, particularly during daylight hours, and encourage motorists to slow down near emergency vehicles. 

Passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, House Bill 4255 will now advance to the Governor’s desk for further consideration. 

Illinois Pays Tribute to Fallen Firefighters in Annual Memorial Ceremony

State leaders gathered in Springfield on May 14 to attend the 31st Annual Fallen Firefighter Memorial and Medal of Honor Ceremony. 

The service and ceremony were held at the Bank of Springfield Center, bringing together scores of firefighters from across Illinois to honor and remember their fallen brothers and sisters.

This occasion included a tribute to five Illinois firefighters who died in the line of duty last year: 

  • Chicago Firefighter/EMT Jermaine Pelt
  • Chicago Fire Lt. Jan Tchoryk 
  • Chicago Fire Lt. Kevin Ward
  • Chicago Firefighter/EMT Andrew “Drew” Price
  • And Maroa Countryside Fire Protection District Chief Larry Peasley

Another 12 firefighters from around the state were honored with medals of honor or valor for acts of outstanding bravery.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, the toll on firefighters’ lives continues to rise, with 25 casualties recorded already this year in the United States. Among them was an Aurora firefighter who tragically lost their life in the line of duty just last month. 

Spring Planting Trails Behind Last Year Amidst Seed Inventory Concerns

Spring planting in Illinois is well under way but is currently trailing last year’s pace. However, farmers were able to make recent headway thanks to a spell of dry weather and average soil temperatures. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Illinois farmers have so far planted 42% of their corn acres and 39% of their soybean acres. That’s far behind where they were at the same time last year, when the Illinois corn crop was 81% planted and soybeans were at 74% planted. 

In 2023, Illinois led the nation in soybean production, yielding nearly 649 million bushels and ranked second in corn production, producing more than 2.27 billion bushels of corn. 

Farmers will continue to be on the roadways in the coming weeks, as they finish planting season. Drivers should be aware that most agriculture equipment will be travelling much more slowly than car traffic. 

Chapin Rose

Want to stay up to date with your Senator?

Sign up for the District E-Newsletter below: