Dear Neighbors,

I hope students’ and parents’ return to school has been enjoyable. I am thrilled that we have been able to resume in-person instruction, and I’m happy with the effort to do so safely. There is still time for more school supply donations today and tomorrow for our Back-to-School Drive.

On September 1st, there will be a joint hearing of the Higher Education and Higher Education Appropriations Committees. The hearing will focus on the mental health of Illinois students. Our student’s mental health has suffered because of the pandemic. The intent of this meeting will be to mitigate long-term consequences and improve the general mental health of students. Recently, the two Committees jointly held hearings on the return to campus and trade schools.

Tomorrow, the House and Senate will go back into session to amend the redrawn legislative maps to account for population changes in the 2020 census data, which was recently released. I attended the public hearing held on August 31st in Collinsville regarding redistricting.

If you have any concerns or ideas for what you would like to see in future editions of my newsletter, please visit my website to offer your thoughts.

Best,

Katie Stuart

State Representative 112th

Last week the Governor announced that all teachers, staff, and faculty must be vaccinated in schools for grades K through 12 and in institutions of higher education. If you need to get vaccinated, you can find a clinic here. Additionally, an indoor mask mandate is in effect, which requires that individuals over the age of two must wear a mask indoors.

For Covid-19 related resources, please visit my website for more information.

SCAM WARNING

It has come to my attention that there has been a consumer scam regarding rental property listing. Scammers are using images of local properties that are for sale and using those to create fake rental listings on websites such as Rent.com, craigslist, hotpads.com, etc. I hope to create legislation to combat these scammers. If you have been a victim of this type of scam, here are some ways to report it:

Contact local authorities

        

Women of Distinction

On August 26th, I was honored as part of the Women of Distinction 2021 by the Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) in Alton. It was such an honor to be able to meet amazing people who volunteer their time to fight for racial equality, women’s rights, justice, and freedom for all. Not only do they advocate for the rights of citizens, but they also provide wellness, children enrichment, youth, and women’s empowerment programs. Their organization has lasted 100 years and I hope it lasts another 100 years. 

Redistricting

On August 27th, a redistricting committee held a public hearing on the new legislative district map. The redistricting occurred because the census data showing the population numbers were released. The legislature votes on the new district maps on Tuesday, August 31st. If you would like more information about the changing map please click here.

Back-to-School Drive

We have been hosting the Back-to-School Drive in order to collect school supplies for families and children for the school year. We very much appreciate and thank everyone who has donated thus far. If you are interested in donating, they will be accepted from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm at our office, located at 2105 Vandalia St., Unit #16, Collinsville, IL 62234, and Caseyville Public Library, located at 419 S. 2nd St., Caseyville, IL 62232. We will be collecting supplies until August 31st.

Women’s Issues Community Advisory Council

On Tuesday, September 7 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM I will be hosting a women’s issues advisory Committee. This is an opportunity to come to talk with me about the issues that impact women in our community and my work in Springfield to help improve the lives of women in our community. It will be held at the Edwardsville Public Library which is located at 112 S Kansas St, Edwardsville, IL 62025, USA.

Primetime with Katie

Primetime with Katie is a virtual town hall that will be held on Thursday, September 9th from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm via zoom. Bring you questions or concerns about state and local issues that matter most to you. The zoom link is provided here.

I-Cash

Finally, on Monday, September 13 from 9:00 am to12:00pm, I will partner with the Treasures Office to host an I-Cash event where individuals can come to learn if they have any unclaimed funds and what they need to do to reclaim their unclaimed property. This event will be held at the Collinsville Public Library at 408 W Main St, Collinsville, IL 62234. Masks are required to enter the library.

The Know Before You Owe Education Loan Act (HB 2746) was signed into law on August 20th. The act requires private lenders to confirm with a potential borrower’s school that the student’s tuition, housing, and other costs are not covered by other sources of financial aid. The measure additionally requires colleges and universities to notify students about all of their federal loan eligibility before certifying private loans.

I have sponsored the DFPR-Military Licensing Bill (HB 2776) that was signed into law by the governor on August 16th. This bill amends the current requirements of licensing for military service members and their spouses. If a service member is located in Illinois for their occupation, these revisions require the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) to expedite the licensing applications submitted by military families. The bill revision streamlines the process for military families who want to practice their careers while stationed in Illinois. HB 2776 will be effective January 1st.

In addition, Vet AFF-Services Disclosure (HB 3865) was signed by the governor on August 16th. This bill requires that private companies who advertise military service member’s benefits must disclose that there are benefits available for free through governmental agencies. If you are a veteran or service member who is looking to receive benefits, click here to get more information. HB 3865 will be effective January 1st.

I supported the Education-Tech Bill (SB 818) and it became a public act on August 20th after being signed by the governor. This bill creates a comprehensive personal health and safety education for all school districts, including charter schools, who choose to have a personal health and safety education program. It defines age-appropriate personal health and safety lessons for  Kindergarten through 5th grade. From 6th grade to 12th grade, it has a comprehensive plan for districts that want to have an age-appropriate sexual health education program. It also helps school districts to teach developmentally appropriate consent from 3rd grade through 12th grade. School districts have until July 1st, 2023 to create these programs.

On August 20th, the Student ID- Suicide Prevention Act (HB 1778) was signed into a public act. This bill requires public schools and institutions to add information for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Crisis Text Line, and a local suicide prevention hotline on the back of the student identification cards provided to them.

Email: repkatiestuart@gmail.com

Facebook: Representative Katie Stuart's Facebook

Website: https://repstuart.com

District Office: 2105 Vandalia St. Unit #16, Collinsville, IL 62234

Phone: (618) 365-6650

Hearing directly from residents allows me to focus my efforts and better represent our community to Springfield. If you have questions or comments about state or local issues, upcoming events, or this newsletter, feel free to let me know. You can fill out the survey here. Thank you for all of the support and feedback!