OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (August 2023)

Senator Patrick Joyce


OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (August 2023) (Essex, IL) — As we finish the summer, I am reminded of the privilege we have here to be surrounded by opportunities to make a living from and enjoy the outdoors.

Bloom Twp Senior Wheels

I am proud of a new law I pushed this year in House Bill 3677 that will streamline the process to get hunting, fishing, trapping and sportsmen licenses. Illinois law right now requires those licenses to be renewed each year, but this new law will ease the burden and extend the license for three years at the same cost if you renewed it each year for those years.

This provides convenience for recreation and encourages more people to help with the conservation that is important to our region. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2024.

Another important new law I championed this year is through Senate Bill 850, which helps fight the growing problem of food deserts. Affordable food should be available to all communities and rural areas, and this law will help support more grocery stores to provide healthier options for all.

Agriculture is an important part of my life, as I have written about in this space before. I have enjoyed visiting with many people at our local county fairs, including the auction at the Kankakee County Fair earlier this month. Congratulations to Lillian Unger, a Kankakee County native whose Grand Champion Market Lamb sold for $11,000 at the Illinois State Fair. I am encouraged to see the hard work and perseverance of our young people to raise animals and learn what it takes to be successful on our farms.

I joined State Agriculture Director Jerry Costello at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds for an agriculture roundtable about the growing hemp industry, and followed that up with a good discussion with area legislators at the Will County Farm Bureau’s Legislative Barn Meeting. These discussions ensure we can keep everyone updated on our policy debates in Springfield and stay connected to the important issues facing this industry.

National Night Out is an excellent opportunity for our communities to connect with the law enforcement officers who protect and serve us. My team helped hand out school supplies and with concessions at six local events, and it was great to see everyone building stronger relationships.

Prairie State College

The Village of Braceville will receive a $650,000 grant through the Community Development Block Grants for housing rehabilitation. More than $200,000 in Back to Business grants through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is coming back to help restaurants in the 40th District as we continue to recover from the pandemic.

Four local libraries will receive nearly $170,000 to expand their essential services to the public, including helping middle school students with engineering and coding skills. Prairie State College, Kankakee Community College, Bradley Public Library, and Bourbonnais Public Library will receive the grant funds.

As we finish the period for bills to be signed into law, you can see the legislation I sponsored at the Illinois General Assembly website: https://ilga.gov/senate/SenatorBills.asp?MemberID=3164&Primary=True.

I urge you to contact me anytime I can help: 708-756-0882, or at http://www.senatorpatrickjoyce.com/. I will continue to share the latest news on my website and on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/senPatrickjoyce40/.

Sen. Patrick Joyce
D-Essex, 40th State Senate District

OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (August 2023)

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