OpEd: Senator Patrick Joyce (July 2022) (Park Forest, IL) — Across our region in these dog days of summer, one word keeps coming to the forefront: relief.
I see kids out with lemonade stands and playing in pools and under sprinklers to beat the heat. Farmers are out checking their fields and hoping for some rain to avoid the devastating effects of drought on their prized crops. Consumers are looking everywhere to save a few bucks against the relentless wave of inflation.
I have worked hard these last few months to help provide relief, both in Springfield and around the district.
I strongly supported the Illinois Family Relief Plan in the spring legislative session, and families are starting to see the benefits these past few weeks. The plan provides nearly $2 billion statewide in tax cuts and direct payments. You’re saving on your grocery, gas and property tax bills. Families who need it most are taking advantage of direct checks and an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit. And in August, a 10-days sales tax holiday on school supplies will help families get ready for classrooms to open.
We have been smart about using our federal pandemic relief dollars to hold the line on spending and create the opportunity to help families during these tough times. We have more work to do, but this is real relief and I know families in the 40th Senate district can use it.
Drug addiction is a scourge on our communities. We cannot ignore this problem – we have to be take it head on. I supported legislation to provide relief from the pressures of drug addiction through a new statewide drug take-back program for prescription drugs, more support to hire professionals to help those with addiction and mental health issues, and access to lifesaving medications for those struggling with opioid abuse.
I invited University Park residents to a Water Bill Relief Fair, where local families struggling to pay their bills or facing disconnection could get up to $1,500 in assistance.
Our local school districts are getting some much-needed relief in the form of School Maintenance Grants. Schools throughout the 40th District will get $800,000 to improve the physical condition of the school buildings, which really is an investment in the educators and students who work together there.
My office is doing its part to provide relief. We had a good turnout locally for our Mobile Office Hours in Kankakee, with the Illinois Secretary of State’s office for a Mobile Secretary of State Event in New Lenox on July 15, and our latest Coffee, Conversation and Constituent Services event a day later. Local constituents were able to get assistance on a number of issues, including with drivers’ licenses and state IDs. As long as I am in office, we will make bringing critical services to you a top priority.
Look for more in the coming months on my local visits and ways we are working to deliver for the 40th District. 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 (July 2022)