Richwoods Senior Jarvis Phipps makes his first trip to the Senate
On May 16, Jarvis Phipps served as Senator Weaver's Honorary Page for a Day. Jarvis is a senior at Richwoods High School and enjoys reading, writing, and art. Jarvis also loves comics and would love to someday write comic books. Jarvis currently interns for the Peoria Public Works Department and works at Pizza Ranch. He has been with Pizza Ranch for a year and typically walks about 2.5 miles one way to work every day. Jarvis’ managers saw how hardworking, dedicated, and faithful he was, and pooled their money together to buy him a car.
Weaver & Sommer pass bill to help dyslexic students
Parents and teachers could soon get help identifying and assisting children with dyslexia, thanks to legislation filed by State Representative Keith Sommer (R-Morton) and sponsored in the Senate by State Senator Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria). The legislation has now been approved by both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.
“We need to give all students every chance to succeed,” said Weaver. “This legislation will give parents and educators tools to identify and help students with dyslexia.”
House Bill 4369 requires the Illinois State Board of Education to develop materials that will be published as a dyslexia guidance handbook. The book will include guidelines for teachers, parents and guardians on how to identify the various signs of dyslexia, along with proven educational strategies to help improve the students’ academic performance. It will also contain information on other resources and services that are available for dyslexia.
“I think this is a common-sense idea that will provide help to teachers and parents at no charge,” said Weaver. “This is another step in the effort to make sure that all students, regardless of their individual challenges, have the tools they need to build a successful education, career and life.”
House Bill 4369, originated by Rep. Sommer, passed both the Senate and House and is now headed to the Governor for his signature.
“I’d like to thank Representative Sommer for putting together such a good bill and for allowing me to sponsor it in the Senate,” said Weaver.
The legislation is one of several bills sponsored by Sen. Weaver that are aimed at improving the educational opportunities available to students. This year, Weaver has advanced or helped advance a wide variety of educational bills, including plans to boost dual credit programs, internships, and career-focused job training, along with an ongoing effort to help combat the teacher shortage.
Senator Weaver was also able to pass several other bills out of the General Assembly during the week. HB4783 combines the youth hunting and trapping licenses to ease the application process for young sportsmen and women and to make the program easier to manage for the Department of Natural Resources. HB4677 updates the Amusement Ride and Attraction Safety Act to make sure that fees from violations go into the proper fund. HB4883 updates licensure rules for cosmetologists, barbers, and estheticians. HB4911 will help Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Facilities (which are typically small out-patient clinics) to recover unpaid bills. All four of these bills are also headed to the Governor for his signature.
Weaver co-chairs annual prayer breakfast
Lawmakers and other state leaders joined together on the morning of May 16 for the annual Illinois Prayer Breakfast at the Illinois State Capitol Complex. The event was co-chaired by State Senators Chuck Weaver (R-Peoria) and Iris Martinez (D-Chicago).
“This is the time to encourage leaders to remember what’s important and why we are truly here,” said Weaver. “It’s especially important to remember as we enter the contentious last few weeks of session that we should be serving a higher purpose.”
The non-denominational, multi-faith service has been an annual tradition for state leaders since 1963. The event aims to bridge the divisions that exist in government and politics to foster a sense of community and cooperation.
The event invited people to come together and invite people to pray, not for their own agendas, but for God’s wisdom and strength to cope with the challenges of these unique times. The main goal of the Illinois Prayer Breakfast is to find a way back toward unity in the state and to give our constituents a sense of hope.
“It’s amazing to see so many different people come together to share their faith and their calling,” said Weaver. “I hope this event is able to inspire and foster a greater sense of service and collaboration in Springfield.”
Sen. Weaver was especially proud to note that the Peoria area was well represented at the event by lawmakers, speakers and other community leaders who were in attendance. Both Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis and MH Equipment CEO John Wieland hosted tables at the event.
Senator Weaver met with a group of Superintendents who were attending the Illinois High School District Organization's annual conference in Springfield. Topics included the teacher shortage, dual credit opportunities and other legislative proposals.
Senator Weaver recently met with members of his local "Out of School/Jobless Youth and Young Adults" task force, where the best and brightest minds in education & job readiness brainstormed and shared best practices to improve the socio-economic and employment outlook for 16 - 24 yr olds. Senator Weaver would like to thank Katie Kelly for chairing this committee.
Budget negotiations continue
Budget negotiators from both sides of the aisle, and from both chambers, continued work toward a balanced budget this past week. As those negotiations continued, the four legislative leaders met with Governor Rauner all in an attempt to meet the May 31 deadline for passing a budget. Senator Weaver remains opposed to the recent tax hike, and believes that there is no excuse for the state to have an unbalanced budget.