In this issue:
- Secretary of State urging Illinoisans to use online services
- Energy advisory committee meeting
- Illinois a hub for hydrogen projects
- National School Choice Week
Secretary of State urging Illinoisans to use online services
The Secretary of State’s office has announced expanded online services for its “Skip the Line, Do it Online” program to reduce long waits at drivers services facilities.
A website portal now helps Illinois motorists determine which services they need and what the necessary steps are. When a visit to a driver services facility is necessary, appointments can be made online. The appointment-holder will receive a text message reminder of the appointment.
So far, the Secretary of State’s office has handled 800,000 transactions through the appointment system, which means little to no wait time for those in need of services from the agency.
Illinois has 2.25 million motorists who will need to renew their licenses this year, but the Secretary of State estimates that as many as one million could do the renewal online, via mail or over the phone. The same is true for 10 million vehicle registration renewals.
You can find out more about Secretary of State services, and whether or not you will need to visit a facility in person to access them, at the Secretary’s website, ilsos.gov.
Energy advisory committee meeting
A few days ago I met with my Energy Advisory Committee, made up of a diverse group of energy producers from around our district. Some of the topics that were discussed were the companies’ current and future projects, carbon sequestration and House Bill 4422 which is a bill that I recently introduced bringing back local control for wind and solar.
I am very blessed that I have so many great knowledgeable energy contacts in my district!
Illinois a hub for hydrogen projects
One emerging energy project in our area is the Midwest Hydrogen Hub near LaSalle. Illinois, along with Indiana and Michigan, recently received a $1 billion grant from the federal Department of Energy for this hydrogen project which is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by nearly four million metric tons each year. The three-state project is estimated to create more than 12,000 construction jobs and 1500 permanent jobs, some of them in our area.
The energy firm Constellation is planning to use a portion of the funding for the Hydrogen Hub to build a clean energy hydrogen production facility at its LaSalle Clean Energy Center just to the north of our district. The company expects the project, when completed, to “produce an estimated 33,450 tons of clean hydrogen each year and create thousands of good-paying jobs.”
The Midwest Alliance, which includes Illinois and its other regional partners, will combine resources and expertise for the purpose of producing and distributing clean hydrogen energy at scale. Hydrogen can be used for such purposes as power generation, refining, transportation and aviation fuel. It is estimated that hydrogen use in these and other sectors could be equivalent to removing the emissions of more than 867,000 gasoline-fueled cars.
This is National School Choice Week
National School Choice Week reminds us of the importance of school choice programs in Illinois. All children in Illinois deserve the best possible education and school choice programs like Invest in Kids help students succeed. The quality of a student’s education should never be determined by their zip code!
Sliding into Odell and Minooka
We “slid” around the 106th District on Monday to attend our Traveling Office Hours events in Odell and Minooka. We didn’t have many constituents (as we shouldn’t with the road conditions) but did have a fantastic time with the folks from the City of Minooka.
Thank you for your time and willingness to serve the people of your great city.
Our current bill backlog
When a vendor provides the state with goods and services, they submit the bill to the Illinois Comptroller for payment. The Comptroller processes the paperwork and pays the bill when funds are available in the state’s checking account. Currently the total amount of unpaid bills is $1,108,931,693. This figure changes daily. Last year at this time the state had $1.8 billion in bills awaiting payment. This only includes bills submitted to the Comptroller for payment, not unfunded debts like the state’s pension liability, which is well over $100 billion.