Legislative News from Rep. Tom Weber

COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations Hitting Nearby Counties on Friday

As you may have heard, heightened COVID-19 mitigations are taking effect in Southern Illinois’ Region 5 on Thursday, and in suburban Kane and DuPage Counties (Region 8) and Will and Kankakee Counties (Region 7) on Friday. In each case, heightened mitigation strategies were triggered when the regions posted three consecutive days of COVID-19 positivity rates that were above 8%. Our Region 9, which includes McHenry and Lake Counties, are seeing positivity rates climb as well, and if current trends for our region continue, we will be facing resurgence mitigations as soon as next week. When you look at the chart above for Region 9, it is the far-right column that is causing concern. Those positivity numbers are headed in the wrong direction. We need to do whatever we can to reverse that trend and prevent mitigations from coming to our area. Our businesses can’t handle another shut-down.

Public Input Sought for Long-Term Fox River Management

McHenry County, the City of McHenry, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning are studying an 8-mile stretch of the Fox River, and are seeking public input on a plan that would balance business, environmental protection and transportation in the area. The 8-mile stretch currently being studied stretches from North Chapel Hill Road in Johnsburg, and the area heading south to Burtons Bridge at IL Route 176. The area includes portions of McHenry, Johnsburg, Holiday Hills, Prairie Grove and unincorporated Burtons Bridge. Additional information is available here, and you can take the public input survey by clicking here.

Expanded Early Voting Begins on October 19 Across Illinois

For the last 3 ½ weeks, early voting has been limited to county clerks’ offices, but this week additional early voting locations opened throughout each county. For those living in the 64th House District, there are several locations offering early voting between now and November 2. Times differ between locations, so please check dates and times for the location that is most convenient for you. Of course, you are always welcome to vote in person on Election Day, vote absentee, or vote using a vote by mail ballot. Information for all voting is available on county clerk web sites. For our area:

Director of Illinois State Police reports to General Assembly Panel on FOID Card and CCL Delays
My office hears regularly from law-abiding constituents who sent in all required documents for a FOID or CCL months ago and have not yet heard back. These delays and backlogs have been a longstanding problem. The State Police is blaming a time-and-resources crunch created by the COVID-19 pandemic and a surge in demand for increased access to firearms. This issue was heard at a public hearing last week held by the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), which has oversight powers over the State Police’s administrative policies put into place to issue FOID cards and CCL licenses. Lawmakers told spokespersons for the State Police that the current situation is highly unsatisfactory. Director Kelly also asked the General Assembly for increased resources and personnel to deal with the surge in FOID and CCL applications. The request was made during a teleconference meeting of the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission (RICC), the coronavirus oversight panel of the Illinois General Assembly.   

Open Burning Allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays in Unincorporated Lake Co. through Dec. 31
Residents living in unincorporated Lake County can take advantage of open burning opportunities on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through the end of the year. Leaves and other brush may be burned from sunrise to sunset on these days.

The following rules apply:

  • Burning must take place at least 500 feet from the nearest habitable structure
  • All fires must be attended and there must be an extinguishing device immediately available, such as a hose with running water
  • Recreational fires that are not larger than 3ft x 3 ft x 3 ft that are used for warming, cooking or other recreational purposes are still permitted 7 days per week
  • Residents may NOT burn garbage, refuse or construction materials

To report an open burning violation, residents can call the Lake County Open Burning Hotline at 847-377-2999. When calling to report a violation, provide the address. For more information on the open burning modifications and alternatives to burning yard waste in unincorporated Lake County, please visit lakecountyil.gov/openburning