Springfield Update!

Rep. Stephens Joined House Republicans in Fighting Human Trafficking Head-on

This week Rep. Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) joined his fellow colleagues Representatives Jeff Keicher (R-Sycamore), Nicole La Ha (R-Homer Glen), and Jennifer Sanalitro (R-Hanover Park) to introduce a package of legislation to combat human trafficking and support victims.

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In addition to HB 5465, which builds on Public Act 103-35 that Rep. Keicher carried through the General Assembly last year and is now law, the legislation proposed today includes:

  • House Bill 5466, introduced by Rep. La Ha, removes the defense of mistaken age for the offense of patronizing a minor engaged in prostitution.
  • House Bill 5467, also from Rep. La Ha, removes the statute of limitations for prosecutions of involuntary servitude, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor, or trafficking in persons and related offenses when the victim is under 18 years of age at the time of the offense.
  • House Bill 5134 from Rep. La Ha requires those convicted of trafficking in persons, involuntary servitude, and involuntary sexual servitude of a minor to register as a sex offender. 
  • House Bill 5468, introduced by Rep. Sanalitro, creates a defense for victims of human trafficking who commit a crime because of being trafficked. The law requires the persons who are harmed to prove they are victims of human trafficking.
  • House Bill 5469, also from Rep. Sanalito, creates the Human Trafficking Order of Protection Act. This Act allows victims of human trafficking to obtain orders of protection against their traffickers. 
  • House Bill 5470, introduced by Rep. Stephens, adds additional language – “patronize” – to involuntary sexual servitude of a minor to ensure buyers are held accountable as sex trafficking offenders.

Rep. Stephens Votes in Favor of Chicago Elected School Board Bill

SPRINGFIELD… State Representative Brad Stephens (R-Rosemont) released the following statement after voting in favor of the Chicago Elected School Board legislation in Springfield.

Rep. Stephens said, “It is important to get this issue out of the hands of the legislators in Springfield and into the hands of the people of each of these districts.”

“While it is not what I had hoped for which was a fully elected school board on day one, however, this begins the process to eventually achieving just that,” said Stephens.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues on legislation to address some issues such as campaign finance restrictions, the eventual redistricting process, and the responsibilities of drawing a map that represents any population shift that may occur. I will also work on any other issues that may arise during this process,” concluded Rep. Stephens.

House Republican Emerging Women Leaders Event!

Last week was another terrific day for our Emerging Women Leaders Event in Springfield! I am honored to recognize Melissa Bukovatz and Joan Buccini, two excellent female leaders from the 20th District who give so much to their communities.

Solar Eclipse Glasses Information

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse is set to pass through Illinois! Our Friends at the Illinois Optometric Association have kindly provided our office with a box of official Solar Eclipse Glasses! Please reach out to our office or stop on in to pick up a pair while supplies last! First come first served.

Also, here is some helpful information from the IOA on how to properly use and maintain your glasses.

  • Always inspect your solar filter before use; if scratched, punctured, torn, or otherwise damaged, discard it. Read and follow any instructions printed on or packaged with the filter.
  • Always supervise children using solar filters.
  • If you normally wear eyeglasses, keep them on. Put your eclipse glasses on over them, or hold your handheld viewer in front of them.
  • Stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer before looking up at the bright Sun. After looking at the Sun, turn away and remove your filter — do not remove it while looking at the Sun.
  • Do not look at the eclipsed, partially eclipsed, or annularly eclipsed Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or other optical device.
  • Similarly, do not look at the Sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device while using your eclipse glasses or handheld solar viewer in front of your eyes — the concentrated solar rays could damage the filter and enter your eyes, causing serious injury.
  • Seek expert advice from an astronomer before using a solar filter with a camera, telescope, binoculars, or any other optical device; note that solar filters must be attached to the front of any telescope, binoculars, camera lens, or other optics.

Manufacturers of hard plastic eclipse glasses often supply a microfiber pouch that you may use to wipe the lenses clean. The same pouch may be used on the lenses of cardboard eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers. You may also wipe them clean with any soft, nonabrasive tissue or cloth; Kimwipes are also suitable, but baby wipes and other wet wipes are not suitable. Cardboard must be kept dry; if it gets wet, it will swell and likely detach from the lenses. Do not use water, glass cleaner, or any other solvents or liquids to clean cardboard eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers.

The ISO 12312-2 standard was based, in part, on decades of experience using welding filters for observing the Sun. A welding filter with a shade number of 12 or higher transmits a safely tiny percentage of the Sun’s light across the spectrum, whether made of tempered glass or metal-coated polycarbonate. Most observers find the view through a shade 12 welding filter uncomfortably bright and the view through a shade 15 or higher-numbered welding filter unattractively dark. The “sweet spot” is shade 13 or 14, which best matches the view in purpose-made eclipse glasses and handheld solar viewers, except that the image is green rather than yellow-orange or white. Shade 13 and 14 welding filters are rarely stocked in welders’ supply stores, though, so you’ll probably have better luck finding them by shopping online. A good source of glass shade 14 welding filters is safesolarviewing.com.

You should not use adjustable and/or auto-darkening welding helmets or similar products to view the Sun. Many don’t go as dark as shade 13 or 14, and even those that do post a grave risk to your eyesight, either because you accidentally adjust them to an unsafe setting or because they don’t auto-darken fast enough when you look at the Sun with them.

A solar eclipse is one of nature’s grandest spectacles. By following these simple rules, you can safely enjoy the view and be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime.