03.08.2021 Farm 1SPRINGFIELD – To benefit Illinois farmers and help reduce the state’s dependence on foreign fuel sources, Senate Agriculture Chair Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) advanced a measure that aims to create a statewide renewable fuel standard which would require biodiesel for transportation fuel beginning in 2024.

“The demand for biodiesel is growing quickly, and it’s important that Illinois keeps up,” Joyce said. “Biodiesel offers environmental and performance benefits, as well as an economic boost for our farmers.”

Senate Bill 2394 is an initiative of the Illinois Soybean Association and would require diesel sold within the state for use in internal combustion engines to be at least 5% biodiesel fuel oil by volume prior to July 1, 2024, and 20% after that. Certain exemptions would be allowed, including for fuel used in locomotives, marine engines and for power generation.

“Transitioning to biodiesel is not only better for the environment—it also puts money back into local farmers’ pockets,” Joyce said. “As we invest in greener technologies, it’s important that we find ways to keep Illinois dollars in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 2394 passed the Senate Agriculture Committee Thursday and awaits further consideration.

Category: Press Releases

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SPRINGFIELD – On Wednesday morning, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) joined a press conference alongside State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), Representative Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) and Illinois State Police Director Brendan Kelly to discuss legislation to modernize Firearms Owner Identification cards in Illinois.

“It’s vital that FOID and concealed carry license applications be processed quickly and efficiently,” Joyce said. “I’m proud to be a co-sponsor on this important legislation so we can help clear the backlog and keep the Illinois State Police moving forward.”
 
Senate Bill 1165, an initiative of the ISP, would create a prohibited persons portal to help law enforcement identify people whose FOID cards have been revoked, create a review board to respond to revocations and denials, and enact other changes to make the application and renewal process more efficient.

Read more: Joyce advocates for legislation to modernize FOID cards at press conference

Category: Press Releases

03162021CM0316SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to address the substitute teacher shortage in Illinois, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) has introduced a bill that would increase the number of hours a retired teacher may work without impairing their retirement status.

“The pandemic has put a strain on the already-shrinking pool of teachers,” Joyce said. “As more school districts transition from remote learning to in-person instruction, some will be faced with challenges in hiring substitute teachers.”

Currently, Illinois law allows retired teachers to substitute teach for up to 120 days or 600 hours without jeopardizing their retirement status. Because retired teachers often return to work as substitute teachers, Joyce’s initiative would create a yearly, rather than lifetime limit: Retired teachers could substitute teach for 100 days or 500 hours each school year beginning July 1, 2023.

“There’s no question that something must change,” Joyce said. “The goal of this legislation is to increase the pool of qualified substitute teachers for school districts while allowing former teachers to maintain their retirement status.”

Senate Bill 1989 passed the Senate Education Committee Tuesday and now goes to the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

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PARK FOREST – A virtual event to raise awareness about mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic will take place Monday, April 19 at 6 p.m., hosted by State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) and State Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago).

“As the pandemic wears on, people are continuing to face mental health challenges,” Joyce said. “Tune in next week to learn about the resources and programs available for folks in our community who may need additional support. Now more than ever, mental health must be a priority.”

Joyce and Sims will join mental health experts George Brassea, a licensed clinical professional counselor at True Heights Treatments, and Stacey Jones, a licensed clinical professional counselor and community domestic violence programmer at Counseling Works, for the event.

Panelists will discuss how the pandemic has affected mental health, as well as warning signs of anxiety and depression. They will also offer tips and share resources to help the community improve their mental health.

Read more: Joyce, Sims to host a virtual mental health discussion

Category: Events

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