JoyceSPRINGFIELD – A comprehensive proposal by State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) aimed at eliminating Illinois’ teacher shortage was signed into law Friday.

“This new law offers additional strategies to address the ongoing teacher shortage,” Joyce said. “I have supported a host of measures throughout the last three years that have led to the teacher workforce in Illinois to continue to grow year-over-year.”

Joyce’s initiative will increase the amount of days substitute teachers can stay in the classroom from 90 days to 120. This law helps keep long-term substitute teachers in the same classroom, instead of having to teach lessons they are less familiar with after 90 days. This also prevents subs from having to move around to a different school district after 90 days, and allows for comfortability and familiarity with students.

This Joyce initiative combined with other strategies passed in previous years, which include raising the minimum wage for teachers to $40,000 per year and increasing funding for teacher preparation programs, aim to alleviate the teacher shortage felt across the nation.

“In order to address the teacher shortage, we need to keep student’s needs in mind,” Joyce said. “This law will allows substitutes to stay in the same classroom for longer, giving students more consistency.”

The legislation – Senate Bill 3893 – was signed into law Friday and takes effect immediately.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Patrick JoyceSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) passed a measure in the Illinois Senate on Wednesday that incentivizes the use of biodiesel.

“Incentivizing use of higher biodiesel blends helps the Illinois economy by increasing soybean demand while supporting a cleaner-burning fuel for the environment” Joyce said. “Putting Illinois on a path towards more biodiesel usage is good for the environment, Illinois farmers and our economy.”

Under current law, diesel blends of over 10% biodiesel (B11) are exempt from all sales taxes until Dec. 31, 2023. Joyce passed Senate Bill 1146, which would exempt proceeds of sales of biodiesel and renewable diesel from sales tax.

This legislation increases the threshold that biodiesel blend levels need to be above in order to qualify for the incentive to B20 by April 1, 2026. The qualifying blend levels will gradually increase to B14 in 2024 and B17 in 2025 before reaching B20 in 2026.

“This legislation will not only help Illinois fight the effects of climate change, but also support the over 43,000 soybean producers of our great state,” said Steve Pitstick, Chairperson of the Illinois Soybean Association.

Senate Bill 1146 passed the full Senate and awaits further consideration in the House.

Category: Press Releases

Joyce Sensible Cuts to RegulationSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) advanced a measure on Thursday to potentially save the Illinois Commerce Commission thousands of dollars, on a cost typically passed on to ratepayers.

“This is common sense legislation that will save money,” said Joyce. “I will continue to find ways to reduce government spending.” 

Under current law, the Illinois Commerce Commission is required to notify landowners via registered mail when a utility has applied for a certificate of public convenience and necessity to construct a high voltage electric service line across the landowner's property. Registered mail costs start at $13.75.

This legislation requires the ICC to provide a landowner notice via certified mail, rather than registered mail, of a utility's plan to construct a high voltage electric service line across their property. The cost of certified mail starts at $3.75.

“Certified mail is a commonly accepted practice to provide notice in the business world, and I don’t see any good reason why we wouldn’t make this change.” 

HB 4383 advanced through Senate Energy and Public Utilities and awaits further consideration before the full Senate.

Category: Press Releases

Senator Joyce FFASPRINGFIELD – Future Farmers of America chapters across Illinois could soon see more financial assistance thanks to grants that would be paid out through the Future Farmers of America Fund created through a measure championed by State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex).

“As lifetime FFA member myself, I am proud to champion legislation that has full support across the board,” said Joyce. “FFA taught me so many valuable lessons that I still hold and apply to my life as a farmer and state senator – and I want to provide those same opportunities for other students across our state.”

House Bill 5400 also allows the Illinois Secretary of State to issue FFA universal specialty license plates. The funds collected from the distribution of the decals will then go into the Future Farmers of America Fund. Anyone can apply for and be issued one of the plates for an additional $25 to their standard vehicle registration fee. For the original issuance, $10 will go to the FFA Fund, and for renewals $23 will go to the fund.

“The Future Farmers of America Fund will provide even more access to ag education,” said Joyce.

Supporters of the legislation include the Illinois Association of FFA, Illinois Soybean Association, Illinois Farm Bureau and Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers.

HB 5400 passed the Senate Transportation Committee in a unanimous vote and heads to the full Senate for further consideration. 

Category: Press Releases

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