Area legislator assigned to Senate posts

Illinois Senate Republican Committee assignments were announced for the new 101st General Assembly, State Sen. Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, reports.

Fowler highlighted the assignments in a week in review news release for Jan. 21-25.

The legislator also shared news about plans for traveling office hours, warming centers which can provide help in managing bitterly cold weather across the state and noted that tax season has begun. 

Assignment Noted

Fowler has  been named as the Minority Spokesperson for the Commerce and Economic Development Committee in the 101st General Assembly.

“It is a privilege to be able to continue serving as the Minority Spokesperson for the Commerce and Economic Development Committee,” Fowler stated.

“I’m honored to have been chosen for this position and look forward to working with my colleagues to promote economic growth and opportunity throughout the state.”

Fowler has served as the Minority Spokesperson for the Commerce and Economic Development Committee since 2016. 

Fowler will also serve on the Illinois Senate’s Education, Higher Education, Government Accountability and Pensions, Licensed Activities, Insurance and Energy and Public Utilities Committees. 

Traveling Office Hours

On Feb. 1 and Feb. 11, Fowler plans to host traveling office hours for area constituents. 

Fowler urges residents to use this as an opportunity to join him for a discussion about the issues that matter most to those in the District.

 The first traveling office hours event is planned Feb. 1 in McLeansboro.

A second session is scheduled from noon to 2 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Marion City Hall in Marion.

New Legislation Introduced

While the new legislative session had yet to begin in earnest, there were already 75 new legislative measures filed with the Senate.

In the House of Representatives, 484 proposals had been filed for consideration. 

Over the next several months, the legislation will be heard by dozens of committees, in each chamber, before final votes are taken, most of which occur in May, Fowler said.

New legislation is assigned to committees, based on subject matter. Each committee will hold one or more public hearings, hear testimony, for and against the proposals, before taking an initial vote. 

Once a proposal wins committee approval, it moves on to the respective chambers for additional debate and approval. 

The Illinois General Assembly has a detailed explanation of the legislative process on the“How a Bill Becomes a Law” webpage.

Lawmakers were scheduled to return to the State Capitol in Springfield Jan. 29. Senate Committee hearings already were scheduled.

Warming Centers 

Some of the coldest temperatures of the winter season were experienced during the past week or two in Illinois.

Fowler noted that designated warming centers are located throughout Illinois. Warming centers are listed alphabetically, by county, at

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency reports there were 664 cold-related deaths in Illinois from 2008 to 2017.

Income Tax Filing Begins

Both the Illinois Department of Revenue, IDOR, and the federal Internal Revenue Service, IRS, were scheduled to begin accepting 2018 individual income tax filings on Jan. 28.

Illinois taxpayers can file their Forms IL-1040 for free using the IDOR’s website 

Federal income tax filers can use to find the IRS Free File software product that matches their situation.

According to IDOR, state taxpayers can use the state website to make payments, check the status of their Illinois Individual Income Tax refunds using the Where’s My Refund? link, and look up their Illinois-Personal Identification Numbers, amounts of any estimated tax payments they have made, and (when necessary) amounts reported on Form1099-G.

More than 6 million individual Illinois income tax returns were filed in 2018 with 86 percent of them filed electronically. 

IDOR anticipates direct-deposit refunds will be issued approximately four weeks from the time an “error-free, electronically-filed return” is submitted. 

The filing deadline to submit 2018 individual state and federal income tax returns is April 15.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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