State senator notes expansion of youth hunting opportunities available in Illinois

This program will help grow the next generation of hunters and give them an opportunity to develop important safety practices early,”

Young and aspiring hunters across Illinois will now have more chances to successfully bring home some venison, as part of an expansion of youth hunting thanks to legislation co-sponsored by State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo, and signed into law Aug. 23 by Gov. JB Pritzker. 

“This program will help grow the next generation of hunters and give them an opportunity to develop important safety practices early,” Schimpf said in an Aug. 26 weekly review of his activities.

“Increasing the number of hunters will help maintain the state deer herd and generate economic activity across Illinois.”

House Bill 3623 would create a pilot program that expands the existing three-day, youth-only hunting season statewide. 

The bill also would allow youth to be able to obtain the existing, non-renewable, apprentice hunting permits in multiple years. 

Apprentice licenses expire after one season, and previous law did not allow for youth hunters to obtain them multiple times.

The legislation was signed into law by the governor at a ceremony at the World Shooting and Recreation Complex in Sparta.

“One of the greatest elements of this facility is the opportunity it provides our young people to enjoy outdoor sports and recreation, whether it’s shooting disciplines, fishing or camping,” Pritzker said.

“I’m here today because I want to emphasize that it ought to be easier for our youth to enjoy all the outdoor recreation our state has to offer. 

“The Illinois hunting community asked for these changes, and we listened because I believe that expanding hunting opportunities will have a positive ripple effect on places like Sparta, where people come to hone their skills.”

Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking System Bill Signed into Law 

Schimpf reported that a new law providing survivors of sexual assault more transparency during the processing of their rape kits was signed into law on Aug. 16. 

The new law came out of the work of the Sexual Assault Evidence Tracking and Reporting Commission and requires the Illinois State Police to establish a statewide sexual assault electronic tracking system. The new system must be operational no later than one year after becoming law.  

The new tracking system addresses concerns that Illinois lacked a uniform system across law enforcement agencies to track sexual assault evidence. 

Under the new law, survivors will be able to access real-time updates about the status of rape kits, providing vital transparency to the process of investigating these serious crimes.  

Senate Bill 1411/PA 101-0377 passed the Senate unanimously.

License Plate Decal that Funds Pediatric Cancer Research to be Available to the Public

Illinois motorists will have the opportunity to support pediatric cancer research thanks to a newly signed law. 

Senate Bill 946/PA 101-0372 allows the Illinois Department of Human Services to issue a decal for pediatric cancer awareness.  

Funds from the sale of the decals will go to the University of Illinois’ Cancer Center for pediatric cancer research. 

The decals will have an original issuance fee of $25 with $10 directed to the Pediatric Cancer Awareness Fund and $15 to the Secretary of State Special License Plate Fund.  

The renewal fee shall be $25 with $23 directed to the Pediatric Cancer Awareness Fund and $2 to the Secretary of State Special License Plate Fund. 

This legislation was introduced in memory of Jonny Wade of Jerseyville, who died from cancer at the age of 8. 

State Police Warn Motorists to be Aware as School Begins

Schimpf also noted that as students across Illinois headed back to school, the Illinois State Police are reminding the public to be aware of school buses, crosswalks, and children walking or riding their bikes to school.  

Back to school is a good time for motorists to brush up on school zone traffic laws, and to avoid distracted driving. 

In school zones, the speed limit is 20 miles per hour from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on school days when children are present.  

Pedestrians have the right-of-way in a crosswalk, and when a school bus is stopped with its lights activated and stop sign extended, drivers must stop their vehicle before reaching the bus or they could face a $150 fine and a three-month driver’s license suspension. 

Drivers are also reminded that under a new law that took effect on July 1, Illinois now has stiffer penalties regarding the use of hand-held devices behind the wheel. 

First-time incidents of driving while operating a handheld mobile device now count as a moving violation and a driver using a hand-held device while a car is in drive could face a $75 fine. 

The Gazette-Democrat

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

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