Over the weekend, State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) visited Western Illinois University's annual Farm Expo and spoke to the crowd for what is the largest student-run agriculture show in the United States. (click to enlarge photos)
Senator John M. Sullivan News
Illinois state agencies have taken steps to alleviate this winter's propane shortage.
The shortage is caused by a combination of the unusually long and severe winter, repairs on a major propane pipeline and increased propane use for drying corn and other grains.
To help increase the state's supply of propane, federal and state agencies have waived certain regulations permitting propane truck drivers to haul heavier loads, operate longer hours and bypass meter inspections.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is offering a $1,000 increase in the Low Income Energy Assistance Program to eligible households for purchasing propane.
Likewise, this increased benefit is available to newly eligible applicants that sign up for LIHEAP. Click here for more information on how to apply for LIHEAP.
The department is also temporarily waiving the $75 fee for LIHEAP applicants who use propane for home heating. Information about local LIHEAP administrators can be found here.
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) voted to support the state constitution and protect the retirement benefits of teachers, university personnel and state employees by opposing Senate Bill 1.
The plan to reduce benefits passed both the House and Senate on Tuesday and will become law if the governor signs the bill, which he is expected to do so.
"This proposal has a drastic and negative impact on both current and retired employees, and—I believe—it has serious constitutional issues," Sullivan said. "I understand the enormous need for pension reform, but this isn't it."
The plan slashes cost-of-living adjustments for the retirees, freezes cost-of-living increases for current employees and raises the retirement age of existing employees.
Sullivan said there is a better, fairer way to reduce pension costs. He supported a reform measure this summer, Senate Bill 2404, that saved $50 billion, was a negotiated bill and he believes is constitutional.
"Retirees have planned and saved based on promises from the state. It has to be our job to find equitable solutions without breaking those promises," Sullivan said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we are back here in a year or two voting on a new plan after the courts find this one unconstitutional."
From left: State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rusvhille), Quincy University President Robert Gervais and Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) toured Quincy University on Monday. The three discussed potential investments in infrastructure, upcoming technology improvements and the status of the university. They also viewed a presentation by the university's mock trial team.
SPRINGFIELD – A plan to reinstate Medicaid adult dental benefits recently passed the Illinois State Senate and awaits a vote in the House. State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) is co-sponsoring the legislation, House Bill 1516, which passed with bipartisan support.
"I've heard from individuals, dentists and health care providers about how the lack of dental coverage for adults has negatively impacted our communities by placing additional pressure on hospital emergency rooms." Sullivan said. "So many medical problems stem from improper dental health. By extending these benefits we can increase prevention and significantly improve people's lives."
A law signed in 2012 cut all Medicaid dental coverage except for emergency procedures. The proposed new law reinstates preventive care that includes fillings, crowns, root canals, dentures and teeth extractions.
"When I saw the human cost of the lack of dental services there was no question in my mind that these benefits needed to be reinstated," Sullivan said.
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) is co-sponsoring a plan that allows youths, ages 16 or younger, to hunt when they are supervised by a parent, grandparent or guardian who is 21 or older and holds a valid state hunting license. This legislation, Illinois Youth Hunting License program, recently passed the Illinois Senate with a 57-0 vote.
"The more hunting opportunities we provide to the youth of this state the sooner they will experience the great outdoors, appreciate conservation and become better sportsmen," Sullivan said. "There is a proud tradition of hunting in Illinois and this plan gives families more chances to pass that tradition on to the next generation."
The new license will cost $7 and allows youth hunting throughout the appropriate seasons with a bow, crossbow or firearm. The license can be renewed every year until the minor turns 17. Upon turning 17, they will need to take the hunter safety course and obtain a regular Illinois Hunting License.
This program is based on the success of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' apprentice hunting license program, but it only allowed for a one-time license.
The proposal, Senate Bill 853, passed the Senate without opposition and now moves to the House for consideration.
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Assistant Majority Leader
Years served: 2003 - Present
Committee assignments: Committee of the Whole; Financial Institutions; Higher Education; Appropriations II (Chairperson); Pensions and Investments; Transportation; Deficit Reduction; Trans. Subcommittee on Amendments; Subcomm.on Pension Enhancements.
Biography: Graduate of Quincy College; partner in family auction and real estate business; lives north of Rushville on the family farm with wife, Joan. They have four children: Matthew, Emily, Luke and Mark.