Immediately upon ringing in the New Year, 253 new laws will become effective in 2019 that have wide ranging impact. Here are few of those laws families should know about:

  • Children under the age of 2 years old must be restrained in rear facing car seats unless they weigh 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall. (PA100-0672)
  • Every Illinois school will be required to conduct at least one law-enforcement led active shooter drill a year. School safety drills must be conducted within 90 days of the start of the school year. (PA100-0996)
  • Nursing mothers upon request will be exempt from jury duty. (PA100-0696)
  • Stalking laws expanded to include messages sent through social media. Additionally, businesses, places of worship and schools can seek restraining orders against stalkers.
  • The Lyme Disease Prevention and Protection Act was enacted opening the door in Illinois for new treatments for Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases. (PA100-1137)
  • All children in kindergarten and the second, sixth, and ninth grades of any public, private or parochial school shall have a dental examination. (PA100-829)

Illinois’ motor fuel tax on gasoline is 19 cents per gallon and hasn’t been raised since 1990. All revenue from the tax goes to the Motor Fuel Tax Fund. In Fiscal Year 2017, $1.35 billion in State revenue was collected (approximately the same amount as was raised in FY16). 

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently proposed raising the gas tax by 20 to 30 cents per gallon to fund a new Capital program and infrastructure improvements. That would more than double the current 19 cent per gallon State gas tax.

Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn has also called for an increase in the State gas tax by at least 15 cents per gallon.

Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker on December 12 did not dismiss the possibility of a gas tax hike to help pay for rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, but he also cautioned that a major construction program won’t come quickly when his administration begins in January.

Pritzker also said a capital program and money to pay for it isn’t something the lame-duck legislature should pursue when it returns to Springfield on January 7.
Winners have been announced for the 5th Annual 69th District Photo Challenge Contest sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford. The contest is offered each year to give Stateline area residents an opportunity to share their interest in photography with the public. Photo submissions can be of nature, architecture, or daily life in Illinois’ 69th District, which includes portions of Boone and Winnebago Counties. 

Winners have their photos displayed in Springfield for one year at Representative Sosnowski’s office in the Capitol Complex. This year’s winners are:

Sharon Thomas
Photo of Belvidere Park, Belvidere, IL

Elizabeth Carville

Photo of Espenscheid Forest Preserve, Cherry Valley, IL
Rasha Abdullah
Photo of Belvidere Park, Belvidere, IL 
“Our annual photo challenge is a way to celebrate life and nature around the Stateline and recognize the talents of local residents who have a passion for photography,” Representative Sosnowski said. “I would like to congratulate this year’s winners and thank everyone who submitted their outstanding photos.”

For questions or more information, please contact Representative Sosnowski’s District Office at (815) 547-3436.
Today I had the opportunity to stop by and talk with Rockford Christian third graders on how government works in Illinois. Had some great questions and enjoyed speaking with all the students!

By Joe Sosnowski
State Representative, 69th District

Illinois is facing a mammoth pension crisis. The credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service released a report showing that Illinois’ unfunded pension liability has reached a staggering $250 billion. Put in perspective, that’s $19,531.25 in debt for every man, woman, and child in Illinois. This crisis threatens the retirement security of workers who have played by the rules and paid in their fair share over the years; and it threatens every Illinois taxpayer who is on the hook for somehow, some way, bailing the state out of a disaster decades in the making. Previous Governors, Democrat and Republican share in the blame for how we got here. However, finger-pointing doesn’t solve the problem or help us achieve a solution. 

Illinois can find a solution by looking at Arizona. Last month, Arizona voters approved a referendum to amend the state’s constitution in a way that will allow for needed reform to two of their major pension systems, following on the heels of a similar proposition they approved two years ago impacting just one pension system.  The voter-approved Arizona referendum is primarily aimed at reasonable reductions in annual cost-of-living increases (COLA). Instead of an automatic 4% annual increase, Arizona has adjusted the COLA to stay in line with the economy by tying it to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This is a common-sense reform that Illinois would benefit from. Pairing this reform with a cap on maximum pension payouts (one proposal would cap pension benefits at $106K per year) would provide substantial savings to Illinois taxpayers on an annual basis while still ensuring a secure retirement for pensioners.
Rep. Joe Sosnowski
ROCKFORD State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, is reminding local school districts in Winnebago and Boone Counties that they can apply for a Property Tax Relief grant provided by the Illinois State Board of Education from now through the application deadline of January 7, 2019.

​Beginning this year, the State Board will provide up to $50 million in property tax relief grants to eligible school districts.  Eligible districts are those that exceed a threshold tax rate and that agree to abate a portion of taxes, up to a statutory limit, in the coming tax cycle.  In return, qualifying districts receive a state grant in an amount that is a proportion of the tax relief provided.

“Strengthening our commitment to K-12 education while finding responsible ways to lessen the local property tax burden continue to be among my top priorities,” Representative Sosnowski said. “I am pleased that the FY 19 state budget includes this new property tax relief grant that eligible local school districts can take advantage of.”

Eligible districts are determined based on cumulative data submitted by school districts that apply for the grant. That data forms the basis of what is termed the “Unit Equivalent Tax Rate”. Grants are awarded in order of the highest Unit Equivalent Tax Rate among grant applicants.

The application form and additional information is available online at  

# # #

State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, was honored to accept the Illinois Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR "Friend of Agriculture" award presented by Winnebago County Farm Bureau President Richard Beuth in recognition of Sosnowski's consistent voting record in support of Illinois' agricultural industry.

Thank you to Heritage Woods of Belvidere for asking me to meet with your residents and opening your doors to local community members to attend my State of the State Update. I appreciate how your facility actively engages in forums. Again, thank you for all you do. 

Wirepoints Special Report

By: Ted Dabrowski and John Klingner
Listen to education officials’ demands for more money and it’s easy to believe Illinois grossly underspends on K-12 education. A $7.2 billion funding lawsuit to double state contributions to classroom spending, a $40,000 minimum wage demand for teachers, and lawmakers’ rejection of limits to school district borrowing might bolster that impression.
But the truth is Illinois already spends a lot on education – more than any other state in the Midwest. It’s just that much of the money is going to all the wrong places.
At $14,180 per student, Illinois spends far more than its neighbors on education – 44 percent more on a per student basis than Kentucky and Indiana, 22 percent more than Michigan and 21 percent more than the national average.
The problem arises when all those dollars are doled out. Billions of dollars are being siphoned away from the poorest districts by the state’s burgeoning education bureaucracy...
ROCKFORD – The Illinois Chamber of Commerce today named State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, a “Champion of Free Enterprise” for his voting record during the 2017-2018 legislative session. The Illinois Chamber’s Legislative Ratings tracks votes important to the state’s business community and grades legislators based on their support of pro-business issues during the two-year legislative session.

Among bills included in the report are the 32% tax increase, proposed red tape for call center operators, an electricity rate increase, expensive regulations to internet website operators, a $15 an hour minimum wage, a gross receipts tax on investment management services, and fake workers’ compensation reform.  However, not all was bad.  The Chamber included votes on legislation that will bring Illinois to the forefront of 5G internet, state preemption of autonomous vehicles, comprehensive procurement reform, and renewing the state’s vital EDGE tax credit.
By Joe Sosnowski
State Representative, 69th District

The line between parental discretion and the heavy hand of government intrusion has grown increasingly blurred, as evidenced by the recent case reported on by the Chicago Tribune about a Wilmette mom who was investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for letting her 8 year-old daughter walk the family dog around the block. Investigators interviewed the family pediatrician and interrogated the young girl herself before concluding no charges would be filed against the mom.

The Tribune has highlighted numerous other specific cases where routine day-to-day parenting decisions triggered inquiries by local police and/or DCFS investigations. The amount of time and taxpayer resources expended on these baseless and unwarranted inquiries is absurd. Legitimate fears about human trafficking and child abductions have heightened to the point where, among too many people, fear has overtaken common-sense when it comes to interfering with how a parent raises their child.
State Rep. Joe Sosnowski hosted a coffee talk with constituents at Ned's Diner in Belvidere on Thursday to discuss state issues and recap the spring legislative session and state budget.

Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford
SPRINGFIELD Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation on Monday to make achieving a high school diploma more attainable for students who are struggling academically or those who have truancy issues.  

Prior to the signing of this law, an Illinois school or school district could deny enrollment to a student 17 years of age or older for one semester for failure to meet minimum academic standards, under certain conditions.  The new law, Public Act 100-0825, removes those provisions from state law. The bill was introduced and sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford.

The law also raises the standard for addressing students with school attendance issues by providing that a truant minor may not be expelled for nonattendance unless he or she has accrued 15 consecutive days of absences without valid cause and the student cannot be located by the school district; or the school district has located the student but cannot, after exhausting all available support services, compel the student to return to school.

BELVIDERELocal residents with questions or concerns on issues impacting the State of Illinois are invited to attend an early morning “Coffee Talk with Joe” hosted by State Representative Joe Sosnowski in Belvidere on Thursday, August 16.  The coffee talk is open to the public. All are welcome. Coffee will be provided courtesy of Representative Sosnowski. Details for the coffee talk are as follows:  

Coffee Talk With Joe
Thursday, August 16, 2018
7:30 am to 8:30 am
Ned’s Restaurant
2132 Business Route 20
Belvidere, IL 61008

“Coffee talks are a valuable opportunity for me to have conversations with local residents one-on-one,” Representative Sosnowski said. “I encourage everyone who has questions, comments or concerns about state issues to come make their voice heard at my coffee talk in Belvidere.”

Constituents who are unable to attend the coffee talk but still wish to provide feedback to Representative Sosnowski can do so online by visiting and clicking “Contact” on the homepage menu, or by calling the District Office in Rockford at (815) 547-3436.


Rep. Joe Sosnowski enjoys meeting constituents and local families at the annual Boone County Fair in Belvidere. Rep. Sosnowski and his staff have a booth in Exhibit Hall #1 open from 10am - 9pm each day of the Fair. Stop by and say hello to us!

CHICAGO Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation on Friday strengthening public notice law for Illinois residents and local newspapers throughout Illinois with respect to legally-required notices concerning real estate.  The legislation, House Bill 5176, was sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford. Prior to the passage of this new law, Cook County was treated differently than the rest of the state in provisions regulating the process for publishing property-related legal notices.

Specifically, the new law provides that legal notices concerning real estate be published in the township (rather than in the county) of the property in question; and that the required Cook County newspaper notice of foreclosure-related sales of property be published in a newspaper different from the paper used for the legal notice. The new law is expected to help increase public awareness of court proceedings and rulings involving local property before a final judgment is made.

“This new law brings Illinois’ public notice law closer to home,” Representative Sosnowski said. “Whether you live in Cook County or anywhere else in Illinois, you should be able to read public notices in your local newspaper, not have to subscribe to a special legal publication. Thanks to this new law, every Illinois family and taxpayer will have the same access to public notices in their community.”
Hundreds of local families came out for Representative Joe Sosnowski's Kids Health & Safety Fair held at Rockford Christian Schools on Saturday. Family-friendly activities included a petting zoo, rock climbing wall, knockerball, bouncy houses, ice cream truck, Air Methods Medical Helicopter and more. Thank you to everyone who donated canned food items to benefit the Rockford Rescue Mission. Over 200 canned food items were collected in addition to $424 in cash donations to the Rockford Rescue Mission. We look forward to seeing you again next year!
ROCKFORDResidents of the 69th District are encouraged to provide their feedback on a range of issues impacting the State of Illinois by filling out an online legislative survey offered by State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford. The survey can be accessed by visiting Representative Sosnowski’s website,, and clicking “Survey 2018” on the homepage menu. Constituent responses will be used to inform Representative Sosnowski of local residents’ views and concerns heading into the Fall Veto Session of the Illinois General Assembly.

“The feedback I receive from local families, taxpayers and job creators is vitally important to me all year round,” Representative Sosnowski said. “Particularly now during the summer, as we look ahead to the Fall Session of the House of Representatives and beyond toward what issues are expected to be front and center next spring, I want to give constituents an extended opportunity to share their views with me from the convenience of their own homes through my online legislative survey.”
Rep. Joe Sosnowski
Governor Bruce Rauner did the right thing on Tuesday when he vetoed Senate Bill 2273, legislation that would limit the State of Illinois to participation in a single, exclusive interstate voter registration program, the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC). Currently, Illinois also participates in a program called CrossCheck, a database run through the Kansas secretary of state’s office that is aimed at flagging duplicate voter registrations across state lines.

As the Governor states in his Veto message, “completely prohibiting potential sources of information that could help identify fraud and abuse in our election system is the wrong solution.” He’s right. By banning Illinois from participating in CrossCheck, Senate Bill 2273 would make it more difficult for Illinois to ensure the integrity of our election process. 

Protecting against vote fraud and ensuring free and fair elections in Illinois should not be a partisan issue. Unfortunately, in this case it has become one. Democrats in the Illinois House and Senate have waged a misinformation campaign asserting that Crosscheck is being used to deny people the ability to vote and utilizes unreliable data security.  These claims are a red herring. The fact is, politicians who want to get Illinois out of CrossCheck seek to limit our efforts to reduce voter fraud.

We all grew up hearing anecdotes about dead people voting in Chicago and people voting more than once due to be being registered at multiple addresses. Despite often being the butt of jokes, instances of voter fraud are in fact real and undermine our election process. Participating in more than one voter registration integrity system is good for Illinois. I intend to vote to uphold the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2273.

Thank you to Peak Sports Club for hosting my Summer Reading Program Ice Cream Social. Much appreciation to all the summer readers and sponsors (Peak Sports Club, Chick-fil-A, Comcast, OSF, and SwedishAmerican). With your support, the program continues to be successful every year. We had 132 participants and 81 summer readers came out to Peak for the Ice Cream Social. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the summer and continue reading.

Rep. Joe Sosnowski participated in Monday's groundbreaking ceremony in South Beloit at the intersection of Oak Grove Avenue and Blackhawk Boulevard for a construction project which will include storm sewer work, installation of traffic lights and other work to improve access to the road for local business growth. The city has been awarded a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation, as well about $200,000 from Winnebago County to help pay for the project.

ROCKFORDLocal residents with questions or concerns on issues impacting the State of Illinois are invited to attend either of two upcoming early morning “Coffee Talk with Joe” events hosted by State Representative Joe Sosnowski in Roscoe on Monday, July 30 and in Belvidere on Thursday, August 16.  The coffee talks are open to the public. All are welcome. Coffee will be provided courtesy of Representative Sosnowski. Details for the coffee talks are as follows:  

Coffee Talk With Joe                                                                   Coffee Talk With Joe
Monday, July 30, 2018                                                                Thursday, August 16, 2018
7:30 am to 8:30 am                                                                      7:30 am to 8:30 am
Jessica’s Restaurant                                                                     Ned’s Restaurant
5091 Edgemere Ct.                                                                      2132 Business Route 20
Roscoe, IL 61073                                                                          Belvidere, IL 61008

“Coffee talks are a valuable opportunity for me to listen to the concerns of local residents firsthand,” Representative Sosnowski said. “We are at a critical juncture in state history in terms of state spending, taxes, and the investments we make in education, public safety and many other areas. We also need to have a serious, thoughtful conversation about the need for pension reform and property tax relief. I encourage everyone who has questions, comments or concerns to come make their voice heard at either of my coffee talks in Roscoe or Belvidere.” 

Constituents who are unable to attend a coffee talk but still wish to provide feedback to Representative Sosnowski can do so online by visiting and clicking “Contact” on the homepage menu, or by calling the District Office in Rockford at (815) 547-3436.


ROCKFORD – State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, will host his 2018 Ice Cream Social for local kindergarten through sixth grade students who participated in his ‘Camp Out With a Good Book’ Summer Reading Program’ on Thursday, July 19, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Peak Sports Club, located at 4401 Peak Drive in Loves Park.  

“This year’s summer reading program featured the theme of camping as a way to encourage kids to explore the unlimited paths of adventure they can discover through reading while enjoying the outdoors,” Rep. Sosnowski said. “We will be recognizing the readers who completed the program with ice cream, certificates and some great prizes.”

ROCKFORD Winnebago and Boone County families are invited to attend State Rep. Joe Sosnowski’s annual Kids’ Health and Safety Fair, to be held from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm on Saturday, July 28 at Rockford Christian Schools, located at 1401 N. Bell School Road in Rockford. The event features over 50 health and safety booths from local organizations, businesses and government agencies that provide a wide range of educational, health and child care, recreational programs and other activities for kids.

Other special attractions include the popular Cool Vehicles exhibit featuring over 20 trucks and emergency vehicles for kids to see and interact with; as well as bouncy houses, a petting zoo, Knocker Ball, a free kids identification kit and diabetes screening.

Guests are encouraged to bring a donation of canned food items to enter a drawing for prizes and giveaways. Canned food donations will benefit the Rockford Rescue Mission. Admission to the Kids’ Health & Safety Fair is free and open to the public:
Happy to support the 815 Read Challenge. Thanks to Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney for promoting. To learn more about this important local children's literacy program, please click HERE.  #read815 #bookaweek #readingselfie

By State Representative Joe Sosnowski

The question of reinstating passenger rail service to the Rockford region has generated recent renewed debate within our community. Petitions are currently being circulated seeking to put a nonbinding referendum on the November ballot in Boone and Winnebago Counties asking voters whether the State should reinstate passenger rail service from Chicago to East Dubuque.

This question misses the point and is a gross oversimplification of the issue.

ROCKFORD State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, is sponsoring a FREE paper shredding event for residents of Boone and Winnebago Counties from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 in the parking lot of Rockford Christian Schools, located at 1401 N. Bell School Road in Rockford. 

Paper documents will be accepted for safe and secure destruction to help protect local residents from identity theft. Documents can be brought in boxes or in bags. Drivers are asked to remain in their car while the documents are unloaded by shred truck staff. Parking is available for those who wish to stay and watch the documents be shredded on-site.

“Protecting yourself from the risk of identity theft and fraud is one reason to take advantage of our free shred event,” Rep. Sosnowski said. “Many families also find it helpful and convenient to reduce clutter by safely disposing of unwanted documents you may have lying around or stored in a closet or basement. We hope to see you at the shred truck on July 28!”
Rep. Joe Sosnowski attended the groundbreaking ceremony today at Rockford International Airport for the new 120,000 square foot expansion of the Airport's International Cargo Facility. Nearly 1.4 billion pounds of cargo traveled through the Airport in 2017, a 50 percent increase over the prior year. Local and federal officials participating in the ceremony included Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney, Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. During the event, the Airport also celebrated the start of construction on a new $3.5 million ramp for cargo aircraft parking.

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) issued several public policy changes over the past few weeks.  Below is an overview of a few of those landmark decisions.

Mark Janus v. AFSCME 31 et. al.: 
My job, My choice.

On June 27, 2018, SCOTUS ruled by a 5-4 vote, that government workers should not be required to pay union agency or fair share fees to help pay for collective bargaining.  This decision stemmed from a complaint filed by state employee Mark Janus challenging the constitutionality of the Illinois state law authorizing agency fees. Janus believed that charging an agency fee for non-union workers in a union-represented workplace was a violation of his rights as a citizen and further violated the First Amendment. Governor Bruce Rauner also shared Janus's concerns, but the Governor's complaint was dismissed by a District Court. The Janus v. AFSCME 31 decision overturned a 41-year-old case Abood v. Detroit Board of Education. It was determined in Janus v. AFSCME 31 case that the Supreme Court had failed to accurately assess the principles of First Amendment rights in Abood.
I am a co-sponsor of House Resolution 1138 (HR 1138), which is a referendum allowing voters to decide whether or not the city of Chicago should be its own sovereign state. The United Kingdom experienced a similar undertaking when a successful referendum occurred allowing voters to decide if they wanted to exit the European Union (EU). The supporters of Brexit believed their values were underrepresented in government and demanded change. There is another initiative in California to separate the state into smaller units.  Many downstate Illinoisans share their sentiment that there can be a better way.

In response to an opinion article written in the Rockford Register Star on June 25, 2018, I am well aware of the economic and political issues that plague our state. Legislators are tasked with many responsibilities and represent a vast constituent base of concerns. A common concern I hear from constituents is the lack of representation of their values due to the political power amassed by the city of Chicago through gerrymandering.  I support mapping reforms but the entrenched Springfield leadership has stopped any efforts in that direction; therefore, as another method, I am a co-sponsor of HR 1138.
State Rep. Joe Sosnowski joined Governor Bruce Rauner at Children's Home & Aid in Rockford on Thursday to announce Illinois' first-ever Adoption Tax Credit.  Included in the new FY 2019 state budget that takes effect on July 1, the Adoption Tax Credit will provide assistance to adoptive parents who provide stable, loving homes for needy children here in the Rockford region and throughout the state; up to $5,000 per child.

The Illinois General Assembly approved a state budget for Fiscal Year 2019, which the Governor signed into law on June 4. While Illinois averted another unnecessary crisis by passing a bipartisan full-year state budget on time, the budget agreement falls short by ignoring the long overdue reforms that are needed to improve Illinois’ long-term fiscal health and generate economic growth. 

Specifically, Illinois needs comprehensive and constitutional pension reform, property tax relief and common-sense workers compensation reform in order to ignite private sector job growth in the Rockford region and across every major industry in our state. Until we act on these reforms, we are only treating the symptoms and not the causes of Illinois’ dire and persistent fiscal challenges.

With the new budget scheduled to take effect on July 1, let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
Rep. Joe Sosnowski enjoyed spending time visiting with members of Roscoe Boy Scout Troop 622 to discuss state government, constitutional rights and responsibilities.

BELVIDERE - State Rep. Joe Sosnowski enjoyed greeting local seniors at the Boone County Council on Aging Healthy Living Expo at Belvidere North High School on Tuesday. Rep. Sosnowski's office sponsored the free hot breakfast for seniors in the cafeteria. Rep. Sosnowski also had a booth in the gym offering state brochures and resources for residents of the 69th District.

Rep. Joe Sosnowski
 SPRINGFIELD State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, issued the following statement in response to final passage of a state budget for Fiscal Year 2019 today by the Illinois General Assembly:

"While Illinois has averted another unnecessary crisis by passing a bipartisan full-year state budget on time, this budget agreement falls short by ignoring the long overdue reforms that are needed to improve Illinois’ long-term fiscal health and generate economic growth. Specifically, Illinois needs meaningful and constitutional pension reform, property tax relief and common-sense workers compensation reform in order to ignite private sector job growth here in the Rockford region and across every major industry in our state. Until we act on these reforms, we are only treating the symptoms and not the causes of Illinois’ very dire and growing fiscal challenges. ” 

# # #

ROCKFORD State Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, has officially launched his 8th Annual Summer Reading Program for kindergarten through sixth grade students who live or attend school in the 69th District in portions of Boone and Winnebago Counties. The “Camp Out With A Good Book” program is offered to encourage students to start or maintain positive reading habits.

“I have always been an avid reader and encourage my own kids to enjoy the limitless possibilities for adventure found in books,” Rep. Sosnowski said. “I hope kids join our reading challenge and make memories that will shape their future growth and inspire a passion for lifelong learning. The summer reading program can also be a time for families to unplug and enjoy quiet time together as a family.”

“Camp Out With A Good Book” challenges students entering kindergarten – 6th grade to read ten (10) books over the summer. To celebrate Illinois’ bicentennial, Rep. Sosnowski is encouraging students to read a book about Illinois or any of the notable men and women who are Illinois natives that went on to make major contributions to U.S. history in civic leadership, science and technology, the arts and humanities, education, athletics, the Armed Forces or any other category.

Brochures have been distributed to local elementary schools, but are also available for pickup at Rep. Sosnowski’s District Office or online at Participation in this program can overlap with any other summer reading programs offered through area libraries, schools, or other organizations.

Participants will be invited to an ice cream party and receive a certificate from the Illinois House of Representatives. To earn your spot at the ice cream party, a parent or guardian must fill out and sign the form and return it to Rep. Sosnowski’s office by Monday, July 9th. Students or their parents/guardians may also obtain the form online by clicking the following link.

SPRINGFIELD Supporters of independent redistricting in the State of Illinois have been denied again, as a key deadline came and went on Sunday, May 6 with no legislative action.

Article XIV of the Illinois Constitution requires a minimum six-month window between when a constitutional amendment ballot referendum is approved by three-fifths of both chambers of the General Assembly and the next General Election. Consequently, there will be no “Fair Maps” referendum on the November 6 ballot this year.

“It is unfortunate and yet another sign of poor leadership in Springfield that voters are once again not allowed to vote on fair maps,” said State Representative Sosnowski, R-Rockford. “It is long past time that we give voters the ability to end the practice of politicians choosing their own voters.  There is no mistaking that the current redistricting process is deeply flawed and must be reformed.”

Representative Sosnowski is a co-sponsor of House Resolution 995 calling for independent redistricting reform and enacting a non-partisan mapmaking process prior to the upcoming redistricting cycle. The resolution has a total of 51 co-sponsors in the Illinois House of Representatives.

# # #

ROCKFORD—State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R- Rockford) is pleased to announce four local library districts are winners of the Annual Per Capita Grants from the Illinois Secretary of State.

The Library districts are Ida Public Library receiving $31,981.25, Cherry Valley Public Library District receiving $20,010, Talcott Free Library District receiving $17,221.25 and South Beloit Public Library receiving $9,865.

“Libraries are very vital resource to our community,” said Sosnowski. “These grants will allow the local libraries to keep up needs such as new material, technology and other resources to serve our community better.”
SPRINGFIELD – As the first wave of the 10-year Firearm Owners Identification card come due for renewal, Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz is urging FOID card holders to apply early to remain active.

“We expect tens of thousands of renewal applications to come in over the next few months,” Schmitz said. “We recommend gun owners get their renewal applications in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card out before expiration.”

More than 50,000 FOID cards are due for renewal between June 1 and August 1. The General Assembly amended the state’s law that requires gun owners to carry a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card in 2008, allowing the cards to be valid for ten years.

The Illinois State Police (ISP) oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards. They’ve already sent renewal notices to people whose cards will expire June 1.

Applicants can visit the ISP’s Firearm Services Bureau website at to renew online. Anyone who needs assistance with FOID card renewal, and those who prefer paper applications, can call 217-782-7980 and select menu option 0.

Applicants should make sure the name and address on FOID applications match the records on file for them at the Secretary of State’s Office, otherwise the renewal process will be delayed.
SPRINGFIELD The Illinois House of Representatives unanimously approved common-sense pension reform legislation on April 19 sponsored by State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, to allow a municipality to hire a chief of police that had previously retired from the municipality without allowing them to collect a pension in addition to a salary.  The legislation, House Bill 5490, will now advance to the State Senate for consideration.

Specifically, Representative Sosnowski’s legislation provides that a chief of police who has voluntarily entered into an irrevocable agreement with a municipality to not participate in that municipality's pension fund is not eligible to participate in that municipality's pension fund.

“Cities around the state are looking to enter into these types of agreements,” Representative Sosnowski said. “This is common-sense, good government legislation. Municipalities can bring a retired former chief of police back to work and without having them entitled to start earning a second pension. Communities can benefit from the public safety experience and leadership of their police chief in a way that does not add additional taxpayer burdens on the pension fund.”
Our children’s education remains a top priority for Illinois House Republicans, which is why they have taken action to address the growing teacher shortage in our state. First and foremost, our members are committed to ensuring highly prepared and effective educators are teaching our children. To do that, Illinois must address the teacher shortage. 

The Illinois State Board of Education said the 2017-18 school year began with about 2,000 unfilled teaching positions across the state.* And a recent survey conducted by the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools found that school districts were increasingly having difficulty finding qualified candidates to apply for teaching positions.

SPRINGFIELD State Representative Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford, joined Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, and members of the House Republican Caucus in filing House Resolution 975 on Tuesday to state their opposition to a proposed progressive income tax on Illinois residents. 

“The General Assembly cannot continue spending money frivolously and expect Illinois taxpayers to pick up the tab with more tax increases like this progressive income tax proposal from the Democrat party,” Durkin said. “It is our constitutional duty to protect our constituents, and we will remain firm as a caucus on blocking any progressive tax measures.”

Sosnowski echoed Durkin’s remarks, adding, “These progressive income tax proposals would raise taxes on most Illinoisans, including the vast majority of people living in Boone and Winnebago Counties. By implementing a progressive income tax, we would be driving higher income earners out of Illinois and saddling middle class families with a huge tax increase, all without any spending reforms whatsoever. This is the wrong solution for Illinois.” 
I am very excited for the Indoor City Market. This will be a great addition to downtown Rockford and continue to breathe excitement into the central business district. Congratulations!