Senate Week in Review: January 14-18, 2019

A new Administration transitioned into power during the week with Governor J.B. Pritzker being sworn into office on January 14.

Also during the week, the Senate Republicans underwent their own transition, announcing new and continuing appointments to their leadership team.

And Governor Pritzker signed legislation – voted on by lawmakers on May 29-30, 2018 – that requires federally-licensed gun dealers to also be licensed through the Illinois State Police.

Pritzker assumes office

A new Administration took control of the Governor’s office during the week with recently-elected Governor Pritzker taking the Oath of Office on January 14 and beginning his term in public office.

As the new Administration transitions into power, we are willing to work with Governor Pritzker to address key issues facing the taxpayers and businesses of Illinois.

As Governor Pritzker prepares to deliver his first-ever budget address before the General Assembly on February 20, we are cautiously optimistic that compromise and bipartisanship will be encouraged under the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. However, we also know the importance of reforms that encourage economic prosperity and provide for a balanced spending plan that does not add to the burdens placed on the shoulders of Illinois’ residents.

Lawmakers will return to the State House on January 29 to resume the spring legislative session.

Republican leadership team announced

Senate Republicans announced their leadership team for the 101st General Assembly on January 15.

Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady announced his leadership team, appointing eight senators to serve in leadership roles within the Caucus.

Senator Dave Syverson, Deputy Republican Leader
Senator Sue Rezin, Assistant Republican Leader
Senator Chapin Rose, Assistant Republican Leader
Senator Jason Barickman, Assistant Republican Leader
Senator Neil Anderson, Assistant Republican Leader
Senator Dale Righter, Senate Republican Caucus Chair
Senator Jim Oberweis, Senate Republican Whip
Senator Jil Tracy, Senate Republican Whip

Senator Brady was elected as Senate Minority Leader on January 9. 

“I’m privileged to be surrounded by such strong, innovative and vocal leaders in the Senate Republican caucus,” said Senator Brady. “As we transition under a new Administration, it’s encouraging to know that these men and women who have continuously proven themselves in the legislative process will take up further leadership responsibilities and work together to ensure that the Senate Republicans have strong representation in state government.”

Pritzker signs Gun Dealer Licensing Act

On Janary 16, Governor Pritzker signed Senate Bill 337 into law, creating the Firearm Dealer License Certification Act. The new law requires federally licensed gun dealers to also be licensed through the State Police.

Opponents to the measure say that the bill places a heavy financial burden on smaller gun stores – demanding high licensing fees, containing high fines and mandating electronic-based record keeping. Proponents says that requiring firearm dealers to obtain a state certification would treat them like many other categories of businesses that are licensed or certified by the state.

Winter preparedness

With the recent severe winter weather, the American Red Cross is providing helpful tips from the American Red Cross on winter storm safety.

One helpful winter safety tip is to prepare for a power outage. The American Red Cross recommends assembling an essential supplies kit that includes:

Portable, battery-powered radio
At least one gallon of water per person
Small supply of nonperishable food
First Aid kit

The Red Cross also recommends not driving unless absolutely necessary. However, if you do have to drive, ensure that your vehicle is winterized and has a full tank of gas.

More helpful tips on how to prepare for the cold weather can be found at

Brian Stewart

Want to stay up to date with your Senator?

Sign up for the District E-Newsletter below: