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Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond joined Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz in urging Illinois firearm owners to file paperwork early to renew their Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Cards as the first wave of the 10-year renewal will create a backlog of renewal applications.

“With more than 50,000 FOID cards due for renewal between June 1 and August 1, I am urging my constituents who are FOID holders to renew as early as possible to allow adequate time for processing prior to expiration,” said Rep. Hammond on Tuesday.

Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz recommends, “gun owners get their renewal application in at least one to two months in advance so we have adequate time to process them and get a new card our before expiration.”

The Illinois State Police oversees the FOID card system and issues the cards that are required to buy or possess a firearm or ammunition in Illinois.  FOID card applications require state and federal background checks, as well as review of the database from the Illinois Department of Human Services to confirm applicants have not been in a mental institution in the past five years.  Persons with common names may find additional delays as identities are confirmed.

Illinois State Police have already sent renewal notices to those whose cards will expire June 1.  Applicants can visit the ISP’s Firearms Services Bureau website at to renew online.  The cost of the card is $10.  

Applicants must be Illinois residents and include their Driver’s License or State ID card number.  Applicants under the age of 21 must have a parents’ signature on the application.  Anyone who needs assistance with the FOID card renewal, and those who prefer paper applications, may call 217-782-7980 and select menu option 0.  Applicants should also 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 further.

Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond passed legislation adding important consumer protections to Illinois’ public nursing home care program (long-term care Medicaid program).

“For over three years, I have worked with providers and constituents who have struggled to get through this convoluted process. The application process is cumbersome, unwieldy and seemingly impossible to navigate for persons in good health, let alone our vulnerable populations,” said Rep. Hammond.  “Significant changes are much-needed, and after three years of negotiating these changes, I am pleased to present this package of reforms with the consumer experience in mind.”

House Bill 4771, an agreed bill between all stakeholders, passed the Illinois House unanimously and will now be taken up in the Illinois Senate.

Under provisions of Hammond’s legislation, Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will make critical consumer protection reforms including instituting a system of provisional eligibility, providing a step by step checklist of documents required, departments must provide written receipt of documents turned in, must develop an electronic application process, and ensures applications do not ‘start over’ just because of a change of the applicant’s legal representative.

“Too many seniors and their families struggle with this process and it is past time we improve this system to make their experience easier and better protect their rights as an applicant,” Rep. Hammond continued.

Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond passed legislation expanding Veteran’s Preference to those who live in Illinois, but served in another state’s National Guard unit.

“We owe a great debt to these Veterans.  When they serve in our military, they serve us all, regardless of state lines.  If they are an honorably discharged Veteran, they should receive hiring preference regardless of the state in which they enlisted or served,” said Rep. Hammond.

House Bill 4288 passed the Illinois House unanimously and will now be taken up in the Illinois Senate.  The measure was supported by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Under current law, members of National Guard units from states other than Illinois are not granted Veteran’s preference for state employment purposes.  Every state in the nation offers some form of Veteran employment preference in the public sector.  At the federal level, members of the National Guard only apply for Veteran Employment Preference if they were activated and served continuously for two years, or the entire time for which they were called to active duty. 

Under provisions of Hammond’s legislation, a person who has been a member of the Illinois National Guard shall be given priority over a person who has been a member of the National Guard of any other state.

MACOMB – Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) issued the following statement regarding Governor Rauner’s Budget Address on Wednesday:

“In all matters, we as legislators in Springfield, must follow the US and Illinois Constitution to guide our actions,” said Rep. Hammond.  “Adhering to our constitutional mandate means we start the budgeting process by the Illinois House setting a Revenue Estimate that realistically reflects the funds coming in to our State.  We cannot spend more than we bring in, so we must first set the revenue estimate and then hold appropriation committee hearings to go line by line through the budget to insure that our expenditures do not exceed our revenues,” Hammond continued.

“As a member of the Higher Education Appropriations Committee, I look forward to reviewing the Governor’s proposal in detail over the coming months as we hold our appropriations committees hearings.  Just like hardworking Western Illinois families cannot spend more than they bring in, so it should go with their state government,” Hammond went on to say.

Rep. Hammond was critical in ending the logjam that prevented a budget for two years ending last Summer.  “Illinois cannot go without a budget again this year.  Nothing would be more damaging to our State.  I will again be pushing for a budget resolution before the May 31 Spring Session deadline for the General Assembly.  Service and payment interruptions like we saw in the past are not acceptable,” Hammond said on Wednesday following the Governor’s speech. “I will be talking with all the taxing bodies throughout the district to get their feedback on how these proposals will affect their budgets.”

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SPRINGFIELD – Today at a press conference at the state Capitol, the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) was joined by lawmakers to outline strategies for proactively responding to a future of work that will demand advanced skills and training. These strategies are embedded within the newly released Strategic Plan for Adult Education and Literacy that focuses on advancing models that combine basic skills and workforce training, leading to a credential and meeting employers’ needs. The strategies developed in the newly released plan will guide Illinois’ adult education system over the next five years to ensure all adult learners have access to and success across the services that are cohesive, coordinated, and innovative.

“Over the past six months, the Statewide Task Force on the Future of Adult Education and Literacy has been engaged in a strategic planning process focused on expanding and scaling comprehensive career pathways and integrated education and training programs that have been successfully implemented across the state to produce a trained workforce and improve wages,” said Dr. Karen Hunter Anderson, ICCB executive director and chair of the task force.

“Adult education can no longer be viewed as an end point or final state in the transition to work,” added Jennifer Foster, ICCB Deputy Director for Adult Education and Workforce. “Instead, adult education is the foundation of Illinois’ career pathway system.”

The five-year strategic plan put forward by the task force addresses these critical needs through the identification of a set of four goals and related objectives developed to spur stronger overall system outcomes.

Goal 1: Improve outcomes by scaling effective models and strategies across the system.
Goal 2: Increase postsecondary transitions and credential attainment.
Goal 3: Strengthen college and career readiness.
Goal 4: Develop life-long career pathway systems and enabling technologies.

"I am proud to stand in support of this strategic plan. Community colleges and other adult education providers have always been the most adaptable and fleet-footed in responding to ever-changing needs of employers. I am pleased they will continue to focus on the need for skilled workers and, by doing so, continue to grow our own job opportunities in each region of Illinois," said task force member State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), Minority Spokesperson for the House Higher Education Committee.