SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate has approved legislation introduced by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, to establish a task force investigating electronic notaries.


“With the technology that we have, it is worth looking into whether or not a person should need to see a notary in person anymore,” Holmes said. “This task force will look for inefficiencies in our current system and try to fix them with technology.”


Current Illinois law requires physical presence and proof of identity for individuals attempting to get a document notarized. The task force would investigate alternative verification methods including video or audio conference technology that are already in use elsewhere. The State of Virginia passed legislation allowing electronic notarization in 2015.


The legislation, Senate Bill 1459, has been approved by the Senate. It moves to the Illinois House of Representatives for further review and approval.

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SPRINGFIELD – For her efforts supporting and passing animal welfare bills, State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, was awarded this year’s Humane Society Legislator of the Year Award.


“It is an honor to receive this award,” Holmes said. “I am a lifelong lover of animals, so when I became a senator it was second nature to support legislation that protects animals.”


The Legislator of the Year Award is given to the General Assembly member who best advocates for the wellbeing of animals. Sen. Holmes has sponsored numerous animal welfare bills throughout her career. This year, she is sponsoring measures to ban elephants from traveling exhibitions, control feral cat populations and create adoption plans for research animals, as well as several others.


“On behalf of our members, supporters and allies in Illinois, we are proud of the animal protection initiatives that Senator Holmes has championed in our state” Humane Society of the United States Illinois State Director Marc Ayers said. “She is a leader bringing both sides together to achieve amazing advances in our movement and continues to support our efforts to protect companion animals and wildlife, among other important animal welfare protections.”


The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization. It provides hands-on care and services to more than 100,000 animals each year.

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SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, has joined the Illinois General Assembly’s commission to audit government activity.

“As a public servant, I have always sought to make our state’s government more transparent,” Holmes said. “On the Legislative Audit Commission, I get to work with Democrat and Republican colleagues from the Senate and the House to root out waste, fraud and abuse. I take this opportunity very seriously and I look forward to getting started.”

The Legislative Audit Commission is a bipartisan group of twelve legislators from the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives. The commission oversees audits of state agencies, holds public hearings and makes recommendations to the General Assembly on how to correct weaknesses.

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SPRINGFIELD — In a senate hearing with Acting Director Anna Hui of the Illinois Department of Labor, State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, asked what cuts could be made in the Department of Labor to balance the $4.6 billion out of balance budget.

“Being that the governor’s proposed budget was $4.6 billion out of whack and we’re now finding that that number might be more optimistic than it’s going to be, I would appreciate hearing from the department itself where you would be most willing to make those cuts,” Holmes said. “Where would you like to see those cuts if we are in a position where they have to be made?”

“We are not in the position to speculate about where those cuts might come from,” Hui said, to which Holmes replied: “Okay. Let’s call that nonresponsive.”

This week, Sen. Holmes and her fellow Democrats in the Senate have asked more than ten heads of state agencies what they would do should they be asked to cut their agencies’ budgets. In this year’s budget proposal, Gov. Rauner put forward a plan that spends $4.6 billion more than it collects in revenue. Rauner’s FY 18 budget proposal relies on the General Assembly to close this $4.6 billion gap by proposing new revenues or making cuts to programs.

“Gov. Rauner has been asking the General Assembly to give him the authority to make budget cuts for months. I would expect the governor’s agency heads to have some cuts already in mind,” Holmes said. “Clearly that is not the case.”

Director Hui is one of at least sixteen other state agency directors who have appeared before the Illinois Senate this week. None have suggested cuts to their departments’ budgets.

 

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