holmes enotary 042721SPRINGFIELD – The work of Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) and an Electronic Notarization Task Force produced a report detailing the benefits for Illinoisans that was provided to the governor and General Assembly, and its findings led to a measure sponsored by Holmes and passed by the Illinois Senate.

Senate Bill 2664 will set the standards for appointment as an electronic notary, creates definitions for electronic notarization; codifies best practices of the National Association of Notaries for electronic notarization; and implements safeguards to ensure the integrity of the technology and the process of electronic notarization.

“I was convinced this was a step to update a process many people use but sometimes can’t find a notary nearby; over the past year, the need for a convenient, protected method for notarization for businesses and consumers became even more obvious,” Holmes said. “I’m pleased that Speaker Chris Welch has picked up this bill as chief sponsor in the House.”

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SPRINGFIELD – First-time entrepreneurs will be able to save money on state licenses and permits under a new pilot program. The entrepreneur learner’s permit program was introduced and sponsored in the Illinois Senate by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora.

“Entrepreneurs take on a lot of risk when they start new businesses. This risk taking is what ultimately moves the economy forward,” Holmes said. “Any time we in state government can encourage people to start businesses and create jobs, we should do so with fiscally responsible and thoughtful legislation.”

The Senate recently voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s changes to the entrepreneur learner’s permit pilot program. The original version of the legislation minimizes spending by creating a pilot program to subsidize first-time entrepreneurs in information services, biotechnology and green technology with a state spending cap of $500,000.

The governor used his veto power to remove the spending cap and expand the pilot program to include all industries. Holmes says that the governor’s amendatory veto turns a smart business development measure into a potentially wasteful program.

 “The governor’s changes would direct an unknown sum of taxpayer dollars into a pilot program that may still need improvements,” Holmes said. “This is a surprising and confusing decision by Governor Rauner, who has presented himself as a fiscally responsible reformer. We were able to return to a much more limited, fiscally responsible version of this pilot program that can be expanded if it is successful.”

The entrepreneur learner’s permit would encourage small business growth by reimbursing first-time business owners for certain costs paid to the state for licensing and permits. The Illinois legislation is a pilot version of a similar program established by the Connecticut State Legislature in 2016.

After veto override votes in the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives, Senate Bill 1462 is now law. It will take effect immediately.


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SPRINGFIELD — Legislation to improve the adoption process for research dogs and cats has been signed into law. State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, introduced the legislation, which would require public research institutions in Illinois to have an adoption policy in place for dogs and cats used in testing rather than euthanizing them immediately.

“Last General Assembly, the ‘Beagle Freedom Bill’ sparked an important debate around the humane treatment of scientific research animals,” Holmes said. “We went back to fix a few problems with the bill to bring it back this year. The new law reflects all of that work, ensuring that an animal is given a chance at a life outside of a laboratory without overregulating scientific research.”

The new law requires publicly-funded institutions to have an adoption plan for animals deemed eligible by a veterinarian before euthanasia is an option. It does not force research institutions to find a home for each animal, nor does it ban euthanasia outright.

The legislation is part of a nationwide initiative led by the Beagle Freedom Project, so named because dogs of that breed are commonly used in scientific research. The legislation applies to cats used in research as well. Similar legislation has already been passed in California, New York, Minnesota, Connecticut and Nevada.

The measure, Senate Bill 1884 was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner today. It takes effect immediately.

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SPRINGFIELD – Thanks to a measure introduced by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, fire protection districts will have easier access to tax increment financing (TIF) funding in order to keep up with developing business districts.

“As TIF districts improve the business environment, growth naturally follows,” Holmes said. “This legislation will make it easier for fire protection districts to keep up with firefighting technology so that they can adequately respond to fires in new development areas. For example, if a tall building is built in a TIF district, a fire protection district would have a much easier time getting the funds to purchase a ladder truck.”

The legislation is an initiative of the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts (IAFPD). It would allow fire protection districts to request funds directly from the TIF’s review board instead of the municipality, as long as the purchases are reasonable and necessary to protecting the more advanced infrastructure that TIF districts bring. According to Chuck Vaughn, the legislative representative for the IAFPD, the measure is meant to make the process of purchasing new equipment more responsive to the changing needs of those that they protect.

“Senator Holmes recognized that taxing districts such as fire protection districts often get new responsibilities created by a TIF district,” Vaughn said. “The senator’s bill makes the process more responsive to changes that a TIF district brings to a fire protection district. The IAFPD is extremely grateful for the leadership that Sen. Holmes has put into this project. The end result will be better and more responsive decisions to meet the test that a TIF district will present for fire protection.”

Senate Bill 1415 was approved by the Illinois Senate today. It moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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