Blood Drive in Buffalo Grove on July 11

The Blood Drive is run by the American Red Cross. For an appointment, call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit

When: Thursday, July 11, 2024 from 9am-2pm
Where: Community Service Building – Conference Room, 2900 N Main St, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089

See flyer for more information.

Rep. Didech files 12 Climate and Environmental Bills this Spring

This legislative session, Rep. Didech is the chief sponsor of 12 bills to strategically advance climate action and environmental protections across Illinois. Each bill is summarized below.

Climate bills

HB5461: CCURRB: Concrete Carbon Utilization Reduction and Removal Breakthrough Act aka the “Concrete Carbon Act”
People produce more concrete than any other material on Earth, and its global production is only slated to grow. Meanwhile, concrete is one of the planet’s most energy-intensive products. Together, concrete and cement (the powdery binder holding the crushed stone or sand in concrete together) production contributes ~9% of annual carbon emissions globally.

This bill will incentivize the production and deployment of reduced carbon dioxide emission concrete statewide, addressing the hard-to-abate, energy-intensive industry. To do this, it establishes a 1) performance-based tax credit for concrete producers to incentivize the use of materials and methods for state-funded projects that reduce the embodied carbon of concrete and/or support the removal of “legacy” carbon already in the atmosphere and its permanent storage in concrete; 2) tax credit for concrete producers to defray the cost of implementing environmental product declaration technology at plants. It also requires the implementation of performance-based specification standards for concrete and directs the Department of Transportation to assess and propose opportunities to accelerate testing and evaluation of new decarbonization methods and materials for concrete by the Materials Bureau.

HB5117: Deforestation-free Procurement Act
It has been estimated that at least 30% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation and forest degradation. Taking into account carbon sequestration potential, experts estimate that stopping the loss of tropical forests, mangroves, and wetlands will achieve over 20% of climate mitigation by 2030. With this in mind alongside Illinois’ statutory commitments to achieving critical climate goals, the bill would require state agencies to procure products from contractors complying with newly established standards to prevent sourcing of products that contain forest-risk commodities linked to deforestation or forest degradation. Eligible contracts can become certified deforestation-free providers or simply confirm they are supplying compliant products by conducting due diligence. Taken together, the State has a unique opportunity to lead emissions reductions and catalyze the market for deforestation-free products through its procurement and regulatory choices.

HB5176: Solar-Powered Buildings Act
Solar energy is an important tool to enable consumers to reduce their energy costs, fight the climate crisis, tackle air pollution, and provide safe energy while facilitating production where it is consumed, thereby lessening the burden on aging electric transmission lines and reducing energy loss over long distances. To encourage urgent and widespread adoption of solar energy in line with its statutory commitments to achieving its zero-carbon emission goals, this bill would require all new construction to install fully operational solar panels on rooftops of eligible buildings. It requires all building permits issued 90 days after the effective date of this Act in a new, large multifamily residential building or a large multifamily residential building being renovated by a developer converting the property to an association to be built to accommodate the installation of a solar energy system on the roof. It also requires all building permits issued 24 months after the effective date of this Act to accommodate the installation of a solar energy system on their roofs in new construction single-family residence or small multifamily residence that qualifies as an affordable housing development under the same project ownership and is located on a campus to be built to accommodate the installation of a solar energy system on their roofs. Unless provided otherwise in this Act, all new residential and commercial buildings shall be built to accommodate the installation of an on-site solar energy system with preference for rooftop solar energy systems, and it makes specific requirements for a solar energy system to produce electricity. This applies to new buildings constructed after the effective date of this Act.

HB5315: Act to Allow Homeowners to Install Solar-Powered Doorbells
Amends the Homeowner’s Energy Policy Statement Act. Prohibits the adoption of a bylaw or exercise of any power by the governing entity of a homeowners’ association, common interest community association, or condominium unit owners’ association that prohibits or has the effect of prohibiting the installation of a solar energy system installed for the primary purpose of providing solar energy to a video doorbell. Provides that the Act applies to any solar energy system installed for the primary purpose of providing solar energy to a video doorbell.

HB5119: Street Light Energy Conservation Act
Brought to us by two constituents, this bill provides that, within 5 years after the effective date of the Act, each street light entity (a unit of local government, a public utility, and the State) exercising control over any street lights in the State shall install or replace each street light in the State, subject to appropriation, as follows:
– the street light must be installed or replaced using LED technology;
– the minimum illuminance must be adequate for the intended purpose of the street light and must be used with consideration given to nationally recognized standards;
– for lighting of the State highway system, installation or replacement applies only if the Department of Transportation determines that the purpose of the street light cannot be achieved by the installation of reflective road markers, lines, warning, informational signs, or other effective passive methods; and
– installation or replacement shall occur only after full consideration has been given to energy conservation, reducing glare, minimizing light pollution, and preserving the natural night environment.
It includes exceptions to the requirement to install or replace each street light in the State with LED technology. Limits the concurrent exercise of home rule powers. Effective immediately.

HB4915 and HB4943: Two Bills to Enable Increased Funding for Active Transportation & Public Transportation
Inspired by one of our outstanding summer intern’s legislative project, Rep. Didech has filed two bills to enable increased funding for active transportation planning and public transportation. The first bill would amend the County Retail & Occupation Tax to allow counties to collect tax to put toward the active and public transportation initiatives. The second would amend the motor fuel tax to require certain municipalities and counties to allocate at least 1% to improve, develop or incentivize the use of non-carbon emitting transportation infrastructure. These bills would allow counties across the state to increase funding for critical, non-carbon emitting active transportation and public transportation purposes as a means to decarbonize the transportation sector as well as create more low-cost transportation options.

Environmental bills

HB5658 and HB5659: Reducing Microplastic Pollution through Manufacturing Incentives and Consumer Rebates
It’s increasingly known that our laundry systems shed harmful microfibers, and one way to protect our waterways from microfiber pollution is to install microfiber filters to prevent these from being washed into the waterways. To increase the availability and accessibility of effective filters, incentives are required. These two bills will help stimulate manufacturing of microfiber filters to help the industry transform to address the pressing concern of microplastic pollution. The first bill will provide manufacturing incentives by offering credits to qualified microfiber filtration manufacturers against tax requirements. The second bill would require the Illinois Environmental Protection Association to establish a program to provide rebates to Illinois residents to purchase a microfiber washing machine filter or replacement microfiber washing machine filter.

HB5118: Sludge Control Act
Research indicates that sludge often contains toxic chemicals, including PFAs (also known as “forever chemicals”). Applying sludge for land use purposes has become a long-time practice and poses contamination concerns. This bill provides that person may not: (1) apply to or spread on any land in the State sludge generated from a municipal, commercial, or industrial wastewater treatment plant, compost material that included in its production sludge generated from a municipal, commercial, or industrial wastewater treatment plant or septage, or any other product or material that is intended for use as a fertilizer, soil amendment, topsoil replacement, or mulch or for other similar agricultural purpose that is derived from or contains sludge or septage; or (2) sell or distribute in the State compost material that included in its production sludge or septage or any other product or material that is intended for use as a fertilizer, soil amendment, topsoil replacement, or mulch or for other similar agricultural purposes that is derived from or contains sludge or septage. Sets forth exceptions. Defines terms. Repeals a provision in the Environmental Protection Act regarding the regulation of farm land sludge application.

HB4499: Foil Balloon Act
Mylar balloons, also called foil balloons, are made using plastic nylon sheets with a metallic coating that will never biodegrade. According to research, they also cause thousands of power outages every year when they come into contact with power lines or circuit breakers. This bill provides that a person who manufactures a foil balloon in this State or a person who sells or distributes foil balloons that are filled with lighter-than-air gas in this State shall comply with specified requirements. Provides that the requirements do not apply to manned hot air balloons or to balloons used in governmental or scientific research projects. Provides that specified requirements are subject to a phase-in period of 4 years. Provides for violations and civil penalties.

HB4814: Birds & Bees
Neonics are the most-used insecticides in the country and are increasingly considered some of the most ecologically destructive pesticides since DDT. Experts say that their use has driven down crop production due to the consequent mass losses of bees and other pollinators that come into contact with them and that neonics have made U.S. agriculture 48x more harmful to insects. The EPA stated that neonics likely jeopardize the continued existence of 200+ threatened and endangered species- roughly ~11% of the entire endangered species list. Further, neonics have been found in rising levels within the human body, posing threats to health. Provides that, beginning January 1, 2027, no person shall sell offer for sale or use, or distribute within the State any corn, soybean, or wheat seed that is treated or coated with a pesticide that has certain active ingredients, unless the Department of Agriculture determines there’s an insufficient amount of commercially viable alternative seed available or the alternative seed that’s available would provide an undue financial hardship on agricultural producers. Sets out limitations on the application of pesticides containing the same active ingredients on outdoor ornamental plants and turf except in specified circumstances. Directs the Department of Agriculture to conduct a study to identify alternatives to the prohibited pesticides.

Sun-Times Letter to the Editor: “Illinois homeowners should take a shine to rooftop solar panels. It will help the climate and lower energy costs”

Rooftop solar panels will help Illinoisans save money and ease the transition of our state to a clean energy economy, state Rep. Daniel Didech writes.

We’re in the first week of 2024, and I’m resolved to encourage my fellow Illinois homeowners — landlords, too — to commit to installing rooftop solar panels this year, wherever possible, and taking advantage of the available incentives to do so.

According to the Energy Information Administration’s 2020 data, only 5% of U.S. homes enjoy the benefits of solar panels, compared with 20% in Germany and 30% in Australia. Researchers believe one major reason fewer Americans opt out of installing solar panels is because comparatively, our country has a historically low cost of electricity.

But as our country grapples with aging energy transmission lines, climate risks associated with ongoing fossil fuel reliance and the mounting costs associated with addressing these, the cost of electricity-as-usual is shifting. Installing rooftop solar panels is a major way to keep costs down, and Illinois has become much more friendly toward doing so.

When Illinois passed the Climate & Equitable Jobs Act in 2021, it made it so much easier for homeowners statewide to install rooftop solar. State incentives like Illinois Solar for All and Solar Renewable Energy Credits, federal incentives like a 30% tax credit to apply toward installation and available financing options make it financially feasible for virtually all homeowners to install rooftop solar panels.

I recently installed solar panels on my Buffalo Grove home for a few reasons:

• It’s doing my part to help transition our state to a clean energy economy in the time-sensitive fight against climate change.

• We’re saving money. It’s going to lower my electric bill every single month. In my case, I found that financing options for installing solar and the promised savings on my electric bill was cheaper than maintaining the status quo.

Those ready to take the next step should compare available solar options and check out reverse solar auctions for the best deal. Most solar companies provide a free off-site quote, calculated by reviewing your energy usage and your property’s solar exposure. If you use less energy, you’ll need fewer solar panels to account for your electric load. Also, consider contacting your utility company to see what energy efficiency programs they offer to complement the benefits associated with installing rooftop solar.

Science demonstrates that we need a 100% clean energy economy, and fast. In Illinois, we’ve reached a point where the sustainable solution has become the most cost-effective solution. This year, I encourage all Illinois homeowners to make the switch and help combat climate change while saving their hard-earned money.

State Rep. Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove

Illinois passes important solar legislation

By Becca Stone, Summer Internship Communications Team

This past spring legislative session, Illinois passed climate action bill HB2192, allowing park districts to enter leases, contracts, or other agreements that relate to the “acquisition of solar energy.” This
bill was necessary to increase the agency of park districts seeking to enact stronger climate
policy by enabling and easing park districts’ ability to enter into contractual agreements related
to solar energy. As a truly renewable and clean energy source, solar energy plays an important
role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming, thereby mitigating
climate change. It can also improve air quality and reduce water use associated with energy production.

After passing both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly in early June 2023, Governor
Pritzker signed the bill into law on Jun 30, 2023, and it went into effect immediately.

Note: the “acquisition of solar energy” refers to the installation, maintenance, and service of
solar panels, equipment, or similar technology related to solar energy.

The General Assembly Passes Fertility Fraud Bill

By Aditee Sakhare, Summer Internship Communications Team

Rep. Didech is proud to have been the Chief House Sponsor of SB0380 which will outlaw
“fertility fraud,” defined as when a health care provider has used their own reproductive cells
during a treatment without the patient’s informed consent. The bill will make “fertility fraud” a
civil offense, allowing victims to file civil lawsuits against health providers who commit fertility

Should the plaintiff prevail, the plaintiff is entitled to the costs of the fertility treatment and can also recover reasonable attorney’s fees as well as: compensatory or punitive damages; or
liquidated damages of $50,000. The bill will also allow the child born under fertility fraud to
access the personal medical records and health history of the health care provider who committed
the fraud.

The bill passed both the Illinois Senate and the Illinois House during the 2023 spring legislative
session. At the time of publishing, the bill is awaiting Governor Pritzker’s signature. If Governor Pritzker approves of the proposal, Illinois will join 11 other states, including Indiana, Texas, and California, in protecting against fertility fraud.

SNAP Emergency Benefits Ended Mar. 1

Important updates to federal nutrition benefits

We’re posting to share some recent updates about federal changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

SNAP benefits help over two million Illinois residents access nutritious food for themselves and their families. In 2020, nearly 67,000 residents of Lake County alone relied on SNAP benefits, with the number of people receiving benefits believed to have increased since then due to ongoing instability brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Federal Government increased benefits for SNAP recipients across the country. Unfortunately, these increased federal benefits expired on March 1, 2023. You can read more about this change here.

This means that starting March 2023, SNAP recipients in Illinois will see their benefits return to pre-pandemic levels. For many that means their benefits will be reduced anywhere from $95 to $250 per person per month. (Note: SNAP recipients can always check on the status of their benefits here.)

This is a significant reduction in benefits, and we understand that this change will put a strain on Illinois families who are already facing high costs of living. While this change is due to federal policy decisions and not policy decisions made at the state level, I will continue to work with my colleagues in Springfield to find ways that our state can step-up and help offer more relief to families who rely on SNAP to get food on their table.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know is food insecure, our team has worked to identify a few resources here in our community. You can explore food assistance programs at this link, including food pantries, around our district to help meet your family’s nutritional needs.

If you are looking for ways to help your neighbors in need, consider donating funds or eligible items to these providers and/or volunteering your time. Call your local pantry or food assistance program at the link above for more information about volunteer opportunities, making monetary donations, or donating eligible items.

Critical legislation passed in the January 2023 Lame Duck Session

By Tisha and Vageesh, Spring Internship Communications Team

The General Assembly wasted no time passing important legislation when they returned to Springfield for January’s lame duck session. These laws will save lives, and Rep. Didech was proud to co-sponsor both of these important initiatives.

Gun safety measures: During the lame duck session, the Illinois General Assembly and Governor Pritzker passed the “Protect Illinois Communities Act” to help reduce gun violence deaths in our state. The law bans the sale and distribution of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and switches in Illinois — effective immediately. It also empowers the Illinois State Police to work with federal agencies to crack down on interstate gun traffickers. The features of the bill proved to be a hugely popular bill across the state, with significant numbers of District 59 residents calling and writing to our office to voice their support.

Citizens may lawfully keep the now banned firearms if they register them with the government and if they hold a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card. The bill also changed the eligibility age of holding a FOID card to 21 years of age. Any magazines owned prior to the ban may be kept but used and possessed only under certain conditions, such as on shooting ranges or private property. Owners of magazines must notify the state police to transfer them to any heirs, out-of-state individuals, or licensed firearm dealers.

Reproductive Healthcare: Legislators also passed the “Patient and Provider Protection Act” in January, putting in new protections for women and healthcare workers. Its passage will help ensure that all individuals can make their own healthcare decisions and access the care they need to live healthy, fulfilling lives.

To remove long-standing barriers to accessing abortion care: Under the new law, Illinois residents are guaranteed the right to access abortion care without interference from the government. This means that the state can no longer impose restrictions that pose barriers for individuals to access the care they need, such as waiting periods, mandatory ultrasounds, or restrictions on insurance coverage. The package also expanded Medicaid coverage for reproductive healthcare, requiring Medicaid to cover the full range of contraceptive methods and abortion care without cost-sharing. It also expands the Reproductive Health Care Act to include protections for assisted reproduction, such as IVF.

To expand and strengthen provider capacity in Illinois: the law provides protection for healthcare workers from disciplinary action in Illinois if they are punished for performing abortions in other states, and it creates a temporary license for out-of-state healthcare workers. It also allows advanced practice nurses to perform abortions that don’t require general anesthesia.

It also protects patients, providers, and witnesses from litigation and prosecution because of lawful healthcare that takes place in Illinois. The law includes measures to protect the privacy and confidentiality of individuals seeking reproductive healthcare services. With this law, employers & insurance companies are prohibited from interfering with an individual’s decision to use contraception or obtain an abortion. It also prohibits the sharing of an individual’s medical information without their consent.

As Governor Pritzker noted upon signing the bill into law, “Every individual deserves the right to make their own decisions about their body, their family, and their future.” With this legislation, Illinois is taking a critical step forward in protecting and promoting reproductive healthcare for all.

Historic Budget Relief Gets Passed in the 2022 Spring Session

By Josh Weiner, Summer Internship Communications Team

Many members of the Illinois General Assembly know that the pandemic and inflation have been burdening Illinois families and passed a historic relief package this past session, which also promises to increase the fiscal stability of Illinois. 

To help combat inflation, the Illinois budget includes over $1.8 billion dollars in aid to families. Some of the highlights of the budget relief bill include:

  • Suspending the state’s grocery tax for a year, which will save consumers an estimated $400M
  • Freezing the gas tax for six months, saving consumers $70M
  • Doubling the property tax rebate, to save up to $300 per household
  • Giving eligible tax filers additional one-time direct checks for $50 per adult filer and $100 for each of their children

The budget also calls for additional funding to public safety. Approximately $1 billion dollars will go towards violence prevention, and $124 million dollars will go towards supporting local police and reducing violent crime which also includes funding for mental health screening for local police departments. 

Other key aspects of the budget include:

  • $180M to be reinvested in the Healthcare Workforce Initiative to help grow the Illinois healthcare workforce
  • $122M increase in Monetary Award Program funding to help strengthen financial aid for low-income students who want to attend college
  • Special Education funding to receive a $96M funding increase
  • $54.4M towards early childhood programs
  • Pathways To Success Program – which focuses on creating plans for children with complex problems – fully funded at $150M

This is only a small sample of the total budget that was recently passed by both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly and was signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker. The budget also funds key initiatives around equity, business attraction and community development, and so much more. If you have any questions about the budget that recently passed, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office.

Bills that passed the Illinois House in the 2022 Spring Session

By Aniketh Bhaskar, Summer Internship Communications Team

The Illinois General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session adjourned on April 9th, 2022, and State Representative Daniel Didech, D-Buffalo Grove, and his colleagues in the Illinois House have been hard at work voting on numerous bills that may improve the lives of his constituents.

Bills that Rep. Didech voted yes on and have been signed into law include:

  • HB4338: Requires that physician-recommended prenatal vitamins are covered by individual and group accident and health insurance policies. This goes into effect in 2023.
  • HB5334: Requires individual, group accident, and health insurance policies to cover the cost of genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer.
  • HB1780: Establishes a single, uniform, statewide system of regulation for safe and secure collection and disposal of medicine through a uniform drug take-back program that is operated and funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers. This bill is otherwise known as the “Drug Take-Back Act”.
  • HB4343: Cuts down on red tape that makes Medicaid difficult to navigate and increases the wait time for medical attention to make it easier for seniors and the disabled to maintain their Medicaid eligibility and receive affordable long-term care.

Some bills that Rep. Didech has voted yes on have passed in the House but have not yet passed in the Senate. These include:

  • HB1587: Provides financial assistance to people with disabilities to make home improvements that help support independent living.
  • HB4093: Creates new requirements for issuing permits to own and operate a source of pollution and requires the IEPA to consider environmental justice communities during the environmental permitting process.
  • HB4784: Seeks to redevelop vacant and abandoned properties as affordable housing in communities with concentrated poverty to make housing more accessible and revitalize communities with increased employment and economic growth.
  • HB4850: Expands Title IX to make employers liable for gender-related violence committed in the work environment to discourage workplace discrimination and abuse. 

HB160 and HB169 pass in the House & the Senate

By Sammie Reinstein, Summer Internship Communications Team

These bills make it easier on students to participate in religious traditions.

During this past legislative session, Representative Didech was the chief sponsor of two bills – HB160 and HB169 – that amend the School Code to better enable students to participate in their religions by relieving administrative barriers. Both of these bills were passed by the Illinois General Assembly on May 27, 2021. Currently awaiting Governor Pritzker’s signature, upon passing, these bills shall take effect immediately.

HB160 allows students to be excused from physical activity components of physical education classes during a religious fast, if the student’s guardian notifies the school principal in writing. This bill will help ensure student safety while respecting the many diverse cultures that make up our state. This bill was initially proposed by the Northern Illinois American Muslim Alliance with support from the Jewish Federation, the ACLU, and the Illinois State Board of Education.

HB169 excuses a child’s absence from public school due to religious reasons, like observance of a religious holiday or participation in religious instruction. This bill allows the district superintendent to create and distribute specific procedures for religious absences to schools, as opposed to allowing school boards to determine rules pertaining to religious absences. This bill was initially proposed by the Northern Illinois American Muslim Alliance with support from the Jewish Federation, Chicago Teachers Union, National Association of Social Workers – Illinois, and the Illinois State Board of Education.

These two pieces of legislation make it less difficult for students to more fully participate in their religions, reducing some of the administrative burdens and other stresses that may come with missing school classes.