Local kids participating in the Illinois Proud Penny Drive are getting a big fundraising boost from two local organizations just days before the drive ends. Both the Sangamon County Bar Association (SCBA) and Staab Funeral Homes presented checks that each equal to 100,000 pennies to Chatham Elementary School and Catholic grade schools gathered at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception School, two of the more than 60 schools collecting donations for the campaign that ends on April 27, 2018.

“We are delighted by the partnership of Sangamon County Bar Association and Staab Funeral Homes. Students will be blown away by their partnership and contribution at this moment in Illinois history,” said Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez.

The two week penny drive encourages Sangamon County school children to donate pennies to purchase a historic Abraham Lincoln artifact that contains the certification of his “good moral character” and permitted him to begin his law career in Springfield. The artifact, The Minute Book of Sangamon County from July 1835 to July 1838, also includes information about some of Lincoln's first legal cases.
Two pieces of legislation crucial to two local families cleared the Illinois House Friday, according to their chief sponsor, Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez. 

HB 4309, the Kasem-Baksys Act, will allow an adult child of an elder parent to petition a court for visitation when there is no legal guardian or power of attorney for the elderly parent. According to Rep. Jimenez, the bill will create a potential pathway for a family member to visit their aging parent in a case where they are being unreasonably blocked from seeing mom or dad by another close relative.

“I am so proud of my constituent, Sandy Baksys, for telling her story before the House Judiciary Civil Committee a few weeks ago,” said Jimenez. “House Bill 4309 has gained several sponsors from both sides of the aisle, and now simply awaits Senate approval.”

The House on Friday also honored the sacrifice of Corporal James “Chad” Young of Chatham, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. Corporal Young’s family was in the gallery to receive representatives’ gratitude and well wishes. The House then passed House Joint Resolution 74 which designates a section of Route 4 through Chatham the Corporal James “Chad” Young Memorial Highway.

“We can never forget the sacrifices that our military men, women and their families have made in defense of our nation. Today we honored the life of Chatham’s Corporal Young on the House Floor and soon we will name IL Route 4 through Chatham in his honor. I am so thankful to his mother, Mrs. Young, his sister, Katie Young Powell, his niece, Sydney Robbins, his cousin, Jennifer Duffy and Chatham mayor Dave Kimsey for joining us in the gallery today," added Jimenez.


"We can never forget the sacrifices that our military men, women and their families have made in defense of our nation. Today we honored the life of Chatham’s Corporal Young on the House Floor and soon we will name IL Route 4 through Chatham in his honor. So thankful to his mother, Mrs. Young, his sister, Katie Young Powell, his niece, Sydney Robbins, his cousin, Jennifer Duffy and Chatham mayor Dave Kimsey joined us in the gallery today" - Rep. Jimenez


Two bills sponsored by Rep. Jiminez that were initiatives of constituents of the 99th district have  recently passed out of committee. HB 4309, the Kasem-Baksys Act, will allow an adult child of an elder parent to petition a court for visitation when there is no legal guardian or power of attorney for the elderly parent. Rep. Jimenez noted that she is  proud of her constituent, Sandy Baksys, for telling her story before the House Judiciary Civil Committee a few weeks ago. HB 4309 has gained several sponsors from both sides of the aisle. On Friday, the legislation passed the House, clearing another important hurdle so families like Sandy’s can have a path towards petitioning for visitation of an elderly family member they’ve been denied the right to see.



Another important bill that was brought to Rep. Jimenez by a constituent passed out of the House Executive Committee last week. HB 4539 will prohibit inmates convicted of sexual offenses against minors from possessing photos of minors while they are incarcerated if Department of Corrections mental health personnel believe they should not have them. Rep. Jimenez will work with all parties to address some of the concerns that were raised in committee so this bill may be passed out of the House as quickly as possible.
Representative Jimenez passed an important piece of legislation out of the House Wednesday that will make Sangamon County the default location for State jobs unless there is a reason they must be located elsewhere in the state.

In celebration of Illinois’ Bicentennial, State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, Illinois Bicentennial Commissioner Rikeesha Phelon, along with several community partners today launched the “Illinois Proud Penny Drive” at Butler Elementary in Springfield. The two week campaign encourages Sangamon County school children to donate pennies to purchase a historic Abraham Lincoln artifact that contains the certification of his "good moral character" and permitted him to begin his law career in Springfield.

“Bringing this historic Lincoln document back home will be our local school children’s 200th birthday present to the State of Illinois,” said Rep. Jimenez (R-Leland Grove). “It’s a great way for our kids to participate in our bicentennial celebration, to connect with our history, and also to learn about what it means to have a good moral character, and why it’s as important today as it was when Lincoln was a young man.”
Representative Jimenez passed an important piece of legislation unanimously out of the House Executive Committee today that continues the work of bringing more State jobs to the capital city by directing that the default location for State jobs be Sangamon County unless there is a reason they must be located elsewhere in the state.

“Over the last 2 years, I have made it a priority to push State agencies to identify positions within State government that can and should be located in Sangamon County. We have identified potentially hundreds of jobs that could be moved to Sangamon County that are not needed for a specified reason elsewhere in Illinois. HB 4295 takes the next step in relocating more jobs to Sangamon County by codifying into law that State employment positions should be at the seat of government in Illinois,” Representative Jimenez said.
With the help of a Springfield area advocate, legislation to protect adult children’s visitation with their elderly parents continues to gain momentum in the Illinois House. State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez this week won committee approval of an amendment that clears the way for full House consideration.

“This bill will create a potential pathway for a family member to visit their aging parent in a case where they are being unreasonably blocked from seeing mom or dad by another close relative. I’m grateful to Sandy Baksys from Springfield who shared her personal story. It has been an honor to work with her to find a solution to an issue that sadly impacts many families throughout Illinois. I would also like to thank the Cook County Public Guardian’s Office for their work on finding agreed language,” Representative Jimenez said.

House Bill 4309 Creates the Frail Individual Family Visitation Protection Act. If a caregiver unreasonably prevents a family member from visiting a frail individual, the new act allows the court to order the caregiver to permit visitation between the frail individual and the family member if the court finds that the visitation is in the frail individual's best interests.

“No adult child who has visited and taken care of their elderly parent every day for years should be prevented from continuing to visit just because the owner of the private home where the elder has gone to live vows never to open the door,” said Sandy Baksys. “This bill will not create any new rights under Illinois law.  But it will close a major loophole that makes it difficult, if not impossible, for a loving daughter like me to challenge a caregiver who is unreasonably denying visitation through our elder’s entire end-of-life.”
If you and your family are interested in visiting some of Chicago’s world-class museums, Rep. Jimenez's office has a museum pass you can borrow, which is provided by the Museums in the Park Organization. Any resident of the 99th District can borrow our Constituent Education Resource Card, to visit any of the following museums in the city of Chicago for 2018:

Field Museum photo credit: Nimesh Madhavan

• Adler Planetarium
• The Art Institute of Chicago
• Brookfield Zoo
• Chicago Botanic Garden
• Chicago Children’s Museum
• Chicago History Museum
• Dusable Museum of African American History
• The Field Museum
• Lincoln Park Zoo
• Museum of Contemporary Art
• Museum of Science and Industry
• National Museum of Mexican Art
• National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture
• Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
• John G. Shedd Aquarium

Please contact Rep. Jimenez's office at (217)782-0044 and provide your name and address along with the dates you are requesting (can be used for up to 3 days) and we will provide you with the Constituent Education Resource Card for your use.