Schmidt’s Spotlight

As we begin the last scheduled week of the Spring Legislative Session, hundreds of bills are still on the calendar and a new state budget still needs to be passed. Needless to say, it’s going to be a busy week!

Keep scrolling to learn about all the latest! And as always, thank you for the opportunity to serve as your representative in Springfield.

Advocating for Education Reform

I’m advocating for education reform and enhanced opportunities for students across Illinois. With a focus on improving education outcomes and ensuring access to quality learning experiences, I’m co-sponsoring several important bills that would bring about positive change in our education system.

Education is the cornerstone of our society, and it is crucial that we continually strive to improve and innovate within our education system. By advocating for these education reforms, we are working to ensure that every student in Illinois has access to high-quality education and the resources they need to succeed.

HB3286 – Supporting Career Education:  House Bill 3286 strives to bolster career education opportunities by establishing a program to provide bonuses to Career and Technical Education teachers working with manufacturing companies during internships.

HB4219 – Strengthening Health Education:  House Bill 4219 updates the Comprehensive Health Education Program to include instruction on the dangers of fentanyl for grades 6-8.

HB4241 – Safeguarding Students: House Bill 4241 addresses instances of sexual abuse by educators or authority figures within school settings, promoting a safe and conducive learning environment for all students. This bill would make sexual abuse by an educator a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense, a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense, and a Class 3 felony if there is more than one victim.

Working to End Illinois’ Sanctuary State Status

I’ve co-sponsored State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer’s (R-Murrayville) legislation aimed at addressing the challenges posed by undocumented immigration in Illinois. HB 4187 seeks to repeal the TRUST Act and terminate Illinois’ status as a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants.

Ensuring the integrity of our immigration system is crucial to safeguarding the well-being of our communities and upholding the rule of law. By co-sponsoring this bill, I am reaffirming my commitment to responsible immigration policies that prioritize the interests of Illinois residents.

HB 4187, introduced by Rep. Davidsmeyer, seeks to repeal the TRUST Act, which was enacted in 2017 and prohibits local law enforcement agencies in Illinois from collaborating with federal immigration authorities.

Illinois cannot afford to continue shouldering the financial burden of sanctuary policies that incentivize illegal immigration. It is imperative that we take decisive action to restore accountability and fiscal responsibility in our immigration enforcement efforts.

Illinois gives undocumented immigrants free healthcare benefits, driver’s licenses, housing assistance, and other benefits costing Illinois’ taxpayers an estimated $2.9 billion each year. More than 18,500 migrants have been transported to Chicago from border states. The need for legislative intervention is clear.

The current sanctuary policies not only undermine our immigration laws but also place an undue burden on taxpayers. We cannot continue to provide taxpayer-funded benefits to undocumented immigrants while our own citizens face escalating healthcare costs and budgetary strains.

To express support for HB 4187 and join the effort to end Illinois’ sanctuary status for undocumented immigrants, citizens are encouraged to visit End Illinois’ Sanctuary State. Repeal the TRUST Act. – Illinois House Republicans ( and sign the petition.

Summer Reading Program

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my summer reading program. This program is designed to inspire Kindergarten through 6th-grade students to set aside time for reading over summer break. I want to cultivate a love of learning among the youth of the district.

I’m excited to invite students to participate in my annual summer reading program. It’s amazing what we can accomplish through the power of reading. Reading can open up unlimited possibilities, take you on many adventures, and keep your mind active and strong for years to come.

By reading a minimum of ten books during their break, students will not only expand their imaginations but also enhance their literacy skills in a fun and engaging way. Books over 150 pages count for two books.

Parents are invited to visit any of the local libraries below to pick up a hard copy of the Summer Reading form, or it can be filled out at All participants will receive a special certificate from me that will be handed out at a pizza party with date and location to be determined and details to be shared when event plans are made final.Check out in the coming weeks for updates on the event.

-Daughtery Public Library

-Cahokia Public Library

-East St. Louis Library

-Millstadt Public Library

-Smithton Public Library

-New Athens Public Library

-Freeburg Public Library

-Mascoutah Public Library

-Lebanon Public Library

-New Baden Public Library

-O’Fallon Public Library

For more information on how to participate in my summer reading program, please contact his office at 618-215-1050.

 Presenting my Veterans Day Paid Leave Act (w/Video)

I’ve introduced HB 4128, the Veterans Day Paid Leave Act, in an effort to honor and support the brave men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. This legislation was proposed to ensure that veterans employed in the state of Illinois are granted a paid day off on Veterans Day, starting January 1, 2025.

Earlier this month, I presented HB 4128 at a committee hearing in Springfield (video below).

Our veterans have selflessly served our country, and it is our duty to honor their service and sacrifice. HB 4128 not only acknowledges their contributions but also ensures they are given the respect and recognition they deserve, including a well-deserved paid day off on Veterans Day.

Under HB 4128, every employer in Illinois would be required to provide each employee who is a veteran with a paid day off on Veterans Day, if the employee would otherwise be required to work on that day. Additionally, HB 4128 would also create an income tax credit equal to 100% of the wages paid by the taxpayer to a veteran as a result of the paid day off.

You can watch my speech in committee here: Rep. Schmidt Speaks on the Veterans Day Paid Leave Act (

Donating Pay Raise to Zion United Church of Christ Food Pantry in New Baden

I’ve pledged to donate the legislative pay raise I voted against to different local community outreach efforts in the community. This month, I have chosen the Zion Church of Christ Food Pantry in New Baden.

I made my monthly food donation to the Zion United Church of Christ Food Pantry. I donate the amount of my salary increase in the form of food to different local food pantries. I voted no for that salary increase, so I put my money where my mouth is.

Food and basic necessities are a fundamental need for everyone in our community. Whether you’re facing temporary hardship or ongoing challenges, there are resources available to help.

Check out this new page where you can find information on food pantries across the district and learn more about how I’m working to combat food insecurity in our community.

In Need of Assistance? Find a Food Pantry in Your Area – Kevin Schmidt (

IDCEO Grants Available for Community Revitalization

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (IDCEO) had announced the availability of $30 million in funding to rejuvenate commercial and downtown areas throughout the state. The Rebuild Illinois Downtowns and Main Streets Capital (RDMS) program and the Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery (RISE) program aim to expedite local economic recovery efforts, offering support to communities grappling with economic challenges.

Grant recipients for both programs will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity process. Eligible institutions include economic development organizations (EDOs), local government units, as well as private for-profit and non-profit businesses. Applicants must demonstrate consistent alignment with relevant local or regional economic development plans and provide letters of support from community investors and elected officials.

The RDMS program has been allocated $20 million and is designed to stimulate economic activity and enhance the quality of life for communities facing economic disinvestment. This funding round supplements the previous $106 million in grants awarded in 2022. Projects eligible for RDMS grants must be located in commercial centers or downtown areas and may encompass a variety of enhancements, such as infrastructure upgrades, public space improvements, sustainability initiatives, and mixed-use development projects.

Meanwhile, the RISE Implementation Program has been granted $10 million to support economic projects identified in plans from RISE Local and Regional Planning grants. These projects are aimed at accelerating economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and can include both capital and non-capital projects, ranging from infrastructure enhancements to tourism promotion.

Qualifying entities are limited to one application submission and are required to demonstrate how their project will stimulate economic growth and overcome existing barriers. Grant awards range from $250,000 to $2 million, with local government units expected to match a minimum of 25% of the grant amount, while other applicants are encouraged to match 50%.

Interested parties can contact Visit the DCEO website below for more information or to apply for the grant.

Rebuild Downtowns & Main Streets & Research in Illinois to Spur Economic Recovery Implementation Grants (Notice of Funding Opportunities 2560-2765 & 3304-2764) 

Upcoming Events

Thank you for reading, and I’ll be back soon with more updates!