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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) has taken action to remove an antiquated law that prohibits drinking alcohol on trains, which hasn’t been enforced in nearly a century.

“Last year I learned of this law and was surprised. People have technically been breaking the law by ordering drinks on the     Amtrak,” Ellman said. “There’s no reason why responsible adults shouldn’t be able to enjoy these types of beverages on a train.”

House Bill 3878 repeals the Railroad Intoxicating Liquor Act of     1911, which prohibits drinking alcohol on trains and around train stations, and gives conductors the ability to arrest violators and charge them with a Class C misdemeanor.

“Just because a law isn’t generally enforced, doesn’t mean that it can’t be,” Ellman said. “Today, many trains include alcoholic beverages on their menus.”

The measure passed the Senate with a vote of 51-0-0 and now goes to the governor’s desk, where it will await being signed into law.

“This law hasn’t been enforced since the 1920s, during Prohibition,” Ellman said. “Last year COVID-19 sidelined this legislation, but it’s time to get back on track by repealing this archaic and arbitrary law.”

Ellman is also encouraging people to use safe transportation, such as Metra, as an alternative to driving under the influence.

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NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman is highlighting an agreement signed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the USDA Forest Service for Shared Stewardship that will strengthen their commitment to collaborative land management efforts throughout Illinois.

“This is a fantastic step forward for these organizations,” Ellman said. “The partnership that has been created will have a positive     and lasting effect on the protections for our state’s natural resources.”

The agreement establishes a framework to allow the state and the Forest Service to work together on forest management, accomplishing shared goals, advancing public interests and efficiently responding to challenges facing the communities and natural resources of Illinois.

“The agreement signed today simply puts into writing what we’ve been partnering with the USDA Forest Service to accomplish for decades,” said Colleen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department   of Natural Resources. “It solidifies our partnership for future leaders in both agencies and ensures synergy for true conservation of forests and other natural resources which rely on our forests, including clean air, water and wildlife habitats.”

Federal, state and private land managers in Illinois face a range of urgent challenges, including catastrophic storms, droughts, flooding, insect and disease outbreaks, invasive species, and increasing use by the public.

The state and the Forest Service plan to address these challenges by instituting a number of protective measures across the state, including:

• Restoring fire-adapted ecosystems and reducing the risk of wildfires;

• Identifying, managing, restoring, and reducing threats to forest and prairie ecosystems’ health; and

• Maintaining a sustainable use model to ensure forests meet the present and future demands for natural resources and public recreation.

“Healthy forest environments can provide clean air and water and promote more diverse plant and animal life,” Ellman said. “I look forward to seeing what these organizations can accomplish in collaboration." 

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NAPERVILLE – Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is      encouraging parents and teachers to encourage their students to learn more about the environment and get creative from the safety    of their homes through the Illinois Environmental Protection      Agency’s Poster, Poetry and Prose Contest.

“Teachers and students have experienced a multitude of sacrifices this year – but teachers have stepped up to make sure their      students still receive a quality education, Ellman said. “These new virtual resources are a great way for students to learn more about the environment and climate change from the safety of their      home.”

Senator Ellman is encouraging fifth and sixth grade students to      take part in the Illinois EPA’s is Poster, Poetry, and Prose Contest. The theme of 2021 will focus on how food waste diversion options    affects the environment, including climate change, and why it is important to choose environmentally friendly options.

Educators, parents and caregivers are asked to introduce these topics to students using the Illinois EPA’s free, online curriculum titled “Environmental Pathways: Where does my food go?” Students are asked to create posters or written works related to the theme’s focus. 

Entries must be submitted to the Illinois EPA by Feb. 1, 2021. The winners will be announced via email in April. For additional information, visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/epa/topics/education/contest/Pages/default.aspx

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NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is congratulating the DuPage Children's Museum and the Naperville Heritage Society for receiving nearly $1 million in combined grants    to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits.

“Part of being an Illinoisan is understanding where our history      began and where it’s going and as Illinoisan we’re always looking toward the future,” Ellman said. “Both of these organization are reaching out to people where they are creating a framework on how to move forward. They’re recognizing the needs of the community and are creatively meeting those needs while also moving us forward.”

The Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources through the state’s multi-year capital program, is open to any museum operated by local government or located on municipally-owned land. The maximum grant award for the projects announced Wednesday was $750,000 and matching funds are required in many cases based on museum attendance levels.

“The Children’s Museum and the Heritage Society attract thousands of visitors each year,” Ellman said. “This program is investing in the 21st district, which in return creates new economic growth in our community.”

More information on the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program is available on the IDNR website at https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/grants/Pages/Museum-Capital-Grants.aspx.

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Naperville, IL 60540
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