NAPERVILLE - State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is encouraging Illinois residents to nominate a new poet laureate, a position that has been vacant since 2017.

Composed of poets, writers, and academics from across the state, the committee will review nominations and give a recommendation of which Illinoisan should become the state’s newest poet laureate.

“I’m urging residents to nominate individuals who qualify for this great honor,” Ellman said. “Poetry is an important part of our culture, and I’m thrilled that a resident will once again have the opportunity    to be named Illinois’ poet laureate.”  

The position was established in 1936, with Howard B. Austin serving as the first poet laureate. Since Austin, only three other Illinoisans have held the title: Carl Sandburg (1962-67), Gwendolyn Brooks (1968-2000), and Kevin Stein (2003-2017).

Nominations for the title begin July 1, 2020 and will be accepted until August 15, 2020. Nominees are required to be a current Illinois resident, a published author and have a history of activity in the state’s literary community. Nominations may be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to:

Illinois Poet Laureate Search Committee

c/o Office of the Governor

207 State House

Springfield, IL 62706

A full description of the position qualifications and nominating requirements is available on the website of the Illinois Poet Laureate: www.illinois.gov/poetlaureate. For additional information, or questions regarding the Illinois Poet Laureate nomination process and position, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

NAPERVILLE — As the state continues to suffer from a financial crisis spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) will serve on a bipartisan, bicameral commission to monitor discretionary spending by the governor’s office and local governments related to the new state budget and federal relief funding.


“Illinois is in the midst of a fiscal crisis that we can’t ignore, which creates obstacles in our state budget,” Ellman said. “I’m pleased to work with my colleagues to ensure we’re doing what’s best for all Illinoisans. We’ll continue to work diligently to ensure we’re not stuck in these financially diminishing times forever.” 

Ellman was appointed to the Legislative Budget Oversight Commission by Senate President Don Harmon Monday. Local governments will report the status and distribution of federal CARES money and any other federal financial relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic to the commission. The commission will relay the information to the governor and General Assembly. 

Beginning Aug. 15, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget will submit monthly reports to the commission to report budget management actions taken by its office, the governor’s office and all state agencies. Additionally, on a quarterly basis, the governor will give a report to the commission orally that includes budget management actions, year-to-date revenues as compared to anticipated revenues, and year-to-date expenditures as compared to the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. 

The 22-member body is made up of Democratic and Republican legislators from both chambers of the General Assembly. Members of the commission will serve without compensation.


NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is reminding residents across Illinois that state income tax returns and payments are due July 15, the same deadline established by the Internal Revenue Service for federal income taxes.

“If you have not already, I’m urging residents to file their 2019 income taxes as quickly as possible,” Ellman said. “There’s only a month left before the deadline.”

Gov. JB Pritzker extended the tax filing season three months from the normal due date of April 15 to help Illinois taxpayers experiencing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This pandemic is still responsible for a lot of families’ financial hardships,” Ellman said. “I encourage every taxpayer to utilize all potential returns or deductions to help improve their financial situations.”

As part of a revised revenue estimate released in April, the Governor’s Office of Budget and Management projected the extension would defer approximately $1 billion in general fund revenue to Fiscal Year 2021.  

Ellman would like to remind residents that according to the IDOR, the fastest, most secure way to receive a refund is to file a tax return electronically and request direct deposit into a checking or savings account. Taxpayers may file and pay their IL-1040 for free through MyTax Illinois. Taxpayers who have already filed a return can check their status at www.MyTax.Illinois.Gov.  

For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules, and instructions for the 2019 tax year, please visit IDOR’s website at: tax.illinois.gov.

Maj. Chad Brooks, of the 119th Medical Group, left, and Julie Hardy, a registered nurse working with the North Dakota Department of Health, collect a COVID-19 testing swab from a volunteer testing participant in the parking lot of the Alerus Center, Grand Forks, N.D., April 23, 2020. They are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) to stay safe while they work and help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus while testing people as they drive through the process in their vehicles. He is just one of the many N.D. National Guard members partnering with the N.D. Department of Health and other civilian agencies in support of the whole community response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 700 people were tested in the five-hour testing event April 23. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by David H. Lipp)

NAPERVILLE – With Illinois still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is encouraging residents to make use of two new testing sites in DuPage County starting next Tuesday, June 16. All residents of DuPage County can be tested, and no appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed.

“I’m pleased that DuPage County residents will soon have access to not one, but two new testing sites,” Ellman said. “I can’t stress the importance of mass testing enough. Each test that’s administered is another step closer to the eventual eradication of this virus, and a return to normal life.”

A drive-through COVID-19 testing site will open at the DuPage County Complex on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. The site will be accessible through the County Campus’ main entrance off County Farm Road Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., or until 400 tests are completed each day. The COVID-19 test will be free. All residents of DuPage County can be tested, and no appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed.

To ensure the safety of testing personnel, the test will be done while you are sitting in your vehicle. You must be sitting at a functioning window and cannot exit your vehicle while at the test site. No motorcycles will be allowed to enter.

In addition, DuPage County is supporting a testing site in Willowbrook. Beginning this week and continuing until August, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, testing will be available through Pillars Community Health with drive-up testing at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School in Willowbrook.

Testing at the Willowbrook site will be available to anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or anyone with a known exposure to COVID-19, high-risk patients, first responders, health care workers or essential workers who wish to be tested. Limited tests are available and an appointment is required for this site.

To schedule the appointment, please call (708) 745-5277 and follow the prompts. Appointments will be scheduled in the following time slots: Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to noon and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to .1 p.m. Insurance will be billed; if you do not have insurance, please call Pillars Community Health at (708) 745-5277 to discuss options.

To learn more, visit the DuPage County COVID-19 Dashboard: www.dupagehealth.org/covid19data.

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Contact Info

District Office
475 River Bend Rd., Suite 500
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 601-9961

Springfield Office
M113 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8192