CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — State Sen. Win Stoller (R-Germantown Hills) is speaking out against the Illinois State Board of Education’s newly proposed “culturally responsive” rule changes.
“I’m concerned about what the real intent it. Our current standards already require a classroom where individual differences are welcome and respected,” Stoller said. “What I’m concerned about is the true intent is that they want teachers to conform to certain ideologies, to think a certain way. I don’t think that’s right. I think that puts too much burden on the teachers to conform to a certain way of thinking, I don’t think that’s right.”
On Jan. 28, Stoller joined other Illinois GOP colleagues in asking for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to answer for the state’s slow COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
As of Tuesday morning, according to the New York Times, 8.9% of Illinois’ population has received at least their first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. 2.4% percent are fully vaccinated.
The state has used 70% of the vaccines it has been given from the federal government.
As of Jan. 28, according to Stoller, Illinois ranked #47 in overall vaccine distribution.
“Our state’s vaccine distribution numbers are shameful,” Stoller said. “They rank at the bottom compared to every other state in the nation. My colleagues and I want to hear a clear explanation from the governor on how this failure occurred.”
According to the CDC, Illinois ranks #4 for amount of total COVID-19 cases in the country. A reporter for the Chicago Tribune wrote Illinois still ranks in the bottom third for residents vaccinated when factoring in population size.
“As of last Friday, the amount of vaccine that Illinois has received, we’ve only distributed 60% of that. Most states are over 80%. Gov. Pritzker has elevated healthy young people that are in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, even healthy prisoners ahead of those that are most at-risk,” Stoller said.
Stoller said people over 65-years-old, or people who have other health conditions, “are the most at-risk of a serious complication or even death from this COVID virus.”
“Nearly half of our COVID-19 deaths come from the residents of long-term care facilities. Yet, only 20% of those residents have received their vaccination. From the very beginning of this pandemic, the governor has decided to go-it-alone when it comes to its management. Our vaccination numbers show that the decision was a mistake and that the governor’s administration has failed our residents,” Stoller said on Jan. 28.
Lack of vaccine distribution is not the only problem Stoller sees. He also believes Pritzker may be using the pandemic to shift blame.
“Gov. Pritzker has declared a state of emergency powers so he can get things done,” Stoller said. “The whole idea of declaring a state of emergency, is to get things done quicker. But instead, we’re hearing from Gov. Pritzker that it’s the federal government’s fault. All 50 states have the same federal government, and we’re ranked #47, so I think he has some answering to do on that.”
After the lame duck session, Stoller posted a photo to Facebook showing the stack of paper on House Bill 3653.
That bill is known as the “police reform” bill.
Some activists came out in favor of the bill, while some representatives of law enforcement shared their perspectives.
Stoller said lawmakers rushed through “major reform legislation.”
“I’ve talked to a lot of people who have lost faith and trust in Illinois government. I went down to the lame-duck session, and I found out why. It was 3:05 a.m. and we were given a 764-page bill. I didn’t know what was in the bill, we had less than an hour to read it before the debate started. At 4:48 a.m., we voted on this bill,” Stoller said. “I didn’t know how much it cost, I didn’t know exactly what was in it. I should have got the opportunity to read it, understand it, and talk to the stakeholders and hear what their thoughts are, and hear from the public.”
Now, Stoller is introducing his own bill to try and avoid this in the future.
“That is bad government,” Stoller said. “What I’m doing about that, I’m introducing a bill this week that says any language we’re gonna be voting on, the final language has to be put out publicly two weeks before we vote on it. You can call me crazy, but I think it’s important to understand what we’re actually voting on, and I need to hear from people! We need to have some debate, and we need to hear from the public. On that case on the criminal justice bill at 3:00 in the morning, I would’ve liked to call the sheriffs and other people who were affected by it and hear what their thoughts were. But they were asleep.”
Schedule for On the Record’s February schedule found below:
- Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 6:20 a.m. — State Sen. Sally Turner (R-Beason)
- Monday, Feb. 22 live at 6:20 a.m. — Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis.