House Bill 3653
Last night, Naperville City Council heard from more than 90 speakers concerning a resolution requesting Governor J.B. Pritzker to veto House Bill 3653. The bill would bring criminal justice reforms like ending cash bail and requiring all police officers to wear body cameras by 2025. Though the resolution was meant to condemn the bill due to it being voted on in the middle of the night with very little time for lawmakers to read the entire bill, most of the discussion veered towards the contents of the legislation. Police Chief Bob Marshall weighed in saying though he supports some of the bill, he opposes it overall because he wanted more time to vet the bill before it was passed. Though most council members voiced their support for the Naperville Police Department, the resolution failed 4-5 with some saying it was inappropriate for Naperville officials to be weighing in on the policy, since they weren’t at any public hearings to draft the bill.
COVID-19 Test Site Closing
The DuPage County Health Department will close its COVID-19 testing site at the DuPage County Complex in Wheaton at the end of the month. The closure is being done to provide more support to vaccination efforts. The last day of operations will be January 29.
District 203 Plans to Vaccinate Staff
At last night’s Naperville School District 203 board meeting, Superintendent Dan Bridges said the district plans to vaccinate its staff when the COVID-19 vaccine becomes available from the DuPage County Health Department. School staff is considered to be part of group 1b and the health department is still working on vaccinating those in group 1a. Because of this, school staff may not begin receiving the vaccine for another 10-12 weeks. Bridges said so far, 1,400 staff members have expressed interest in receiving the vaccine.
District 203 Taxpayers Will Receive Reimbursement
District 203 taxpayers will be getting some financial relief after the board approved a one-time tax reimbursement resolution of $10 million. While reviewing its audit, Superintendent Dan Bridges said the district found itself in a “unique position” in which certain budget expenditures for the 2019-2020 school year were lower than expected due to the shift to remote learning. Based on preliminary calculations, District 203’s chief financial officer, Michael Frances, said the owner of a home of around $400,000 could receive about $270 in the distribution. The reimbursement will be found on taxpayers’ most recent tax bill once distributed.
Winter Sports Update
Yesterday the IHSA announced that winter sports for schools in regions no longer under Tier 3 COVID-19 mitigations would be allowed to begin practices starting immediately. All winter sports, with the exception of boys and girls basketball, are allowed to begin playing games after seven practices have been held. Benet Academy, Metea Valley, Waubonsie Valley, Naperville Central and Naperville North can begin to practice today since DuPage County, which is part of Region 8, is in Tier 2. Neuqua Valley is located in Will County, which is in Region 7, so the Wildcats must wait until the region gets into Tier 2 mitigations.
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