Amy Elik

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ILLINOIS - For State Representative Amy Elik, the first year of her two-year term has been a point of pride as she passed several bipartisan bills in 2023.

Elik is a Republican who represents the 111th District in Illinois with a homebase in Alton. She is planning a “whole host of additional bills for 2024,” and she is excited to hit the ground running when the 103rd General Assembly returns to Springfield on Jan. 16. In the meantime, she is pleased with the bills she worked on during 2023, and she breaks down some of those bills for her constituents.

“I would say [the bills] all were [bipartisan] and I’m really proud of that,” Elik said. “I do a lot of preliminary work to make sure that we send a bill through in that manner. That’s important to me. It’s important to me to have cosponsors on both sides of the aisle. It just helps ensure that you’re doing good policy, that you’ve listened to both sides of the aisle and their concerns and what their constituents’ concerns might be, and that it’s the best thing for the state.”

State Senator Erica Harriss kicked off her new term by collaborating with Elik on a bill that requires Illinois schools to recognize Constitution Day as a commemorative holiday. The day commemorates the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17 every year. Elik noted that working on this bill was “a little bit fun” because she and Harriss were invited to Granite City High School to give a presentation on Constitution Day as a result, and she enjoyed speaking with the high schoolers.

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Elik also reworked some of the language in her 2022 bill that requires background checks on people hired to provide transportation for kids who are under the care of the Department of Child and Family Services. She noted that the Illinois State Police reached out to her about how to improve this bill, and she was happy to work with them.

Elik is on several education committees, and she works closely with teachers. This year, she “lifted the sunset” on a bill that was set to expire that “allows public school teachers to get credit for two years of service if they taught in a private school toward their pension.”

She also helped establish the Rural Education Advisory Council, a group that elevates the voice of rural school districts in the state of Illinois. Elik noted that some northern Illinois representatives didn’t understand why this council was needed, which she believes is indicative of the differences between northern and southern Illinois. But she emphasized that it is possible to work with both sides of the aisle by having one-on-one conversations and thinking about which people could “make an impact with other legislators.”

“I think that is probably one of the biggest challenges of, how do you represent everybody and make sure it’s the best for everybody? Because some people might not think it’s the best for them and I understand that,” she added. “Listening to both sides is really, really important.”

Elik has several new bills that she is preparing to file in 2024, but she noted that the 2023 bills will not die until next January. She will continue to work on some of the bills she started during 2023.

“The term is a two-year term, so we’re in the second year now of the 103rd General Assembly. All of the bills that were filed all of 2023, they’re still there. We can still work on them, we can still advance them, or not. Whatever you want to do. And we’re all still filing new bills as well,” she explained. “So all of those bills that are already there could come back. They don’t die. The bills don’t die until the end of the 103rd General Assembly, which is next year in January.”

For more information about Amy Elik, visit her official website at RepElik.com.

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