051220210426 rSPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) to increase groundwater monitoring in areas near quarry fill sites advanced out of committee on Wednesday afternoon.

“Water is one of our most precious natural resources,” Connor said. “We have to make protecting it a priority so that our residents have reliable, clean water to drink for generations to come.”

House Bill 653 is an initiative of the Illinois Environmental Council and the Environmental Law and Policy Center that provides funding to hire additional inspectors and carry out increased testing of clean construction and demolition debris facilities. This testing and monitoring will help to ensure that contaminants are kept out of fill sites where clean construction demolition debris is dumped, and in turn kept out of groundwater.

“Investing in our environment is investing in our future,” Connor said.

The legislation remains in the Senate for further discussion.

Category: Press Releases

04202021CM0193 rSPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) to identify and report racial bias in hiring processes that rely on artificial intelligence to determine suitable applicants passed out of Senate committee Tuesday afternoon.

“We work every day to monitor and root out systemic racial bias in our institutions, but we also need to make sure we’re addressing it in our technology,” Connor said. “If companies are using systems that are inadvertently singling out people of color and keeping them from opportunities they deserve, we need to know and we need to put an end to it.”

Many large companies use some form of AI in their hiring processes. Applicants record answers to a series of questions and submit them to be analyzed by the company’s AI software. Algorithms evaluate facial expressions, word choice, body language and vocal tone, to decide which applicants advance.

For companies that rely solely on AI screenings of these videos to select candidates, House Bill 53 requires that the race and ethnicity of applicants, both those hired and those rejected, is collected and reported. If passed, this legislation would require these reports to be sent to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, where the data would be analyzed and shared with the Governor and General Assembly.

The legislation remains in the Senate for further discussion.

Category: Press Releases

Connor Lion Electric rJOLIET – Lion Electric Company, a Canadian-based electric vehicle company, will be building its first U.S. manufacturing facility in Joliet State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) announced Friday morning.

“This partnership will let Lion Electric and Will County look toward the future together,” Connor said. “By bringing hundreds of jobs to the Joliet area to manufacture zero-emission electric vehicles, we are working toward a stronger economy and a healthier environment for us all.”

Lion Electric will be investing $70 million in the facility, which will be the largest of its kind in the nation. Nearly 750 new jobs will be created as a result of the move as well, and the facility is projected to produce 20,000 electric vehicles annually.

“Thanks to Lion Electric, Will County is not only going to be a hub for transportation, but will now be a center for innovation,” said Connor.

The plant is anticipated to come online in the second half of 2022.

Category: Press Releases

jamie street dQLgop4tnsc unsplash rLOCKPORT – State Senator John Connor (D-Lockport) is promoting Work Zone Awareness Week in an effort to remind Illinoisans to take extreme caution as the Illinois Department of Transportation begins a new construction season.

“We’re no strangers to construction projects in the Joliet area, and it’s easy to become impatient when those projects are ongoing or we have to drive through a work zone on a day to day basis,” said Connor. “We have to stay alert, though, because even one moment of inattention can cost someone their life.”

Work Zone Awareness Week is meant to honor of those who have died in work zones and to raise awareness going into the summer construction season. Joliet is one of many cities across the state undergoing major construction projects beginning this summer, and residents are encouraged to continue to be wary of work zones even after the close of Work Zone Awareness Week.

“With a little extra patience and diligence, we can ensure that everyone gets home safely at night,” said Connor.

On average, Illinois sees 6,400 work zone crashes every year, resulting in 1,700 injuries and 34 deaths. Those who wish to learn more can visit IDOT’s Work Zone page.

Category: Press Releases

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