Crime on senator's radar for early '24

Glowiak Hilton looks to help state fight retail crime rackets and to support veterans

Suzy Glowiak Hilton, elected to represent the 23rd District in the Illinois Senate in 2018, said she prioritizes constituents, whether they be individuals, businesses or municipalities.

She points to the most significant accomplishment of the last legislative session — working with the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation to modernize the licensing system — with that in mind.

“That was one of the things that I was the most excited about in the recent session that we just ended, because it really is going to make a difference to people in their lives, to getting back to work or getting their license to do what they are passionate about.”

A new software system will eliminate the need for applications to be sent in the mail.

“What are we doing here with paper forms?” Glowiak Hilton asked.

As she looks to the spring session of the 103rd General Assembly, which started last week, she is focusing on crime.

“DuPage County has just been riddled with retail theft. There is a real problem with retail theft and organized retail crime issues,” she said, noting that Oakbrook Center is within her district. “This is definitely not someone who is going into a store and stealing something for themselves because they need to something to eat.”

The goal of her proposed legislation is to fortify the state’s ability to prosecute specific individuals responsible for organizing the criminal activity.

Glowiak Hilton also would like to make it easier for veterans to participate in recreational activities that require licenses, such as fishing and hunting.

“The way to do that, I think, is by lowering the fee and extending the time, so instead of a three-year license it’s a four-year license, just to get veterans interested in participating in these activities.”

Spending time in nature is can be a wonderful option for individuals suffering from PTSD or who are having trouble re-entering society.

“They have given us so much, and I really feel like we can help them,” she said.

As a former Western Springs trustee, Glowiak Hilton said she tries to do all she can to support the small communities in her district.

“I am very sensitive to the needs of our small villages like Hinsdale,” she said. “I was really happy to help Hinsdale procure a new fire truck. That’s in the works right now.

Glowiak Hilton secured an $850,000 grant last year to allow the department to replace a fire engine that’s more than 20 years old, Hinsdale Fire Chief John Giannelli said. Due to production backlogs, the order will take 2 1/2 years to fill.

“I’m really happy to support our small communities in whatever way they need,” she said. “I work very closely with DuPage Mayors and Managers (Conference) and what they need and how I can help them.”

In addition to hearing from constituents who contact her, Glowiak Hilton said she tries to be out in the community when she can.

“We have a lot of outreach,” she said. “We do some mobile DMV trucks that come out to the district. We do shred events where people come and have all their documents in their car. It’s great. When people drive up in line, I’m there, and I talk to them about things.”

Her office also gives her the opportunity to provide more direct assistance, as she did by working with several DuPage County legislators to sponsor a recent collection for #LovePurse.

The organization distributes purses filled with toiletries and other products to women in need and survivors of domestic violence.

“It was just really heartwarming to have people come up to me and say, ‘This really made a difference,’ ” she said.

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean