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Tom Cullerton announces new nationwide Veteran ID to help fight identity theft

tc 052417VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is excited to announce qualifying Illinois veterans will now have easy access to Veteran Identification Cards or VICs starting November. 

“Illinois veterans will have nationwide standardized method to prove their military service without the added risks of identity theft,” Cullerton said. “Our military men and women should not have to jump through hoops to receive benefits they qualify for.  This small step will honor our military’s bravery and serve as a reminder that we must never forget the sacrifices they have made for our great nation.”

Castro’s new law empowers residents to eliminate government waste

castro 050417ELGIN- Local communities have a new tool to combat government waste thanks to Elgin Democratic State Senator Cristina Castro.

Castro championed House Bill 607, which allows townships to abolish road districts through the use of voter referendums. 

“Empowering voters to streamline services and eliminate redundant forms of government will lower property tax bills,” Castro said. “Now more than ever we need to work in tune with local citizens to reduce waste in every level of government.”

House Bill 607 allows every township in Illinois to place a referendum on the ballot asking voters whether a township road district should be abolished and the responsibilities of maintaining roadways transferred to the township. Previously this option was only available for townships located in Cook County.

Castro said a good example of local road district consolidation happened in Hanover Township in Cook County when the township worked to consolidate its road district prior to the passage of this new law.

“As a result of our citizen approved consolidation referendum, Hanover Township has an opportunity to implement cost saving measures all while maintaining  high quality constituent service,” said Brian P. McGuire, Hanover Township Supervisor. “As it should be, this new law invests power in the hands of local residents throughout Illinois.”   

Castro said her experience as a member of the Kane County Board helped her craft this legislation and gain an understanding of government at the local level. 

“Local control belongs in local hands,” she said. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to consolidating government services, so this new law will allow taxpayers to decide what’s best for their communities.”

House Bill 607 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

Morrison introducing ban on bump stocks, pressing forward on assault weapon ban

bumpstockSPRINGFIELD – In the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this week, State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) announced today she is filing legislation to ban “trigger modification devices” such as “bump stocks,” which are attachments to semiautomatic rifles that drastically increase the number of bullets fired from a weapon.

“Bump stocks serve no purpose but to inflict maximum carnage on a target and have no place in our communities,” Morrison said. “The federal loophole allowing bump stocks is essentially giving the green light for individuals to purchase and unfortunately use weapons that act just like a fully automatic weapon – which has been banned in this country since 1986.”

Bertino-Tarrant: “It’s our duty to equip our emergency professionals with the tools to prevent drug related deaths”

nalaxone 100417PLAINFIELD- Emergency professionals will now have easier access to the life-saving drug Naloxone to save Will County residents’ lives.

State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is proud to announce Illinois now has a Standing Order to allow eligible organizations, mostly pharmacies and opioid overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs, to provide naloxone to any person without a direct prescription.

“The opioid epidemic does not see race, color or socioeconomic status; it is a crisis affecting every community across Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Naloxone gives us a way to save lives. It’s our duty to equip emergency professionals with the tools to prevent drug related deaths.”

Naloxone is a non-addictive prescription medication that, if used while someone is having a heroin overdose, can save the person’s life. It is more commonly referred to as Narcan. 

With Illinois’ standing order, insurers such as Medicaid and Medicare can be billed. Eligible individuals must complete appropriate training on naloxone administration to use the program.

In 2016, there were a record number of heroin related deaths in Will County, an increase of more than 40 percent from the previous year.  According to the Will County coroner’s office, 77 people died in Will County due to opioid overdoses last year.

Bertino-Tarrant has been working to end the opioid epidemic in Illinois by expanding educational resources to Will County residents.

The new law she championed this year requires the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to create and maintain a website to educate people on the effects of heroin and prescription opioid abuse. The website will include the warning signs of heroin and opioid addiction, helpful tips for parents on how to discuss the dangers of addiction with their children, available treatment options and services, and other related information.

“We need to provide every possible resource and assistance we can as a state to address the heroin and opioid addiction problems many face throughout Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Addiction is hurting families in Will County. Educating area residents will help us alleviate and end the opioid overdose epidemic.”

Bertino-Tarrant urges area residents with questions on how to take advantage of resources to help fight opioid addiction to call her Plainfield office at (815) 254-4211.