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The Majority Report 08/03/18 - New Castro law gives children access to their medicine on school grounds


Castro's new law gives children access to their medicine on school grounds

castro 051718Illinois children who are qualified medical cannabis patients will now have access to their medicine on school grounds thanks to Elgin Democrat, State Senator Cristina Castro.

Castro’s bipartisan initiative creates "Ashley's Law” which allows for the administration of medical cannabis-infused products on school premises. It was signed into law Wednesday.

“Children shouldn’t have to choose between their medication and their education,” Castro said. "Qualified patients have the right to have access to their medicine no matter where they are. I’m happy to see this measure signed into law.”

This measure was in response to a recent case of an 11-year-old student being denied use of medical cannabis prescribed to her to alleviate symptoms of leukemia treatment. Although she is a qualified medical cannabis patient, previous state law prohibited her use of medicinal cannabis on school grounds.

“With support from the House, Senate and governor’s office, we are grateful that Ashley’s Law will help many children dependent on medical cannabis attend school in Illinois,” Ashley’s family said. “We want to send a huge heartfelt thank you from our family to Senator Castro, Governor Rauner, Representative Lang, our attorney Steve Glink and our doctors for changing our lives. It’s a miracle.”

House Bill 4870 passed the Senate and House with unanimous support and goes into effect immediately.


Manar: Truth in Hiring Act is good government in action

manar 021518A plan to bar the practice of concealing, or “offshoring,” governors’ payroll costs within state agencies is an example of lawmakers of both parties coming together to right a wrong on behalf of the taxpayers of Illinois, one of the new law’s chief sponsors said.

“This is a sensible law and a victory for Illinois taxpayers. Now they will know exactly how much it costs to staff the governor’s office, regardless of political affiliation. This kind of lawmaking is what constituents expect us to do in Springfield,” said State Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and chairman of a key Senate budget committee.

The Truth in Hiring Act, signed into law Tuesday, would stop Illinois governors from concealing their staff’s salaries within state agency budgets – a practice that deceives taxpayers by suggesting a governor’s budget is smaller than it actually is.

An initiative of Comptroller Susana Mendoza, the Truth in Hiring Act passed in both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support. It simply says that every employee who works in the governor’s office will be paid from the governor’s payroll. Their salaries will be counted in the governor’s budget and will not be pulled from agencies that are supposed to protect children and the elderly or put state troopers out patrolling highways.

Nearly 60 percent of employees working for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office currently are paid by state agencies with funds intended for priorities such as economic development, public safety and child protection.

However, offshoring has been utilized by Illinois governors, Democratic and Republican, for years.


Hastings' protections for disabled persons becomes law

hastings 0418 prefThe state of Illinois now has a procedure in place to alert emergency professionals of missing disabled persons, thanks to State Senator Michael E. Hastings, a Tinley Park Democrat. 

Hastings’ Senate Bill 2265, which was signed into law Wednesday, is aimed at reporting, quickly locating and returning missing disabled persons to their homes. 

It is motivated by the story of a disabled man who wandered away from his group in Matteson, Illinois during a group-home outing. When caretakers requested an Amber alert for the man, the authorities said there was no system in place for individuals living with disabilities. 

After 21 hours, the man was returned to his caretakers and the incident left advocates wondering if more could be done to protect Illinois’ disabled populations. Hastings worked with the advocates to draft the new law. 

“This new commonsense procedure will help us protect individuals living with intellectual and physical disabilities,” Hastings said. “This small change will immediately alert authorities and emergency networkers to bring our loved ones home.” 

These individuals will be covered under the Endangered Missing Person Advisory Program, which will provide a regional system for the rapid dissemination of information of missing people. 

“If this alert system had been in place, it would not have taken 21 hours to locate that man in Matteson,” Hastings said. “With this law we are giving authorities the tools to effectively disseminate missing persons reports.” 

Senate Bill 2265 became law thanks to bipartisan support and will take effect on Jan. 1, 2019.


Downstate farmers team up with Senate President to help Chicago's hungry

Corn delivery 2Illinois Senate President John Cullerton thanked a group of downstate farmers for delivering a truckload of sweet corn to Common Pantry on the city’s North Side to help area families.
“I appreciate their generosity. This is a tremendous opportunity for people from different parts of the state to work together, realize we’re all neighbors and remind ourselves of how great the people of Illinois can be,” Cullerton said.
Cullerton met the farmers at Common Pantry and helped unload the corn. Common Pantry will distribute the load to other area pantries.
Jeremy Thomas and his sons were among the downstate contingent making the delivery. Thomas farms near Pittsfield and is vice president for the Pike County Farm Bureau, which has built a relationship with Cullerton through a program that connects downstate farmers with Chicago lawmakers.
Thomas said Pike County farmers routinely donate to local pantries and similar relief efforts, but this is a chance to get a new perspective.
“It’s a wonderful experience. This is our second year. It’s one of those things that makes you feel good about helping other people … people all around the state need help. This is so much different from where we live. It’s just another perspective to see, that people are in need no matter whether you’re in a big city or in a small community,” Thomas said.
Read more here.


In case you missed it


State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Bertino-Tarrant passes law to mandate transparency from governor’s office

State Senator Cristina Castro, Grayslake: 'Ashley’s Law' gives IL children access to medical cannabis on school grounds

State Senator Tom Cullerton, Villa Park: Tom Cullerton’s measure to protect high-risk veterans becomes law

State Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Word on the Street: Why is no one from downstate on Illinois Commerce Commission?

State Senator Julie Morrison, Deerfield: Cook County Board adopts resolution concerned with FoxConn impacts

State Senator Martin Sandoval, Chicago: Senator: Procurement rule wrongly shuts out firms

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