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The Majority Report 08/27/18 - Senate Democrats laud job creation, school safety and health care


McGuire lauds Joliet Treatment Center project

Sen. Pat McGuireConstruction of a 210-bed in-patient treatment center in Joliet was lauded this week for the construction jobs and full-time employment it will offer the region, and also for the much-needed mental health treatment it will provide state prison inmates.

State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) said the project has numerous benefits.

“It will provide hundreds of jobs with fair pay and benefits. It will help the state fulfill its legal and moral obligations. It will help prepare offenders to return to their communities as productive, law-abiding citizens. This will help cut crime and reduce recidivism and state costs,” he said.

“The co-location of the In-Patient Treatment Center and the Joliet Treatment Center puts Joliet at the forefront of a new era of criminal justice and public safety.”

The new facility will be located immediately west of the Joliet Treatment Center, formerly Illinois Youth Center-Joliet. Read more.




Lightford law ensures school resource officer training

Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordAs the national call for more school resource officers grows, Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford has passed a new law to ensure Illinois provides proper training for the all-in-one law enforcement, counselor and community liaison position.

Lightford’s plan requires the Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to develop or approve a certified training program for school resource officers by Jan. 1, 2020.

“We are taking into account how difficult the resource officer profession can be, and focusing on the potential it has for being a strong asset in our children’s education,” Lightford (D-Maywood) said. “This training requirement ensures that resource officers are prepared to take on the unique challenges of working in a school environment.”

The training will be developed with consultation from organizations with expertise in the areas of youth and adolescent development, educational administration, child abuse and exploitation prevention, youth mental health treatment and juvenile advocacy. Read more.



Manar telehealth expansion becomes law

Sen. Andy ManarState Senator Andy Manar’s plan to make health care available to more rural children and families through telehealth became law this week.

The initiative allows health care providers on both ends of a telehealth interaction to be reimbursed for costs involved in participating in the interaction. This means, for example, insurance can reimburse telehealth costs to both the rural hospital where a stroke patient has been taken for emergency care and to the highly skilled stroke specialist in another part of the state who is consulting with the patient and local medical team via computer and webcam.

“Children and families shouldn’t go without medical treatment or counseling – nor should they have to drive three hours for services they – need simply because of where they live,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “We have other options today. Telemedicine is one of them.”

Telehealth capabilities also increase access to mental and behavioral health care, which is especially important in rural and high-poverty areas where unemployment, substance abuse, food insecurity, housing and transportation shortages, domestic violence, and other issues can converge. Read more.



Illinois at 200

August 21, 1858To mark the countdown to Illinois’ bicentennial on Dec. 3, all this year the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus has published daily tributes to the people, places and events that have helped forge the state’s rich history.

From inventors and entertainers to our communities and the Capitol, Illinois has a lot to celebrate.

This week’s bicentennial countdown featured the first of the Lincoln-Douglas debates in Ottawa in 1858, the birth of science fiction writer Ray Bradbury in 1920, and the birth of NFL coach Mike Shanahan in Oak Park in 1952.

To find all of our historical vignettes, visit I Like Illinois online, on Facebook and on Twitter. #IllinoisProud



In case you missed it


State Senator Cristina Castro, Elgin: Why Illinois is making penalties for texting while driving tougher | The Daily Herald

State Senator Jacqueline Collins, Chicago: New state law broadens K2 ban, closes loophole | WTTW

State Senator Bill Haine, Alton: New law to accommodate nursing moms at work | Advantage News

State Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Want a job? Richland Community College just got a $1.5M grant to train Decatur’s workforce | Herald & Review

State Senator Tom Cullerton, Villa Park: Cullerton champions new breast cancer awareness law | Chicago Tribune


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