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Holmes works for transparency, taxpayer savings with local government reforms

Published: Friday, May 24, 2019 09:49 AM

holmes 052419SPRINGFIELD – Three pieces of legislation from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) to improve how local governments operate have passed the Illinois General Assembly.

“Measures to put decisions in the hands of voters and to streamline local government functions will save taxpayer dollars and make operations more transparent,” Holmes said. “Citizens need to know their municipal officials are representing them effectively.”

House Bill 814 would allow municipal officials to satisfy their training requirements of the Open Meetings Act by participating in a course sponsored or conducted by the Illinois Municipal League. They would join other organizations that provide training for municipal officials, in this case providing in-person training rather than electronic training provided by other entities. IML would provide a certificate of course completion to each member of a public body who completes the training successfully.

House Bill 910 would let the Aurora Public Library change its board of trustees from appointed to elected. The bill would requiring a referendum asking voters to decide and, if passed, provides for the number of trustees and the manner of their election. Currently, the board is appointed by the city’s mayor with council approval.

House Bill 2473 allows Fire Protection Districts to enter into supply contracts of $20,000 through participating in joint out-of-state purchasing programs that require a competitive solicitation and procurement process.  Supported by the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and the Illinois Municipal League, this measure could ensure fire protection districts receive better pricing on preferred brands of equipment.

All three measures have been approved by both chambers and now go to the governor for consideration.

Hastings pushes for more safety training at high hazard facilities

Published: Friday, May 24, 2019 09:36 AM

hastings 052419SPRINGFIELD – Workers at high hazard facilities would be required to undergo advanced safety training thanks to legislation by State Senator Michael E. Hastings which passed the Senate yesterday.

“Safety training is crucial at every job site, but the need at facilities where workers are handling dangerous substances is especially urgent,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “Developing a curriculum that will strengthen the protections of workers is simply the responsible thing to do.”

Recently, refineries and other high hazard facilities across the state have been the site of numerous accidents. Additionally, 127 hazardous material reports have been issued over the past 10 years, finding that dangerous chemicals are being released into the air of surrounding communities.

Martinez passes bill seeking to place teachers in hard-to-staff schools

Published: Friday, May 24, 2019 09:31 AM

martinez 052419SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez’s measure expanding the ability of schools and future teachers to participate in the Grow Your Own Teacher program will soon head to the governor’s desk.

The Grow Your Own Teacher initiative is a program designed to train people to become teachers in hard-to-staff schools.

“Illinois is dealing with a teacher shortage, so we need to do all that we can to place dedicated teachers in schools,” Martinez (D-Chicago) said. “We especially must work to ensure students at schools that are traditionally hard to staff – like those in low-incomes areas – have the same access to quality education as anyone else.”

Martinez passed legislation this week that would expand the definition of "eligible school" and "hard-to-staff" schools for the initiative to include early childhood programs in which no less than 40 percent of the children it serves are receiving subsidized care under the Department of Human Services' Child Care Assistance Program.

Martinez’s legislation would also extend eligibility for participation in the initiative to high school students enrolled in a dual credit course at a participating institution of higher education.

House Bill 35 passed both the House and Senate without opposition.

Bertino-Tarrant urges Illinois government agencies to buy American

Published: Friday, May 24, 2019 09:05 AM

Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD – To help keep jobs in America, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is sponsoring House Bill 356, which would require state agencies to purchase goods made in the United States.

“State tax dollars should be spent to create jobs in our local economies,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This legislation displays the state’s commitment to supporting American businesses.”

House Bill 356 is similar to the federal Buy American Act of 1933, which mandated that the federal government must give preferential treatment to American-made goods.

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News Releases

IMAGE Holmes works for transparency, taxpayer savings with local government reforms
Friday, 24 May 2019
SPRINGFIELD – Three pieces of legislation from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) to improve how local governments operate have passed the...

Read More...
IMAGE Martinez passes bill seeking to place teachers in hard-to-staff schools
Friday, 24 May 2019
SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez’s measure expanding the ability of schools and future teachers to participate in the...

Read More...
IMAGE Bertino-Tarrant urges Illinois government agencies to buy American
Friday, 24 May 2019
SPRINGFIELD – To help keep jobs in America, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant is sponsoring House Bill 356, which would require state agencies...

Read More...
IMAGE Bennett advocates for investing in UI Extension service programs
Thursday, 23 May 2019
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Senate passed a measure this week sponsored by Senator Scott Bennett to help provide practical education programs...

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IMAGE Aquino passes bill to protect student data
Thursday, 23 May 2019
SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) that would protect students against unethical collection of data passed the...

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