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New Holmes law overhauls child abuse reporting from psychiatric hospitals

Published: Monday, July 15, 2019 08:59 AM

holmes 053119SPRINGFIELD – After an October report from ProPublica revealed allegations of abuse and neglect of children at the Aurora Chicago Lakeshore Hospital, concerns were heightened about coordination between the Department of Children and Family Services and other state agencies.

State Senator Linda Holmes’ (D-Aurora) House Bill 831 requires better reporting to rectify those cases by requiring DCFS to notify the Director of Public Health and the Director of Healthcare and Family Services when they occur. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the bill into law today.

“After DCFS found neglect and sexual abuse by staff, as well as failure to provide a safe environment and monitor these children’s care and medication at this psychiatric hospital, it became obvious more oversight is needed to prevent this from happening,” Holmes said. “Federal and state investigations have revealed these tragedies and we must do everything we can to stop it.”

The Department of Public Health inspects and licenses hospitals, including psychiatric hospitals where children in need of that care reside. DPH has the authority to revoke, deny or suspend a hospital’s license. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services is responsible for providing healthcare coverage for adults and children who qualify for Medicaid, which covers many children in these hospitals’ care.

“These agencies must be engaged to help investigate and correct the conditions that lead to cases of abuse and neglect,” Holmes said. “Whenever DCFS receive a report by any means, at any facility, they should notify the directors of DPH and HFS so they can take action. The numerous charges against DCFS in safely caring for children under their supervision are disturbing and this is just one of many legislative actions underway to reform child welfare.”

Among the cases investigated were children who had been cleared for discharge weeks or months before, but they were languishing in the hospitals because DCFS had failed to find other places for them.

The new law takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Morrison law to require better preparation to treat students with epilepsy

Published: Friday, July 12, 2019 03:48 PM

Sen. Julie MorrisonSPRINGFIELD – Students with epilepsy will be better protected at school under a new law signed today by Gov. JB Pritzker and sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield).

“Nationwide, 470,000 children are affected by epilepsy. As children spend a large part of their day in the classroom, it is imperative schools are prepared to handle the unique set of health care needs of these students,” Morrison said.

Morrison’s new law – contained in House Bill 1475 – creates the Seizure Smart School Act, which would require the development of a plan for students with epilepsy that includes training for employees and care aides on how to handle students with the disorder.

Bertino-Tarrant’s new law ensures reliable and experienced teachers in Illinois’ classrooms

Published: Friday, July 12, 2019 03:45 PM

Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantPLAINFIELD – Illinois now has a new law in place to help address the teacher shortage by allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom without coming out of retirement, thanks to Illinois Senate Education Chair Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood).

Bertino-Tarrant’s championed House Bill 1472, which addresses findings that 89 percent of Central Illinois districts and 92 percent of Southern Illinois districts have issues with staffing teaching positions with qualified candidates. The law was signed on Friday.

“Our retired teachers should not be penalized for returning to classrooms to help our school districts meet their needs,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “We want teachers in our classrooms with experience in the profession to help ensure our children are receiving a strong education.”

Crowe’s event educated seniors on fraud and identity theft prevention

Published: Friday, July 12, 2019 09:14 AM

State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) and State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) greet the crowd in Caseyville Public Library on Wednesday morning.CASEYVILLE – As technology evolves and scammers find new ways to target the older population, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) reminded people of the many ways in which they should protect themselves during the seminar for seniors she hosted Wednesday.

“Scammers are getting more and more creative over the phone and internet, and are targeting elders’ wallets,” Crowe said. “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I wasn’t trying my best to provide seniors with the skills to fight back.”

The event was free and open to the public at the Caseyville Public Library on Wednesday. The Attorney General’s Office and State Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) co-hosted the event with Crowe.

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News Releases

IMAGE New Holmes law overhauls child abuse reporting from psychiatric hospitals
Monday, 15 July 2019
SPRINGFIELD – After an October report from ProPublica revealed allegations of abuse and neglect of children at the Aurora Chicago Lakeshore...

Read More...
IMAGE Morrison law to require better preparation to treat students with epilepsy
Friday, 12 July 2019
SPRINGFIELD – Students with epilepsy will be better protected at school under a new law signed today by Gov. JB Pritzker and sponsored by State...

Read More...
IMAGE Bertino-Tarrant’s new law ensures reliable and experienced teachers in Illinois’ classrooms
Friday, 12 July 2019
PLAINFIELD – Illinois now has a new law in place to help address the teacher shortage by allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom...

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IMAGE Route 24 expansion improvements included in capital infrastructure plan
Thursday, 11 July 2019
PEORIA – Assistant Majority Leader Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) joined House Deputy Majority Leader Jehan Gordon-Booth and Gov. JB Pritzker to tout...

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IMAGE Crowe supports legislation increasing line-of-duty death benefits
Tuesday, 09 July 2019
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker signed a measure last month doubling the benefits for families of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed...

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