Collins calls for collective action to end hunger in Illinois

Published: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 08:49 AM

052714CM0870SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) noted that 14.2 percent of Illinoisans lack consistent access to food and called on six groups to combine forces to end hunger and food insecurity in the state. The Senate adopted her resolution urging the governor to develop a comprehensive strategy to combat hunger using the existing resources and expertise of these organizations and commissions.

“Hunger is a multifaceted problem, and ending it will require the combined and focused attention of government, schools, food banks, non-profits, the business community and the faith community at every level,” said Collins, who has championed efforts to bring fresh, nutritious foods into “food deserts.”

Collins’ resolution recognizes the ongoing and potential contributions of the following groups to the fight to connect all Illinois residents to healthy foods:

  • The Illinois Commission to End Hunger, which encourages partnerships between food pantries and farmers’ markets
  • The Greater Chicago Food Depository, which supplies food to 650 food pantries and soup kitchens across Cook County and is pioneering an urban agriculture and employment initiative
  • The Illinois Local Food, Farms and Jobs Council, created by legislation Collins sponsored in 2009, which supports the consumption of locally grown foods throughout the state
  • The Serve Illinois Commission, which encourages volunteer service and engages local food projects in building a strong volunteer infrastructure
  • The Illinois Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise, which works at the intersection of social and economic progress
  • The Illinois Business Development Council, which is developing a state business plan that prioritizes areas of high poverty and low employment

“To alleviate hunger and poverty, we must harness the power of existing resources, not create yet another stand-alone task force,” Collins said. “I know that applying dedicated talent and grassroots innovation from around the state to the unacceptable reality of hunger in our communities will bring about change.”

Martinez: New panel will study Latinos’ access to disability services

Published: Friday, May 30, 2014 10:56 PM

martinezstudylatino053014State Senator Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th), concerned by the disproportionately small number of Latinos on the state government’s list of individuals eligible for developmental disabilities services, has secured approval of a task force to study the status of Latinos with disabilities in Illinois. Both the House and Senate have voted to establish the group, which will develop its recommendations over the next year and a half.

“Although Latinos make up 16 percent of the population, they account for only 6.4 percent of those on the Prioritization of Urgent Need for Services list,” Martinez said. “This suggests an information and access problem, and I believe we should study this disparity and determine how to better identify and serve everyone in need of assistance.”

The Prioritization of Urgent Need for Services (PUNS) list is maintained to help the Illinois Department of Human Services determine which individuals receive assistance first as funding becomes available. There are currently more than 22,000 people on the PUNS list. Some have never received services, and others are seeking additional or different types of services.

The task force will compile data on the number of Latinos living with disabilities in Illinois, their needs and their access to and participation in state programs. It will solicit community feedback, examine barriers to access and recommend best practices for reaching Latinos with disabilities who are not receiving screening or services. The panel’s report is due January 1, 2016.

Grant Accountability and Transparency Act passes Senate

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014 07:16 PM

“This measure makes sure that we invest in the best performing grant recipients and prevents questionable organizations and individuals with criminal histories from getting taxpayer money.” - State Senator Dan Kotowski

052914 js 0188RSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Dan Kotowski’s (D-Park Ridge) Grant Accountability and Transparency Act, which requires greater accountability of grant funding recipients, passed the Senate today.

“This measure makes sure that we invest in the best performing grant recipients and prevents questionable organizations and individuals with criminal histories from getting taxpayer money,” Kotowski said.  “We will have greater oversight and increased transparency over grant money, so that we can fund what works and get rid of what doesn’t.”

House Bill 2747 adds criteria to ensure that the best performing agencies continue to receive grant funding.

Una legislación patrocinada por Delgado dará a residentes más control sobre la seguridad en sus comunidades (VIDEO)

Published: Thursday, May 29, 2014 05:11 PM

DelgadoLiquorHB1463El Senador estatal, William Delgado, patrocina una legislación que dará a los residentes más control sobre los negocios que hay en sus vecindarios.

“El blanco de esta legislación son las licorerías que permiten el desarrollo de actividades ilegales dentro o alrededor de sus establecimientos”, dijo Delgado. “Cerrando estos negocios por 30 días, el comisionado que controla la venta de licor localmente tendrá más tiempo para preparar su caso, al tiempo que se reduce la actividad ilegal en el área mientras la tienda está cerrada”.

La iniciativa HB 1463 otorgará la autoridad al Comisionado de Chicago que controla el licor de cerrar una licorería, sin aviso previo, hasta por 30 días. No obstante, esto sólo será posible si el comisionado considera que la operación del establecimiento representa un riesgo excesivo a la comunidad. El nivel de riesgo es juzgado por la incidencia de actividad delictiva en el establecimiento.

Durante los 30 días del cierre, el propietario de la licencia tendrá el derecho a ser escuchado. Si el propietario de la licencia forma parte de un patrón de conducta de otro negocio o negocios en su entorno, será el caso que la orden del comisionado no será aplicable a otro negocio o negocios cercanos al propietario de la licencia para vender alcohol.

Actualmente, la ley establece que un comisionado que controla el licor localmente no puede retirar una licencia para vender licor hasta que se realice una audiencia pública.

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