Belt reaches out to hard-to-count residents at informational 2020 Census event

Published: Thursday, March 12, 2020 09:20 AM

belt 032019SPRINGFIELD – To ensure a complete count of Illinois residents in the upcoming census, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) hosted an informational event regarding the 2020 Census at East St. Louis Community College Center on Wednesday.

"One way to reach hard-to-count areas is to inform residents about the importance of being counted," Belt said. "Most people are not aware that if they are not counted, millions of dollars in funding for our schools and hospitals is at risk."

Belt partnered with State Representative Latoya Greenwood and the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to host the event.

DHS discussed how the census will impact the community and how residents can make sure family and friends are counted. They also explained the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA).

GATA makes it easier for prospective grant applicants to get information on the state’s selection of grant recipients and use of grant funds.

"I was glad to give residents the opportunity to learn more about how the state awards grants at this event,” Belt said. “Small businesses were able to get insight into how to apply for additional support to help their business succeed."

Lightford announces plan to allow older adults to petition for parole

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 03:28 PM

Lightford031120CHICAGO – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) announced legislation on Wednesday that would establish parole opportunities for older adults.

“Older adults who have served 20 to 30-year sentences deserve an opportunity to have their case heard before a parole board,” Lightford said. “If they no longer pose a risk to public safety, they should be granted parole and have the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives.”

Senate Bill 2114 would allow those who have reached age 60 and have been incarcerated 20 consecutive years or greater, or people who have served 30 consecutive years or greater, to petition the Prisoner Review Board seeking parole. The legislation also provides that victims and/or their families are notified in a timely manner and given the opportunity to participate in the hearing.

Martinez seeks to add stronger protections for immigrant communities

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 03:09 PM

martinez 031120SPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is advancing an initiative to classify crimes against individuals based on their actual or perceived citizenship or immigration status as hate crimes.

“Hate crime laws are intended to protect individuals against biased crimes,” Martinez said. “Expanding the definition to include citizenship or immigration status is necessary to defend immigrants against senseless, discriminatory crimes.”

Under current law, crimes by reason against people of an actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, gender, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or national origin of another individual or group of individuals are considered hate crimes.

The measure seeks to add citizenship or immigration status to the list of qualifications.

Senate Bill 2345 passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee and moves for further consideration before the full Senate.

Champaign lawmakers and CUPHD leaders to hold virtual coronavirus town hall

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 01:48 PM

bennett coronavirus 031120CHAMPAIGN – Area lawmakers and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District (CUPHD) will co-host a virtual town hall to share information about coronavirus Wednesday, March 11 at 6 p.m. 

State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) and State Representative Carol Ammons (D-Urbana) will join CUPHD experts on Rep. Ammons’ Facebook page to hear questions and concerns related to coronavirus. 

Bennett, Ammons and CUPHD will discuss how Illinois is preparing to handle an outbreak, and various panels will provide educational information as well as answer constituent questions.


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