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Castro Creates Veterans' Service-Related Ailments Task Force

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 02:29 PM

castro 050919SPRINGFIELD – A task force aimed at examining the service-related ailments veterans often suffer will soon meet, thanks to a law sponsored by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

“Our servicemen and women risk everything to protect our country, but once their service is finished and they seek treatment for conditions that arose as a result of their service, many veterans find themselves waiting months, sometimes even years, to get that treatment,” Castro said. “This is unacceptable. We owe it to the brave men and women who defended our freedom to give them the treatment they need. This task force will help identify and correct the issues that lead to delays.”

House Bill 120 creates the Veterans' Service-Related Ailments Task Force. The Task Force will consist of 11 members that will include designees from the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans’ organizations, lawmakers, and a medical professional.

During their bimonthly meetings, the task force will review and make recommendations regarding veterans' service-related ailments that are not recognized by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including exploring why certain ailments are not recognized and determining what may be done to see that they are. The Task Force will also prepare and submit a report that summarizes its findings to the Governor and the General Assembly.

The bill, which is effective immediately, passed through the Senate and the House of Representatives with unanimous support. It was signed into law last week by Gov. JB Pritzker.

Gillespie law will provide apprenticeship opportunities

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 01:34 PM

gillespie 032119ARLINGTON HEIGHTS – A study to identify where the state could expand apprenticeship programs under a plan introduced by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) was approved by the governor on Friday.

Senate Bill 2024 requires the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to conduct a study on the potential expansion of apprenticeship programs in the state by June 1, 2020. The study will focus on underserved communities with high unemployment. The Department will then report its findings to the General Assembly and recommend how to expand work-based learning opportunities.

“My goal is to see what we can do in Illinois to close the gap between workforce needs and available apprenticeship programs,” said Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat who has made career and technical education one of her priorities. “Under this plan, the state would devote more time to studying demographic and regional workforce trends so that we can better prepare to meet the needs of employers and employees in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 2024 is effective immediately.

Crowe announces Elder Abuse Task Force on State Fair Senior Day

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 01:32 PM

crowe 081219SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) was recognized at a ceremony at the Illinois State Fair today for championing the Elder Abuse Task Force.

“Elder abuse was one heinous crime that always stuck with me during my time as a prosecutor,” Crowe said. “So when I joined the Senate this year, I made it a priority to do something about it.”

The priorities of the Elder Abuse Task Force are to study and report recommendations on senior mistreatment and protective services and laws.

According to the Illinois Department on Aging, abuse takes many forms and, in most cases, victims are subjected to more than one type of mistreatment. Elder abuse can include physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; confinement; passive neglect; willful deprivation; or financial exploitation.

“Just as I proudly stood against elder abuse in my previous profession, I will stand against it as a member of this task force,” Crowe said. “I look forward to working directly to protect our elders.”

Illinois is the ninth state to create an elder abuse working group.

The task force’s first report is due Jan. 1, 2021.

Link proposal expanding government consolidation signed into law

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 01:28 PM

link 031219SPRINGFIELD – A proposal passed by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) to expand local government consolidation efforts in Lake and McHenry Counties was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Pritzker.

“One of the biggest concerns I continue to hear from constituents is the high cost of property taxes,” Link said. “Government consolidation is one tool we have to lower that burden for suburban homeowners and small businesses.”

Link’s new law – contained in House Bill 348 – will require that road districts in Lake and McHenry Counties be abolished if they contain less than 15 miles of roadway. The law also allows townships in McHenry County to be dissolved through a petition-initiated process.

In 2017, Link supported a law that allowed townships to merge with adjacent townships and allowed townships that share coterminous boundaries with a municipality to be dissolved.

“Government works best when it delivers quality services to its residents in the most efficient way possible,” Link said. “Having a separate layer of government to take care of less than 15 miles of roadway simply doesn’t make any sense. Government consolidation is long overdue, and eliminating wasteful road districts is the perfect place to start.”

House Bill 348 was signed into law on Friday afternoon and takes effect immediately.

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