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Morrison's DCFS reform package signed into law

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 11:49 AM

morrison 032719SPRINGFIELD – A package of proposals passed by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) reforming the troubled Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) agency was signed into law recently by Gov. Pritzker. 

One of the most sweeping proposals signed is Senate Bill 1778, a proposal Morrison worked with advocates and fellow lawmakers on for years to update the confusing set of state rules governing reporting of child abuse in Illinois.

“The first step in addressing potential child abuse is the reporting of that behavior,” Morrison said. “If the abuse is not being reported – or if individuals don’t know the signs of abuse or who to even report to – the entire system is in jeopardy of not working, leaving abused children in dangerous situations.”

Also signed recently by the governor:

  • Senate Bill 193, which mandates DCFS to review a random 5 percent of abuse claims that were “unfounded” to ensure the agency isn’t missing key signs of abuse or neglect;
  • Senate Bill 1239, which requires DCFS to immediately refer reports of abuse of a child by an individual who is not in the child’s family to the appropriate local law enforcement agency; and
  • House Bill 1551, which requires DCFS to accept a report of child abuse as a child welfare services referral when there is a prior indicated report of abuse and a prior open service case.

Morrison – who is Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee and co-founder of the Children’s Health Caucus – has vowed to continue working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle and from both the Senate and House in the coming weeks and months to ensure DCFS never fails a child again. 

“Ensuring the systems put in place to protect children are actually working must continue to be our number one priority as lawmakers,” Morrison said.

Senate Bill 193 takes effect immediately. Senate Bills 1239 and 1778, as well as House Bill 1551, take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Lightford protects consumers from deceptive utility plans

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 11:08 AM

lightford 050219SPRINGFIELD – To protect consumers from being taken advantage of due to misinformation from alternative retail electric suppliers, Senate Majority Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) led legislation that was signed into law on Tuesday.

“The data clearly demonstrates that alternative suppliers focus their signup efforts on low-income neighborhoods, those where English is a secondary language and communities of color,” Lightford said. “I am proud to stand with Governor Pritzker and Attorney General Raoul to protect our most vulnerable residents from unknowingly signing contracts that will result in rate hikes they cannot afford.”

Belt law encourages corporations to diversify their boards of directors

Published: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 10:58 AM

belt 040519SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt’s legislation that will increase minority representation on corporate boards was signed into law today.

Under the legislation, all publicly held corporations whose principal executive offices are located in Illinois will be required to submit information with their annual report regarding the gender and racial/ethnic make-up of their board of directors. 

The University of Illinois would then conduct a study to make recommendations on how to improve minority and female representation.

“With this new law, we will be able to pinpoint the corporations who aren’t diversifying,” said Belt (D-Centreville). “Illinois is a very diverse state, and boards should reflect the diversity of its employees, consumers and community.”

Currently, only eight percent of the 77 Illinois Fortune 1000 companies have corporate boards composed of 20 percent or more women. Nationwide, black professionals make up only 6.3 percent of corporate boards. Asian Americans and Latinos make up 3.7 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

House Bill 3394 takes effect immediately.  

Glowiak Hilton’s measure to advocate for Alzheimer caregivers, now law

Published: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:26 AM

Sen. Suzy Glowiak HiltonOAKBROOK TERRACE—Illinois Alzheimer’s caregivers and patients will now have an advocate within the Illinois Department of Public Health to oversee the state’s Alzheimer’s efforts, thanks to State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton.

Glowiak Hilton’s measure, Senate Bill 1726, which creates the position of Dementia Coordinator in the Department of Public Health to oversee the implementation of the Illinois Alzheimer's Disease State Plan, was signed into law on Monday.

“As someone who cared for a husband and mother with Alzheimer’s disease, I know how impossible it can seem,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Under the leadership of a statewide Dementia Coordinator, those living and caring for those with Alzheimer’s will have an advocate to fight for state policies that will improve their level of care.”

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