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Bertino-Tarrant wants more accountability for the State Superintendent of Education

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 05:39 PM

senatefloorSPRINGFIELD— State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) passed legislation today that would require the Illinois Senate to approve the State Superintendent of Education.

The State Superintendent of Education is the chief education officer in the state and serves as the State Board of Education’s chief executive officer.

Though members of the State Board of Education have to be confirmed by the Senate, the State Superintendent of Education does not have to be confirmed.

Bertino-Tarrant wants that to change.

“My legislation is about transparency and accountability,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “A Senate confirmation process would give the Senate an opportunity to learn about the qualifications, experience and philosophy of the state official making the day-to-day decisions about our local schools.”

Senate Bill 1505 now moves to the Illinois House.

Manar votes to restore Springfield call center funding

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 04:32 PM

manar-042215SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) voted Wednesday to restore state funding that operates the Illinois Tobacco Quitline. The quitline, headquartered in Springfield, was recently closed and more than two dozen people were laid off as the result of recent cuts made by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“If we can save this program, we can keep people working and help those trying to quit smoking. The impact of closing this program and eliminating these jobs would ripple through the region.” Manar said.

The proposal, Senate Bill 274 would transfer funding from other areas of the state budget to cover the $26 million reduction that eliminated funding for the quitline and other state services.

“There are hidden costs that we would face if this program was shuttered. It’s a proven fact that more than $2 billion of the state’s Medicaid costs are illnesses directly related to smoking and tobacco use. If we can help people stop smoking we can reduce long-term medical costs and promote improved health—statewide—and save taxpayer funds,” Manar said.

Senate Bill 274 is now pending in the House of Representatives.

Senator Harris working to improve health care to athletes

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 04:10 PM

harris-athletehealthcareSpringfield, IL – Legislation sponsored by Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey), allowing certain out-of-state health care professionals to practice medicine in Illinois while on contract to provide care to an athletic team, passed the Senate today.

Currently there is no exemption for health care professionals in contract with athletic teams to provide care to athletic team members, coaching staff or families traveling with the athletic team in Illinois without a license to practice in the state.

“This measure would allow for teams to travel with their health care professionals, thereby allowing individuals to receive treatment from someone who is better informed on their medical history,” Harris said. “As a former professional athlete myself, I know firsthand the importance of traveling with a qualified physician who knows my medical history. This bill allows skilled health care professionals to provide the medical attention athletes need while they travel in Illinois.”

Senate Bill 785 gives exemption to health care professionals for 10 days per sporting event with an option to extend the exemption up to 30 days.

The legislation passed the Senate with 54–0 and will be sent to the House.

Kotowski leads bipartisan coalition to restore funding for autism

Published: Wednesday, April 22, 2015 04:00 PM

kotowski-sb274SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) today passed a plan in the Illinois Senate to undo the cuts to social services recently enacted by Gov. Rauner.

“This legislation is a byproduct of lengthy negotiations with Governor Rauner, Senate Democrats and Senate Republicans. By using surplus funds normally reserved for special interests, we can now restore funding for autism, epilepsy and substance abuse prevention.

“These aren’t just numbers on paper; these are cuts that affect real people. I applaud the Governor and both parties in our chamber for coming together to find a solution, without borrowing or raising taxes, to take care of our most vulnerable children and families.”

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