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Biss pushes for a path to universal long-term care for elderly and disabled (VIDEO)

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 03:35 PM

biss 022818Citing studies that clearly show a drastic increase in the elderly population projected over the next decade, Senator Daniel Biss joined state Rep. Chris Welch to announce a measure that would put Illinois on the path to a system of universal long-term care for the state’s elderly and disabled populations.

“Here’s the question we need to be asking: In a world where the population is aging, what is our responsibility to one another?” Biss said, speaking at the Capitol today. “Should we hope that families will, on their own, be able to care for their aging loved ones? Or should we instead come together as a community and decide, jointly, that everybody has a human right to age with dignity near their family, in their community. That’s the moral thing to do.”

Bush measure allowing legislative staff to file harassment claims passes Senate

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 03:02 PM

bush 022818SPRINGFIELD – Staff members of elected officials are one step closer to being able to file sexual harassment claims thanks to a measure from Senator Melinda Bush that passed in the Senate unanimously.

“The sexual harassment allegations that have come out in recent months made clear the need to re-examine our policies, work to change the culture in Springfield and do everything possible to make sure all victims are able to seek justice for sexual harassment,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “The fact that staff of elected officials are not protected under the Human Rights Act is extremely problematic and needs to be changed.”

Under the Illinois Human Rights Act, “immediate personal staff” of elected officials are exempt from the definition of employee and are therefore unable to report human rights violations, including sexual harassment, to the Department of Human Rights. Senate Bill 576 would delete this exemption.

Bush, who chairs the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention, introduced the measure after hearing testimony from employees of the Illinois Department of Human Rights during a recent task force meeting. Representatives from the department testified that because of the lack of clarification as to who constitutes “immediate personal staff” of elected officials, the department does not know how to handle those claims.

“Legislative staffers should have never been excluded from the Human Rights Act in the first place,” Bush said. “This bill will give legislative staffers the same rights as all other employees in the state – the right to seek justice and report human rights violations and sexual harassment in the work place.”

Steans leverages federal funds to support Medicaid program

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 02:44 PM

steans 022818 3SPRINGFIELD – Hospitals that serve Medicaid patients would continue to benefit from federal funding under a measure sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) which passed the Senate today.

“I have worked with my colleagues in both chambers for several months to develop a new Medicaid Hospital Assessment Program that is fair to patients and hospitals,” said Steans. “This new program supports hospitals that serve a vital role in communities while distributing funding in a more accurate manner.”

Castro calls for Shah’s resignation; state public health department needs new leadership (VIDEO)

Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 12:53 PM

castro 050417SPRINGFIELD – The director of Illinois’ public health agency should resign, State Senator Cristina Castro said today, pointing to new information that calls into question his priorities and his ability to lead in a crisis.

Castro (D-Elgin) is urging Illinois Public Health Director Nirav Shah to resign after emails emerged, as reported by WBEZ radio, regarding the Rauner administration’s bungled response to the Legionnaires’ epidemic at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy.

Castro said she is deeply concerned about the way Shah and others handled the disease outbreak and the deaths of 13 veterans.

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