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Ellman’s plan to provide scholarships for non-traditional trade students now law

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 11:33 AM

ellman 052219SPRINGFIELD – Non-traditional students pursuing vocational training could be eligible for a new scholarship program under a new law from State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that was signed into law on Friady.

“Education is economic development,” Ellman said. “This new scholarship program will help alleviate the financial burden of education and provide additional opportunities to non-traditional students.”

Senate Bill 1167 establishes the Adult Vocational Community College Scholarship Program, run by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission. To be eligible, a student must be over the age of 30 and unemployed but actively searching for work.

The scholarship would be enough to cover the cost of tuition and fees to attend the community college without exceeding $2,000 per recipient per academic year. The program is subject to appropriation.

“By investing in education, we’re investing in the future,” Ellman said. “This scholarship program will help ensure that Illinois workers are trained for jobs of the future and that businesses aren’t struggling to find qualified employees.”

Fifty-three percent of Illinois jobs require more than a high school degree but less than a four-year college degree, yet only 43 percent of Illinois workers are trained at that level.

Bertino-Tarrant ends statute of limitations on mutilation

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 11:31 AM

jbt 041118 2PLAINFIELD – There is a new law in Illinois to help combat the alarming rise of female genital mutilation in the nation thanks to State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) championed House Bill 3498, which removes the statute of limitations for the prosecution for female genital mutilation (also known as FGM) if the victim is under 18 years of at the time of the offense. The measure was signed into law last week.

“Survivors of FGM are often too young to report this horrendous crime,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The emotional and health repercussions of it are lifelong. This new law will give them time and assure them they will have the opportunity to seek justice when they are ready.”

Under previous law, the statute of limitations for FGM is three years, which is the standard for a felony offense. Long thought to be a foreign problem, Bertino-Tarrant stressed that FGM is happening in Illinois. It is estimated that 10,000 to 25,000 women and girls have been cut or are at risk for being cut.

The age at which girls undergo FGM ranges from seven days old to young adulthood; most commonly, it is performed between the ages of two and fifteen.

“This painful and dangerous procedure is often performed at an extremely young age,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “This new law will allow survivors to come forward in their own time and help them receive the support they need and deserve.”

According to CNN in 2017, currently only 25 states in the nation have laws that make FGM a crime. The law was supported by the Illinois National Organization for Women.

Representative Natalie Manley (D-Joliet) is the lead sponsor in the House.

The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2020.

Villivalam ensures LGBTQ elders, others will not face discrimination

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 11:29 AM

villivalam 011819SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Ram Villivalam to advance equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) older adults was signed into law on Friday. 

“Older members of the LGBTQ community face difficulty and discrimination,” Villivalam (D-Chicago) said. “It is crucial that we protect LGBTQ elders’ right to age with dignity, and to access resources without fear. I am proud to say that SB 1319 does just that.”

“LGBTQ older adults face many challenges as they age, including fears about neglect, abuse, and harassment because of their identities,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “Sometimes, LGBTQ older adults are forced by circumstances to go back into the closet as they age because of the absence of inclusive programming by service providers and a lack of affirming care in long-term care facilities. As they age, we must ensure laws and programming support and affirm them. Thank you, Sen. Villivalam, for leading the charge on SB 1319 in the State Senate.”

Senate Bill 1319 helps cultivate affirming environments in assisted living facilities for LGBTQ older adults. In such facilities, SB 1319 protects people from discrimination for all the protected categories in the Illinois Human Rights Act, including race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

SB 1319 also ensures LGBTQ elders and people living with HIV will be, due to the specific challenges they face, classified for aging programs funded through the federal Older Americans Act. The bill also protects all Illinoisans from discrimination in assisted living and shared housing facilities by applying non-discrimination language to the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Act.

The bill is effective immediately. 

Governor signs Sandoval’s measure to protect private information

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 11:27 AM

confidential 081219SPRINGFIELD – Bipartisan legislation introduced by State Senator Martin A. Sandoval (D-Chicago) and signed into law today by Governor JB Pritzker was created to help protect confidential documents submitted along with applications for driver’s license and state identification cards.

“Every person has the right to privacy and that applies to private documents you submit to the state as well,” Sandoval said. “Illinoisans should never be afraid that confidential information they give to the state will fall into the wrong hands and this legislation will help prevent this from happening.”

Senate Bill 1344 prohibits confidential documents submitted to the Secretary of State for driver’s license or ID card applications from being released through the Freedom of Information Act. The measure provides that these confidential documents may only be released to the following entities:

  • The individual to whom the driver’s license or ID card was issued
  • Officers and employees of the Secretary of State in charge of issuing driver’s licenses and ID cards
  • Law enforcement officials for a criminal or civil law investigation
  • Any other entity the Secretary has authorized by rule

The measure will go into effect immediately.

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