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Collins passes first parts of plan to fight rising maternal and infant mortality rates

Published: Friday, May 17, 2019 12:58 PM

collins maternal 051719SPRINGFIELD – In response to the alarming trend of rising maternal mortality rates, State Senator Jacqueline Collins oversaw the passage today of the first two components of a wide-ranging legislative plan to improve pregnancy and postpartum care for Illinois mothers.

“As grim as the outlook for all mothers in our country looks today, it is even worse for women of color,” Collins said Friday as the Illinois Senate passed two of the legislative package’s bills. “A woman is never second-guessed as often as during motherhood, and yet this concern seems chiefly to have resulted in an environment where women are not believed, their wishes not respected, and their wellbeing not prioritized. This legislation’s aim is to give women power over their own care and to create a data-driven plan to provide women of color in particular the meaningful support before, during and after pregnancy that they are being denied.”

Hastings works toward quicker driver’s license and state ID process for veterans

Published: Friday, May 17, 2019 10:48 AM

hastings 051719SPRINGFIELD – Legislation that would create a new, faster process for issuing veteran's driver's license and ID cards passed the Senate yesterday.

State Senator Michael E. Hastings is the sponsor of this initiative.

“Under the current process, it’s very easy for things to be slowed down by red tape,” Hastings (D-Tinley Park) said. “The simpler we can make this process for our veterans, the better.”

HB 3216 would require the Secretary of State to issue the veteran license or ID and then send the documentation to the Department of Veterans Affairs to confirm that the individual meets the proper criteria. In addition, the bill allows Department of Defense DD-2 forms and DVA summary of benefits letters as acceptable documentation to receive an ID or driver's license with a veteran designation.

“It’s important to provide multiple options for those who are seeking to acquire an ID card,” Hastings said. “This makes the process a bit easier and more accessible to those veterans who are taking the time to get their proper identification cards.”

The legislation awaits Governor Pritzker’s signature to become law.

Belt clears path for energy efficiency in state buildings

Published: Friday, May 17, 2019 09:22 AM

belt 051719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Cahokia) passed legislation today making it easier for the state to ensure its buildings are energy efficient.

The measure would allow the Capitol Development Board to require new state buildings and any renovations or additions to existing state buildings to be able to support solar panels, even if they are not installed at the time of construction. 

“We are removing unnecessary roadblocks toward energy efficiency with this legislation,” Belt said. “Solar energy not only reduces the environmental impact our state buildings have, but it also saves money, as energy-efficient buildings are less expensive to operate.”

This legislation brings the state in line with federal policy by closing a loophole that prohibits the board from requiring new buildings to be solar-ready.

House Bill 2652 passed both the Senate and the House and now awaits the governor’s signature.

Aquino, Peters rally with Parent Mentor Program at Capitol

Published: Thursday, May 16, 2019 04:29 PM

parent mentor program 051619More than 600 supporters of a nationally recognized parent engagement program gathered Thursday to increase awareness of their successes in building relationships between students, teachers and parents. State Senators Omar Aquino and Robert Peters spoke to the Parent Mentor Program group at their rally in the Howlett Building.

The Parent Mentor Program guides how community organizations partner with schools to recruit parents to assist teachers. Before coming into the classroom, parent mentors take part in a week-long leadership training program. They are then assigned to a classroom where they are mentored by a teacher. They work directly with students.

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