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Bertino-Tarrant: Outsourcing prison nurses at Stateville is bad for our community

nurse prisonPLAINFIELD — In response to the Rauner administration telling prison nurses that their jobs are being outsourced, State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement:

“There are 17 nurses whose jobs at Stateville Correctional Facility are going to be outsourced. With Illinois not having a budget, the last thing the Governor should be doing is creating more chaos in state government.

From a management perspective, this decision doesn’t make much sense. Outsourcing services would likely lead to less supervisory oversight and more problems in our correctional facilities. The governor has made the wrong decision.”

It was reported yesterday that Gov. Rauner sent a letter to Alice Johnson, executive director for the Illinois Nurses Association, announcing that 124 unionized nurses working in 12 Illinois prisons will be laid off effective June 15.

Nearly 400 union jobs brought to Des Plaines

marianosDes Plaines – Earlier today, Mariano’s groceries opened it’s newest location in the city of Des Plaines, creating 375 new union jobs for area residents.

State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) joined with local officials and Mariano’s President Den Rosanova to announce the opening.

The new jobs announcement is in stark contrast to the ongoing message from Governor Bruce Rauner, who continues to demand anti-worker measures that will lower wages before he will sign a state budget. His demands have led to a nearly two-year budget impasse.

“These 375 new jobs are proof that Illinois is ready and open for business,” Murphy said. “The governor’s anti-worker agenda will do nothing to create a single job in Illinois. He needs to drop his radical agenda and focus on passing a budget to create economic stability in our state.”

The new store is part of a public-private partnership with the Des Plaines Park District and Mariano’s. Mariano’s has pledged $670,000 for park improvements.

Close call prompts Stadelman to introduce emergency prescription refill legislation (VIDEO)

stadelman 031517SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) realized the importance of allowing pharmacists to fill emergency prescriptions on a family vacation a few years ago.

Stadelman’s son, who was 13 at the time, has Type 1 diabetes. During their vacation, he realized that he had no insulin or needles. Because it was a Saturday, the pharmacy they visited was unable to reach his doctor to authorize a prescription.

“This really drove home to me that getting a prescription filled quickly can be a matter of life or death,” Stadelman said. “I started to do research and saw that many other states allow emergency refills to take place.”

Stadelman’s legislation would allow pharmacists to refill a prescription without a doctor’s authorization if abruptly discontinuing the medication would cause medical harm or danger to the person. It would not allow emergency refills of controlled substances. Pharmacists could fill a prescription for a time deemed reasonably necessary.  

SB 1790 passed the Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions committee and will move to the Senate for consideration.

Trotter: Antiquated, unfair bond process hurts the poor

trotter 032017SPRINGFIELD – To end a system that punishes the poor, State Senator Donne Trotter is sponsoring a proposal that eliminates the state’s antiquated monetary bond process.

“Rather than providing all persons arrested an equitable opportunity to leave custody, it is only afforded to those who can pay the bond,” said Trotter, D-Chicago. “This antiquated bond process only increases the likelihood of low-income people being arrested for petty crimes and enduring harsher conditions than people from affluent backgrounds who commit the same crime. These trends of partiality toward people with wealth are prevalent in the justice system.”

The budget impasse has created a greater need for cost saving measures in Illinois. One area in great need of reform, said Trotter, is the prison system. The state squanders valuable resources on the holding of low risk offenders if they are unable to make bond.

The legislation is Senate Bill 552 which is in the Senate Criminal Law committee. An identical bill, House Bill 3717, has a hearing on Tuesday in the House Judiciary-Criminal Committee. These two pieces of legislature are critical in the fight against inequity in the justice system that hurts minorities and poorer families.

Senator Donne E. Trotter is a Chicago Democrat and leading advocate for justice reform.