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Biss to attend mental health care town hall in Skokie

biss-secure-mr12714-2State Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), along with fellow State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), State Representatives Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston) and Laura Fine (D-Glenview) and others, will be attending the 14th annual Town Hall Meeting on mental health care this Friday, February 13.

The town hall, hosted by Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center, will consist of a panel of elected officials and local experts who will discuss the impact of the current political and economic climate on mental health services. The Town Hall meeting is open to the public. Admission is free and reservations are not required.

WHO: Suburban Director for U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky Ann Limjoco; Illinois State Senators Daniel Biss and Ira Silverstein; Illinois State Representatives Robyn Gabel and Laura Fine; Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen, and experts

WHAT: A panel of elected officials and local experts will discuss the impact of the current political and economic climate on mental health services.

WHEN: Friday, February 13, 2015
9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Skokie Public Library at 5215 Oakton St., Skokie, Il.

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Hutchinson applauds raising wages, helping families

MinWageAfter a majority of Illinoisans voted in favor of an increase this past November in the state’s minimum wage, the Illinois Senate voted today to make their will the law of the land.

“Yes, we have increased the minimum wage by a set dollar amount, but we must not let this victory prohibit us from continuing to look for ways to provide economic relief for working families across this state,” Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “Those who once had no hope of turning their hard work into a comfortable living may now feel a little more at ease paying their bills and supporting their children.”

Senate Bill 11, co-sponsored by Senator Hutchinson, passed the Senate today, increasing the wage to $9.00 this July and by $0.50 each year until 2019 when the wage would reach $11.00. The proposal also includes a three-year tax credit for employers with fewer than 50 employees, lessening the burden for smaller businesses throughout the state.

While the Senate passed a similar proposal in December, the House did not take up the legislation. Senate Bill 11 now moves to the Illinois House for further debate.

Harmon urges women to take heart health seriously

gored-groupIn honor of American Heart Month, State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) joined his colleagues to spread awareness of heart disease in women.

Each year, one in three women’s deaths is due to heart disease and stroke. However, 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes. Women’s heart attack warning signs can be different than men’s. Women may experience nausea, jaw and neck pain or flu-like symptoms.

“More American women die from heart disease than any other cause,” Harmon said. “I want to do my part to make sure the women in our communities know about the risks and what they can do to protect themselves.”

On Wednesday, the same day as the governor’s State of the State address, Harmon and other legislators wore red to help promote awareness as part of the Go Red for Women campaign.

“Go Red” stands for:

Get Your Numbers: Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose.
Own Your Lifestyle: Stop smoking, lose weight, be physically active and eat healthy.
Raise Your Voice: Advocate for more women-related research and education.
Educate Your Family: Make healthy food choices for you and your family. Teach your kids the importance of staying active.
Donate: Show your support with a donation of time or money.

National Wear Red Day is February 6. People who want to participate can promote awareness by posting pictures of themselves wearing red on social media using #GoRedIL or #GoRedSelfie.


Medical pros join Sen. Bertino-Tarrant in exposing dangers of pure caffeine powder

JBT caffeine020315In response to the death of an Ohio high school student who overdosed on caffeine powder, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D- Shorewood) has filed legislation to make the substance illegal for minors in Illinois.

In a story in The State Journal-Register, medical professionals are in agreement that consuming large amounts of caffeine is dangerous and they advise steering clear of the product. One teaspoon of caffeine powder can have the same dose as 25 cups of coffee. Symptoms of caffeine overdose include vomiting, uncontrollable muscle movements, irregular or fast heartbeat and trouble breathing.

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