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Tom Cullerton works to end violence against women

TC rapeculture picVILLA PARK- To continue to look for ways to make our communities safe, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) hosted a community women’s empowerment summit.

Cullerton partnered with community organizations, medical experts, local law enforcement agencies, as well as State Representative Deb Conroy and State Representative Kathleen Willis and the Attorney General’s office to host a comprehensive discussion on how the community can work together to combat sexual assault on campus and at home.

“Community dialogue is essential to ending violence against women,” said Cullerton. “Our goal was to work together to ensure students and residents are aware of available resources and give them the opportunity to voice their concerns and share input on how we can work together to address this serious issue.”

To combat campus sexual violence, House Bill 821, sponsored by Cullerton this year, provides a roadmap to existing federal requirements and sets standards to prevent and respond to sexual violence.

“Our top priority is to end campus assault. However, if an attack occurs, there needs to be clear and concise standards to give victims a comprehensive path to report crimes and be notified of their rights,” said Cullerton.

Cullerton looks forward to holding additional summits to work toward ending violence in our
communities.

[PHOTO CAPTION]: Senator Tom Cullerton, Rep. Deb Conroy and community leaders signed the Start by Believing Pledge, a national campaign to change the way we view rape culture.

McGuire votes to protect Illinois’ most vulnerable

mcguire 15budgetSPRINGFIELD— Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) joined a majority of his Senate colleagues in voting to prevent a shutdown of services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities and mental illness. The Senate passed SB 2046 by a vote of 36-19, the bare minimum of “Yes” votes needed. All “Yes” votes were cast by Democrats.

“While 90 percent of the state budget is effectively enacted, the stalled 10 percent is needed by organizations such as Cornerstone and Trinity Services to continue providing absolutely necessary services,” McGuire said. “I’ve been advocating for legislative action to help the children and adults who desperately need this help. This week’s Senate action is the important first step in doing so.”

SB 2046 seeks to fund autism programs, early intervention services for infants with developmental delays, supportive housing for persons with disabilities, and other services not funded via court orders or consent decrees.  The legislation now moves to the House. If it is approved there, it goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his approval.

“I beseech the governor to end the distress uncertain funding is causing people already beset with numerous physical and mental challenges,” McGuire said.

Biss: Protecting the DON score threshold protects the most vulnerable

biss locpensSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Daniel Biss (D – Evanston) released the following the statement as the House passed legislation protecting eligibility requirements for older adults and persons with disabilities:

“We cannot in good conscience change the eligibility standards for our citizens who rely on daily essential services. Keeping the eligibility score at 29 will allow Illinoisans to stay in their homes and receive minimal care instead of forcing people into costly nursing home facilities.

This bill protects 24,000 adults in the Community Care Program and 10,000 persons with disabilities in the Home Services Program by allowing them to keep their care. I applaud its passage and I look forward to its ultimate signing into law.”

Through the safeguards created by this prospective law, service recipients are protected should the eligibility tool change or a new tool be implemented to determine need, which will allow for a gradual transition and less disruption of services.

The legislation has passed both Houses and now moves to the governor’s desk.

Holmes statement on override of Heroin Crisis Act veto

holmes womenhlthcareAURORA — State Sen. Linda Holmes issued the following statement as members of the Illinois House voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of House Bill 1, the Heroin Crisis Act, on Wednesday.

“Law enforcement, medical professionals and the public have demanded action on this urgent issue,” Holmes said. “Governor Rauner delayed this plan, even as we know people are dying daily. I will vote to override this veto and urge my colleagues in the Senate to join me.”

The Heroin Crisis Act would create addiction treatment programs, public awareness and education campaigns and expand local pharmacy access to fast-acting heroin antidotes.

The legislation is House Bill 1. It proceeds to the Senate, where it requires a three-fifths supermajority vote to override the governor’s veto.

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