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Martinez reacts to today’s budget action in the Illinois Senate

martinez-child-placeSPRINGFIELD — Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement regarding budgetary action that the Illinois Senate took today:

In absence of a state budget being approved by the governor, I have taken important steps to ensure that essential services and governmental operations can continue. Today, I supported a one-month budget that will allow seniors to receive care in their homes, make sure individuals with developmental disabilities are cared for and ensure that dedicated state employees get paid for their work.

Additionally, I voted to override some of the governor’s vetoes and attended a press conference to discuss the drastic changes being made by the governor to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). By revising guidelines for CCAP, the governor is making it harder for parents to continue working. These changes are irresponsible and harmful to children, parents and day care providers.

Now it’s the governor’s turn to do his part to get us out of the budget impasse. I call on him to follow the Senate’s lead and make sure that our state has a reasonable budget that helps low-income families and the middle class.

Bush statement on override of vetoes on critical budget items

bush-narcanItems will ensure public safety, health care funding

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Melinda Bush joined her colleagues in the Illinois Senate today to support the override of five pieces of legislation ensuring funding for critical state services, including public safety and health care.

“We cannot allow crucial state services to go without funding due to partisan squabbling,” said Bush, D-Grayslake. “I support these provisions because they fund the police and firefighters who keep Illinois safe and agencies like the Departments of Children and Family Services, Aging, and Public Health, which ensure we provide care for those in need. I urge my fellow lawmakers in the House to do the responsible thing and vote as I have.”

Silverstein bill to help volunteer EMS providers becomes law

hatzalah-ambulanceCHICAGO – Hatzalah Chicago is a non-profit volunteer emergency medical service that is capable of responding to emergency medical situations 24 hours a day at no cost to those who need it in parts of the Chicagoland area. Hatzalah is a BLS Ambulance Provider whose role is to stabilize patients, and depending on the level of care necessary either provide transport or transfer care to 911 upon their arrival. State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago-8th District) proposed a plan in March focused on helping them, and Senate Bill 621 was signed into law by the governor yesterday.

“Volunteer EMS providers fill the need that exists between the time of an accident and the arrival of local firefighters and EMS services,” Silverstein said.

The law allows these volunteer EMS employees to participate in an emergency vehicle operation training course and, upon completion, have red and white oscillating lights on their cars while responding to an emergency situation.

“This law will ensure other motorists are aware of these volunteers and remain alert when the vehicle is en route to a call. Both the responders themselves and other drivers will be safer with the use of these lights,” said Silverstein.

Hatzalah operates in the Chicagoland Jewish communities of Lincolnwood, Peterson Park, Skokie and West Rogers Park to augment existing services provided by municipalities. Hatzalah operates in six major US metropolitan areas in addition to Chicago, as well as cities worldwide.

Sen. Hunter urges governor to protect residents

hunter-071515SPRINGFIELD – Services will soon resume for seniors, wards of the state and families who rely upon state-funded public health and Department of Children and Family Services’ care. The Illinois Senate overrode the governor’s veto of the Department of Public Health and DCFS’s budget today.

“Providing vital services for seniors, families and at-risk children are our state’s top priority,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago). “I urge the governor to join us in protecting our most vulnerable residents. We should not put their lives in limbo while we debate on how to run our state.”

Senate Bill 2037 would fund the Department on Aging, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Children and Family Services.

The bill now goes to the House for further consideration.

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