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Noland measure to address rape kit backlog becomes law

noland backlog signedSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Michael Noland (D-Elgin) to extend the statute of limitations for crimes relying on untested rape kits was signed by the governor today.

Thousands of previously untested rape kits have been under examination since 2010, many of which date back to before 2004. House Bill 369 sponsored by Sen. Noland becomes law today to ensure victims of the backlog of kits receive justice. Previously, the 10-year statute of limitations begins at the time the incident is reported. Now it begins at the time the kit is actually tested, allowing those affected by the backlog to still receive due process.

“I am glad to see the governor support this important piece of legislation. While Illinois is working to prevent the backlog of untested rape kits, this landmark law seeks to prevent those affected by the past from being denied the justice they deserve in the future.”

Noland has worked closely with Test 400 K, a group dedicated to eliminating the backlog and Rosa Pickett, a woman whose story prompted the legislature to act.

Biss sponsors bill releasing federal dollars to support human services

biss idtheft passesSPRINGFIELD -- Today Senator Daniel Biss (D - Evanston) and his colleagues in the Illinois State Senate passed SB 2042, a measure to release federal funds previously withheld due to the state budget impasse. Under the legislation, the state would be authorized to send along almost five billion federal dollars to programs that help feed women, infants and children, provide energy assistance to low income families, support victims of domestic violence, food banks, child care and individuals living with disabilities, among other programs.

"This game of chicken over the state budget is completely unnecessary and unconscionable," said Sen. Biss. "I'm glad to join senators from both parties in supporting this bill that at least allows us to pass along federal funds. We have no business letting sick infants go hungry simply because we can't agree on ideological issues that have nothing to do with our state's fiscal stability. It's time to look at the rest of the budget with this same lens and stop withholding services from the people of Illinois."

If the measure is approved by the House and governor, federal dollars will be released to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Department of Human Services, Veterans' Affairs, the Department of Public Health, the Department on Aging, Military Affairs and the Illinois State Board of Education.

Holmes supports release of federal spending

holmes empl agenciesCritical federal programs will continue after General Assembly vote Tuesday

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Linda Holmes issued the following statement Tuesday after a measure to release federal funds passed the Illinois Senate 57-0.

“Today we took action to ensure important services to veterans, seniors, and mental health providers continue,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “I’m glad to see a bipartisan effort to release these federal funds, and I urge our colleagues in the House and Governor Rauner to follow through.”

Included in the federal funds are programs like elder abuse prevention, women’s health services like breast and cervical cancer screening and mental health services, among a wide variety of others.

Without its passage, the federal dollars in Senate Bill 2042 would not be available for use in the absence of a state budget. The legislation proceeds to the Illinois House for consideration, where it must pass and then be signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to take effect.

Senator Melinda Bush’s statement on Sunday night storm damage

melb tornadoGRAYSLAKE — State Senator Melinda Bush issued the following statement after a severe storm damaged structures Sunday night throughout the Round Lake area, Hainesville, Grayslake, Wildwood and Gurnee, including her home:

“Elected officials and agencies throughout Lake County are working together on storm damage assessments and power restoration for thousands of Lake County residents,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “Across the county, neighbors are helping neighbors, cleaning up trees and debris. We’re seeing a spirit of cooperation that will help piece together some of what was lost in this storm.”

Lake County EMA Coordinator Kent McKenzie said damage assessment continues with other organizations to quickly address residents’ needs.

“We're coordinating with the municipalities and townships that were affected, we're conducting that damage assessment to see what the needs are, and we're working to get ComEd accurate information so they can quickly restore power to those without it, and we're also in touch with human services like the Red Cross to assist those without insurance or other means to get their property repaired,” McKenzie said this morning.

Senator Bush encourages anyone who is having trouble getting the storm assistance they need to contact her District Office at (847) 548-5631, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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