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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.

Senator Hastings continues his fight for affordable child care

hastings-statute-limTINLEY PARK- As Governor Rauner continues to propose cuts for state agencies and services the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), which provides child care assistance to thousands of residents in the 19th legislative district, is threatened to be eliminated again. 

The program provides low-income, working families with access to quality, affordable child care that allows them to continue working and contributes to the healthy emotional and social development of the child.

“Single parents depend on this program to lift themselves out of poverty,” Senator Hastings said.  “When we cut this program, these single parents will either lose their jobs or stop obtaining an education. Investing in these hard working families will pay dividends in the future, putting them on the streets is not the answer.”

Eligible parents include those who are receiving temporary assistance, participating in education programs, receiving employment training or are teen parents seeking a high school degree.  Families that participate in the Child Care Assistance Program are required to cost-share on a sliding scale based on family size, income and number of children in care.

Silverstein bill to protect volunteer medical professionals receives governor’s signature

silverstein-samaritan-mapSPRINGFIELD – In March, State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) proposed Senate Bill 1498, which would include members of the Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, a federal organization, into the Good Samaritan Act. Tuesday, Governor Rauner signed the bill into law.

“These individuals are willing to administer medical services free of any charges or fees; they should not have to worry about civil liabilities in response to the care they give,” Silverstein said. “We can’t punish these folks who are offering their time purely for the benefit of others.”

The Good Samaritan Act provides that medical or health care professionals who administer treatment, diagnosis, advice or services as part of a free medical clinic will be not be liable for civil damages as a result of their treatment.

Under Silverstein’s measure, volunteers with the Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps will be included into the definition of health professionals who would be exempt from civil charges. The Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of local groups of over 200,000 volunteers that focuses on helping their local communities remain healthy and prepared for responding to emergencies.

Tens of thousands forced from their homes, left without care

Tens of thousands forced from their homes, left without careSPRINGFIELD — Substantial and detrimental changes to state-provided in-home or long-term care may be on the way under a new plan proposed by the governor. If it is enacted, nearly 40,000 seniors enrolled in the Community Care Program alone will be forced out of their homes and into nursing home facilities.

To decide whether or not a person is eligible to receive services, such as a home health aide or admission to a nursing home, state agencies use a Determination of Need (DON) score. It’s a tool designed to assess the level and type of need in order to provide the best and most efficient care to older adults and persons with disabilities.

The governor has proposed raising the threshold citizens would need in order to receive care from state programs. With these changes in place, the minimum score to qualify for assistance would increase to 37 from 29. Many people who rely on these services to live and provide for their families are fearing for the future and the future of their families.

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