Text Size
Login
config

Kotowski’s plan to prevent criminals from getting state grants signed into law

“This law protects Illinois taxpayers by stopping organizations who have board members and employees with conflicts of interests and criminal histories from getting state money. This landmark measure provides much needed taxpayer security by ensuring that the state funds only the best performing grant recipients.” - State Senator Dan Kotowski

0914a034xRSPRINGFIELD - State Senator Dan Kotowski’s Grant Accountability and Transparency Act, which requires greater scrutiny and evaluation of approximately $46.9 billion in annual grants and state funding recipients, was signed by the governor today.

“This law protects Illinois taxpayers by stopping organizations who have board members and employees with conflicts of interests and criminal histories from getting state money," said Senator Kotowski. "This landmark measure provides much needed taxpayer security by ensuring that the state funds only the best performing grant recipients.”

New laws to make Illinois waterways safer

“Boats can weigh thousands of pounds and go 30, 40, 50 miles per hour or more. We require people who drive cars to get licenses. It only makes sense to ask people who operate powerful boats to have some safety training.” - Senator Julie Morrison

BoatingBillSigning3RSPRINGFIELD – A series of new laws designed to make Illinois’ rivers and lakes safer for everyone was signed by the governor today. The most important part of the water-safety package is a plan to require boat operators to obtain safety certificates, which will function much like driver’s licenses.

“Boats can weigh thousands of pounds and go 30, 40, 50 miles per hour or more,” said State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield), who sponsored the law. “We require people who drive cars to get licenses. It only makes sense to ask people who operate powerful boats to have some safety training.”

The new law, originally Senate Bill 3433, will phase in safety certificates over time by exempting anyone born before 1990. It also exempts commercial fisherman, who already have to obtain specialized licenses. Renters will not need certificates, but they will have to take a brief safety course from the rental agency before they can take their boats out. The law only applies to boats with more than 10 horsepower motors.

Martinez applauds signing of women’s health referendum

martinez070714Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago 20th) applauded the governor’s decision today to sign legislation she sponsored to let voters weigh in on whether Illinois law should continue to protect women’s access to birth control.

“The recent Supreme Court ruling threw into question decades of progress toward safeguarding women’s health care access and freedom to make personal, medical decisions,” Martinez said. “It is now more important than ever for lawmakers to hear from the public on this issue of immediate concern.”

Martinez’s initiative places a statewide advisory public question on the ballot at the Nov. 4 general election. The referendum will ask voters whether any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides prescription drug coverage should be required to include prescription birth control as part of that coverage.

Currently, thanks to a law Martinez sponsored in 2003, any group or individual health insurance plan in Illinois that offers prescription drug coverage must cover all outpatient contraceptive services, drugs and devices with the same co-insurance, deductibles and co-payments that apply to other prescriptions.

Beginning in 2012, federal law kicked in; under the Affordable Care Act, most employers that offer health benefits must choose plans that cover contraception with no deductibles or co-pays. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that closely-held companies whose owners have religious objections to birth control cannot be required to pay for contraceptive coverage for their employees.

“I am deeply concerned that the floodgates are open to litigation that could erode the rights of women and workers,” Martinez said. “As public officials, we must be informed and prepared.”

New law puts African-Americans in charge of minority-focused programs

Hunter070214State Senator Mattie Hunter’s plan to include African-Americans in the planning process of minority-focused programs was signed into law today. The law changes the composition and objectives of the Illinois African-American Family Commission.                   

“Including African-Americans in the development and planning process of policies is another step toward promoting equality within Illinois,” said Hunter, a Chicago Democrat and member of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus. “With collected statistics, we can address problems often overlooked within the African-American community.”

Hunter’s measure (Senate Bill 121) requires the commission to monitor existing legislation and programs designed to address the needs of African-Americans. The commission will also identify and research issues affecting the community while serving as a resource for community groups across the state.

“Helping local community groups develop strategies to enhance the social, cultural and economic status of residents will improve the commission’s effectiveness,” Hunter said.

The measure also changes the structure of the commission to mirror that of the Illinois Latino Family Commission.

The governor and four legislative leaders will appoint one member to the commission for the terms that will expire in 2015 and 2016. For terms that expire in 2017, the governor must appoint five members to the commission.

The new law is effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Sign up for The Majority Report HERE
Majority Report Podcast
Find Your Legislator

News Releases

IMAGE Belt welcomes shift in focus to job training
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
BELLEVILLE – State Senator Christopher Belt joined Gov. JB Pritzker to voice his support for a plan that will benefit African-American and...

Read More...
IMAGE Villivalam encouraged by Pritzker administration’s action on pay equity and wage theft
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ram Villivalam released the following statement regarding the governor’s executive orders and the law that were...

Read More...
IMAGE Manar: Governor takes a step in the right direction
Wednesday, 16 January 2019
SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar is lauding Gov. JB Pritzker’s move to recognize fair pay for state employees and distance himself from the...

Read More...
IMAGE Gillespie: Pritzker correct to make wages a top priority
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
SPRINGFIELD – Barring state agencies from asking prospective employees about their salary histories is a good move by Illinois’ new governor on...

Read More...
IMAGE Hastings champions measure to reform corrupt Illinois Toll Highway Authority
Tuesday, 15 January 2019
SPRINGFIELD – With many troubling questions surrounding its governing board, the Illinois Tollway will get a much-needed ethical makeover thanks to...

Read More...

Follow ILSenDems

Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Senate Schedule
General Assembly Bills & Resolutions
The Great Pension Debate
Find local warming centers