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Gillespie

  • Sen. Ann GillespieARLINGTON HEIGHTS – Students seeking a master’s degree in social work will be able to take their licensing exam sooner thanks to a new law introduced by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights).

    “Students of social work will now be licensed upon graduation and able to apply for jobs sooner,” said Gillespie. “Our state is facing a social worker shortage, so this new law will allow us to mitigate that much quicker.”

    Senate Bill 1888 allows students in a master’s program for social work to take their licensing exam in their final semester. Before this amendment, students needed to wait until after their degree was awarded.

  • Sen. Ann GillespieARLINGTON HEIGHTS – A harmful chemical found in most common receipt papers is now prohibited from being used in Illinois thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights).

    Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a chemical used in thermal receipt papers to develop color that has been found to have negative reproductive and developmental side effects in animals.

    “Retail employees and consumers are exposed to BPA every time they handle a receipt,” said Gillespie. “We must protect our workers, and ensure a safe work environment free from potential harm.”

  • TFIC Award CeremonyARLINGTON HEIGHTS – For their efforts to finalize the state’s first capital construction plan in a decade, State Sen. Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) and State Rep. Mark Walker (D-Arlington Heights) were given the Friend of Infrastructure Award by the Transportation for Illinois Coalition today.

    TFIC, an umbrella organization of business, labor and transportation groups that have advocated for transportation investment for nearly 20 years, has worked closely with lawmakers in Springfield on the state’s Rebuild Illinois program. Funding shortfalls over the past decade caused many problems with Illinois’ transportation system, including poorly maintained roads and bridges and outdated public facilities.

    “Our transportation system has been neglected for too long,” said Sen. Gillespie. “The capital plan will invest in roads and bridges along with over $1 billion in rail projects that will support commuters. This investment in rail transit will allow commuters to save costs on their personal vehicles, have positive impacts on our environment and give businesses more opportunities to thrive.”

    Rebuild Illinois invests $45 billion into the state’s economy to fix aging infrastructure across the state. According to estimates from the Governor’s Office, the Village of Arlington Heights will receive just short of $3 million in state funds as part of the program.

    “After Illinois’ recent history of dysfunction, the historic and bipartisan vote for infrastructure investment sends a strong and positive message to residents and taxpayers,” said TFIC Managing Director Jennifer Morrison. “Elected officials believe in Illinois and its future and are here to make sure investments that benefit all citizens are made in a responsible way.”

  • receiptsSPRINGFIELD – A harmful chemical found in most common receipt papers would be barred from use by Illinois businesses under legislation sponsored by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) that passed the Senate today.

    House Bill 2076 would prohibit bisphenol-A (BPA) from being used in paper for business and banking records such as cash register, debit card and sales receipts. BPA is present in most thermal receipt papers to develop color.

    “BPA has been proven to cause harmful reproductive and developmental effects in animals,” Gillespie said. “We cannot stand by and wait for BPA’s effects on humans to be seen. We need to be proactive.”

  • receipts 050919SPRINGFIELD – A harmful chemical found in most common receipt papers would be barred from use by Illinois businesses under legislation sponsored by State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) that was approved by the Senate Environment and Conservation Committee today.

    House Bill 2076 would prohibit bisphenol-A (BPA) from being used in paper for business and banking records such as cash register, debit card and sales receipts. BPA is present in most thermal receipt papers to develop color.

    “BPA has been proven to cause harmful reproductive and developmental effects in animals,” Gillespie said. “We cannot stand by and wait for BPA’s effects on humans to be seen. We need to be proactive.”

    The measure is supported by the Sierra Club, Local 881 UFCW, Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the Illinois Environmental Council.

    “Tens of thousands of workers and even more consumers are in contact with these papers every day,” said Zach Koutsky, Legislative and Political Director of Local 881 UFCW. “Whether you are on the job or simply going shopping, you deserve to be safe from harmful chemicals.”

    Similar legislation was introduced in Illinois in 2012 but did not pass the House. In 2011, Connecticut banned BPA in thermal receipt paper.

    The measure now goes before the entire Senate.

  • gillespie 022119SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved State Senator Ann Gillespie’s plan to establish a statewide workforce training grant that’s modeled after a successful program at a community college in central Illinois.

    Senate Bill 1919 creates the 21st Century Employment Grant Program, which will bring together state and local resources to support career training programs at community colleges and high schools. The measure received bipartisan support and was approved by the Senate with no opposition.

    “Illinois desperately needs to establish a pipeline of skilled workers for manufacturing, health care and technology careers. This measure will help us do that,” Gillespie said. “Career and technical education is a priority of mine, and I am excited to advance this important legislation.”

    Under the plan, participating community colleges or high schools would train students for a career but also teach them professional skills that are needed to be successful in the workplace, such as preparing a resume, effective communication and time management.

    The legislation requires community colleges or high schools to create an advisory board or partnership with local employers and economic developers. Furthermore, it requires state officials to track the progress of each grant recipient, analyze whether the programs are closing the employment or education gap for the labor needs of the region, and offer suggestions for additional training programs to support the labor needs of prospective businesses looking to locate in Illinois.

    The measure is modeled in part after a job skills training initiative at Richland Community College in Decatur, which received a $1.5 million state grant in 2018. The collaboration of state, local and private resources in that community is expected to put as many as 225 people to work.

  • gillespie 041019SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie is honoring Sikh Americans with a Senate resolution declaring April 2019 Sikh Awareness and Appreciation Month.

    Sikh is a well-established religious, social and ethnic group. It is the fifth-largest religion in the world, with more than 30 million Sikhs worldwide. An estimated half-million Sikhs live in the United States, and Illinois is home to about 25,000 Sikhs.

    “Sikhs are a vital part of Illinois’ cultural and economic fabric, particularly in Chicago and the suburbs. It is important that we make an effort to better understand and appreciate the rich history and shared experiences of Sikh Americans,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said.

    Senate Resolution 209, adopted by the Senate Wednesday, notes that Sikh Americans have distinguished themselves by fostering respect among all people through faith and service.

    On Wednesday, Rajinder Mago with the Sikh Religious Society in Palatine delivered the invocation to the Illinois Senate. The Sikh Religious Society is in the 27th Senate District that Gillespie represents.

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  • gillespie 040419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie’s plan to get more social workers into the employment pipeline quicker in Illinois passed the Senate Thursday.

    Senate Bill 1888 would allow students who are completing their social work master’s degrees to sit for licensure exams in the final semester of the program, rather than having to wait to pursue a license after they have their degree in hand.

    “We have a well-documented shortage of social workers in Illinois. Streamlining the process for obtaining a license will help these professionals more quickly find jobs in communities where their expertise is desperately needed,” said Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat.

    The legislation is an initiative of the National Association of Social Workers.

    “This is such a critical bill to address the workforce shortages we are having throughout the state, but particularly in rural areas,” said Kyle Hillman, director of legislative affairs for the organization’s Illinois chapter. “If we can get social workers licensed quicker, we can get these practitioners into our agencies quicker to provide the needed mental health care in such demand.”

  • gillespie 032719SPRINGFIELD – Illinois would identify gaps between workforce needs and available apprenticeship programs under a plan by State Senator Ann Gillespie that was approved by the Senate Wednesday.

    Senate Bill 2024 passed with bipartisan support and no opposition. It was Gillespie’s first time presenting a bill before the Senate.

    The legislation requires the state to study apprenticeship programs and workforce needs in Illinois and file a report with the General Assembly.

  • gillespie 032119SPRINGFIELD – A successful grant program that is putting people to work in central Illinois would be available to community colleges in the suburbs and elsewhere throughout the state under a proposal from State Senator Ann Gillespie.

    The proposal would establish the manufacturing training grant program. It is modeled in part after a job skills training initiative at Richland Community College in Decatur, which received a $1.5 million state grant in 2018. The collaboration of state, local and private resources in that community is expected to put as many as 225 people to work.

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  • gillespie 022119SPRINGFIELD – Illinois would join Texas in forbidding guns in polling places under a plan introduced by State Senator Ann Gillespie.

    “If Texas can see the problem with people bringing guns to vote, then so can Illinois,” said Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat. “In these times of intense political division, it’s understandable that people would be concerned about their safety at voting sites. Voters should leave their guns at home. It’s as simple as that.”

    Gillespie’s Senate Bill 1242 would prohibit concealed carry weapons from polling places and their parking lots.

    During the 2016 presidential election, voters in Loudoun County, Virginia, who were dropping off absentee ballots at a voting location were greeted by a man with a gun strapped to his waist who questioned at least one of them about their preferred candidate.

    Four states currently prohibit guns at voting sites: Texas, Florida, Louisiana and California. Georgia bars firearms within 150 feet of a polling station.

    Twenty percent of Illinois polling sites are not in buildings that are gun-free zones under state law.

  • Senator Gillespie

    SPRINGFIELD – The governor’s plan to invest more in career and technical education is welcome news for students and families in the northwest suburbs, State Senator Ann Gillespie said today.

    “I am encouraged by the governor’s pledge to invest $5 million in career and technical education. I’m excited about the possibilities, particularly as we look to shore up the Illinois economy, stop the outmigration of suburban students to other states and put more people to work in good-paying jobs right here at home,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said.

    Gillespie’s remarks came after the governor delivered his first budget address to the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield.

    She noted the governor’s overall plans to increase the state’s investment in education: $375 million more for public schools, increased funding for early childhood education, more money for college MAP grants and a greater investment in universities and community colleges.

    “The key to fueling Illinois’ economic rebirth is to invest in education from cradle to career. I’m glad the governor shares this priority,” Gillespie said. “Now it’s time for us all to get down to business, learn from past failures and figure out how to make some of these ideas a reality.”

  • gillespie rptr 010919SPRINGFIELD – On the anniversary of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, State Senator Ann Gillespie is urging Illinois women to continue fighting to protect their health care from government intrusion.

    “Women’s rights – specifically the right to make our own health care decisions – are under assault every day,” said Gillespie, an Arlington Heights Democrat. “Although Illinois has taken dramatic steps to protect women’s reproductive decisions, it is clear to me that we can never stand down in our fight for fairness and autonomy.”

    Gillespie praised Gov. JB Pritzker for issuing an executive order today enforcing House Bill 40, which protects a woman’s right to choose in Illinois.

    The 2017 law removes the “trigger” provision from a 1975 Illinois law that would reinstate previous state policy banning abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally the law allows abortion coverage for individuals on Medicaid or covered by State Employee Health Insurance plans.

    Prtizker’s order directs the Department of Central Management Services to ensure all state employee health benefit plans include that coverage by July 1, 2019.

    “This matter was settled by the highest court in the nation. Yet here we are, nearly 50 years later, rehashing whether women should have control over their own health care,” Gillespie said. “It’s troubling to me, and I urge women and men everywhere to continue fighting for rights that shouldn’t even be up for debate.”

  • gillespie guns 011719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) released the following statement on statewide gun dealer licensing being signed into law this morning:

    “We have lost too many children in this state to senseless gun violence. This law is not the solution to the problem, but it is a step in the right direction. People in the Northwest Suburbs are tired of gun violence and they want change. They welcome more oversight of gun purchases, and it is commendable that the state and responsible firearms dealers will be working together to achieve that.”

  • gillespie rptr 010919SPRINGFIELD – Barring state agencies from asking prospective employees about their salary histories is a good move by Illinois’ new governor on his first day in office, State Senator Ann Gillespie said today.

    “Gov. Pritzker seems to be off to a good start. Moving swiftly to eliminate gender bias in the state’s hiring process is long overdue,” Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) said, reacting to the governor signing a series of executive orders and legislation this afternoon.

    “I am eager to see how he will work with lawmakers to establish a much-needed $15 livable minimum wage in Illinois. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the General Assembly and with the governor to push this important issue forward.”

  • gillespie rptr 010919SPRINGFIELD – Increased wages for working families, access to affordable health care, property tax relief for suburban residents and robust investment in education are priorities for State Senator Ann Gillespie, who was sworn in today for her first term in the Illinois Senate.

    “I am thrilled to join the Senate and I’m eager to get to work on behalf of residents of the northwest suburbs,” said Gillespie, a Democrat from Arlington Heights.

    “There is a great deal of work to be done in Springfield to improve the state’s reputation and business climate, as well as to increase the living wage and address gun violence. I am prepared to meet these challenges head on.”

    Gillespie, 59, a retired health care industry executive, sought a seat in the Senate after attending the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., in 2017 and getting involved in grassroots organizing.

    She represents the 27th Senate District, which includes a portion of the northwest suburbs, including the communities of Arlington Heights, Barrington, Des Plaines, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Mount Prospect, Palatine, Prospect Heights and Rolling Meadows.