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  • Sen. William R. HaineSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) co-sponsored and spoke adamantly in support of a measure passed by the Illinois Senate that will allow patients who have waited more than 45 days to determine their Medicaid status to become provisionally eligible.

    Haine co-sponsored the legislation after hearing dozens of complaints from frustrated constituents who experienced significant delays in getting their Medicaid status approved.

    Federal law requires the state to make this determination in less than 45 days, but in Illinois many patients have been callously forced to wait several months, and in some cases even up to a year.

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  • haine 042318SPRINGFIELD – To help spur the continued economic growth of communities in Madison County, State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) passed legislation to extend Tax Increment Financing districts for the communities of Edwardsville and Granite City.

    These districts allow local governments to re-invest property tax dollars into the development of the community. 

    “Extending these TIF districts gives our local leaders the tools to ensure continued economic development and the availability of good-paying jobs in our communities,” Haine said.

    Both TIF districts were established in 1997 and are set to expire within the next two years. The Edwardsville TIF, located south of the downtown area, has helped promote economic development through small business growth. In Granite City, the TIF district has helped promote and stabilize good-paying jobs in the volatile steel industry. Haine’s proposal would extend the Granite City TIF district through 2030 and the Edwardsville TIF district through 2032.

    “Each of these TIF districts is vital to the economic growth of our region. I strongly encourage my colleagues in the Illinois House to pass the legislation to provide economic stability for these communities for years to come,” Haine said.

    Haine’s legislation, Senate Bill 2445, passed the Illinois Senate with a vote of 50-1. It will now head to the Illinois House for consideration.

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    Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, issued the following statement in response to the governor’s press conference at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy today:

    “Another press conference, another plan, another contradiction and more waiting for our military veterans and their families as Governor Rauner tries to hide his mistakes and failures. Three years later and Gov. Rauner is still drafting plans but refusing to take any action.

  • vets presser 031318SPRINGFIELD – Three years after the initial outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at the Illinois Veterans Home at Quincy, residents of that facility and others like it are still waiting for Gov. Bruce Rauner to be proactive in detecting and removing Legionella bacteria from state-run facilities.

    State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) has taken charge in the governor’s absence, advancing bipartisan legislative measures this week to improve water management and notification requirements at state facilities.

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  • haine 022817SPRINGFIELD—The Metro-East communities of Collinsville and Godfrey were recognized today as Governor’s Hometown Award winners.  Both cities were chosen from dozens of applications received from units of local governments across the state. State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) represents both areas.

    “I have had the pleasure of representing Collinsville and Godfrey in the Illinois Senate for 15 years,” Haine said. “Both communities are made up of outstanding people that are dedicated to improving the lives of those around them. I offer them both my most sincere congratulations.”

    Collinsville was selected for the award thanks to their Hometown Heroes project. For the last two years during Veteran’s and Memorial Day, banners were hung in Uptown Collinsville to recognize past and present members of the Armed Forces.

    Godfrey was selected because of the Beverly Farm Foundation. Originally founded in 1897, the Beverly Farm Foundation is a 400-person community located in Godfrey that serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    Both Collinsville and Godfrey were recognized by the Serve Illinois Commission at a ceremony at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.

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    SPRINGFIELD –Today the Illinois Senate voted 42-13 to protect workers’ rights and override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1905, sponsored by Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago). The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act blocks Gov. Rauner’s campaign to engage municipalities in creating right-to-work areas in support of moves to boost corporate profits at the expense of workers.

    Sen. Silverstein released the following statement: "Illinois’ future success depends on its support of the middle class. Workers and employers should not be restricted from bargaining collectively as they continue building our economy, and local governments have no place enforcing a rule that constrains this freedom.

    "The Collective Bargaining Freedom Act upholds the rights of hard working Illinoisans to expect good wages, benefits and working conditions in exchange for their labors. This veto rejects restrictions of those rights and rejects the governor’s continuing efforts to undermine organized labor in a state that relies on it to operate and extend our economy and our future. In spite of efforts by the governor and his pro-corporate profit supporters to squelch these rights, we will not grow our economy by taking part in a race to the bottom in wages earned by Illinois families."

    Senate Bill 1905 passed both houses initially in July with bipartisan support, and was vetoed by the governor on September 29. It now goes to the House for their consideration.

    Other Democratic senators spoke in support of the veto override:

    Senator Cristina Castro (Elgin): “I am happy to see that my colleagues helped protect the people of Illinois by working together to defeat Governor Rauner’s corporate agenda. We can’t let companies profit at the expense of our workers.”

    Senator Scott Bennett (Champaign): “Right-to-work is an inaccurate name for a policy designed to take away rights from hardworking families. This law will help tilt the balance away from big corporations and boardroom executives that work to rig the system at the expense of working families.”

    Senator Tom Cullerton (Villa Park): “Illinois businesses will only thrive if we treat workers with the dignity and respect they deserve. Governor Rauner’s harmful boardroom tactics benefit his friends at the expense of Illinois residents. Rauner’s extreme anti-worker agenda has no place in Illinois.”

    Senator Bill Haine (Alton): “The facts are clear: right-to-work policies do nothing but reduce workers’ wages and make workplaces more dangerous. The governor’s veto was yet another attempt to decrease wages for working families and ensure higher profits for his wealthy friends.”

    Senator Terry Link (Vernon Hills): “At a time when workers’ rights are under constant attack, it is important that we protect the rights of Illinoisans by ensuring that local governments can’t take away those rights. Dismantling collective bargaining rights would lead to lower wages and a loss of benefits for Illinois workers, and I refuse to let that happen.”

    Senator Laura Murphy (Des Plaines): "Since taking office, the governor has attempted to roll back employees’ rights and weaken the unions on the backs of which this state was built. All employees benefit from collective bargaining, even those that do not participate in organized labor. I hope this vote sends a strong message to the governor that I will not support his attack on the middle class.”

    Senator Iris Y. Martinez (Chicago): “Once again, the governor showed that he cares more about big businesses than the citizens of Illinois. Right-to-work laws lower wages, something that would disproportionately harm lower-income Illinoisans. I am glad the Senate stood up to the governor today and protected the hard-working men and women of our state.”

    Senator Bill Cunningham (Chicago): “Right-to-work is wrong for Illinois. Right-to-work and other anti-union measures are designed to do nothing more than lower workers’ wages to pad corporate profits.”

    Senator Don Harmon (Oak Park): “This issue has been litigated several times already, and we have our answer – only the state, not local governments, can create right-to-work laws. The governor’s veto was nothing more than a continuation of his radical anti-union agenda. Today’s override will ensure that workers across the state retain the fair representation they deserve.”

    Senator Kwame Raoul (Chicago): “The governor likes to claim that he’s pro-business, but he supports measures that are anything but. Everyone loses when right-to-work laws are in place. We cannot improve the business climate of Illinois if we implement laws that lower wages and strip away workers’ rights.”

     

     

  • Haine 082317SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) honored Patriot Guard Rider and Alton resident Fred Smith today by placing Smith’s pin on his Patriot Guard Rider vest.

    Smith has been a member of the Patriot Guard, an organization whose members are dedicated to attending the funeral services of fallen American heroes and ensuring services aren’t disrupted by protesters, for more than 15 years. Smith received his honorary pin after serving on 504 missions with the Patriot Guard.

    “The Patriot Guard Riders are dedicated individuals who are committed to honoring our fallen heroes and the sacrifices they made,” Haine said. “For years, Fred Smith has been a devoted member of the Patriot Guard, and I was honored to place his Patriot Guard Rider pin on his vest.”

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  • haine 032117SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) filed legislation today to correct a flaw currently in state law that can exempt gun ranges from noise complaints. Haine filed the proposal after he was contacted by several homeowners in close proximity to a Godfrey-area gun range called Trigger Talent.

    The gun range has refused to comply with noise modifications despite the numerous complaints from local residents.

  • haine 032117State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) is working on legislation that would require certain medical facilities to have active closed captioning on televisions in waiting rooms and resident rooms.

    The measure, Senate Bill 309, is an initiative of IMPACT Center for Independent Living in Alton. The organization, which serves individuals with disabilities, noted that many of the patients it serves have reported inability to understand or hear televisions in medical facilities, and thereby have difficulty receiving important information.

    Angela Botz, a proponent for deaf citizens and a representative of IMPACT CIL in Alton, noted in her testimony in the Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee that captioning features make a difference in the lives of the individuals with hearing loss, those with learning disabilities and the elderly.

    “Captioning will benefit viewers for health comprehension and retention, accessibility, usage and preferences for access services,” Botz said. “Often times, individuals who request these services are ignored. Bottom line: The importance of captioning and full health access matters.”

    Haine’s legislation, which is similar to a Minnesota law, requires closed captioning to be kept on at all times in certain medical facilities, including nursing homes.

    “This measure is about ensuring people with hearing disabilities have access to vital information,” Haine said. “People need to be able to know what is going on in the world around them and the ability to have important medical information communicated to them.”

    While there is currently some opposition to how hospitals would fund television upgrades to provide closed captioning on all devices, Haine noted that he is working closely with the Illinois Hospital Association and with nursing homes to come to a resolution that is economically feasible and fits the needs of those with hearing disabilities.

    “I am grateful for the work and input from the Illinois Hospital Association,” Haine said. “I know together we can reach a resolution on a good piece of legislation that will help many people in our community.”

  • haine 030117SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) advanced a measure through the Senate Criminal Law Committee on Tuesday to allow Illinois to prosecute perpetrators of drug-induced homicide more effectively.

    The measure, Senate Bill 639, expands the offense of drug-induced homicide to include delivery of a controlled substance under the laws of another jurisdiction if the resulting death occurs in Illinois.

    “This measure is about deterrence and making it clear we will not stand for illicit drug dealers providing lethal narcotics in our state,” Haine said. “Drug use has become an epidemic, and we must not stand idle while our young people are dying due to overdose.”

    The legislation is in response to incidents where judges have acquitted defendants charged with drug-induced homicide because the substance that caused the death did not come from Illinois. This bill seeks to resolve that gap so defendants are not acquitted of this offense when the illicit substance was delivered in another jurisdiction, but the death occurs in Illinois.

    The measure passed out of the committee on Tuesday and will now go to the Senate floor for final action.

  • haine 022817SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved a measure Tuesday that would fund Alton-area social service agencies and Southern Illinois University for 2017.

    State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) voted yes on the legislation, which would allow places like Senior Services Plus and Impact CIL in Alton to remain up and running.

    Over the last two years as the State of Illinois has grappled with a prolonged budget stalemate, Senior Services Plus reduced its meals on wheels program to just one delivery of frozen food per week rather than daily fresh food deliveries. Impact CIL, an organization serving the disabled, announced during the summer it would reduce its staff by 20 percent.

    “We passed this measure with bipartisan support because we know something needed to be done to protect people who are suffering,” Haine said. “Time is running out, and these organizations need help. It is absolutely necessary that this measure receives support from my colleagues in the House and from the governor.”

    Tuesday’s measure also includes an appropriation for the Southern Illinois University system and for Monetary Award Program grants.

    “SIU in Edwardsville is one of Illinois’ finest institutions of higher learning. The university provides an excellent education to students who come not only from this area, but from throughout the Midwest,” Haine said. “There is no reason a state school should be lacking state funding.”

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