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  • Sen. Mattie HunterSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) joined community leaders and affordable housing advocates from across Illinois at the State Capitol today in calling for more investments in affordable housing in the capital budget.

    “Right now, we have an opportunity–one that has not come around in more than a decade–to make a sizable impact on the affordable housing needs of our communities,” said Hunter, the Chairman of the Senate’s Special Committee on Housing. “There are neighborhoods in my district that are still struggling to recover from the economic crisis and are starved for investment, and I know that many communities across the state from urban, suburban and rural communities face similar challenges.”

  • hunter 051419SPRINGFIELD – Speaking at an SEIU Healthcare Home Care Lobby Day rally, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) once again stressed the importance of giving a raise to care workers who provide in-home services for seniors in Illinois.

    “Right now, home care agencies are struggling to recruit and retain caregivers in every corner of the state,” Hunter said. “Why? Because the average Illinois home care worker’s hourly wage is only $11.08.”

  • Sens. Peters, Hunter and MartinezSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke Thursday on the need for clarity in state law regarding worker cooperatives, a model in which businesses are owned and controlled cooperatively by workers.

    “Worker cooperatives are a proven model that provide living wage jobs, especially for workers in communities of color, who often work in the low-wage economy where wage theft and discrimination are extremely common,” Martinez said.

    Martinez is sponsoring House Bill 3663, which would provide clarity of what a worker cooperative is and the benefits and rights of those that operate under its construct. It also sets guidelines for organizing and managing a worker cooperative.

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  • hunter 030619SPRINGFIELD –Continuing her fight to increase wages for home care aides who provide in-home services for nearly 1,000,000 seniors, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) joined home care workers, legislators and advocates today to sound the alarm about Illinois senior home care.

    For eight years, funding for programs under the Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program have gone unchanged, which leaves care providers unable to raise workers’ wages and has left Illinois unprepared to deal with workforce shortages.

  • hunter 112818CHICAGO–State Senator Mattie Hunter issued the following statement this morning in response to Gov. Pritzker signing the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act.

    Hunter (D-Chicago 3rd) co-sponsored Senate Bill 337, which would require gun dealers to adopt responsible practices and would hold corrupt dealers accountable. The new law is intended to curb a major source of illegally trafficked firearms from entering Illinois communities:

    “Senseless gun violence is devastating neighborhoods in Chicago and throughout the state each and every day, and I applaud the governor for taking immediate action to fight gun violence and protect our children and our families.

    “While no single reform will end Illinois gun violence by itself, this new law is a start. It will help crack down on the handful of gun dealers who are abusing the process and will encourage businesses to adopt reasonable, sensible and good practices that will save lives, improve public safety and keep our communities safe.”

  • hunter 041918CHICAGO – Starting Jan. 1, 2019, students and parents will have more access to research and prevention materials regarding influenza.

    State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) championed the measure after a rapid increase in the number of people going to see their doctors or health care providers with flu-related symptoms last year.

    "The flu is a serious and contagious disease that can lead to severe consequences,” Hunter said. “One of the best ways to prevent influenza is to stay informed.”

    Senate Bill 2654 will require the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop informational materials about influenza and flu vaccines for school districts. Additionally, school boards will be required to provide that information to parents when notifying them of other health-related matters.

    “Providing parents with information can help reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and missed school due to flu,” Hunter said. “I am glad that we now have additional steps in place to protect children and families by providing them the information they need to live healthy lives.”

  • hunter 112818CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) has issued the following statement on the Cook County Court’s decision this week to grant an injunction preventing Chicago Public Schools from transitioning National Teachers Academy Elementary School (NTA) into a neighborhood high school:

    “This is a powerful victory for students, parents, faculty, administration and everyone in the South Loop community who fought to keep NTA open. I am inspired today by the unwavering commitment that many parents displayed to protect their children’s education.

    “This historic ruling is the result of a lot of hard work. An entire community came together to fight for NTA, and I especially commend the efforts of Niketa Brar, Elisabeth Greer, Candace Moore and all those from Local School Council and the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights who advocated for what they believed in.

    “We must continue to stem the tide of disruptive school closures. We need to end the displacement that has plagued CPS throughout its recent history. I will continue to fight for equal education and for creating diverse, high-quality K-12 and high school options throughout Chicago.” 

  • hunter 112818SPRINGFIELD – A new law passed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) will help provide opportunities for small farmers and community organizers to create urban agriculture zones where communities can grow food for themselves and combat food deserts.

    The Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 3418 today, which allows counties or municipalities to create urban agriculture zones composed of organizations or individuals who grow produce or other agricultural products, raise or process livestock or poultry or whose stock is a minimum of 75 percent locally grown.

  • mercy hosp 112018State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the shooting at Mercy Hospital in Chicago yesterday:

    “I am deeply saddened to hear about the horrific shooting at Mercy Hospital in Bronzeville yesterday. I am praying for all those who were affected. To the families of the victims—I cannot even begin to fathom the pain you are experiencing, but please know that our community is here for you.

  • Illinois Black Caucus

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  • hunter bball 051518State Senator Mattie Hunter and members of the Illinois Senate welcomed Wendell Phillips High School's IHSA Class 5A championship winning football team. Wendell Phillips High School is located in the Bronzeville neighborhood on the south side of Chicago. Wendell is the only high school in Chicago Public League history to ever win a state football championship. The team is led by head coach Mr. Troy McAllister.

  • Sen. Patricia Van PeltSPRINGFIELD – Use of controversial gang databases by police would be reformed under legislation introduced today by State Senator Patricia Van Pelt.

    “My goal is to reform the use of gang databases so that we can ensure the data is accurate and can be effective in helping reduce gang-related activity while still protecting people’s rights.” Van Pelt, a Chicago Democrat, said. “We need to make sure people aren’t being added to the gang database when they shouldn’t be, something that has proven to be problematic for countless Chicagoans over the years.”

    The legislation was crafted after experts, advocates and community members voiced their concerns at an April 20 Senate committee hearing about the Chicago Police Department’s use of gang databases and its effect on communities.

  • Sen. Hunter works to expand influenza research and prevention SPRINGFIELD – After an increase in hospital visits during what was reported as an extremely harsh flu season, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) increased efforts to provide students and parents research and prevention materials regarding influenza.

    “There was a very rapid increase in the number of people going to see their doctors or health care providers with flu related symptoms,” said Hunter. “We have to get in front of this issue by providing children and families the information they need to live healthy lives.”

  • hunter 041918SPRINGFIELD – In response to the alarming report released by WBEZ in 2017, which uncovered that Chicago Public Schools had been intentionally scaling back their special education funding and services, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) sponsored legislation to reexamine the school system's approach.

    “Children with special needs should have the same opportunities regardless of race or socioeconomic background,” Hunter said. “It is our job as public officials and the mission of CPS to provide an opportunity for every student to reach his or her full potential academically.”

  • hunter 041018SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase wages for home care aides who provide in-home services for nearly 100,000 seniors, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) backed legislation to improve the quality of health care in the state of Illinois.

    “Home care aides provide valuable services that not everyone can handle or are willing to do,” said Hunter. “The tasks that come with their work load are difficult but much needed in this state. The individuals willing to serve in this profession deserve to be compensated with higher pay and health coverage.”

    Currently, the average wage for home care aides through the Illinois Department on Aging’s (IDOA) Community Care Program is only $10.98 per hour. Senate Bill 3511 aims to increase that wage to $19.89 on July 1, 2018 and by $1 each year after that.

    “Better wages and benefits would bring stability to a vital workforce that experiences high rates of burnout and turnover.” Hunter said. “Unfortunately, many of our skilled professionals leave the industry in search of better paying jobs. High turnover causes confusion and uncertainty in the lives of these seniors who rely on the workers for daily care and compassion.”

    For seven years, the program rates have gone unchanged. Workers that have chosen to stay in the field struggle with low wages falling further behind as cost-of-living continues to increase.

    The legislation passed out of the Human Services Committee and will be called in the Illinois Senate for further consideration.

  • gun dealerIn spite of repeated pleas from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers to support commonsense measures to curb gun violence and help sweep unregistered firearms off the streets, the governor vetoed Senate Bill 1657, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

    According to a 2014 report from the University of Chicago Crime Lab, almost 20 percent of all guns recovered from crimes scenes in Chicago between 2009 and 2013 came from three of the state’s 2,400 dealers. Although Democratic and Republican lawmakers supported the gun dealer licensing legislation, along with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson and many gun safety advocates and victims' families, the governor vetoed the bill today.