Hunter

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  • SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool’s resignation:

    “With today’s departure of Chicago Public Schools CEO Forrest Claypool, I am calling on Janice Jackson and Frank Clark to keep our schools open and put the resources in place to educate and support our children.” 

    Janice Jackson currently serves as Chief Education Officer for Chicago Public Schools. Frank Clark currently serves as President of the Chicago Board of Education.

  • hunter collins 120617Englewood would have no high schools under proposal by Mayor Emanuel

    CHICAGO – Joined by fellow lawmakers Wednesday morning, State Senators Jacqueline Collins and Mattie Hunter voiced their opposition to a move by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to shutter four schools in the Englewood neighborhood.

    “I stand alongside my colleagues, united in disappointment and outrage as, once again, Mayor Emanuel chooses to pull the rug out from under our public schools,” Collins said. “Years of negotiations in the General Assembly finally came to fruition this year when Democrats and Republicans rejected politics, embraced compromise, and came together to make a fairer system for our children.

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  • hunter 022817SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to provide information about health issues and access to quality food options, House Bill 3157, backed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) has become law.

    “This lack of access can usually be found in underprivileged areas,” said Hunter. “Most families in food deserts also live without a car, strictly relying on public transportation to commute. I believe everyone, regardless of location, should have access to quality produce. It’s important to build partnerships among local government and businesses to tackle this growing problem.”

    House Bill 3157 will require the Department of Public Health to provide the General Assembly with an annual report that identifies the locations of food deserts, along with analysis on the health impacts in such locations.

    A food desert is defined as a location with a lack of grocery stores, farmers' markets, or healthy food providers, thus leading local residents to rely on unhealthier food options.

    The legislation becomes June 1, 2018.

  • hunter 050417SPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) will aid qualified homeless and court-involved youth in finding potential job openings.

    “Cuts made to the budget have decimated critical funding for youth employment programs,” said Hunter. “It seems as though year after year we make more cuts failing our youth and their future opportunities.”

    House Bill 2987 requires a state agency to notify the Department of Human Services, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Department of Children and Family Services of available job openings. Those agencies are then required to notify qualified applicants, and then keep record of the number of job applications they receive.

    “This legislation is simply about giving youth a fighting chance to enter the workforce,” Hunter said. “Our youth should not be left homeless and jobless. We all heavily rely on employment and other resources to meet our basic living needs.”

    Qualified applicants are to be 21 years of age or younger, and are currently or have been a dependent child in foster care, a homeless youth or a court-involved youth.

    The legislation becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018.

  • hunter 082517SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to streamline the sealing of criminal records, a new law backed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) will allow a defendant to immediately petition for the sealing of arrests or charges following an acquittal or dismissal of a case.

    “This bill is a step in the right direction toward correcting unfair practices in our criminal justice system,” said Hunter. “Far too many people deal with the consequences of an unfair judicial system after being wrongfully convicted.”

    House Bill 514 provides that following acquittal or dismissal, a defendant must be informed by the court of the petition procedure and his or her eligibility for immediate sealing of the records. A petition may then be brought by the defendant's attorney, and decisions concerning the immediate sealing of records may be made at the very same hearing.

    In the event that the petition is not granted, the petitioner, State's Attorney or State Police may file a motion to vacate, modify, or reconsider the order of the petition to immediately seal the records within 60 days of service of the order denying the original petition.

    House Bill 514, however, will not impede on a person's right to petition for sealing of these charges at a later date.

    This legislation becomes effective immediately.

  • hunter 052517SPRINGFIELD – Feminine hygiene products will now be free and accessible for students grades 6-12 in public and charter schools thanks to legislation backed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

    “This is not only about personal hygiene but about dignity as well,” said Hunter. “One of the reasons girls miss many days of school is because they do not have access to these products. We as women know that a menstrual cycle is something we don’t plan, it just happens, so it’s an absolute necessity to supply our younger women with the resources they need.”

    House Bill 3215 is an initiative of “Illinois Moving Women Forward,” a group that aims to remove gender inequalities in order to enable women to achieve their full potential. Of their three principles, the group’s main focus is to protect and improve access to affordable healthcare for women.

    “Our younger women deserve to be taken care of and we as a state can do so at a small expense,” Hunter said.

    The legislation will make the products available, at no cost to students, in the bathroom of school buildings.

    The legislation becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018.

  • Sen. Mattie HunterSPRINGFIELD – In response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto to House Bill 3143, a plan that would expand the Prompt Payment Act to ensure all human service contractors and vendors receive payments on time, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) released the following statement:  

    “We should treat the people that care for our most vulnerable citizens fairly. Human services have suffered tremendously for the two years we’ve gone without a budget. Programs like Redeploy Illinois, homeless youth services and many others have been bearing the financial burden of the state of Illinois.

    The governor’s veto will further delay funds to our most vulnerable citizens. It’s time we prioritized the payments human service providers need but also compensate organizations for delayed payments.”

  • Sen. Mattie HunterSPRINGFIELD – With risk factors increasing and disease rates rising, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) has increased efforts to research asthma, which is one of the most common chronic disorders in children. Senate Bill 1846 will require, the Department of Public health to collect data about asthma rates and risk factors in school children.

    “Asthma is a serious lung disease that can be life-threatening if not properly treated,” said Hunter. “Many children are missing school each day due to severe sicknesses from asthma. The state of Illinois needs to allocate additional resources to research asthma and prevention mechanisms. Though there is not a cure for asthma, my colleagues and I have been working to get in front of the problem.”

  • keyboardSPRINGFIELD – In an effort to protect governmental information from phishing schemes and coordinated cyber-attacks legislation backed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) was signed into law that will require state employees to take cyber-security training on an annual basis.

    “Hacking experts are becoming more creative by identifying new ways to obstruct governmental information systems,” said Hunter. “Training our employees in cybersecurity is critical in reducing the risks of such sophisticated attacks.”

    The initiative was modeled after a Florida law which was enacted to ensure that the state’s data and staff resources are maintained reliably and safely and are recoverable in the event of a disaster.

    “This legislation will not only improve the accessibility of electronic information and information technology but will increase education, employment and access to governmental information and services,” said Hunter.

    The security training attached to House Bill 2371 will include:
    • Detecting phishing scams
    • Preventing spyware infections
    • Preventing identity thefts
    • Preventing and responding to data breaches

    The legislation becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018.

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    SPRINGFIELD – Many mothers often worry about finding a safe place to nurse or breastfeed. Thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago), public and charter schools will now be authorized to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations to students.
     
    “Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants, “said Hunter. “It’s important that we provide our youth, especially, with a private, clean and safe place to produce milk for their young. This bill will also keep many of our young mothers in school who often times miss out because of the restrictions of the campus environment.”

    House Bill 2369 requires public and charter schools to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations to pupils. Furthermore, a school campus shall provide reasonable accommodations for a lactating student to provide breast milk, breastfeed an infant child or address other needs related to breastfeeding.

    Reasonable accommodations can be defined as:
    • Access to a private and secure room other than a restroom to express breast milk or breastfeed an infant child;
    • Access a power source for a breast pump or any other equipment used to express breast milk; and
    • Access to a place to store expressed breast milk safely.

    The legislation was signed into law and takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.

  • hunter062917SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) expressed her congratulations to all the recent high school graduates who are able to attend college thanks to scholarships from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

    “This is a great example of the state doing something positive for young men and women’s lives,” said Hunter. “They’ve been through so much and still managed to excel through the many obstacles they’ve faced. I appreciate the state’s efforts in encouraging young people to take the next step.”

  • hunter062917SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to address the growing number of out-of-school and jobless youth in Illinois, legislation sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) passed both legislative chambers, which will create a statewide task force to develop programs and opportunities for this rapidly increasing population.

    “We cannot continue to fail our young people,” said Hunter. “The first step to fixing this problem is listening to the young people who will become our next leaders. When I talk to youth in my district their number one request is to bring jobs to the community.

  • cms hearing 062817SPRINGFIELD- Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) held a hearing today to address concerns over a nearly $100 million taxpayer-funded contract to a private company charged with creating online efficiency in state employee health insurance processing.

    “In my opinion, this process was rushed. If I would have received one bidder for something of this magnitude I would have wanted to find more or expand the recruitment,” Lightford said.

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  • hunter 052517SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to protect women’s healthcare, economic security and justice, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) passed legislation that would make all feminine hygiene products free at school for students grades 6-12.

    “One of the reasons girls miss many days of school is because they do not have access to these products,” said Hunter. “Young women do not plan on having a menstrual cycle, it’s something that just happens. It’s an absolute necessity to supply our younger women with the resources they need.”

    House Bill 3215 is an initiative of “Illinois Moving Women Forward” a group that aims to remove gender inequalities in order to help women achieve their full potential. Of their three principles, the group’s main focus is to protect and improve the access to affordable healthcare for women.

    “This is not only about personal hygiene but about dignity as well,” Hunter said. “Our younger women deserve to be taken care of and we as a state can do so at a small expense.”

    The legislation passed both chambers and awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

  • Sen. Mattie Hunter

    SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase accountability among law enforcement officers, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) passed legislation that requires sobriety testing following all officer-involved shootings.

    The initiative aims to improve credibility in police department investigations. It would require officers to submit drug and alcohol test results no later than the end of his or her shift.

    Police-involved shootings have gained much attention over the years as the number of victims has increased drastically. In 2014 alone, more than 1,000 people were killed by police officers.

    “Whether these attacks have been targeted or unfortunate accidents, this policy will hold law enforcement accountable for the frequent tragedies of deadly force,” Hunter said.

    “Officers must be held to the same standard as other professionals who are responsible for the lives of human beings. This should be a standard operating procedure for every police department.”

    The legislation passed the Senate 53-0 and is now in the House for further consideration.