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  • hunter 051216SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a measure sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) to extend the time a drug and alcohol offender has to file a motion to overrule his or her conviction.

    Currently, if an individual has successfully completed alcohol or drug addiction treatment as a condition of probation, he or she faces a short, 30-day window to find housing, transportation and employment.

    The bill would extend the 30-day timeframe to 60 days following a successful discharge from probation and allow ex-offenders to ask a judge to vacate his or her conviction.

    "This bill makes it easier for people to get back on their feet,” Hunter said. If people have served their time and corrected their wrongs, they should have longer than a month to restart their lives."

    Senator Hunter was concerned with the 30-day restriction and didn’t think the current state statute was fair.

    “We should not let people's past mistakes ruin their futures. Instead we should encourage them in their efforts to start over,” Hunter said. “When former offenders can’t find the means to support themselves, they turn back to crime and end up where they started.”

    The law is effective immediately.

  • Hunter urges community to join and help prevent gun violenceCHICAGO - In response to the gun violence during the weekend, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is calling for greater commitment to violence prevention and youth programs.

    At least 60 people were shot, and four killed, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Halfway through this year, there have been nearly 315 murders, more than 1,600 shootings and 1,953 shooting victims in Chicago.

    “Rather than focusing on youth programs as a costly burden we need to focus on the costs of lives lost to gun violence,” Hunter said.

  • Hunter urges community to join and help prevent gun violenceCHICAGO - In response to gun violence in the city, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is calling for greater commitment to violence prevention and youth programs.

    At least 60 people were shot, and four killed, over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Halfway through this year, there have been nearly 315 murders, more than 1,600 shootings and 1,953 shooting victims in Chicago.

    “Rather than focusing on youth programs as a costly burden we need to focus on the costs of lives lost to gun violence,” Hunter said.

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  • hunter 062816CHICAGO – More than $25 million in state funding for youth employment and after-school programs is up for a vote in the Illinois Senate on Wednesday.

    “Once thriving after-school programs on Chicago’s South Side are struggling to remain open,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago), a career advocate for youth jobs and violence prevention in the city. “Last year, I met teenage filmmakers at After School Matters who used their cameras to lead anti-violence efforts in our community. Now, those teens are at risk of losing the very activities that kept them safe during dangerous summers.”

    In November, Hunter visited the video and music production program TechKno Camp to participate in the students short docudrama focused on violence prevention.

    An Illinois Senate-assembled plan would provide $13 million for youth programs like Teen Reach and $12 million for youth employment and after-school programs in the state.

    Additional proposals to provide $655 million to public universities including Chicago State University and increase Chicago Public Schools’ funding by $286 million are on the table for Wednesday.

    “I hope the governor will give our youth a fighting chance by adequately funding youth programs, K-12 education and public universities,” Hunter said.

    The Senate will convene on Wednesday at noon to take action on pending budget measures.

  • hunter 040716SPRINGFIELD – A bipartisan-backed human services emergency funding bill is sitting on the governor's desk. Majority Caucus Whip Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) released the following statement, urging the governor to sign the plan into law:

    "A human services funding plan is sitting on the governor's desk. The Senate and House worked in a bipartisan fashion to craft an emergency funding bill that will keep our state afloat.

    “We are seeing in Chicago and across our state the devastating effects of not having a budget in place. Without critical programs like Redeploy Illinois, we will continue to see a rise in teen violence.

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  • trotter leadSPRINGFIELD - A measure preventing the leasing of properties with high levels of lead in building materials, paint passed the Illinois State Senate on Friday.

    Illinois has the second highest prevalence of lead poisoning in the country, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

    "There's an alarming number of old apartments across Illinois that are filled with lead," said Assistant Majority Leader Donne Trotter, the bill’s sponsor. "Preventing owners and tenants from passing on the burden to an unknown owner or tenant can stave off the ill effects of lead contamination."

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  • muslim action daySPRINGFIELD – Chicago senators took on hate in a statehouse press conference by recognizing April 19 as Illinois Muslim Action Day.

    Senate Resolution 1748 recognizes the national Take on Hate Day and efforts to fight anti-religious hate crimes.

    State Sens. Mattie Hunter and Jacqueline Y. Collins joined the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) for a press conference and recognized pages for the day on the Senate floor.

     

  • trotter sb2046Today, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that could essentially end the 2016 budget year stalemate.

    Some 90 percent of the state spending plan already is in place because of various court orders, leaving just higher education and many social services, which serve thousands of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens, left unfunded. This afternoon the Senate concurred with the House on Senate Bill 2046 and approved spending authority for the state’s public universities and social services left unfunded during the budget impasse.

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  • hunter 040716CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter passed legislation in the Illinois Senate to extend the time former offenders have to restore their lives.

    "People who have served time and corrected their wrongs shouldn't have only a month to restart their lives. This bill makes it easier for people to get back on their feet," said Hunter (D-Chicago).

    Many formerly convicted residents face a short 30-day window to find housing, transportation and employment. Former convictions often can lock people out of housing and job opportunities.

    Under current law, the timing requirements for former offenders who have successfully completed probation under the statue is very tight.

    Senate Bill 2601 extends the 30-day timeframe to 60 days following a successful discharge from probation.

    The measure does not expand eligibility for the designated program nor does it reduce requirements for vacation of conviction.

    Hunter also co-sponsored Senate Bill 2465, which repeals Illinois’ requirement for former offenders to reimburse the Department of Corrections for expenses they incurred during their incarceration.

    In 2014, Hunter created a law that gave law-abiding former offenders the opportunity to ask courts to seal the records of minor offenses that happened over three years ago.

    "We should not let people's past mistakes ruin their chances for gainful employment. When former offenders can't find a legal means to support themselves, they turn to crime," said Hunter when her 2014 bill became law.

    Senate Bill 2601 passed the Senate 52-0 and is now in the House for further consideration.

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  • lightford budgreax0216The governor’s budget address fails to help college students, vulnerable residents and disenfranchised communities. This was the core belief expressed by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus at their budget press conference on Wednesday.

    ILBC Chair Kimberly Lightford joined members in calling student activists and the governor to action. She challenged the governor’s proposal to sell an outdated, broken education funding plan as true reform and his failure to address higher education concerns.

    “Funding our schools without reforming our unfair education system does more harm than good. No matter how much wealth you have, throwing money at a problem is not going to solve it without understanding the real issues at hand. Our decades-old funding formula has not done anything to meet the needs of today’s students. It has only led to the most regressive funding system in the nation."

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