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Hutchinson

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  • Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) shares her perspective about voting rights and Automatic voter Registration at a press conference on January 13, 2016.


  • You pay at the pump, why is Springfield keeping your money?

  • ccapupdate mrDecision raises eligibility to crucial program for working families

    CHICAGO - Since July 1, thousands of Illinois children have been turned away from the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Cuts enacted by the governor dramatically lowered eligibility to CCAP, turning away 90 percent of previously eligible children.

    Earlier this week, a state panel that sets rules for CCAP voted to enact an agreement reached by Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) and the governor restoring eligibility to 90% of applicants, according to Illinois Action for Children. For example, a family of two earning up to $2,151 a month can immediately access CCAP services. That family had been cut out by the governor.

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  • Governor’s cuts to child care program affecting Illinois families, small businesses

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  • New law aims to protect college students from sexual assaultWith studies showing an alarming one-in-five undergraduate college women becoming victims of rape or attempted rape, a measure was signed into law recently that will prevent and ensure proper response to sexual assaults that occur on college campuses.

    “College represents new experiences and new beginnings for thousands of young women and men each year,” sponsor Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “With thousands of college students heading to school, many of them for the first time, we are reminded of the importance in both preventing sexual assaults and responding with every single resource at our disposal when they do occur. Sexual assault cannot be tolerated anywhere.”

  • hutchinson loopholesSPRINGFIELD – Victims of domestic violence and individuals with disabilities will not have to worry about losing their homes if they contact authorities for help under a new law signed today by the governor.  

    “The last thing a survivor of a traumatic assault or someone struggling with a disability needs to worry about is being evicted simply for calling the police for help,” sponsor State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said.  

    Renters who contact authorities for help risk eviction in the more than 100 home-rule cities and villages that have implemented some form of crime-free ordinance. These ordinances are meant to give more control to municipalities in addressing public safety concerns. Many of them have specifically listed triggers that could lead to an eviction, including numerous calls to law enforcement.

    While the intent of crime-free ordinances is to deal with illegal activity, victims of criminal activity can be affected by the rules, especially in the case of domestic violence. Victims of domestic abuse aren’t always able to leave their homes immediately and are sometimes afraid to press charges, making it more likely they will have to contact the police more than once.  

    Individuals with disabilities are also endangered by these ordinances, as someone struggling with a disability might need assistance from authorities more often than someone without a disability.

    “We should not be penalizing renters with eviction simply for making legitimate calls for help,” Hutchinson said. “This new law strikes a balance between the safety needs of victims and the responsibility of municipalities to address public safety in their communities.”

    Senate Bill 1547 was signed today by the governor and becomes law in 90 days.

  • hutchinson evictSPRINGFIELD – With studies showing an alarming one-in-five undergraduate college women becoming victims of rape or attempted rape, a measure was signed into law today that will prevent and ensure proper response to sexual assaults that occur on college campuses.

    “College represents new experiences and new beginnings for thousands of young women and men each year,” sponsor Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “With thousands of college students heading to school, many of them for the first time, we are reminded of the importance in both preventing sexual assaults and responding with every single resource at our disposal when they do occur. Sexual assault cannot be tolerated anywhere.”

    While there have been efforts at the federal level to deal with the issue of sexual violence on campuses, universities have been left with a patchwork of recommendations and proposals without clear guidance on how they can reduce the incidence of violence on their campuses and effectively deal with the aftermath of sexual assaults.

    Acknowledging this reality, Senator Hutchinson teamed with Attorney General Lisa Madigan to ensure colleges develop clear, comprehensive campus plans for dealing with sexual violence. Each plan will ensure victims have help immediately after an attack, including confidential advisers who can guide them to medical and legal resources. These advisers must also focus on often-overlooked issues, such as orders of protection and situations where housing and class schedules need to be changed.  

    House Bill 821 was signed into law today by the governor and takes effect immediately.

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  •  toi ccap 8 6 15 mrThousands of working parents throughout the state had access to affordable child care services last year thanks to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). Drastic cuts instituted by the governor on July 1 have put these vital services in jeopardy, with approximately 90 percent of new applicants who otherwise meet program requirements no longer eligible for the program.

    “Families on CCAP are doing exactly what we tell them they are supposed to be doing, which is waking up every morning and going to work or school,” sponsor State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “Children should not be used as leverage in this budget impasse.”  

    In response to the crisis, Hutchison passed a proposal out of the Senate today to restrict the ability of the governor and the Department of Human Services to drastically cut CCAP. In addition to dramatically lowered eligibility standards, children currently in CCAP are facing higher copays and waiting lists to receive services.

    With more than 70,000 Illinois jobs tied to the child care industry, the large decrease in families eligible for CCAP has the potential to cause layoffs at child care centers and even the closing of entire facilities, especially in lower-income areas where a majority of families access CCAP. And with CCAP only available to parents who are either in the workforce or enrolled in school, and the average cost of daycare more than $950 a month, many working parents will be forced to drop out of the workforce and stay home to care for their children. Many would then be forced onto public assistance programs, costing the state more money than is being saved by slashing CCAP.

    “Centers are on the verge of closing now. Children are being denied services now. This is not an abstract issue that might happen on some future date. This crisis is playing out in front of us today,” Hutchinson said.

    Senate Bill 570 passed the Senate today and now heads to the Illinois House for further debate.