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Mulroe

  • mulroe vets holidaySPRINGFIELD – As many state and federal workers prepare for a work holiday on Wednesday to support Veterans Day, many veterans do not have the option to take the day off created in their honor. Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) is looking to change that.

    “Every year, men and women who fought hard for our country’s freedom are required to work a holiday that was created specifically to honor them,” Mulroe says. “That’s just not right, and I think that as a state Illinois can better serve the people who served in the armed forces.”

    Under the new legislation, veterans would have the option of taking the November holiday off if they otherwise would have had to work, receiving paid leave. Their employers would need a documented request for the absence. Only Oregon and Iowa currently have similar laws; Minnesota and the U.S. Congress are currently considering similar measures.

    “This proposal is a win-win situation, because it doesn’t require a veteran to take the day off, but empowers them through state statute to do so if they wish,” Mulroe says. “We are also looking to protect the employers by placing safeguards in, making this pro-veteran and pro-business.”

    Employees who are veterans would not have to take the holiday off; however, they would be required to give 30 calendar days’ notice to their employer that they intend to take the time off and would be required to provide documentation to the employer that they are indeed a veteran.

    If the employer would not be able to award the time off due to significant economic or operational disruption, the employer would need to notify the employee within 14 calendar days prior to the holiday and make a good faith effort to award an alternate paid vacation day. In addition, the legislation would create a tax credit for employers for 100 percent of wages paid.

    The measure was introduced in the Senate on October 20.

  • mulroe 3d passedSPRINGFIELD – Thanks to new screening methods such as tomosynthesis, breast cancer occurrences have been steadily decreasing since the early 2000s. A new law sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) adding the screening method to the list of covered low-dose screenings was signed today by the governor.

    “This is a medically proven screening method that increases detection rates and because of its sensitivity, helps reduce unnecessary call backs during an already stressful time,” Mulroe said. “It is a good practice to keep the medical industry moving forward when the technology is available.”

    Previous technologies only took a single dimension view of breast tissue when screening for cancerous cells. Tomosynthesis, also known as a 3D mammogram, takes a multidimensional view of the breast during the screening. As a result, a 3D mammogram has a higher success rate of detecting cancerous cells that are often difficult to detect, due to either size or dense breast tissue.

    Senate Bill 54 amends the insurance code by adding tomosynthesis to the list of definitions of low-dose mammograms. As a result, the insurance mandate will cover 3D mammograms as well as the traditional 2D mammograms.

    “This law will not only help save lives of at-risk women who may not have known about this technology or may not have been previously covered, but also save them from additional stress and discomfort,” Mulroe said. “It is our duty to protect the health and well-being of people in this state, and if we can save them time, money and emotional hardship then that is a bonus.”

    The law becomes effective July 1, 2016.

  • 3dmam insuranceSPRINGFIELD – Last year the General Assembly passed a measure that would add 3D mammography to the list of low-dose mammograms covered by insurance agencies. In an effort to correct issues with that proposal, Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) has sponsored a new piece of legislation.

    “When we worked on the previous measure, I told the insurance companies ‘Get on board or I’m coming back,’” Mulroe continued. “This is too important to drag our feet on.”

    Under the previous measure, insurance companies were required to cover 3D mammography but only Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield covered the screening. Other insurance companies followed suit, but not quickly enough.

    Previous technologies only took a single dimension view of breast tissue when screening for cancerous cells. Tomosynthesis, also known as a 3D mammogram, takes a multidimensional view of the breast during the screening. As a result, a 3D mammogram has a higher success rate of detecting cancerous cells that are often difficult to detect, due to either size or dense breast tissue.

    Senate Bill 466 amends the insurance code by adding tomosynthesis to the list of definitions of low-dose mammograms. As a result, the insurance mandate will cover 3D mammograms as well as the traditional 2D mammograms.

    “I strongly believe that this legislation will help save lives of at-risk women who may not have known about this technology or may not have been previously covered,” Mulroe said. “It is our duty to protect the health and well-being of people in this state, and if we can save them time, money and emotional hardship then that is a bonus.”

    After the legislation’s success in the Senate and House, it now moves to the governor’s desk.

  • Mulroe on the floor

    SPRINGFIELD –The mentally and physically disabled individuals who receive care from Misericordia Home are unique as many receive services from the time they are born to their final breath. Thanks to Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) the facility’s licensing will be as unique and streamlined as the service it provides.

    “Misericordia is unique in that it provides exceptional care for its vulnerable residents over lifetimes,” Mulroe said. “It makes sense to me that the state should recognize facilities like it under a new, streamlined licensure process to ensure the patients continue receiving the best care they can without experiencing any delays.”

    Currently, facilities like Misericordia are required by the state to hold multiple licenses for the various services it offers. It can get especially tricky when trying to transfer a patient from one part of the facility to another: An individual may show up on a transfer, but the paperwork placing them there has been held up, causing a delay of care.

    The measure would create a continuum of care license for large-scale facilities like Misericorida, removing the necessity for multiple licenses. The facility currently works under five differently issued licenses.

    The proposal passed both houses and today was signed by the governor.

  • mulroe 041416SPRINGFIELD – Tucked away in a quiet northwest Chicago neighborhood, the sisters at Misericordia Home dedicate their lives to caring for some of the most vulnerable citizens. The mentally and physically disabled individuals who receive care from Misericordia are unique as many receive services from the time they are born to their final breath.

    “Misericordia is privileged to provide to more than 600 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Sister Rosemary Connelly, who currently serves as director of the facility. “What we are looking for is something to streamline the licensure process and reduce the bureaucracy that is associated with having multiple licenses on one campus.”

    Currently, facilities like Misericordia are required by the state to hold multiple licenses for the various services it offers. It can get especially tricky when trying to transfer a patient from one part of the facility to another: An individual may show up on a transfer, but the paperwork placing them there has been held up, causing a delay of care.

    Thanks to a new proposal sponsored in the Senate by State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago), the care would be seamless. The measure would create a continuum of care license for large-scale facilities like Misericorida, removing the necessity for multiple licenses.

    “Misericordia is unique in that it provides exceptional care for its vulnerable residents over lifetimes,” Mulroe said. “It makes sense to me that the state should recognize facilities like it under a new, streamlined licensure process to ensure the patients continue receiving the best care they can without experiencing any delays.”

    The proposal passed the Senate Human Services committee on Tuesday, unopposed and now moves to the Senate floor for further debate.

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  • mulroe maryville 092717SPRINGFIELD – Under a new law sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago), Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center will be able to care for additional medically-fragile children.

    “I am thrilled that Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center will now be able to care for additional medically-fragile children,” Mulroe said. “Maryville does such good work in our community. I am proud to be able to assist them with this measure that helps them open their doors even further.”

    House Bill 763 increases the number of children allowed for treatment under the community-based health care center model. Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center cares for children that depend on medical technology, such as ventilators, and trains parents to provide a smooth transition when a child returns home after hospitalization.

    “Our Children’s Healthcare Center provides transitional care -- from hospital to home -- for young patients with complex medical conditions,” said Maryville Executive Director Sister Catherine M. Ryan, O.S.F. “We teach caregivers how to provide for their children’s medical needs once they are back home. Our transitional care reduces the re-hospitalization rate dramatically. This is good healthcare policy, but more importantly, it helps our children and families resume their lives.”

    “We are grateful to Senator Mulroe for his work on behalf of the children and families who need this care,” Ryan said.

    This legislation goes into effect on June 1, 2018.

  • mulroe 082517SPRINGFIELD – Under a new law sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago), victims of certain child sex crimes will now have until they are 43-years-old to prosecute the transgression. Previously, victims of child sex crimes only had until they turned 19 to bring charges.

    “It can take years for victims of child sex crimes to process what happened to them and decide if they want to press charges,” Mulroe said. “This new law gives victims 25 years from when they turn 18 to make that decision.”

    Senate Bill 1842 applies to victims of involuntary servitude, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor and trafficking in persons.

    According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline, 100 cases of human trafficking have been reported in Illinois in 2017.

  • mulroe veto 111616SPRINGFIELD –Legislation to support Chicago police officers and firefighters and their widows and widowers passed the Senate today in a veto override.

    Senate Bill 440, sponsored by Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago 10), passed both houses of the legislature with bipartisan support in the spring but was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

    “I think it’s important that we provide for the families of our firefighters and police officers,” Mulroe said.

  • mulroe 042618SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator John Mulroe to help disabled firefighters, police officers, paramedics and first responders remain in their homes was approved by the Illinois Senate today.

    “These men and women risk their lives for us every day,” Mulroe (D-Chicago) said. “I strongly believe it is our responsibility to take care of public safety officers who are injured or killed in the line of duty.”

    Senate Bill 3197 would offer a $5,000 homestead exemption to disabled police officers, firefighters, paramedics and first responders. The exemption would carry over to the surviving spouse if the spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the home, permanently resides in that home and does not remarry. The exemption would only apply if the home’s equalized assessed value is less than $250,000.

    Mulroe said he was inspired to bring this legislation by the story of Chicago Police Officer Jim Mullen, who became a quadriplegic after being shot in the face while on duty, and the tragic case of Chicago Police Commander Paul Bauer.

    “If we can’t bring back their mobility, I think the least we can do is help them stay in their homes,” Mulroe said. “It’s our turn to protect them.”

  • mulroe 031617SPRINGFIELD –Today State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) honored Corporal Donald W. Bollman by dedicating the bridge on Illinois Route 19 that crosses the Des Plaines River in his memory. Corporal Bollman, who gave his life during the Vietnam War, was a lifelong resident of Norridge before serving in the Marines.

    “It is important for us to remember and honor those who sacrificed their lives for our safety and our freedom,” Mulroe said. “I was privileged to sponsor the resolution to dedicate this bridge across the Des Plaines River to Corporal Donald Bollman. Though he died 50 years ago, his memory and sacrifice will live on with this bridge.”

    Corporal Bollman enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1965. He served in California as a Marine Guard before beginning a tour in South Vietnam. While serving in South Vietnam, his company came under attack from a North Vietnamese battalion. Corporal Bollman was killed in action on March 1, 1967 at the age of 23. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with a V for Valor for his service.

    “This bridge dedication means so much to our family because it not only honors the loss of our beloved brother Donald, who sacrificed his life for his country, but after all these years we know now he will never be forgotten,” Norman Bollman, brother of Corporal Donald Bollman said. “I know that it will help my brothers and sister to finally have some closure even though he will always be a part of our lives.”

    The bridge is located on West Irving Park Road. A sign commemorating Corporal Donald Bollman is now in place at the entrance to the bridge.

  • mulroe 031617SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) that works to increase the rate of infants carried to term was recently signed into law. Senate Bill 317 allows pharmacists to administer progesterone injections, a hormone used to decrease the risk of preterm birth, to women who have a history of delivering prematurely.

    “I sponsored this legislation to improve health outcomes by decreasing barriers to care,” Mulroe said. “Over 10 percent of children in Illinois are born prematurely. Something had to be done to lower that rate.”

    According to the March of Dimes, the preterm birth rate in Illinois was 9.1 percent for Asian and Hispanic women, 9.4 percent for white women, and 13.6 percent for African American women in 2016. Preterm birth can cause cerebral palsy, developmental delays and vision issues, among other problems.

    “It can be difficult for pregnant women to get to the doctor each week for a progesterone shot, especially if they have to travel” Mulroe said. “By allowing pharmacists to administer this medication, I hope that more women will be able to complete the regimen.”

    A progesterone regimen requires pregnant women to receive a weekly shot for 20 weeks. Senate Bill 317 includes public safety precautions such as ensuring the patient has a valid prescription, notifying the physician and confirming that the pharmacist is properly trained before administering the medication.

    In addition to Senate Bill 317, the governor also signed the following Mulroe-sponsored legislation into law:

    • House Bill 2957 which allows patients with chronic conditions who take two or more medications to synchronize their prescriptions such that all medications are dispensed and picked up at the same time.
    • House Bill 3106 which consolidates security functions within the Supreme Court Marshal’s Office and provides that Illinois Supreme Court Marshals are peace officers and have the same powers as police officers and sheriffs.
    • House Bill 3874  which clarifies that no person shall operate, register or maintain registration of a motor vehicle anywhere in Illinois, including on private property, unless the vehicle is covered by a liability insurance policy. 
  • Sen. John MulroeSPRINGFIELD – With ongoing negotiations to end Illinois’s historic budget impasse, State Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) has introduced a plan to examine the billions of dollars that the state gives away in tax credits every year.

    “Before increasing taxes and burdening the middle class, we must have an honest assessment of our budget priorities and examine every dollar the state is spending,” Mulroe said. “While many of the state’s tax credits benefit important components of our economy, we are facing a fiscal crisis and have to ensure that we create the best deal possible for taxpayers. Every dollar counts.”

  • mulroe 051618SPRINGFIELD – Women may soon have another tool to fight breast cancer under a measure sponsored by Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) which passed the Senate today.

    “Over the years of working on legislation to address breast cancer, I have heard the heart-wrenching tales of how this disease has ravaged women and their families,” Mulroe said. “If this legislation can save just one life, or start just one conversation between a patient and their doctor, it will be well worth the effort.”

    House Bill 4392 would require every mammography service provider to inform patients if they have dense breast tissue and provide patients with information on the related risk factors. Dense breast tissue and cancer cells can appear similarly on mammograms, making it more difficult to detect cancer when dense tissue is present.

    The measure also requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to update its published summary to recommend follow-up tests for individuals with dense breast tissue.

    House Bill 4392 is identical to Senate Bill 2442 which passed the Senate and is currently under review in the House.

  • mulroe 031518SPRINGFIELD – State Senator John G. Mulroe is helping Chicago firefighters benefit from money that is supposed to go toward materials and supplies to ensure their safety but often is withheld for other purposes.

    “Firefighters risk their lives for us every day, and they should have the tools they need to safely protect our communities,” Mulroe (D-Chicago) said. “After hearing that firefighters in Chicago are dealing with gloves that do not provide the necessary dexterity for them to do their jobs, I knew I had to do something to help them.”

  • mulroe 031518Proposal would require dense breast tissue notifications

    SPRINGFIELD – Women would have access to vital medical information that could increase early breast cancer detection rates under legislation sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe.

    Senate Bill 2442 requires every mammography service provider to inform patients if they have dense breast tissue and provide information on the related risk factors. Dense breast tissue and cancer cells can appear similarly on mammograms, making detection more difficult.

  • mulroe 031617SPRINGFIELD – Illinois school districts that have struggled for decades under Illinois’ education funding formula may soon see increased funding under legislation to implement a new funding model supported by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago). Illinois is currently ranked worst in the nation for school funding.

    “I proudly supported this measure, which will provide additional funding to public schools, with special attention given to those in need,” Mulroe said. “Education is supposed to be the great equalizer, but under our current school funding formula, it is not. Senate Bill 1 will ensure that high-poverty school districts that have been shortchanged for years would see greater funding to level the playing field.”

    Senate Bill 1 implements an evidence-based model for school funding, which accounts for factors such as students with disabilities, English language learners and low-income students. It provides additional support for the neediest districts in the quest for adequate funding. Illinois currently operates under a school funding formula that has not been updated in 20 years and relies heavily on local property taxes. Under Senate Bill 1, high-tax school districts are also eligible for property tax relief up to 1 percent of their EAV.

    No school district would receive less funding under Senate Bill 1 than they have received under Illinois’ current school funding formula.

    An analysis of Illinois State Board of Education figures released by Funding Illinois’ Future, a school funding reform advocate, shows potential funding increases for all local school districts in the tenth Senate district under Senate Bill 1.

    To review the Funding Illinois’ Future analysis, visit fundingilfuture.org.

  • mulroe 042718SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) to allow students with disabilities who attend a special needs cooperative school to continue their education even if their home district withdraws from the agreement recently sailed through the Senate.

    “Students with special needs who are thriving in their school should not be forced to change educational programs due to bureaucratic decisions,” Mulroe said. “I think continuity in education is vitally important to the development of all children.”

  • mulroe 051216SPRINGFIELD – The Senate took another vote today on a measure that would raise the legal smoking age to 21. The measure’s sponsor, John Mulroe (D-Chicago), believes that the timing is right to take up the issue. After not receiving enough votes a week ago, the Tobacco 21 bill passed today.

    “It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing,” Mulroe said on the floor, following derisive opposition. “ California, Hawaii and Massachusetts, along with the city of Chicago have already passed similar measures. There’s no reason we shouldn’t take this stand for Illinois youth.”

  • Sister Catherine Ryan testifies before the Senate Public Health CommitteeSPRINGFIELD – Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center may soon be able to care for additional children under a plan sponsored in the legislature by State Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago).

    House Bill 763 would increase the number of children allowed for treatment under the community-based health care center model.

    “This legislation will enable Maryville Children’s Healthcare Center to care for four more medically fragile children,” Mulroe said. “Maryville is an invaluable resource within the district, and I am happy to sponsor this legislation that will allow them to help even more children and families.”