Mulroe

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  • Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago) speaks at a press conference in Chicago on Tuesday about HB 4633, the Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act, and the urgency to Illinois families that Governor Rauner sign it into law.


  • mulroe 051216SPRINGFIELD –A proposal to streamline veterans identification that passed the Senate in April was signed into law by the governor today. Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) co-sponsored the measure.

    "With all of the services available to veterans, it only makes sense that Illinois streamline how these men and women carry identification," Mulroe said. "These men and women have served our country, so I think this is the least we can do."

    The measure allows the Secretary of State's office to receive advice on how to best proceed with veterans IDs. The new veteran-specific IDs and drivers licenses would be available to all members of the armed forces.

    Following the signing today, the bill becomes effective immediately.

  • Work on Chicago Veterans Home to resumeSPRINGFIELD – A five-story, 200 bed veterans home on Chicago’s northwest side has stood vacant and half completed since June of last year. The home became a victim of the Illinois budget impasse. Thankfully, construction is set to resume thanks to Senator John G. Mulroe (D-Chicago).

    “It’s outrageous that projects like the Chicago Veterans Home ever got caught in the line of fire with the budget impasse,” Mulroe said. “These men and women served their duty to this country, and we can’t get our act together enough to ensure that they have a dedicated facility at their disposal?”

    The project broke ground in September of 2014, with a price tag of $70 million, slated to be completed midway through this year. The US Department of Veterans Affairs agreed to reimburse the state for up to 65% of the cost to build the facility. However, when funding for the project was not approved, local residents and veterans began to fear the worst.

  • 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 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.”

  • Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) continues to argue in favor of raising the smoking age to 21.


  • 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.

  • 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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  • Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) introduces SB3011 and speaks to the importance of raising the legal smoking age to 21.


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  • cpslogoSPRINGFIELD - The following statement was released by Senate President John J. Cullerton regarding Republican leaders misdirected ideas on Chicago Public Schools:

    “This is not going to happen. It’s mean spirited and evidence of their total lack of knowledge of the real problems facing Chicago Public Schools. The unfair treatment of pension systems by the state is the immediate cause of CPS’ financial problem. That situation ought to be addressed rather than promoting this far-fetched notion that the state is somehow in the position to take over Chicago schools. This ridiculous idea only serves as a distraction from the state’s problems that these two state leaders should be focusing on.”

  • 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.

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  • mulroe highed map groupSPRINGFIELD – Students from across the state visited the state capitol building today to encourage legislators to fully fund the higher education and MAP Grant line items for the FY16 budget. Victoria Prince is a University of Illinois student from Chicago. As a MAP Grant recipient, she was one of the students on hand today at the capitol to explain her need for MAP grants.

    “My freshman year I received almost $5,000 from the MAP Grant,” Prince said. “It really helped me afford school and I don’t think I would have selected to stay in state without it. I know a lot of stories about how tuition out of state is better just because they have more financial aid than Illinois is currently providing; so that’s why I think higher education is so important, to keep a lot of students in Illinois and keep up Illinois’ economy.”

    State colleges and universities have been fronting the bill for MAP Grants for the first semester of the school year, but college and university presidents have advised the General Assembly that their facilities can no longer shoulder that burden as they move into the spring semester.

    Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) was an early advocate for higher education funding in the spring.

    “As the son of an immigrant, I understand first-hand how difficult it is to pay for higher education,” Mulroe said. “Unfortunately, times have changed and you simply cannot work and go to college anymore. These kids are working two to three jobs on top of the financial aid they receive. We can’t break our promise to them.”

    The General Assembly passed HB 4146, but the measure was vetoed by the governor. A second funding measure, SB2043 remains in the House.

  • mulroe hepcCHICAGO – In response to the recent announcement from the comptroller’s office that Illinois will skip its November pension payments, Senator John G. Mulroe  (D-Chicago) has issued the following statement:

    “We have made great progress in the last four years in making our pension payments that have been escalating during that time. It's unfortunate that the governor is unwilling to talk about the budget and our obligations to make pension payments. They are directly connected. The failure to make mandated pension payments will end up hurting everyone in the state; this decision will lead to a downgrade in bond ratings, further damaging our financial outlook. It's time for the governor to put aside his non-budget related agenda and deal with what's of immediate concern.”

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  • 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.

  • immuniz monthSPRINGFIELD – August is National Immunization Awareness month and hospitals all over the state are urging patients to become more aware of the benefits of vaccinations. Without vaccinations, preventable diseases such as pertussis or measles can often spread unchecked, causing serious health issues and even death.

    Earlier this year, a measles outbreak at a day care center in Palatine ultimately effected 41 children. Currently, Illinois has a vaccination rate among school children of 97%. A recent outbreak of meningitis has caused a stir in the Chicago area, leading many residents to obtain the vaccination.