Saving children from harmful "therapy" practices

biss-conversion-52915SPRINGFIELD — Today the Illinois General Assembly took a stand against subjecting Illinois children to harmful mental health practices. Sadly, many have been victims of a harmful pseudo-scientific procedure. It is called “gay conversion therapy,” and is an attempt to change a young person’s sexual orientation from gay to straight.

To eradicate this practice and protect our young people, Senator Daniel Biss (D – Evanston) passed legislation through the General Assembly today that will prohibit licensed mental health professionals from providing such therapies.

Read more: Saving children from harmful "therapy" practices


Bertino-Tarrant cuts red tape for small businesses

redtapeSmall businesses often face too much red tape when dealing with the state.

With HB 3887, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) hopes to make that process as efficient as possible and help improve the state’s business climate.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our communities,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “The state needs to make it easier for them to create jobs and improve the economy.”

Read more: Bertino-Tarrant cuts red tape for small businesses


Tom Cullerton reunites dogs and cats with owners

lostcat Willow the cat disappeared from her home. Jamie and Chris Squires thought they would never see her again. Little did they know that five years later, thanks to a microchip they installed, she would be found about 1,800 miles away.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is working to ensure dog and cat owners are reunited faster by passing House Bill 4029.

This initiative requires animal shelters to scan a dog or cat within 24 hours of being taken into a shelter.

Read more: Tom Cullerton reunites dogs and cats with owners


Senate Democrats report on executive compensation at public colleges and universities (UPDATED, VIDEO)

Report details compensation abuses, administrative bloat at state colleges and universities: Cunningham

Months of work by members of the media and the Illinois General Assembly have culminated in a special report detailing costly administrative practices at our state’s public universities and community colleges. The report brings to light growing administrative costs and generous executive compensation packages that have helped fuel tuition increases for Illinois students.

"This report found that many public colleges and universities have been too quick to award lavish benefits to their executives and increase the number of administrative employees they assign to non-instructional post," State Senator Bill Cunningham said. "While these practices are never welcome, they are particularly troubling during difficult budgetary times and when college tuition rates have grown faster than any other expenses faced by middle class families."

Read more: Senate Democrats report on executive compensation at public colleges and universities (UPDATED, VIDEO)


Senate passes measure to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana

decrim-marijuanaPossession of small amounts of cannabis, 15 grams or less, would be punishable by fines of no more than $125 under a proposed law the Illinois Senate sent to the governor’s desk today.

“There has been much talk this year about criminal justice reform and being smarter on crime,” said Senator Michael Noland (D-Elgin), the proposal’s Senate sponsor. “With this measure the Senate and House take an important step in the right direction. The benefits we will see from this plan are innumerable. Today, we become smarter on enforcement of the law while saving judicial resources.”

Read more: Senate passes measure to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana


Measure to protect college students from sexual assault passes Senate

Combating sexual violence on college campusesThe Senate gave final approval today to a measure that will prevent and ensure proper response to sexual assaults that occur on college campuses.

“Schools should be prepared to respond to sexual assaults immediately, which means helping survivors understand their reporting options, access health care or even provide alternate housing options,” Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “We must do everything in our power to protect students and respond with every single resource at our disposal. Sexual assault cannot be tolerated anywhere.”

Read more: Measure to protect college students from sexual assault passes Senate


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