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Human Services

  • Hunter: Governor’s veto will further delay funds to our most vulnerable citizens

    Sen. Mattie HunterSPRINGFIELD – In response to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto to House Bill 3143, a plan that would expand the Prompt Payment Act to ensure all human service contractors and vendors receive payments on time, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) released the following statement:  

    “We should treat the people that care for our most vulnerable citizens fairly. Human services have suffered tremendously for the two years we’ve gone without a budget. Programs like Redeploy Illinois, homeless youth services and many others have been bearing the financial burden of the state of Illinois.

    The governor’s veto will further delay funds to our most vulnerable citizens. It’s time we prioritized the payments human service providers need but also compensate organizations for delayed payments.”

  • Hunter: This legislation will keep young mothers in school

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    SPRINGFIELD – Many mothers often worry about finding a safe place to nurse or breastfeed. Thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago), public and charter schools will now be authorized to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations to students.
     
    “Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants, “said Hunter. “It’s important that we provide our youth, especially, with a private, clean and safe place to produce milk for their young. This bill will also keep many of our young mothers in school who often times miss out because of the restrictions of the campus environment.”

    House Bill 2369 requires public and charter schools to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations to pupils. Furthermore, a school campus shall provide reasonable accommodations for a lactating student to provide breast milk, breastfeed an infant child or address other needs related to breastfeeding.

    Reasonable accommodations can be defined as:
    • Access to a private and secure room other than a restroom to express breast milk or breastfeed an infant child;
    • Access a power source for a breast pump or any other equipment used to express breast milk; and
    • Access to a place to store expressed breast milk safely.

    The legislation was signed into law and takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.

  • Morrison meets with new acting director of DCFS

    morrison 062717SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) met with new Acting Director of the Department of Children and Family Services Beverly Walker this afternoon during a hearing of the Senate Human Services Committee.

    “Today’s hearing gave members of the Senate the opportunity to learn about Director Walker’s background and her ideas for bringing lasting change to DCFS,” Morrison said. “As seen by today’s high level of interest from Senators on both sides of the aisle, the Senate is committed to working with Acting Director Walker to address the monumental challenges facing this troubled agency.”

  • Tom Cullerton works to give DuPage County parents tools to fight opioid epidemic

    Opioid epidemicSPRINGFIELD - DuPage parents may soon have easily found educational information to prevent heroin and opioid addition, thanks to Villa Park Democrat State Senator Tom Cullerton.

    Cullerton passed House Bill 3161 which will require the Department of Human Services to create and maintain a website to educate the public on heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

    “We need to equip every single person who touches the life of a young person with the necessary resources to combat the heroin epidemic,” Cullerton said. “This is a simple step the state can take to make sure DuPage parents have a place to turn to help their children avoid or kick this deadly addiction.”

  • Cunningham: Time to provide necessary resources to handle mental health issues

    DefendantSPRINGFIELD – Custody of defendants with mental health issues could become more streamlined and appropriate due to legislation that passed the Illinois Senate on Monday.

    “We need to provide the necessary resources to ensure the mental health of those determined to be unfit to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity be dealt with appropriately,” said State Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago). “It will only help to keep our communities safer in the long run.”

    The legislation, House Bill 649, would create a formal process for the county sheriff and the Department of Human Services to handle custody of defendants found unfit to stand trial or not guilty by reason of insanity. It provides requirements regarding the evaluation and transportation of the defendant to a secure facility.

    The legislation now moves to the governor’s desk for approval.

  • Senator Hunter seeks to accelerate human service payments in ongoing budget impasse

    hunter 032917SPRINGFIELD – To help human service agencies that continue to suffer in the ongoing budget impasse, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) put forth a plan that would handle payments to all human services the same, rather than prioritizing certain contracts over others.

    “We should treat the people that care for our most vulnerable citizens fairly,” Hunter said. “Programs like Redeploy Illinois, homeless youth services and others have been bearing the financial burden of the state of Illinois for the almost two years we’ve gone without a budget. This legislation will not only prioritize the payments human service providers need but also compensate organizations for delayed payments.”

  • Haine votes to keep social service agencies open, SIU funded

    haine 022817SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved a measure Tuesday that would fund Alton-area social service agencies and Southern Illinois University for 2017.

    State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) voted yes on the legislation, which would allow places like Senior Services Plus and Impact CIL in Alton to remain up and running.

    Over the last two years as the State of Illinois has grappled with a prolonged budget stalemate, Senior Services Plus reduced its meals on wheels program to just one delivery of frozen food per week rather than daily fresh food deliveries. Impact CIL, an organization serving the disabled, announced during the summer it would reduce its staff by 20 percent.

    “We passed this measure with bipartisan support because we know something needed to be done to protect people who are suffering,” Haine said. “Time is running out, and these organizations need help. It is absolutely necessary that this measure receives support from my colleagues in the House and from the governor.”

    Tuesday’s measure also includes an appropriation for the Southern Illinois University system and for Monetary Award Program grants.

    “SIU in Edwardsville is one of Illinois’ finest institutions of higher learning. The university provides an excellent education to students who come not only from this area, but from throughout the Midwest,” Haine said. “There is no reason a state school should be lacking state funding.”

  • Martinez: A budget would put the people of Illinois first

    martinez 021617SPRINGFIELD — After voting to fund human services and higher education as part of a proposed Senate “grand bargain” package, Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement:

    “Illinois has gone too long without a budget and needs one now. The harm not having a state budget is causing to human service organizations, college students and the state’s finances cannot continue. It is time to compromise and put the people first by getting a budget done. Today, as part of an effort to help people in my district and throughout Illinois, I voted to fund higher education and key human service programs that help our seniors, people dealing with addiction and victims of sexual abuse. I will continue working as hard as I can to get Illinois a budget.”

    Senate Bill 6 provides the needed spending authorization to finish out the second half of the current budget year. Key components funded include higher education and human services.

  • Sen. Hunter supports the bipartisan budget deal

    hunter 022817SPRINGFIELD – Today, State Senator Mattie Hunter and the Illinois Senate voted on pieces of the bipartisan grand bargain, a package of deals to end the budget stalemate.

    Many public universities, senior and mental health services, addiction centers, and other programs have gone without state funding since Jan. 1, when the emergency budget deal expired.

    “It’s time to better serve our students and residents by replenishing the services that have been taken away due to the financial drought,” Sen. Hunter said. “Today in the Senate, both parties put aside partisan politics and worked to pass reforms that will help the residents and businesses that have been suffering.”

    The grand bargain allocates funding to higher education, human services and also introduces various sources that aim to bring revenue to the state. 

    The budget deal is designed to ensure funding through the rest of the 2017 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

  • Steans: One step closer to fiscal stability

    steans 022817SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on today’s voting on the Senate grand bargain:

    Today the Illinois Senate began voting on the bipartisan grand bargain, moving one step closer to providing Illinoisans fiscal stability.

    The appropriations bill we passed today ensures social service providers can keep their doors open, funds public universities and community colleges to the level they saw in 2015 when we last had a complete budget, and provides MAP grant funding for Illinois residents pursuing a degree within the state.

    As a legislative body, we worked together on the grand bargain and compromised on many of the big issues facing our state. I am glad that we were able to push past differing political ideology and come together for real solutions to help struggling businesses, residents and families.

  • Clayborne works to move Senate budget package forward

    clayborne 022817SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate moved a number of measures forward Tuesday in an effort to get the state back on track and solve the budget stalemate.

    State Senator James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) supported measures that would fund social service agencies, bring economic investment back to the Metro East and help reduce the state’s deficit.

    “It is time to get this state back on track,” Clayborne said. “We are making some tough yet necessary decisions in the Senate. Nonetheless, these are decisions to keep places like the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House open and ensure the citizens in our community have a renewed sense of livelihood.”

    The Senate continues to work on these measures in an effort to bring reforms to the state and put an end to the two-year budget stalemate once and for all.

    “Enough is enough. We need to ensure our seniors are taken care of, that after-school programs remain funded and that our most vulnerable residents no longer face uncertainty,” he said. “I hope this plan will make it to the governor’s desk and that he will support it. We need to get this done for the people of our state.”

  • Senator Bush votes to end Illinois’ budget impasse and fund human services

    bush 022817SPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) voted for legislation to end the state’s budget impasse, fund education and important human service programs and allow local governments to consolidate. The legislation is part of a compromise between Senate leaders from both parties to end the state’s nearly two-year budget impasse.

    “Today, the Illinois Senate did what the governor and House leaders have failed to do, put the people of Illinois ahead of political games,” Bush said. “Senators from both parties came together in an effort to end the budget impasse and finally move Illinois forward.”

    Senate Bill 6 provides spending authorization for the second half of FY2017. The stopgap budget expired on Jan. 1, leaving human services organizations and higher education without funding.

    “For nearly two years, Illinois has not had a full budget. The cost of inaction is great. Every day that goes by without a budget, $11 million is added to the state's bill backlog,” Bush said. “This is unacceptable. We should be funding domestic violence shelters, addiction treatment programs and higher education, not wasting money and adding to the state’s debt.”

    The plan to restore funding is part of the Senate’s budget and reform package of legislation, which includes Senator Bush’s local government consolidation proposal.

  • Senator Van Pelt votes to fund human services, higher education

    vanpelt 022817SPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) voted today for a supplemental budget solution that restores funding for human service organizations and higher education. The legislation authorizes spending for the second half of the current fiscal year.

    “I’m proud to be part of the bipartisan group of senators who voted to restore funding for MAP grants, technical education programs and important human services that help reduce recidivism rates, treat addiction and provide youth employment,” Van Pelt said. “Investing in these programs is the key to ensuring our neighborhoods are safe and our communities are strong.”

    The stopgap budget expired Jan. 1, leaving public universities, addiction treatment centers, senior programs, mental health providers, programs for victims of sexual assault, youth services and breast and cervical cancer screening programs without state funding. This has forced many organizations to cut back on services or shut down completely. Senate Bill 6 would ensure organizations are paid for services rendered. It also appropriates funds for state worker pay.

    Senate Bill 6 is part of a budget and reform package of legislation currently being considered in the Senate.

  • Cunningham advocates for MAP Grants, social services in budget agreement

    cunningham 022817SPRINGFIELD – On Tuesday, the Illinois Senate pushed through legislation that would finish funding state services through the end of the current fiscal year. The legislative package included legislation that would send promised MAP grant money to students for the current fiscal year.

    “The state of Illinois committed to assisting students in bettering themselves by attending a university or community colleges,” Cunningham said. “We need to send the money we promised these students so that they aren’t left hanging with the bill.”

    The legislation also would fund critical human service programs who saw what little funding was available from the stopgap proposal end on December 31.

    “Groups like Sertoma, Park Lawn and Sandbox Learning Center have gone for far too long with no certainty that funding is coming,” Cunningham said. “Today, we were able to give them some hope by starting to pass this compromise.”

  • Holmes: Lack of budget threatens domestic violence shelter

    holmes 021617SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Linda Holmes, D- Aurora, highlighted the consequences of Illinois’ budget impasse in her district.

    “The state has not had a balanced budget since Governor Rauner took office, and the impasse has hurt Illinoisans of all walks of life,” Holmes said. “The Illinois Constitution states that the governor must provide the legislature with a balanced budget. He has not done so and Illinois residents have suffered as a result. In his public remarks, the governor has continually tried to minimize the negative effects of going without a budget, but my constituents are struggling.”

  • Biss: Abuse, neglect of developmentally disabled is a crisis, not a political opportunity

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  • Hearing reveals progress, shortcomings in DCFS ability to provide data on children in care

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  • Morrison: Families concerned about state’s commitment to individuals with disabilities

    morrison 101716SPRINGFIELD – For families of individuals with disabilities in Illinois, the process of securing job training services, residential housing options or day programs can be an arduous process that can takes years. 

    “My son has been waiting for services since 2008,” said Mike Baker, parent and State Advocacy Chair of Autism Speaks.

    Baker testified today about the importance of providing services for individuals with disabilities at a Senate Human Services Committee hearing held at the Bilandic Building in downtown Chicago.

    State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield), Vice-Chairwoman of the Human Services Committee, attended the hearing and expressed concern about the high number of individuals currently waiting for services.

    “There are more than 18,000 individuals with disabilities waiting for services in Illinois,” Morrison said. “Families across the state are rightfully concerned with the high level of uncertainty about the ability of the state to provide services now and in the future.”

    Today’s hearing took testimony about current state compliance with the Ligas Consent Decree, a 2011 court mandate that requires Illinois to provide community-based services to individuals with developmental disabilities.

    While the decree has helped transition thousands of individuals from institutional settings to community-based centers, requirements contained in the mandate expire after June 15, 2017, causing concern among parents and advocacy groups. 

    Another issue discussed at today’s hearing was a recent court decision that Illinois was out of compliance with the Ligas Decree due to the lack of payment increases to providers. Numerous providers have experienced high staff turnover rates and are not able to expand their services.

    “Something’s wrong when caring for individuals with disabilities is valued less than flipping burgers or walking pets,” said caregiver Christine Rivera, who works in a suburban Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA).

  • Biss: Lawmakers should override governor’s veto of caregiver pay hike

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  • Human service programs partial funding passes General Assembly

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