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  • Dangerous gun-shaped phone cases must be banned: Silverstein

    triggercaseCHICAGO  – State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) introduced a measure in the Senate last week to ban replica firearms in response to  the latest trend of mobile phone cases shaped like handguns.

    “Gun violence in our country is out of control and accidental shootings take and destroy lives,” Silverstein said. “The development of mobile phone cases – as well as lighters and cameras – shaped like handguns is a dangerous, terrible idea. It is only a matter of time before a replica gun is mistaken for a real gun and its owner is shot.”

    Law enforcement officials are warning these items look authentic and may result in the shooting of someone carrying a gun-shaped phone case.

  • Governor vetoes MAP, community college funding for Illinois students

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  • Harmon, Silverstein urge Rauner administration to move cautiously with senior care pilot program (VIDEO)

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  • Senate approves Silverstein measure to expel or suspend from college for sexual assault

    silverstein 042116SPRINGFIELD– A proposal from Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) to bolster higher education institutions’ options to protect students from sexual violence on campus was approved by the Senate yesterday.

    Addressing rampant campus sexual assault takes stronger actions than what exists now. Sen. Silverstein’s Senate Bill 2839 amends the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. The change would clarify that sanctions for a student who violates the institution’s sexual violence policy may include suspension, expulsion, or removal of the student after complaint resolution procedures.

    “Sex offenders don’t belong on our campuses – colleges and universities need broader authority to get those violators away from students who deserve greater safety,”  Silverstein said. “A law like this passed in California last year and it makes sense for Illinois.”

    The Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus Act, effective August 21, 2015, required all Illinois institutions of higher education to set plans, processes and comprehensive policy for survivors, adjudicate allegations, and train and communicate to students and employees on campus sexual violence.

    Senate Bill 2839 received unanimous approval Thursday. It now goes to House for further consideration.

  • Senate Democrats offer A+ laws for back-to-school season

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  • Senate overrides governor's veto of automatic voter registration (VIDEO, AUDIO)

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  • Senate votes to override Rauner veto of MAP, college funding (AUDIO)

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  • Silverstein extends work, wage rights for domestic workers

    Silverstein domesticA measure sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) to establish provisions for overtime, wages, days off and other protections for Illinois domestic workers passed in the Senate Executive Committee today.

    Dubbed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, House Bill 1288 defines what constitutes domestic work and expands rights for this class of workers from which they are now exempt. Four state laws would be amended to include domestic workers: The Minimum Wage Law, The Illinois Human Rights Act, The One Day Rest in Seven Act and The Wages of Women and Minors Act.

  • Silverstein extends work, wage rights for domestic workers

    silverstein domesticSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) to establish provisions for overtime, wages, days off and other protections for Illinois domestic workers passed in the Senate today.

    Dubbed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, House Bill 1288 defines what constitutes domestic work and expands rights for this class of workers from which they are now exempt. Four state laws would be amended to include domestic workers: The Minimum Wage Law, The Illinois Human Rights Act, The One Day Rest in Seven Act and The Wages of Women and Minors Act.

  • Silverstein hiring fair brings employers, job seekers together

    silversteins at jobfair"We are happy with the great turnout at our first-ever hiring fair in the 8th District," said Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago), after 150 job seekers connected with roughly 40 employers on Thursday.

    The event at West Ridge Elementary School featured a variety of positions available with several different types of employers. Held in partnership with Alderman Debra Silverstein (Chicago-50th Ward) and the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the hiring fair drew small businesses, large corporations and municipal organizations.

    "Our expectations for helping Chicagoans find opportunities for employment were exceeded today," Silverstein said. "We will be assessing our results and how we can improve as we look into future events like this."

     

     

  • Silverstein ice missiles measure shot down

    silverstein iceSPRINGFIELD– It sounds like a weapon used in a James Bond film: ice missiles. But they are real, deadly and the target of a legislative proposal from Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) to prevent them and to penalize those who cause them. In spite of the statistics on the dangers ice missiles present to motorists, the Senate Transportation Committee did not approve the proposal.

    An ice missile is a large chunk of ice or snow that flies off a large truck on the highway. Many Illinois drivers have seen this occur and may have wondered what could happen if the split-second fall of ice were to hit another vehicle.

    Sen. Silverstein’s proposal in Senate Bill 634 would require a person operating a vehicle weighing more than 8,000 pounds to remove ice and snow that poses a safety threat to other vehicles and drivers. Nearly 100 deaths and thousands of accidents happen each year.

    “Each year in Illinois, we are almost guaranteed several days of winter weather that create these hazardous conditions, enough to warrant a change to the state vehicle code to protect drivers from this risk,” Silverstein said. “I believe it is reasonable to ask truck drivers who use Illinois roads for commerce to make an effort to protect motorists by clearing ice and snow from their trucks. With this bill failing in committee, I fear this kind of accident may happen again.

    The legislation met with strong opposition from the Illinois Trucking Association, Midwest Truckers, National Waste and Recycling Association and Illinois Coal Association.

    Pete Morano joined Sen. Silverstein in Springfield to tell his story to the Senate Transportation Committee. His injuries from an ice missile incident in 2010 left him without vision in his left eye after three surgeries to rebuild his face. Pete wants to prevent other families from the losses his family and the Stutson family have suffered.

    “I understand their concerns and appreciate their willingness to tell their stories and advocate for change to prevent future ice missile accidents,” Silverstein said. “I know of manufacturers and motor carriers that offer a variety of snow-removal systems, and I do not believe this would be a burden on the trucking industry.”

  • Silverstein measure would allow suspension or expulsion from colleges for sexual assault

    silverstein campussexassaultSPRINGFIELD– Combatting the high rate of campus sexual assault requires a range of actions on the part of colleges, students and the criminal justice system. A proposal from Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) would reinforce the capacity of higher education institutions to protect students from sexual violence on campus.

    Sen. Silverstein’s Senate Bill 2839 amends the Preventing Sexual Violence in Higher Education Act. The change would clarify that sanctions for a student who violates the institution’s sexual violence policy may include suspension, expulsion, or removal of the student after complaint resolution procedures.

    “California lawmakers passed legislation like this last year to give colleges and universities broader authority to protect students and staff and to discipline those whose behavior puts others at risk,” Sen. Silverstein said. “Offenders have no place on our campuses and this measure adds another means for Illinois institutions to act for greater safety.”

    The Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus Act, effective August 21, 2015, required all Illinois institutions of higher education to set plans, processes and comprehensive policy for survivors, adjudicate allegations, and train and communicate to students and employees on campus sexual violence.

    Senate Bill 2839 was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. It now goes to the full Senate for further consideration.

  • Silverstein resolution condemns rising anti-Semitism

    silverstein 022817SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ira I. Silverstein of Chicago believes communities and their leaders must speak up to condemn the recent wave of anti-Semitic events in Illinois and across the country.

    “I have filed a resolution asking the Illinois Senate to join me in denouncing those who have made bomb threats, desecrated Jewish cemeteries and vandalized synagogues,” Silverstein said. “These events are obvious attempts to incite fear and disrupt daily life in peaceful communities.”

  • Silverstein resolution would condemn Iran deal

    silverstein sjr iranCHICAGO  – State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) introduced a resolution in the Senate this week to oppose the White House’s agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program.

    “While I acknowledge the complicated workings to negotiate a deal between the U.S. and Iran, I have grave concerns that this does not even approach strict enough oversight of Iran’s state-sponsored terrorism and their long-standing efforts to gain and build nuclear weapons.”

    Silverstein echoes concerns of some in Congress who believe the deal’s inspection timelines, retention of much of Iran’s existing nuclear infrastructure and unclear sanctions to be imposed if Iran does not comply indicate the world will be no better off in 10 years with the deal.

    “This resolution encourages the Illinois General Assembly to call on U.S. Senators and Representatives to oppose this inadequate deal and work for a new deal to prevent all routes to a nuclear bomb for Iran,” Silverstein said. “This is an urgent but very serious arrangement that needs to be stronger for the security of all nations.”

    Senate Joint Resolution 31 has been filed; its first action will be taken in the Senate Assignments Committee.

  • Silverstein strengthens powdered alcohol ban with possession penalties

    silverstein 030117SPRINGFIELD – In 2015, State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) sponsored legislation to ban dangerous powdered alcohol and set fines for its sale and purchase. Senate Bill 67 passed, was signed into law (Public Act 99-0051) and took effect on January 1, 2016. More than 30 other states have passed similar laws.

    Now, Senator Silverstein is seeking a tougher position: Senate Bill 121 would ban possession of powdered alcohol statewide and sets penalties for possession. A person found guilty of possession would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor for a first offense and a Class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense.

    Any crystal substance of powder containing alcohol is considered “powdered alcohol.” The powder may be dissolved in liquid such as mixers or juice or it could be sprinkled on food. It can be eaten or snorted without mixing and could be sold in small packets or capsules.

    “Along with our law and those of more than 30 other states, several municipalities have banned sale and possession of powdered alcohol,” Silverstein said. “If another state does choose to allow its sale, it could easily be brought into Illinois. The risk of alcohol poisoning and this product’s easily concealable form are just two reasons possessing this type of alcohol must be prevented.”

    Senate Bill 191 was approved by the Senate Criminal Law Committee Tuesday; it will be considered by the full Senate soon.

     

  • Silverstein wants gun loophole closed to block felons from guns, permits

    silverstein gunloophole 102616CHICAGO – State Senator Ira Silverstein (D‐Chicago) introduced a measure in the Senate this week to close a dangerous loophole allowing felons to receive FOID cards and concealed carry licenses in Illinois.

    After a recent incident in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, a convicted felon involved in a self-defense shooting was discovered to have changed his identity and successfully received a FOID card and concealed carry permit when he applied under his new legal name.

  • Silverstein wants Latino Treatment Center to stay open

    Silverstein wants Latino Treatment Center to stay openSPRINGFIELD – The next tragedy of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s 10-month budget impasse could be the closure of the Latino Treatment Center.

    “The governor is completely out-of-touch with the needs of Latinos,” said State Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago). “His inability to govern and failure to get a budget done means that a vital organization providing substance abuse treatment services to Latinos is about to go under. It’s too bad the governor doesn’t care that his budget impasse is destroying Illinois’ social service network.”

    The Latino Treatment Center has bilingual staff and evaluates and serves those in the Hispanic community by conducting evaluations for alcohol and drugs in either Spanish or English. Its staff specializes in outpatient treatment for substance abuse, treatment for families, individual and group counseling and adolescent treatment.

  • Silverstein: help homeless youth get GEDs, waive fees

    homeless gedSPRINGFIELD– A plan from Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) would eliminate a financial burden placed on homeless young people who wish to take the High School Equivalency Test.

    Equivalency exams or GED tests are administered by regional superintendents throughout the state. Right now, the fees to take those exams are $30 per test module, and a total of 4 test modules comprise the GED Test. Regional Offices of Education may charge additional fees for a certificate or transcript.

  • Silverstein’s domestic workers rights bill becomes law

    silverstein dom wrkrs signedSPRINGFIELD – The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) to establish provisions for overtime, wages, days off and other protections for Illinois domestic workers was signed by the governor late Friday.

    Domestic workers will no longer be exempt from the Minimum Wage Law, Illinois Human Rights Act, One Day Rest in Seven Act and Wages of Women and Minors Act. House Bill 1288 defines what constitutes domestic work and expands rights for this class of workers from which they are now exempt.

    “I am pleased to see domestic workers gain the same rights and protections as all working people in Illinois,” said Senator Silverstein. “Domestic workers are striving to provide for their families and current law makes their struggle more difficult, and unfair, while they play an important role in Illinois’ economy.”

    Domestic workers are defined in HB 1288 to include workers in homes performing house cleaning, caring for children, ill or older family members, laundry, cooking or other home tasks.

    According to proponents who include the Sargent Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Women Employed, and labor and immigrant rights groups, 23% of domestic workers are paid below minimum wage and 58% of live-in workers are required to work during their scheduled time off.

    “Their work is vital to families' homes, but they are often exploited. They continue to work because they need the money and have no recourse,” said Wendy Pollack, founder and director of the Women's Law and Policy Project at the Shriver Center.

    The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights takes effect January 1, 2017.

  • Silverstein’s milk products kosher certification measure signed by governor

    Silverstein Bill SigningSPRINGFIELD–A measure sponsored by State Senator Ira Silverstein (D–Chicago) to amend the Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products Act to match rules adopted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and define labeling to address Jewish dietary issues was signed by Governor Rauner today.

    Senate Bill 1228 amends the Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Products Act to clarify the definition of pasteurized and unpasteurized according to the latest FDA definition. The Grade A Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products Act is enforced by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

    “The Chicago Rabbinical Council provides kosher certification services for hundreds of food producers and brought this issue to my attention,” Silverstein said. “Milk products other than those from cows and goats as the FDA expansion permits are not necessarily kosher, so labeling is necessary.”

     

    PHOTO: Rabbi Levi Mostofsky and Rabbi Dr. Jerold Isenberg of the Chicago Rabbinical Council and Senator Silverstein joined Governor Rauner as he signed Senate Bill 1228 today.