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Plan to study chronic absence cases becomes law

Empty school hallwayCHICAGO – To better understand the scope and effects of truancy and absences so officials can address them, a new law will require schools to collect and review chronic absence data. Sponsored in the Illinois Senate by State Senator Jacqueline Collins, the measure was signed into law Friday.
 
“There are many complex causes behind absences or chronic truancy,” Collins said. “We need to identify those factors and how widespread they are so we can work directly with schools and families to address the root causes of why so many of our children are not making it to class. And I want to thank the bill’s House sponsor, Representative Linda Chapa LaVia for sponsoring this legislation.”
 
The legislation also encourages schools to provide support to students who are chronically absent. The legislation was House Bill 3139, and takes effect in July of 2018.

Collins’ measure to allow video visitation in Illinois prisons becomes law

Skype call“Isolating inmates from their loved ones tears the fabric of families and communities.”

SPRINGFIELD – Families will be able to speak with inmates of the Illinois prison system via video call under a new law sponsored by State Sen. Jacqueline Collins in the Illinois Senate. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed that legislation today.

“As technology improves, we can find ways of lessening the burden of incarceration on families. This allows the Illinois Department of Corrections to facilitate humane visitation rights for inmates while giving families a way of avoiding travel costs,” Collins said.

Collins urges governor to sign religious garb discrimination ban

woman 851893New law would prohibit punishing employees’ religious garb or hair

CHICAGO – With a non-discrimination measure awaiting the governor’s signature to become law, State Senator Jacqueline Collins and State Rep. Theresa Mah joined Muslim and Arab-American advocates in Bridgeview today to call on the governor to act and make it a civil rights violation for an employer to impose any condition that requires a person to forgo any sincerely held religious practice or attire.

Senate Bill 1697 passed the General Assembly in June. Representatives of the Mosque Foundation, The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago and Arab-American Family Services joined Mah and Collins to speak on the importance of the legislation in today’s political climate.

New law strengthens life insurance protections for grieving families

life insuranceCollins: “This is just one way that state government should be fighting inequality.”

SPRINGFIELD – Grieving families who might be unaware their departed loved one left them a life insurance policy would be protected by a stronger Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act under new legislation by State Sen. Jacqueline Collins and Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs that passed the Illinois General Assembly today.

“As our technology and our best practices are updated and improved, we need to consider how that can also improve our accountability to the taxpayer and the consumer,” Collins said. “Dementia might rob an elder of the memory of their insurance policy, and not every grieving family has somebody on retainer to keep such affairs in order. In an age when we can computerize and automate these matters, we owe it to them to make the effort.”

Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins


16th District

Years served:
2003 - Present

Committee assignments: Financial Institutions (Chairperson); Insurance; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Higher Education; Commerce and Economic Development; Public Health.

Biography: Full-time state legislator. Born December 10th in McComb, Mississippi. Studied journalism at Northwestern University; MA from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government; MA in Human Services Administration from Spertus College; MA in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, June 2003. Former Emmy Award-nominated news editor at CBS-TV in Chicago, and 2001 Legislative Fellow with United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.