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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.”

Collins' abandoned property, foreclosure prevention program funding extended

foreclosure 050217SPRINGFIELD – To ensure continued funding for two programs aimed at addressing the aftermath of the recession on the housing market in Illinois, State Sen. Jacqueline Collins successfully argued for the passage of legislation in the Senate Tuesday.

“Historically, we know that the stability of the housing market has been crucial in leading the broader economy out of recessions,” Collins said. “Abandoned properties, left unsecured and unmaintained, destabilize families, decimate communities, and destroy any hope of future economic development. That is why extending these programs is important.”

The Abandoned Property Program and the Foreclosure Prevention Program are both funded through filing fees levied on lenders. The Abandoned Property Program provides funds to local governments for the purposes of demolishing or rehabilitating such homes, while the Foreclosure Prevention Program provides counseling and other services to help families at risk of foreclosure to gain firm financial footing and stay in their homes. Both fees are structured to exact the highest costs on the institutions which deal in the most foreclosures.

“Something is amiss in society when we continue to reward, to the tune of millions of dollars, the failure of the financial elite who brought our economy to the brink of disaster,” Collins said. “It’s time for relief for the hardworking taxpayers and homeowners who bailed out these banks.”

Report: Car insurance companies charging minorities higher rates

Car insuranceCollins: “This is a pattern of discrimination all too familiar to people of color.”

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Jacqueline Collins expressed disappointment at news that a major insurer has been charging minority clients more for car insurance, and also called for a renewed push for car insurance rate regulations Wednesday.

“This is a pattern of discrimination all too familiar to people of color at every level of modern life,” said Collins, D-Chicago. “I commend the journalists who looked into this issue. Their work verifies what many suspect: That the playing field is not level.”

Collins advances religious protections

collins 031717SPRINGFIELD – To ensure that employees can observe their religious traditions without fear, State Sen. Jacqueline Collins has put forth a proposal prohibiting employers from discriminatory actions toward workers who wear religiously observant clothing or hair styles.

“In a letter to a synagogue, President George Washington once wrote of the new government he had fought to form that it ‘gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,’” said Collins, D-Chicago. “This legislation is intended to show clearly that Illinois is a state that will protect its citizens. As our Jewish community faces an unprecedented wave of threats and our Muslim community is openly antagonized by the White House, protecting the right to worship is more important now than ever.”

The legislation would specifically disallow employers from taking disciplinary measures against employees for wearing their hair or clothing in ways that are in keeping with a religiously observant lifestyle.

Senate Bill 1697 passed out of the Senate Labor Committee this week and is scheduled to be considered by the full Senate.

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.