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Fine: Illinoisans with disabilities deserve to be able to live independent lives

Published: Wednesday, November 06, 2019 04:16 PM

fine 110619 2In an effort to make supportive housing for people with developmental disabilities more accessible throughout the state, the Senate Human Services Committee – led by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) – met with advocates to brainstorm ideas to improve Illinois’ affordable and integrated housing opportunities.

“We want to make sure that everyone who lives in our state has the best opportunities we can possibly provide,” said Senator Fine. “We need to find a way to allow people with disabilities to live in their own homes by providing the in-home support services they need to live happy, independent lives.”

Senator Fine and the Senate Human Services Committee were joined by members of the Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Human Services Wednesday to hear subject matter about supportive housing for people with disabilities.

 

Expansion of medical cannabis program signed into law

Published: Monday, August 12, 2019 09:03 AM

fine 032819SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) expanding the state’s medical cannabis program to include more conditions and a veteran opioid alternative program was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker today.

"The medical cannabis program in Illinois has a proven track record of helping alleviate pain for many patients in our state," Senator Fine said. "By making the program permanent, expanding the number of qualifying conditions, and allowing veterans to enroll in the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program, we will vastly improve the quality of life for many people."

Senate Bill 2023 expands access to the medical cannabis program. It gives nurse practitioners and physicians' assistants the authority to certify a patient’s eligibility for medical cannabis. Currently, only doctors have this authority. The bill also adds 12 additional conditions for eligibility, bringing the total number of conditions to 54.

The legislation takes effect immediately, while the legalization of recreational cannabis takes effect on January 1, 2020.  Unlike recreational cannabis, medicinal cannabis is specifically formulated to alleviate the discomforts associated with the qualifying conditions listed in the medical cannabis program. 

Senator Fine legislation protecting victims of financial crimes signed into law

Published: Thursday, August 01, 2019 03:25 PM

Sen. Laura FineGLENVIEW – The statute of limitations on civil actions related to certain financial crimes will be changed from 5 years to 10 years under legislation sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) that was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.

“Some seniors may not realize they are victims of financial crimes until after the statute of limitations has expired,” Fine said. “This legislation will give seniors and other victims of these types of crimes ample time to seek justice.”

Under House Bill 2287, the following crimes will have the statute of limitations raised to 10 years:

 

  • Theft of property exceeding $100,000 in value;
  • Identity theft;
  • Aggravated identity theft;
  • Financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability

The legislation takes effect immediately.

Senator Fine’s legislation extending protection to youth in DCFS care becomes law

Published: Friday, July 26, 2019 12:45 PM

fine 022019GLENVIEW – Youth in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services will have a few mew more protections in place under a new law taking effect sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview)

Senate Bill 191 deals with eligibility for the Family Support Program services or an Individual Care Grant. Under current statue, parents may be forced to give up custody of their children in order for the children to receive necessary mental health care. This causes many parents to opt not to provide that care, which negatively impacts the health and well-being of the child. The result is often that the youth will begin to engage in delinquent acts or have difficulty managing or coping with negative emotions and behaviors.

“Having to choose between your child’s well-being and keeping custody of your child is a decision that no parent should be forced to make,” Fine said. “That dilemma is removed under this bill, which allows parents to provide their children with the care they need.”

The new law allows children who are placed under DCFS guardianship to retain their eligibility for Individual Care Grants, which provide funding to parents of children with mental illnesses.

SB191 also raises the age when cases involving children in youth care automatically expire, from 19 to 21.

“When a child who was once in care comes of age, that doesn’t automatically mean that they no longer require assistance,” Fine said. “Extending the age by just two years gives these young adults a little bit more time to find the stability they need to begin their adult lives.”

The bill is an initiative of the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian, and contains elements from two of Fine’s measures that were sent to the House of Representatives. The House Sponsor combined the bills into one to ease the legislative process. SB 191 passed through both chambers of the General Assembly with unanimous, bipartisan support and is effective immediately.

Sen. Laura Fine

Sen. Laura Fine

9th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Environment and Conservation; Human Services (Vice-Chairperson); Insurance; Local Government; Public Health.

Associated Representatives:
Robyn Gabel
Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz