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Fine fights for dignity in the workplace for individuals with disabilities

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 08:46 AM

Senator FineSPRINGFIELD – To ensure dignity for all in the workplace, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is pushing for workers with intellectual or development disabilities to have help seeking employment and negotiating fair compensation.

“The unemployment rate of individuals with disabilities is nearly three times higher than the statewide unemployment rate,” Fine said. “On top of that, a large portion of these employees make less than the minimum wage. It’s time we help workers receive the respect and dignity they deserve on the job.”

Senate Bill 2087 creates the Customized Employment for Individuals with Disabilities Act, which would establish a five-year pilot program with two main functions: To assist individuals with disabilities who are seeking work in finding employment, and to help workers with disabilities negotiate with employers to ensure they receive fair compensation.

The bill is an initiative of The Arc of Illinois, an organization that provides assistance to individuals with disabilities throughout the state. It passed the Senate Committee on Human Services with a unanimous vote and is scheduled to be heard by the full Senate.

Fine pushes insurance companies to cover more comprehensive mental health care

Published: Wednesday, March 13, 2019 05:48 PM

Senator FineSPRINGFIELD – Under a new bill sponsored by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), health insurance companies would be required to provide more comprehensive mental healthcare coverage.

A Collaborative Care Model (CoCM) is a specific type of group care to treat common mental health issues that require frequent and systematic follow-ups, such as depression and anxiety. Fine’s legislation, Senate Bill 2085, mandates insurance providers to include a CoCM in their coverage.

“Collaborative care models can often be more effective in treating patients with common mental health issues, and can save money for both patients and providers,” Fine said. “By requiring insurance companies to cover this type of integrated care, we allow patients in Illinois to have more freedom to seek out the care that is best for them.”

The bill passed through the Senate Committee on Insurance by a vote of 18 – 0 and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

New Fine bill requires state workers to live in Illinois

Published: Wednesday, March 06, 2019 02:53 PM

fine 030619SPRINGFIELD – State workers would be required to live within the state of Illinois under a new proposal by State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview).

“State workers’ salaries are paid by Illinois taxpayers,” Fine said. “It just makes sense that if you’re going to be paid by income, sales, and property taxes that Illinois residents pay, then you should be subject to those same taxes.”

Senate Bill 1639 establishes a requirement that to work for any state agency within Illinois, a person must live in the state. The measure would not affect employees who work for a contractor that has a contract with the state, and allows for a three-month grace period.

The bill passed the Senate Committee on State Government and now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Parents no longer forced to choose between custody or care of children under new bill by Fine

Published: Tuesday, March 05, 2019 03:26 PM

fine 022019SPRINGFIELD – Responding to a situation that puts parents in the impossible position of choosing between maintaining custody of their child or providing their child mental health care, State Senator Laura Fine (D – Glenview) put forth legislation addressing eligibility for various Department of Child and Family Services programs.

“Many parents must face a heart-wrenching choice between providing their child the care they need and retaining custody of their child,” Fine said. “This bill eliminates that awful dilemma and allows parents more flexibility in caring for their child.”

Senate Bill 191 concerns eligibility for the Family Support Program services or an Individual Care Grant. Under current law, parents may be forced to lose custody of their children in order to provide them the mental health care they require. Because of this, many parents opt not to provide that care, leaving youths untreated and increasing their risk of delinquency.

The measure, which passed a Senate committee today, retains a child’s eligibility for an Individual Care Grant, which provides funding to parents of children with mental illnesses, even if they are placed under DCFS guardianship.

The bill is an initiative of the Office of the Cook County Public Guardian. It passed the Senate committee on Human Services and will proceed to the full Senate for consideration.

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