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Holmes stands up for first responders, overrides governor’s veto

holmes 022718SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) ensured a series of proposals will take effect to extend the same rights granted to firefighters to paramedics who are also employed by units of local government. The measures had been vetoed by the governor, but today Holmes successfully overrode those vetoes.

“Just like firefighters, paramedics face life-threatening circumstances to save lives and serve our communities,” Holmes said. “We owe it to paramedics and their families to give them the same rights as firefighters for the dangerous sacrifices they are willing to make.”

Senate overrides veto of Holmes’ government reform measure; will provide for election of Fox Metro Water Reclamation trustees

holmes 111418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) this week overrode a veto of a measure to address the election of trustees for the Fox Metro Water Reclamation District. Senate Bill 2830 requires the trustees be elected rather than appointed. The bill had been vetoed by the governor in August and Holmes successfully overrode that veto today in the Senate.

“I believe it is important that those who represent the citizens of our communities should be elected and not appointed,” Holmes said. “This bill provides for trustee candidates to go on the ballot during consolidated elections. It represents government reform that will better serve water quality needs in the future for people in the Fox River Valley.”

The Water Reclamation District was created in the late 1920s and today serves nearly 300,000 residents in Aurora, North Aurora, Boulder Hill, Montgomery, Oswego, Sugar Grove and portions of Yorkville and Batavia, according to the Board’s website.

Senate Bill 2830 provides that trustees will be elected at consolidated elections, rather than appointed by members of the General Assembly, beginning with the 2019 consolidated election. Current members of the Board can continue to serve until their terms expire, at which time an elected trustee will take their place on the Board. Trustees will be elected to staggered 4-year terms. The Board will continue to have 5 total members. 

Approved on a vote of 50-5 by the Senate, the measure now moves to the House for concurrence.

Holmes bill to fight obesity with K-12 physical education vetoed by governor

phys ed 082218SPRINGFIELD – A bill sponsored by State Senator Linda Holmes (D – Aurora) to fight the growing epidemic of obesity in Illinois was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner this week.

The measure, Senate Bill 2572, would require schools to provide a minimum of 150 minutes of physical education per school week for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

“Governor, why do you want to limit a school’s flexibility in scheduling PE?” Holmes asked. “It is still such a minimal amount of time for physical activity that impacts health with respect to obesity-related diseases and proven research on how exercise positively affects the brain and the ability to learn.”

“A greater and greater percentage of adults in Illinois are obese, and that number only keeps rising year after year,” Holmes said. “In the past we’ve set minimum requirements on a variety of subjects meant to keep students’ minds healthy, and with this we sought to do the same with a subject meant to keep their bodies healthy as well.”

New Holmes law bringing growth and revenue to Illinois Math and Science Academy

holmes 022718SPRINGFIELD – A plan to expand the Illinois Math and Science Academy without any added cost to the state is now law, according to the bill’s sponsor, State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora).

The plan will allow out-of-state and international students to attend IMSA; they will be charged tuition, fees, room and board to cover all their costs. It ensures state appropriations will be used solely for Illinois resident students. This new population will make up 25% or less of the student body.

“The Academy is a fantastic resource for Illinois and a source of pride for Aurora,” Holmes said. “I am thrilled we can expand IMSA and bring capital development jobs to the community in construction of a new residence hall for these brilliant new students.”

Senate Bill 2939 also expands the school by adding ninth-graders to those students already eligible in grades 10 through 12 at IMSA. In-state students at all levels will continue to pay activity fees on a sliding scale but not tuition, as in the past.

Holmes says the proposal to grow IMSA came out of the state’s budget impasse when the school’s state funding was at risk. The new law means the school can rely less on state money going forward as well as bringing more highly-talented students together.

“These young people are truly the best and the brightest,” Holmes said. “The more exceptional IMSA graduates emerge from their fantastic school, the greater Illinois’ future will be with STEM careers and advancements.”

According to a Beacon News report in May, IMSA anticipates charging about $50,000 to out-of-state students for tuition; now that the bill has been signed into law, they will further develop their plans. The new law takes effect January 1, 2019.

 

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Sen. Linda Holmes

holmes-15

42nd District

Years served:
2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture; Environment and Conservation; Labor; Local Government; Committee of the Whole; Commerce and Economic Development (Chairperson); Insurance.

Biography: Elected to the Senate in 2006; born March 16, 1959, in Chicago; received a bachelor's degree from the National College of Education (now National-Lewis University); First woman president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Full-time state legislator.