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Sen. Holmes reacts to retired teachers’ press conference

Sen. Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Linda Holmes, D- Aurora, released the following statement after a press conference organized by retired teachers speaking out against cuts to the Teachers’ Retirement Insurance Program (TRIP) included in the House Republicans’ budget plan:

“The problem with the House GOP’s budget plan is that it takes a prior agreement that teachers have paid for and relied upon throughout their entire working lives and throws it out the window. The Capitol Compromise would cut funding for TRIP by more than 30 percent, forcing retirees on a fixed income who do not receive social security to suddenly pay more for healthcare. The House should hold up the state’s end of the deal by advancing the Senate’s plan, which maintains full funding for TRIP.”

Plan to give local school boards final say on charter schools passes Senate

holmes 053017SPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, that would give local school boards the final authority to approve new charter schools has advanced out of the Illinois Senate.

“Much of what I do in Springfield is based on the notion that local governments know what is best for the communities that they serve,” Holmes said. “Local school boards will always know better than the State Charter School Commission what the community needs to properly educate students.”

Current law allows the State Charter School Commission to reverse a local school board’s decision to deny, revoke or not renew a charter. Holmes’ measure would eliminate this provision, giving school boards final approval on decisions regarding charter schools.

Holmes claims that the measure before the Senate is meant to safeguard public school districts against overreach from higher units of government.

“I want the people that we elect to local school boards to make the final decisions in regards to charter schools,” Holmes said. “It is important that we protect local school boards from state and federal overreach.”

House Bill 768 was approved by the Senate yesterday. It now moves to the governor for further review.

Aurora domestic violence shelter finally gets funding under Senate budget plan

Sen. Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD – An Aurora domestic violence shelter that has suffered through layoffs and service cuts amid the state’s financial crisis, could finally see stable state funding that could restore vital services to abused women under a plan the Illinois Senate recently approved.

“Mutual Ground and those that they serve have already paid a steep price for inaction and gridlock in Springfield,” said State Sen. Linda Holmes, an Aurora Democrat. “The plan that I voted for would fully fund Mutual Ground, giving them the certainty that they need to serve some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Task force to investigate electronic notaries under Holmes' bill

holmes 050417SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate has approved legislation introduced by State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, to establish a task force investigating electronic notaries.

“With the technology that we have, it is worth looking into whether or not a person should need to see a notary in person anymore,” Holmes said. “This task force will look for inefficiencies in our current system and try to fix them with technology.”

Current Illinois law requires physical presence and proof of identity for individuals attempting to get a document notarized. The task force would investigate alternative verification methods including video or audio conference technology that are already in use elsewhere. The State of Virginia passed legislation allowing electronic notarization in 2015.

The legislation, Senate Bill 1459, has been approved by the Senate. It moves to the Illinois House of Representatives for further review and approval.

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.