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Holmes supports expansion of domestic violence and sexual assault services

holmes 031220Aurora, Ill. – Most of us are staying home to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for many survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, home isn't a safe place. 

Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) supports Gov. JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Human Services for expanding services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors.

“Survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors live in fear,” Holmes said. “Staying at home now means they have nowhere to go and no one to watch out for them. I can’t imagine how scared some of these people are in an already worrisome time.”

IDHS announced Thursday the launch of a $1.2 million plan to increase the capacity of its current statewide network of services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during the current COVID-19 outbreak.

The plan expands the domestic violence helpline by creating a one-stop access point for all shelter needs. Survivors can call the helpline at 1-877-863-6338 to be connected to a shelter that can provide assistance.

The agency is also working with the Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence to establish an emergency fund to support local providers with assistance needs related to COVID-19.

Additionally, domestic violence prevention and intervention providers will receive a three-month advance of their current grant to support continuations of services and respond to the needs of domestic violence survivors.

IDHS will also provide the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault with a grant advance to enhance the capacity of local rape crisis centers statewide to aid sexual assault survivors. The agency will similarly advance grant funds to Partner Abuse Intervention Program grantees for programs costs related to COVID-19.​

Holmes invites small business owners to apply for new loan, grant programs

closed signAurora, Ill. – Restaurants, hotels and other small businesses across the state are invited to take advantage of two new emergency assistance programs, Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) announced today.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our local economies, but the COVID-19 outbreak has hit many of them hard and even forced some to close,” Holmes said. “We must invest in stores, restaurants and hotels that make our communities unique.”

To provide assistance to struggling small business owners, Gov. JB Pritzker unveiled the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund, a $60 million program that will support low-interest loans of up to $50,000 for small businesses outside of Chicago. (Small businesses in Chicago can apply for a similar loan program here.)

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 will be eligible to apply. Loan recipients will owe nothing for six months and will then begin making fixed payments at 3% interest for the remainder of a five-year loan term.

Pritzker also announced the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program. The program offers $14 million in grants to restaurants, bars, hotels and other hospitality businesses to help them make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis. It will provide up to $25,000 to eligible bars and restaurants and up to $50,000 for eligible hotels.

Grant funds can be used to compensate employees and pay rent, or to support new practices like expanded pick-up, delivery and sanitation.

“Our beautiful main streets and their shops and restaurants are vital for most of us every day. It’s heartbreaking to see them struggling during this outbreak,” said Holmes. “These programs may offer some help to small business owners and get them through this challenging time.”

Applications to the Small Business Emergency Loan Fund will be available on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s website by Friday, March 27.

The application period for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program is open now and closes April 1 at 5 p.m. Businesses can find more information on the program here or apply here. A Spanish-language application is available here.

Holmes responds to latest Illinois coronavirus updates

holmes 031220Aurora, Ill. – Yesterday, the World Health Organization declared that coronavirus is now a pandemic. With the number of cases rising in Illinois, and now three cases outside of Cook County – including one in Kane County – Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) wants to encourage caution and calm for area residents regarding coronavirus.

“I am monitoring the situation daily through the governor, the Illinois Department of Public Health and local and county health officials to get updates,” Holmes said. “I urge people in Kane County and across Illinois to stay informed and keep following the steps IDPH says will help us and everyone around us to stay safe and well.”

“The young and healthy among us may believe they have nothing to worry about, but I urge them to remember that they could unknowingly transmit the virus to an older relative or friend with a compromised immune system,” Holmes said. “This is why it is vital that everyone takes the actions recommended by IDPH every day.”

“The General Assembly has announced it is canceling legislative session next week, which demonstrates that we are doing our part as a safeguard against more transmission,” Holmes said.

IDPH recommends everyone:

  • Wash your hands often and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Don’t shake hands, and avoid large gatherings and air travel.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people who have respiratory symptoms.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately throw it away.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your local health department or visit http://dph.illinois.gov/.

Holmes proposes savings for City of Aurora with smarter disposal of water treatment product

holmes 030520SPRINGFIELD – Limestone quarries provide a number of products encountered every day: on our roads, in our homes and businesses, and in agriculture. One such lime product is used to treat drinking water and remove particulates. Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) is the sponsor of legislation to allow the return of the limestone residual back to a limestone mine after that use, projected to save the city an estimated $7 million over 10 years.

“Aurora’s Water Treatment Plan has used this process since it was built in 1992, but disposing of the residual product was problematic,” Holmes said. “The City of Aurora initiated this legislation, as it cost the city quite a bit of money to dispose of it in landfills or to apply it on farm land. Pumping that material back into an underground mine cavity 250 feet below ground will save significant taxpayer dollars.”

Senate Bill 3291 would amend the Environmental Protection Act to require the IEPA to grant Aurora a modification to its existing permit to construct and operate a system of disposal of lime residual, and authorize the disposal from the water treatment plant into an existing mine cavity.

The bill passed on second reading in the Environment and Conservation Committee, with the expectation of refining it with more input from IEPA before the full Senate will vote on it.

Sen. Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader
42nd District

Years served: 2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Commerce and Economic Development (Chairperson); Executive; Labor; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology.

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.

Associated Representatives:
Barbara Hernandez
Stephanie A. Kifowit