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Holmes congratulates Virginia for ratifying ERA

holmes ERA 011520AURORA – Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in 2018, and State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) is pleased the Virginia legislature ratified the ERA today. This brings the total number of states to ratify to 38 -- the threshold necessary for it to be included in the U.S. Constitution -- and it sets the stage for all 38 states to call for a historic constitutional convention.

“This is a good day,” Holmes said. “It is frustrating that there are still several hoops to jump through to actually get the ERA over the finish line, but we will keep working to enshrine the simple concept of equality in our nation’s Constitution, as it should have always been.”

Holmes notes that this year is the 100th anniversary of the amendment’s introduction; she expects the anniversary and ratification benchmark to be observed in Illinois.

Holmes serves as the co-chair of the Senate Women’s Caucus.

Holmes outlines major infrastructure improvements for area roads

holmes 110419SPRINGFIELD - State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) has announced that the new Illinois Department of Transportation five-year highway construction program includes major investments in roads in the Aurora area, to the tune of $10.8 million in improvements. 

In the multi-year plan’s first year, a project on Route 31/Lake Street from Rathbone Avenue in Southwest Aurora to Webster Street/Aucutt Road in Montgomery is already nearing completion. Started in September, the $850,000 project includes 1.22 miles of asphalt resurfacing and ADA compliant crosswalks and ramps. It is scheduled for completion in November.

“These are long overdue issues for safety and traffic flow on Lake Street,” Holmes said. “I’m pleased to already see positive results this funding is bringing to our community, and I look forward to more projects ahead in this multi-year plan.”

This is one of five separate projects in Holmes’ district, totaling approximately $10.8 million. The other four jobs to commence within the plan years of 2021 through 2025 include:

  • $1.5 million in intersection improvements at U.S. Route 34/Ogden Avenue and Rickert Drive in Naperville;
  • $1.55 million for 1.7 miles of overlay and milled rumble strips at Route 25/Broadway Street from Hazel Avenue to the Kendall County line in Aurora and Montgomery;
  • $1 million for lane, traffic signal and ADA improvements at Route 31/Lake Street at I-88 ramps in North Aurora;
  • $500,000 for 1.46 miles of pavement rehabilitation and ADA improvements at Routes 56 and 31, I-88 to River Street and East of Downen Drive / Wagner Road to Indian Creek in North Aurora and Aurora.

The Highway Improvement Program released by Gov. JB Pritzker and a bipartisan group of lawmakers includes $23.5 billion for improving and expanding roads and bridges throughout Illinois, more than doubling funding over the previous Multi-Year Plan. Projects outlined in the plan will cover 4,212 miles of roadway and 9.2 million square feet of bridge deck statewide between 2020 and 2025.

“Along with finally repairing roads and bridges, the Rebuild Illinois program and this Multi-Year Plan will put thousands of people to work in Illinois. This will boost our economy for years to come,” Holmes said.

Holmes supported legislation for the statewide construction plan during the spring legislative session of the General Assembly.

New Holmes law to give local school districts decision making role for charter schools

playground 082919SPRINGFIELD – A state commission overseeing charter school applications will be abolished under a new law sponsored State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora). Gov. JB Pritzker has signed the measure that will keep those decisions in local hands.

Senate Bill 1226 would change the charter school application process to abolish the State Charter School Commission by July 1, 2020, and transfers most of its duties to the Illinois State Board of Education. Locally elected school boards and parents would decide if a charter school is good for their community.

Charter schools currently in the renewal process would be transferred to ISBE. The bill also provides that a local school board may not revoke or not renew a charter except for obvious justifying circumstances.

“This proposal is about ensuring local control and accountability for charter schools as they exist for public schools,” Holmes said. “The existing commission has overturned local school boards and I believe those decisions belong in the community, not at the state level.”

A local appeal process for charter schools already exists, eliminating the need for a state commission. Local voters also have the option of considering a charter school on the ballot of an upcoming election.

Taking effect immediately, the new law sets the stage for the commission to be abolished by July 1, 2020.

Holmes measure ends out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic mammograms

Sen. Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) expanding insurance coverage for diagnostic mammograms has been signed into law by the governor.

Currently, insurance covers an initial screening mammogram without any co-pay or cost sharing. If dense breast tissue or an abnormality is detected, a doctor will want a second look with a more comprehensive ultrasound (diagnostic) mammogram, and a co-pay is applied. In Illinois, those co-pays can run from $600 to $700, which could discourage women from getting that screening.

“A diagnostic mammogram should be covered in the same manner as a routine screening mammogram,” Holmes said. “About 10 percent of initial mammogram results require a subsequent diagnostic mammogram, which can arguably be the most important test in the screening process. This new law can save lives.”

Sen. Linda Holmes

holmes-15

42nd District

Years served:
2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Committee of the Whole; Executive; Labor; Local Government (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:
Linda Chapa LaVia
Stephanie A. Kifowit