Text Size
Login
config

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.”

Governor signs Holmes’ animal welfare, cosmetics testing laws

holmes 041719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes’ (D-Aurora) legislation to address a number of issues regarding animal shelters and foster groups, licensing fees and feral cat programs, as well as a measure to ban cosmetics testing on animals, have been signed into law.

Senate Bill 61 increases licensing fees and fines under the Department of Agriculture for the first time since 1971. It also changes rules regarding adopted dogs and cats and the facilities that provide foster homes and transport pets for adoption.

 

Holmes measures for local government reforms signed into law

holmes 052419SPRINGFIELD – Two pieces of legislation from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) to improve how local governments operate have been signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.

“Measures to put decisions in the hands of voters and to streamline local government functions will save taxpayer dollars and make operations more transparent,” Holmes said. “Citizens need to know their municipal officials are representing them effectively.”

House Bill 910 lets the Aurora Public Library change its board of trustees from appointed to elected. The measure would require a referendum asking voters to decide and, if passed, provides for the number of trustees and the manner of their election. Currently, the board is appointed by the city’s mayor with council approval.

House Bill 2473 allows Fire Protection Districts to enter into supply contracts of $20,000 through participating in joint out-of-state purchasing programs that require a competitive solicitation and procurement process.  Supported by the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and the Illinois Municipal League, this measure could ensure fire protection districts receive better pricing on preferred brands of equipment.

The measures take effect immediately.

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