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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Holmes passes law to study broadband access

broadband 081418SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) passed a law to create the Broadband Advisory Council to study expanding broadband access in Illinois.

“Broadband access has become a critical means of access to the world for growth, learning and business,” Holmes said. “This resource is now as necessary as utilities for our communities, and we need to explore all opportunities to expand this critical resource to areas not yet being served.”

Holmes increases access to HPV prevention information

hpv ed 080718SPRINGFIELD – Young people in Illinois now have increased access to information about human papillomavirus (HPV) under a measure sponsored by State Senator Linda Holmes (D – Aurora) that became law today.

Under previous law, schools were only required to provide HPV information to female students entering the 6th grade. The new law requires schools to ensure that all students, both male and female, receive the necessary information.

“HPV is a very serious condition that can lead to cancer diagnoses in both men and women,” Holmes said. “To only mandate that female students be provided the information leaves half of the population vulnerable to a potentially life threatening illness, and I’m proud to have helped pass a law that allows for everyone, regardless of sex,  to receive the information they need to remain healthy.”

Senate Bill 2866 passed through both chambers with bipartisan support, and is effective as of January 1, 2019.

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