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Holmes’ push for unused power station becomes law

holmes consolSPRINGFIELD – Looking to continue parts of a successful building redevelopment program that will help repurpose an unused power station in Aurora, the governor signed legislation by State Sen. Linda Holmes today.

“The River Edge Redevelopment Zone program was designed to help developers take old, unused property and renovate it to meet today’s needs,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “I appreciate the governor signing this into law. It’s going to make sure developers have enough time to make use of these incentives for an important project.”

Sen. Holmes and Aurora-area state Reps. Linda Chapa LaVia, D-Aurora, and Stephanie Kifowit, R-Oswego, sponsored the legislation, which extends the expiration date of some cost-sharing arrangements under the development program.

Developers hope to use it to help replace an old power station in downtown Aurora with a residential development along a 33-acre stretch along the Fox River.

The relevant section of the law was set to expire in July of 2017, but the measure would extend it to August 1, 2020.

The legislation was Senate Bill 321.

Patients’ right to information protected under new law: Holmes

holmes 071916SPRINGFIELD — To ensure patients receive information about their options when health care providers decline to treat them on religious grounds, the governor signed into a new law co-sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes today.

The new law updates regulations that allow doctors, nurses, hospitals and others to refuse to offer certain types of health care and referrals if the treatment violates their religious beliefs. Patients in need of emergency medical treatment have been caught unaware by medical providers’ refusal to treat them and by their objections to offer referrals to other providers for needed treatment.

“We are more aware now than ever just how important a patient’s access to information about all forms of treatment or medical procedures is – not just to protect them as consumers, but as the final arbiter of their own care,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “This respects doctors’ rights while also ensuring patients are fully informed of all of their options.”

The legislation was Senate Bill 1564. It becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.

3D mammograms to be more broadly covered by insurance policies

holmes consolSPRINGFIELD — To further ensure insurance coverage on a critical women’s health issue, the governor signed legislation today co-sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes that builds off broad 3D mammography legislation enacted last year.

“This builds further on lifesaving measures we took last year to combat a disease that takes so many women from us every year,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “This continues pushing for important changes to how insurance covers the cutting edge treatments that will save lives.”

Under the previous measure, insurance companies were required to cover 3D mammography, but only Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield covered the screening. Other insurance companies followed suit, but not quickly enough.

The new law closes loopholes in last year’s legislation that would have rendered some mandated coverage null.

The legislation was Senate Bill 466. It is effective immediately.

New Holmes law improves accessibility for persons with disabilities

holmes 071916SPRINGFIELD — The governor signed legislation by State Sen. Linda Holmes and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to streamline some state laws to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in Illinois.

“Simplifying and streamlining codes makes it easier to comply with laws, and making accessibility laws easier to follow will help ensure equal access for people with disabilities who live in and visit our state,” said Holmes. “I applaud Attorney General Madigan’s leadership on this issue and thank the governor for signing it into law.”

Attorney General Lisa Madigan called for the legislation, sponsored by Holmes, to update the Illinois Environmental Barriers Act (EBA). First enacted in 1985, that statute authorizes the Attorney General’s Office to enforce accessibility laws mandating that public buildings and multi-story housing units in Illinois be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.

“Our commitment to equality for all must extend to making sure people who have disabilities have equal access to facilities within their communities,” Madigan said. “People who have disabilities lead active lives, and our laws should enhance their ability to do so.”

The legislation that passed today amends the EBA to update state law with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) Standards for Accessible Design and streamlines the existing state statute so architects have an easier time referencing the law.

Changes to the Environmental Barriers Act under this update include:

  • Updating definitions to conform with the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design and corresponding updates to the Illinois Accessibility Code;
  • Replacing an outdated state standard for accessibility with an easier-to-use standard that mirrors the ADA;
  • Clarifying which version of the EBA and the Illinois Accessibility Code applies to new construction and alterations; and
  • Updating the enforcement provisions to reflect the current emphasis on working with businesses to resolve issues and alleviate future barriers for individuals with disabilities.

The legislation was Senate Bill 2956. It becomes effective Jan. 1, 2017.

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