Holmes supports release of federal spending

holmes empl agenciesCritical federal programs will continue after General Assembly vote Tuesday

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Linda Holmes issued the following statement Tuesday after a measure to release federal funds passed the Illinois Senate 57-0.

“Today we took action to ensure important services to veterans, seniors, and mental health providers continue,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “I’m glad to see a bipartisan effort to release these federal funds, and I urge our colleagues in the House and Governor Rauner to follow through.”

Included in the federal funds are programs like elder abuse prevention, women’s health services like breast and cervical cancer screening and mental health services, among a wide variety of others.

Without its passage, the federal dollars in Senate Bill 2042 would not be available for use in the absence of a state budget. The legislation proceeds to the Illinois House for consideration, where it must pass and then be signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner to take effect.

Holmes law ensures fire hydrant maintenance

hydrantSPRINGFIELD — Fire protection districts that must spend time, money and manpower to ensure fire hydrants on private property are visible and functional will be compensated under a new law sponsored by State Sen. Linda Holmes and signed into law today.

“The overwhelming majority of our local fire protection districts in Illinois get by on frugal budgets and the selfless efforts of brave volunteers,” Holmes said. “If people entrusted with maintaining fire hydrants aren’t doing so, our fire protection districts should be compensated for the time and effort they need to take to rectify the situation.”

Under the new law property owners who fail to rectify problems with fire hydrants on their property after being given written notice will be held responsible for reasonable costs incurred in bringing the hydrants up to code and any legal fees incurred in collecting those costs.

The legislation was Senate Bill 740. The new law takes effect Jan. 1.

Holmes helps add more plants to state’s list of exotic weeds

holmes-weedsSPRINGFIELD — In an effort to curb the spread of invasive species and protect the environment, State Sen. Linda Holmes supported legislation signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner this week that adds more plants to the state's list of exotic weeds.

The Exotic Weeds Act prohibits the sale of invasive flora that threaten the ecosystem in Illinois.

“One of our most important duties as a government is the protection and preservation of our environment for future generations,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “I'm pleased the governor has affirmed the expansion of this list.”

The updated Exotic Weeds Act adds a variety of new plant species to the list, including varieties of exotic bush honeysuckles, olives, salt cedar, poison hemlock, giant hogweed, Oriental bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), Japanese, giant and Bohemian knotweed, among numerous others.

The legislation was Senate Bill 681. It becomes effective Jan. 1.

Holmes’ hazardous medical waste plan signed into law

holmes-sharps-signedNew regulations ensure safe disposal of syringes and other sharp waste

SPRINGFIELD — The governor signed today a law to improve waste disposal worker safety and prevent the potential spread of disease, enacting a plan put forth by State Senator Linda Holmes.

“‘Sharps,’ like syringes, are a fact of life for one out of 12 Illinoisans, and that means one out of 12 Illinoisans is disposing of them somehow,” Holmes said. “I applaud the governor’s decision to affirm a law that ensures our sanitation workers are not being exposed to potential biohazards as they do their jobs.”

For proper disposal, syringes and other “sharps” should be collected in an appropriate sharps disposal container and can be disposed of in your regular trash. Even when placed in the appropriate plastic container, sharps should never be disposed of with recyclables.

Under the new law, disposing of sharp waste like syringes in recycling would be prohibited. It would also permit local governments to establish sharps collection points at medical centers and police or fire stations and to create a U.S. Postal Service-approved sharp waste mail-back program.

The legislation was Senate Bill 793. It becomes effective Jan. 1, 2016.

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