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.

Holmes supports override of vetoes on critical budget items

ccap-presser-071515SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Linda Holmes joined her colleagues in the Illinois Senate today to support the override of five pieces of legislation ensuring funding for critical state services, including public safety and health care.

“Our moral duty as a state to ensure public safety and critical care cannot be placed on hold because we continue to argue in Springfield,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “I voted to override these vetoed budget items today because they represent the most urgent needs of Illinoisans: Funding for the police and firefighters who keep us safe and the Departments on Aging, Child and Family Services and Public Health that work to alleviate the hardships of people who suffer the worst during a shutdown.”

“I am willing to continue the debate with Governor Rauner and other members of the GOP on our budget priorities. I am not willing to do so while the ability of those who work faithfully in service to the public is jeopardized because we in Springfield are not doing our jobs.”

Senator Holmes disappointed about state government shutdown

holmes-shutdown-stmtSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Linda Holmes issued the following statement as Illinois state agencies faced shutdown for lack of a 2016 budget.

“I’m disappointed that Illinoisans will go without the services for which they have paid due to needless arguments over issues unrelated to the state budget,” Holmes said. “I have joined my colleagues in the Senate in presenting a budget to Governor Rauner in the hopes of reaching a compromise.”

“I ask the Governor now to set aside political matters and focus on fiscal matters. Every day he does not, our childcare centers face closure, our seniors face the possibility of having to leave their homes and all taxpayers face disruptions in their daily lives.”

Holmes voted in favor of a one-month provisionary budget that would keep essential state services in operation as lawmakers continue negotiating a full 2016 budget. The measure passed the Illinois Senate but failed in the House.

Holmes votes to fund schools at highest level ever

holmes-ed-fundingIncreased MAP grants also passes Illinois Senate

SPRINGFIELD — As Aurora students celebrated the end of the semester, State Sen. Linda Holmes today joined fellow senators in passing a spending plan that would ensure their schools reopen on time this fall, provided Gov. Rauner approves it.

“This spending plan is another step toward adequate, equitable funding for our schools,” the Aurora Democrat said. “I urge Governor Rauner to approve these proposals, and not to play politics with our schools.”

The plan provides for $10 billion in education spending, including roughly $3 billion in federal matching funds. The proposal provides a $295 million increase over the current fiscal year, including $207 million in additional funds to General State Aid and $85 million directed toward schools with low resources.

Holmes also supported an increase in college grant funding that passed the General Assembly. The proposal would increase MAP Grant funding by $32 million to $397 million.

“As the cost of college education is rising, we can’t let some students be left out,” Holmes said. “We’ve known this funding has been inadequate, and I’m pleased to see an increase pass the General Assembly.”

The K-12 spending plan comprises House Bills 3763 and 4151. Legislation regarding MAP Grants is HB 4146.

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