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New program to support agricultural educators signed into law

holmes 120715SPRINGFIELD — The state will extend additional funding to the teachers who educate the next generation of Illinois farmers thanks to a new law signed today. State Sen. Linda Holmes was chief co-sponsor of the legislation.

“Illinois farmers feed the world, and we need to ensure there are aids and incentives in place for the educators who are going to teach them how to do it,” Holmes said. “This program acknowledges that need and focuses resources to meeting it. I’m glad to see it passed into law today.”

The new law establishes an agricultural education teacher grant program to fund personal services costs for agricultural education teachers in school districts. The legislation also officially recognizes agricultural education as a course of study with staff shortages, a designation which can give those seeking to become teachers consideration for certain scholarships.

The legislation was Senate Bill 2975. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2017.

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.

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