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New law acknowledges tragic effects of untreated postpartum depression, psychosis

hutchinson post partumSPRINGFIELD – Illinois will become the first state in the nation acknowledging the correlation between postpartum depression and psychosis and certain crimes committed by women, after a new law was signed this week by the governor.

House Bill 1764, sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights), allows women charged with certain felonies to challenge court sentences of crimes committed as a direct result of suffering from postpartum depression or post-partum psychosis. The new law also allows a court to consider a defendant’s postpartum depression or psychosis as a mitigating factor during sentencing.

Cuts to child care program reversed under new Hutchinson law

hutchinson3SPRINGFIELD – Cuts to the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) under Governor Bruce Rauner two years ago decimated the once hailed program that helps low-income families afford the every-increasing cost of child care. While some of the governor’s cuts were restored within a few months, thousands of families remained ineligible.

A new law sponsored by State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) and signed into law on Friday restores access to child care services for families whose parents are enrolled in education or training programs.

“There are thousands of parents across Illinois who are striving to achieve a better life for themselves and their children,” Hutchinson said. “Why would the state stand in the way of those families? For many, access to affordable child care can make the difference between having the ability of going back to school or obtaining training, both of which are vital to increasing earnings potential and lifting families out of poverty.”

Hutchinson’s new law, which was contained in House Bill 3213, specifically requires the Department of Human Services to expand CCAP eligibility to families with parents enrolled in education or training programs.

Illinois Action for Children estimates more than 30,000 fewer children in total are receiving child care today than in June 2015. Before Governor Rauner’s cuts, nearly 4,000 children whose parents were enrolled in school or a training program received child care services.

House Bill 3213 passed the Senate in late May and takes effect immediately.

Hutchinson: “I will meet anyone on the merits. But don’t lie.”

hutch 051917SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) joined her colleagues in Springfield today expressing their concern with fraudulent information being reported on a school funding reform proposal by a political group associated with the governor.

“Children in Kankakee County deserve nothing less than the best that we can give them,” Hutchinson said. “When false information is reported by a political group posing as a legitimate news organization in an effort to derail years of work to properly fund all school districts, it’s the children who ultimately suffer.”

Earlier this week, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1, which will dramatically reform the way Illinois funds public schools. The provision included a “hold harmless” provision, meaning that while some school districts will receive increased state aid, no school district would lose money under the plan.

This morning, Hutchinson joined five of her colleagues in signing a letter to the Executive Inspector General calling for an investigation into how state documents regarding school funding reform made their way to a political group associated with the governor.

“I will meet anyone on the merits. But don’t lie,” Hutchinson said. “The information that was published is not even based on the bill that was voted on. In a time of great angst and division in our state, this does nothing to advance the kind of solutions our communities are begging for us to deliver.”

Kankakee area schools would see increased state funding under Senate plan

hutchinson mediaSPRINGFIELD – Kankakee-area schools would see more than $5.5 million more in state funding next year under a plan being considered tomorrow in the Illinois Senate.

“Investing in the future success of our students starts with ensuring our classrooms are well-equipped and ready to train the leaders of tomorrow,” supporter State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) said. “Increasing state funding for school districts not only accomplishes this goal but also takes the pressure off communities with little property wealth to draw resources from.”

Under the plan being considered, Kankakee School District 111 would see a $4,556,749 increase, Bradley School District 61 would see a $469,701 increase, Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School would see a $399,546 increase and Bourbonnais Elementary School District 53 would see a $282,688 increase.

“Many school districts would not be able to open on time this year without receiving their state payments,” Hutchinson said. “This plan brings stability to families and teachers and ensures schools open on time this fall.”

The proposal is expected to be debated and called for a vote tomorrow when the Senate returns to Springfield.

Sen. Toi W. Hutchinson

40th District

Years served: 
2009 - Present

Committee assignments: Labor; Judiciary; Revenue (Chairperson); Transportation; Committee of the Whole; Appropriations II; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Committee on Restorative Justice.

Biography: Full-time state legislator; Born May 20, 1973; Graduated University of Illinois at Urbana with a Bachelor in English; Olympia Fields Village Clerk from 2002-2006; Harvard Kennedy School of Government Executive Management Program; Women and Power, 2004; Former Chief of Staff to State Senator Debbie Halvorson; Lives in Olympia Fields with husband, Paul, and 3 children.