Jones measure requires more screening for school bus drivers

jones hivaidsSpringfield – Today, State Senator Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) saw House Bill 1665, which requires additional background check for school bus drivers, signed into law. According to the new law, Illinois’ Secretary of State is charged with issuing school bus driver permits to applicants and conducting a screening process to insure the welfare and safety of children who are transported on school buses throughout the state.

“Parents should feel safe when sending their child to school,” said Senator Jones This new law creates another safety measure to prevent potential problems before they occur. The additional steps the Secretary of State can now take provide an extra layer of protection for our children.”

The background check would consist of the applicant submitting their fingerprints to the Department of State Police to conduct a criminal background check on information available in the state system and through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s databases. The cost of the background check would be charged to the applicant.

Jones hosts rally to denounce Governor Rauner’s attack on working families

Jones hosts rally to denounce Governor Rauner's attack on working familiesYesterday, in front of a semi packed room in the Kroc Center, State Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) hosted a rally with SEIU, CAPS, Roseland Hospital, daycare advocates, area ministers and several other community groups to denounce Governor Rauner’s vicious cuts that target working families.

“We won’t stand idly by and watch our community suffer at the hands of Governor Rauner’s corporate agenda,” said Senator Jones. “What about the family agenda? Governor Rauner is so focused on helping his City Club friends that he has forgotten the working families in Illinois.”

Since July, 2,000 working mothers and fathers have been denied child care assistance. Child care advocates are concerned that more stringent acceptance requirements will force more parents to leave their jobs and rely on more government assistance.

Jones measure to help slow spread of HIV/AIDs advances to governor’s desk

jones-hivaidsIn the United States, the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a health crisis, especially in the African-American community. The Roseland community, part of State Senator Emil Jones III’s district (Chicago – 14), has among the highest rates of AID/ HIV in the city. In an effort to fight this dangerous disease, Senator Jones supported a measure to extend a program that allows health care professionals to notify a spouse or civil union partner when HIV test results are positive.

“Informing people of their HIV/AIDs status is pivotal to stopping this disease from spreading,” said Senator Jones. “If people aren’t aware that they are at possible risk of having HIV, then the chances of it turning into full blown AIDs are much more likely.”

Currently, no person may order an HIV test without first receiving documented informed consent from a medical professional.

African Americans represent only 14 percent of the U.S. population, but account for almost half of all new HIV infections in the United States per year, as well as more than one-third of all people living with HIV in our nation.

“This measure is about awareness,” Jones said. “The measure is a step in the right direction towards slowing this epidemic.”

Health care facilities that administer HIV testing may offer opt-out testing where the patient or their representative has been informed unless he or she refuses.
Today, House Bill 1004 passed the Senate unanimously and awaits the governor’s signature.

Jones helps business owners streamline annexation

jones-annexationCHICAGO – Several Cook County land owners were being asked by the Cook County board to annex their property out of unincorporated Cook County districts and join neighboring municipalities. State statue prohibited these small property owners from moving forward with the annexation process, so Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) filed legislation to allow property owners, many of whom own land smaller than one acre, to annex into nearby municipalities.

Douglas Engberg, owner of Ale House located on 135th and Harlem, was asked by Cook County board President Toni Preckwinkle to annex out of Cook County into one of the local suburbs so they could receive the government services they needed and reduce the burden on Cook County.

“Business owners were burdened with paying high taxes and weren’t receiving the services they needed,” Jones said. “Allowing small businesses to annex streamlines their regulatory responsibilities so they can focus on expanding their business and providing the local economy with more job opportunities.”

Mr. Engberg acknowledged that working with Cook County can be cumbersome because they have such a large case load.

“Tending to specific individual needs of land and business owners in unincorporated areas was stifling the county’s financial sustainability,” Jones said. “Working with smaller local municipalities streamlines bureaucracy, allowing for more efficient services and alleviating the County’s workload.”

Senate Bill 369 will now be debated in the House.

Senator Emil Jones III

14th District

Years served:
2009 - Present

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Higher Education; Licensed Activities (Chairperson); Transportation; Veterans Affairs; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Financial Institutions; Insurance (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Born May 16th, 1978, in Chicago; son of former Senate President Emil Jones Jr. and the late Patricia Jones; graduated from Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights; attended Chicago State University and Robert Morris College in Chicago; former administrator at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Associated Representatives:
Robert Rita
Justin Slaughter