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McGuire pushes for stronger mental health safety net for college students

mcguire 040519College students face major changes as they adjust to life away from home, a situation that can cause or greatly exacerbate underlying mental health issues. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) is sponsoring legislation to enable the state’s higher education system to help the one in four college students who face mental health difficulties.

House Bill 2152 would require public colleges and universities to form mental health panels to discuss mental health issues, implement programs that provide support to students struggling with mental health issues, and provide student-to-student support networks. They also must form a strategic partnership with local mental health providers, and that the Illinois Board of Higher Education develop a technical assistance center to develop and standardize mental health policies.

Extending scholarship program by McGuire, Governor signs major increase to AIM HIGH program

mcguire 040519Expanding a scholarship program created by Senator Pat McGuire as part of last year’s Higher Education Working Group, Gov. JB Pritzker signed new legislation allowing universities to retain any unused AIM HIGH scholarship funds each year, and grant them more flexibility in awarding the scholarships.

McGuire said the move shows a commitment to tackling the hurdles standing in the way of bright prospective students who may struggle with the financial burden of a university education.

McGuire: Budget’s higher ed focus welcome, but state needs construction plan

mcguire 022119SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) issued the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker summarized his budget proposal before the General Assembly today:

“For the first time in four years, we have seen a budget which makes a full and explicit commitment to our institutions of higher education, which have suffered immeasurably and needlessly during the last administration. Undoing the damage to them will take us many years, but in providing key support to MAP Grants and increased funding for our state schools, this sends a message that Illinois wants a sure and stable higher education system.

“This is a beginning of negotiations. I argue that we must also prioritize construction funding. The I-80 bridge over the Des Plaines River is rated a 6 out of a possible score of 100. That can’t stand when a failing grade endangers lives. I urge all my colleagues to push for a robust capital plan in Illinois.”

 

McGuire DCFS measure becomes law

childcare 081518SPRINGFIELD — Legislation championed by Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) to support children whose families are involved with the Department of Children & Family Services was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner Aug. 14.

McGuire is the chief sponsor of HB 4885, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The legislation makes DCFS-involved children under five years of age eligible for the state Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and makes children under three years of age eligible for the state Early Intervention (EI) program.

“Quality childcare now is assured for children from troubled families,” McGuire said. “In addition, access to the EI program means those infants and toddlers now will have any developmental delays identified and treated.”

This measure is one of several actions taken by the Illinois General Assembly and DCFS to improve protection of children following the April 2017 death of Semaj Crosby in unincorporated Joliet Township. Improvements have been made at the Joliet DCFS office in staffing and coordination with local human service providers, and the legislature voted to fund a special unit within DCFS to address high-risk households.

Sen. Pat McGuire

mcguire-2014-150

43rd District

Years served:
2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Environment and Conservation; Higher Education (Chairperson); Revenue; State Government (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital.

Biography: Former teacher, school board member, Will County treasurer and Braidwood City Clerk; attended Joliet Catholic schools from first grade through college; married (Lora) with one daughter (Molly).

Associated Representatives:
John Connor
Lawrence Walsh, Jr.