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Van Pelt expands Goal Setting Art Contest in response to school closures

Sen. Patricia Van PeltCHICAGO – The outbreak of COVID-19 has led to school closures in Illinois, potentially leaving parents responsible for home-schooling their children through April. While families are making arrangements, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt is launching a career-focused art contest for students.

Earlier this month, Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered all K-12 schools — both public and private — be closed from March 17 to April 7 (April 21 for Chicago Public Schools) to further safeguard communities from the spread of the virus.

Van Pelt works to expand rights for incarcerated women who are pregnant

Sen. Patricia Van PeltSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) introduced legislation that would allow incarcerated mothers to remain with their child for 72 hours after giving birth, unless a medical professional determines otherwise.

“It’s crucial for a baby to spend its first moments with its mother, and we want to ensure that,” Van Pelt said. “This way the baby gets the care it needs, while the mother is inspired to stay on her best behavior in the hopes she may return to her child.”

The bill would also provide the mother with hygiene products and diapers for her infant. Even before the baby is born, Van Pelt wants to guarantee that incarcerated mothers are cared for by requiring corrections officials to incorporate health care training and education for their specific needs.

Van Pelt to clarify business expense reimbursement rules under proposed law

vanpelt 022620SPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) recently filed legislation that would require an employer to reimburse an employee within 30-45 days after the receipt of a required business expense, a common workplace scenario that currently isn’t governed by any sort of statute.

“A lot of employees despair of ever seeing their business expenses reimbursed,” Van Pelt said. “This should be a common labor protection, just as a 40-hour workweek is. Employees who float costs for their employers should receive reimbursements in a timelier manner.”

Employers would also have clearer guidelines on what does and does not constitute a reimbursable expense. An employee authorized to work from home, but not required to, would not be entitled to reimbursement for any related expenses under the proposal.

The Illinois Chamber of Commerce supports Senate Bill 3307, which just passed the Labor committee this afternoon. It awaits further action from the Senate.

When John Doe's life hangs in the balance: Van Pelt pushes for rights of unidentified patients

vanpelt 022520SPRINGFIELD – Last April, a man named Elisha Brittman was found naked and unresponsive under a car in Chicago, beaten so badly his face was unrecognizable. The police failed to identify him through fingerprints or DNA. Instead, they used a mugshot to identify him as Alfonso Bennett. In turn, the hospital notified Bennett’s family, who decided to take Brittman off life support. Now, both of the families involved are filing a lawsuit.

After learning of what happened to her constituent, Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) is leading an effort to make sure no other family is ever faced with such an unthinkable situation.

Sen. Patricia Van Pelt

 Senator Patricia Van Pelt

5th Legislative District

Years Served: 2013 - Present

Committee assignments: AAgriculture; Criminal Law; Energy and Public Utilities; Public Health (Chairperson); State Government; Oversight Medicaid Mang. Care, Spec; Subcommittee on CLEAR Compliance; Higher Education; Subcommittee on Prisons.

Biography: Born Nov. 12, 1957, in Chicago. Bachelor’s degree, Roosevelt University (1996); master’s degree, Spertus Institute (1996); doctorate, Capella University (2009); earned her CPA. Currently CEO of TARGET Area Development Corp. She has one child.

Associated Representatives:
Arthur Turner
Jawaharial Williams