The Majority Report 03/25/19 - Martinez seeks to place teachers in hard-to-staff schools


Martinez seeks to place teachers in hard-to-staff schools

Sen. Iris Y. Martinez

Legislation that passed in the Senate would expand the ability of schools and future teachers to participate in the Grow Your Own Teacher program.

“Illinois is dealing with a teacher shortage, so we need to do all that we can to place dedicated teachers in schools,” said Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago), who sponsored the initiative. “We especially must work to ensure students at schools that are traditionally hard to staff – like those in low-incomes areas – have the same access to quality education as anyone else.”

The Grow Your Own Teacher initiative is a program designed to train people to become teachers in hard-to-staff schools. Martinez’s legislation would expand the definition of “eligible school” and “hard-to-staff” schools for the initiative to include early childhood programs in which no less than 40 percent of the children it serves are receiving subsidized care under the Department of Human Services' Child Care Assistance Program.

It would also extend eligibility for participation in the initiative to high school students enrolled in a dual credit course at a participating institution of higher education. Continue reading.


Munoz plan offers scholarships to spouses of fallen officers

Illinois Police Memorial

Spouses of police officers killed in the line of duty would be eligible for grants and scholarships from the Police Memorial Committee under a proposal by Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago).

“This measure offers support to spouses who have lost their partner in the line of duty,” said Munoz, a former Chicago police officer. “Moving forward after such a tragic loss is extremely difficult, but offering scholarships can play a small part in a spouse’s healing process.”

Currently, the Police Memorial Committee offers scholarships to children of police officers killed in the line of duty. Senate Bill 1183 extends the pool of recipients to include spouses.

The Police Memorial Committee Fund receives $10 of every issuance fee for Police Memorial Committee license plates, and $23 of every renewal fee thereafter. The fund is also used for maintaining a memorial statute on the Capitol Complex, and holding an annual memorial commemoration. Continue reading.


Harmon to Moms: ‘You changed minds and you changed votes’

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America rally

State Senator Don Harmon joined advocates from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America at the group’s annual legislative day and rally at the Capitol.

Harmon, an Oak Park Democrat whose legislation certifying gun dealers at the state level was signed into law this year after 16 years of effort, credited the group with garnering support for the bill.

“I don’t know if you fully appreciate what you have already done. You have done something so rare in politics,” Harmon said. “You changed minds and you changed votes. The power of moms in every single legislative district across this country is unbelievable.”

State Senator Julie Morrison, who is sponsoring legislation to close loopholes in the state’s FOID card laws, also spoke at the rally and asked the group to continue its work for commonsense gun laws.

“I need your help on this,” Morrison (D-Deerfield) said. “It is your constant advocacy that is going to make a difference.” Continue reading.

Video: Harmon addresses the Moms Demand Action rally


Holmes plan would ban cosmetics testing on animals


A measure regarding animal welfare sponsored by State Senator Linda Holmes has passed the Illinois Senate.

Senate Bill 241 amends the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to prohibit importation or sale of cosmetic products or ingredients that use animal testing after January 1, 2020. Modern testing alternatives are less expensive, faster and more predictive of human reactions than past practices of painful tests on animals to assess the safety of chemicals used in cosmetics.

The ban would not include cosmetic products or ingredients that have been tested on animals but are currently being sold before the implementation date.

“Consumers’ expectations are moving toward products that are not tested on animals, and more big personal product brands are changing their practices,” Holmes (D-Aurora) said. “There are alternative testing methods that are good for business, safe for consumers, and certainly move us forward to a humane approach by eliminating the cruel practices of the past.” Continue reading.

Video: Holmes on banning products that test on animals


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