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Sen. Bush: SCOTUS birth control opt out will not impact Illinois

Published: Wednesday, July 08, 2020 06:36 PM

bush 013020GRAYSLAKE –The country’s top court ruled Wednesday that employers can opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s birth control mandate over religious and moral objections. However, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) is reminding women it will not impact Illinoisans, thanks to last year’s passage of the Reproductive Health Act.

I am disappointed with the Supreme Court’s decision to allow employers to dictate a woman’s access to contraception,” Bush said. “Employers can’t deny access to antibiotics for someone who has a sexually transmitted disease for moral reasons. How can they deny access to birth control?”

The Supreme Court made it more difficult for women to get access to birth control through their employer’s insurance, should their employer have a moral or religious objection to contraceptives.

The opinion upheld an administrative rule from President Donald Trump that significantly cut back on the Affordable Care Act’s requirement for insurers to provide coverage of preventative care and screenings without any cost sharing requirements as part of most health care plans.

However, thanks to the Reproductive Health Act, spearheaded by Bush, the court’s ruling does not supersede Illinois law. The Reproductive Health Act ensures reproductive health care is treated like all other health care in Illinois, guaranteeing women continued access to contraceptives.

“Today’s ruling further shows the importance of the Reproductive Health Act passed by the Illinois General Assembly last year,” Bush said. “The monumental measure affirms women, not politicians nor employers, can and should make their own decisions.

Belt: Child and Adult Care Food Program funding now available

Published: Wednesday, July 08, 2020 02:45 PM

family eating 070820CENTREVILLE - In an effort to ensure disadvantaged families receive meal assistance, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) announced Wednesday that funding is available for organization that support children who are in need from the Child and Adult Care Program

“Reducing food insecurity among low-income children is a priority and core mission of our state,” Belt said.  “We want to continue to ensure our current reality does not hinder the meal assistance that many families rely on.”

The program assists child care centers, Head Start programs, before and after school programs, emergency shelters, and daycare home providers with funding to serve meals to children. All participating child care centers must provide meals to enrolled children at no additional cost.

The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has caused even more families to depend on federally funded nutrition programs. More than 1,000 child care centers across Illinois will be able to provide children with healthy meals.

Individuals in households who participate in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are automatically eligible to receive free meal benefits. The USDA Household Income Eligibility Guidelines determine eligibility to receive free meal benefits for families that do not receive TANF or SNAP benefits.

If a household’s income falls within or below the listed guidelines, a member of the household should contact their child care center or day care home provider to learn about benefits of the CACFP. They may be required to complete an application and provide income, TANF or SNAP information.

Children enrolled in Head Start programs at approved facilities and foster care children who are legal responsibilities of the state or court will also receive free meal benefits. Parents or guardians should contact their child care center or day care home provider to find out if they can participate in CACFP.

Income Eligibility Guidelines Effective from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021

Income Eligibility Guidelines

Effective from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021

 

Free Meals                                                                                                 

 

 

Reduced-Price Meals                                                                                                 

130% Federal Poverty Guideline

185% Federal Poverty Guideline

Household Size

Annual

Monthly

Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks

Weekly

Household Size

Annual

Monthly

Twice Per Month

Every Two Weeks

Weekly

1

16,588

1,383

692

638

319

1

23,606

1,968

984

908

454

2

22,412

1,868

934

862

431

2

31,894

2,658

1,329

1,227

614

3

28,236

2,353

1,177

1,086

543

3

40,182

3,349

1,675

1,546

773

4

34,060

2,839

1,420

1,310

655

4

48,470

4,040

2,020

1,865

933

5

39,884

3,324

1,662

1,534

767

5

56,758

4,730

2,365

2,183

1,092

6

45,708

3,809

1,905

1,758

879

6

65,046

5,421

2,711

2,502

     1,251

7

51,532

4,295

2,148

1,982

991

7

73,334

6,112

3,056

2,821

1,411

8

57,356

4,780

2,390

2,206

     1,103

8

81,622

6,802

3,401

3,140

1,570

For each additional family member, add

     5,824

486

243

224

112

For each additional family member, add

8,288

691

346

319

160

Child care institutions can learn more and apply for the program here: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Nutrition-and-Wellness-Child-Care-Institutions.aspx

Family day care homes can learn more here: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/Family-Day-Care-Homes.aspx

Those interested in the adult care portion of the program can visit: https://www2.illinois.gov/aging/programs/Pages/Child-and-Adult-Care-Food-Program-(CACFP).aspx

Lightford criticizes U.S. Supreme Court ruling limiting access to birth control

Published: Wednesday, July 08, 2020 01:54 PM

scotus 070820CHICAGO – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Trump Administration’s expansion of birth control exemptions, allowing employers to deny women the access to birth control established in the Affordable Care Act. Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) reacted with the following statement.

“More than 70,000 women will lose access to birth control over the Trump Administration’s ploy to appease conservatives. We should not have to keep explaining that birth control is more than a form of contraceptive, and is a health care need for many.

“Women should not be shamed for their sexuality, and it is also no one else’s business why they need birth control. We need to stop finding excuses to control bodies that are not our own, and protect women’s autonomy.”

Van Pelt: Good cops should not need to fight an unjust system

Published: Wednesday, July 08, 2020 01:31 PM

cops 070820CHICAGO – State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) had this to say Wednesday on news the Joliet Police Department placed Sgt. Javier Esqueda on administrative leave after he spoke out on the death of Eric Lurry, a Black man who died in the custody of Joliet police officers earlier this year:

“Why is it that the officer who spoke out on Eric Lurry’s death was reprimanded but the officers responsible for Lurry’s death were not?

“Sgt. Esqueda has become a sad example of the problem with police departments. We want to believe that ‘Not all cops are bad,’ but when cops actually try to do right, they are admonished for speaking out against the injustices happening in their ranks.

“Good cops should not need to fight against being silenced when they speak up about injustice. We will never be able to fix things in this country and prevent deaths like George Floyd’s, Eric Lurry’s, and too many other Black people’s, if the officers who speak out against racism and brutality are punished for it.”

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