Ellman

  • Ellman appointed to Legislative Budget Oversight Commission

    ellman 05222019CW0455rNAPERVILLE —As the state continues to suffer from a financial crisis spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) will serve on a bipartisan, bicameral commission to monitor discretionary spending by the governor’s office and local governments related to the new state budget and federal relief funding.

    “Illinois is in the midst of a fiscal crisis that we can’t ignore, which creates obstacles in our state budget,” Ellman said. “I’m pleased to work with my colleagues to ensure we’re doing what’s best for all Illinoisans. We’ll continue to work diligently to ensure we’re not stuck in these financially diminishing times forever.”

    Ellman was appointed to the Legislative Budget Oversight Commission by Senate President Don Harmon Monday. Local governments will report the status and distribution of federal CARES money and any other federal financial relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic to the commission. The commission will relay the information to the governor and General Assembly.

    Beginning Aug. 15, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget will submit monthly reports to the commission to report budget management actions taken by its office, the governor’s office and all state agencies. Additionally, on a quarterly basis, the governor will give a report to the commission orally that includes budget management actions, year-to-date revenues as compared to anticipated revenues, and year-to-date expenditures as compared to the Fiscal Year 2021 budget.

    The 22-member body is made up of Democratic and Republican legislators from both chambers of the General Assembly. Members of the commission will serve without compensation.

     

  • Senate President Don Harmon announces appointments to Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission

    harmon 03052020CM0660SPRINGFIELD, IL – Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) announced four appointees to the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission, a group created to help guide Illinois through the reopening process following stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of coronavirus.

    Senators Christopher Belt (D-Centreville), Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) and Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) will represent Senate Democrats on the commission. 

  • Ellman reminds residents of July 15 tax filing deadline

    taxes 715 061820NAPERVILLE –State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is reminding residents across Illinois that state income tax returns and payments are due July 15, the same deadline established by the Internal Revenue Service for federal income taxes.

    “If you have not already, I’m urging residents to file their 2019 income taxes as quickly as possible,” Ellman said. “There’s only a month left before the deadline.”

    Gov. JB Pritzker extended the tax filing season three months from the normal due date of April 15 to help Illinois taxpayers experiencing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “This pandemic is still responsible for a lot of families’ financial hardships,” Ellman said. “I encourage every taxpayer to utilize all potential returns or deductions to help improve their financial situations.”

    As part of a revised revenue estimate released in April, the Governor’s Office of Budget and Management projected the extension would defer approximately $1 billion in general fund revenue to Fiscal Year 2021.
     
    Ellman would like to remind residents that according to the IDOR, the fastest, most secure way to receive a refund is to file a tax return electronically and request direct deposit into a checking or savings account. Taxpayers may file and pay their IL-1040 for free through MyTax Illinois. Taxpayers who have already filed a return can check their status at www.MyTax.Illinois.Gov.
     
    For the most up-to-date information, forms, schedules, and instructions for the 2019 tax year, please visit IDOR’s website at: tax.illinois.gov.

  • Ellman encourages using two new testing sites in DuPage County

    virus 061220NAPERVILLE – With Illinois still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is encouraging residents to make use of two new testing sites in DuPage County starting next Tuesday, June 16. All residents of DuPage County can be tested, and no appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed.

    “I’m pleased that DuPage County residents will soon have access to not one, but two new testing sites,” Ellman said. “I can’t stress the importance of mass testing enough. Each test that’s administered is another step closer to the eventual eradication of this virus, and a return to normal life.”

    A drive-through COVID-19 testing site will open at the DuPage County Complex on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. The site will be accessible through the County Campus’ main entrance off County Farm Road Tuesday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., or until 400 tests are completed each day. The COVID-19 test will be free. All residents of DuPage County can be tested, and no appointment, doctor referral, or insurance is needed.

    To ensure the safety of testing personnel, the test will be done while you are sitting in your vehicle. You must be sitting at a functioning window and cannot exit your vehicle while at the test site. No motorcycles will be allowed to enter.

    In addition, DuPage County is supporting a testing site in Willowbrook. Beginning this week and continuing until August, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, testing will be available through Pillars Community Health with drive-up testing at Anne M. Jeans Elementary School in Willowbrook.

    Testing at the Willowbrook site will be available to anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, or anyone with a known exposure to COVID-19, high-risk patients, first responders, health care workers or essential workers who wish to be tested. Limited tests are available and an appointment is required for this site.

    To schedule the appointment, please call (708) 745-5277 and follow the prompts. Appointments will be scheduled in the following time slots: Tuesdays, 9 a.m. to noon and Thursdays, 9 a.m. to .1 p.m. Insurance will be billed; if you do not have insurance, please call Pillars Community Health at (708) 745-5277 to discuss options.

    To learn more, visit the DuPage County COVID-19 Dashboard: www.dupagehealth.org/covid19data.

  • Ellman highlights education, local government and energy assistance program in FY 21 budget

    ellman 05222019CW0455rSPRINGFIELD - Following the signing of the Illinois FY 2021 budget, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) highlighted the preservation of education and local government funding and efforts to address financial challenges presented by COVID-19.

    Ellman emphasized that with this budget, the state is committed to maintaining and making full pension payments, as well as holding the line for P-12 and higher education funding.

    “We have a responsibly to hold up our end of the bargain and continue to maintain the state’s pension payments and education funding,” Ellman said. “Now, more than ever, it is absolutely imperative that we provide confidence for our students and educators in these uncertain times.”

    Ellman also highlighted a provision in the budget that expanded the eligibility of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program through June 2021. LIHEAP is a program to assist low-income households struggling with paying their utility bills. 

    “This pandemic has effected all of us, even more so for the financial security of those who are already having trouble paying their bills,” Ellman said. “Expanding the eligibility for this program was a necessary step to ensure that those who are already struggling don’t fall through the cracks.”

    In addition, this year’s budget provides an increase to the Local Government Distributive Fund. The fund provides local governments with a share of the state’s income tax revenue and will help them make up for budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The law takes effect July 1, 2020.

  • Ellman supports expanding services for survivors of sexual assault

    ellman 052320NAPERVILLE — A measure that was signed into law last week will help survivors of sexual assault be able to receive medical forensic exams, also known as rape kits, at federally qualified health centers, in addition to hospitals during the COVID-19 crisis. State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is a strong supporter of the new law, which she voted for in May.

    “Seeking help after a sexual assault is already difficult. Now that hospitals are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be that much harder,” Ellman said. “Nobody should be forced to make the decision between potentially contracting COVID-19 and seeking justice.”

    Senate Bill 557 allows approved federally qualified health centers to perform rape kit examinations and collection during public health emergencies like COVID-19. 

    “The reality is, this pandemic hasn’t stopped sexual assault in Illinois,” Ellman said. “It’s critical that survivors have access to medical forensic exams somewhere other than hospitals.”

    This measure took effect last Friday.

  • Ellman returns to Capitol to pass state budget and address COVID-19 challenges

    ellman 052320SPRINGFIELD -Last week, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) and the Illinois Senate reconvened in Springfield to pass the state budget after a nearly three months of cancelations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “There’s no doubt that these were unusual circumstances under which to pass a state budget,” Ellman said. “We came together as a governing body and passed a responsible budget.”

    Ellman emphasized a provision in the budget that expanded the eligibility of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program through June 2021. LIHEAP is a program to assist low income households who are struggling with their utility bills. 

    “This pandemic has effected all of us, but it’s more likely to affect the financial security of those who are already having trouble paying their bills,” Ellman said. “Expanding the eligibility for this program was a necessary step to make sure that those who are already struggling don’t fall though the cracks.”

    Ellman also highlighted that with this budget, the state is committed to maintaining and making full pension payments, as well as holding the line for K-12 and higher education funding.

    “We have a responsibly to hold up our end of the bargain and continue to maintain the state’s pension payments and education funding,” Ellman said. “Now more than ever, it is absolutely imperative that we provide confidence for our students and educators in these uncertain times.”

    In addition, this year’s budget fully funds the Local Government Distributive Fund. The fund provides local governments with a share of the state’s income tax revenue and will help them make up for budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Senate Bill 264 passed the full Senate with a vote of 37-19-0.

    “What the General Assembly accomplished this week is just a start. We did what was needed to begin moving forward,” Ellman said. “Make no mistake, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but I believe if we continue to come together as a state, we can tackle this challenge, and when we do, we will be stronger for it.”

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  • Ellman: Get counted for your community

    ellman 05222019CW0455rNAPERVILLE –State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) encouraged DuPage and Will County residents to fill out the 2020 Census, protecting their representation in government and share of federal funding.

    “The census is essential for the federal government to determine how much funding will be given to both Will and DuPage County,” Ellman said. “Filling out the census has never been easier with the new online option. It only took me about five minutes to fill out.”

    In 2010, DuPage County had a final response rate of 77.3% and Will county 76.9%. So far this year, both counties’ response rates are down, with DuPage at a 72% and Will County at 70%. Nearly two-thirds of both counties’ residents’ responses have been submitted online thus far.

    “We never want to be in a position where our area is undercounted. We will receive less money and less representation if that happens,” Ellman said. “We all have to work together and make sure everyone is counted.”

    Although online is the quickest way to fill out the questionnaire, there are three ways you can respond: online, by phone or by mail. Ellman also pointed out that higher self-response rates mean fewer individuals are likely to receive visits from census surveyors to be counted in-person. This year, census surveyors are putting the health of themselves and their families at risk from COVID-19.

    If you haven’t filled out your census questionnaire yet, you can visit 2020census.gov, where you can find the online questionnaire and additional information about the census. To see local responses rates across Illinois and the entire nation, visit www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us.

  • Ellman highlights volunteering during National Volunteer Month

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  • Ellman provides ideas to support mental health during Stay at Home Order

    ellman 05222019CW0455rNAPERVILLE – With Illinois’ Stay at Home Order extended through April 30, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is sharing mental health resources with residents.

    “Staying physically and mentally health is imperative in this challenging time,” Ellman said. “If you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or other problems, there are resources available to help.”

    The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) in Wheaton can be reached at 630-752-0066 for anyone experiencing a mental health crisis.

  • Ellman: Let people legally drink on trains

    Sen. Laura EllmanSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) is taking action to remove an arbitrary law that prohibits drinking alcohol and hasn’t been enforced in nearly a century.

    “I was shocked to learn that people were technically breaking the law by ordering a glass of wine on Amtrak,” Ellman said. “There’s no reason responsible adults shouldn’t be able to enjoy an alcoholic beverage on a train.”

  • Ellman announces library grants for local schools

    BooksNAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) announced today that five local area school districts are set to receive over $40,000 in grants given out by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White’s School Library Grant program.

    The grants, which are issued by the Illinois State Library, are meant to help public schools offer more library books and materials to students.

    “I’m grateful to hear that these five districts will receive these grants,” Ellman said. “Libraries play an important role and are a wonderful resource for children of all ages. This additional funding will be helpful for these libraries to continue updating their materials for every student.”

    School libraries can use these funds to acquire fiction and/or nonfiction books, educational CDs and DVDs, and library subscriptions to electronic resources, as well as to improve technology by purchasing new computers or improving Wi-Fi connectivity.

    Schools receiving school library grants include:

    • Naperville CUSD #203 - $12,001.50
    • Benjamin School District #25 – $750.00
    • Wheaton-Warrenville CUSD #200 - $9,174.75
    • Winfield School District 34 - $750.00
    • Indian Prairie CUSD # 204 – $19,908.75

    Grant applications for Fiscal Year 2021 are set to be available in August of this year.

  • New law allows earlier access to senior tax break

    homestead exemption 011420A new measure sponsored by State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) that would accelerate access to a property tax break for seniors was signed into law Tuesday.

    “This bill is an opportunity to test a more efficient process while still providing the same or better level of service,” Ellman said. “This particular example prioritizes the needs of seniors on fixed-incomes and ensures awareness of relief programs available to our older population. I will continue to seek more efficient processes that serve Illinoisans.”

  • Senate approves Ellman’s plan for scholarships for non-traditional trade students

    ellman 051019NAPERVILLE – Non-traditional students pursuing vocational training would be eligible for a new scholarship program under legislation from State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville).

    “Let’s encourage more students, especially later in life, to take advantage of our trade schools by taking the financial burden off of their shoulders,” Ellman said. “This scholarship gives opportunity to those who are seeking new jobs thus fueling our markets and economy.”

  • Ellman pushes to expand community college apprenticeship programs

    ellman 040419SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) passed a measure out of the Illinois Senate that would increase access to community college apprenticeships and develop apprenticeship programs in new, non-traditional sectors.

    “Education is economic development,” Ellman said. “When workers have the training they need for good jobs and businesses are able to find qualified talent to fill positions, everyone is better off.”

    Fifty-three percent of Illinois jobs require more than a high school degree but less than a four-year college degree, yet only 43 percent of Illinois workers are trained at that level.

    “Expanding access to apprenticeship programs and creating apprenticeships in new sectors will help ensure Illinois workers are trained for jobs of the future and ensure businesses aren’t struggling to find qualified employees,” Ellman said. “Funding education and apprenticeship programs is an investment in our future.”

    Senate Bill 2122 would create a grant program to allow for the funding of apprenticeships at each of the 48 community colleges, allow for the recruitment of new partnerships across traditional apprenticeship fields and emerging fields and provide community colleges the resources to engage in curriculum development, oversight and evaluation.

  • Ellman sworn in as 21st district state senator

    IMG 6888SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) was sworn in to the Illinois State Senate during the Senate inauguration today in Springfield.

    “It’s an honor to represent Illinois’ 21st Senate District,” Ellman said. “I’m looking forward to bringing new representation to the district and a fresh perspective to Springfield.”

    “In the Senate, I will work to ensure the state pays it fair share for our schools so we can end the overreliance on property taxes, and I will fight for real reforms like enacting term limits for legislative leaders, ending gerrymandering and limiting the power of lobbyists and corporations,” Ellman said.

    As an assessor at Argonne National Laboratory, Ellman knows what it takes to solve complex problems. She has more than 25 years of experience working in manufacturing and engineering and dealing with government regulations and policies.

    “Too often, our leaders point fingers instead of solve problems,” Ellman said. “It’s time to stop passing blame and start crafting real solutions to solve our state’s fiscal crisis. We can’t afford to keep losing residents. It’s time to get our fiscal house in order and attract new residents to our great state.”

    Ellman resides in Naperville with her husband Pete, a musician and local business owner, and her children, Lizzie and Barrett.

    Constituents can contact Ellman by visiting www.SenatorLauraEllman.com or by stopping by her district office at 552 S. Washington St., Suite 104, Naperville.

    Senate District 21 is located in DuPage and Will counties and includes all or parts of Carol Stream, Lisle, Naperville, Warrenville, West Chicago, Wheaton, Winfield and Woodridge.