Gun Violence

  • The Majority Report 07/13/20 - Health care expansion for low-income families and communities

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    New Hunter law expands access to health care for communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19

    Older peopleCHICAGO — State Senator Mattie Hunter’s (D-Chicago) legislation aimed at improving access to health care in communities across Illinois that have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic was signed into law last week by Governor JB Pritzker.

    “In Illinois, you deserve access to high-quality health care and treatment, no matter your economic status, your ZIP code or what you look like,” Hunter said. “This law extends that promise to many of our neighbors who have been left out, often due to long-standing racial health and economic disparities.”

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    Aquino applauds legislation aimed to provide funding for hospitals serving low-income families

    Sen. Omar AquinoCHICAGO — State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) applauds the signing of legislation aimed at providing funding to hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new law brings an additional $450 million to safety-net hospitals, prioritizing the institutions that serve a high number of Medicaid patients.

    “I thank Governor J.B. Pritzker for signing this legislation that brings certainty to health care providers and the low-income clients they serve,” Aquino said. “The additional money will be vital to communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.”

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    Villanueva encourages youth employment assistance providers to apply for state grant

    Youth employmentCHICAGO — With young people facing high rates of unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) announced the Illinois Youth Investment Program is extending its grant application deadline to Aug. 3, 2020.

    “For most of my career I have been dedicated to the development of young people and am continuously amazed at the things that they can accomplish,” Villanueva said. “Organizations looking to help at-risk young people should apply for these grants so that they have the necessary resources to set them up for success.”

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    Lightford: Chicago gun violence is a symptom of a larger problem

    Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordCHICAGO — Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Chicago saw gun violence across the city, including the deaths of 7-year-old Natalia Wallace and 14-year-old Vernado Jones. Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement in reaction to the devastating events that took place.

    “I have dedicated my career to the idea that every child deserves a quality education, a transformative tool they can use to better themselves. Then, tragedies like the killings of Natalia Wallace and Vernado Jones happen, and we are once again facing the dark reality that our children are not safe enough to benefit from any education."

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  • Sims: More resources, not police, to prevent gun violence

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  • Collins joins advocates at Stop The Violence rally to call for investment in anti-gun violence

    Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

    Gathering to call for a comprehensive and well-funded approach to reducing gun violence, advocates spoke at a “Stop The Violence” rally in front of the state capitol Wednesday.

    State Senator Jacqueline Collins joined other officeholders that included Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton to address activists, who included anti-violence group inVEST. Advocates called for a plan funded in part by the legalization of cannabis to fund programs aimed at attacking the root causes of gun violence and reinvesting in communities long hurt by punitive public policy.

  • Sims statement on Orland Square Mall shooting

    sims 052418CHICAGO–State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after an unknown gunman shot and killed an 18-year-old man and wounded another person at Orland Square Mall Monday night: 

    “Last night, I, unfortunately, witnessed two tragedies. The first was yet another senseless shooting, as a young man was gunned down literally a few feet away from where I was shopping with my family, along with other families, at Orland Square Mall.

  • Senators respond to gun violence at Mercy Hospital in Chicago

    mercy hosp 112018State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the shooting at Mercy Hospital in Chicago yesterday:

    “I am deeply saddened to hear about the horrific shooting at Mercy Hospital in Bronzeville yesterday. I am praying for all those who were affected. To the families of the victims—I cannot even begin to fathom the pain you are experiencing, but please know that our community is here for you.

  • Sims glad DPH Director Shah agrees gun violence is public health issue

    sims 042718CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to testimony from Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah stating that gun violence is a public health crisis:

    “I am glad Director Shah agrees with me that the level of gun violence plaguing our communities is unacceptably high and is a public health crisis requiring our immediate attention.  Now that we can agree that gun violence is in fact a health crisis, Gov. Rauner and the Department of Public Health need to allocate funds and start research on the matter so we can figure out how to best address this epidemic affecting our communities.

    “We continue to see tragedies across our state and nation resulting from gun violence. Three people were killed and at least seven were wounded in shootings over last weekend in the city of Chicago, and on Sunday, an Illinois resident took the lives of four unsuspecting victims at a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee.

    It is time for us to address the root causes of gun violence as opposed to bowing to the whims of the gun lobby, so we can do everything possible to prevent gun violence from continuing to harm our communities.”

  • Senate President presses Rauner to act on gun violence

    Senate President John J. Cullerton

    As governor, Bruce Rauner slashed funding for mental health programs, leaving thousands of people without needed services and costing people their jobs.

    Now, the governor wants to create a new working group to explore the connection between mental health and public safety and come up with recommendations for him to consider.

    Illinois Senate President John Cullerton points out the governor’s inconsistencies and in a recently published opinion piece calls on the governor to join efforts to do something right now about mental health and gun violence rather than create another government group and schedule more meetings.

    “Last weekend, millions of people across this country joined March For Our Lives rallies. They didn’t demand more government meetings. They demand action, and I think they deserve it,” Cullerton says.

    “Before assembling another batch of bureaucrats to ponder possibilities, the governor should take action on what’s right in front of him.”

    You can read Senate President Cullerton’s opinion piece here:
    Quad-City Times - Guest view: Rauner can prove he's serious about mental health, guns
    State Journal-Register - John Cullerton: Gov. Rauner, don’t silence gun safety movement
    Daily Herald - Cullerton: We need action on existing gun bills, not more work groups

  • Sen. Aquino votes to approve gun safety measures

    aquino 031518SPRINGFIELD –In an effort to stop gun violence in Illinois, State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) voted in favor of restrictions on people under 21 years old owning assault weapons, a measure banning devices that turn firearms into fully automatic machine guns and legislation to institute a 72-hour waiting period between applying for and purchasing an assault weapon.

    Sen. Aquino released the following statement:

    “As students across the country advocated for better gun laws, I voted to take real action and stop the bloodshed. After last month’s massacre in Florida and countless other incidences of violence in our schools, places of worship, homes and neighborhoods, it is long past time to do something.

    “Governor Rauner recently vetoed legislation that would require gun dealers to be licensed and held accountable by the state. This time, I hope that he will put the safety of our communities above the interests of the gun lobby by signing these proposals into law.”

  • Senate walks out for solidarity, then votes for stronger gun laws

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  • Murphy, Moylan support bump stock ban

    murphy 021617SPRINGFIELD – Following passage in the House, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) will serve as the chief co-sponsor of legislation to ban bump stocks in Illinois.

    “I do not believe that there is any reason anyone should be able to modify a gun to make it an automatic weapon,” Murphy said. “Sensible gun legislation is a start to preventing mass shootings and preventing access to this tool is a good start.”

    House Bill 1467 bans the sale, manufacture, purchase, possession or carrying of a bump stock or trigger crank. A bump stock attaches to a rifle to make the weapon fire more quickly. House Bill 1467 is currently in the Senate Assignments Committee.

  • Morrison introducing ban on bump stocks, pressing forward on assault weapon ban

    bumpstockSPRINGFIELD – In the wake of the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas earlier this week, State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) announced today she is filing legislation to ban “trigger modification devices” such as “bump stocks,” which are attachments to semiautomatic rifles that drastically increase the number of bullets fired from a weapon.

    “Bump stocks serve no purpose but to inflict maximum carnage on a target and have no place in our communities,” Morrison said. “The federal loophole allowing bump stocks is essentially giving the green light for individuals to purchase and unfortunately use weapons that act just like a fully automatic weapon – which has been banned in this country since 1986.”

  • Hunter: If we continue to kill each other, who will uphold our legacies?

    hunter 071816SPRINGFIELD – At least 17 people were killed and 41 others wounded, including four teenagers, an eighth-grade student and twin 17-year-old boys, making it Chicago’s deadliest weekend of the year. State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) released the following statement:

    “Our communities are in pain and instead of uniting together, we find ourselves battling one another for survival. But if we continue to kill each other, who will uphold our legacies? It is disheartening to watch communities suffer at the hand of gun violence.