Hunter

  • Hunter reminds Chicago students and educators to use state’s new Wi-Fi hotspot map

    wifi hotspots 051120CHICAGO– In light of Gov. JB Pritzker’s recent announcement that Illinois schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is encouraging Chicago’s remote learners and educators to use the state’s new drive-up Wi-Fi hotspot map to find free wireless internet locations.

    “Lack of internet access for urban families is one of many significant problems underscored by COVID-19,” Hunter said. “While it will take long-term solutions to close this divide, this interactive map is a great tool for the thousands of students whose academic progress has been thrown off balance in the middle of the school year.”

    Designed to assist students at every level who don’t have consistent internet access in their homes, the interactive map provides drive-up Wi-Fi locations throughout the state and specific log-in instructions for visitors. Students and their parents or guardians should continue to practice social distancing by remaining in their cars while using the hotspots.

    As of May 11, the Wi-Fi map has 380 hotspots students can use to complete coursework.

    “Low-income students in our community already face problems that hinder their educational outcomes,” Hunter said. “It’s important we do everything we can to help keep student support networks strong, in addition to keeping them on track academically.”

    To find a hotspot near you, click here.

  • Hunter: Full and accurate census count in Chicago is more important than ever

    Census 2020CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is encouraging Chicago residents, particularly in underserved communities, to help secure their fair share of federal funding and protect their voice in government by completing the 2020 Census.

    “Many of the neighborhoods I represent recorded some of the lowest response rates in Chicago during the 2010 Census. Those same communities continue to face long-standing racial disparities in health-care access and quality and have been among the hardest hit by COVID-19,” Hunter said. “With health-care dollars on the line, a full and accurate census count is more important than ever.”

  • Hunter emphasizes ABCs of safe sleep for infants

    infantsleep2 042320CHICAGO — State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) is emphasizing the importance of safe sleep for infants during a time when many parents are experiencing heightened stress levels and alternative daily routines, which could include new caregivers for their children.

    Parents should remember the ABCs of sleep safety. A child should be alone and never sleeping with someone else, placed on their back and not on their sides or stomach, and in a crib rather than on a bed or couch.

    “Some families, especially those of essential workers, are developing new daily routines during this unprecedented time, which could include new child care providers or caregivers,” Hunter said. “I would encourage every parent to have a conversation with any alternative caregiver about the ABC’s of sleep and other rules for a safe sleep environment.”

    Sleep suffocation is the leading cause of reported child deaths in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

    Last year, between January 1 and June 30, 53 infants in Illinois under the age of 1 died as a result of being put to sleep unsafely. Being placed in a location to sleep other than a crib, bassinet or pack and play; lying in positions that weren’t on their back; or co-sleeping lead to the deaths.

    Babies are safest when they are alone in a crib with a firm mattress and tightly-fitted sheets. The crib should not have any pillows, blankets or stuffed animals. Additionally, a baby should never be put to sleep on an adult bed or couch.

    “These are simple and vital steps every parent and caregiver should keep in mind when saying goodnight to a little one,” Hunter said. “There are many products on the market that promise to reduce the risk of accidental suffocation or SIDS, but parents should know that practicing the ABC’s of sleep is the safest measure we can take to ensure safe and healthy sleep for babies and infants.”

    Parents having difficulty getting their baby to sleep should contact their pediatrician or the Fussy Baby Network at 1-888-431-BABY (2229) for professional guidance.

    Parents can also visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Crib Safety Information Center for sleep safety tips and a list of recalled products.

  • Hunter measure adds protections against discrimination based on hair style and texture in schools, workplace

    hunter 031020SPRINGFIELD – School administrators and employers would no longer be able to enact policies banning dreadlocks, braids and other hairstyles, or punish those who wear them, under legislation introduced by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

    “Hair styles are a core part of African-American history and culture,” Hunter said. “Far too often, black women, men, and children are forced to suppress their cultural identity in order to more closely align with someone else’s culture. This legislation would end that.”

     

  • Senate passes Hunter measure making domestic battery convictions a disqualifier for school bus drivers

    school buses 030420The measure also allows individuals convicted of providing liquor to minors over 20 years ago to become school bus drivers

    SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved legislation on Wednesday that makes various changes to the Illinois Secretary of State’s Driver Services Department, including a provision that would prohibit those convicted of aggravated domestic battery from obtaining a school bus driving permit. Senate Bill 2752 is sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

    “This is a matter a child safety. Serious violent crime convictions should be a non-starter for anyone responsible for the well-being of children,” Hunter said. “Parents deserve the peace of mind of knowing their children are in safe hands coming to and from school.”

    Current law prohibits a person convicted of the lesser offense of domestic battery from obtaining a permit, but an individual convicted of the more serious offense of aggregated domestic battery can still obtain a school bus driving permit.

    SB 2752 also includes changes that would make it easier for individuals with certain non-violent convictions to find jobs as school bus drivers. The legislation would allow a person convicted of providing liquor to a minor more than 20 years ago to obtain a school bus driving permit. Currently, those convicted of providing liquor to a minor are banned for life from obtaining a school bus driving permit.

    “Punishments should always line up with the severity of the offense,” Hunter said. “Imagine a 21-year old provided liquor to underage peers. If they’ve dealt with the consequences of that conviction and gotten their act together since then, we shouldn’t be punishing that person 20 years later by barring them from certain job opportunities.”

    Additionally, SB 2752 would allow the Secretary of State to issue a state ID card to a person in the custody of the Department of Human Services any time prior to their release.

  • Hunter measure takes multipronged approach to fight sickle cell disease

    hunter 030320SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) advanced legislation out of the Senate Public Health committee Tuesday that would take a multipronged approach to fighting sickle cell disease that includes new funding and programs for educational materials, research, and treatment of the condition affecting roughly 3500 people in Illinois.

    “The goal here is to curb the deep social impact and mortality rate of sickle cell disease,” Hunter said. “We know it tends to affect underserved communities, who consistently lag behind when it comes to access to comprehensive care and preventative treatment. This is a meaningful step toward closing that gap for future generations of African-American children.”

  • Manar advances measure to cover cancer clinical trials for Medicaid beneficiaries

    Sen. Andy ManarSPRINGFIELD – Illinois Medicaid recipients considering clinical trials for cancer treatment would no longer face possible rejection of coverage for care under legislation advanced out of the Senate Human Services Committee by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) on Wednesday.

    “Access to the latest, most advanced cancer treatments can mean the difference between life and death for patients,” Manar said. “I take issue with the fact that some people are granted that access and others aren’t, simply depending on which insurance plan they have. This legislation solves that.”

    An initiative of the American Cancer Society, Senate Bill 2499 requires Medicaid to cover routine care costs incurred for an approved clinical trial involving the prevention, detection, or treatment of cancer or any other life-threatening disease, as long as Medicaid would normally cover those same routine care costs for a non-clinical procedure.

  • Hunter moves to abolish red-light cameras

    hunter 020420CHICAGO – Illinois motorists would no longer suffer hefty fines by municipalities through the use of red-light cameras under legislation proposed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago).

    Senate Bill 2902 prohibits any unit of government from using automated traffic law enforcement systems at intersections for the purpose of recording a driver's failure to stop and yield at a red light.

    “It’s clear that the red-light camera program has been sustained and expanded by corruption,” Hunter said. “Traffic laws should be driven by safety, not bribery, shakedowns or the need to boost revenue. An industry that benefited from foul-play shouldn’t be able to continue to siphon money from the pockets of motorists.”

    Red-light cameras have been a source of frustration for Illinois motorists since they were first legalized in 2006.

    According to reports in the press, red light cameras have generated over $1 billion in revenue for local governments in Illinois over the past decade. Reports indicate that red-light camera revenue increased by roughly 111% between 2008 and 2018, from $53.5 million to $113.2 million.

    SB 2902 limits the ability of units of government to use automated traffic enforcement systems except for the following:

    • school safety zone violations
    • failure to yield for a stopped school bus
    • railroad crossing violations.
  • Hunter calls for more investments in affordable housing to create stronger communities

    Sen. Mattie HunterSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) joined community leaders and affordable housing advocates from across Illinois at the State Capitol today in calling for more investments in affordable housing in the capital budget.

    “Right now, we have an opportunity–one that has not come around in more than a decade–to make a sizable impact on the affordable housing needs of our communities,” said Hunter, the Chairman of the Senate’s Special Committee on Housing. “There are neighborhoods in my district that are still struggling to recover from the economic crisis and are starved for investment, and I know that many communities across the state from urban, suburban and rural communities face similar challenges.”

  • Hunter leads effort to increase wages for home health care workers

    hunter 051419SPRINGFIELD – Speaking at an SEIU Healthcare Home Care Lobby Day rally, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) once again stressed the importance of giving a raise to care workers who provide in-home services for seniors in Illinois.

    “Right now, home care agencies are struggling to recruit and retain caregivers in every corner of the state,” Hunter said. “Why? Because the average Illinois home care worker’s hourly wage is only $11.08.”

  • Martinez leads effort to support, grow worker cooperatives

    Sens. Peters, Hunter and MartinezSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke Thursday on the need for clarity in state law regarding worker cooperatives, a model in which businesses are owned and controlled cooperatively by workers.

    “Worker cooperatives are a proven model that provide living wage jobs, especially for workers in communities of color, who often work in the low-wage economy where wage theft and discrimination are extremely common,” Martinez said.

    Martinez is sponsoring House Bill 3663, which would provide clarity of what a worker cooperative is and the benefits and rights of those that operate under its construct. It also sets guidelines for organizing and managing a worker cooperative.

  • Morrison passes Tobacco 21, measure heads to the governor

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  • Hunter: In-home care workers deserve a raise

    hunter 030619SPRINGFIELD –Continuing her fight to increase wages for home care aides who provide in-home services for nearly 1,000,000 seniors, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) joined home care workers, legislators and advocates today to sound the alarm about Illinois senior home care.

    For eight years, funding for programs under the Illinois Department on Aging’s Community Care Program have gone unchanged, which leaves care providers unable to raise workers’ wages and has left Illinois unprepared to deal with workforce shortages.

  • Hunter: ‘Gun dealer licensing will save lives, keep communities safe’

    hunter 112818CHICAGO–State Senator Mattie Hunter issued the following statement this morning in response to Gov. Pritzker signing the Combating Illegal Gun Trafficking Act.

    Hunter (D-Chicago 3rd) co-sponsored Senate Bill 337, which would require gun dealers to adopt responsible practices and would hold corrupt dealers accountable. The new law is intended to curb a major source of illegally trafficked firearms from entering Illinois communities:

    “Senseless gun violence is devastating neighborhoods in Chicago and throughout the state each and every day, and I applaud the governor for taking immediate action to fight gun violence and protect our children and our families.

    “While no single reform will end Illinois gun violence by itself, this new law is a start. It will help crack down on the handful of gun dealers who are abusing the process and will encourage businesses to adopt reasonable, sensible and good practices that will save lives, improve public safety and keep our communities safe.”

  • Hunter’s new law expands influenza research and prevention

    hunter 041918CHICAGO – Starting Jan. 1, 2019, students and parents will have more access to research and prevention materials regarding influenza.

    State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) championed the measure after a rapid increase in the number of people going to see their doctors or health care providers with flu-related symptoms last year.

    "The flu is a serious and contagious disease that can lead to severe consequences,” Hunter said. “One of the best ways to prevent influenza is to stay informed.”

    Senate Bill 2654 will require the Illinois Department of Public Health to develop informational materials about influenza and flu vaccines for school districts. Additionally, school boards will be required to provide that information to parents when notifying them of other health-related matters.

    “Providing parents with information can help reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and missed school due to flu,” Hunter said. “I am glad that we now have additional steps in place to protect children and families by providing them the information they need to live healthy lives.”

  • Hunter: NTA historic ruling a ‘powerful victory’

    hunter 112818CHICAGO – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) has issued the following statement on the Cook County Court’s decision this week to grant an injunction preventing Chicago Public Schools from transitioning National Teachers Academy Elementary School (NTA) into a neighborhood high school:

    “This is a powerful victory for students, parents, faculty, administration and everyone in the South Loop community who fought to keep NTA open. I am inspired today by the unwavering commitment that many parents displayed to protect their children’s education.

    “This historic ruling is the result of a lot of hard work. An entire community came together to fight for NTA, and I especially commend the efforts of Niketa Brar, Elisabeth Greer, Candace Moore and all those from Local School Council and the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights who advocated for what they believed in.

    “We must continue to stem the tide of disruptive school closures. We need to end the displacement that has plagued CPS throughout its recent history. I will continue to fight for equal education and for creating diverse, high-quality K-12 and high school options throughout Chicago.” 

  • Hunter law expands urban agriculture in Illinois, overrides veto of measure to support urban farmers

    hunter 112818SPRINGFIELD – A new law passed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) will help provide opportunities for small farmers and community organizers to create urban agriculture zones where communities can grow food for themselves and combat food deserts.

    The Senate voted to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 3418 today, which allows counties or municipalities to create urban agriculture zones composed of organizations or individuals who grow produce or other agricultural products, raise or process livestock or poultry or whose stock is a minimum of 75 percent locally grown.

  • 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.

  • Black Caucus members on Van Dyke verdict: We still have a lot of work ahead

    Illinois Black Caucus

  • Hunter holds hearing in Chicago on solutions to affordable housing crisis

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