Hunter

  • Hunter measure guarding against cybersecurity breaches signed into law

    keyboardSPRINGFIELD – In an effort to protect governmental information from phishing schemes and coordinated cyber-attacks legislation backed by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) was signed into law that will require state employees to take cyber-security training on an annual basis.

    “Hacking experts are becoming more creative by identifying new ways to obstruct governmental information systems,” said Hunter. “Training our employees in cybersecurity is critical in reducing the risks of such sophisticated attacks.”

    The initiative was modeled after a Florida law which was enacted to ensure that the state’s data and staff resources are maintained reliably and safely and are recoverable in the event of a disaster.

    “This legislation will not only improve the accessibility of electronic information and information technology but will increase education, employment and access to governmental information and services,” said Hunter.

    The security training attached to House Bill 2371 will include:
    • Detecting phishing scams
    • Preventing spyware infections
    • Preventing identity thefts
    • Preventing and responding to data breaches

    The legislation becomes effective Jan. 1, 2018.

  • Hunter: This legislation will keep young mothers in school

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    SPRINGFIELD – Many mothers often worry about finding a safe place to nurse or breastfeed. Thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago), public and charter schools will now be authorized to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations to students.
     
    “Breast milk provides the ideal nutrition for infants, “said Hunter. “It’s important that we provide our youth, especially, with a private, clean and safe place to produce milk for their young. This bill will also keep many of our young mothers in school who often times miss out because of the restrictions of the campus environment.”

    House Bill 2369 requires public and charter schools to provide reasonable breastfeeding accommodations to pupils. Furthermore, a school campus shall provide reasonable accommodations for a lactating student to provide breast milk, breastfeed an infant child or address other needs related to breastfeeding.

    Reasonable accommodations can be defined as:
    • Access to a private and secure room other than a restroom to express breast milk or breastfeed an infant child;
    • Access a power source for a breast pump or any other equipment used to express breast milk; and
    • Access to a place to store expressed breast milk safely.

    The legislation was signed into law and takes effect Jan. 1, 2018.

  • Hunter shares good news from DCFS on scholarships (VIDEO)

    hunter062917SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) expressed her congratulations to all the recent high school graduates who are able to attend college thanks to scholarships from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

    “This is a great example of the state doing something positive for young men and women’s lives,” said Hunter. “They’ve been through so much and still managed to excel through the many obstacles they’ve faced. I appreciate the state’s efforts in encouraging young people to take the next step.”

  • Hunter: We cannot continue to fail our young people

    hunter062917SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to address the growing number of out-of-school and jobless youth in Illinois, legislation sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) passed both legislative chambers, which will create a statewide task force to develop programs and opportunities for this rapidly increasing population.

    “We cannot continue to fail our young people,” said Hunter. “The first step to fixing this problem is listening to the young people who will become our next leaders. When I talk to youth in my district their number one request is to bring jobs to the community.

  • Senators question CMS Director on concerns with rushed contract

    cms hearing 062817SPRINGFIELD- Chair of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) held a hearing today to address concerns over a nearly $100 million taxpayer-funded contract to a private company charged with creating online efficiency in state employee health insurance processing.

    “In my opinion, this process was rushed. If I would have received one bidder for something of this magnitude I would have wanted to find more or expand the recruitment,” Lightford said.

  • Senate Democrats Balanced Budget vs. Rauner's Rhetoric (VIDEO)

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  • Hunter: This is about dignity and personal hygiene

    hunter 052517SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to protect women’s healthcare, economic security and justice, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) passed legislation that would make all feminine hygiene products free at school for students grades 6-12.

    “One of the reasons girls miss many days of school is because they do not have access to these products,” said Hunter. “Young women do not plan on having a menstrual cycle, it’s something that just happens. It’s an absolute necessity to supply our younger women with the resources they need.”

    House Bill 3215 is an initiative of “Illinois Moving Women Forward” a group that aims to remove gender inequalities in order to help women achieve their full potential. Of their three principles, the group’s main focus is to protect and improve the access to affordable healthcare for women.

    “This is not only about personal hygiene but about dignity as well,” Hunter said. “Our younger women deserve to be taken care of and we as a state can do so at a small expense.”

    The legislation passed both chambers and awaits the governor’s signature to become law.

  • Hunter: Drug, alcohol testing should follow all officer-involved shootings

    Sen. Mattie Hunter

    SPRINGFIELD – In an effort to increase accountability among law enforcement officers, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) passed legislation that requires sobriety testing following all officer-involved shootings.

    The initiative aims to improve credibility in police department investigations. It would require officers to submit drug and alcohol test results no later than the end of his or her shift.

    Police-involved shootings have gained much attention over the years as the number of victims has increased drastically. In 2014 alone, more than 1,000 people were killed by police officers.

    “Whether these attacks have been targeted or unfortunate accidents, this policy will hold law enforcement accountable for the frequent tragedies of deadly force,” Hunter said.

    “Officers must be held to the same standard as other professionals who are responsible for the lives of human beings. This should be a standard operating procedure for every police department.”

    The legislation passed the Senate 53-0 and is now in the House for further consideration.

  • Expanding the Organ Donor Registry passes Senate

    hunter org donSPRINGFIELD – With nearly 5,000 people on the Illinois organ donor waiting list, families may soon see a second chance at life for their loved ones thanks to legislation sponsored by State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

    “Choosing to give life to another is a wonderful gift,” Hunter said. “Opening the donor registry will broaden the number of overall donations and save countless lives. For donors, their decision to register can turn a troubling time into a source of comfort for families and individuals in need.”

    Under current law, an individual must be at least 18 to join the registry. While this legislation leaves the decision up to teenagers, Senator Hunter and Secretary of State Jesse White encourage youth to discuss their decision with their parents.

    This month, Senator Hunter celebrated National Donate Life Month. All around the nation, advocates and organizers are encouraging individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. The campaign has not only been designed to increase the donor registry list, but to also celebrate those that have helped save lives through the gift of donation

    By joining the First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, 16- and 17-year-olds can give consent to donate their organs and tissue at the time of their death. However, the procurement organizations, Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Network and Mid-America Transplant, are required to contact a parent or guardian to ensure approval of the donation. Ultimately, the parent or guardian will have the opportunity to overturn the child’s decision.

    Senate Bill 868 passed 56-0 and moves to the Illinois House of Representatives for further debate.

  • Senators Join Women's March on Springfield (VIDEO)

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  • April is Donate Life Month

    Donate Life MonthApril is National Donate Life Month. All around the nation, advocates and organizers are encouraging individuals to register as organ, eye and tissue donors. The campaign has not only been designed to increase the donor registry list, but to also celebrate those that have helped save lives through the gift of donation.

    This 100th General Assembly, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) and Secretary of State Jesse White brought forth new legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

  • Hunter: Department of Public Health must refocus priorities

    State Senator Mattie Hunter SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) criticized the Illinois Department of Public Health on Wednesday for proposing cuts to programs and services that would disproportionately affect minority communities.

    The Senate Appropriations I Committee heard testimony Wednesday morning from Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, on possible budget cuts to reduce the $5 billion gap in Gov. Rauner’s budget.

  • Hunter: It’s time to prioritize social service agencies (AUDIO)

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  • Senator Hunter seeks to accelerate human service payments in ongoing budget impasse

    hunter 032917SPRINGFIELD – To help human service agencies that continue to suffer in the ongoing budget impasse, State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) put forth a plan that would handle payments to all human services the same, rather than prioritizing certain contracts over others.

    “We should treat the people that care for our most vulnerable citizens fairly,” Hunter said. “Programs like Redeploy Illinois, homeless youth services and others have been bearing the financial burden of the state of Illinois for the almost two years we’ve gone without a budget. This legislation will not only prioritize the payments human service providers need but also compensate organizations for delayed payments.”

  • Sen. Hunter supports the bipartisan budget deal

    hunter 022817SPRINGFIELD – Today, State Senator Mattie Hunter and the Illinois Senate voted on pieces of the bipartisan grand bargain, a package of deals to end the budget stalemate.

    Many public universities, senior and mental health services, addiction centers, and other programs have gone without state funding since Jan. 1, when the emergency budget deal expired.

    “It’s time to better serve our students and residents by replenishing the services that have been taken away due to the financial drought,” Sen. Hunter said. “Today in the Senate, both parties put aside partisan politics and worked to pass reforms that will help the residents and businesses that have been suffering.”

    The grand bargain allocates funding to higher education, human services and also introduces various sources that aim to bring revenue to the state. 

    The budget deal is designed to ensure funding through the rest of the 2017 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

  • Hunter, White work to expand organ donor registry

    hunter 021517Secretary of State Jesse White joined State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) in the Senate Public Health Committee today to announce new legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First-Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

    “Choosing to give life to another is a wonderful gift,” Hunter said. “Opening the donor registry will broaden the number of overall donations and save countless lives.”

  • Few specifics, missed opportunities in governor's budget speech (VIDEO)

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  • Black History Month 2017 - The Crisis in Black Education (VIDEO)

    Black History Month 2017 - The Crisis in Black EducationSenators comment on this year's Black History Month theme, “The Crisis in Black Education.”

    Over the years the crisis in black education has grown significantly. In urban neighborhoods, public schooling systems lack resources and have overcrowded classrooms, which result to students of color reaping the disproportionate shortfalls of the racial achievement gap.

    In the past, whether by laws, policies, or practices, racially separated schools remained the norm in America. Because of that, black students today are underperforming and are not advancing like their white counterparts.

    This year’s national theme, The Crisis in Black Education, focuses on the evolution of black education and its meaning as it empowers students to grow, achieve and prosper.

  • Sen. Hunter moves “Sugarless Wednesday” in the state of Illinois

    hunter 020817SPRINGFIELD – Today State Senator Mattie Hunter took a pledge to go sugarless each Wednesday in the month of February. “Sugarless Wednesday”, an initiative led by the American Heart Association and the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity, aims to raise awareness of the harmful effects of added sugar in our daily diets.

    “Sugarless Wednesday” began Jan. 4 with a goal of people eliminating soda and cutting back on sweets and sugary snacks each Wednesday of the month. Minority communities are disproportionately experiencing higher rates of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer which are often linked to excessive amounts of sugar consumption.

    “By taking the proactive approach, I plan to protect children and families from the epidemic of diabetes, heart disease and obesity plaguing the country and this state,” said Hunter. “Sugary drinks and snacks contribute to more than 25,000 American deaths per year. We can reduce those deaths by starting programs like this one that promote clean and healthy eating.”

    Last year, Senator Hunter was the lead sponsor of The Healthy Eating Active Living Act in the Illinois General Assembly. The HEAL Act imposed a penny-per-ounce tax on sugary drinks. The money generated would fund health care programs and invest in communities to educate children and families about eating healthier.

    Senate Resolution 8 was adopted declaring each Wednesday in February, “Sugarless Wednesday” in Illinois.

  • Clayborne, Hunter push to expand Organ/Tissue Donor registry

    clayborne 020317SPRINGFIELD – Senators James F. Clayborne (D-Belleville) and Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) joined Secretary of State Jesse White today in announcing new legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

    “I am happy to be advocating for this legislation,” said Clayborne who is a kidney recipient.