Majority Report

  • The Majority Report 06/22/20 - A need for utility, housing instability and small business assistance

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    Lightford and other Black leaders host Juneteenth march for justice and police accountability

    Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordBROADVIEW — Communities in the West Suburbs came together on Juneteenth to celebrate both the end of slavery and to continue the fight for justice, equality and police accountability.

    Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) was joined by West Suburban Mayors Katrina Thompson, Andre Harvey, Edwenna Perkins, Rory Hoskins and other elected officials on Friday for a Juneteenth Police Accountability Protest.

    Lightford not only wanted to shine a light on Juneteenth, Freedom Day for slaves in America, but she also calls for police accountability after seeing Chicago police officers sleeping on the job in Congressman Bobby Rush’s office on the South Side of Chicago.

    Read more.

     


    Hastings: Utility assistance needed for COVID-19 recovery

    Electric MeterFRANKFORT — The Illinois Commerce Commission announced the decision to approve several consumer protection measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many of which State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Frankfort) called for as leader of the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities working group this past legislative session.

    “Throughout March and April, I met with my colleagues on the Senate’s Energy and Public Utilities working group and numerous stakeholders. Our charge was very simple: we had to arrive at a solution to protect consumers,” Hastings said. “I’m thankful that Chairman Zalewski and the ICC listened to our recommendations, allowing us to arrive at a helpful solution.”

    Read more.

     


    Aquino: Help is on the way for people and businesses affected by COVID-19, civil unrest

    Sen. Omar AquinoCHICAGO — Funds from a comprehensive relief package supported and negotiated by State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) aimed to support working families, small businesses and communities heavily impacted by COVID-19 and civil unrest will become available within the next month.

    Much of the relief comes from the new Business Interruption Grant program, which will provide financial assistance to small businesses affected by the pandemic. Additionally, the Illinois Housing Development Authority will launch a $5,000 grant program to provide emergency rental assistance to 30,000 renters impacted by the pandemic, as well as grants to assist homeowners with mortgage payments.

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Vote by mail program extended, thanks to Senator Morrison

    Vote-by-mailDEERFIELD — Illinoisans across the state will receive an application in their mailbox to vote from the comfort and safety of their home, thanks to a measure spearheaded by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest).

    “If you’re eligible to vote, you should be able to do so safely and securely. No one should have to worry about jeopardizing their health to practice their civic duty,” Morrison said. “It is vital that no eligible voter — regardless of age or health — end up disenfranchised by the current health crisis.”

    Read more.

     

     


     

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Special Delivery Aids Local Medical Professional | Vermilion County First

    Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Pritzker signs bill to extend teacher licenses | State Journal-Register

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe highlights new grant program aimed to support child care providers | The Telegraph

     


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  • The Majority Report 06/15/20 - Days of Action hosted by Black Caucus, a call for peace, and how the state budget preserves vital services

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    Joint Caucus of Black elected officials host Days of Action

    Joint Caucus of Black Elected OfficialsCHICAGO — The Joint Caucus of Black Elected Officials hosted a series of days of action to spark change in the Chicagoland area. There were a total of four events, one each on the South Side, West Side, South Suburbs and West Suburbs.

    Black leaders, governor, lieutenant governor and the Senate president gathered for the West Side Day of Action at Cicero and Monroe on Thursday, June 4.

    Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) said the Black community has never been treated fairly, and that’s about to change.

    Read more.

     


    Women's Caucus calls for justice and peace as protests continue across Illinois

    Sen. Jacqueline Y. CollinsCHICAGO — The women of the Illinois Senate came together to issue a united call for justice and peace. Lawmakers from both parties called on the state to address the issues that have led to the protests and to join together in healing.

    “We cannot condone violence in any form,” said State Senator Jacqueline Collins, Deputy Majority Caucus Chair (D-Chicago). “That means that we must have justice for Americans who have been brutalized by the violence of law enforcement. Voices across Illinois join those across the nation in loudly proclaiming that Black lives matter, and that peace cannot come about without justice.”

    Read more.

     

     


    State budget provides COVID-19 relief

    Illinois CapitolSPRINGFIELD — Following weeks of negotiations carried out under pandemic conditions, the governor signed a budget aimed at fighting COVID-19 and preserving state services in the face of unprecedented revenue shortfalls.

    “The budget was extremely difficult to craft in these unprecedented times, but I believe it will provide desperately needed relief to communities as we continue on a path toward recovery,” said State Senator Elgie Sims (D-Chicago), one of the Senate’s budget negotiators.

    Read more.

     

     


     

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Melinda Bush, Grayslake: Amid COVID-19 fears, law allows rape kits at places other than emergency rooms | Journal Gazette Times-Courier

    Senator Dave Koehler, Peoria: Peoria Public Schools land grant for 220 summer jobs for young people | JournalStar

    Senator Patricia Van Pelt, Chicago: Seniors, already at risk from COVID-19, face problems getting groceries and prescriptions | Chicago Tribune

    Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: $270 million child care grant program now available | WIFR

     


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  • The Majority Report 06/01/20 - Bringing revenue and resources to Illinois communities

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    Cunningham succeeds in long effort to make Chicago casino fund police and fire pensions

    Sen. Bill CunninghamCHICAGO — Shortly after taking his seat in the Illinois Senate in 2013, State Senator Bill Cunningham introduced legislation requiring the city of Chicago to dedicate future revenue from a proposed casino to the city’s financially strapped police and fire pension funds. At the time, the thought of Chicago ever getting legislative approval to open a casino seemed like a distant and remote possibility.

    That possibility became a reality when Cunningham, serving as chief sponsor, helped push Senate Bill 516 through the General Assembly. The legislation made a number of changes to the state’s gaming laws and will enable Chicago to open its long-sought casino. When fully operational, the casino is expected to funnel more than $200 million dollars a year to Chicago’s police and fire pension funds.

    Read more.

     

     


    High school students inspire legislation to waive library card fees for students in unincorporated areas

    Sen. Laura MurphyDES PLAINES — When Daniel Salgado-Alvarez tried to visit his local library to find new reading material during summer break, he was told he’d have to pay hundreds of dollars in fees to check out a book. Stories like Daniel’s motivated State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) to sponsor the Cards 4 Kids Act, which allows low-income students in unincorporated areas to access the resources at their local library without paying nonresident fees.

    “During summer break, I couldn’t go to my school’s library, and I couldn’t go to the public one either, because I couldn’t check anything out,” said Daniel. “I wanted to fix that.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Feigenholtz delivers on to-go cocktail sales for Illinois bars and restaurants

    Sen. Sara FeigenholtzSPRINGFIELD — A measure that will allow cocktails to go sponsored by State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) which will bring much needed relief to bars and restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic passed both chambers during the legislative session. The legislation would allow the sale of cocktails and mixed drinks for delivery and curbside pickup, giving bars and restaurants one of many permissions they need to survive closures dating back to March.

    “The 6th Senate District is a top destination known for its vibrant independent restaurants, bars and entertainment,” Feigenholtz said. “The closure of these businesses during the pandemic has been devastating. We are working daily to provide them with relief and develop innovative ways to survive this pandemic.”

    Read more.

     


     

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Shorewood: Illinois Receiving Millions To Help Small Businesses | WJOL

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe votes to expand protections for Fairmount Park Racetrack employees | Advantage News

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: State Budget Approves Lawmakers’ Cost-of-Living Raise, But Sets Aside $0 | WTTW

     


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  • The Majority Report 05/26/20 - Senate passes budget, COVID-19 relief measures, among other items

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    Senate approves budget prioritizing COVID-19 relief

    Sen. President Don HarmonSPRINGFIELD — Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and focusing on preserving vital services, the Illinois Senate passed a budget that prioritizes public health and safety.

    In order to protect people’s health, the budget provides additional funding to both the state’s health department and local health departments. It also expands programs that help seniors and people with disabilities remain in their homes, keeping them out of long-term care facilities that have been hit disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

    Read more.

     

     


    Murphy leads local government COVID-19 recovery plan

    Sen. Laura MurphySPRINGFIELD — To help guide local governments through the COVID-19 recovery process, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) sponsored a package of legislation to give municipalities the means to address pandemic-related challenges.

    “Especially now, local governments are keeping our communities afloat by managing our regional health departments and providing financial, housing and meal assistance to struggling Illinoisans,” said Murphy. “I hope this legislation can help them continue to provide much-needed services as we look to recover from this pandemic.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Morrison: Vote by mail is essential for voter safety

    Sen. Julie A. MorrisonSPRINGFIELD — Thanks to efforts from State Senator Julie Morrison, Illinoisans will have a more accessible way to cast their ballots from the safety of their homes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, standing in line to vote isn’t safe for many, specifically older populations and those at higher health risks.

    “COVID-19 has made congregating in small and enclosed spaces more dangerous,” Morrison said. “Long lines to get to the ballot box would require people to choose between their health and their right to vote.”

    Read more.

     

     


    Holmes' labor agreement on workplace safety and workers’ compensation passes Senate

    Sen. Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD — To protect essential workers and incentivize employers to provide the best protective measures possible in the workplace during the pandemic, State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) led the effort to pass a comprehensive labor and workers’ compensation plan out of the Illinois Senate Thursday.

    “This is an agreement between business and labor that ensures better protections for employees and clear, consistent guidelines to ensure employers know how to operate safely,” Holmes said. “I’m grateful for the spirit of cooperation that allowed us to work quickly and decisively to pass this plan.”

    Read more.

     


    Koehler works to provide financial relief for property owners

    Sen. Dave KoehlerSPRINGFIELD — To provide much needed flexibility and relief as businesses and counties begin to reopen, State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) sponsored legislation that would give property owners the means to continue meeting the challenges presented by COVID-19.

    "I led the Senate’s economic revitalization working group with one goal in mind. We had to provide people with real, tangible solutions to the enormous challenges brought on by the pandemic,” Koehler said. “Implementing property tax relief measures and extending payment deadlines is where we have to start as we begin to work toward the recovery of our local economies.”

    Read more.

     

     


     

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe applauds suspension of proposed rule to penalize businesses | Advantage News

    Senator Sara Feigenholtz, Chicago: Both chambers pass cocktails-to-go measure | Herald & Review

    Senator Emil Jones III, Chicago: Illinois Senate OKs graduated tax language for ballot | Journal Gazette & Times-Courier

     


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  • The Majority Report 05/18/20 - Senate returns for special session next week

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    Harmon calls for cooperation heading into COVID-19 special Senate session

    Sen. President Don HarmonSPRINGFIELD — Illinois Senate President Don Harmon issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s return to session later this week.

    “Time and again the Illinois Senate has shown its members can work together to solve problems and produce results for the people of this great state. That cooperative spirit of bipartisan achievement is needed now more than ever. This global pandemic has decimated our state and local economies regardless of political affiliation. From far flung living rooms, kitchen tables and home offices, Senators have been working together while apart to figure out what we can and need to do now."

    Read more.

     


    Lightford, Castro talk session, reopening on Chicago Tonight

    Lightford, Castro talk session, reopening on Chicago TonightCHICAGO — Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) and Sen. Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) appeared via video teleconference on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight for an interview with Carol Marin last week.

    Lightford and Castro answered questions regarding Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan to reopen Illinois and the upcoming return to Springfield to hold session on May 20, 21 and 22. They spoke of legislative priorities for the busy yet pandemic-shortened session period, how to balance reopening the economy with public safety, the safety concerns surrounding legislators convening and what needs to be done to address the needs of struggling families in Illinois.

    You can watch the full interview here.

     


    Hastings, Senate Working Group push for additional energy consumer protections during the coronavirus pandemic

    Sen. Michael E. HastingsCHICAGO — As the world adapts to unprecedented change from coronavirus, a bipartisan group of legislators is urging state regulators to strengthen consumer protections to keep the lights on for residents and businesses turning to recovery in Illinois.

    The Illinois Senate Energy Working Group, led by Chairman Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park), last week sent a letter to the Illinois Commerce Commission urging the commission to adopt several reforms that would protect small and large energy consumers once Illinois emerges from the coronavirus shutdown.

    Read more.

     

     


    Bennett encourages self-advocates at virtual Going Home Rally

    Nursing home PPECHAMPAIGN — State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined hundreds of advocates from across Illinois virtually last Thursday to speak on the plight of people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “This year’s advocacy day looked a little different than in years past, but it’s critical that advocates continue to raise their voices about issues that impact people with disabilities,” said Bennett. “The coronavirus pandemic has been overwhelming for everyone, but especially for individuals with disabilities whose routines have been disrupted abruptly.”

    Read more.

     

     


     

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Christopher Belt, Centreville: Illinois dentists able to resume routine care as of this week | Illinois Business Journal

    Senator Patricia Van Pelt, Chicago: Illinois State Senator To Call For Donations For Seniors | CBS 2 Chicago

    Senator Ram Villivalam, Chicago: Chicago Refugee Group Making Masks For Those In Need — Here’s How You Can Help | Block Club Chicago

     


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  • The Majority Report 05/11/20 - New drive thru-testing sites, Senator distributes masks and a call for PPE transparency

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    New drive-thru COVID-19 testing site available in Waukegan

    TestingWAUKEGAN — A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing facility in Waukegan is now open to area residents, State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) announced.

    “It remains critical that we continue to test as many individuals as possible to help us better understand the presence of this virus in Lake County and help limit its spread,” Link said. “If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, I highly encourage you to stop by this new site and get tested.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Munoz distributes masks to local organizations

    Assistant Majority Leader Tony MunozCHICAGO — To help prepare local residents for the new face covering requirement, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) partnered with Joann Fabrics in donating 5,000 masks to local businesses and organizations on Friday.

    “My volunteers and I are more than grateful to be able to provide masks to local residents,” Munoz said. “I thank Joann Fabrics for their partnership and work during these trying times.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Several Senate Democrats urge IDPH to release nursing home PPE distribution numbers

    Nursing home PPECHICAGO — Before reaching an agreement with their managers, nearly 70 nursing homes across the state planned to go on strike because of unsafe working conditions. In response to the initial strike proposal, several Illinois Senate Democrats wrote a letter to the Illinois Department of Public Health and many local health departments requesting to know the amount of Personal Protective Equipment that has been distributed to those nursing homes and the process by which it was distributed.

    The request comes from members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus who have at least one nursing home in the district they represent where management received strike notices last week. Employees of 64 nursing homes across the state sent strike notices to management, saying facilities do not have enough PPE, safety protocols, and adequate hazard pay.

    Read more.

     


    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Helping small businesses and their workers during COVID-19 | myRadioLink

    Senator Cristina Castro, Elgin: Latinos represent highest number of COVID-19 confirmed cases | Daily Herald

    Senator Robert Peters, Chicago: Senate Democrat proposes six month rent, mortgage holiday to ease pain of pandemic | WSIL TV

     


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  • The Majority Report 05/04/20 - Thanks to all serving during this difficult time

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    Thanks to all serving during this difficult time

    Thank you

    From Illinois Senate President Don Harmon and members of our Democratic Caucus, this is a thank you to all who are serving our communities through this very difficult time. From hospitals to grocery stores, post offices to nursing homes, and restaurants to truck drivers, we have so much to be grateful for as Illinoisans.

    And to everyone staying at home with families and friends, buying locally and connecting by phone and internet, please accept our humble thanks.

     

     

     


    Downstate Senate Democrats push to double funding for local health departments

    TestingSPRINGFIELD — To help local health departments sustain their COVID-19 response efforts in addition to their basic functions, State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and other Downstate Senate Democrats are pushing to double state funding to support local health departments for the coming year.

    Manar’s plan would increase funding for Local Health Protection Grants to $36 million in the state’s next budget, which Manar says is key to opening up the economy.

    Read more.

     

     


    Collins: Gambling has rapidly expanded into poor communities with no study of impact

    Sen. Jacqueline Y. CollinsCHICAGO — State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) spoke to WTTW's Carol Marin this week about the vast and rapid expansion of video gaming in Illinois, even as the state has repeatedly refused to study the effect it's having on poor communities and those who struggle with addiction, even as it is now home to more gambling positions than the state of Nevada.

    "I see a lot of red," Collins said, looking at a map of the 16th Illinois Senate District with dozens of markers indicating gambling sites. "I see a lot of poor people losing their livelihoods on false promises."

    Read more.

     


    Glowiak-Hilton: Alzheimer's Association is here to help

    Alzheimer'sWESTERN SPRINGS — To support residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia and their families, State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) highlighted resources available from the Alzheimer’s Association.

    “No one should face Alzheimer’s alone,” Glowiak Hilton said. “The Alzheimer’s Association is here to help families and caregivers during these unprecedented times.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Murphy hosts virtual meeting to help small businesses navigate assistance

    Sen. Laura MurphySCHAUMBURG — To help local business owners navigate state and federal financial assistance programs during the COVID-19 crisis, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-8th) co-hosted a virtual meeting with the Schaumburg Business Association on Monday, April 27.

    The conversation focused on economic issues facing the small business community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and featured presentations from financial experts, followed by a Q&A.

    Read more.

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Christopher Belt, Centreville: Here's how to file for unemployment if you're self-employed | Illinois Business Journal

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe notes virus help for small businesses | The Telegraph

    Senator Celina Villanueva, Chicago: New Aurora COVID-19 testing site expects to see hundreds on 2nd day | ABC7

     


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  • The Majority Report 04/27/20 - Parks, some businesses reopen in May

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    Unemployment and the CARES Act: What you need to know

    Umemployment

    SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Dept. of Employment Security has released updates on unemployment insurance programs that have been put in place in response to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Illinoisans’ jobs.

    Employees who have become unemployed through no fault of their own are eligible for unemployment insurance. A new program covers those workers who are considered part of the “gig economy” or other independent contractors who were not eligible before.

    There are three new federal programs under the CARES Act, the coronavirus stimulus package recently passed by Congress: The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    Read more.

     


    Lightford announces expansion of COVID-19 testing in black communities

    Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordCHICAGO — Senate Majority Leader and Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is backing Gov. JB Pritzker’s efforts to expand COVID-19 testing in African-American and other minority communities across Illinois.

    “Governor Pritzker’s leadership has been incredible throughout this devastating crisis,” Lightford said. “His announcement today shows his commitment to people from every part of our state, and the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will continue to work alongside him to support his efforts.”

    Read more.

     

     

     

     


    Bertino-Tarrant reacts to governor's school closure Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant

    PLAINFIELD — State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said Friday she supports Gov. JB Pritzker’s decision to close in-person classes for the rest of the school year as a way to keep children and families safe from COVID-19.

    “The decision made by our governor Friday afternoon to close schools for the rest of the academic year is best for the safety and health of our community and all of Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Thanks to the hard work and support from our teachers, students will continue education through e-learning and other at-home programs.”

    Read more.

     

     


    McGuire urges people to donate blood, register as organ donor Donate Life

    JOLIET — To help the many people who will need it during the pandemic, State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) urged residents to donate blood, bone marrow and organs during April, which is National Donate Life Month.

    “The pandemic is a cruel double whammy,” McGuire said. “Patients need blood now, and those who survive might need organs later in life due to the virus' damage to the body. People need donated blood and organs for lots of other medical conditions, too.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Christopher Belt, Centreville: New coronavirus testing site to open in East St. Louis | Belleville News-Democrat

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe asks residents to be aware of signs of abuse during Child Abuse Prevention Month | Advantage News

    Senator Patrick Joyce, Essex: Only trust information on COVID-19 from reliable sources | Daily Journal

     


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  • The Majority Report 04/20/20 - What you need to know about unemployment and the CARES Act

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    Unemployment and the CARES Act: What you need to know

    Umemployment

    SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Dept. of Employment Security has released updates on unemployment insurance programs that have been put in place in response to the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Illinoisans’ jobs.

    Employees who have become unemployed through no fault of their own are eligible for unemployment insurance. A new program covers those workers who are considered part of the “gig economy” or other independent contractors who were not eligible before.

    There are three new federal programs under the CARES Act, the coronavirus stimulus package recently passed by Congress: The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    Read more.

     


    Lightford announces expansion of COVID-19 testing in black communities

    Sen. Majority Leader Kimberly A. LightfordCHICAGO — Senate Majority Leader and Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Chair Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) is backing Gov. JB Pritzker’s efforts to expand COVID-19 testing in African-American and other minority communities across Illinois.

    “Governor Pritzker’s leadership has been incredible throughout this devastating crisis,” Lightford said. “His announcement today shows his commitment to people from every part of our state, and the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus will continue to work alongside him to support his efforts.”

    Read more.

     

     

     

     


    Bertino-Tarrant reacts to governor's school closure Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant

    PLAINFIELD — State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) said Friday she supports Gov. JB Pritzker’s decision to close in-person classes for the rest of the school year as a way to keep children and families safe from COVID-19.

    “The decision made by our governor Friday afternoon to close schools for the rest of the academic year is best for the safety and health of our community and all of Illinois,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Thanks to the hard work and support from our teachers, students will continue education through e-learning and other at-home programs.”

    Read more.

     

     


    McGuire urges people to donate blood, register as organ donor Donate Life

    JOLIET — To help the many people who will need it during the pandemic, State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) urged residents to donate blood, bone marrow and organs during April, which is National Donate Life Month.

    “The pandemic is a cruel double whammy,” McGuire said. “Patients need blood now, and those who survive might need organs later in life due to the virus' damage to the body. People need donated blood and organs for lots of other medical conditions, too.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Christopher Belt, Centreville: New coronavirus testing site to open in East St. Louis | Belleville News-Democrat

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe asks residents to be aware of signs of abuse during Child Abuse Prevention Month | Advantage News

    Senator Patrick Joyce, Essex: Only trust information on COVID-19 from reliable sources | Daily Journal

     


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  • The Majority Report 04/13/20 - How state and local organizations are providing assistance

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    Martwick reminds residents expiration dates for drivers licenses, vehicle registration extended

    DMV

    CHICAGO — State Senator Rob Martwick (D-Chicago) wants to remind residents that expiration dates for driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and document filings will be extended at least 30 days after Driver Services facilities reopen.

    “It’s important to take as many steps to slow the spread of COVID-19 as we can,” Martwick said. “The secretary of state’s office is taking great steps to protect the public and its employees.”

    Read more.

     

     

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    Senator Fine urges Illinoisans to be mindful of mental health during COVID-19

    Sen. Laura FineGLENVIEW — To help Illinoisans manage their mental health from home during the COVID-19 outbreak, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is sharing resources she hopes will offer support to those struggling.

    “We talk a lot about hand washing, social distancing and other measures to protect physical health during this pandemic, but what about mental health?” said Fine. “We’re all experiencing added stress during this time. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, I urge you to reach out.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Jones announces additional support to essential workers Sen. Emil Jones III

    CHICAGO — State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago) announced Monday the expansion of support to childcare workers and other essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Essential workers do not have the luxury of staying home during this crisis,” Jones said. “Doctors and nurses are working day in and day out so it’s important these childcare centers are sustained to support these essential employees."

    Read more.

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Michael Hastings, Tinley Park: Working remotely: Illinois Senators discuss plans to revitalize state’s economy, stabilize energy operations | WGEM

    Senator Linda Holmes, Aurora: Domestic violence services expanded due to pandemic | Chicago Tribune

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Legislature in limbo, lawmakers 'going as fast as we can' to help everybody | The State Journal-Register

     


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    Lightford minimum wage increase now under effect
  • The Majority Report 03/30/20 - Assistance offered amid COVID-19 outbreak

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    Every week we see new impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic — from the effect it has on the tax deadline to the need for more donations at food pantries.

    State agencies and local communities have proven one thing, however: We are stronger together.

    Keep reading to learn about deadline extensions and how you can help in your community.

    Tax deadlineTax Deadline Extended

    Illinois taxpayers will have three extra months to file taxes this year due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Gov. JB Pritzker announced last week the Illinois Department of Revenue will delay the tax filing deadline until July 15, as the federal government previously announced.

    The state will continue to process refunds to those who are owed one and filed prior to the deadline. For more information, visit MyTax.Illinois.gov.

    Emergency Loans

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity established the Illinois Small Business Emergency Loan Fund to offer low-interest loans of up to $50,000 to struggling small businesses.

    Small businesses located outside the City of Chicago with fewer than 50 workers and less than $3 million in revenue in 2019 may apply. Applications can be found by visiting the DCEO’s website here.

    Small businesses within the city of Chicago can apply to a similar loan program here.

    Real ID REAL ID Deadline

    The deadline to get a REAL ID has been pushed back a year to October 2021.

    The date change is intended to foster social distancing to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

    Current Illinois driver’s licenses or ID cards will continue to be accepted at airports, military bases and secure federal facilities until Oct. 1, 2021.

    Donate to food pantries

    As local grocery stores have been wiped of essential products and many Illinoisans are experiencing layoffs due to COVID-19, more families are leaning on food pantries.

    It is more important than ever to help our neighbors put food on the table. If you feel fortunate enough to donate to a food pantry, please do so. Your simple gesture will make a difference. Use this online locator to find your nearest food bank.

    Senate Democrats roll out COVID-19 webpage

    To create a one-stop shop for resources, announcements and the governor’s daily briefings related to COVID-19, the Illinois Senate Democrats rolled out a new webpage.

    The page will be updated daily as new information is made public. It can be found by visiting illinoissenatedemocrats.com/covid-19.

    For the most up-to-date information, please continue to check the link above or the governor’s coronavirus response website found here.

    We will continue to send periodic updates. Rest assured that together, we will get through this trying time.

     


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  • The Majority Report 04/06/20 - Giving back during the COVID-19 pandemic

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    Sims and Cullerton to donate disinfectant to first responders

    Cleaning supplies

    GLENDALE HEIGHTS – State Senators Elgie Sims and Tom Cullerton worked with PathoSans/Klarion Technologies, a division of Spraying Systems Co., to spearhead efforts to make disinfectant and sanitizer more readily available to first responders across Illinois.

    Sims (D-Chicago) and Cullerton (D-Villa Park) partnered with PathoSans Technologies to secure up to 5,000 gallons per day of its PathoCide® disinfectant and sanitizer, which will allow the state to clean vehicles, work surfaces, and facilities to keep government personnel and citizens safer during the coronavirus crisis.

    Read more.

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    Manar, McClure call for senior meal delivery volunteers

    Senior mealsSPRINGFIELD – State Senators Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Steve McClure (R-Springfield) are issuing an urgent call to action for Central Illinois residents to fill the Area Agency on Aging for Lincolnland’s (AgeLinc) volunteer shortage.

    AgeLinc needs volunteers to assist with meal preparation and delivery for seniors in multiple cities, as well as help to package meals for delivery at the Senior Services of Central Illinois meal preparation site.

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Bennett encourages community to donate PPE Face mask

    CHAMPAIGN – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) encourages community members, groups and businesses to donate unused personal protective equipment (PPE) to their local health departments, hospitals and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “The shortage of personal protective equipment like masks, gloves and face shields have created a desperate need for healthcare workers,” Bennett said. “If you have essential supplies, please donate them to help protect patients, providers and staff during this critical time.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Crowe encourages new medical practice permits | The Telegraph

    Senator Ann Gillespie, Arlington Heights: Teachers and students create protective gear for essential workers in coronavirus battle: ‘I realized... I have the exact skill that people are calling out for’ | Chicago Tribune

    Senator Steve Stadelman, Rockford: Illinois rolls out financial support to help keep small businesses afloat | www.mystateline.com

     


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  • The Majority Report 03/23/20 - Stay at Home Order takes effect, economic assistance offered

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    It’s no longer “business as usual”—the coronavirus has disrupted many of our jobs, social lives and daily routines. For the sake of the health and safety of everyone in our communities, we must continue to follow the advice of our public health experts and do our part to help contain the virus.

    Stay at homeGov. Pritzker issued a ‘stay at home’ order for the State of Illinois beginning, March 21 at 5 p.m. until April 7.

    The executive order requires Illinoisans to practice a more rigorous form of social distancing, staying home as much as possible aside from meeting their basic needs. The order permits a range of essential activities, including but not limited to:

    • For health and safety: seeking emergency services, obtaining medical supplies or medication or visiting a health care professional

    • For necessary supplies and services: obtaining groceries and food, household consumer products, supplies they need to work from home, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences

    • For outdoor activity: walking, hiking, running or biking – including going to public parks and open outdoor recreation areas, except for playgrounds

    • Economic AssistanceFor certain types of work: Providing essential products and services at Essential Businesses or Operations or otherwise carrying out activities specifically permitted in the order, including Minimum Basic Operations

    • To take care of others: Caring for or transporting a family member, friend or pet in another household

    While certainly an inconvenience, and a detriment to our economy, this measure could spare the lives of thousands of Illinoisans and is absolutely critical to the survival and stability of our hospitals.

    More information on Governor Pritzkter’s shelter in place order can be foundhere. For a list of frequently asked questions, click here.

    Please know despite rumors circulating online, Gov. Pritzker has emphasized that essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations will never close.

    State agencies and local organizations are working tirelessly to make sure those affected by business and school closures are provided with help, support and relief. For more information on what assistance is offered, keep reading.

    Economic Assistance

    The Illinois Department of Employment Security is allowing workers who are unemployed due to COVID-19 to apply for unemployment.

    Sheriffs in Cook, Will and Lake Counties have suspended enforcing evictions for at least 30 days. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has issued a moratorium on evictions of single-family homes with federally insured mortgages for the next 60 days. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also offering mortgage assistance.

    The Small Business Administration is providing disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

    Resources for Students

    The Illinois State Board of Education is working to provide meals every day to all students, no questions asked. Grab-and-go meals are available statewide for students who need them, and some schools are even offering delivery. Contact your child’s school district for more information. For more updates and resouces, click here.

    Updates for Restaurants & Businesses

    RoadsDespite school and restaurant closures, Gov. Pritzker assures that essential services—including pharmacies, grocery stores and gas stations—will remain open. It’s a good idea to be prepared, but only buy what you really need. Hoarding supplies prevents others from accessing the basics. Experts recommend keeping on hand about what you need for two weeks at a time.

    All bars and restaurants are closed through April 7. Restaurants will have take-out, drive-thru and delivery options still available.

    Many grocery stores are offering special shopping hours for seniors.Residents can contact local stores for their specific hours.

    To provide some relief to local eateries during the coming weeks, Grubhub is suspending commissions and Uber Eats is waiving delivery fees on orders from independent restaurants. Some larger restaurants are offering free delivery. Many delivery services have introduced no- or low-contact delivery options.

    Utilities Support

    Ameren and ComEd are suspending any disconnections and waiving late payment fees. Other major utility companies, like People’s Gas and Nicor, are suspending disconnections as well.

    The Illinois Commerce Commission has banned utility service disconnections during the outbreak and has pledged to assess late fees through at least May 1. AT&T, Comcast, Spectrum, Viasat and others are offering accommodations to those in need of telecom services during the crisis.

    State Services

    The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation hasextended license expiration dates and continuing education deadlines.Licensees may complete continuing education requirements and other coursework online.

    The Office of the Illinois Attorney General encourages residents to file a complaint if they notice price gouging on essential items related to the coronavirus outbreak, including hand sanitizer, cleaning products and protective gear.

    All Illinois Secretary of State offices and Driver Services facilities are closed to the public through March 31. Expiration dates for driver’s licenses, ID cards, vehicle registration and other transactions will be extended by 30 days. More information and some services are available online.

    All emergency food relief (SNAP), cash assistance (TANF) and medical (Medicaid eligibility) applications will continue to be availableonlineor by phone at 800-843-6154. Home Services & Vocational Rehab resources will remain available through DRS’ statewide network of counselors who will continue working remotely.

    For the most up-to-date information, please continue to check the governor's coronavirus response website found here.

    We will continue to send periodic updates. Rest assured that together, we will get through this trying time.

     


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  • The Majority Report 03/16/20 - An update on coronavirus from Senate President Don Harmon

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    Illinois Senate cancels this week's session days to "do its part" to slow speed of coronavirus

    Sen. President Don Harmon

    SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Senate President Don Harmon announced Wednesday the cancellation of this week’s Senate session days as part of a public health initiative to limit exposure and hopefully slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

    Read President Harmon's statement here.

     

     

     

     

     


    Senators Martwick, Villivalam host Facebook Live with public health experts

    State Senators Robert Martwick and Ram Villivalam SPRINGFIELD — State Senators Robert Martwick and Ram Villivalam held a Facebook Live Thursday night alongside public health experts. Susan Reisberg, a Nursing Supervisor at Skokie Health Department and Evonda Thomas-Smith, Assistant Director at Illinois Department of Public Health, joined the senators to field questions from viewers submitted online. The event reached over 12,000 people.

    You can watch the full the video by clicking here.

     

     

     


    Turn to the CDC and IDPH for coronavirus updates COVID-19 infographic

    SPRINGFIELD — The coronavirus is a rapidly evolving situation and information will be updated on the IDPH website found here and and on the CDC website found here.

    For general questions about COVID-19 and Illinois’ response and guidance, call 1-800-889-3931 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


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  • The Majority Report 03/09/20 - Senators unveil legislation to support first responder's mental heatlh, sick airline employees

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    Martwick introduces policy to support first responder mental health data

    Sen. Robert Martwick

    SPRINGFIELD – Illinois is taking steps to facilitate and assist the mental health needs of emergency first responders under legislation sponsored by State Senator Robert Martwick (D-Chicago).

    Martwick introduced Senate Bill 3333, which requires the Department of Human Services to create and maintain an online database and resource page of mental resources geared toward first responders on its website.

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Hastings unveils plan to expand sick leave for airline employees

    Sen. Michael E. HastingsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) partnered with Southwest Airlines employees to hold a press conference advocating for the expansion of sick leave for airline employees Wednesday.

    “The fact that hardworking individuals are unable to use their earned sick time to care for their loved ones is unacceptable,” Hastings said. “Since this is an issue with federal law, we’re doing what we can at the state level to demonstrate that in Illinois, we put workers and their families first.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Hayli's lemonade law passes Public Health Committee Sen. Patrick Joyce and Hayli Martinez

    SPRINGFIELD – As the heat of summer approaches, some kids are working to make a little bit of cash mowing lawns, babysitting or establishing a lemonade stand outside their home.

    Hayli Martinez, an 11-year-old girl from Kankakee, had the perfect idea last summer to sell lemonade with different flavors in order to earn money for her college funds.

    However, after much success, her lemonade stand was flagged by Kankakee Health Department officials and it was shut down soon after.

    To prevent other kids from losing their lemonade stands, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) introduced Hayli’s Law.

    Read more.

     


    Lightford and United Way launch report on Illinois ALICE families Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford and Sen. Celina Villanueva

    SPRINGFIELD – Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) joined the United Way in releasing their report on Illinois ALICE households – asset-limited, income-constrained and employed.

    The report focuses on families living above the federal poverty level, but below the threshold of a basic survival budget of $57,144 for a family of four and $19,212 for a single adult.

    “People all over Illinois are struggling to get ahead. We know this intuitively, and we see it in our communities. I see it every day in my west side and west suburban district,” Lightford said. “ALICE allows us to put some real data behind that intuition.”

    Read more.

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Tom Cullerton, Villa Park: Senate Panel OKs measure to add mental health hotline info to student IDs | Daily Herald

    Senator Sara Feigenholtz, Chicago: Illinois lawmaker proposes bill removing retail wine shipping ban | WREX

    Senator Laura Fine, Glenview: Illinois bill aims to ensure fairness for inmates' families | Daily Herald

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Prescription drug prices to be focus of Decatur town hall | WAND

     


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  • The Majority Report 03/02/20 - Opioid committee hearing, a new suicide prevention bill and how lawmakers are going to tackle high medication costs

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    Suicide prevention should be as easy as a 911 call

    Sen. Suzy Glowiak Hilton

    SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) is calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish a 3-digit suicide hotline for Americans experiencing mental health crises.

    “Mental health crises are becoming more prevalent, specifically in young people, and we need national leadership on this issue,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Creating a dedicated emergency hotline for this will save lives.”

    Read more.

     

     


    Crowe holds opioid committee on ISP, DOI testimonies

    Sen. Rachelle CroweSPRINGFIELD — Hearing reports from agencies to update lawmakers on the implementation of the 2018 State Opioid Action Plan (SOAP), members of the Senate’s Special Committee on Opioid Crisis Abatement met Tuesday under the leadership of State Senator Rachelle Crowe.

    “Exploring opioid-related issues from every angle, from expanding mental health services to reporting and treating overdoses, is the only way we will see effective change in our communities,” Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) said. “By holding these hearings, we’re getting legislators and stakeholders in the same room for the opportunity to create solutions and increase access to opioid prevention, treatment and recovery programs.”

    Read more.

     

     

     


    Manar announces legislation to create Prescription Drug Affordability Board to set prescription price limits Sen. Andy Manar

    SPRINGFIELD — Over half of Illinois residents are burdened by the high cost of health care and prescription drugs, according to a new Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey (CHESS), commissioned in January 2020 by Protect Our Care Illinois and Altarum’s Healthcare Value Hub, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    The survey, announced last week by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) found that 54% of respondents are either “worried” or “very worried” about affording the cost of prescription drugs, and 28% of Illinois adults have rationed or gone without medication due to the skyrocketing cost of prescription medication.

    Read more.

     


    Illinois Senate welcomes students from Illinois Math and Science Academy Sens. Elgie R. Sims and Dave Koehler with IMSA Students

    SPRINGFIELD — Students from the Illinois Math and Science Academy traveled to Springfield Tuesday as a part of the academy’s first annual State Capitol Day trip.

    Students shadowed their respective Senators throughout the day.

    “This is a remarkable opportunity for these students to see firsthand how their government functions,” State Senator Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) said. “It also gives my colleagues and me the chance to connect with some of the best and brightest students our state has to offer. The future is undeniably promising for each and every one of them, and I look forward to following their progress.”

    Read more.

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Scott Bennett, Champaign: Bill would let parents exempt kids from school shooter drills | WAND TV

    Senator Laura Fine, Glenview: Bill targets pavement sealant linked to health hazards for public disclosure | The Southern Illinoisan

    Senator Julie Morrison, Lake Forest: State lawmakers introduce bills to reform DCFS | WAND TV

    Senator Celina Villanueva, Chicago: A State Senator Had Thousands of Dollars in Ticket Debt. Now She’s Fighting to Make Sure Others Won’t. | Route Fifty

     


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  • The Majority Report 02/26/20 - Illinois Senate Democrats react to governor's Budget Address

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    Illinois Senate Democrats see hopeful signs in Pritzker's second budget address

    Senate Democrats

    SPRINGFIELD — Democratic members of the Illinois State Senate were encouraged by Governor JB Pritzker’s second budget proposal. His address last week highlighted that they and the governor share many of the same priorities to move Illinois forward and achieve permanent budget stability and government functionality.

    The governor’s budget included large proposed increases to early childhood education funding, need-based financial aid programs for college students, innovative job training programs, and for a number of important social services programs that help grant people with disabilities and seniors lives filled with comfort and dignity. Democratic senators commented on many of the items they felt were most important in the proposal.

    Read more.

     


    Holmes bill to cut pet restrictions in public housing

    Sen. Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD — Pets are part of two out of three households in America, including 72% of renters. Restrictions in public housing can prevent a family from keeping a pet based on its size, weight or breed. That results in pets being surrendered to already-burdened animal shelters.

    Senate Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes introduced Senate Bill 2973, which would allow any tenant living in housing acquired, constructed or rehabilitated with state funds for low-income housing to keep a pet dog or cat regardless of its size, weight or breed.

    Read more.

     

     


    A February Tradition: Go Red for Women Day Go Red for Women

    SPRINGFIELD — Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association's national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.

    Every February, the General Assembly holds a Go Red for Women Day at the Capitol to increase awareness of women’s heart health issues and help improve the lives of women throughout Illinois.

    Read more.

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senators Cristina Castro, Elgin and Julie Morrison, Lake Forest: Illinois Democrats, Republicans Blast Trump's Commute of Blagojevich | WBEZ

    Senator Sara Feigenholtz, Chicago: Heated discussion on DCFS mechanical restraints bill during committee hearing | WGEM

    Senator Pat McGuire, Crest Hill: Where the sidewalk ends might be far from your Metra station, study finds | Daily Herald

     


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  • The Majority Report 02/10/20 - Senate unveils new public safety committee, calls for answers on DCFS insurance switch, and protects aviation repair jobs

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    Senators call for answers on DCFS insurance switch

    Sen. Julie A. Morrison

    SPRINGFIELD — Following a glitch that left more than 2,500 adopted children and former foster children without insurance for days, State Senators Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) and Heather Steans (D-Chicago) led a conversation about the issue and the oversight of Medicaid managed care.

    “The state is responsible for these children and must make sure they have access to health care,” Morrison said. “I wouldn’t want my own child to be enrolled in this poorly managed program.”

    Read more.

     

     

     

     


    Senate Dems unveil public safety priorities

    Sen. Robert PetersCHICAGO — In an effort to improve safety in communities and reform the criminal justice system, the Illinois Senate announced the formation of the Special Committee on Public Safety Thursday.

    The committee, chaired by State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago), will be tasked with hearing a number of measures, including one to put a stop to cash bail.

    “I’ve dedicated my adult life toward the fight to reimagine and to win real safety and justice, and last year I passed several laws with this goal in mind, including one to abolish private detention centers,” Peters said. “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to personally head up the Special Committee on Public Safety, and I am confident that the committee will lead to a society that is fair, equitable, just and, most importantly, safe.”

    Read more.

     


    Crowe secures override protecting aviation repair jobs Sen. Rachelle Croew

    SPRINGFIELD — Recognizing the necessity of the thousands of highly-skilled, highly-paid jobs jet repair companies provide to people in the state, the Illinois Senate overrode the governor’s veto of House Bill 3902 in a bipartisan manner Wednesday.

    State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) led the efforts to protect jobs in the Metro East.

    “I refused to sit idly by and allow thousands of people to lose their jobs because of a mistake by a former administration,” Crowe said. “Labor workers in the aviation repair industry contribute vital economic growth in the Metro East region and across the state, and this measure is an affirmation of support to them and their families.”

    Read more.

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Mattie Hunter, Chicago: Will lawmakers finally put the brakes on red-light cameras? | Chicago Sun-Times

    Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, Maywood: Sen. Lightford honors longtime friend Greg Reives | WGEM NBC

    Senator Andy Manar, Bunker Hill: Lawmaker floats plan to cut prescription drug prices | The State Journal-Register

     


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  • The Majority Report 02/03/20 - Black Caucus sets 2020 priorities, Ethics Commission's plan to hold lawmakers accountable and an update on DNA evidence backlogs

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    Black Caucus: State has made great strides, but there's still work to be done

    Illinois Legislative Black Caucus

    SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus (ILBC) responded to Gov. JB Pritzker’s State of the State address on Wednesday.

    Leaders of the Black Caucus discussed key issues brought up by the governor’s address that specifically affect black communities throughout the state, including early childhood education, health care and criminal justice reform.

    Read more.

     

     

     

     


    Ethics commission seeks more accountability for legislative wrongdoers Ethics commission

    SPRINGFIELD — Members of the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform sought input on what could have been done to prevent recent high-profile conflicts of interest and what more must be done to hold lawmakers accountable at a hearing Thursday.

    The joint commission touched on a number of ethical issues, including disclosures of conflict of interest and transparency of finances for public officials.

    State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), who serves as co-chair of the group, said it is pertinent lawmakers are voting in the best interest of their communities.

    Read more.

     

     


    Mourning families receive update on DNA evidence backlog Sen. Patricia Van Pelt

    SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) listened as families relived the terrible days their loved ones were murdered during a Senate Public Health Law committee hearing Tuesday afternoon.

    “Our voice is not being heard," said Kristena Hopkins, director of Missing and Murdered Women and Girls, whose cousin, Shantieya Smith, was slain back in 2018. “I feel like they want us to just shake it off and keep moving, but I refuse to because she has a eight-year-old daughter who deserves to know what happened to her mom.”

    Read more.

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Melinda Bush, Grayslake: State law seeks to improve harassment protection in the workplace | The Daily Northwestern

    Senator Rachelle Crowe, Glen Carbon: Illinois adds $4.1M to opioid battle, Crowe says support needs have been ID’d | The Telegraph

    Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton, Western Springs: Senate bill would outlaw using live animals as carnival prizes | Daily Herald

    Senator Ram Villivalam, Chicago: Lawmakers aim to end state-to-state corporate poaching | Daily Herald

     


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  • The Majority Report 01/17/20 - Ethics commission considers full diclosure of lobbying

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    Ethics commission considers full disclosure of lobbying

    Sen. Elgie R. Sims

    CHICAGO — Across Illinois on a daily basis, people are likely being paid to lobby governments without ever having to register as lobbyists or disclose any information.

    It’s a reality that emerged Wednesday from the Joint Commission on Ethics and Lobbying Reform. Illinois state government, the city of Chicago and Cook County are the main entities that require lobbyist registration and disclosure. But there are hundreds of units of local government throughout Illinois. By and large, those entities have no such lobbying requirements.

    “I think it’s naïve for anyone to think those are the only three places where lobbying is going on,” said Senator Elgie R. Sims, a joint commission co-chair. “If the public has the right to know in these jurisdictions, why shouldn’t it know everywhere else? We need a more holistic approach to lobbying throughout Illinois, because it seems to me there’s a lot probably going on in the dark right now.” Read more.

     


    New law allows earlier access to senior tax break Seniors

    SPRINGFIELD — A 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.” Read more.

     

     


    Castro wants to close legislative pay loophole Sen. Cristina Castro

    SPRINGFIELD — A loophole in legislative pay law allowing legislators to receive an entire month’s pay despite not serving the full month would be closed under a proposal by State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin).

    “In any other job, a person would not be compensated for an entire month if they only worked one day,” Castro said. “This is a glaring loophole that has been exploited far too many times at the taxpayers’ expense, and I’m sick of it. It needs to be closed.” Read more.

     

     

     

     


    In case you missed it

    MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

    Senator Michael Hastings, Tinley Park: ISVMA gives Senator Hastings its president’s award as leader | Patch

    Senator Linda Holmes, Aurora: Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton visits Kane County jail to discuss criminal justice reform | Kane County Chronicle

    Senator Laura Murphy, Des Plaines: After another pedestrian is hurt, lawmakers want safety improvements along Touhy Avenue | Daily Herald

     


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