• Senate committee hearing to focus on Black Caucus’ education agenda

    black college student 092320JOLIET– To continue efforts to address structural racial inequality in Illinois, the Senate will hold a joint Education and Higher Education Committee tomorrow.

    “As chair of the Higher Education Committee, I've learned that the foundation for successful post-secondary education is built early in one's life,” said Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill). “Tomorrow's hearing will explore how to provide that foundation for every Illinois child.”

    The committee serves as another step in building the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda for the upcoming legislative session. Education is one of four major policy areas the ILBC is targeting this year, along with criminal justice, health care, and economic access.

  • Bertino-Tarrant, McGuire to lead hearing on Early Childhood Education Funding and Access to Early Literacy

    preschool 091620SPRINGFIELD –State Senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) and Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) will host a subject matter hearing on early childhood education funding and access to early literacy Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 12 p.m.

    “Illinois children should be given the opportunity to succeed – from the day they enter preschool,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “That starts with expanding evidence-based funding to early childhood education programs.”

  • State economic aid available for area businesses under COVID restrictions

    Small BusinessJOLIET — State Senator Pat McGuire urges businesses in Will County affected by the current COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations to apply for economic assistance announced today by Governor JB Pritzker.

    “The measures needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 require extra sacrifice from certain businesses,” McGuire said. “That’s why the new Business Interruption Grants grant competition prioritizes those businesses.”

  • Five local legislators call for full-on bargaining by hospital, nurses

    nurses 071720JOLIET – Joliet-area legislators Senators Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and Pat McGuire, Assistant Majority Leader Representative Natalie Manley, and Representatives John Connor and Larry Walsh Jr. today sent the following letter to the leaders of AMITA St. Joseph Medical Center Joliet and the St. Joseph Nurses Association:

    Patricia Meade, RN, St. Joseph Nurses Association
    Alice Johnson, Executive Director, Illinois Nurses Association
    Herb Buchanan, President, AMITA St. Joseph Medical Center Joliet
    Keith Parrott, President and CEO, AMITA Health

    Dear Pat, Alice, Herb and Keith:

    The stalemate between AMITA Health and the St. Joseph Nurses Association becomes more damaging every day.

    Sporadic communication between the two parties is not working.

    We call on AMITA and SJNA to bring their full bargaining teams to the table immediately for sustained negotiations in good faith to reach a settlement.

    There is no time to waste. The lives and livelihoods of our constituents are at stake.


    Pat McGuire, Senate District 43
    Jennifer L. Bertino-Tarrant, Senate District 49
    John Connor, House District 85
    Natalie A. Manley, Assistant Majority Leader, House District 98
    Lawrence M. Walsh Jr., House District 86

  • McGuire urges people to donate blood, register as organ donors during National Donate Life Month

    donatelifeflag 041620JOLIET — 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.”

  • Manar joins lawmakers, diabetes advocates in Joliet to demand lower insulin costs

    Manar 101819JOLIET – State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) gathered with fellow state lawmakers and diabetes health advocates in Joliet Friday to urge support for a new measure aimed at reducing the skyrocketing cost of insulin.

    “Absurd insulin costs are making it nearly impossible for some individuals to afford the life-saving medication they need,” Manar said. “It’s time we take a stand on this issue and finally bring some relief for people who are being forced to pay exorbitant prices just to stay alive.”

    Senate Bill 667, introduced by Manar in May, would cap out of pocket insulin expenses at $100 for a 30-day supply.

    Manar was joined by State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) and State Rep. John Connor (D-Lockport) to push for the legislation’s passage and hear from individuals who have been directly impacted by rising insulin costs.

    According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes, 7.4 million of which require prescription insulin every day to survive. However, the increasing costs associated with the medication have led many patients to ration their supply or seek care outside of the country.

    “Insulin is a life-saving prescription drug,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is outrageous that drug manufacturers are often placing profit before people. If they are going to utilize greedy profit schemes to make money off of this crucial medication, it is time for the state to intervene.”

    The legislation would make Illinois just the second state in the country to cap out of pocket insulin expenses. Colorado became the first earlier this year.

    The measure has also garnered the support of several advocacy organizations, including the American Diabetes Association, Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, Illinois State Medical Society, Illinois Pharmacists Association and AARP.

    “AARP Illinois supports this measure on behalf of our 1.7 million members, many of whom have told us about the hardships they face in paying for their prescription drugs,” said State Director Bob Gallo. “We commend Sen. Manar, Rep. Guzzardi, and other legislators for recognizing that everyday Illinois residents are having to make heartbreaking choices about whether to pay for medicine or other basic necessities with their fixed incomes. And we hope that SB 667 will be a stepping stone to getting further reforms that will lower the cost of prescription drugs for everyone.”

    Manar expects to call the bill for a vote during the fall veto session.

  • Crucial I-80 bridge repairs included in statewide construction plan

    jbt mcguire 060319Capital construction plan passes with support from McGuire, Bertino-Tarrant

    SPRINGFIELD — Included in a statewide construction plan that addresses hospitals, schools and roadways will be funding dedicated to repairs ensuring the long-term safety of the I-80 bridge spanning the Des Plaines River. The plan passed with support from State Senators Pat McGuire and Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant.

    “We took two giant steps toward safety on I-80 by devoting millions in state funding for needed repairs and by clearing the way for the privately funded Houbolt Road Bridge,” McGuire said.

    “Local residents cannot continue to tolerate poor roads and bridges,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “It is imperative that the state invest in the I-80 bridge to ensure safety, economic growth and eliminate traffic.”

    State inspectors signaled an urgent need to repair the bridge, which conveys traffic across the Des Plaines River in the Joliet area. The bridge scored a 6 out of 100 in an IDOT sufficiency assessment – anything below an 80 is considered deficient.

    The bridge work is part of a $45 billion plan that will address roadway and building needs all over the state of Illinois, including at public universities, hospitals, and other travel infrastructure.

    The construction plan passed the General Assembly today, and awaits the governor’s signature to be enacted.

  • McGuire pushes for stronger mental health safety net for college students

    mcguire 040519College students face major changes as they adjust to life away from home, a situation that can cause or greatly exacerbate underlying mental health issues. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) is sponsoring legislation to enable the state’s higher education system to help the one in four college students who face mental health difficulties.

    House Bill 2152 would require public colleges and universities to form mental health panels to discuss mental health issues, implement programs that provide support to students struggling with mental health issues, and provide student-to-student support networks. They also must form a strategic partnership with local mental health providers, and that the Illinois Board of Higher Education develop a technical assistance center to develop and standardize mental health policies.

  • Extending scholarship program by McGuire, Governor signs major increase to AIM HIGH program

    mcguire 040519Expanding a scholarship program created by Senator Pat McGuire as part of last year’s Higher Education Working Group, Gov. JB Pritzker signed new legislation allowing universities to retain any unused AIM HIGH scholarship funds each year, and grant them more flexibility in awarding the scholarships.

    McGuire said the move shows a commitment to tackling the hurdles standing in the way of bright prospective students who may struggle with the financial burden of a university education.

  • McGuire: Budget’s higher ed focus welcome, but state needs construction plan

    mcguire 022119SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) issued the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker summarized his budget proposal before the General Assembly today:

    “For the first time in four years, we have seen a budget which makes a full and explicit commitment to our institutions of higher education, which have suffered immeasurably and needlessly during the last administration. Undoing the damage to them will take us many years, but in providing key support to MAP Grants and increased funding for our state schools, this sends a message that Illinois wants a sure and stable higher education system.

    “This is a beginning of negotiations. I argue that we must also prioritize construction funding. The I-80 bridge over the Des Plaines River is rated a 6 out of a possible score of 100. That can’t stand when a failing grade endangers lives. I urge all my colleagues to push for a robust capital plan in Illinois.”


  • In October, students should gear up for the 2019-2020 school year with free financial aid workshops

    isac grads

    High school seniors, parents of students and prospective college students of all ages can make use of free workshops this October to help begin the 2019-2020 school year.
    October 2018 marks the third year of College Changes Everything Month, a project of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, the state’s college access and financial aid agency. Oct. 1 marks the first day the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form becomes available for the following year’s fall semester. State aid like the Monetary Award Program (MAP grant) is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so students should complete their FAFSA as soon as possible in order to have the chance to access as much financial aid as possible. Parents should be aware that some of their financial information is necessary to fill out that form.
    "Navigating the college application and financial aid process can be tough for any family, but especially so for a family which never before has sent a child to college. That's why ISAC's College Changes Everything workshops are so necessary and so helpful,” said State Senator Pat McGuire, Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “In addition, Illinois distributes its Monetary Award Program need-based aid on a first-come, first-serve basis. Filing the FAFSA now greatly increases a qualified student's chance of getting a MAP grant before the cupboard is bare."
    During College Changes Everything Month, ISAC provides free workshops to students and their families at local high schools where they can receive hands-on instruction filling out college applications and their FAFSAs from college and financial aid experts.
    Search by ZIP Code for a free public event near you at studentportal/

  • McGuire, state officials announce $150 million project, 200 construction jobs, 445 permanent jobs

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  • Supplier Diversity Committee eyes reform of BEP program

    Supplier Diversity 072518

  • McGuire’s competency-based education measure becomes law

    mcguire 062918SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) today announced his legislation expanding competency-based education to more students and more school districts has been signed into law.

    “Competency-based education recognizes that it’s the skills learned, not the time spent sitting in class, that prepares students for the workforce, the military and college,” McGuire said. “That’s why I’m pleased my bi-partisan expansion of the Postsecondary and Workforce Ready Act has been signed into law by the Governor. This measure makes students in all grades, not just high school, eligible for this personalized way of learning. It also allows school districts to join together in collaborative pilot programs, stretching tax dollars to assist more students.”

    The legislation was Senate bill 2941. It takes effect Jan. 1.

  • McGuire unveils bipartisan plan to make college “more certain and more affordable”

    Sen. Pat McGuire

    SPRINGFIELD — The bicameral, bipartisan Higher Education Working Group chaired by State Senator Pat McGuire today announced a series of measures to help Illinois residents afford college and attain degrees.

    Two financial aid proposals highlight the package. House Bill 5020 will help students access four years of Monetary Award Program grants, giving students and their families assurance that a MAP grant won’t be “one and done.” Senate Bill 2927 incentivizes Illinois’ public universities to provide more scholarships using Institutional Matching, a new $25 million state fund. These scholarships will be available to families with annual incomes of up to $150,000 for a family of four.

    Other proposals developed by the six Democrats and six Republicans comprising the working group assist students transferring from community colleges to public universities and provide regulatory relief to Illinois’s 12 public university campuses.

    “This legislative package shows what happens when both parties work together toward a common goal,” McGuire said. “We want to make earning a community college or university degree in Illinois more certain and more affordable.”

    Details on the full slate of proposals can be found here.

  • McGuire salutes community-DCFS dialogue

    Sen. Pat McGuireSPRINGFIELD — Following a community forum between Department of Children & Family Services Acting Director Beverly Walker, community members and Will County groups on the state agency's response to the death of Semaj Crosby, State Sen. Pat McGuire issued the following statement.

    “I salute SAFE (Safety Alliance for Families Everywhere) and the Will County Progressives for conducting today's forum, Pastor Herbert Brooks Jr. and St. John Missionary Baptist Church for hosting the event, the community members who participated, and DCFS Acting Director Beverly Walker for being accountable throughout the two-hour discussion.

  • Senate brings historic education funding reform across the finish line (VIDEO)

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  • McGuire selected to the sixth class of Edgar Fellows

    Sen. Pat McGuireSPRINGFIELD –State Senator Pat McGuire released the following statement after he was chosen along with 39 other community leaders throughout the state to participate in the Edgar Fellows Program, a five-day executive leadership program:

    “There is no better time in our state’s history to learn from leaders like Governor Edgar about statesmanship and our responsibility as legislators, community and business leaders to keep our state moving forward. I am humbled by this opportunity and excited to meet new people while engaging in discussions that will help me better serve my constituents.”

    For more information on the program:

  • McGuire: University bond ratings rise as state budget approved, damage to state universities can begin to heal

    mcguire 020817SPRINGFIELD — In light of an approved state budget that includes funding for state universities and Monetary Award Grants for college students, S&P Global Ratings announced it has upgraded the bond ratings of four Illinois universities and has taken three other universities off of its watch list for a potential downgrade.

    Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire said it’s the first sign of the road to fiscal recovery that universities face in the wake of a 736-day budget impasse that saw layoffs, program closures and students worrying over whether the financial aid the state had promised them would ever be paid.

  • Students, communities, accreditation at risk for universities (VIDEO)

    mcguire dunn 062817