Public Health

  • Van Pelt: Systemic racism is a public health crisis

    vanpelt 030320 1CHICAGO – Over the past several weeks, Chicago has seen gun violence rates higher than they’ve been in 60 years. In response to the violence, State Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) released the following statement:

    “I am incredibly disheartened by all the bloodshed that has occurred in our city. Too many lives have been lost these past few weeks. Our children deserve to live in their communities without fear. Our children deserve to live in areas where their zip code won’t determine their livelihoods.


    “Ending gun violence will require a multi-layered approach that addresses the history of disenfranchisement, discrimination, and destruction of the family unit Black Chicagoans have suffered. Gentrification, poverty, restricted access to opportunities and life necessities - all are forms of violence. These socioeconomic conditions are rooted in racist systems, and must be addressed as such. Systemic racism is a public health crisis, and it’s been around way longer than COVID-19.


    “When one neighborhood suffers, we all do. True equity, economically and in every other facet of life, is the only solution. We must all commit to reinvesting in our communities and wiping out the roots of violence, and I will work to make sure we get the funding necessary to fight these inequities.”

  • Illinois Senate sends Fiscal Year 21 budget to the governor

    Sen. President Don Harmon

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

    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.

  • Glowiak Hilton: Childcare centers reopening soon

    Sen. Suzy Glowiak HiltonSPRINGFIELD – With businesses planning to reopen as soon as May 29, State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) announced that childcare facilities will be able to help when parents return to work.

    “Many parents have reached out expressing how overwhelmed they are as they try to balance work from home, e-learning and other new roles that they have taken on,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Childcare centers will soon reopen and help lift a weight off their shoulders.”

  • Bertino-Tarrant announces child care facilities will soon reopen

    Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantPLAINFIELD — State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) announced a plan for a gradual reopening of child care centers has been put in place, as parents prepare to return to work.

    “I know there are concerns from parents who are worried they will not be able to return to work because they do not have reliable child care,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I’m pleased childcare facilities will safely reopen soon, so families can start to get back to some normalcy.”

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


    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


    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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  • Stadelman encourages out-of-state health care professionals to work in Illinois

    Sen. Steve StadelmanIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic

    ROCKFORD – With the number of COVID-19 cases increasing daily, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) is urging doctors, nurses and other professionals in Wisconsin to apply for Illinois’ new Out of State Temporary Practice Permits.

    The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has issued a proclamation to allow out-of-state physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and respiratory care therapists to provide care to Illinois residents affected by COVID-19.

  • Bertino-Tarrant: Call your health care provider if you feel ill

    Sen. Jennifer Bertino-TarrantSPRINGFIELD — If you begin to feel ill with symptoms that could be COVID-19, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) is urging you to call your doctor’s office before going in.

    “If you go into the office without notice, you aren’t just potentially exposing yourself to COVID-19, you could be exposing others,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “In order to not spread the virus further, please call, so they can provide you with directions.”

  • Van Pelt works to expand rights for incarcerated women who are pregnant

    Sen. Patricia Van PeltSPRINGFIELD – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) introduced legislation that would allow incarcerated mothers to remain with their child for 72 hours after giving birth, unless a medical professional determines otherwise.

    “It’s crucial for a baby to spend its first moments with its mother, and we want to ensure that,” Van Pelt said. “This way the baby gets the care it needs, while the mother is inspired to stay on her best behavior in the hopes she may return to her child.”

    The bill would also provide the mother with hygiene products and diapers for her infant. Even before the baby is born, Van Pelt wants to guarantee that incarcerated mothers are cared for by requiring corrections officials to incorporate health care training and education for their specific needs.

  • Hayli’s lemonade law passes Public Health Committee

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  • Glowiak Hilton: Suicide prevention should be as easy as a 911 call

    glowiak 022520SPRINGFIELD – 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.”

    Over 1,000 people commit suicide each year in Illinois alone. LGBT, American Indian, and veteran communities are particularly vulnerable to suicidal thoughts.


  • Cullerton: Chemical cigarettes are a public health epidemic

    Sen. President John J. Cullerton

    SPRINGFIELD – Vaping has taken the life of three Illinoisans and injured 166 more. Senate President John J. Cullerton is committed to stopping the lung illness outbreak before even more lives are lost – and it starts with the passage of Senate Bill 668.

    “Chemical cigarettes are a public health epidemic,” President Cullerton said. “I don’t want to see these numbers go any higher. I don’t want to see any more teenagers lured to addiction by fruit flavored chemical cigarettes.”

    President Cullerton is the sponsor of SB 668, which would ban flavored nicotine products, including flavored electronic cigarettes and vapes, flavored cigars and flavored chewing tobacco.

    This step toward addressing the epidemic is supported by the Illinois attorney general, the American Lung Association, the American Cancer Society and the Respiratory Health Association.

  • Morrison pushes for the passage of an anti-vaping law as news of another vaping-related death comes out

    vaping 090419SPRINGFIELD – A third person died in Illinois from a vaping-related illness this week, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

    State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) released the following statement about the tragic outcome vaping has had on Illinoisans:

    “I am heartbroken to learn another person in our state has died from the harmful substances found in vapes,” Senator Morrison said. “Vaping and e-cigarette-related illnesses and deaths have become a nationwide outbreak that must come to an end before more lives our lost. I hope the Illinois General Assembly can come to an agreement on a bill that will keep these products out of the hands of children.”

    Senator Morrison filed Senate Bill 2275 last month, which would prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

  • Glowiak Hilton’s measure to advocate for Alzheimer caregivers, now law

    Sen. Suzy Glowiak HiltonOAKBROOK TERRACE—Illinois Alzheimer’s caregivers and patients will now have an advocate within the Illinois Department of Public Health to oversee the state’s Alzheimer’s efforts, thanks to State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton.

    Glowiak Hilton’s measure, Senate Bill 1726, which creates the position of Dementia Coordinator in the Department of Public Health to oversee the implementation of the Illinois Alzheimer's Disease State Plan, was signed into law on Monday.

    “As someone who cared for a husband and mother with Alzheimer’s disease, I know how impossible it can seem,” Glowiak Hilton said. “Under the leadership of a statewide Dementia Coordinator, those living and caring for those with Alzheimer’s will have an advocate to fight for state policies that will improve their level of care.”

  • Link passes proposal to expand supervision of dementia patients

    Care for dementia patients SPRINGFIELD – Families of individuals who reside in facilities that care for dementia patients would have the ability to install video and audio monitoring devices in their loved one’s room under a plan sponsored by State Senator Terry Link (D-Indian Creek) that passed the Senate this afternoon.

    “No one who is being cared for by medical staff should ever have to worry about being abused or taken advantage of,” Link said. “While we know most care staff treat their patients with dignity and respect, allowing video monitoring equipment will serve as a deterrent to misconduct and offer peace of mind to family members.”

  • Castro takes aim at unrealistic workloads for registered nurses

    Sen. Cristina CastroSPRINGFIELD – The State of Illinois currently does not have a limit on how many patients are assigned to registered nurses at one time, creating an unrealistic workload, but State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is working to change that.

    Castro’s measure would create the Safe Patient Limits Act, setting a cap on how many patients can be assigned to a registered nurse in specified situations. This would allow Rn’s a lighter workload, which would give them more time with their assigned patients.

    “This doesn’t just relieve the workload for RNs,” Castro said. “It’s also safer for the patients and allows the RNs to give them the quality care they deserve.”

  • Bush & Curran unveil legislative package offering greater protections from ethylene oxide

    Sen. Melinda BushState Senators Melinda Bush and John Curran, joined by Willowbrook residents, unveiled a package of legislation on Tuesday that seeks to address the public health crisis caused by Sterigenics and their release of ethylene oxide into surrounding communities. The announcement comes after the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (ILEPA) issued a seal order against Sterigenics last week, which forced them to cease operations.

    While praising the ILEPA’s decision as an important first step, it was reiterated that lawmakers now need to ensure the proper policies and protections are in place to safeguard Willowbrook and all Illinois communities from the impact of this public health hazard.

  • Opioid Alternative Pilot Program begins accepting patients

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  • January is Radon Awareness Month

    radon website

  • Sims: Veterans deserve answers and transparency

    sims 060418CHICAGO—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker signed an executive order for a full audit of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs’ (IDVA), health, safety and security procedures in response to one of the residents at the Manteno Veterans’ Home testing positive for Legionnaires’ Disease:

    “We have to do all we can to prevent a repeat of what happened in Quincy at the Manteno Veterans’ Home. These men and women have sacrificed so much for the people of this great state and country.

    “For that reason, I commend Gov. Pritzker. His swift action is exactly what we need—a fresh start. The lack of transparency in how the last administration handled the Legionnaires’ outbreak in Quincy was despicable. I join the governor in his commitment to treat this situation with the urgency it demands. I just sent a letter to the director of the Manteno Veterans’ Home this week requesting detailed information on how the case of Legionnaires’ disease is being handled and what protocol is being taken.

    “We have an obligation to protect our heroes as they have protected us, and this means collecting as much information as possible so we can be transparent with them, their families and the public and take all necessary precautions to protect them from any harm, particularly Legionnaires’ disease.”

  • Castro: governor’s executive order provides ‘a fresh start’ for veterans’ care

    castro 080818SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) commended Gov. JB Pritzker’s decision today to make a commitment to addressing a lingering health care crisis at the state’s veterans’ homes.

    “The Legionnaires’ outbreak was a public health crisis, but the previous administration’s behind the scenes scheming, secrecy and lack of communication with the very families affected made it even worse,” Castro said. “This executive order gives us a fresh start and an opportunity to renew our commitment to providing quality care for veterans. We owe it to them and their families to ensure type of health crisis never occurs again.”

    Pritzker issued an executive order today instructing the Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide a report in the next 120 days examining the strengths and weaknesses of Illinois’ veterans’ homes and determine what efforts can be made to ensure that the brave men and women who served our country receive proper care.

    The order further directs veterans’ homes to develop procedures for communicating with families to ensure that they are no longer left in the dark about the care their loved ones are receiving.

    Senator Castro was named chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee this week and plans to continue working with the new administration to protect veterans.

    “I look forward to collaborating with Gov. Pritzker on this issue and others facing Illinois veterans,” she said. “We need to work together to provide our country’s heroes with the treatment they deserve when their service has concluded.”