• Senate sends local funding measure to governor

    sb2039 passes

  • Trotter votes for Will, Cook County funding

    trotter 120715SPRINGFIELD – Cook and Will County residents will soon receive $102 million in critical funding for winter road maintenance, domestic shelter programs and local shares of video gaming and motor fuel tax revenue.

    “Local communities have waited long enough. Freeing up critical dollars will keep the doors to domestic shelters open and keep salt on dangerous, icy roads,” said State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago, 17).

    The Senate approved legislation, Senate Bill 2039, today to free up gas tax money for Cook and Will County communities. Last year Cook County received $93.94 million in gas tax money, while Will County received $8.01 million.

    The bill also includes funding for the following:

    •    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes
    •    $165 million for home heating bill assistance
    •    $77 million for 911-related costs
    •    $45 million to the Dept. of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds
    •    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities
    •    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt
    •    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections
    •    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline
    •    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research

    The bill now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. While Gov. Bruce Rauner stated he supports this plan, he vetoed similar measures in June when the budget impasse began.

  • Senator Trotter clips Radogno toenail metaphor

    trotter narcanSenate Republican Leader Christine Radogno’s use of toenail health as a metaphor for Illinois’ economic condition this week was curious considering she twice voted against providing podiatry care to those desperately in need of it.

    Perhaps not the prettiest of images, but she’s not wrong in turning to podiatry to illustrate her point. As she said, you can’t just slap a couple of Band-Aids on a patient suffering from rampant infection.

    In the real world, that patient may be an elderly woman with diabetes. For her, a discolored toenail left untreated becomes an urgent medical condition with serious health and financial costs.

    While accurate, it is ironic that Leader Radogno would invoke podiatry services as an example of comprehensive wellness since she didn’t support funding for podiatry services in the state budget. She voted against giving children access to podiatry care, and she voted against letting the poor and disabled have access to podiatry care.

    I hope Leader Radogno’s comments this week signify a turnaround in her thinking and a newfound recognition of the vital role of podiatry in maintaining health and preventing expensive emergency care down the road.

    -- Senator Donne E. Trotter is a Chicago Democrat and leading advocate for funding podiatry services.

  • Trotter reappointed as Chair of Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee

    trotter bodycamsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago, 17) returned to his former position as the Democratic Chairman of the Illinois Senate Appropriations II Committee last week.

    “Senate Democrats continue to believe that adequate funding for education, health care and services for children and seniors must be of the utmost priority. As the new chair, I look forward to creating bipartisan solutions to end the budget impasse our state is currently facing,” said Trotter.

    Few others understand Illinois state government as well as Trotter, a veteran of the General Assembly for over two decades. The budget expert served as a long-time chairman of the Senate Appropriations I committee.

    Throughout his career, he has worked to reduce unnecessary spending, encouraged streamlining of state services and earned a reputation of evenhandedness in difficult negotiating circumstances.

    In addition to leading the caucus’ budget debates, Trotter serves in the Executive, Energy and Public Utilities committees and the Senate Subcommittees on Gaming, Governmental Operations and Oversight of Medicaid Managed Care.

    The Chicago-educated, Cairo native has consistently stood up for people who rely upon public health and social services across Illinois.

  • Trotter: A crucial commitment undone

    trotter bodycamsCHICAGO – Pensions for hardworking Illinoisans will be put at risk, once again. State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to the comptroller’s announced plan to delay November, and possibly December, payments to pension funds.

    “Failing to make our important pension payments is another crucial commitment undone by the governor’s refusal to negotiate in good faith,” Trotter said. “Skipping payments only exacerbates Illinois’ $100 million pension debt and will continue to hurt the hard-working people of this state.”

  • Trotter backs policing reform law

    trotter bodycamsSPRINGFIELD – Legislation creating law enforcement reforms was signed into law today. State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago 17) supported the bipartisan effort to create new body camera protocols, making Illinois one the first states in the nation to adopt the recommendations of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

    “Now, more than ever, Illinois needs to lead the country in pushing for the use of body cameras by officers. Reforming law enforcement practices will go a long way in reducing the distrust between the public and the police,” Trotter said.

    Senate Bill 1304, sponsored by Chicago Democrats Representative Elgie R. Sims, Jr. and Senator Kwame Raoul, implements several recommendations of the federal task force by:

    • Requiring independent investigations of all officer-involved deaths
    • Improving mandatory officer training in areas, such as the proper use of force, cultural competency, recognizing implicit bias, interacting with persons with disabilities and assisting victims of sexual assault
    • Creating a statewide database of officers who have been dismissed due to misconduct or resigned during misconduct investigations
    • Improving data collection and reporting of officer-involved and arrest-related deaths and other serious incidents
    • Establishing a Commission on Police Professionalism to make further recommendations on the training and certification of law enforcement officers

    The measure also bans the use of chokeholds by police and expands the Traffic Stop Statistical Study –which provides insight into racial disparities in motor vehicle stops and searches—to include pedestrians whom officers “stop and frisk” or temporarily detain for questioning.

    The state is set to become the first state with standards and protocols for the use of body cameras by any of the state’s law enforcement agencies. These policies include:

    • Cameras must be turned on at all times when an officer is responding to a call for service or engaged in law enforcement activities.
    • Cameras can be turned off at the request of a crime victim or witness, or when an officer is talking with a confidential informant.
    • Recordings are exempt from FOIA with some exceptions:
    • Recordings can be “flagged” if they have evidentiary value in relation to a use of force incident, the discharge of a weapon or a death.
    • “Flagged” recordings may be disclosed in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act; however, in certain sensitive situations, such as a recording of a sexual assault, victim consent is required prior to disclosure.
    • Recordings must be retained for 90 days or, if “flagged,” for two years or until final disposition of the case in which the recording is being used as evidence.

    The commission will be created immediately. The bill goes into effect on January 1.