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Holmes measure ends out-of-pocket costs for diagnostic mammograms

Sen. Linda HolmesSPRINGFIELD – A measure sponsored by State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) expanding insurance coverage for diagnostic mammograms has been signed into law by the governor.

Currently, insurance covers an initial screening mammogram without any co-pay or cost sharing. If dense breast tissue or an abnormality is detected, a doctor will want a second look with a more comprehensive ultrasound (diagnostic) mammogram, and a co-pay is applied. In Illinois, those co-pays can run from $600 to $700, which could discourage women from getting that screening.

“A diagnostic mammogram should be covered in the same manner as a routine screening mammogram,” Holmes said. “About 10 percent of initial mammogram results require a subsequent diagnostic mammogram, which can arguably be the most important test in the screening process. This new law can save lives.”

Governor signs Holmes’ animal welfare, cosmetics testing laws

holmes 041719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes’ (D-Aurora) legislation to address a number of issues regarding animal shelters and foster groups, licensing fees and feral cat programs, as well as a measure to ban cosmetics testing on animals, have been signed into law.

Senate Bill 61 increases licensing fees and fines under the Department of Agriculture for the first time since 1971. It also changes rules regarding adopted dogs and cats and the facilities that provide foster homes and transport pets for adoption.

 

Holmes measures for local government reforms signed into law

holmes 052419SPRINGFIELD – Two pieces of legislation from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) to improve how local governments operate have been signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker.

“Measures to put decisions in the hands of voters and to streamline local government functions will save taxpayer dollars and make operations more transparent,” Holmes said. “Citizens need to know their municipal officials are representing them effectively.”

House Bill 910 lets the Aurora Public Library change its board of trustees from appointed to elected. The measure would require a referendum asking voters to decide and, if passed, provides for the number of trustees and the manner of their election. Currently, the board is appointed by the city’s mayor with council approval.

House Bill 2473 allows Fire Protection Districts to enter into supply contracts of $20,000 through participating in joint out-of-state purchasing programs that require a competitive solicitation and procurement process.  Supported by the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and the Illinois Municipal League, this measure could ensure fire protection districts receive better pricing on preferred brands of equipment.

The measures take effect immediately.

Holmes’ new law ends statute of limitations for sexual assault

holmes 052119SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Linda Holmes’ (D-Aurora) measure to remove the statute of limitations for any criminal sexual assault was signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker today.

A law was enacted in 2017 to remove the statute of limitations for criminal sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse for victims under the age of 18 years old (PA 100-0080). Holmes’ House Bill 2135 removes that limit for all victims.

“In the event of an individual choosing to pursue justice for their attack years after the event, or in situations where an investigation is delayed for some reason, we need to be sure justice is still accessible for any sexual assault victim,” Holmes said. “The possibility of a perpetrator not being brought to justice is a risk to public safety.”

Mary Ann Brzoska testified with Sen. Holmes in the Senate Criminal Law Committee earlier this month about her daughter’s experience after being raped at age 19 by two men. Three years later, an investigation is just now underway. Brzoska worries the statute of limitations could spare an attacker from prosecution if the pace of an investigation lags as it has in her daughter’s case.

“More than one-third of the 10-year statute of limitations has already passed, and I would hate to see another family face this situation with the pressure of delays,” Brzoska said. “If it has taken this long to get an investigation started, it seems possible time could run out. That’s not justice.”

House Bill 2135 will take effect January 1, 2020.

Sen. Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes

Assistant Majority Leader
42nd District

Years served: 2007 - Present

Committee assignments: Agriculture (Vice-Chairperson); Commerce and Economic Development (Chairperson); Executive; Labor; Local Government (Vice-Chairperson); Telecommunications & InfoTechnology.

Biography: Elected to the Senate in 2006; born March 16, 1959, in Chicago; received a bachelor's degree from the National College of Education (now National-Lewis University); First woman president of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry; Full-time state legislator.

Associated Representatives:
Barbara Hernandez
Stephanie A. Kifowit