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Hastings champions measure to help protect survivors of domestic violence

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 08:45 AM

hastings 052617TINLEY PARK- During Domestic Violence Awareness Month, State Senator Michael E. Hastings reminds residents that domestic violence is a daily issue that affects many Illinoisans. 

“As a state, it is our duty to condemn domestic violence in any form and continue our charge to support a safe living and work environment for all Illinois residents,” Hastings said. “Confronting an attacker is hard process for survivors of domestic violence. When someone is ready to take this step of bravery there are is a new measure in place to help provide them with justice.”  

Hastings championed a measure to help protect victims of domestic violence in Illinois during the legislative session.

The new law will improve the processing and review of sexual assault evidence by requiring the Illinois State Police to implement a new statewide sexual assault evidence kit tracking procedure. It also   creates the Sexual Assault Evidence and Reporting Commission to research and develop best practices to establish a statewide plan to track and report sexual assault evidence.

“The justice system was created to give our citizens the opportunity to confront their abusers and for the innocent to be absolved of faulty accusations,” Hastings said. “This new law will ensure survivors of sexual assault are equipped with the right evidence to receive their fair day in court.”

Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault reports that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men will experience some form of sexual assault in their lifetime. Illinois became the first state in the nation to a enact rape kit reform law in 2010. Hastings believes this new law is the next step in ensuring transparency and ending the backlog of untested evidence.

“Transparency is key to ensure rape kits are tested responsibly and in a timely manner,” Hastings said. “Our hope is this new process will implement a system that stresses accuracy and accountably to give survivors of sexual assault some peace of mind.”

House Bill 528 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support. The new law is now in effect.

New tax credit available for DuPage teachers: Cullerton

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 08:43 AM

tc consol 051717VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) is urging DuPage County teachers to take advantage of a new tax credit in Illinois for public school teachers and administrators who use personal funds to purchase school supplies for their students.

“Educating our children is a noble profession,” Cullerton said. “Our state should serve as a partner and honor the investments our educators have made in the future of Illinois. This tax credit will help lessen the burden for teachers who work endlessly to ensure our children receive the best education possible.”

Teachers and administrators can qualify for a tax credit up to $250 for instructional materials and supplies used in the classroom.

“DuPage County teachers are training the future leaders of Illinois,” Cullerton said. “92 percent of teachers across our nation spend their own money on classroom supplies to educate our children. It is our duty to provide support and resources to our educators for their generosity.”

The Illinois tax credit is available in addition to the current $250 federal deduction. It is available to teachers, principals or aides in a qualified school who work at least 900 hours during a school year.

 Area educators with questions on the new tax credit can call Cullerton’s Villa Park office at (630) 903-6662.

McGuire salutes community-DCFS dialogue

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 10:33 AM

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.

Castro tells governor to prioritize people over profits

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 03:50 PM

Sen. Cristina CastroELGIN - State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin) is urging her colleagues to work with her to protect collective bargaining rights for the people of Illinois by overriding the Governor Bruce Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 1905.

“The governor needs to prioritize people over profits,” Castro said. “Governor Rauner’s anti-work agenda continues to perpetuate a growing backlog of bills and helped create a two-year budget impasse that decimated rape crisis centers, social service providers and local schools. He needs to learn his policies did not work in the boardroom and will not for the people of Illinois.”

Castro’s measure, Senate Bill 1905, protects all Illinois workers by preventing local government entities from enacting harmful “right-to-work” laws advocated for by the governor and his extreme supporters.

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