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Scott Bennett’s initiative to protect babies signed into law

bennett-babiesSPRINGFIELD- Under new legislation, hospitals will soon send new parents home with a trusted tool to combat Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Sponsor State Senator Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) legislation was signed into law today to ensure that materials on SIDS prevention provided to parents include information from the American Academy of Pediatrics or a statewide or nationally-recognized SIDS or medical association.

“As a new parent, there is a lot of excitement as well as pressure to provide the best care for your children. This new law will help ease some of the burden by providing new parents with vital and reliable information on how they can help to protect their children from SIDS,” Bennett said.

SIDS is a sudden and silent medical disorder that can happen to an infant who appears healthy. It is the leading cause of death among babies between 1 month and 1 year of age. In 2011, about one out of 2,300 infants born in the nation died of SIDS before their first birthdays.

The cause of SIDS is unknown, however educational campaigns helped raise awareness to reduce the risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.

For more information on the “Safe Sleep” campaign, please visit www.aap.org

House Bill 1407, known as “Cody’s Law” was signed into law on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 and goes into effect immediately.

Senator Mulroe discusses Wednesday’s budget override vote

mulroe-71515SPRINGFIELD – Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Aging, the Illinois Department of Public Health and other vital state personnel would continue to be funded not just for this month, but for the entire year under votes Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) cast at the Capitol on Wednesday.

“Protecting the public is obviously a top priority for Illinois. Today, I voted to make sure State Police, the Illinois National Guard, our elderly and other emergency service agencies have the resources they need to do their crucial jobs,” said Mulroe.

State lawmakers approved a state budget earlier this year. But Gov. Bruce Rauner chose to reject the entire budget, with the exception of the K-12 education budget. Rather than use his authority to make changes to parts he disagreed with, he unilaterally rejected the entire budget. The result is a budget deadlock at the Capitol that threatens to shut down services and leave key personnel unpaid.

Mulroe joined his Senate colleagues in sending a one-month, emergency budget to the governor’s desk in an effort to keep key the State Police and other emergency personnel and agencies open and functioning. He then went a step further and voted for a proposal to maintain that funding for the entire year.

Stadelman disappointed property tax relief proposal fails in Senate

stadelman-proptaxSPRINGFIELD – Senate Bill 316, a proposal for a two-year freeze on property taxes failed in the Illinois Senate today. State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) supported the legislation.

“Meaningful property tax relief is one of the most important issues to the Rockford area. Families and seniors who have lived in their homes their entire lives are being forced out of their neighborhoods because of skyrocketing taxes. It’s truly unfortunate my colleagues couldn’t support this legislation on behalf of middle-class families,” said Stadelman.

Because of the current school funding formula, a significant portion of property tax dollars go to local schools. Senate Bill 316 also included a provision to end the current formula. Many studies show it is the most inequitable in the country and disproportionately hurts communities without vast local resources. Under the current formula, Rockford area schools don’t receive their fair share of funding. The state would have two years to create a new formula.

“Illinois needs meaningful property tax relief and a more equitable solution to funding public schools. I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fix these problems plaguing working families,” said Stadelman.

Senate passes one-month emergency services budget, votes to pay state workers

steans-tempbudgetSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago 7th) issued the following statement on the temporary budget the Senate passed today to fund essential health and safety functions and pay state workers:

This one-month budget ensures that the health and safety of Illinois residents are not put at risk while the governor and the General Assembly continue their negotiations. It also authorizes paying state workers at current levels. They are still on the job, providing vital services, and they deserve full compensation.

Today’s action does not set us on a path to unsustainable spending. With the exception of salaries, it would fund only 13 of the nearly 100 state agencies. I urge the governor to sign the emergency measure we’ve sent to his desk, because it will give us space to work together to develop a complete budget that responsibly balances spending cuts and new revenue to keep Illinois moving forward.

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