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Collins’ plan protects, informs seniors seeking reverse mortgages

collins-reversemrgIn the wake of revelations that at least one con artist used a risky financial product called a reverse mortgage to scam dozens of senior citizens, State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) secured Senate passage today of legislation that would help protect consumers from such fraudulent schemes.

“A reverse mortgage is a complicated financial product that can leave homeowners and their families vulnerable to scams and unable to pay when the loan comes due,” Collins said. “This legislation requires lenders to provide potential borrowers with accurate information about the product, a list of counselors they can contact if they need help and the opportunity to reconsider within three days of signing the paperwork.”

Bipartisan mental health law spurred by local tragedy clears Senate committee

koehler-mntl-hlthA proposed law that would allow college students to sign off on their universities sharing mental health information with their parents cleared an Illinois Senate committee today, paving its way for a final vote in the General Assembly.

It was inspired by the Predmore family of Bartonville, who tragically lost their son Chris to suicide last year. Under current law, his college could not talk to his parents about his mental health struggles.

Hepatitis C screening offers would be required by new law

mulroe-hepcSPRINGFIELD – For those born between the years of 1945 and 1965, doctors will be required to offer Hepatitis C screenings to patients under a new proposal from Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago). The measure passed the Senate today.

“Hepatitis C is known as the silent killer because, most often, by the time a patient is diagnosed, the disease has already done widespread damage,” Mulroe said. “By requiring this screening, we are able to spare compounded illness and pain to those people who may have the disease but don’t know it.”

Another battle against hunger won in a SNAP

biss-snapSPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate voted today by a vote of 34-17 to increase access to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps). Illinoisans earning 165 percent of the Federal Poverty Level will now be eligible for these benefits, up from 130 percent, the lowest permitted by federal law.

"Expanding access to SNAP benefits is a no-brainer," said state Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston). "We have the opportunity to give this lifeline to more hard-working families in Illinois, and because it's completely federally funded, it is fiscally responsible even in our current difficult budgetary situation."