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  • aquino 052819 3Impacted individuals call for further reforms

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) and State Representative Carol Ammons (D-Champaign) gathered with community advocates to announce a step forward in the passage of Senate Bill 1786, which would protect upwards of 50,000 Illinoisans whose driver’s licenses are suspended every year due to non-moving violations like an inability to pay parking and compliance tickets, fines and fees. Legislators and advocates made a commitment with the mayor of Chicago to continue to work together through the summer in the effort to secure passage of the bill during veto session this coming fall.

     

  • harmon 052719

  • Sen. Don HarmonState Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) joined advocates at a press conference yesterday to voice his support for legislation that would prevent local law enforcement officers from taking part in immigration enforcement.

    The Keep Illinois Families Together Act would give immigrants and their families the confidence to report crimes to police officers without fear of being deported.

    “I represent people back home in my district who are scared,” Harmon said. “The toxicity coming out of Washington D.C. is horrible. We should take steps locally to tell the people we represent: ‘we’re sorry you’re scared. We’re going to try to do whatever we can to make you a little bit less scared today.’”

  • morrison 052219Gun safety advocates from across the state descended on the Lincoln Statue today to call for the passage of the Fix the FOID Act, a proposal sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) that would strengthen the Firearm Owners Identification system to ensure individuals with violent histories are not able to possess guns.

    “This policy change will create a safer environment for us all,” Morrison said at the rally. “I fail to believe that we are powerless to act to reduce mass shooting incidents that continue to take far too many lives.”

     

  • Sen. Scott BennettSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) joined legislators, environmental groups and community leaders from across Illinois Tuesday to call on the General Assembly to be proactive about the hazardous coal ash pollution threatening Illinois lakes, rivers and streams.

    “Coal ash pollution is not a partisan issue,” Bennet said. “There are coal ash pits in essentially every legislative district, so it’s important to recognize that it’s not a problem for one part of the state or one political party. It’s a problem for the state of Illinois.”

    Bennett championed the Coal Ash Pollution Prevention Act to address this issue. Senate Bill 9 would direct the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to begin a rule-making process to require power plant operators to safely dispose of coal ash or ensure that pits are properly enclosed, impose fees on coal ash pits to pay the costs of hiring IEPA staff to oversee enforcement, and require power plant operators to set aside money to pay for cleaning up pits in the event a plant is shut down or a company goes bankrupt.

  • Sen. Mattie HunterSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3rd) joined community leaders and affordable housing advocates from across Illinois at the State Capitol today in calling for more investments in affordable housing in the capital budget.

    “Right now, we have an opportunity–one that has not come around in more than a decade–to make a sizable impact on the affordable housing needs of our communities,” said Hunter, the Chairman of the Senate’s Special Committee on Housing. “There are neighborhoods in my district that are still struggling to recover from the economic crisis and are starved for investment, and I know that many communities across the state from urban, suburban and rural communities face similar challenges.”

  • Sen. Jacqueline Y. Collins

    Gathering to call for a comprehensive and well-funded approach to reducing gun violence, advocates spoke at a “Stop The Violence” rally in front of the state capitol Wednesday.

    State Senator Jacqueline Collins joined other officeholders that included Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton to address activists, who included anti-violence group inVEST. Advocates called for a plan funded in part by the legalization of cannabis to fund programs aimed at attacking the root causes of gun violence and reinvesting in communities long hurt by punitive public policy.

  • Sen. Julie Morrison

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) is raising awareness that traumatic experiences during childhood, including physical abuse, sexual assault or emotional neglect, can affect the development of a child and have a lifetime effect on the physical and mental health of a person’s life.

    In response to the growing public health concern, Morrison recently passed a resolution declaring May 15 as Trauma-Informed Awareness Day to highlight the importance of prevention and effective responses to dealing with trauma. Morrison joined with Attorney General Raoul, fellow colleagues and health advocates at a press conference in Springfield today to further highlight the issue.

  • munoz 051419SPRINGFIELD –To prevent more tragic losses of emergency responders and highway workers, Assistant Majority Leader Tony Munoz (D-Chicago) announced legislation Tuesday that strengthens Scott’s Law and finds a way to end senseless roadway fatalities.

    “As a former police officer, I know the life-threatening situations facing law enforcement every day, and I’m proud this legislation will protect and serve our brave men and women in uniform,” Munoz said. “We can’t afford to lose any more lives, so I implore all drivers to slow down and move over when you see first responders on the roads.”

  • Sens. Peters, Hunter and MartinezSPRINGFIELD – Assistant Majority Leader Iris Y. Martinez spoke Thursday on the need for clarity in state law regarding worker cooperatives, a model in which businesses are owned and controlled cooperatively by workers.

    “Worker cooperatives are a proven model that provide living wage jobs, especially for workers in communities of color, who often work in the low-wage economy where wage theft and discrimination are extremely common,” Martinez said.

    Martinez is sponsoring House Bill 3663, which would provide clarity of what a worker cooperative is and the benefits and rights of those that operate under its construct. It also sets guidelines for organizing and managing a worker cooperative.

  • bush 050719GRAYSLAKE – State lawmakers heard from local elected officials, educators and stakeholders on transportation and infrastructure needs in Lake County today during a Senate capital hearing.

    The hearing, hosted by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), marked the seventh stop on the lawmakers’ statewide tour to hear about local infrastructure concerns and discuss a potential statewide construction plan.

    “What we heard today was not a surprise to me,” Bush said. “When it comes to infrastructure, road congestion is the biggest problem in Lake County. We’ve seen a major population boom in Lake County, but our infrastructure hasn’t kept up with that growth.”

  • morrison 050319Illinois State Police Trooper Christopher Lambert was assisting in a traffic accident on the Tri-State Tollway in January when he was struck by a speeding motorist and killed. A five-year member of the State Police, Trooper Lambert was traveling home to Highland Park when the crash occurred.

    A ceremony this week at the newly finished Illinois State Police Memorial Park honored Trooper Lambert’s service to the people of Illinois.

    “Trooper Lambert’s selfless sacrifice toward ensuring the safety of Illinoisans is why we are all here today,” State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Deerfield) said. “In the months and years ahead, let us never forget the thousands of Illinois State Police officers and others in law enforcement who get up every day in the service of their fellow Illinoisans.”

  • Sen. Andy Manar

    SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar on Wednesday joined a coalition of labor, higher education and health care advocates in calling for vertical construction projects to be included in a comprehensive statewide infrastructure plan.

    “Illinois needs cranes on campuses and bulldozers at building sites. Construction projects signal that Illinois is open for business,” said Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat who is leading conversations in the Senate about statewide construction priorities.

    “Highway and bridge repairs are vitally important, but any statewide infrastructure plan has to balance those priorities with our need for new schools, modern hospitals and 21st century college facilities. There has to be a healthy mix.”

    The newly formed Build Up Illinois coalition comprises groups and associations representing K-12 school districts, community colleges, universities, the Illinois hospital system, the Illinois AFL-CIO and affiliated building trades.