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McGuire DCFS measure becomes law

childcare 081518SPRINGFIELD — Legislation championed by Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) to support children whose families are involved with the Department of Children & Family Services was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner Aug. 14.

McGuire is the chief sponsor of HB 4885, which passed the Senate with bipartisan support. The legislation makes DCFS-involved children under five years of age eligible for the state Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) and makes children under three years of age eligible for the state Early Intervention (EI) program.

“Quality childcare now is assured for children from troubled families,” McGuire said. “In addition, access to the EI program means those infants and toddlers now will have any developmental delays identified and treated.”

This measure is one of several actions taken by the Illinois General Assembly and DCFS to improve protection of children following the April 2017 death of Semaj Crosby in unincorporated Joliet Township. Improvements have been made at the Joliet DCFS office in staffing and coordination with local human service providers, and the legislature voted to fund a special unit within DCFS to address high-risk households.

McGuire law to strenghten colleges includes four-year MAP grants, simplified credit transfers

mcguire 062918CREST HILL — Months of bipartisan cooperation and input from the state’s public universities came to fruition this morning as legislation enacting a plan put forth by the Higher Education Working Group became law.

State Senator Pat McGuire, D-Crest Hill, is Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee and led the bipartisan, bicameral working group as it assessed the damage of the budget impasse and a decades-long trend of declining enrollment at Illinois colleges and universities. McGuire applauded the legislation that passed today, which included measures allowing students to extend their Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants to four years and giving students more options to transfer credits in order to obtain associate’s degrees.

“I commend my colleagues on the Higher Education Working Group, who joined me in acting without partisan rancor and coming to compromises that will bring stability, certainty, and accessibility to the students who can most benefit from a strong public community college and university system,” McGuire said.

Senate Bill 2354, sponsored by McGuire, instructs the Illinois Community College Board to develop a policy to allow students to “reverse transfer” credit from their four-year state school to their community college in order to obtain an associate’s degree. It also instructs state agencies to adopt a policy to award academic credit applicable toward an associate’s degree for certain military training. Lastly, it requires colleges to conduct a meeting with students who have 30 credit hours to counsel them on the school’s degree requirements.

“Navigating the degree requirements at college can be confusing and, for some students, costly,” McGuire said. “Allowing these new avenues to earning credit and obtaining associate’s degrees can make all the difference for people seeking an affordable college education.”

House Bill 5020, for which McGuire served as a chief co-sponsor in the Senate, ensures students who have already received MAP grants in previous years will be the first to receive them in subsequent years, making them a much more dependable source of funding for students who continue to qualify.

“Students who rely on MAP funding need assurances that they can afford to continue their education,” McGuire said. “By offering this assurance to students at state schools, we’re making our public institutions a more attractive option to students who are willing to put in the work to qualify.”

Signed by the governor at a ceremony at William Rainer Harper Community College this morning, the laws are effective immediately.

McGuire, other state lawmakers covering Woodridge respond to hate rhetoric in recent pamphlet distribution

mcguire 080618WOODRIDGE--Recently some residents of Woodridge received an extremely offensive white supremacist/anti-Semitic leaflet. Unfortunately, other neighboring Chicago-area communities have experienced similar incidents in recent weeks. In response, Senator Pat McGuire, Senator John F. Curran, Representative John Connor and Representative David S. Olsen, the Illinois General Assembly members representing the Village of Woodridge, issued the following joint statement:

“We join Mayor Gina Cunningham in denouncing the recent distribution of racist and anti-Semitic leaflets in the Village of Woodridge. We reject the hateful messages of intolerance shown within these leaflets. The racism, bigotry and prejudice displayed in these pamphlets have no place in our society and will not be tolerated. We will remain a compassionate, diverse and caring community which supports and respects one another as diverse and unique individuals. The unity and compassion shown by residents in Woodridge and across our districts is what defines our community.”

Currently, the Woodridge Police Department is investigating this incident. Anyone with information that would be helpful to this investigation should contact the Police Department at (630) 960-8998.

McGuire’s competency-based education measure becomes law

mcguire 062918SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) today announced his legislation expanding competency-based education to more students and more school districts has been signed into law.

“Competency-based education recognizes that it’s the skills learned, not the time spent sitting in class, that prepares students for the workforce, the military and college,” McGuire said. “That’s why I’m pleased my bi-partisan expansion of the Postsecondary and Workforce Ready Act has been signed into law by the Governor. This measure makes students in all grades, not just high school, eligible for this personalized way of learning. It also allows school districts to join together in collaborative pilot programs, stretching tax dollars to assist more students.”

The legislation was Senate bill 2941. It takes effect Jan. 1.

Sen. Pat McGuire

mcguire-2014-150

43rd District

Years served:
2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Environment and Conservation; Appropriations II; Higher Education (Chairperson); Revenue; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; State Government & Veterans Affairs (Vice-Chairperson).

Biography: Former teacher, school board member, Will County treasurer and Braidwood City Clerk; attended Joliet Catholic schools from first grade through college; married (Lora) with one daughter (Molly).