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State lawmakers discuss paths to sentencing reform and violence reduction

Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 05:25 PM

simspeters 092920CHICAGO—Members of the Illinois House and Senate came together to discuss sentencing reform and violence reduction in a joint Senate hearing on Tuesday.

“We must confront the vast disparities in how individuals throughout the state are sentenced,” State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago), chair of the Senate Criminal Law Committee, who co-chaired the joint committee alongside State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago), who heads the Senate Public Safety Special Committee. “We have to ensure that our justice system treats everyone fairly regardless of their race, religion and economic status. That often is not the case. These issues are important to achieve a more fair and equitable system.”

McGuire, Bertino-Tarrant to lead Senate hearing on COVID-19 response in schools

Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 05:00 PM

school temp 092920WHO: Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire, Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford, members of the Senate Education and Higher Education Committees

WHAT: Joint Senate hearing on education funding and COVID-19 response in K-12 schools

WHEN: 12 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020

WHERE: Virtual meeting. Watch via the Illinois General Assembly website at https://ilga.gov/senateaudvid.asp

JOLIET – Senate Education Committee Chair Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant and Senate Higher Education Committee Chair Pat McGuire will lead the third joint Senate committee hearing tomorrow on the topic of COVID-19 response in schools and school funding.

“Illinois is committed to ensuring that every student receives a quality education, regardless of ZIP code. However, whether a family is afflicted with COVID-19 is greatly influenced by ZIP code. We've got to figure out how to untangle this,” said McGuire (D-Joliet).

“We need to ensure all of Illinois’ children receive the opportunity to be successful, especially during this awful pandemic,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I look forward to hearing from advocates and experts to devise a strategy to improve educational outcomes and learning experiences for students across the state.”

The hearing is the latest in the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ agenda-building series of hearings, tackling the topics of education, economic access, criminal justice, and health care.

“I am deeply concerned for the impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the already troubling achievement gap that exists. We need to be equipped with the proper data to ensure we are making the right decisions to keep students on track,” said Kimberly Lightford, Senate Majority Leader and ILBC Chair (D-Chicago). “That effort will directly tie into school funding and making sure school districts have the resources to address the inequities exacerbated by our current crisis.”

People can submit written witness testimony online at: 

https://ilga.gov/senate/SenateCommitteeWrittenTestimony.asp

To watch the virtual Senate committee, visit https://ilga.gov/senateaudvid.asp and click, "Watch Live Virtual Committee Video." The link will be available at 12 p.m.

Murphy urges residents to visit mobile COVID-19 testing site in Hanover Park

Published: Tuesday, September 29, 2020 09:49 AM

covid mobile 091120HANOVER PARK – To make it more convenient for residents of the Northwest Suburbs to monitor their health, State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) announced the Illinois Department of Public Health will operate a temporary COVID-19 testing site this Wednesday, Sept. 30 and Thursday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Evangel Church, located at 5700 Bartels Road in Hanover Park.

“Testing is a critical part of our state’s recovery plan,” said Murphy. “This testing site will give residents a fast, easy and free opportunity to ensure they’re keeping themselves, their families and their communities healthy.”

Anyone will be able to get tested at the site for free, regardless of symptoms. No appointment is necessary, but daily testing supplies are limited, so residents are encouraged to visit early.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Other symptoms may include chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat and new loss of taste or smell.

However, people with COVID-19 can spread the virus before they start showing symptoms, and some individuals may be asymptomatic. For this reason, IDPH recommends testing for anyone who has recently been part of a large gathering or has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

For more information about COVID-19 testing, visit http://www.dph.illinois.gov/testing.

Black Caucus prompts third joint hearing to address sentencing reform and violence reduction

Published: Monday, September 28, 2020 04:37 PM

justice scales 092820CHICAGO—State legislators will discuss violence reduction and sentencing reform during a hearing on Tuesday.

State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D-Chicago) of the Senate Criminal Law Committee and State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) of the Senate Public Safety Special Committee will co-chair the joint hearing. State Representative Justin Slaughter (D-Chicago) of the House Judiciary-Criminal Law Committee and other members of the committee will also be guests during the virtual hearing.

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