Senator Steans

September 26, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Yesterday the House sent legislation to protect women’s reproductive rights to the governor. He now has 59 days to either sign or veto the legislation. As the Senate sponsor of House Bill 40, it is my hope that he will uphold his commitment to support this legislation, but he needs to hear from you.

 

The governor has changed his position on this legislation several times. As a candidate, he wrote that he would “work to ensure equal access to contraception and abortion services” and that he did not like the restrictions to abortion coverage under Illinois law. This past April, though, he vowed to veto HB 40. As recently as last week, he said he was undecided.

 

I encourage you to join me in this fight for women’s reproductive rights by calling the governor at 217-782-0244 or emailing him and voicing your support for HB 40.

 

Up until yesterday, the Senate had placed a parliamentary hold on House Bill 40 to give the governor time to reconsider his pledge to veto it. I am heartened by recent reports that he has stepped back from his threat. This is his opportunity to stand on the right side of history and reaffirm that Illinois will remain a state where women can legally exercise their right to choose.

 

House Bill 40 will provide women with the freedom to make their own reproductive decisions regardless of their income level, employer or any changes at the federal level. Without this legislation, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion would become illegal in Illinois. Given the uncertainty at the federal level, I believe it is paramount that Illinois law is updated to ensure access to safe and legal reproductive health care.

 

House Bill 40 also extends access to abortion services to women on Medicaid and state health insurance. It is my belief that all women should have access to these services regardless of their income level or employer.

 

Again, you can let the governor know that you want him to sign HB 40 by calling him at 217-782-0244 or emailing him here.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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Senator Steans

September 5, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

School funding town hall flyerI hope you will be able to join me and Rep. Kelly Cassidy for a town hall on school funding reform this Thursday, Sept. 7. The town hall will begin at 6 p.m. at Senn High School, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave.

 

Ginger Ostro, the Executive Director of Advance Illinois will provide an overview of the legislation that was recently enacted. Advance Illinois was instrumental in advocating for the evidence-based funding model. Cameron Mock, the Director of Fiscal Policy and Analysis for Chicago Public Schools will discuss how this legislation affects CPS. There will be ample time for questions from the audience following the presentation.

 

This event is free and open to the public. There is limited parking behind the school as well as street parking.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Upcoming presentation by Dr. Andrew Budson on Alzheimer’s and managing memory

 

Dr. Andrew Budson will be at the Rogers Park Library to discuss his new book, Seven Steps to Managing your Memory: What’s Normal, What’s Not, and What to Do About It on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Dr. Budson is a neurology professor at Boston University.

 

Seven Steps to Managing your Memory flyer

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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www.SenatorSteans.com

 

Senator Steans

August 30, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Yesterday the Senate passed a historic school funding reform measure to replace a decades-old formula that has led to the most inequitable school funding system in the nation. After years of negotiations, Illinois is poised to move forward with an evidence-based school funding model that will more adequately and equitably fund schools for all Illinois children. It strives to level the playing field by funneling new money into school districts that are the least able to offer a high-quality education based on student needs, local property wealth and a district’s taxing effort. It has passed both chambers and awaits the governor’s signature.

 

School funding town hall flyerI will answer questions about this landmark school funding reform and how it affects Chicago Public Schools at a town hall on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. at Senn High School, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave. In the meantime, I wanted to provide you with an overview of what the legislation contains.

 

Senate Bill 1947 retains the language of Senate Bill 1 regarding the evidence-based funding model and adequacy levels. Under SB 1947, no school district will receive less funding than it did in Fiscal Year 2017 and funding will be distributed on a per-district basis. The legislation also retains a minimum school funding level, an idea that the governor had removed in his amendatory veto.

 

This legislation implements many beneficial changes for Chicago Public Schools. It provides $221.3 million to cover CPS’ normal pension costs for this year and establishes a continuing appropriation for CPS’ normal pension costs moving forward. CPS is the only school district in the state that pays for the employer’s portion of pension costs. SB 1947 does sunset the Chicago Block Grant, but it holds CPS harmless like every other school district so that it will not lose funding as a result of the change. SB 1947 also authorizes CPS to increase its dedicated levy for teacher pensions from 0.383 percent to 0.567 percent to address its unfunded pension liability.

 

I know many of you have concerns over the tax credit scholarship program. I do not support vouchers or using public money for private schools and would not have voted for the tax credit scholarship program if it had been a stand-alone bill. The Senate was able to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1, but in order for school funding reform to pass the House it needed support from both parties and compromises had to be made. The $75 million tax credit, which is a five-year pilot program, was the price tag for bipartisan support on a school funding reform measure that will benefit every school district in the state.

 

The tax credit scholarship program provides a 75 percent tax credit of up to $1 million to any taxpayer who contributes scholarship funding for students to attend private or parochial schools. Corporate donors may only donate to organizations or networks of schools, but individuals can donate to specific schools. Students who meet certain poverty guidelines may qualify for a scholarship.

 

SB 1947 also contains mandate relief that superintendents have requested. SB 1947 allows school districts to contract with commercial driver training schools and reduces the requirement for physical education to three times per week. School districts may choose to continue to require more physical education classes.

 

This school funding reform measure also includes property tax relief. Starting in fiscal year 2019, up to $50 million of funding may be appropriated to fund property tax relief grants to high-rate, low-wealth school districts. Additionally, school districts that are above 110 percent adequacy may reduce property taxes by referendum if 10 percent of voters in the district sign a petition to place the question on the ballot.

 

I’m sure many of you have additional questions. I hope to see you at my town hall next Thursday.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Upcoming events in the district

 

 

48th ward back to school celebration flyer

 

Chicago Seven Steps to Managing your Memory flyer

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

Senator Steans

August 24, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Please join me this Sunday, Aug. 27 for the annual 49th Ward Back to School Picnic. The event will begin at noon and run until 4 p.m. at Loyola Park, located at the intersection of Farwell and the Lake. There will be music, complimentary food, face painting, free haircuts and entertainment. I hope that you will be able to join me for this fun family activity.

 

The governor has recently signed several pieces of legislation that I sponsored. Please read below for highlights of new laws coming to Illinois.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

Back to school picnic flyer

 

New protection for social service providers

 

Senator Steans on the Senate floorUnder a new law that I sponsored, social service providers will have at least 30 days’ notice of a change in contracts with the state. House Bill 3110 allows authorized social service providers and the state to terminate, suspend or reduce a contract for any reason as long as the other party is provided with 30 days’ notice. This legislation only applies to non-governmental social service providers.

 

Immediate contract changes can create an immense financial hardship for social service providers and those they serve. In the aftermath of the budget impasse, I felt it was important to increase protections for social service contracts and afford providers with more notice so that they can better prepare for financial changes in the future.

 

House Bill 3110 also requires state agencies to provide 45 days’ written notice to the governor and legislative leaders if they intend to change a contract because of either a reduction of funds or a failure of appropriation. This gives the legislature time to act to prevent reductions of services if they so choose.

 

Increased mental health training for police officers

 

Police officers in Illinois will be better prepared to respond to and de-escalate mental health crises under a new law I sponsored. With recent funding cuts and gaps in the mental health system, officers are increasingly responding to situations that involve people with mental illness. They need to be trained to recognize signs of mental illness and know how to de-escalate these interactions for the safety of those they encounter, as well as for their own protection.

 

House Bill 375, signed into law Tuesday, requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to create a police training course on awareness of mental health issues. It also expands training requirements for probationary officers and expands police in-service requirements to include training on mental health awareness and response.

 

New law safeguards against vandalism to religious facilities

 

Starting in January of 2018, Illinois will have new safeguards against hate crimes. Under House Bill 2390, a hate crime will include crimes that are committed on the grounds of a place identified or associated with a particular religion, not just inside a church, synagogue or place of worship.

 

The law removes the $1,000 restitution cap and allows courts to impose a fine on the perpetrator that is commensurate with the injury or damages caused. Courts will also have the discretion to award punitive damages. Under HB 2390, parents and legal guardians will now be held liable for any damages caused by a minor.

 

Clarity to electric bicycle regulations

 

The governor recently signed legislation I sponsored to create three new classifications for electric and low-speed gas bicycles. This will better prepare riders and public safety officers in the coming years as e-bicycles continue to gain popularity.

 

Under Senate Bill 396, which goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018, e-bicycle riders will be able to access roads that are currently authorized for bicycle use, including bicycle paths, unless otherwise prohibited by the local municipality. Local authorities can regulate the operation of electric bicycles.

 

Other upcoming events in the district

 

48th Ward Back to School Picnic
Join us for the 48th ward Back to School Picnic on Wednesday, Aug. 30 from 5-7 p.m. on the Senn High School Lawn, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave. This event is free and open to the public. There will be live music, giveaways and fun for the family.

 

Presentation by Dr. Andrew Budson on Alzheimer’s and managing memory
Please join us for a free presentation by Dr. Andrew Budson on his new book Seven Steps to Managing your Memory: What’s Normal, What’s Not, and What to Do About It on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Rogers Park Library. Dr. Budson is a neurology professor at Boston University.

Chicago Seven Steps to Managing your Memory flyer

School funding town hall
I am hosting a town hall on Sept. 7 to discuss how the budget and recent school funding reform will affect Chicago Public Schools. The event will run from 6-7:30 p.m. at Senn High School, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave. The town hall will include a presentation followed by time for questions.

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

 

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Contact Us

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
623 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492