Senator Steans

May 9, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Today the Senate Human Services Committee will hear testimony on House Bill 40, which protects access to safe abortions in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. I am sponsoring this legislation because I think it is paramount that we protect a woman’s right to choose and that we ensure that Illinois will be a state where women can safely exercise this right, regardless of what happens at the federal level. I encourage you to submit a witness slip on this legislation, and if you live outside my district, to call your State Senator and let them know your opinion on this bill.

 

This Friday is the deadline for substantive House bills to move out of committee. As such, there are quite a few pieces of legislation scheduled to be heard in committee this week. So much so, that some committees are meeting twice. Many bills that just passed the House will be heard in the Senate for the first time this week. Please see the list below, which includes legislation that I both support and oppose. If you have questions on my position on any of these pieces of legislation, please feel free to contact my office.

 

Senator Steans on the Senate floorFor directions on how to submit a witness slip to show your support or opposition to a particular bill, click here. Witness slips are a vital piece of the legislative process. Before a bill is heard in committee, the chairperson will read who has submitted witness slips and whether they support or oppose the bill. This helps inform me and other legislators as to where Illinoisans and organizations stand, allowing us to make informed decisions when voting. Witness slips are a great and relatively quick way to make your voice heard in state government.

 

Please note that if a bill is reassigned to a new committee and is scheduled for a hearing, previous witness slips will not be announced. Each witness slip is tied to that specific committee hearing. If a bill will be heard again, please submit a new witness slip for the new corresponding committee.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns. Lastly, if someone forwarded this message to you and you’d like to sign up for this list, click here.

 

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

 

Noteworthy legislation in committee this week

 

Business, Commerce and Workers’ Rights Issues

• Veteran-owned businesses – SB 1620 centralizes the classification of veterans owned small businesses. Currently, veteran business owners must go through a number of processes (sometimes at the state, county and municipal level) to be certified bid on small business contracts. (Hastings)

• Family leave – SB 1721 allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of family leave following the birth or adoption of a child, placement of a foster child, or to care for a seriously ill family member. (Biss)

• Salary history – HB 2462 prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their salary history in an effort to curb wage inequality. (Biss)

• Small business loans – HB 2698 creates the Small Business Credit Initiative Fund that would make loans and investments to Illinois businesses. (Hutchinson)

 

Criminal Law and Public Safety Issues

• First-time gun offenders – SB 592 creates the Unlawful Possession of Firearms Diversion Program, which is designed to provide treatment rather than incarceration for first-time gun offenders who suffer from PTSD. (Raoul)

• Use of suppressors – SB 50 allows the use of suppressors while hunting. (Haine)

• Sentencing – HB 1804 allows someone charged with a criminal offense to file a petition for resentencing if the penalty for that offense has since been reduced or changed. (Hutchinson)

• Hate crimes – HB 3711 expands the Class 4 felony offense of "hate crime" to add intimidation, stalking, cyberstalking and transmission of obscene messages. (Aquino)

• Hate crimes – HB 2390 expands the definition of hate crime to include crimes committed on the grounds of a religious facility. Removes the restitution cap and allows courts to impose a fine based on the severity of the damages. (Steans)

• Mental health awareness – HB 375 requires the Illinois Law Enforcement Training Standards Board to create a course on awareness of mental health issues including recognizing mental crises which require an immediate response. (Steans)

• Career skills in prisons – HB 698 creates a five-year pilot program to teach career skills to prisoners. (Aquino)

• Sealable offenses – HB 2373 expands sealing eligibility to allow all felony arrests, not otherwise prohibited by law, to be sealed. Convictions that require registration as a sex offender, for arson, or violent offenders may not be sealed until the petitioner is no longer required to be registered. (Harmon)

 

Education Issues

• Social workers in schools – HB 826 allows school districts to employ enough social workers to reach a 250 to 1 ratio. (Koehler)

• Test scores – HB 2378 removes the requirement that test scores be entered on student transcripts. This would allow local school districts to determine whether to enter SAT or ACT scores on student transcripts automatically, at the request of parents or not at all. (Jones)

• Racial bias in schools – HB 3869 requires school personnel to complete in-service training to develop cultural competency and reduce implicit racial bias. (Hunter)

• Guaranteed funding for the U of I – SB 222 requires the University of Illinois to meet certain benchmarks in attendance, retention and performance in return for guaranteed funding for the next five years. (Cunningham)

• Removal of board officers – SB 1945 establishes a process for removing and replacing elected university and community college boards. (Tracy)

• College savings – HB 3691 creates the Illinois Higher Education Savings Program under the control of the State Treasurer. Starting in 2018, every child born in Illinois will have a 529 college savings account opened in their name and seeded with a $50 investment. The first $150 will be matched at a one-to-one ratio for families with low and moderate incomes. (Lightford)

• Criminal history during admission – HB 3142 states that public colleges and universities may not consider an applicant’s criminal history during the admission process except as required by federal or state law regarding medical school applicants. After admission, a college may reveal criminal history for purposes of offering counseling. (McGuire)

 

Environmental Issues

• Coal-fired power plants – HB 3656 creates the Flue Gas Desulfurization Task Force, which would study the cost and benefits of adding new stacks at coal-fired power plants. This could lead to the use of more Illinois-mined coal. (Manar)

• Lead removal – SB 1774 creates the second phase of the Comprehensive Lead, Education, Reduction, and Window Replacement Program to replace lead-based windows in low-income homes and apartments built before 1978. (Harmon)

 

Human Service and Public Health Issues

• Safe abortion access - HB 40 removes the trigger provision from Illinois law that would reinstate previous state policy banning abortion in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. (Steans)

• HIV testing – HB 2800 increases HIV testing among at-risk pregnant women by adding a third trimester HIV test in addition to the current first trimester HIV test. (Trotter)

• Bedbug disclosure – HB 369 creates the Bedbugs Disclosure to Employees Act requiring employers to notify employees if the presence of bedbugs has been determined at a place of employment. (Martinez)

• Prescription costs – SB 73 requires insurers to provide notice of a drug cost increase to pharmacies 30 days before it takes effect. (Silverstein)

• Prescription monitoring – HB 2708 allows certain DHS officials to access prescription monitoring database to assist the department with investigations of child abuse and neglect. (Aquino)

• Child support – HB 2812 requires cell phone companies to provide location information of noncustodial parents and presumed fathers to DHFS for enforcing child support obligations. (Harmon)

• Child Care Assistance Program – HB 3213 expands eligibility to the Child Care Assistance Program to include families taking part in education and training programs. (Hutchinson)

• Arbitration for long-term care facilities – HB 238 prohibits a long-term care facility from entering into a pre-dispute agreement for binding arbitration with a resident, consumer or their representative. (Aquino)

 

Revenue and Tax Issues

• Local government reduction – SB 2199 reduces the amount transferred from the General Revenue Fund to the Local Government Tax Fund by 25 percent. (McCarter)

 

Committee schedule, Tuesday, May 9

All committees are in the Capitol unless otherwise stated

• Senate Appropriations II Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget request for the Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, IMSA, Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Council, Illinois Comptroller, and Illinois Toll Highway Authority
9 a.m., Room 212

• Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Public Health Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Education Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Judiciary Committee
3:45 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Higher Education Committee
3:45 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Human Services Committee
3:45 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Transportation Committee
5:15 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Criminal Law Committee
5:15 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee schedule, Wednesday, May 10

 

• Senate Appropriations I Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget request for the Department of Revenue, Illinois Gaming Board, Illinois Racing Board, Illinois Lottery, Property Tax Appeal Board, Independent Tax Tribunal, and Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability 8:30 a.m., Room 400

• Senate Gaming Committee
8:30 a.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Local Government Committee
9 a.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Executive Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform subject matter hearing on compassionate use of medical cannabis pilot program and opiate crisis
9:30 a.m., Room 212

• Senate Special Committee on Oversight of Medicaid Managed Care
10 a.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Financial Institutions Committee
11 a.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Government Reform Committee
11 a.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Labor Committee
11 a.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate State Government Committee
2:30 pm., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Executive Committee
2:30 pm., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Insurance Committee
4 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Revenue Committee
4 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee schedule, Thursday, May 11

 

• Senate Agriculture Committee
8:15 a.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Appropriations II Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget request for Legislative Commissions, IDOT, the Capitol Development Board, the Court of Claims, the Secretary of State, and Legislative Ethics Commission/Legislative Inspector General
9 a.m., Room 212

• Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee
9 a.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Environment and Conservation Committee
11 a.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee
11 a.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate State Government Committee
2 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Executive Committee
2 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee
2 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Human Services Committee
3:30 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Judiciary Committee
3:30 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Criminal Law Committee
5 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Listen to a committee live

 

To listen to a hearing live, click here and select the room the committee you’re interested in is meeting. The committee schedule is subject to change and some committees may be canceled throughout the week. Committees may be delayed if previous events in the day run longer than initially scheduled. The Senate Democrats tweet committees, including when they begin and end. Follow them at @ILSenDems.

 

 

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