Senator Steans

November 15, 2017

Dear Friends,


Last week during veto session the Senate took steps to begin to address the issue of sexual harassment in the statehouse. Both the Senate and House approved a measure to require state elected officials, employees and lobbyists to receive sexual harassment awareness training. Though the legislature passed Senate Bill 402 and sent it to the governor a week ago, he has yet to take action on this legislation.


The Senate also adopted a resolution to create the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention, to which I have just been named. Additionally, we passed a measure to provide the newly appointed inspector general with additional time to investigate pending ethics complaints. The governor has not taken action on that legislation either.


Senator Steans announces the formation of the bipartisan Women's CaucusRecognizing the need for a formalized platform on which female Senators can make their voices heard, I formed a bipartisan Women’s Caucus. The purpose of this caucus is to promote and advance women’s issues within the legislature and to support female senators.


We’ve seen throughout history that when women mobilize and claim their seat at the table, they break barriers and find solutions to the most stubborn of problems. I expect this caucus will do the same for the women of Illinois.


I have included updates on other pieces of legislation that the Senate acted on last week below as well as some upcoming events in the district.


The Senate is not scheduled to reconvene until after the New Year. If you are interested in receiving more frequent updates on what bills will be heard in committee each week that the Senate is in session, click here to sign up.


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


Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois



Legislative action


Debt Transparency Act
The Debt Transparency Act requires state agencies to submit a monthly report to the comptroller that details invoices waiting to be paid and the interest penalties those that may accrue on those bills. Before the legislature overrode the governor’s veto of House Bill 3649, agencies were only required to submit a report once a year with the aggregate amount of bills that it held at the end of the fiscal year. By the time the comptroller’s office received this report, it was outdated. Coming out of the budget impasse, I co-sponsored this legislation because I felt it was important to equip the comptroller with the most accurate information possible.


Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act
The Senate overrode the governor’s veto of a measure that will help ensure that beneficiaries receive life insurance payments. House Bill 302 requires insurance companies to search electronic records back to 2000 to determine if policyholders have died. Insurance companies will be required to take steps to find and pay beneficiaries.


Salary history ban
The Senate failed to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would have prevented employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. I co-sponsored this legislation in hopes that it would decrease the gender wage gap. Some senators were concerned that the fines this legislation would impose would hurt small business owners. I am disappointed that the Senate was unable to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 2462, but I will continue to work with my colleagues to address this issue and advance legislation that addresses the gender wage gap.



Upcoming events in the district


International Day of Unity
Join us this Saturday for the International Day of Unity from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway. This event will feature food, music, art, dance and stories that celebrate the diversity of our neighborhoods. If you are interested in volunteering, please click here to sign up.

International Day of Unity flyer

Women’s Fair
I invite you to join me for a cross-generational women’s fair from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6. The event will take place at St. Andrew’s Greek Church, 5649 N. Sheridan Road, and will feature exhibitors and panel discussions. Click here to reserve your seat.

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

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