Senator Steans

4/22/14

Dear Friends,

 

As we celebrate Earth Day I want to highlight opportunities we have to create a sustainable environment for future generations. Illinois has the most green-certified buildings. Chicago leads the nation with the most roof top gardens. Increasingly, Chicagoans are becoming more sustainable in their choice of transportation and business enterprises.

 

Yet there is still much to do. Recently, I learned that the exfoliating “microbeads” found in many facial cleansers, soaps, toothpastes and other products are actually made of non-biodegradable plastic. They’re so tiny that millions of them each year make it past sewage treatment systems and into bodies of water, including Lake Michigan, where fish and other animals can ingest them. Environmental research groups that care about the Great Lakes are measuring the concentration of microbeads in the lakes and studying their potential effects on aquatic life.

 

Illinois is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban microbeads. Legislation I introduced will ban the manufacture of products containing microbeads by 2017 and their sale by 2018. Senate Bill 2727 has already passed in the Senate and is ready to be considered in the House. Companies that produce cosmetics containing microbeads even support this bill and plan to transition to natural exfoliants, such as ground almonds and pumice, in the near future. If you want to avoid using microbeads now, check ingredient lists for “polyethylene” or “polypropylene,” chemical names for the plastic spheres.

 

Sen. Steans at a press conference about microbeadsLast week, supporters of the microbead ban held a press conference on the beautiful Lakeside Terrace at Shedd Aquarium. I am grateful to the Illinois Environmental Council as well as Shedd, the Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Personal Care Products Council for working with me to make this common sense piece of legislation a reality.

 

This Saturday, there are many opportunities to help protect our environment and contribute to a healthy, sustainable future. Please join me at 1245 W. Devon at 9:30 am to beautify planters on Devon. Other opportunities are listed below.

 


Lincoln Square Neighbors North 3rd Annual Spring Clean-Up Event
Saturday, April 26, 2014 10:00AM - 12:00PM
4874 N. Lincoln, Chicago, IL
The Lincoln Square Neighbors North require no registration to volunteer for their Spring Clean-Up event! Join your friends and neighbors for some fun and socializing while beautifying our great neighborhood! Please visit website for more information by clicking HERE.

 

46th Ward Events
46th Ward Clean & Green
Saturday April 26 2:00PM - 6:00PM
4544 N Broadway, Chicago, IL
Join the 46th ward in cleaning up the neighborhood and planting trees in the areas in need of green to compliment Earth Day! Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 773-878-4646 For more information visit the website by clicking HERE.

 

47th Ward Events
47th Ward Clean & Green Recycling Event
Saturday, April 26 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
47th Ward Streets & Sanitation, 5333 N. Western, Chicago, IL
There will be two projects in the 47th Ward:

Project 1 - Join the 47th ward neighbors as they help beautify, clean up and improve our corner of the city. The 47th ward will be painting the bottom of the poles that have stickers or grafiiti, ready corners for spring planting and clearing drains, helping older adults to clear out their yards and garages, and manning a collection site for electronic recycling.

Project 2 - The 47th ward will also be recycling litter thrughout the neighborhod and will be accepting old books. Please let Dara from the 47th Ward Office know by April 19th what projects you would like to undertake and Streets and Sanitation can provide brooms, shovels, rakes, bags, and extra volunteers.

Please contact Dara at 773-868-4747 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For more information on either of the projects listed above please click HERE.

 

48th Ward Events
48th Ward Clean and Green Volunteer Day
Saturday, April 26 9:00 AM - 1:00PM
48th Ward Streets & Sanitation Yard 5853 N Broadway
Come celebrate Earth Day and our community with the 48th Ward, Loyola University of Chicago and the Edgewater Environmental Sustainability Project (EESP)! We will sweep, paint and plant our way throughout the 48th ward and improve schools, gardens, parks, and storefronts. After, we will celebrate at the Streets and Sanitation yard with a free barbecue and refreshments.
Volunteers can sign up by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 773-784-5277. For more information check out the website by clicking HERE.

 

49th Ward Events
49th Ward Spring Clean-Up and Participatory Budgeting Early Voting
Saturday, April 26, 2014 9:00 AM
49th Ward Service office 7356 N. Greenview
Come out and help beautify the community and vote early for your favorite projects on the ballot for PB49. Stay and then join us for the “Taste of Rogers Park” that follows! For additional information, contact us at 773-338-5796 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also visit the website by clicking HERE.

 

Touhy Park
Tree-mulching, park beautifying, face painting, and refreshments
7348 N. Paulina
11 am – 1 pm
Click here for information

 

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

M120 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

Senator Steans

3/24/14

Dear Friends,

 

Wednesday, March 26th at 6pm, I will be joining Rep. Kelly Cassidy live for a Virtual Town Hall. During the Town Hall, we will discuss the budget and other issues currently facing our state.

 

There are two different ways to join us on the Virtual Town Hall. If you have a Google account and would like to have the opportunity ask questions in the chat, the link for the Hangout will be posted here before the event. If you would simply like to view the Town Hall, please visit Rep. Cassidy's YouTube channel here. Links will be posted on both sites approximately 30 minutes before the Town Hall begins.

 

We highly encourage you to submit questions beforehand by filling out the form here. Any questions we aren't able to answer will be responded to via email.

 

If you have any additional questions, please contact me at 773-769-1717 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

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

M120 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

Senator Steans

3/21/14

Dear Friends,

 

This morning, as chair of one of the Senate's budget committees, I presided over a sobering hearing that I'm hoping will convince my colleagues of the need to summon their political courage and protect our most vulnerable residents. (For more of my thoughts on the budget and the income tax, please see my column in today's Tribune.) One after another, state agency directors came to the microphone and testified to the unacceptable reductions they will have to make in the services they provide if we don't stop the income tax roll-back scheduled to take place January 1, 2015.

 

If legislators run out the clock and allow the income tax rate to fall from the current five percent to 3.75 percent, state government will see a $2.4 billion shortfall for the fiscal year that runs from July 2014 to July 2015. In order to balance the budget, many state agencies would have to cut their budgets by as much as 20 percent. The likely consequences include eliminating:

 

-child care subsidies for 23,000 children
-in-home help for 12,000 senior citizens
-mental health services for 40,000 individuals
-MAP scholarships for 30,000 college students
-shelter and assistance for 11,000 victims of domestic abuse
-an estimated 13,000 teaching positions in local school districts
-necessary services for 3,700 victims of rape
-treatment for more than 10,000 people with substance abuse disorders
-educational and job-training programs for inmates
-jobs for 10,000 home care workers -all Illinois State Police forensic labs
-medications for 400 individuals living with HIV/AIDS
-breast and cervical cancer screenings for 6,000 low-income women

 

This bleak scenario, which will become reality if legislators do nothing, would not only be devastating in human terms but short-sighted, costing the state more in the long run in expensive institutionalizations, unnecessary hospital stays and more. We've already closed state facilities and made significant cuts in Medicaid and pensions - cuts that I supported. While there's always room to make state government more efficient, it's not realistic to suggest we can cut our way out of a $2.4 billion shortfall.

 

The voters deserve to know whether their representatives are willing to tell the truth about this harsh fiscal reality and take action to protect our most vulnerable residents. I will push for consideration of our income tax rate before the adjournment of regular session on May 31.

 

As always, I encourage you to keep in touch with me and let me know your thoughts on cuts to state services or any other issue in state government. You can reach my office at (773) 769-1717.

 

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

M120 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

Senator Steans

3/17/14

Dear Friends,

 

In addition to establishing a budget that continues Illinois on a path to restore fiscal responsibility without further harming Illinois’ students and neediest residents, I am working on a number of legislative initiatives this session. Some highlights are summarized below.

 

Banning Micro Beads (SB2727). This bill will ban plastic microbeads used for exfoliating from beauty products. The tiny beads contaminate the Great Lakes and end up in drinking water and fish, as noted in this Crain’s article.

 

Reducing Urban Flooding (SB2966). Significant flooding is occurring outside floodplains – in Cook County there was $660 million in property damage from flooding over 5 years according to the Center for Neighborhood Technology. This bill requires DNR to identify the prevalence and costs of urban flooding, storm water management programs that can prevent flooding, strategies and financing methods to minimize property damage from flooding, and strategies to increase participation in the National Flood insurance program and availability of affordable flood insurance.

 

Increasing Wages for Direct Service Workers Caring for People with Disabilities (SB2604). Direct service workers currently get an average of $9.35/hour (21% below poverty level for family of 4). This bill would raise wages to $13 by January, 2016. The Springfield Journal-Register explains their support for this effort in an editorial.

 

Cutting LLC Fees (SB2776). Illinois has the highest LLC filing fee in the nation ($500), hurting small business start-ups. This bill decreases the fee to $39, making it the lowest in the country.

 

Establishing a Rainy Day Fund. I am working with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, the Comptroller’s Office, and the House to determine how to best establish a meaningful Rainy Day Fund for Illinois. Such a fund will provide security in economic down periods without creating bill backlogs like the state has been experiencing since the last recession.

 

If you have any questions about these or any other bills this session, please call my office at 773-769-1717, or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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

M120 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

legislative survey

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.

Find Your Legislator

Contact Us

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