Senator Steans

January 30, 2018

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Steans in a committee hearingThis week kicks off the spring legislative session. I look forward to reviewing new legislation as well as measures that were not addressed last year.

 

I have provided a list of noteworthy bills that are scheduled to be heard in committee this week, as well as the committee hearing itinerary below. The Senate plans to discuss legislation to end Illinois’ participation in the Crosscheck voter registration system, create restrictions to the tax credit scholarship program for private schools, and review legislation to combat the opioid epidemic, among other proposals this week.

 

I encourage you to read more about these pieces of legislation and submit a witness slip to indicate whether you support or oppose a bill. For directions on how to submit a witness slip and make your opinion known, click here. You can listen to committee hearings or floor debate in real-time here.

 

The governor will give his State of the State address this Wednesday at noon in the House chambers. Here’s a link to watch and listen to his presentation.

 

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

 

Noteworthy bills in committee this week

 

Commerce and economic development

  • Local first - HB 1023 creates the "Support your Neighbor Commission" to increase the number of products made in the United States and Illinois that are bought and sold by the State. (Murphy)

  • Entrepreneur learners permit - SB 2281 expands the Entrepreneur Learner's Permit pilot program to encourage and assist beginning entrepreneurs in certain business sectors by reimbursing them for State fees associated with starting a business. (Righter)

Consumer protection

  • Crosscheck - SB 2273 ends Illinois' participation in the Crosscheck voter registration system, a program for sharing voter data among states that poses cyber security risks and has been the basis for discriminatory purging of voter rolls in other states. (Raoul)

  • Russian hacking - HJR 59 creates a task force to address threats from Russian cyber security hackers. (Cunningham)

Education

  • Tax credits - SB 2236 prevents donors from receiving a tax credit for scholarship donations if the state doesn't meet minimum school funding levels. (Bertino-Tarrant)

  • Civics - HB 1252 requires every public elementary school to include at least one semester of civics education in its 6th, 7th or 8th grade curriculum. (Cullerton, J)

  • Common application - SB 2234 establishes a uniform admission process for public colleges and universities in Illinois. (Rose)

  • Tax credit for in-state tuition - SB 2259 allows qualified Illinois parents or students to claim a tax credit based on the family's income needs for higher education expenses at any qualified public or private university, community college, vocational school, or other post-secondary educational institution in Illinois. (Murphy)

Pensions and state contracts

  • Pensions for legislators - SB 2292 makes General Assembly members who retire after 2019 responsible for 50 percent of their General Assembly Retirement System cost. (Bivins)

  • State contracts - SB 2279 prohibits the State of Illinois from entering into or awarding any contract if there is not funding in place for the contract. (Murphy)

Public Health

  • Alternatives to opioids - SB 336 would allow patients who have been prescribed opioids to apply for a temporary medical marijuana card instead through an expedited process. (Harmon)

Taxes

  • Retail store valuations - SB 1793 seeks to end the practice of large retail stores seeking lower assessed valuation and shifting the property tax burden to taxpayers. (Stadelman)

  • Senior property tax exemption - SB 2305 raises the income limit to $75,000 for senior citizens to claim the assessment freeze homestead exemption on their property taxes. The cap currently is $65,000. (Murphy)

Veterans

  • Legionnaires' outbreak - SR 1186 requires the Auditor General to conduct a performance audit of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs' management of the Legionnaires' disease outbreaks in veteran homes. (Cullerton, T)

Committee Schedule for Jan. 30

All committee hearings are held in the Capitol building unless otherwise noted.

  • Senate Executive Committee Hearing
    1:30 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee
    1:30 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate State Government Committee
    1:30 p.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Education Committee
    2:45 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  •  Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
    2:45 p.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

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

 

Committee Schedule for Jan. 31

 

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

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

 

Committee Schedule for Feb. 1

 

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

 

 

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

January 23, 2018

Dear Friends,

 

Click here to sign the petitionRight now, numerous Illinoisans are suffering from intractable pain, a severe form of chronic pain that is constant and incurable. The only thing standing in their way is the Rauner administration and its refusal to allow these patients access to medical cannabis.

 

Illinois has a fairly strict medical marijuana program, with only about 40 approved conditions. Ann Mednick is a north suburban woman who suffers from a form of intractable pain. She takes opioids to cope but sought a treatment plan with fewer side effects. She sued the Illinois Department of Public Health after it rejected her petition to add intractable pain to the state’s list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis.

 

Last week, a Cook County judge sided with Mednick and ordered IDPH to add the condition to the list.

 

However, given a choice between showing compassion for those suffering from chronic pain or pursuing a costly legal battle, the Rauner administration chose the latter. The administration has said it will appeal the judge’s ruling.

 

Do you think a court appeal is a good use of taxpayer resources? I don’t. That’s why I started a petition to call on Gov. Rauner to drop his fight and add intractable pain to the qualifying condition list for medical cannabis. If you agree, click here to sign the petition.

 

Together, we can work to expand access to medical cannabis and help those who are seeking relief from severe, life-altering pain. Click here to sign the petition telling the governor to drop the lawsuit.

 

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)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

 

Senator Steans

January 9, 2018

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Steans and Representative Cassidy in a committee hearing

I hope that you and your family had a wonderful holiday season and a very happy New Year.

 

Robert Reed from the Chicago Tribune recently reached out to me to discuss how legislation that Representative Cassidy and I introduced to legalize adult-use cannabis could spur economic development in Illinois. We talked about business investment interest in this burgeoning field and how employers can maintain a zero-tolerance drug policy in the workplace under our initiative.

 

We also discussed the New Frontier Data study that estimates that nationally there could be more than 250,000 jobs linked to the cannabis industry by 2020. You can read the full article here.

 

As many of you may have heard, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last week that he was rescinding an Obama-era policy that discouraged U.S. attorneys from prosecuting operations in states that legalized marijuana. This change will not diminish our efforts to legalize adult-use cannabis in Illinois.

 

We will continue to work on this issue in the upcoming legislative session. At a public hearing later this month, experts will testify about the public health effects of legalizing adult-use cannabis.

 

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

 

Defending women’s rights

 

I recently appeared on Chicago Tonight to discuss a new law that protects a woman’s right to choose in Illinois regardless of where she works, how much she makes or what happens at the federal level. Without this legislation, a “trigger” law would have kicked in, banning abortion services in Illinois if Roe v. Wade were overturned.

 

Shortly after the governor signed House Bill 40 into law, conservative lawmakers and anti-choice groups filed a lawsuit to block its implementation. A judge dismissed their case, but they are appealing.

 

Click the video below to watch the segment:

Sen. Steans on Chicago Tonight discussing a new law to protect women's rights

 

 

Care packages for homeless detainees

 

My office is working with Representative Cassidy and the Sheriff’s Justice Institute to help homeless detainees by providing them with a care package when they are released from Cook County Jail. We are collecting the following items:

  • New socks for men and women

  • Hats

  • Sample or hotel-sized toiletries

  • Gallon-sized baggies
  • Gift cards

Please drop off donations in the marked box in the lobby of our office at 5533 N. Broadway. We will collect items through mid-January.

 

 

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

December 5, 2017

Dear Friends,

Click here to RSVP for Women: Information for InspirationI hope you will be able to join me this Wednesday for an event that brings together women of all ages and local service providers that support women. The event, Women: Information for Inspiration, will feature two panel discussions with women who have either started their own business and who have been successful in their career.

To reserve your seat, please go to www.SenatorSteans.com/2017-womens-fair.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church, 5649 N. Sheridan Road. Participating vendors include: Sarah’s Circle, Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters Apprentice Program, the Illinois Students Assistance Commission and more.

The first panel will begin at 5:30 p.m. and include a discussion with local female entrepreneurs who will talk about their experience starting their own business and offer advice to attendees. The panel includes Sonat Birnecker Hart, founder of KOVAL Distillery; Mary Morten, president of Morten Group LLC; Karen Rose, who owns City Olive; and Miss Alex White, founder of the band White Mystery.

The second panel will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will feature a discussion with women who have been successful in their careers. Panelists include Jean Franczyk, CEO and president of the Chicago Botanic Garden; Gwenn Rausch, CEO of Heartland Health Centers; and Eva Kritikos, clinical nurse manager of the Family Birthing and Women's Health Center at Swedish Covenant Hospital.

This event is free and open to the public. I encourage you to share this information with your friends and neighbors who may be interested in attending. Please see the flyer for additional details and click here to reserve your seat.

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

Women's Fair flyer

Holiday coat drive

My office is collecting new and gently used hats, coats and gloves for children in need until Dec. 21. Please bring donations to my office located at 5533 N. Broadway between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. If you have any questions, call 773-784-2002 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Holiday coat drive 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

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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