Senator Steans

February 19, 2015

Dear Friends,

 

The governor's stated priority is balancing the state budget and getting our finances back in order, but yesterday, he presented a plan that relies on false savings.

 

Most notably, crediting $2.2 billion in pension savings to Illinois' account this year is dishonest, with a lawsuit that challenges the 2013 law still unresolved. Pension reform is a complex, long-term process, not a quick fix.

 

Meanwhile, the governor's extreme spending cuts don't eliminate needs; they simply shift costs elsewhere. For example, cutting one-third of the higher education budget will put pressure on colleges and universities to hike tuition and fees that are already difficult for most middle-class families to afford.

 

Slashing funding for local governments in half will result in higher property taxes and rent payments.

 

Gov. Rauner's plan for a slight increase to education funding is positive, but elsewhere in the draft budget, he recommends shifting the cost of health insurance for retired teachers to local school districts, offsetting the benefits of increased General State Aid.

 

And as we know from experience, Medicaid cuts don't keep people from getting sick; they force them to put off seeking care until their health is in jeopardy and they require much more expensive emergency room or inpatient treatments. Gov. Rauner's proposed reductions to the medical assistance budget total $1.5 billion and include slashing Illinois' provider reimbursement rates (already almost the lowest in the nation) and limiting low-income women's access to treatment for breast and cervical cancer. He also intends to once again eliminate optional services, such as routine dental care, that we tried cutting from Medicaid in 2012 but restored last year because the savings we saw weren't worth the additional costs of emergency care and the impact on the health of low-income and medically vulnerable individuals. It is disappointing and frustrating to see this administration starting back down the same failed path.

 

Please click here to read more about the governor's proposed Fiscal Year 2016 budget, which also includes reductions to funding for mass transit, developmental disabilities, mental health, HIV/AIDS, care for wards of the state and more.

 

In hearings starting next month, my colleagues and I will thoroughly discuss each agency's needs and where savings can be achieved. But the numbers in this proposal simply don't add up. I look forward to working with the governor's office on a balanced budget that is realistic and fulfills our responsibilities to our most vulnerable residents.

 

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

122 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

Newsletter banner

Dear neighbors,


The $300 million shortfall in the state's Child Care Assistance Program represents not just a budget crisis, but an immediate human crisis.


This morning, I chaired an appropriations committee hearing where we heard testimony from Jennifer Addington, a mother who was able to earn an associate's degree while her son attended a high-quality preschool because of CCAP and from Chandra Ankoor, a single mom of three who works four jobs to make ends meet and fears unemployment and homelessness if she loses her child care subsidy. We also heard that many child care centers and in-home providers will be forced to close their doors or drastically reduce services in a matter of months or even weeks with continued delays in state funding.


CCAP eligibility is limited to low-income parents who work or are enrolled in school. Failure to fill the funding gap will force many parents to quit their jobs or put their education on hold. It will increase reliance on other forms of government assistance for families no longer bringing in an income. It will also cause many children to lose access to high-quality early learning programs proven to get kids ready to learn by the time they start kindergarten.


I understand the human and economic consequences of losing access to child care, and I'm continuing to work to resolve this crisis as quickly as possible. There are funds we can move to the CCAP immediately, without borrowing or generating new revenue. I was disappointed that today, top Rauner budget advisers testified that they want the General Assembly to give the administration unprecedented emergency budgetary authority – the power to move money around in ways that could seriously undermine the legislature's role in the process and upset state government's balance of power – before they take action on child care assistance.


I'm participating in the ongoing negotiations in good faith, but I also think the Rauner administration owes the public an explanation of how it intends to keep low-income workers with children on the job. The possibility of passing narrowly tailored legislation to save CCAP while we have the broader budget conversation is not off the table, and it's one I'll continue to pursue. I certainly hope the Rauner administration does not intend to hold child care assistance hostage in the service of its overall agenda.


Please feel free to contact me through my website or at 773-769-1717 about this or any other legislative matter, and I also urge you to call the governor's office to voice your concerns.


Sincerely,

SteansSig

Heather A. Steans
State Senator, 7th Legislative District

Senator Steans

November 10, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

This upcoming Friday is World Diabetes Day, and my office is partnering with Swedish Covenant Hospital to provide free blood glucose screenings to the public from 9:15a.m. to 12pm at the Edgewater Public Library located at 1210 W. Elmdale in Chicago.

 

Nearly 50 percent of people living with diabetes don’t know they have the condition, which does not always cause obvious symptoms.

 

For the most accurrate screening do not to eat anything Friday morning. For more information, visit my website or call (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

September 15, 2014

Dear Friends,

 

Bullying is one of the most serious problems facing our children. Far from being a rite of passage and an expected part of growing up, it’s a socially corrosive phenomenon that can stunt self-confidence and impede learning in school.

 

Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Rep. Greg Harris, Ald. Harry Osterman, the Chicago Public Schools, Lurie Children’s Hospital and I are pleased to present a discussion we hope will empower parents to talk with their children about bullying, effectively address incidents as they arise and work with schools to create an atmosphere where everyone is respected and bullying is never tolerated.

 

This town hall meeting is free to the public and will include pizza, a presentation and break-out discussion sessions. Child care will also be provided free of charge.

 

Please join us on Tuesday, Sept. 23, from 6 to 8:30 in the Senn High School Auditorium. I look forward to seeing you there.

 

For more information please click here.

 

Best Regards,
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

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

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