Senator Steans

October 19, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

With recent presidential executive orders and a Republican-controlled Congress, I believe it is now more important than ever to make Illinois the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

 

I encourage you to join me at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29 for a free screening of the documentary film “Equal Means Equal,” followed by a panel discussion about the ERA and what comes next. Click here to reserve your ticket.

 

Panelists will include Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Representative Lou Lang, Illinois National Organization for Women President Michelle Fadeley, Val Krejcie from the League of Women Voters and me.

 

The event will take place in the Niles West High School auditorium, 5701 Oakton St., Skokie. Click the video to the right to watch the “Equal Means Equal” trailer.

 

As a bit of background, there is no federal constitutional provision that expressly guarantees equality on the basis of sex under current law. To add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 38 state legislatures must vote to ratify the ERA with a three-fifths majority. To date, 36 states have ratified the ERA, with Nevada voting for it this past spring. I have been working to ratify the ERA in Illinois for several years. This past winter, I introduced SJRCA 4 to work on this effort again.

 

Please join me on Oct. 29 to learn more about the ERA, past efforts and what we can do going forward to add equal rights for women to the constitution.

 

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

 

ERA flyer

Senate in session next week

 

The Illinois Senate will reconvene for the fall session beginning Tuesday, Oct. 25. If you would like to receive updates about noteworthy bills that are scheduled to be heard in committee, click here to sign up.

 

These updates will be sent to your inbox weekly during the legislative session and will give you advance notice so that you can submit a witness slip and make your opinion known. Witness slips are a vital part of the legislative process that help me and other lawmakers make more informed decisions before voting.

 

 

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

September 26, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Yesterday the House sent legislation to protect women’s reproductive rights to the governor. He now has 59 days to either sign or veto the legislation. As the Senate sponsor of House Bill 40, it is my hope that he will uphold his commitment to support this legislation, but he needs to hear from you.

 

The governor has changed his position on this legislation several times. As a candidate, he wrote that he would “work to ensure equal access to contraception and abortion services” and that he did not like the restrictions to abortion coverage under Illinois law. This past April, though, he vowed to veto HB 40. As recently as last week, he said he was undecided.

 

I encourage you to join me in this fight for women’s reproductive rights by calling the governor at 217-782-0244 or emailing him and voicing your support for HB 40.

 

Up until yesterday, the Senate had placed a parliamentary hold on House Bill 40 to give the governor time to reconsider his pledge to veto it. I am heartened by recent reports that he has stepped back from his threat. This is his opportunity to stand on the right side of history and reaffirm that Illinois will remain a state where women can legally exercise their right to choose.

 

House Bill 40 will provide women with the freedom to make their own reproductive decisions regardless of their income level, employer or any changes at the federal level. Without this legislation, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion would become illegal in Illinois. Given the uncertainty at the federal level, I believe it is paramount that Illinois law is updated to ensure access to safe and legal reproductive health care.

 

House Bill 40 also extends access to abortion services to women on Medicaid and state health insurance. It is my belief that all women should have access to these services regardless of their income level or employer.

 

Again, you can let the governor know that you want him to sign HB 40 by calling him at 217-782-0244 or emailing him here.

 

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)

 

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Senator Steans

September 5, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

School funding town hall flyerI hope you will be able to join me and Rep. Kelly Cassidy for a town hall on school funding reform this Thursday, Sept. 7. The town hall will begin at 6 p.m. at Senn High School, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave.

 

Ginger Ostro, the Executive Director of Advance Illinois will provide an overview of the legislation that was recently enacted. Advance Illinois was instrumental in advocating for the evidence-based funding model. Cameron Mock, the Director of Fiscal Policy and Analysis for Chicago Public Schools will discuss how this legislation affects CPS. There will be ample time for questions from the audience following the presentation.

 

This event is free and open to the public. There is limited parking behind the school as well as street parking.

 

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

 

Upcoming presentation by Dr. Andrew Budson on Alzheimer’s and managing memory

 

Dr. Andrew Budson will be at the Rogers Park Library to discuss his new book, Seven Steps to Managing your Memory: What’s Normal, What’s Not, and What to Do About It on Thursday, Sept. 14 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Dr. Budson is a neurology professor at Boston University.

 

Seven Steps to Managing your Memory 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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Senator Steans

August 30, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Yesterday the Senate passed a historic school funding reform measure to replace a decades-old formula that has led to the most inequitable school funding system in the nation. After years of negotiations, Illinois is poised to move forward with an evidence-based school funding model that will more adequately and equitably fund schools for all Illinois children. It strives to level the playing field by funneling new money into school districts that are the least able to offer a high-quality education based on student needs, local property wealth and a district’s taxing effort. It has passed both chambers and awaits the governor’s signature.

 

School funding town hall flyerI will answer questions about this landmark school funding reform and how it affects Chicago Public Schools at a town hall on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. at Senn High School, 5900 N. Glenwood Ave. In the meantime, I wanted to provide you with an overview of what the legislation contains.

 

Senate Bill 1947 retains the language of Senate Bill 1 regarding the evidence-based funding model and adequacy levels. Under SB 1947, no school district will receive less funding than it did in Fiscal Year 2017 and funding will be distributed on a per-district basis. The legislation also retains a minimum school funding level, an idea that the governor had removed in his amendatory veto.

 

This legislation implements many beneficial changes for Chicago Public Schools. It provides $221.3 million to cover CPS’ normal pension costs for this year and establishes a continuing appropriation for CPS’ normal pension costs moving forward. CPS is the only school district in the state that pays for the employer’s portion of pension costs. SB 1947 does sunset the Chicago Block Grant, but it holds CPS harmless like every other school district so that it will not lose funding as a result of the change. SB 1947 also authorizes CPS to increase its dedicated levy for teacher pensions from 0.383 percent to 0.567 percent to address its unfunded pension liability.

 

I know many of you have concerns over the tax credit scholarship program. I do not support vouchers or using public money for private schools and would not have voted for the tax credit scholarship program if it had been a stand-alone bill. The Senate was able to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 1, but in order for school funding reform to pass the House it needed support from both parties and compromises had to be made. The $75 million tax credit, which is a five-year pilot program, was the price tag for bipartisan support on a school funding reform measure that will benefit every school district in the state.

 

The tax credit scholarship program provides a 75 percent tax credit of up to $1 million to any taxpayer who contributes scholarship funding for students to attend private or parochial schools. Corporate donors may only donate to organizations or networks of schools, but individuals can donate to specific schools. Students who meet certain poverty guidelines may qualify for a scholarship.

 

SB 1947 also contains mandate relief that superintendents have requested. SB 1947 allows school districts to contract with commercial driver training schools and reduces the requirement for physical education to three times per week. School districts may choose to continue to require more physical education classes.

 

This school funding reform measure also includes property tax relief. Starting in fiscal year 2019, up to $50 million of funding may be appropriated to fund property tax relief grants to high-rate, low-wealth school districts. Additionally, school districts that are above 110 percent adequacy may reduce property taxes by referendum if 10 percent of voters in the district sign a petition to place the question on the ballot.

 

I’m sure many of you have additional questions. I hope to see you at my town hall next Thursday.

 

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

 

Upcoming events in the district

 

 

48th ward back to school celebration flyer

 

Chicago Seven Steps to Managing your Memory 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