Senator Steans

May 17, 2016

Dear Friends,

 

Illinois' system of funding public education is one of the least equitable in the nation. Far too often, where a child lives determines the quality of his or her education in Illinois public schools. The distribution of state resources doesn't do nearly enough to counterbalance the effects of poverty and inadequate local tax bases. And the Chicago Public Schools - the state's largest school district and one of the most challenged by poverty, with 87 percent of students coming to school from low-income households - is subject to an additional inequity, because unlike every other district in Illinois, its pension costs are not covered by the state.

 

Last week, the Senate passed Senate Bill 231, a comprehensive plan to reform state education funding. It replaces an outdated funding formula with one that takes into account student need and each community's ability to pay for its schools. It also takes a step toward parity for CPS by making the state responsible for the normal yearly cost of the employer contribution toward its teacher pensions. Chronically under-resourced school districts throughout the state - and the students they serve - will benefit.

 

This important legislation is now in the hands of the House. If you are concerned about K-12 education in Illinois and the continued ability of the Chicago Public Schools to educate our city's children, and if you don't believe students' opportunities should be limited by where they live, please sign my petition urging members of the House to vote for SB 231.

 

Please feel free to contact my office at (773) 769-1717 or by clicking here to send me a message on this or any other legislative topic.

 

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

Senator Steans

April 12, 2016

Dear Friends,

 

I'm pleased to invite you to two important events I'm co-sponsoring in our community this week. Please scroll down for details.

 

On Thursday night, explore one of the factors perpetuating our city's and our nation's appalling number of gun deaths: the easy availability of firearms. First, we will watch Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA. This documentary film investigates the NRA's successful lobbying effort against gun regulations and also features interviews with gun violence survivors and victims' family members. A discussion will follow the movie.

 

On Saturday, join your neighbors to beautify and improve our community on Clean and Green Volunteer Day.

 

Please call my office at (773) 769-1717 if you would like more information.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

NRA

 

Cleanandgreen

 

 

 

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

Senator Steans

March 24, 2016

Dear Friends,

 

Along with some of my valued colleagues in public service, I'm proud to present three thought-provoking and informative discussions on current issues.

 

Next Wednesday, March 30, State Senator Andy Manar, State Representative Kelly Cassidy, Alderman Harry Osterman and I will hold a town hall meeting on inequities in school funding. Sen. Manar has been at the forefront of convening task forces and introducing legislative proposals to overhaul our outdated education funding formula, which does not adequately match resources to needs.

 

On Sunday, April 3, I'm excited to sponsor (along with Rep. Cassidy and Ald. Joe Moore) a "Know Your Rights" seminar. Representatives from the ACLU, ICIRR, ONE Northside and the Office of the Cook County Public Defender will help you understand your rights when you are interacting with the police. This workshop will be the first of many community discussions on public safety.

 

On April 14, Rep. Cassidy and I will host a screening of a documentary entitled Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA. The movie will be followed by panel discussion on gun violence and how we can work to curb the firearms industry's tendency to put profits over people.

 

Details on these events can be found below. Please call my office or send me a mesasge through my website with any questions.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Education Funding Inequities Town Hall

 

EdtownhallEng

 EdtownhallSp

 

 

Know Your Rights!

 

KnowYourRights

Gun violence movie and discussion

 

guns
 
 
 

 

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

Senator Steans

February 23, 2016

Dear Friends,


While we are now 8 months without a budget for our current fiscal year (FY16), the governor gave his budget address last Wednesday to present his proposed FY17 budget.  Following my brief overview and comments is a table comparing the FY15 budget, the FY16 estimated budget and the governor's proposed FY17 budget.  You can review the budget in detail here.

 

The governor's proposed budget has a $3.5 billion budget deficit he proposes to close by following one of two paths:

 

1. Working with the General Assembly to increase revenues after enacting items in his "turnaround agenda," such as additional workers' compensation reforms, pension reforms and limits on collective bargaining


2. Asking the General Assembly to give him power in FY16 and FY17 to reduce spending by


• Forcing reductions in spending from any fund except debt service, K-12 general state aid and funds for early childhood education; reductions to pension payments would be allowed
• Transferring any amount from any fund to the general fund (excluding federal funds, debt service funds, pension funds and the road fund)
• Eliminating or reducing transfers to local governments and other statutory transfers
• Lowering rates paid to providers
• Adjusting human services program eligibility and provider rates


In addition to being out of balance, there are a number of other potential concerns with the proposed budget:


1. While the Governor suggests fully funding P-12 education, his plan does not fix the state's broken education funding formula.  Thus, poor areas of the state will continue to fall further behind.


2. On top of the $3.5 billion deficit, the budget assumes savings that will require legislative action, such as pension reforms, changes to health insurance for state employees and revisions to the procurement process.


3. The budget eliminates 15 human services programs that were funded at $53 million in FY15 and replaces them with a single lump sum of $25 million.  Programs cut include homeless prevention, addiction prevention, the Autism Program, Teen Reach after school programs and immigrant and refugee services.


As noted in a Crain's Chicago Business editorial, this budget proposal "was a bit like watching a dog chase its tail.  Gov. Bruce Rauner went through the motions, again insisting his turnaround agenda priorities are key to fixing Illinois' fiscal problems despite scant evidence to support this claim.  Democratic leaders, meanwhile, immediately rejected Rauner's call to pass his budget or allow him to make the cuts he deems necessary to put spending in balance."

 

The budget impasse is horrible for the state.  Real people are getting hurt by this inaction.  Universities are in danger of closing or losing accreditation.  Students who may not receive state scholarships are unable to return to school.  Seniors can no longer receive care in their homes.  And social service agencies throughout the state are closing programs and laying off staff with devastating impact to people they serve.  


We can and should work with the governor on his turnaround agenda issues and more, but as critical social services shut down on a near-daily basis and higher education flounders, my focus is a budget for Illinois. I'm working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle in both chambers to get to a solution as soon as possible - on the budget and reforms - and I am convinced there is a path forward that is positive for residents, workers and businesses throughout the state.  While the Senate President has been looking for areas of agreement to end the impasse, we need all our leaders to put the concerns of the public first.

Please also see below for two informative events - one on property tax appeals and the other on financial literacy - taking place tonight in the 7th District. As always, I encourage you to contact me with any questions by calling my office at (773) 769-1717 or through my website.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

budget table

77 Proud Financial Literacy Resource Fair

 

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (TONIGHT) at 6:30 p.m.

Loyola Park Field House

Drama Room

1230 W. Greenleaf Ave.

Chicago, IL 60626

 

6:30 - Resource Fair

7:00 - Basic Banking and Savings

8:00 - Loan and Debt Management

 

FREE

Refreshments will be provided free of charge.

Please register here.

 

Sponsored by City Treasurer Summers, Equality Illinois, MB Financial Bank and the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce

 

Property Tax Workshop

 

For 49th Ward and 50th Ward homeowners

 

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (TONIGHT), 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Devon Bank Community Room (lower level)

6445 N. Western Ave., Chicago

 

Sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans, Sen. Ira Silverstein, Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Ald. Joe Moore, Ald. Debra Silverstein, Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin and Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios

 

The property tax appeal deadline is Monday, March 14, 2016. For more information about the appeals process, you may contact Assessor Berrios at (312) 443-7500 or www.CookCountyAssessor.com, or Commissioner Suffredin at (847) 864-1209.

 

 

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

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