Senator Steans

February 8, 2016

Dear Friends,

 

Illinois is now in its eighth month without a budget.  This is unprecedented and inexcusable, with real people getting hurt throughout the state.  Individuals suffering from mental health illnesses and substance use disorders are not able to receive treatment.  Many seniors are no longer getting home health care services.  And social service providers across Illinois are closing down programs due to the budget impasse.

 

One of the most sweeping effects of our lack of a budget has been the non-payment of Monetary Assistance Program grants that allow low-income students to attend colleges in Illinois. When Gov. Rauner vetoed the higher education budget we passed in May, funding to pay these grants was cut off indefinitely. As a result, Illinois' colleges and universities tell us that more than 1,000 recipients were unable to return to classes after winter break this year.

 

I don't believe a piecemeal approach to the budget is the best course of action. Already, Illinois' social safety net has been deeply damaged. Even if we were to have a budget in place tomorrow, the recovery of our social services infrastructure, not to mention many other areas of state government activity, would be hard, slow and expensive. The sooner we embark on this process, the better, and only a complete and fully-funded budget will restore the certainty and confidence needed to make it succeed.

 

Last Thursday, however, I voted for legislation that would release funding for MAP grants, community colleges and adult education programs, because if we allow thousands of qualified, motivated students to leave the state or drop out of higher education due to finances, it will be exceedingly difficult for Illinois to bounce back from the blow to our economy and quality of life.

 

The House and Senate both passed this bill last week.  While Governor Rauner pledged not to sign it, I hope he reconsiders.

 

We do need to have a serious conversation about slowing the rise in tuition and making college more affordable for middle-class families. That's why the budget proposed and passed by the legislature included a 16% reduction in appropriations to public colleges and universities - a sensible alternative to the drastic cut (almost one-third of all state funding) the Governor had requested. At the same time, we increased MAP grants to make college more accessible to low-income students - many of them seeking to be the first in their families to earn a post-secondary degree.

 

But when the governor vetoed the higher education budget, strategic reforms had to be put on the back burner as institutions struggled to continue serving students. Eastern Illinois University has eliminated 200 staff positions. Chicago State University will run out of operating funds in March. The effect on college in Illinois has been broad, not targeted, and low-income and working students - 60 percent of them female and many of them balancing caring for their families with improving their earning potential - have borne the brunt of the harm. Low-income, non-traditional and part-time students require more support and resources from administration and faculty, not less, so across-the-board cuts are likely to result in lower graduation rates among the students who stand to benefit most from a degree, rather than in the elimination of waste.

 

Governor Rauner tried to take a positive tone in his State of the State address, offering hope that a bipartisan compromise can end the budget standoff.  The governor mentioned some areas where he believes compromise is achievable. He endorsed President Cullerton's pension proposal and pledged to work with legislators to pass constitutional and effective public employee pension reform. He referenced bipartisan criminal justice reform accomplishments. He also joined voices calling for greater equity in school funding.

 

We can work with the governor on all these 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.

 

As I continue working toward a responsible budget solution, it's also very important to me and my office that we keep you informed. We know the current situation is affecting you and your families, neighbors, customers and clients. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (773) 769-1717 or through my website with any questions, comments or ideas.

 

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)

 

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www.SenatorSteans.com

Senator Steans

January 8, 2016

Dear Friends,

 

This Sunday, January 10th at 2 p.m., along with Congresswoman Schakowsky, Alderman Joe Moore, and Representative Kelly Cassidy, I'll be hosting an informational event on the rights of individuals when confronted by immigration authorities. The presentation will be conducted by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights and Centro Romero.

 

The event will be held at St. Jerome's Church (1709 W Lunt Ave.)

 

Please see below for a Spanish-language flyer, and share this information with your friends and neighbors.

 

I'd also appreciate it if you'd join with me in helping our fellow Illinoisans who have lost homes and belongings in the devastating flooding of the past few weeks. My colleague Rep. Brandon Phelps has organized a statewide supply drive to assist the victims, and I'm collecting donations to take with me when I go to Springfield next week for the start of a new legislative session.

 

Items needed include mops, buckets, bleach, rubber gloves, face masks, bottled water and non-perishable food. We are not accepting monetary donations at this time. Please bring your donations to my office (5533 N. Broadway) by Tuesday, Jan. 12. Call (773) 769-1717 with any questions.

 

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

 

Know Your Rights

 

 

 

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)

 

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www.SenatorSteans.com

Senator Steans

October 30, 2015

Dear Friends,

 

As October draws to a close, I'm excited to share with you some of our upcoming events planned for the month of November. Please keep reading for information about a prenatal and neonatal care seminar, a community resources fair and a food drive I'm co-hosting to benefit your neighbors in need through Care for Real.

 

I've also included information about a paid internship opportunity with the General Assembly. Illinois has one of the nation's oldest and best legislative staff internship programs. Many of its alumni have gone on to make outstanding contributions in state government and other fields. I would encourage you to share this announcement with anyone who has completed college (or will graduate by next spring) and has an interest in politics and public service.

 

 

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

 

Quality care for mothers and babies

 

prenatal

 

 

Share with your neighbors in need: help us with our food drive

 

 

Please join Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Ald. Harry Osterman and me in helping those in need this holiday season. We will be accepting cans at our offices through November 23.

food drive

 

Learn about the many resources in our community

 

expo

 

 

Paid legislative staff internship - apply by March 1, 2016

 

The Illinois Legislative Staff Intern Program (ILSIP) accepts applicants from all academic backgrounds who have completed either their undergraduate or advanced degree. Using the Capitol as both a workplace and a classroom, the program offers interns the opportunity to work as professional legislative staff members with either the partisan leadership of the Illinois General Assembly or the Legislative Research Unit. ILSIP interns work full-time for 10.5 months for a monthly stipend of $2,100, along with a tuition waiver for four graduate credit hours. Interns also attend a mandatory academic seminar conducted by UIS faculty. The program is intended to broaden the perspective of those planning academic, business or government careers so they may carry into their chosen fields an understanding of the legislative process.

Applications are due in the ILSIP office by March 1, 2016 and final selections and placements are announced late April to mid-May. Internships begin August 16, 2016. For more information, call 217-206-6579 or click here.

 

 

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

October 20, 2015

Dear Friends,

 

Finding a job isn't easy, especially when you've been out of the workforce for a while. That's why I'm co-hosting the Rogers Park Job Fair and Employment Resource Workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow at the Willye White Park Field House (1610 W. Howard).

 

More than 30 employers and organizations will be on site to talk with you, answer your questions, connect you with valuable resources and, more importantly, open doors to job opportunities.

 

Participants include

    • Avon Products

    • Chicago Botanic Gardens

    • Chicago Urban League

    • City of Chicago

    • Goodwill Industries

    • Kohl's

    • T-Mobile

    • Westside Health Authority

and many more

 

In addition to meeting prospective employers, you'll be able to attend a workshop on improving your resume, get job search tips and find assistance tailored to those reentering the workforce. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Ald. Joe Moore, Commissioner Larry Suffredin, the Howard Area Community Center and I are sponsoring this event. Please attend, and share this announcement with your friends and neighbors.

 

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

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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