Senator Steans

April 18, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Town Hall on Recreational MarijuanaDon’t miss my town hall tomorrow evening, April 19, at 7 p.m. at Broadway Armory Park (5917 N. Broadway) with Rep. Cassidy! This is an opportunity for you to learn more about proposed legislation to legalize recreational marijuana and voice your opinion on the topic. Space is limited, so please RSVP here to reserve your seat. For those of you that are not able to attend, click here to watch the town hall on Facebook live.

 

Rep. Cassidy and I will also host a Meet and Greet at the Rogers Park Social Club (6920 N. Glenwood Ave.) on Sunday, April 23 from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. We will provide an update on legislation and the current state of affairs in Illinois. To RSVP for the Meet and Greet, click here.

 

Please see below for more information about Clean and Green events in the district to celebrate Earth Day, upcoming community policing town halls and information about the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or online with any questions or concerns.

 

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

 

Clean and Green Events to celebrate Earth Day

Senator Steans celebrates Arbor Day in the district

To celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, neighbors are gathering throughout the district to lead cleanup efforts as a part of Chicago’s citywide Clean & Green Day of Service. The City will provide the tools for the projects. Please see below for a full list of events.

 

49th ward
9 a.m.
Meet at the 49th Ward Service Office, 7356 N. Greenview for coffee and rolls before heading out across the neighborhood. Volunteers will pick up trash, cut weeds and plant flowers. Volunteers will return to the Ward office at noon for a “Taste of the 49th Ward” featuring an array of food donated from restaurants in the ward.
To register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, address, phone number, email, number of participants, organization (if applicable) and locations in need of attention. You can also register by calling 773-338-5796.

 

48th ward
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
We will sweep, paint and plant our way throughout the 48th ward to improve our schools, gardens, parks and storefronts. A free barbecue will follow at the Streets and Sanitation yard.
To sign up, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 773-784-5277.

 

47th ward
Neighbors will meet at 6 different locations in the morning:
Ravenswood Neighbors meet at Wilson and Hermitage at 10 a.m.
Meet John at Lawrence and the east side of Ravenswood at 10 a.m.
Meet in Revere Park (2509 W. Irving Park) at 9 a.m.
Meet Matt at 2011 W. Eastwood at 10 a.m.
Meet Ross at Sunken Gardens (located at Virginia and Sunnyside) at 9 a.m.
Riverbank Neighbors meet at Berteau and the river at 10 a.m.

 

46th ward
For more information or to register, call 311. The deadline to register is Wednesday, April 19.

 

40th ward
For more information and to request tools for the day, call 773-769-1140.

 

Community Policing Town Halls

 

The Community Policing Advisory Panel will host three town hall meetings to give residents an opportunity to provide feedback on the Chicago Police Department’s focus on community policing. The goal of the advisory panel is to develop a strategic plan to work with neighborhoods to fight crime and to restore trust between residents and police.

 

Tuesday, April 18th: George Westinghouse College Prep
3223 W Franklin Blvd Chicago, IL 60624
6:30pm – 8:30pm

 

Tuesday, April 25th: Sullivan High School
6631 N Bosworth Ave Chicago, IL 60626
6:30pm – 8:30pm

 

Tuesday, May 2nd: Corliss Early College STEM High School
821 E 103rd St Chicago, IL 60628
6:30pm – 8:30pm

 

The deadline to apply for Neighborhood Opportunity Fund is April 21

 

Chicago Neighborhoods Now FundThe Neighborhood Opportunity Fund supports commercial areas in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago. Business and property owners can apply for a grant to pay for the rehabilitation or development of real estate projects that support new or expanding businesses or cultural assets.

 

The first round application deadline is April 21, 2017. The second round deadline is October 2, 2017. For more information, 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

April 13, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Legalizing recreational marijuana would be a big policy change in the state. I know many of you have feelings and opinions about this legislation, and as your state senator, it is important to me to hear your feedback on this legislation.

 

Please join me and State Representative Kelly Cassidy for a town hall to discuss legalizing recreational marijuana at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, at the Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway. The event is free and open to the public. If you are able to attend, please RSVP here.

 

I do not plan to move forward with this bill hastily. Representative Cassidy and I want to ensure that there is ample time for organizations and individuals to voice their opinions and for us to adjust the legislation based on that information.

 

If you can’t make it on Wednesday, join us from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Rogers Park Social Club, 6920 N. Glenwood Ave., for a Meet and Greet. Representative Cassidy and I will be available to update you on legislation and the current state of affairs in Illinois. To RSVP for the Meet and Greet, click here.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or online with any questions or concerns.

 

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

 

Upcoming Event Flyers

 

Town Hall on Recreational Marijuana

 

Join us for a Meet and Greet

 

Edgewater Village Survey for individuals 55+

 

The Edgewater Village, a free resource to connect older adults with neighborhood services, social and cultural events, and volunteer opportunities in the community is conducting a community needs assessment survey and would like your feedback. If you are 55 and above, click here to complete the survey to help Edgewater Village determine what older adults want from the community. The survey is open until April 17.

 

 

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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www.SenatorSteans.com

 

 

Senator Steans

April 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Please find a list of noteworthy bills that have been posted to committee this week below along with the committee hearing schedule. The deadline for many of these bills to move out of committee is this Friday, April 7.

 

Once a bill moves out of committee it will be read on the Senate floor two more times before it is called for a vote. Between readings of a bill, members can make changes to the legislation by filing amendments. Some amendments will also be discussed in committee hearings.

 

I have included legislation that I both support and oppose so that you can stay informed and decide your stance on these bills. If you have questions on my position on any of these pieces of legislation, please feel free to contact my office.

 

For directions on how to submit a witness slip to show your support or opposition to a particular bill, click here. Witness slips are a vital piece of the legislative process. Before a bill is heard in committee, the chairperson will read who has submitted witness slips and whether they support or oppose the bill. This helps inform me and other legislators as to where Illinoisans and organizations stand, allowing us to make informed decisions when voting. Witness slips are a great and relatively quick way to make your voice heard in state government.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or online with any questions or concerns. Lastly, if someone forwarded this message to you and you’d like to sign up for this list, click here.

 

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

 

Noteworthy legislation in committee this week

 

Criminal and Civil Law issues

  • Officer-involved shootings - SB 58 requires police officers involved in shootings to submit to drug and alcohol testing within one hour to ensure they were not impaired while discharging a firearm. (Hunter)

  • Bail - SB 552 removes a court's discretion to determine bail. The court can either release or keep an individual in custody based on the crime or risk assessment evaluation. (Trotter)

  • Jury service - SB 889 prohibits jurors from being excluded from jury service on the basis of race, color, sex or sexual orientation. (Hutchinson)

  • Auto insurance - SB 1706 ensures that your credit score won't affect your auto policy rate. (Collins)

  • Marijuana possession - SB 1886 reduces felony possession of marijuana and other drugs to misdemeanors and creates a fund to deal with high incarceration rates in some neighborhoods. (Hutchinson)

 

Education issues

  • Guaranteed funding for the U of I - SB 222 requires the University of Illinois to meet certain benchmarks in attendance, retention and performance in return for guaranteed funding for the next five years. (Cunningham)

  • Senator Steans celebrates Arbor Day in the districtSchool funding - SB 446 provides districts with twice the state high school dropout rate with additional funding for high school dropouts that re-enroll in an evidence-based program. (Lightford)

  • Accelerated school - SB 1223 allows students to be referred to and partake in an accelerated placement program. (Lightford)

  • Removal of board officers - SB 1945 establishes a process for removing and replacing elected university and community college boards. (Tracy)


Environment issues

  • Recycling task force - SB 1775 creates a task force on recycling strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will review and provide recommendations on municipal initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (Harmon)

Human Service issues

  • Human service hardship - SB 1522 requires the Department of Human Services to develop a process for a facility experiencing cash flow issues to request a hardship payment from a managed care organization as an advance against money the managed care organization owes the facility. (Steans)

  • Nursing home reimbursement rates - SB 1559 replaces the state's current static wage adjuster with an adjuster that considers facility-specific staffing levels and wages paid for the new nursing services reimbursement method. (Steans)


Public Health issues

  • Staffing waivers - SB 626 allows the Director of Public Health to grant staffing waivers to nursing homes that are unable to meet the state's registered nurse staffing levels but meet certain requirements. (McCann)

  • Hospital dumping - SB 1624 halts the improper involuntary discharge of residents and fines nursing homes that do so. (Biss)

  • Smoking in vehicles - SB 1221 prohibits smoking in a closed vehicle with minors. (Silverstein)

  • Prescriptions - SB 1607 requires all prescribers to check the prescription monitoring program for a patient's controlled substance prescription history before prescribing schedule II, III, IV or V drugs. (Bush)

  • Prescription costs - SB 73 requires drug manufactures to provide notice if a drug cost increases by 25 percent or $10,000 in a year. (Silverstein)

  • Opioids - SB 1609 requires health insurance companies to provide coverage for prescription drugs used as opioid-abuse deterrents. (Bush)


Tax and Revenue issues

  • Video gaming - SB 1664 allows Gateway Motorsports Park to operate up to 200 video gaming terminals. (Clayborne)

  • Fair tax - SJRCA 1 would clear the way for a fair income tax with lower rates for those with lower earnings and higher rates for those with higher earnings. (Harmon)

  • Senior exemption - SB 470 increases the maximum senior citizens homeowner exemption amount. (Homes)

  • Tax Lien Registry - SB 1280 requires the Department of Revenue to establish and maintain a public database of individuals who have neglected or refused to pay any state tax, fee, penalty or interest owed. (Althoff)

  • Retail stores paying their share - SB 1793 works to end the practice of large retail stores seeking lower assessed valuation, which shifts the property tax burden to taxpayers. (Stadelman)


Workers’ rights and employment

  • Short term employment - SB 1453 creates a program to offer short-term employment to individuals with physical or mental disabilities. (McCann)

  • Family leave - SB 1721 allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of family leave following the birth or adoption of a child, placement of a foster child or to care for a seriously ill family member. (Biss)

  • Minimum wage - SB 1738 increases the minimum wage to $15 by 2021. (Lightford)

 

Committee schedule, Tuesday, April 4

All committees are in the Capitol unless otherwise statedSenator Steans in a committee hearing

  • Senate Appropriations I Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget request for the Department of Human Services
    11 a.m., Room 212

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

  • Senate Public Health Subcommittee on Long Term Care
    4 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Public Health Committee
    4:30 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

 

Committee schedule, Wednesday, April 5

 

  • Senate Appropriations I Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget requests for the Department on Aging, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, Council on Developmental Disabilities, Department of Human Rights, Human Rights Commission and Department of Public Health
    8:30 a.m., Room 400

  • Senate Gaming Committee
    9 a.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

  • Senate Committee on Medicaid Managed Care
    10:30 a.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

  • Senate Government Reform Committee
    2:45 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Higher Education Committee
    3:45 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Judiciary Committee
    3:45 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Human Services Committee
    3:45 p.m., Room 409
    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.

  • Senate Insurance Committee
    5:15 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee schedule, Thursday, March 30

 

  • Senate Agriculture Committee
    8:15 a.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Appropriations II Committee subject matter hearing n the FY18 budget requests for the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois State Treasurer
    9 a.m., Room 212

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

  • Senate Transportation Committee
    10:30 a.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Criminal Law Committee
    10:30 a.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Environment and Conservation Committee
    12 p.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Listen to a committee live

 

To listen to a hearing live, click here and select the room the committee you’re interested in is meeting. The committee schedule is subject to change and some committees may be cancelled throughout the week. Committees may be delayed if previous events in the day run longer than initially scheduled. The Senate Democrats tweet committees, including when they begin and end. Follow them at @ILSenDems.

 

 

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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www.SenatorSteans.com

 

Senator Steans

March 28, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

I believe that Illinois needs a new approach to marijuana; prohibition is not working. This past week Representative Kelly Cassidy and I introduced legislation in the Senate and House to legalize recreational marijuana for individuals over the age of 21. Senate Bill 316 legalizes the possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana and will allow facilities to sell marijuana products.

 

Senator Steans on the Senate floorIn a regulated system, recreational marijuana would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for the state and support licensed businesses. This new revenue is crucial given Illinois’s current fiscal crisis and the governor’s proposed budget that includes a $5 billion funding gap. Prohibition is a financial hole in the ground, and I believe that we should stop throwing taxpayer dollars into it. While I do not believe that legalizing and taxing marijuana will or should solve all of our budget woes, it should be a part of the conversation about resolving Illinois’ worsening budget problems. Every bit of new revenue will help to close the governor’s $5 billion budget gap.

 

Excess revenue from the sale of recreational marijuana will go toward supporting the State Board of Education, voluntary prevention or treatment programs for alcohol, tobacco and marijuana use, an accurate public education campaign for youth and adults about the health and safety risks of alcohol, tobacco and marijuana, and the state’s General Revenue Fund.

 

It is clear that individuals across the nation are receptive to purchasing marijuana through a legal market. During this past election, voters from coast to coast passed ballot initiatives to legalize its use, making recreational marijuana now legal in eight states and Washington, D.C. Earlier this week the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute released polling results that show that 66 percent of Illinoisans support legalizing marijuana.

 

I also introduced this legislation because studies are increasingly finding that marijuana can be an effective alternative to opioids for pain management. While opioids killed more than 33,000 individuals in the United States in 2015 alone, I believe that we should explore all options to end the epidemic.

 

I know that there are some concerns that by legalizing marijuana, there will be increased drug use among teens and children. However, recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado in 2014 and since then the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey has found that marijuana consumption by teens has not increased.

 

I have done extensive research on how other states have implemented new recreational marijuana programs and included elements in the bill to promote public safety. SB 316 will require the Department of Public Health to develop rules for marijuana establishments and home growers including security, training requirements, labeling standards and child resistant packaging. Under this legislation, driving under the influence of marijuana will remain prohibited.

 

I am excited to bring this issue before my colleagues in the Senate and look forward to a robust conversation about how we can open up new economic markets in Illinois by legalizing recreational marijuana.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or online with any questions or concerns.

 

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

 

 

Get more involved in state government

 

Keeping track of what’s happening in Springfield can be difficult. Let me help make it easier to follow by sending you a list of noteworthy legislation that will be heard in committees during session weeks.

 

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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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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