Senator Steans

May 12, 2015

Dear Friends,

 

Please be aware of two upcoming events in our district. The first is a job fair Alderman Joe Moore, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Representative Kelly Cassidy, Commissioner Larry Suffredin, the Howard Area Community Center and I will host tomorrow. The second is a public hearing on the CTA's Lawrence to Bryn Mawr Modernization Project. Please scroll down for the details on both events.

 

As always, please contact me with your questions and concerns through my website or by calling (773) 769-1717 .

 

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

 

Are you ready for a new job?

 

Come dressed to interview and bring 20 copies of your resume, because a wide variety of employers will be represented at Wednesday's job fair. Workshops on job preparation and resume writing will be offered, and representatives from workforce re-entry programs serving ex-offenders will also be present.

 

Wednesday, May 13

10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Willye White Park Fieldhouse

1610 W. Howard (at Ashland)

 

Learn about the Lawrence to Bryn Mawr project and have your say

 

As part of the Red and Purple Modernization Program, the CTA plans to rebuild the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr stations and the tracks adjacent to them. The goal is to improve the stations and make them accessible to customers with disabilities. In addition to ensuring ADA compliance, the project will install better lighting, add benches and real-time information boards and widen platforms for to relieve crowding.

 

Information about the project and the environmental assessment completed on it will be available at Thursday's meeting, and the public may submit written or oral comments at that time. Written comments will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. on May 29 and may be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mailed to Chicago Transit Authority, Strategic Planning, 10th Floor, 567 W. Lake St., Chicago, IL 60661.

 

Thursday, May 14

6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Broadway Armory

5917 N. Broadway

Served by CTA Thorndale Station (Red Line) and CTA Bus #36 Broadway

 

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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Senator Steans

March 3, 2015

Dear Friends,

 

Today, the Senate took the first step toward solving Illinois' child care funding crisis.

 

Reliable, affordable child care is absolutely essential for parents who are doing their best to participate in our economy and improve their families' prospects by working and/or attending school. The $300 million shortfall in Child Care Assistance Program funding threatens to leave 100,000 families and their 165,000 children without access to affordable child care.

 

The solution we advanced today involves no borrowing and no new revenues. It's been almost a month since parents who rely on CCAP came to us with their stories, asking us to support them as they build better lives for their families, and it is imperative that we move forward quickly to resolve this short-term crisis, which has already shut down child care centers and left working parents without options.

 

The plan, Senate Bill 274, allows the governor to move $579 million in excess money sitting unused in various state funds to fill gaps in essential areas of spending, including CCAP. The measure will also provide overtime owed to prison guards and services for people with developmental disabilities. Today, the Senate Appropriations I Committee, which I chair, approved the legislation and sent it to the full Senate.

 

I will keep you informed as this measure moves through the legislative process. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to contact me about this or any other issue. My office and I would be glad to assist you. You may call (773) 769-1717 or click here.

 

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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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)

 

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www.SenatorSteans.com

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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

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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