Senator Steans

March 27, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

We are halfway through the legislative session and many pieces of legislation are moving on to their second reading on the Senate floor.

 

Though the week before last was the deadline for substantive bills to move out of committee, many Senators filed for an extension. The new deadline on several bills, though not all, is April 7.

 

Once again, I have included legislation introduced by both Democrats and Republicans in the list below. I support some of this legislation and do not support others. I have noted both so that you can stay informed and decide which pieces you’d like to support or oppose. I have grouped the legislation by subtopic to make it easier to navigate.

 

If you would like to see all of the bills that are posted to a committee, click here and select the committee you’d like to review. The list can be found under “bills” on the committee page.

 

For directions on how to submit a witness slip to show your support or opposition to a particular bill, click here. By clicking the link next to each committee below, you can see who has submitted witness slips and submit a witness slip of your own.

 

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback on how to improve this email update. 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

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

  • Order of protection - SB 1291 allows a family member or law enforcement officer to request an emergency order of protection if an individual poses an immediate threat to them or another person. This would require the individual to turn over firearms for the duration of the order. (Morrison)

  • Civil asset forfeiture - SB 1578 requires probable cause to seize property and removes financial incentive for police to do so. (Harmon)

  • 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)

  • Legal counsel for minors - SB 1265 requires that minors who have been accused of a serious crime have legal counsel present during interrogations. (Van Pelt)

Education issues

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

  • 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)

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

Energy issues

  • Renewable Portfolio Standard - SB 71 changes the effective date of the Renewable Portfolio Standard portion of the energy bill passed in the fall to give an immediate effective date to the RPS portion of the bill. (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)

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

  • Personal needs allowance - SB 1353 Increases the total monthly personal needs allowance for every resident living in a community integrated living arrangement, long-term care facility, or Intermediate Care Facility for individuals with Developmental Disabilities that is eligible for medical assistance to $60 from state and federal sources. (Steans)

  • Domestic violence shelters - SB 1695 appropriates $18.6 million to domestic violence shelters and service programs. (Sandoval)

Public aid issues

  • Medicaid drug screening - SB 1708 requires all applicants for medical assistance and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families services to pass a drug test at the time of application and to submit to random drug tests. (Rose)

  • Photo on LINK card - SB 1709 would include a photo of the cardholder on every LINK card. (Rose)

  • Public aid - SB 1710 would require the Department of Human Services to cross-reference public aid recipients with the State Police's database of outstanding criminal warrants. If a recipient has an outstanding warrant, benefits would be halted. (Rose)

Public health and safety issues

  • Flu vaccines - SB 741 allows the Illinois Department of Public Health to require health care personnel in licensed facilities to receive the flu vaccination. (Jones III)

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

  • Opioid treatment - SB 1596 removes the requirements that Medicaid cover treatment of alcohol dependence, opioid dependence and opioid overdose treatment without utilization controls, prior authorization or lifetime restrictions. (Righter)

  • 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)

  • Driver's license suspension - SB 1614 removes provisions for the Secretary of State to suspend a license, such as failure to pay toll violations or more than 10 parking tickets. (Aquino)

  • Seat belts on school buses - SB 1431 requires seat belts and safety hatches on school buses. (Sandoval)

  • 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)

Human rights issues

  • Muslim American Advisory Council - SB 1696 creates an Illinois Muslim American Advisory Council. (Collins)

Tax issues

  • 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 issues

  • Paid sick time - SB 1296 requires employers to provide paid sick time to full- and part-time employees. (Hutchinson)

  • 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, March 28

 

All committees are in the Capitol unless otherwise stated

• Senate Appropriations II Committee subject Senator Steans in a committee hearingmatter hearing on the FY18 budget request for the Illinois State Board of Education
9 a.m., Room 212

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

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

• Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
1 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Higher Education Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Judiciary Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Human Services Subcommittee on Special Issues
2:30 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Human Services Committee
3 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Transportation Committee
4:30 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

 

Committee schedule, Wednesday, March 29

 

• Senate Appropriations I Committee
8:30 a.m., Room 400
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 Gaming Committee
9 a.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

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

• Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee
12 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

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

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

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

 

Committee schedule, Thursday, March 30

 

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

• 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 Energy and Public Utilities Committee
11 a.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Environment and Conservation Committee
11 a.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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Senator Steans

March 14, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

After Gov. Rauner stifled the grand bargain, the Senate called on more than a dozen Rauner administration agency heads to testify about possible budget cuts to reduce the $5 billion gap in the governor’s budget.

 

Senator Steans speaks at a press conferenceThe cabinet directors were repeatedly unable, unwilling or unprepared to offer any savings or program cuts. Out of 15 agency directors that testified, none of them could identify a single dollar to cut.

 

This is especially concerning considering that the governor has asked the General Assembly to give him the power to cut whatever he wants in order to balance spending for three years in a row. The fact that the governor's handpicked agency heads failed to find any cuts suggests that the governor might be ill-prepared to do that.

 

By continuing to push his partisan priorities, the governor is hurting taxpayers, businesses and families. Every day that we don’t resolve this budget crisis, $11 million is added to the state’s debt and our backlog of bills grows.

 

Though the governor presented a budget that is now $5 billion out of balance, I remain determined to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find compromise and fill the budget gap the governor created.

 

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.

 

If you are interested in receiving this kind of update, please sign up here.

 

 

Upcoming events in the district

 

There are several upcoming events in the district, including an information session on lead exposure this Saturday, March 18. Additionally, see below for more information about how you can pick up a free tree from a water reclamation plant and the details of our next know your rights event.

 

Lead Workshop in Rogers Park 3/18

Restore the Canopy

Know your rights

 

 

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

 

Senator Steans

March 7, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Thank you for seeking to take on a more active role in state government and for signing up for this new email list. If someone forwarded this message to you and you’d like to sign up for this list, click here.

 

I have included a list of noteworthy pieces of legislation that have been posted to committee this week below along with the committee schedule. This list includes legislation introduced by both democrats and republicans. I support some of the pieces of legislation below and do not support other pieces. I have included both so that you can stay informed and decide which pieces you’d like to support or oppose.

 

If you would like to see all of the bills that are posted to a committee, click here and select the committee you’d like to review. The list can be found under “bills” on the committee page.

 

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. Additionally, 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.

 

For directions on how to submit a witness slip to show your support or opposition to a particular bill, click here.

 

If you are interested in tracking legislation beyond its hearing in a committee, you can sign up for a free bill tracking tool on www.ilga.gov. You can build queries based on which committees the legislation moves through and follow it as it is debated, voted on and passed to the other chamber. To sign up, click the “My Legislation” tab on www.ilga.gov.

 

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or feedback on how to improve this email update. 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

 

Legislation to watch in committee this week

 

• Tuition reimbursement – SB 1897 establishes a tuition reimbursement grant for full-time in-state undergraduate students attending a state university. (McGuire)

• Drug testing for SNAP benefits – SB 79 requires drug testing for to receive SNAP benefits and state medical assistance. (McCarter)

• Disabled services – SB 84 provides home-based and long-term community-based services to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who are eligible for Medicaid assistance. (Steans)

• 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)

• Attorneys at bail hearings – SB 1690 allows attorneys to be present at bail hearings and requires the court to appoint an attorney if a person cannot afford it. (Raoul)

• Sexual orientation as a criminal defense – SB 1761 bars sexual orientation or gender identity from being considered mitigating factors or serious provocation in murder cases. (Biss)

• Emissions testing – SB 836 requires emissions test stations within 5 miles of residents subject to testing instead rather than 12 miles required under current state law. (Mulroe)

• Dark money in politics – SB 2089 requires politically active non-profit organizations like the NRA and unions to register as political committees and report their donors. (Harmon)

• U.S.-Mexican wall contractors – SB 2091 prohibits state agencies from contracting with businesses that contract with the federal government to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border. (Sandoval)

• Paid sick time – SB 1296 requires employers to provide paid sick time to full- and part-time employees. (Hutchinson)

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

• Equal pay – SB 981 strengthens the Illinois Equal Pay Act and prohibits employers from asking job applicants what their previous salary was in an effort to reduce the gender wage gap. (Biss)

• Right to work – SB 1905 prohibits local governments from enacting right-to-work ordinances. (Silverstein)

• Clean coal – SB 1840 establishes a clean coal technology grant program. (Manar)

• Protecting bees – SB 673 bans the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on public lands and residential settings. (Harmon)

• Plastic bag ban – SB 1597 bars the use of non-compostable plastic bags in Illinois. (Link)

 

Committee schedule, Tuesday, March 7

(All committees are in the Capitol unless otherwise stated)

• Senate Education Committee subject matter hearing on Federal Every Student Succeeds Act 10:30 a.m., Room 212

• Senate Education Committee subject matter hearing on testimony from ISBE on the governor's FY18 proposed budget
1 p.m., Room 212

• Senate Public Health Committee subject matter hearing on testimony from the Department of Public Health on the governor's FY18 proposed budget
1 p.m., Room 400

• Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
1 p.m., Room 409

• Senate Higher Education Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 212

• Senate Judiciary Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 400

• Senate Human Services Committee subject matter haring on testimony from the Department of Human services, Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Department of Children and Family Services, Department of Juvenile Justice, and Department on Aging on the governor's FY18 proposed budget
2:30 p.m., Room 409

• Senate Transportation Committee
4:30 p.m., Room 212

• Senate Criminal Law Committee
4:30 p.m., Room 400

 

Committee Schedule, Wednesday, March 8

 

• Senate Appropriations I Committee subject matter hearing on the Governor's Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Public Health on fiscal year 2017 liabilities
8:30 a.m., Room 400

• Senate Gaming Committee
9 a.m., Room 212

• Senate Local Government Committee subject matter hearing on testimony from mayors on the effects of the budget impasse for municipal governments
9 a.m., Room 409

• Senate Executive Committee
1 p.m., Room 212

• Senate Licensed Activities Committee
1 p.m., Room 400

• Senate State Government Committee
1 p.m., Room 409

• Senate Labor Committee subject matter hearing on testimony from the Department of Labor on the governor's FY18 proposed budget
3 p.m., Room 212

• Senate Government Reform Committee
3 p.m., Room 400

• Senate Revenue Committee
4:15 p.m., Room 212

• Senate Insurance Committee
4:15 p.m., Room 400

• Joint Senate Appropriations I, Appropriations II and Revenue Committee Hearing Subject Matter On: COGFA's 2018 Economic Forecast and Revenue Estimate and FY 2017 Revenue Outlook Update
5:15 p.m., Room 212

 

Committee Schedule, Thursday, March 9

 

• Senate Agriculture Committee
8:30 a.m., Room 409

• Senate Commerce and Economic Development Committee
9 a.m., Room 400

• Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee
10:45 a.m., Room 212

• Senate Telecommunications and Information Technology Committee
10:45 a.m., Room 400

• Senate Environment and Conservation Committee
10:45 a.m., Room 409

• Senate Criminal Law Committee subject matter hearing on testimony from the Department of Corrections and the Department of State Police on the governor's FY18 proposed budget
12 p.m., Room 400

 

 

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

 

Senator Steans

March 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Gov. Bruce Rauner sank to a new low this week, and he took the state’s latest hope for a budget deal with him.

 

For unclear reasons, the governor chose to interfere in Senate negotiations on the much-anticipated grand bargain, a package of bipartisan measures designed to cut costs, reform state government and generate revenue. Some of the proposals reflected Democratic priorities, others reflected Republican priorities. And some contained proposals that directly reflected priorities set forth in the governor’s agenda, such as workers compensation reform, pension reform and a property tax freeze.

 

Even the governor’s own budget proposal – unbalanced by at least $4.6 billion – was counting on the all-or-nothing comprehensive Senate deal. For weeks, the governor publicly encouraged the Senate to continue negotiating the grand bargain and vowed he would not interfere with our efforts.

 

But on Wednesday, as senators prepared to take votes on some of the more difficult issues in the package, the governor apparently no longer could sit idly by, choosing instead to intimidate Republicans into withdrawing their support for the deal.

 

His interference effectively killed a bipartisan compromise that had been in the works for months and could have helped resolve the state’s crippling two-year budget stalemate.

 

In my work as a state lawmaker, I rarely have felt as frustrated as I felt Wednesday when the rug was pulled out from under me and everyone else who had worked so hard on this deal and had negotiated in good faith.

 

Gov. Rauner refuses to present a balanced budget – even though the Illinois Constitution requires him to do so – and he killed the Senate’s effort to achieve one. That doesn’t sound like a governor whose number one priority is to end the budget stalemate.

 

In spite of those challenges, my colleagues and I in the Senate are committed to ending the budget stalemate. Expect to see this issue receive even more attention in the coming weeks. I’ll keep you posted.

 

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

 

 

Fighting for direct support personnel

 

My legislation to increase wages for direct support personnel made it out of committee this week.

 

Senate Bill 955 would raise hourly starting wages to $15 from $9.30 for front-line workers paid by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

 

Direct support professionals have mentally, physically and emotionally taxing jobs and provide a great service to our communities. Many of them have struggled financially because they have not been paid a living wage for far too long. The starting wage has not been raised in nearly a decade.

 

Illinois direct support personnel receive some of the lowest wages in the nation for this type of work. Low starting wages has made attracting and retaining qualified staff challenging, leading to high vacancy rates and challenges providing quality care.

 

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 that week.

 

 If you are interested in receiving this kind of update, please sign up here.

 

Upcoming Events

 

Indivisible Elected Official Panel and Workshop

Indivisible Illinois will meet Monday, March 6 at 6 p.m. (doors open at 5:45 p.m.) at the Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center, 1655 Foster Street, Evanston, IL 60201, for an update on federal and state issues and an activist workshop.

 

I will speak alongside Congresswoman Jan Schakowksy, Congressman Mike Quigley, State Senator Daniel Biss and State Representative Kelly Cassidy.

 

Indivisible Illinois empowers local progressive groups by uniting and amplifying voices through networks, resources, and public platforms in pursuit of liberty and justice for all. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP here by Saturday, March 4.

 

Know Your Rights

Please join me Sunday, March 26 at 2 p.m. for an information session about the rights of individuals when confronted by immigration authorities. I will be joined by Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Alderman Joe Moore, State Representative Kelly Cassidy and Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin.

 

The presentation will be conducted by the National Immigrant Justice Center, the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations, Centro Romero, the Syrian Community Network and Northside Community Resources.

 

The event will be in the Gale School Auditorium, 1631 W. Jonquil. It is free and open to the public. Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish and Arabic will be provided.

 

 

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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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