Senator Heather Steans, 7th Senate District

Dear friends,

I hope you are enjoying the warm weather and having a wonderful summer. There are a few upcoming events and donation drives in the district that I want to draw your attention to.

This Saturday, I am co-hosting the Rogers Park community pet day from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers Ave. Vaccines and microchips will be available, as well as dog registration, nail trimming, free spay and neutering appointments and a family fun zone. Please see the flyer below for additional details.

As the summer days grow shorter, please consider donating to my annual backpack drive, which supports local elementary and high school students. I am working in partnership with elected officials and community organizations to provide a variety of supplies to students in the district.

We are looking for donors to sponsor a student or contribute individual supplies. Click here to review the supplies list and click here to sign up for the drive. The drive is now open and ends on August 10. Donations can be dropped off at my office, 5533 N. Broadway, or at five other locations in the area. Thank you for your consideration!

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


Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois



Great news for Uptown
I am delighted that renovations to the Uptown Theatre will soon begin. Through a mixture of state funds (including money in the capital plan), federal tax credits, private donations and some city financing, the $75 million restoration project should be complete in about two years. The theater will host a variety of performances including concerts, comedy shows and other special events. I look forward to seeing the historic Uptown Theatre returned to its former glory and a revived cultural and economic development center within our community.

The Chicago Tribune published an extensive article on the project. You can read it here.


Sarah’s Circle Christmas in July donation drive
Sarah’s Circle in Uptown, a nonprofit serving homeless women, is hosting its first Christmas in July Donation Drive. They are looking for travel-sized toiletries, disposable razors, sunscreen, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, face and body wipes, reusable water bottles, baby powder, adult diapers, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, feminine hygiene products, sunglasses, reading glasses, ear plugs, new underwear and socks.

If you are able to donate any of these items, please drop them off at 5533 N. Broadway. For more information, click here.



Springfield Office
623 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Ph: (217) 782-8492
Chicago Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Ph: (773) 769-1717

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Senator Steans

June 7, 2018

Dear Friends,


Senator Steans and Rep. Cassidy at a committee hearingPlease join me and Representative Kelly Cassidy for a meet and greet at 10 a.m. this Sunday at the Rogers Park Social Club, 6920 N. Glenwood Ave.


We will discuss the budget, recent legislation and answer questions you might have. This free event is open to the public. Coffee will be provided.


Space is limited, so please reserve your seat here.


I have included a list of events, festivals and farmers markets in the district this summer. I hope you’ll have a chance to take advantage of some of these offerings.


Please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on my legislation and what’s happening in the district.


I hope to see you on Sunday.

Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

Meet and greet flyer

Summer events in the district


Pivot Arts Festival: June 1- 10
Various locations throughout Edgewater and Uptown

The annual 10-day festival showcases innovative performances throughout Chicago’s Uptown and Edgewater neighborhoods. This festival features live music, theater, dance, children’s performances, workshops, discussions, wine tastings, ice cream and more.

Cost: The cost varies based on the event. Pivot Arts Festival Passes are available for $40 and allow you to attend any three shows.


Midsommarfest: June 8 (5-10 p.m.), June 9-10 (11 a.m.-10 p.m.)
On Clark from Foster to Catalpa

Midsommarfest is Andersonville’s annual street festival along Clark Street. This event has been in operation for more than 50 years and features music, dancing, children’s entertainment, delicious food and drag shows. It showcases Swedish traditions as well as the neighborhood’s diverse population.

Cost: $10 donation at the gate; children under 12 and seniors are free. All proceeds benefit the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.


Artists of the Wall Festival: June 16-17
Farwell Avenue at the Lake

The Artists of the Wall Festival is a celebration of community, creativity and music. Each year, neighbors come together to collaborate on a 600-foot mural at Loyola Park Beach at 6850 North, between Farwell and Morse Avenues. The theme for 2018 is "Legends of the Wall." This event is coordinated by members of the Loyola Park Advisory Council.

Cost: $15 for a T-Shirt


Argyle Night Market: Every Thursday from July 9-August 27) from 5-9 p.m.
On Argyle from Kenmore Ave. to Sheridan Rd.

This vibrant and award-winning part farmers market, part street festival is back for its fifth year. It is hosted once again by 48th Ward Alderman Harry Osterman along with the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, Uptown United, and The Chamber for Uptown. The market will include farm stands, face painting, live performances, retail goods and food vendors from local Argyle restaurants.

Cost: This is a free event.


Windy City RibFest in Uptown: June 29-July 1 (Friday and Saturday 12-10 p.m. Sunday 12-9 p.m.)
4800 N. Broadway St.

This year the Windy City RibFest in Uptown is celebrating its tenth year. The event combines great food offerings with an eclectic music lineup. This tasty event grows in popularity each year and is now a must-visit Chicago summer festival! RibFest also features arts, crafts and a daytime children’s activity area. Past music stage performers include: The Inventors, The Saps, Dream Vision, American Grizzly, Nick Lynch, Air Traffic Controller, among others.

Cost: Suggested donation of $10 ($20 per family) at the entrance gate.


Midsommer Flight Shakespeare Theater: July 28-29 and Aug. 28-19 (6 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays)
Touhy Park 7348 N Paulina St.

This summer’s performance is the Shakespearean classic "Two Gentlemen of Verona" in the park. In this comedy, two men travel from Verona to Milan where they both fall in love with the same woman.

Cost: These events are free.


EdgeFest: August 4-5 (11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and 12-9 p.m. on Sunday)
Broadway between Thorndale and Ardmore

EdgeFest is a community fundraiser that features award-winning entertainment, karaoke, food, more than 30 local artists and a pet parade. Now in its seventh year, the 2018 EdgeFest will take over the lakefront in Chicago’s historic Edgewater neighborhood. Edge Cards are available for a $5 suggested donation and provide community discounts.

Cost: $5 suggested donation


Glenwood Arts Festival: August 17 - 19 (11 a.m.-9 p.m.)
The corner of Glenwood and Morse

The Glenwood Avenue Arts Fest (GAAF) is a free, weekend-long arts festival that features more than 150 artists, open studios and live entertainment on three outdoor stages. The festival features art of all disciplines, theater, music, food and drink on the cobblestone streets of the Glenwood Avenue Arts District in Rogers Park . The festival will kick off with the Cobblestone Jam on the South Stage at 6 p.m. on August 17.

Cost: This is a free event.


Movies in the Parks: June 11- Sept. 27
Various locations throughout the city

The Chicago Park District is offering more than 200 movies in more than 175 parks throughout the summer. Grab your picnic baskets and the whole family for these free screenings. Here are a few in our area:

Saturday, June 23 - 8:30 p.m.
Touhy Park
Movie: Dirty Dancing - PG-13 - CC

Sunday, July 15 - 8:30 p.m.
Emmerson Park
Movie: The Emoji Movie - PG – CC

For a full listing of movies, parks, and show times, click here.

Cost: These events are free.


Welles Park Gazebo Tuesday Evening Concert Series: Tuesdays June 21 – Aug. 28 (6:30-8 p.m.)
2333 W. Sunnyside Ave.

Have a family picnic while you take in a summer evening and music at the beautiful Welles Park Gazebo. Concerts take place Tuesday evenings. Enjoy classic films and a variety of musical guests throughout the summer, rain or shine!

Cost: These events are free.


Farmers market schedule


Farmers marketAndersonville Farmers Market
On Berwyn between Clark and Ashland
Every Wednesday from May 9-August 29 from 3 – 8 p.m. The market will continue from Sept. 5-Oct 17 from 3 – 7 p.m.


Lincoln Square Farmers Market
The municipal parking lot on the corner of N. Lincoln and W. Leland
Morning market will take place every Tuesday from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. from June 5-Oct 30. There will not be a market on July 4. The evening market is 4-8 p.m. Thursday from June 5-Oct. 30. There will not be an evening market on Sept. 7.


Edgewater Farmers Market
Broadway Armory parking lot on the corner of Thorndale and Broadway
Every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. between June 16 and Oct. 13.


Argyle Night Market
On Argyle between Kenmore and Sheridan
Every Thursday from 5-9 p.m. between July 9 and Aug. 27.


Glenwood Sunday Market
On the corner of Glenwood and Morse
Every Sunday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. from June 3-Oct 28. There will not be a market on Aug. 20.


Loyola Farmers Market
Loyola Plaza, 6550 N. Sheridan Rd.
Every Monday from 4-8 p.m. between June 4 and Oct. 15.



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)




Senator Steans

May 31, 2018

Dear Friends,


ERA graphicAs I write this letter to you, I am still beaming from last night. After years of hard work, Illinois became the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.


This legislation protects all women by declaring that equality of rights will not be denied or abridged by the United States or any state on account of sex. This strengthens legal protections for women and would prevent any future rollbacks to women’s rights policies from Congress or presidential administrations.


Those few words have stirred debate within our country for nearly 100 years. The ERA was first introduced in 1923 and was sent to states for ratification in 1972. In many ways, the ERA died in Illinois in the 1970s.


Despite false claims from opposition, such as the ERA would force women to be drafted or would harm women in divorce cases, Illinois overcame those arguments and righted the wrong. We are now just one state away from making the ERA the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.


Senator Steans on the Senate floorOver in the Senate Wednesday night, lawmakers approved a balanced, bipartisan budget which the House supported today. This budget is the result of negotiations between all four caucuses and represents real compromise. It is truly balanced, spending within our means while implementing some cuts and pension reform to keep our state on a path toward fiscal stability.


Above all, the budget is an investment in our communities. From funding for cities and towns to social services to providing educational opportunities, I believe Illinoisans young and old will fare better under this budget than they have in years.


The budget provides additional funding for social service providers compared to what the governor proposed, including sexual assault services, community mental health and addiction services. It also raises wages for direct support personnel who care for developmentally disabled individuals and increases funding for Child Care Assistance Program providers.


It invests in public K-12 schools by increasing education funding under the evidence-based model. It also increases higher education funding and provides additional opportunities for students to go to college in Illinois through the Monetary Award Program and a new matching grant, AIM HIGH, for universities to award merit-based scholarships to Illinois students.


As for pension reform, the budget package lays out a voluntary cost-of-living adjustment buyout for inactive vested Tier 1 pensioners that would allow individuals to invest on their own while saving the state nearly $400 million. It also reduces salary spiking, whereby some school districts increase a teacher’s salary significantly in their last few years of teaching to garner them a greater pension, which the state funds. Currently, the state limits school districts to offering raises of no more than 6 percent. If they offer a higher raise, the district has to pick up the pension difference. Under the budget proposal, raises will be capped at 3 percent to alleviate the burden on state taxpayers.


This budget provides the foundation for us to move forward to address the backlog and our pension liability. We still have more work to do, but for a moment, let’s celebrate these victories.


Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois


Looking for more?


I will provide additional details breaking down the budget on my website in the coming days. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on my legislation and what’s happening in the district.



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)




Senator Steans

May 23, 2018

Dear Friends,


Senator Steans on the Seante floorAs we close in on the final week and a half of the legislative session, I want to provide you with a brief update on what I have been working on.


Over the past few weeks, the Senate approved my measures to ban “patient brokering” and my legislation to address the shortage of mental health professionals. I have also been working to protect patients from mid-year health insurance changes and to encourage individuals to enroll in comprehensive health insurance plans rather than stay in short-term plans. You can read more about these measures below.


Beyond the bills I have sponsored, my primary focus has been negotiating the budget. As chair of the Senate Appropriations I Committee and vice chair of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, we’ve conducted more than 20 public budget hearings to assess the governor’s budget request and agency needs.


Illinois faces a number of new budget pressures this year:

• Gov. Bruce Rauner spent $1 billion more than lawmakers appropriated last year.

• We need to increase school funding by $350 million this year under the new evidence-based model.

• The state’s pension payment this year is about $575 million.

• Medicaid expenditures will increase as the federal government spends less.

• We need to pay the bond we used to pay down the state’s backlog of bills.


To cover some of these expenses, the governor proposed shifting pension costs to local school districts and universities and cutting funding to towns and cities. This could force many communities to raise property taxes. We are actively working to craft a reasonable budget that does not raise property taxes.


I am keenly aware of the devastation the budget impasse caused and have been working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate to negotiate a full-year budget.


Things will move quickly in the next week and a half. Please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns. You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on my legislation and what’s happening in the district.


Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois




Cracking down on health care fraud and ‘patient brokering’


“Patient brokering” by companies that use misleading advertising to lure Illinois patients into addiction and mental health treatment at out-of-state facilities would be banned under a measure I sponsored.


Patient brokers prey on individuals and families when they are vulnerable and struggling with mental health issues or addiction. These individuals have made the difficult decision to seek treatment, only to find they have been enrolled in a facility in Florida or another state.


Out-of-state facilities do not always accept Illinois insurance and may not be accredited. House Bill 4949 would require these marketers to clearly display the address of the facility they are advertising and whether it is licensed in Illinois, as well as which services are covered by insurance.



Tackling the statewide mental health professional shortage


Senator Steans on the Senate floorLast week the Illinois Senate approved two measures I sponsored to address the statewide shortage of mental health professionals.


We are woefully understaffed and need to retain and recruit more mental health professionals to work in Illinois. In 80 percent of the state, people can’t easily access the counseling and treatment services they and their families desperately need.


House Bill 5109 creates a loan repayment assistance program for mental health professionals practicing in underserved or designated mental health professional shortage areas. To be eligible for the program, an applicant must work at least 12 consecutive months in the designated area and have an outstanding educational loan balance. The amount of the grant would vary based on the applicant’s degree.


The Senate also approved House Bill 5111, which would create the Behavioral Health Workforce Education Center Task Force to study Illinois’ shortage of mental health professionals. The task force would submit a report of its findings to the General Assembly by the end of the summer.



Supporting patients


I do not believe insurance companies should be able to change prescription coverage for patients mid-year when they are stable on a prescribed medication and unable to change plans.


I sponsored House Bill 4146 to prohibit insurance companies from increasing the out-of-pocket cost for prescribed drugs during the plan year. This legislation would also prohibit companies from moving a drug to a more restrictive tier or denying a patient coverage during the plan year.


I hope this legislation helps patients better manage their conditions and choose insurance plans that meet their needs. It is currently under review in the Senate Special Committee on Oversight of Medicaid Managed Care.



Protecting consumers and the insurance exchange


Senator Steans in a committee hearingI sponsored a measure to encourage people to enroll in comprehensive health insurance rather than remaining on a short-term plan.


The measure would limit short-term coverage to 90 days within a year, as the Obama administration did in 2016. President Trump has proposed reversing this ruling and allowing individuals to stay on short-term, limited-duration insurance plans for a year. This would drive up the cost for everyone on the exchange.


Short-term, limited-duration insurance plans are exempt from many of the Affordable Care Act’s mandates and often provide less coverage to consumers, leaving patients with expensive medical bills. House Bill 2624 would require short-term policies to include a warning message to consumers that the plan might not cover all medical bills.


This measure is currently on the order of second reading.




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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District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
627 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492