State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the Senate’s action to address the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield:

05042017CM0082“I strongly believe that as a legislative body we need to ensure that there is a safe process for individuals to report sexual harassment claims and that harassers are held accountable for their actions. While I think this legislation is a start, I am concerned that it sets up a reporting system that is overseen or hired by legislators, which may perpetuate an unsafe work environment where people are afraid to come forward. In the coming weeks, I think we need to examine best practices and what other states have done to determine if a special ombudsman position should be created to handle sexual harassment complaints. I intend to actively participate in trailer legislation to address this issue.”


02162017CM0120State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to the governor’s decision to sign House Bill 40, which protects women’s reproductive rights:

“I am thrilled that the governor decided to honor his commitment and protect women’s reproductive rights in Illinois by signing House Bill 40. Under this legislation, women will have access to safe and legal abortion services regardless of their income, employer or changes at the federal level. This is a great step forward for women in Illinois that would not have been possible without the hard work of constituents and advocates.”


Senator Steans on the Senate floorNow that legislation to protect women’s reproductive rights in Illinois has reached the governor’s desk, State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) is calling on him to uphold his commitment to support House Bill 40.

“I am heartened by recent reports that the governor has stepped back from his threat to veto House Bill 40,” Steans said. “This is his opportunity to stand on the right side of history and send a strong message to women that Illinois will remain a state where you can legally exercise your right to choose.”

Up until today, the Senate had placed a parliamentary hold on House Bill 40 to allow the governor time to reconsider his threat to veto this legislation.

“House Bill 40 will provide women with the right to choose regardless of their income level, employer or any changes at the federal level,” Steans said. “Illinois has been a safe-haven where women can legally exercise their right to choose in the Midwest without anti-choice barriers. This legislation takes a big step forward to ensure that freedom continues. I hope the governor will honor the commitment he made as a candidate to support such legislation.”

The governor now has 60 days to take action on the legislation.

Senator Steans on the Senate floorFull practice authority for advanced practice nurses is now law under legislation co-sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago).

House Bill 313 also extends the sunset of the Nurse Practice Act, which governs the three nursing licenses in Illinois, until Jan. 1, 2028.

“With the increasing shortage of doctors in rural areas, this new law seeks to provide patients with greater access to care,” Steans said. “Advanced practice nurses that meet the full practice authority certification requirements will now be able to prescribe medication and administer local anesthetics. This law updates an outdated system and recognizes the skills that many advance practice nurses possess.”

The new law includes extensive safeguards to protect patients. To obtain full practice authority status, advanced practice nurses will be required to complete 4,000 hours of clinical experience and 250 hours of continuing education or training. Once this has been completed, advanced practice nurses will be able to practice without a written collaborative agreement from a doctor.

Illinois joins 21 other states and the District of Columbia, which already authorize full practice authority for advance practice nurses. The law takes effect immediately.

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