05172018CM0672 rCHICAGO – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement today after Cook County State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx came out in support of Steans’ proposal to legalize adult-use cannabis in Illinois:

“One of our primary goals with this legislation is to begin to repair the decades of damage from the War on Drugs, particularly within minority communities.

“We know we cannot undo the disproportionate harm prohibition caused among minorities, but we can keep a firm eye on social justice as we move forward with legalization.

“State’s Attorney Kimberly Foxx has a stellar record of fighting for criminal justice reform in Cook County. Expunging records of people convicted of non-violent, cannabis-related misdemeanors is an excellent first step and will aid in removing obstacles to employment and housing. Her support is a vote of confidence, and I look forward to working with her as we craft the best piece of legislation possible.”

05242018CM0069 rCHICAGO – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement today after Gov. JB Pritzker issued an executive order enforcing House Bill 40, which protects a woman’s right to choose in Illinois.

“Every woman should be able to make her own reproductive health decisions, regardless of her employment or income level,” Steans said. “We fought hard to pass legislation protecting this right, and I am glad we have a governor ready to enforce it.”

House Bill 40, which became law in 2017, removes the "trigger" provision from a 1975 Illinois law that would reinstate previous state policy banning abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally the law allows abortion coverage for individuals on Medicaid or covered by State Employee Health Insurance plans.

Pritzker’s executive order directs the Department of Central Management Services to ensure all state employee health benefit plans include that coverage by July 1, 2019.

05242018CM0069 rCHICAGO – Workers and employers will soon see claims resolved by the Human Rights Commission more quickly under a new law sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago).

“Due to the current structure of the Human Rights Commission, a detrimental backlog of discrimination and harassment complaints has developed over time,” Steans said. “This lengthy and cumbersome process hurts both businesses and workers. I led negotiations with the business community and organizations that protect workers’ rights to craft a plan that is fair to all to restructure the commission.”

Senate Bill 20 creates a temporary three-person panel to address the backlog of cases. It restructures the Human Rights Commission from 13 part-time commissioners to seven full-time, dedicated commissioners. To prevent a future accumulation of cases, it streamlines the administrative process and removes duplicative steps within the commission.

“This legislation aligns state law with federal law by extending the amount of time an individual can file a claim from 180 days to 300 days,” Steans said. “I look forward to seeing the commission resolve these cases in a timelier manner.”
This legislation, which was signed into law Friday, takes effect immediately.

05172018CM0672 rCHICAGO – Medicaid enrollees will no longer be forced to find a new doctor if their managed care organization cancels its contract with their primary care physician under a new law sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago).

“I am glad that Medicaid patients who are thriving with their doctor will now be able to continue to see that physician even if their health insurance plan cancels its contract,” Steans said. “I hope this new measure will lead to better health outcomes for Medicaid patients and greater continuity of care.”

Previously, if a contract between a doctor and a managed care organization was terminated, the Medicaid patient’s care remained with the managed care organization. This would force patients to find new doctors. House Bill 4383 allows patients in this situation to re-enroll in a new managed care organization in order to stay with their primary care doctor.

This legislation, which was signed into law this week, takes effect immediately.

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