03062019CM0998 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) spoke at a press conference Wednesday with leaders from the Illinois chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) about her legislation that would develop a new state suicide prevention strategy.

Steans’ measure creates the Office of Suicide Prevention within the Department of Public Health in order to address suicide in Illinois, which caused more deaths in 2016 than homicide, motor vehicle accidents and prevalent diseases like liver disease, hypertension and HIV.

“Each suicide death caused loved ones left behind to wonder if they could have done anything differently,” Steans said. “The state has lagged behind in this area.”

There is currently no department charged with looking into ways to prevent suicide, which caused nearly 1,500 deaths in Illinois in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.

Steve Moore, AFSP Illinois Chapter Board co-chair and National Public Policy Council member, joined Senator Steans to discuss best practices to prevent suicide and present an art project depicting the scope of suicides in Illinois.

Throughout the day on Wednesday, advocates at the Capitol placed 1,474 rose petals on an 8-foot poster inside the word “HOPE” as a graphic illustration of the number of Illinois residents lost to suicide.

“AFSP’s advocates have a personal stake in improving Illinois’ suicide prevention efforts,” Moore said.
“They have lost someone to suicide or fought against suicide themselves and want to ensure that others do not have to endure the same experience.”

Senate Bill 1425 has been assigned to the Senate Public Health Committee.

 

Dear Friends,

Since before the founding of our nation, women have been instrumental in shaping our country’s values and direction. Starting in 1995, we set aside the month of March each year to recognize the achievements and impact that women have had on our nation’s history.

Although our history classes make mention of suffragettes like Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, there are many female historical figures who made great strides in different fields of work who have gone unnoticed. Sojourner Truth was a former slave who used her powerful voice and writing to spark conversations around abolition and women’s rights in the U.S. Rosalind Franklin’s images of the DNA molecule led to the understanding of its structure, but three male scientists were credited with its discovery instead. Millions more women have advocated for change, contributed to the workforce, and pulled and tugged at the American spirit.

It is important to tell these neglected stories from our past and recognize the countless accomplishments that women have made.

There are many events throughout Chicago celebrating Women’s History Month. Below are some of the events open to the public.

 

Citywide Events

 

Celebrating Irish Women

Thursday, March 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Edgewater Library

6000 N. Broadway, Chicago, IL 60660

Early 20th century Ireland found women engaged in three main causes: workers’ rights, suffrage and Irish freedom. Maureen Smith from Loyola University will take a look at these causes and prominent figures from this time period including Countess Constance Markievicz and Dr. Kathleen Lynn. For more information, click here.

Women’s History Film Screening: Amelia

Friday, March 8, 2-4 p.m.

Harold Washington Library Center

400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605

Summary of the film: From the time she first sits in the pilot's seat, aviatrix Amelia Earhart (Hilary Swank) feels destined to achieve great things. Beginning in 1928, she sets a number of aviation milestones, including numerous speed and altitude records, and was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. In 1937, Amelia undertakes her greatest challenge of all: to become the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by airplane. For more information, click here.

 

International Women’s Day Edgewater Crawl

Friday, March 8, 5-8 p.m.

The Edge Off Broadway Theatre

1133 W. Catalpa Ave., Chicago, IL 60640

Edgewater will be hosting a night to celebrate women-owned businesses. Come drink and mingle as you go along the route and explore what Edgewater has to offer. This event costs $35 for the general public. For more information, click here.

 

Film Screening: “The Rest I Make Up”

Monday, March 11, 4-6 p.m.

Crown 210 at Loyola University
1032 W. Sheridan Road, Chicago, IL 60660

Women’s studies and gender studies will be sponsoring a screening of the film “The Rest I Make Up.” The film is about the life of Maria Irene Fornes. For more information, click here.

 

Cinema Harold: Hidden Figures

Wednesday, March 13, 2-4 p.m.

Harold Washington Library Center

400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605

Summary of the film: As the United States raced against Russia to put a man in space, NASA found untapped talent in a group of African-American female mathematicians who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in U.S. history. Based on the unbelievably true life stories of three of these women, known as "human computers," this film follows them as they quickly rise the ranks of NASA alongside many of history's greatest minds specifically tasked with calculating the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit and guaranteeing his safe return. Based on the book Hidden Figures. For more information, click here.

 

Women’s History When You Do the Work

Wednesday, March 13, 6-7 p.m.

Chicago Bee Library

3647 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60609

This event will host a family friendly personal development workshop performed by Courtney Winfrey and Ryan Hendry, who will focus on three self-improvement topics: setting purposed based intentions, goal setting and igniting your personal drive. The program is intended to engage the audience in being more mindful when thinking or planning their future goals. For more information, click here.

 

Truth Telling: Frances Willard and Ida B. Wells

Thursday, March 14, 5:30-8 p.m.

Northwestern University, Harris Hall, Room 107

1881 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208

This event is a community history project of the Frances Willard House Museum and Archives. In the 1890s, Woman’s Christian Temperance Union President Frances Willard and journalist and activist Ida B. Wells fought internationally for Wells’ anti-lynching campaign. Under Willard’s leadership, the WCTU eventually passed resolutions opposing lynching, but Willard’s language and actions complicate her legacy. Registration required at https://franceswillardhouse.org/. For more information, click here.

 

Borrow an Entrepreneur: Celebrating Women’s History Month

Friday, March 15, 10 a.m.-Noon

Harold Washington Library Center

400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605

The Human Library project began as a way for people to challenge stereotypes and prejudices. During this event, participants will have the opportunity to “check out” (sign up for 15 minutes with) a woman entrepreneur. Christen Carter, the owner and president of Busy Beaver Button Company, and Rebecca Wu, a self-published children’s author, will be available to share their experience and knowledge one-on-one. For more information, click here.

 

Adult Book Discussion: The Woman in Cabin 10

Thursday, March 28, Noon-1 p.m.

Harold Washington Library Center

400 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605

Summary of the book: After a nightmarish break-in, British journalist Lo Blacklock is exhausted but happy to board an exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, on assignment. However, when she awakens to the sounds of a woman being thrown overboard, a real nightmare begins in earnest. For more information, click here.

 

womens history month Facebook Image

Dear friends,

This week the Senate is scheduled to hear a number of measures in committees on issues ranging from e-cigarettes to Child Care Assistance Program eligibility. For directions on how to submit a witness slip, please click here.

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

Sincerely,

steans

 

 

 

Heather A. Steans
State Senator, 7th District

Education issues

  • Freshman Success Pilot Program – SB 1303 creates the Freshman Success Pilot Program for underfunded school districts to ensure high school freshmen remain on track for graduation.
    • Sponsor: Senator Andy Manar
    • Committee: Education
  • Illinois Virtual School – SB 1212 provides for more affordable courses for needy schools and students through the Illinois Virtual School.
    • Sponsor: Senator Kimberly Lightford
    • Committee: Education
  • Teacher evaluations – SB 1213 removes student growth as a mandated factor in the evaluation of teachers and changes the teacher evaluation rating system from the current four-tiered system to a two-tiered system.
    • Sponsor: Senator Kimberly Lightford
    • Committee: Education
  • Teaching Excellence Program – SB 1460 prioritizes teachers in underfunded school districts when distributing funds for the Teaching Excellence Program.
    • Sponsor: Senator Andy Manar
    • Committee: Education
  • Incident reporting from ISBE – SB 1940 requires ISBE to report the amount of days missed due to suspensions, the number of law enforcement officers assigned to schools and the amount of arrests made on school grounds, among other incidents.
    • Sponsor: Senator Kimberly Lightford
    • Committee: Education
  • Student loan refinancing – SB 1342 requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) to develop and establish a student loan refinancing program for the purpose of purchasing outstanding federal, state or private student loans for Illinois residents who graduated from an institute of higher learning in the United States.
    • Sponsor: Senator Martin Sandoval
    • Committee: Higher Education
  • Lottery for school technology – SB 1669 requires the Department of the Lottery to offer a special instant scratch-off game for the benefit of school technology by January 1, 2020.
    • Sponsor: Senator Iris Y. Martinez
    • Committee: Executive

Health and insurance issues

  • Mental health telecommunications – SB 25 permits interactive telecommunication system examinations to be used to determine if individuals should be involuntarily committed to a mental health treatment facility.
    • Sponsor: Senator Julie Morrison
    • Committee: Human Services
  • E-cigarettes – SB 1124 includes electronic cigarettes in the definition of tobacco products.
    • Sponsor: Senator Terry Link
    • Committee: Public Health
  • Needle and Hypodermic Syringe Access Program – SB 1828 creates the Needle and Hypodermic Syringe Access Program Act, which would allow organizations to establish and operate a needle and hypodermic syringe access program and sets forth objectives and specified service requirements under such a program.
    • Sponsor: Senator Melinda Bush
    • Committee: Public Health
  • E-cigarette use in public – SB 1864 includes e-cigarettes and alternative nicotine products in the Smoke Free Illinois Act, prohibiting their use in public places and within 15 feet of entrances.
    • Sponsor: Senator Terry Link
    • Committee: Public Health
  • Mental health care coverage – SB 1449 requires insurance coverage parity for mental health and substance use disorders.
    • Sponsor: Senator Julie Morrison
    • Committee: Insurance
  • Medication costs – SB 1557 prevents pharmacy benefit managers from prohibiting pharmacists from prescribing cheaper medications.
    • Sponsor: Senator Steve Stadelman
    • Committee: Insurance

Child welfare issues

  • Child welfare cases – SB 1116 allows for the disposition of cases regarding abused, neglected or dependent children that were properly filed before a minor’s 18th birthday, even if the minor reaches that age before the dispositional hearing.
    • Sponsor: Senator Laura Fine
    • Committee: Judiciary
  • Recognizing child abuse and neglect – SB 1778 requires mandated reporters to complete training on how to recognize symptoms of abuse and neglect in children.
    • Sponsor: Senator Julie Morrison
    • Committee: Human Services
  • Care for children aging out of DCFS – SB 1808 requires numerous state agencies to provide preventive services to youth in care of DCFS and young adults who are aging out of or have recently aged out of the department’s care.
    • Sponsor: Senator Robert Peters
    • Committee: Human Services

Consumer and civil law issues

  • Cybersecurity – SB 240 requires Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies to implement cybersecurity programs that are documented and written into policies and procedures to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of their information systems.
    • Sponsor: Senator Michael Hastings
    • Committee: Financial Institutions
  • Collective bargaining – SB 1150 provides graduate assistants the right to collectively bargain.
    • Sponsor: Senator Laura Fine
    • Committee: Labor
  • Tax on checkout bags – SB 1240 institutes a 7 cent tax on paper, plastic or compostable checkout bags at stores.
    • Sponsor: Senator Terry Link
    • Committee: Revenue
  • Immigration status in civil cases – SB 1429 states that evidence of a person’s immigration status is inadmissible in a civil proceeding unless it is essential to prove an element of a case or is voluntarily given by the person.
    • Sponsor: Senator Ram Villivalam
    • Committee: Judiciary

Licensing issues

  • Written exams in foreign languages – SB 1164 requires the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to administer written examinations in Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese upon request.
    • Sponsor: Senator Ram Villivalam
    • Committee: Licensed Activities
  • Licenses for undocumented immigrants – SB 1166 provides that no department shall deny an occupational or professional license based on the applicant’s citizenship status or immigration status.
    • Sponsor: Senator Iris Y. Martinez
    • Committee: Licensed Activities

Civil rights issues

  • Non-discrimination at assisted living facilities – SB 1319 ensures assisted living facilities are not discriminating against residents due to sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and HIV status.
    • Sponsor: Senator Ram Villivalam
    • Committee: Human Services
  • Equity in jury service – SB 1378 prohibits anyone from being excluded from jury service on the basis of sexual orientation.
    • Sponsor: Senator Toi Hutchinson
    • Committee: Judiciary
  • Immigration status and licensing – SB amends the Civil Administrative Code to prohibit departments from denying an occupational or professional license based solely on the applicant’s citizenship or immigration status.
    • Sponsor: Senator Iris Y. Martinez
    • Committee: Licensed Activities

Human services issues

  • Apprenticeship stipends – SB 1525 requires DCFS to provide eligible youth with an apprenticeship stipend to cover the costs associated with entering an apprenticeship.
    • Sponsor: Senator Robert Peters
    • Committee: Human Services
  • Child Care Assistance Program eligibility – SB 1679 raises the eligibility to quality for the Child Care Assistance Program from 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to 200 percent of the FPL.
    • Sponsor: Senator Toi Hutchinson
    • Committee: Human Services
  • Eligibility for Medicaid, SNAP and TANF – SB 1735 exempts financial assistance from determining eligibility for Medicaid, SNAP and TANF benefits.
    • Sponsor: Senator Omar Aquino
    • Committee: Human Services

Criminal justice reform issues

  • Mugshots on social media – SB 1699 prohibits police departments from posting mugshots on their social media accounts.
    • Sponsor: Steve Stadelman
    • Committee: Judiciary
  • Delinquent minors – SB 239 increases the age of delinquent minor from 18 to 21.
    • Sponsor: Senator Laura Fine
    • Committee: Criminal Law

Labor issues

  • Equal Pay Act – SB 1466 expands the Equal Pay Act to prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin or ancestry.
    • Sponsor: Senator Cristina Castro
    • Committee: Labor
  • Human Rights Act – SB 31 eliminates the exclusion of immediate personal staff from the Human Rights Act.
    • Sponsor: Melinda Bush
    • Committee: Executive
  • State worker residence requirements – SB 1639 requires that state workers must live within the state.
    • Sponsor: Senator Laura Fine
    • Committee: State Government

Revenue issues

  • Sales tax revenue – SB 1132 caps the amount of sales tax revenue retailers may keep at $1,000.
    • Sponsor: Senator Omar Aquino
    • Committee: Revenue
  • Plastic bag tax – SB 1240 institutes a 7 cent tax on checkout bags (paper, plastic or compostable).
    • Sponsor: Senator Terry Link
    • Committee: Revenue
  • Sales tax exemptions – SB 1858 exempts male and female condoms, incontinence products, diapers and baby wipes from the state’s sales taxes.
    • Sponsor: Senator Omar Aquino
    • Committee: Revenue

Transportation issues

  • Cell phones while driving – SB 86 clarifies the ban on using a cell phone while driving.
    • Sponsor: Senator Steve Stadelman
    • Committee: Transportation
  • Digital registration stickers – SB 102 allows the Secretary of State to issue digital registration plates and stickers.
    • Sponsor: Senator Martin Sandoval
    • Committee: Transportation
  • Free public transportation for qualified riders – SB 103 requires free public transportation to be provided for low-income high school students and disabled combat veterans.
    • Sponsor: Senator Martin Sandoval
    • Committee: Transportation
  • License plates – SB 1531 requires only one license plate be issued to registered vehicles rather than two.
    • Sponsor: Senator Tom Cullerton
    • Committee: Transportation

Pension issues

  • Teacher pensions – SB 1315 allows teachers and administrators employed by contract schools to become part of the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund. Allows paraprofessionals employed by charter or contract schools to become part of the Municipal Employees’ Annuity and Benefit Fund of Chicago.
    • Sponsor: Senator Omar Aquino
    • Committee: Government Accountability & Pensions

Property tax issues

  • Property tax exemption – SB 39 creates a property tax exemption for disabled firefighters and police officers.
    • Sponsor: Senator John Mulroe
    • Committee: Executive

Environmental issues

  • Motor fuel tax funds – SB 198 allows a county, township or municipality to use their allotted motor fuel tax funds for the operational costs of public transportation services; capital improvements designed to improve or enhance bicycle, pedestrian or transit mobility; and infrastructure used to support electric vehicles.
    • Sponsor: Senator Laura Fine
    • Committee: Transportation
  • Microplastics in water – SB 1392 requires the Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a definition of “microplastics in drinking water” and set a standard methodology of testing.
    • Sponsor: Senator Julie Morrison
    • Committee: Environment & Conservation

Animal welfare issues

  • Animal testing – SB 241 bans the importation or sale of new cosmetic products that are used for animal testing.
    • Sponsor: Senator Linda Holmes
    • Committee: Agriculture

Committee schedule for Tuesday, March 5

  • Senate Appropriations II Committee | 11 a.m., Room 212
    Subject Matter On: FY 20 Budget Request For: Illinois State Board of Education, SB 2210

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • 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 | 3 p.m., Room 212

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Judiciary Committee | 3 p.m., Room 400

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 | 5 p.m., Room 212

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Criminal Law Committee | 5 p.m., Room 400

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

Committee schedule for Wednesday, March 6

  • Senate Appropriations I Committee| 9 a.m., Room 212
    FY 20 Budget Request For The Following Agencies: SB 2220- Central Management Services (Including Group Health), SB 2209- IEMA, SB 2176- Procurement Policy Board, SB 2157- Department of Insurance, SB 2220, SB 2209, SB 2176, SB 2157

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 Government Accountability and Pensions Committee| 11 a.m., Room 400

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Labor Committee| 11 a.m., Room 212

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Financial Institutions Committee| 11 a.m., Room 409

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Executive Committee |2 p.m., Room 212

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate State Government Committee | 2 p.m., Room 409

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Licensed Activities Committee | 2 p.m., Room 400

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Revenue Committee| 4 p.m., Room 400

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Insurance Committee| 4 p.m., Room 212

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

Committee schedule for Thursday, March 7

  • Senate Agriculture Committee | 8 a.m., Room 409

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 Appropriations II Committee | 9 a.m., Room 212
    FY 20 Budget Request For The Following Agencies: SB 2236- Court of Claims, SB 2193 Drycleaner Environmental Response Trust Fund, SB 2197- GOMB, SB 2158- Illinois Power Agency, State's Attorney Appellate Prosecutor, SB 2236, SB 2193, SB 2197, SB 2158

To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Environment and Conservation Committee | 11 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.

foliage 1157792 rSPRINGFIELD – Lawmakers sponsoring legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis in Illinois released a study today showing that demand is likely to far exceed what the state’s existing licensed growers can supply.

The study, commissioned by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, found that demand could rise as high as 550,000 pounds of cannabis per year, highlighting the need for Illinois to expand its existing medical cannabis market to both meet demand and to diversify, allowing for the participation of more minority business owners.

“For generations, government policy of mass incarceration increased racial disparities by locking up thousands of individuals for marijuana use or possession,” said State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights), the legislation’s chief co-sponsor in the Senate. “Now, as we are discussing legalization, it is of the utmost importance that we learn from these mistakes and acknowledge the lingering effects these policies continue to have in neighborhoods across this state. No conversation about legalization can happen absent that conversation.”

The study, performed by the consulting firm Freedman & Koski, examined the current adult-use market in Illinois and concluded that the existing industry could only supply between 35-54 percent of its demand.

“We’re not just trying to add diversity because it looks good. It’s not just diversity for diversity’s sake. It’s for equity’s sake; equity includes economics, it includes criminal justice,” said State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, who is the chief co-sponsor of the legislation in the House. “We’re talking about specific communities that need to be made whole. When this is all normal and nice and people are making money, we will not have succeeded if black people and other people of color are shut out.”

A clearer picture of demand also provides a better estimate of revenue; based on the study’s results, Illinois could expect approximately between $440,000 and $670,000 annually, not including the excise tax imposed on cannabis cultivators.

“While we should not expect cannabis sales to be a one-stop solution to Illinois’ financial woes, it is encouraging to see evidence that we are on the brink of establishing a thriving, robust industry to meet the demands of many Illinoisans who have until now been turning to the criminal market,” said Steans, the legislation’s Senate sponsor. “Prohibition does not work, and legalizing adult-use cannabis will bring those sales into the light and meet an obvious demand among the people of our state.”

The study cautions that initial regulatory costs will keep legal prices above illicit market prices, leading some consumers to continue making illegal purchases. Within the first few years, however, initial regulatory costs will decrease; economies of scale will push prices down; and the regulated market will capture or displace the criminal market, according to the report

“It is important that we work together to establish an adult use cannabis market that works for everyone,” said State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, the legislation’s House sponsor. “We’re contemplating additional license categories such as craft cultivation, transportation and processing to ensure that everyone is at the table. These will create space for more innovation and entrepreneurship in the industry, but more importantly, provide opportunity for more diversity in an industry with a pressing need for it.”

The study can be viewed here: Illinois_WP_DemSnap_022419.pdf.

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5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
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301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
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