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

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773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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03072017CM0281 m5

Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) seeks to create a new revenue source for the State of Illinois by legalizing and taxing recreational marijuana. Senate Bill 316 legalizes the possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana and will allow facilities to sell marijuana products.

“Right now, all the money being spent on marijuana is going into the pockets of criminals and cartels,” Steans said. “In a regulated system, the money would go into the cash registers of licensed, taxpaying businesses. It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state. Prohibition is a financial hole in the ground, and we should stop throwing taxpayer dollars into it.”

Legalizing recreational marijuana has swept the nation. During this past election, voters from coast to coast passed ballot initiatives to legalize its use, making recreational marijuana now legal in eight states and Washington, D.C.

“It is clear that individuals across the nation are receptive to purchasing marijuana through a legal market,” Steans said. “Legalizing and taxing marijuana will not and should not solve all of our budget woes, but it should be a part of the conversation about resolving Illinois’ worsening budget problems. Every bit of new revenue will help to close the governor’s $5 billion budget gap.”

Identical legislation has been introduced in the House by Representative Kelly Cassidy.

In 2016, the state of Oregon collected more than $60 million in new revenue from a tax on marijuana – more than six times what the Oregon Liquor Control Commission expected for the 2015-2017 budget period. In Colorado, which legalized marijuana in 2012, the state collected more than $140 million in 2016 from taxes on legal marijuana sales.

Though recreational sales in Colorado began in 2014, according to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, marijuana consumption by teens has not increased since recreational marijuana was legalized.

Increasingly, researchers are finding that marijuana can be an effective alternative to opioids for pain management. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioids killed more than 33,000 individuals in 2015 alone. In Illinois, 75 percent of drug overdoses in 2015 involved opioids according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

“I believe that we should explore all options to ending the opioid epidemic,” Steans said. “I think that by legalizing marijuana, we could see a drop in opioid overuse.”

Marijuana has also been used to treat patients with chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy and some psychiatric conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Last year, legislation introduced by Senator Steans to decriminalize possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana became law.

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

 

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in light of the inability of Rauner administration agency heads to identify possible spending cuts during committee hearings:

Senator Steans at a press conference on Rauner administration budget testimonyThe governor presented a budget that is now $5 billion out of balance. When members of the Senate asked his agency directors how they could contribute to filling this gap, none of them were able to identify a single dollar to help balance the budget.

The fact that the governor stifled the Senate’s grand bargain negotiations when his budget relied on the grand bargain to help balance his budget tells me that the governor is more interested in creating chaos than fiscal stability. 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’s budget proposal 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.

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

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