Senator Steans

May 2, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

As we quickly approach the end of the legislative session, fewer and fewer bills will be heard in committee. At this point in the legislative process, legislation is being amended and bills will increasingly be read a third and final time before being voted on. The Senate has started to hear testimony on bills that have passed the House and will continue to do so over the coming weeks.

 

Please note that if a bill is reassigned to a new committee and is scheduled for a hearing, previous witness slips will not be announced. Each witness slip is tied to that specific committee hearing. If a bill will be heard again, please submit a new witness slip for the new corresponding committee. For directions on how to submit a witness slip, click here.

 

In addition to a list of noteworthy legislation below, I wanted to invite you to participate in an online forum to collect questions about the budget for senators to pose to the governor’s top budget appointees this week.

 

Like many of you, I am frustrated with the ongoing budget impasse. While I’ve been working with my colleagues in the Senate to find a bipartisan approach to balancing the budget, we’ve also been asking the governor’s agency heads what budget cuts they could offer and to identify waste, fraud and abuse in our government. So far, they’ve been unable to do so.

 

Now it’s your turn to ask the questions.

 

Recent budget hearings revealed millions of dollars in Rauner administration executive bonuses, secretive lease deals and fast-tracked patronage hiring. We know Illinoisans have a lot of questions for Governor Rauner and his administration, and as your state senator, I want to help you get your questions answered.

 

Do you have a question about the Rauner administration’s budget priorities? Submit your question anonymously here and committee members might ask it in an upcoming Senate budget hearing.

 

Together, we can make our government more transparent and get to the bottom of inefficiencies and mismanagement. Again, click here to submit your question.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out 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 Law and Public Safety

• Use of suppressors – SB 50 allows the use of suppressors while hunting. (Haine)

• Juvenile records – SB 2021 creates a procedure for nonviolent crimes to be expunged from juvenile records. (Hastings)

• Release after a DUI – SB 2185 states that anyone under 21 arrested for a DUI can only be released into the custody of a responsible adult. (Manar)

• Sentencing – HB 1804 allows someone charged with a criminal offense to file a petition for resentencing if the penalty for that offense has since been reduced or changed. (Hutchinson)

• Protection orders – HB 3718 consolidates provisions regarding obtaining and issuing orders of protection and no contact orders. This bill creates a criminal offense for the violation of no contact orders and allows the State’s Attorney to petition for protective orders on behalf of the victim. (Bush)

• Gay panic defense – SB 1761 states that sexual orientation cannot be considered a mitigating factor and does not constitute serious provocation in murder cases. (Biss)

 

Education issues

• Lottery Funds – HB 213 states that State Lottery Funds that are transferred to the Common School Fund won’t supplement or replace any other money due to be transferred to the Common School Fund. (Lightford)

• School salaries – HB 425 changes the salaries of chief administrative officers and their appointed assistants at suburban Cook County intermediate service centers to be uniform with those of the Regional Offices of Education. (Lightford)

• Social workers in schools – HB 826 allows school districts to employ enough social workers to reach a 250 to 1 ratio. (Koehler)

• Test scores – HB 2378 removes the requirement that test scores be entered on student transcripts. This would allow local school districts to determine whether to enter SAT or ACT scores on student transcripts automatically, at the request of parents or not at all. (Jones)

• Due process – HB 2618 sets guidelines for parents or guardians to request a due process hearing from a school district regarding special education services when mediation is not used to resolve a disagreement. (Harmon)

• 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)

• Criminal history during admission – HB 3142 states that public colleges and universities may not consider an applicant’s criminal history during the admission process except as required by federal or state law regarding medical school applicants. After admission, a college may reveal criminal history for purposes of offering counseling. (McGuire)

 

Elections

• Automatic voter registration – SB 1933 establishes automatic voter registration in Illinois by July 1, 2018. (Manar)

 

Family Issues

• Homeless minors – HB 3212 allows homeless minors between the ages of 16 and 18 to live in transitional housing without being partially emancipated by a court of law. (Trotter)

 

Human Service and Public Health Issues

• Social Service Contracts – HB 3110 creates the Social Services Contract Notice Act, which allows a State agency or authorized social service provider to terminate, suspend, or reduce the contract for any reason upon 30 days prior written notice to the other party. (Steans)

• Food stamps for college students – HB 3211 requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to identify college students who are potentially eligible to receive food stamp benefits and work to increase available information to students who may be eligible. (Morrison)

• Child Care Assistance Program – HB 3213 expands eligibility to the Child Care Assistance Program to include families taking part in education and training programs. (Hutchinson)

• Prescription costs – SB 73 requires insurers to provide notice of a drug cost increase to pharmacies 30 days before it takes effect. (Silverstein)

 

Insurance Issues

• Car insurance – SB 1706 prohibits automobile insurers in Illinois from using a consumer’s credit score to determine auto insurance premiums. (Collins)

 

Labor Issues

• 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)

• Small business grant – HB 736 creates a small business grant program that will provide money to low-income individuals on public aid who are interested in becoming entrepreneurs. (Hunter)

 

Committee schedule, Tuesday, May 2

 

All committees are in the Capitol unless otherwise stated

• Senate Appropriations I Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget request for the Department of Healthcare and Family Services Budget Request
9 a.m., Room 212

• Senate Education Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Veterans Affairs Committee
2:30 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Public Health Committee
2:45 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Higher Education Committee
3:45 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Human Services Committee
3:45 p.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Judiciary Committee
3:45 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Transportation Committee
5:15 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Criminal Law Committee
5:15 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee schedule, Wednesday, May 3

 

• Senate Appropriations I Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget request for IDFPR, DCFS, TRS and IDOC
8:30 a.m., Room 400

• Senate Local Government Committee
9 a.m., Room 409
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 Government Reform Committee
11 a.m., Room 400
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 and Pensions Committee
2 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Special Committee on Oversight of Medicaid Managed Care
3:30 pm., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Revenue Committee
4:30 p.m., Room 212
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Insurance Committee
4:30 p.m., Room 400
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee schedule, Thursday, May 4

 

• Senate Agriculture Committee
8:30 a.m., Room 409
To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

• Senate Appropriations II Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget requests for the IEPA, IPA, and ICC
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 Telecommunications and Info Technology Subcommittee on Cyber Security
10:30 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.

• Senate Telecommunications and Info Technology Committee
11 a.m., Room 400
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

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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Senator Steans and witnessess testify on the ERAIllinois can play a vital role in ensuring generations of women and men across the nation enjoy equal rights – a notion that is far from guaranteed under the Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress, State Senator Heather Steans said Tuesday.

“I am proud to champion the fight for gender equality by sponsoring SJRCA 4, which ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This legislation could be voted out of committee as soon as this week, which would make us one step closer to making the 28th Amendment a reality,” said Steans, a Chicago Democrat.

Steans’ remarks were made prior to the Illinois Women’s March on Springfield, which was expected to draw women and men from across the state to rally for progressive issues including equal rights, raising the minimum wage and protecting a woman’s right to choose.

Steans said she is excited about Illinois’ chance to play an historic role in the fight for gender equality. Illinois could be the 37th out of 38 states needed to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment for it to become enshrined in the Constitution.

“There is currently no federal constitutional provision that guarantees equality on the basis of sex. With recent executive orders and a Republican-controlled Congress, it is now more important than ever to make Illinois the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment,” she said.

“We need to protect the advances we have made toward gender equality by providing a strong legal footing against any rollbacks to legislation like the Equal Pay Act and Title IX.”

Senator Steans in a committee hearingAs the movement to legalize recreational marijuana gains popularity in Illinois, State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and State Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) heard testimony addressing best practices for regulation and taxation on Wednesday, April 19 from experts around the country. This hearing was the first in a series that will address the wide variety of concerns regarding their legislation that would allow Illinois residents to possess up to 28 grams of marijuana and purchase marijuana products at licensed and regulated facilities.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” Steans said. “Taxing legalized recreational marijuana would have a huge impact on the state both in the form of new revenue and in job creation. Last year alone, 18,000 jobs were created in Colorado due to the marijuana industry.”  

Karmen Hanson from the National Conference of State Legislatures explained the process of implementing a tax structure and regulations in states that have already legalized recreational marijuana during her testimony. In the past year, Colorado has received nearly $200 million in revenue from the tax generated through over $1 billion in marijuana sales.

“Hearing about the experiences of policymakers who worked through the issues that appeared during the process of legalizing marijuana in other states will help us create a plan that will proactively address these concerns,” Cassidy said. “Our state desperately needs the revenue that would be brought in by the taxation of cannabis, so I look forward to continuing the conversation in the coming months.”

The legislation will include a number of public safety and regulatory measures. Driving under the influence of marijuana would remain illegal, and strict rules would ensure marijuana products would not be accessible to people under 21. Smoking marijuana in public would also be prohibited.

“Colorado takes its responsibility to regulate marijuana very seriously,” Barbara Brohl, the executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue said. “Tax revenue and license fees fund our regulatory costs as well as allows the state to address some social consequences of use that otherwise might be difficult to address. We remain proactive in our regulatory approach, and work very closely with all of our stakeholders to carefully balance public safety and burden on the industry, which ensures that as issues arise we can address them quickly and flexibly.”

The sponsors plan to hold additional subject matter hearings throughout the spring to hear from other individuals and organizations.

Senator Steans

April 18, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Town Hall on Recreational MarijuanaDon’t miss my town hall tomorrow evening, April 19, at 7 p.m. at Broadway Armory Park (5917 N. Broadway) with Rep. Cassidy! This is an opportunity for you to learn more about proposed legislation to legalize recreational marijuana and voice your opinion on the topic. Space is limited, so please RSVP here to reserve your seat. For those of you that are not able to attend, click here to watch the town hall on Facebook live.

 

Rep. Cassidy and I will also host a Meet and Greet at the Rogers Park Social Club (6920 N. Glenwood Ave.) on Sunday, April 23 from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. We will provide an update on legislation and the current state of affairs in Illinois. To RSVP for the Meet and Greet, click here.

 

Please see below for more information about Clean and Green events in the district to celebrate Earth Day, upcoming community policing town halls and information about the Neighborhood Opportunity Fund.

 

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

 

Clean and Green Events to celebrate Earth Day

Senator Steans celebrates Arbor Day in the district

To celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 22, neighbors are gathering throughout the district to lead cleanup efforts as a part of Chicago’s citywide Clean & Green Day of Service. The City will provide the tools for the projects. Please see below for a full list of events.

 

49th ward
9 a.m.
Meet at the 49th Ward Service Office, 7356 N. Greenview for coffee and rolls before heading out across the neighborhood. Volunteers will pick up trash, cut weeds and plant flowers. Volunteers will return to the Ward office at noon for a “Taste of the 49th Ward” featuring an array of food donated from restaurants in the ward.
To register, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your name, address, phone number, email, number of participants, organization (if applicable) and locations in need of attention. You can also register by calling 773-338-5796.

 

48th ward
9 a.m.-1 p.m.
We will sweep, paint and plant our way throughout the 48th ward to improve our schools, gardens, parks and storefronts. A free barbecue will follow at the Streets and Sanitation yard.
To sign up, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 773-784-5277.

 

47th ward
Neighbors will meet at 6 different locations in the morning:
Ravenswood Neighbors meet at Wilson and Hermitage at 10 a.m.
Meet John at Lawrence and the east side of Ravenswood at 10 a.m.
Meet in Revere Park (2509 W. Irving Park) at 9 a.m.
Meet Matt at 2011 W. Eastwood at 10 a.m.
Meet Ross at Sunken Gardens (located at Virginia and Sunnyside) at 9 a.m.
Riverbank Neighbors meet at Berteau and the river at 10 a.m.

 

46th ward
For more information or to register, call 311. The deadline to register is Wednesday, April 19.

 

40th ward
For more information and to request tools for the day, call 773-769-1140.

 

Community Policing Town Halls

 

The Community Policing Advisory Panel will host three town hall meetings to give residents an opportunity to provide feedback on the Chicago Police Department’s focus on community policing. The goal of the advisory panel is to develop a strategic plan to work with neighborhoods to fight crime and to restore trust between residents and police.

 

Tuesday, April 18th: George Westinghouse College Prep
3223 W Franklin Blvd Chicago, IL 60624
6:30pm – 8:30pm

 

Tuesday, April 25th: Sullivan High School
6631 N Bosworth Ave Chicago, IL 60626
6:30pm – 8:30pm

 

Tuesday, May 2nd: Corliss Early College STEM High School
821 E 103rd St Chicago, IL 60628
6:30pm – 8:30pm

 

The deadline to apply for Neighborhood Opportunity Fund is April 21

 

Chicago Neighborhoods Now FundThe Neighborhood Opportunity Fund supports commercial areas in underserved neighborhoods in Chicago. Business and property owners can apply for a grant to pay for the rehabilitation or development of real estate projects that support new or expanding businesses or cultural assets.

 

The first round application deadline is April 21, 2017. The second round deadline is October 2, 2017. For more information, click here.

 

 

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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www.SenatorSteans.com

 

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Contact Us

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

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