05302018CM1374 rCHICAGO – Underserved communities across the state may soon see more mental health professionals thanks to a new law sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans.

“Both rural and urban areas across the state are not adequately staffed with mental health professionals. This law will incentivize mental health professionals to work in those shortage areas,” Steans (D-Chicago) said.  

The law creates a loan repayment assistance program for mental health professionals practicing in underserved or designated mental health professional shortage areas. To be eligible for the program, an applicant must work at least 12 consecutive months in the designated area and have an outstanding educational loan balance. The amount of the grant would vary based on the applicant’s degree.

“I hope this legislation will encourage more mental health professionals to work in understaffed areas across the state,” Steans said. “Many communities are struggling with the opioid crisis and addiction issues and need additional support.”

Under this program grants would not exceed the following amounts:

•    up to $35,000 per year for a psychiatrist;
•    up to $15,000 per year for an advanced practice registered nurse or physician’s assistant;
•    up to $12,000 per year for a psychologist who holds a doctoral degree;
•    up to $6,500 per year for a licensed clinical social worker or a licensed clinical professional counselor; and
•    up to $2,500 per year for a substance-use professional.

House Bill 5109 takes effect July 1, 2019.

Dentist rCHICAGO – Children entering the ninth grade now will be required to receive a dental examination under legislation sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans that was signed into law yesterday.

“Dental exams are an important preventative health care tool,” Steans (D-Chicago) said. “Regular dental checkups can help children develop good habits while also addressing potential issues that can disrupt sleep, eating and speaking.

I hope that adding an exam before high school will help ensure Illinoisans have good oral hygiene.”

Currently, children are required to undergo a dental examination before entering kindergarten, second grade and sixth grade regardless of whether they attend a public, private or parochial school.

House Bill 4908 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2019.

Senator Heather Steans, 7th Senate District

Dear friends,

I hope you are enjoying the warm weather and having a wonderful summer. There are a few upcoming events and donation drives in the district that I want to draw your attention to.

This Saturday, I am co-hosting the Rogers Park community pet day from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Pottawattomie Park, 7340 N. Rogers Ave. Vaccines and microchips will be available, as well as dog registration, nail trimming, free spay and neutering appointments and a family fun zone. Please see the flyer below for additional details.

As the summer days grow shorter, please consider donating to my annual backpack drive, which supports local elementary and high school students. I am working in partnership with elected officials and community organizations to provide a variety of supplies to students in the district.

We are looking for donors to sponsor a student or contribute individual supplies. Click here to review the supplies list and click here to sign up for the drive. The drive is now open and ends on August 10. Donations can be dropped off at my office, 5533 N. Broadway, or at five other locations in the area. Thank you for your consideration!

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.


Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois



Great news for Uptown
I am delighted that renovations to the Uptown Theatre will soon begin. Through a mixture of state funds (including money in the capital plan), federal tax credits, private donations and some city financing, the $75 million restoration project should be complete in about two years. The theater will host a variety of performances including concerts, comedy shows and other special events. I look forward to seeing the historic Uptown Theatre returned to its former glory and a revived cultural and economic development center within our community.

The Chicago Tribune published an extensive article on the project. You can read it here.


Sarah’s Circle Christmas in July donation drive
Sarah’s Circle in Uptown, a nonprofit serving homeless women, is hosting its first Christmas in July Donation Drive. They are looking for travel-sized toiletries, disposable razors, sunscreen, toothbrushes, hand sanitizer, face and body wipes, reusable water bottles, baby powder, adult diapers, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, feminine hygiene products, sunglasses, reading glasses, ear plugs, new underwear and socks.

If you are able to donate any of these items, please drop them off at 5533 N. Broadway. For more information, click here.



Springfield Office
623 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Ph: (217) 782-8492
Chicago Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Ph: (773) 769-1717

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

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