Senator Steans

April 13, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Legalizing recreational marijuana would be a big policy change in the state. I know many of you have feelings and opinions about this legislation, and as your state senator, it is important to me to hear your feedback on this legislation.

 

Please join me and State Representative Kelly Cassidy for a town hall to discuss legalizing recreational marijuana at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, at the Broadway Armory Park, 5917 N. Broadway. The event is free and open to the public. If you are able to attend, please RSVP here.

 

I do not plan to move forward with this bill hastily. Representative Cassidy and I want to ensure that there is ample time for organizations and individuals to voice their opinions and for us to adjust the legislation based on that information.

 

If you can’t make it on Wednesday, join us from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at the Rogers Park Social Club, 6920 N. Glenwood Ave., for a Meet and Greet. Representative Cassidy and I will be available to update you on legislation and the current state of affairs in Illinois. To RSVP for the Meet and Greet, click here.

 

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

 

Upcoming Event Flyers

 

Town Hall on Recreational Marijuana

 

Join us for a Meet and Greet

 

Edgewater Village Survey for individuals 55+

 

The Edgewater Village, a free resource to connect older adults with neighborhood services, social and cultural events, and volunteer opportunities in the community is conducting a community needs assessment survey and would like your feedback. If you are 55 and above, click here to complete the survey to help Edgewater Village determine what older adults want from the community. The survey is open until April 17.

 

 

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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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on President Trump signing legislation to allow states to withhold federal funds from organizations that offer abortion services:

Federal law prohibits taxpayer dollars from supporting abortion services. By allowing states to withhold federal funds from organizations like Planned Parenthood that offer abortion services, President Trump will allow states to defund preventative care for women. It’s time to call this action what it is: an affront to women.

Preventative women’s health services benefit everyone, not just women. Without the services offered by organizations like Planned Parenthood, many low-income and working class women may no longer receive cancer screenings, pregnancy care and testing for sexually transmitted infections. This would have a ripple effect through our communities.

This action reinforces the need to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment and ensure that women can no longer be discriminated on the basis of their sex. I will not be complicit to the Executive branch’s agenda. It’s time for Illinois to formally recognize that women have equal rights to men and bring our nation one step closer to ratifying the 28th Amendment.

 

Senator Steans speaks at a press conference on legalizing recreational marijuanaFeedback from community groups, advocacy organizations, public safety officers, medical professionals and the public will be pivotal in shaping efforts to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois. At a press conference today, State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and State Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) announced plans to hold the first subject matter hearing on the topic at 12 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, in the Bilandic building.

“Rep. Cassidy and I are committed to gathering feedback about how legalizing recreational marijuana would affect the state from a large variety of interest groups,” Steans said. “We have received overwhelming support for this legislation but do not plan to move forward hastily. We want to ensure that there is ample time for organizations and individuals to present testimony and for us to adjust the legislation based on information presented in hearings.”

Barbara Brohl, the executive director of Colorado’s Department of Revenue will testify on how legalizing recreational marijuana has affected Colorado during the first hearing on this subject. Karmen Hanson, the program director of the Health Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures, will also testify on what other states have done around legalizing marijuana.

“Senator Steans and I strongly believe that it’s time that Illinois had a new drug policy,” Cassidy said. “Legalizing recreational marijuana will bring in hundreds of millions of dollars to the state. We’re discussing all sorts of proposals to end the budget impasse, and we thought this should be part of the conversation as well.”

The Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy organization devoted to ending marijuana prohibition, has estimated that legalizing recreational marijuana would generate between $350 million and $700 million in new revenue for the state of Illinois. Under the Steans-Cassidy proposals, the revenue would go to support the State Board of Education; treatment and education programs about marijuana, alcohol and tobacco; and the state’s General Revenue Fund.

Currently, six groups and organizations have come out in support of the legislation due to the fiscal impact it would have on the state and their belief that Illinois needs a new drug policy.

“It is time for Illinois to regulate marijuana similarly to alcohol,” said Chris Lindsey, a spokesperson for the Coalition for a Safer Illinois, a newly formed alliance of doctors, law enforcement, clergy and other organizations committed to updating marijuana legislation in Illinois. “Our current policy causes more harm to the individual and society than cannabis consumption, and a majority of Illinois voters are ready for a better approach. We believe these bills are exactly what Illinois needs.”

The two legislators will also seek feedback from residents at a town hall meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 19, in their district.

 

Senator Steans

April 3, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Please find a list of noteworthy bills that have been posted to committee this week below along with the committee hearing schedule. The deadline for many of these bills to move out of committee is this Friday, April 7.

 

Once a bill moves out of committee it will be read on the Senate floor two more times before it is called for a vote. Between readings of a bill, members can make changes to the legislation by filing amendments. Some amendments will also be discussed in committee hearings.

 

I have included legislation that I both support and oppose so that you can stay informed and decide your stance on these bills. If you have questions on my position on any of these pieces of legislation, please feel free to contact my office.

 

For directions on how to submit a witness slip to show your support or opposition to a particular bill, click here. Witness slips are a vital piece of the legislative process. Before a bill is heard in committee, the chairperson will read who has submitted witness slips and whether they support or oppose the bill. This helps inform me and other legislators as to where Illinoisans and organizations stand, allowing us to make informed decisions when voting. Witness slips are a great and relatively quick way to make your voice heard in state government.

 

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

  • 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)

  • Jury service - SB 889 prohibits jurors from being excluded from jury service on the basis of race, color, sex or sexual orientation. (Hutchinson)

  • Auto insurance - SB 1706 ensures that your credit score won't affect your auto policy rate. (Collins)

  • Marijuana possession - SB 1886 reduces felony possession of marijuana and other drugs to misdemeanors and creates a fund to deal with high incarceration rates in some neighborhoods. (Hutchinson)

 

Education issues

  • 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)

  • Senator Steans celebrates Arbor Day in the districtSchool funding - SB 446 provides districts with twice the state high school dropout rate with additional funding for high school dropouts that re-enroll in an evidence-based program. (Lightford)

  • Accelerated school - SB 1223 allows students to be referred to and partake in an accelerated placement program. (Lightford)

  • Removal of board officers - SB 1945 establishes a process for removing and replacing elected university and community college boards. (Tracy)


Environment issues

  • Recycling task force - SB 1775 creates a task force on recycling strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will review and provide recommendations on municipal initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. (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)


Public Health issues

  • Staffing waivers - SB 626 allows the Director of Public Health to grant staffing waivers to nursing homes that are unable to meet the state's registered nurse staffing levels but meet certain requirements. (McCann)

  • Hospital dumping - SB 1624 halts the improper involuntary discharge of residents and fines nursing homes that do so. (Biss)

  • Smoking in vehicles - SB 1221 prohibits smoking in a closed vehicle with minors. (Silverstein)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • Opioids - SB 1609 requires health insurance companies to provide coverage for prescription drugs used as opioid-abuse deterrents. (Bush)


Tax and Revenue issues

  • Video gaming - SB 1664 allows Gateway Motorsports Park to operate up to 200 video gaming terminals. (Clayborne)

  • Fair tax - SJRCA 1 would clear the way for a fair income tax with lower rates for those with lower earnings and higher rates for those with higher earnings. (Harmon)

  • Senior exemption - SB 470 increases the maximum senior citizens homeowner exemption amount. (Homes)

  • 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 and employment

  • Short term employment - SB 1453 creates a program to offer short-term employment to individuals with physical or mental disabilities. (McCann)

  • 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, April 4

All committees are in the Capitol unless otherwise statedSenator Steans in a committee hearing

  • Senate Appropriations I Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget request for the Department of Human Services
    11 a.m., Room 212

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

  • Senate Public Health Subcommittee on Long Term Care
    4 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

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

 

Committee schedule, Wednesday, April 5

 

  • Senate Appropriations I Committee subject matter hearing on the FY18 budget requests for the Department on Aging, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission, Council on Developmental Disabilities, Department of Human Rights, Human Rights Commission and Department of Public Health
    8:30 a.m., Room 400

  • Senate Gaming Committee
    9 a.m., Room 212
    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 Committee on Medicaid Managed Care
    10:30 a.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Executive Committee
    1:30 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee
    1:30 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate State Government Committee
    1:30 p.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Labor Committee
    2:45 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Government Reform 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 Judiciary Committee
    3:45 p.m., Room 400
    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 Revenue Committee
    5:15 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

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

 

Committee schedule, Thursday, March 30

 

  • Senate Agriculture Committee
    8:15 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 n the FY18 budget requests for the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Natural Resources, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois State Treasurer
    9 a.m., Room 212

  • 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 Transportation Committee
    10:30 a.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Criminal Law Committee
    10:30 a.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Environment and Conservation Committee
    12 p.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

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

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Office: 217-782-8492