05242018CM0069 rSPRINGFIELD – A new law sponsored by State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) that updates Illinois’ suicide prevention strategy was signed by the governor.

Steans’ measure requires the Department of Public Health to strengthen efforts to prevent suicide in Illinois. In 2016, suicide caused more deaths than homicide, motor vehicle accidents, and prevalent diseases like liver disease, hypertension, and HIV.

“When suicide takes a loved one from us, we’re left wondering ‘What could I have done?’” Steans said. “By partnering with advocates and devoting state resources in support of all our knowledge about how to prevent suicide, we’re doing what we can do right now.”

Steans’ law requires the department, working with the Illinois Suicide Prevention Alliance, to develop recommendations to prevent suicide using evidence based practices and promote any coordinating activity needed to implement them.

“The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention thanks Senator Steans for guiding this bill through the General Assembly and Governor Pritzker for signing it into law,” said Steve Moore, the Co-Chair of the Illinois Chapter of the AFSP. “As the 11th leading cause of death in Illinois, suicide is a serious but preventable public health issue. By creating an effective state government structure for addressing suicide, the enactment of this law will save lives.”
Suicide caused nearly 1,500 deaths in Illinois in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available.

In addition to lives lost, suicide has a significant economic impact on Illinois, with each suicide death resulting in more than $1 million in medical costs and work loss costs, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

Senate Bill 1425 is effective immediately.

Dear friends,

The Department of Water Management (DWM) would like you to know that the installation of water meters through the MeterSave program has been temporarily suspended while more research is done to determine why an increase in water lead levels is being seen in some homes with meters.

There are very easy steps that residents can take to ensure they have the highest quality water:

1. Filter Sets for metered customers

DWM has sent a letter to every customer who received a meter since 2000 with registration information for a free filter set. The filter sets--a water pitcher and six filters that are NSF-certified to reduce lead if used correctly--can be ordered online at www.ChicagoWaterQuality.org/filters using the custom code in the letter. Over the next few weeks, residents will also be receiving another mailing from DWM with this information.

Please register for this free filter set if you are eligible and have not already done so.

2. Free Lead Testing Program

DWM strongly encourages you to participate in their free lead testing program offered to any resident in Chicago. The testing is done by a certified lab and your results will be sent to you. DWM will also schedule a follow-up visit if necessary. You may request a free lead test kit by calling 311 or by visiting www.ChicagoWaterQuality.org.

If you have requested a test kit, please follow the instructions carefully and return it. The kits have no expiration date.

3. Flushing

One of the most effective tools for ensuring water quality is flushing. Every time you have not used your water for six hours or more, run a tap for five minutes to move the stagnant water out of your system. Doing dishes, laundry, showering or watering the lawn all count towards flushing as well. Also, as always, use cold water from the tap rather than hot water for drinking or cooking.

Flush your water for 5 minutes every time it has been stagnant for six hours or more.

For more information on Chicago’s Water Quality Study and meter installation, you can visit: www.ChicagoWaterQuality.org.

Residents can still register for a meter and they will be added to a waitlist and notified when the program resumes. For more information on the MeterSave program, you can visit: www.metersave.org.

Please see the below flyers from the City of Chicago for more information on keeping yourself and children safe from lead in drinking water.

Also, please watch the video below on the home testing process for people potentially impacted by lead in their water.

As always, feel free to contact me with any comments or concerns you may have at 773-769-1717 or reach out online.


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Heather A. Steans
State Senator, 7th District

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Dear friends,

Now back from Springfield, I have had the chance to reflect about the past six months, thinking of how a new chapter has turned in our state’s history.

It is great to be back in the district, and I look forward to meeting many of you at the numerous events across the district. I also will be hosting several coffee and conversation events to update the community on the legislative session and to hear your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you.

Details on the upcoming coffee events are on the flyers below. Always feel free to contact me with any comments or concerns you may have at 773-769-1717 or reach out online.






Heather A. Steans
State Senator, 7th District


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IMG 7133 rSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Heather Steans celebrated the culmination of two years of work as her legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis became law today.

The new law includes the most comprehensive restorative justice measures of any state that has legalized cannabis, seeking to combat the disproportionate harm some communities suffered due to discriminatory drug policies and over-policing.

“I am proud to say that, by working with hundreds of stakeholders and spending years seeking community input, we have crafted the most just, well-regulated cannabis plan in the country,” Steans said. “This law keeps our children safe by prioritizing public safety, includes extensive restorative justice measures and brings in much-needed revenue for our state. I am thankful to all of my colleagues who stayed with me in this fight and to Gov. JB Pritzker for making it law.”

Beginning Jan. 1, 2020, adults 21 and older will be able to possess any combination of the following:

  • 30 grams of cannabis flower
  • 5 grams of cannabis concentrate
  • 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product

To prioritize restorative justice, the law allows for the automatic expungement of convictions dealing with amounts of cannabis under 30 grams. For convictions dealing with amounts of 30-500 grams, state’s attorneys or individuals can petition a court to vacate the conviction.

It invests significantly in communities harmed by discriminatory drug law, creating the Recover, Reinvest and Renew Program (R3) program to provide grants and assistance to those areas.

After agency administrative needs and costs related to expungement are covered, the remaining revenue from taxes and licensing fees will be distributed as follows:

  • 2% for public education and safety campaigns
  • 8% for law enforcement funds for prevention and training to be distributed through the Local Government Distributive Fund (LGDF) formula
  • 25% for Recover, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) Program
  • 20% for programs that address preventative substance abuse programs and mental health services
  • 10% for the bill backlog
  • 35% or the remaining amount for the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF)

This law makes Illinois the first state in the country to legalize cannabis through the legislative process, rather than a ballot initiative.

The law is effective immediately, but the sale and possession of cannabis remain illegal until Jan. 1, 2020.


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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