A bipartisan group of female state senators announced the creation of the Women’s Caucus today at a press conference in Springfield.

“We’ve seen throughout history that when women mobilize and claim their seat at the table, they break barriers and find solutions to the most stubborn of problems,” said Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago). “I expect this caucus will do the same for the women of Illinois.”

The caucus is being formed to promote and advance women’s issues within the legislature and to support female senators from both political parties.

“Women’s issues transcend party lines and extend far beyond the confines of a legislative chamber,” said Senator Karen McConnaughay (R-St. Charles). “I pledge to work with Democrat and Republican women who serve in the Senate to advance legislation that support, empower and protect women of all ages and in all environments.”

Although sexual harassment in the workplace will continue to be an issue of focus for the caucus, the group hopes to become the leading voice on a range of issues facing women in Illinois. It also intends to offer support for women within the workplace, institutions of education and home.

“The Women’s Caucus brings together a diverse group of legislators from across the political spectrum,” State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) said. “We recognize the importance of being bipartisan so that Senate leadership will respect our efforts. We intend to be taken seriously.”

“Women in the Senate have worked well together for years,” said Senator Pamela Althoff (R-McHenry). “This newly formed caucus just takes us a step further to ensure that we are creating a voice for the women of this state and that we are dealing with the issues that impact them.”

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State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) issued the following statement on the Senate’s action to address the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield:

05042017CM0082“I strongly believe that as a legislative body we need to ensure that there is a safe process for individuals to report sexual harassment claims and that harassers are held accountable for their actions. While I think this legislation is a start, I am concerned that it sets up a reporting system that is overseen or hired by legislators, which may perpetuate an unsafe work environment where people are afraid to come forward. In the coming weeks, I think we need to examine best practices and what other states have done to determine if a special ombudsman position should be created to handle sexual harassment complaints. I intend to actively participate in trailer legislation to address this issue.”

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Senator Steans

November 7, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Steans in a committee hearingIn the wake of widespread sexual harassment claims, the legislature is taking swift action to improve the work environment in Springfield. On Saturday, the Legislative Ethics Commission appointed former U.S. Attorney Julie Porter to the position of legislative inspector general. The post had been vacant for two years. The House of Representatives is holding a hearing this week on HJR 83, which urges those in government to change the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield. The House may also consider Senate Bill 402, which would increase sexual harassment awareness training for all staff, lobbyists and members of the General Assembly. I look forward to addressing this issue in the Senate.

 

This week is the Senate’s last chance to take action on legislation the governor vetoed. It is also the last time the Senate will convene until January.

 

At this point, many pieces of legislation that the Senate is likely to take action on have already been debated in committee. As such, bills can move directly to the floor for final action.

 

Some issues that have already been debated in committee and may be addressed this week include:

  • HB 2462, which prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their previous salary history. The House overrode the governor’s veto during the last legislative week. It has been placed on the Senate calendar.

  • HB 302, which requires insurance companies to periodically check any unclaimed life insurance policies against a state death registry to ensure families are receiving their due life insurance payouts. The House overrode the governor’s veto and the legislation has been placed on the Senate calendar.

  • HB 3649, which requires each state agency to provide a report to the State Comptroller that details the liabilities held at the agency. The House unanimously overrode the governor’s veto. This bill has been placed on the Senate calendar.

  • HB 4095, which prohibits consumer reporting agencies from charging individuals to freeze or remove a freeze to their credit report. This legislation passed the House following the Equifax data breach.

 

Below please find a list of noteworthy legislation that will be considered in Senate committees this week. You can watch or listen to committee hearings in real-time here. For directions on how to submit a witness slip and make your opinion known on legislation, click here.

 

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

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Noteworthy legislation in committee this week

 

  • Downstate energy market – SB 2250 creates a market-based bidding process for all energy market participants in downstate Illinois. It allows the Illinois Power Agency to develop procurement plans. Currently the bidding process is conducted by Midcontinent Independent System Operators.

  • Nursing home licensing – HB 1281 extends the Nursing Home Administrators Licensing and Disciplinary Act until Jan. 1, 2028. Currently, the act is set to expire on Jan. 1, 2018, which may affect federal matching for Medicaid funding.

  • Opposition to federal tax code changes - SR 1053 states that the Illinois Senate strongly opposes any efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to eliminate the state and local tax deduction. The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have discussed removing the state and local deduction, also known as SALT, as a way to pay for their proposed tax cuts for the wealthy. The state and local deduction allows families that pay state and local income or sales tax to deduct those taxes from their federal income tax.

  • Law enforcement eavesdropping – Currently, law enforcement officers with prior State’s Attorney approval are permitted to eavesdrop for up to 24 hours when investigating certain offenses. HB 185 extends this allowance until Jan. 1, 2020.

 

Committee Schedule for Nov. 7

All committee hearings are held in the Capitol building unless otherwise noted.

 

  • Senate Subcommittee on Confined Animal Feeding Operations subject matter hearing on confined animal feeding operation regulations
    9 a.m., Room 409

  • Senate Energy and Public Utilities joint subject matter hearing with the House Energy Committee on SB 2250
    9:30 a.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Local Government Committee subject matter hearing on SB 2261
    11 a.m., Room 400
    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 Public Health Committee
    2:30 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Criminal Law Committee
    3:15 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee Schedule for Nov. 8

 

  • Senate Public Health Committee subject matter hearing on spinal muscular atrophy
    9 a.m., Room 400

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

 

 

District Office

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

 

Springfield Office

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Senator Steans

October 24, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Steans in a committee hearingThe Illinois Senate is reconvening for the fall session today. This is an opportunity to address new legislation and legislation that passed both chambers but was vetoed by the governor. In order for legislation to pass during the fall session, it must receive a three-fifths majority in both chambers.

 

Below please find a list of noteworthy legislation that will be considered in Senate committees this week below. You can watch or listen to committee hearings in real-time here. For directions on how to submit a witness slip and make your opinion known on legislation, click here.

 

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

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

 

Noteworthy legislation in committee this week

  • SNAP benefits for college students - SB 351 addresses the governor’s veto of HB 3211. It requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to identify college students who may be eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

  • Running for office - SB 225 would allow a person who has previously been convicted of a felony to hold office under certain conditions, such as if the individual completed their sentence.

     

Committee Schedule for Oct. 24

All committee hearings are held in the Capitol building unless otherwise noted.

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

  • Senate Human Services Committee subject matter hearing on testimony on the Department of Children and Family Services' hotline and investigative process
    3:30 p.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee Schedule for Oct. 25

 

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

  • Senate Executive Committee
    10 a.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, 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)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

 

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District Office
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