July 26, 2017

CHICAGO- Assistant Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) reacted to comments Governor Bruce Rauner made today claiming that every child from a disadvantaged circumstance can receive a better education under his yet-to-be revealed plan:

“The governor claims he is treating Austin, Englewood and Lawndale the same as Cicero, North Chicago and Rockford in his secret plan. While the details of

his plan are unclear, one thing is certain, he wants to take money from Chicago’s children to make his plan more appealing and pit poor communities against each other. And that is wrong.

“I have worked on fixing our education funding formula my entire career, and refuse to let any child get shortchanged on a quality education solely to appease the governor.

“Senate Bill 1 has a hold harmless provision for all school districts because we refuse to give any school less, it funds schools based on need and ensures high poverty districts get the support they desperately need.”

July 26, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – As Illinois’ estimated bill backlog sits at a record $14.3 billion, state Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch, D-Hillside, is calling on Gov. Rauner to sign legislation that would reform how state agencies manage their finances and reveal the full extent of the state’s debt obligations.

“With an honest, bi-partisan, balanced budget in place, this transparency bill is one step that can be made to let taxpayers know how much money is owed to various entities across Illinois, including schools and social service providers,” Welch said. “Under Governor Rauner’s reign, Illinois’ bill backlog has tripled to a crippling level, and this particular legislation offers transparency and accountability to state government that is desperately needed.”Welch’s House Bill 3649 would require agencies to report monthly to the Comptroller the liabilities they are holding, plus an estimate of the account of late interest penalties that will be paid on those bills. According to the Comptroller’s O...

July 26, 2017


EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, is urging Gov. Rauner to sign legislation that would require insurance companies to offer additional life-saving breast cancer screenings for at-risk patients.

“Access to MRI screenings are critical to women’s health and detecting breast cancer early can allow for the proper treatment to fight against the cancer,” Greenwood said. “When it comes to diagnosis, early detection can mean the difference between life and death.”

If signed into law, Senate Bill 314 would allow more women to receive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screenings in addition to a typical mammogram by requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage if a mammogram shows dense tissue. While a mammogram is recommended for most women, studies have shown that a supplemental MRI screening can increase detection of breast cancer for women with a strong family history of breast cancer. It does not serve as a replacement for a mammogram, but is co...

July 26, 2017

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, is informing local taxpayers and small businesses that they may have uncashed checks waiting for them in the state’s Check for Cash database.

“Over the year millions of dollars have accumulated in uncashed checks and I want to help local residents find money they are owed,” Greenwood said. “These checks and refunds often remain unclaimed without residents knowing they exist. The Check for Cash program helps track down those missed opportunities for money and return them to Illinois residents.”

The Check for Cash website can be found at  For help searching the database, contact Greenwood’s constituent service office at 618-646-9557.

The comptroller currently has records of more than 100,000 uncashed checks. Each year, the state of Illinois issues thousands of checks that go uncashed, most frequently to state employees, small businesses doing business with a sta...

July 25, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, is urging Gov. Rauner to sign legislation that requires insurance companies to review records and pay beneficiaries the amount they are owed.

“Life insurance policies are put in place to protect loved ones who are left behind after someone passes away,” Lilly said. “This legislation requires insurance companies to ensure that beneficiaries and loved ones receive the money that they are rightfully owed.”

Lilly’s House Bill 302 requires companies to ensure the beneficiaries of any policies receive any funds owed to them. The Illinois Treasurer’s office has identified $550 million in unpaid death benefits in Illinois since 2011. This legislation would require insurance companies to request updated contact information for policy holders to keep policies from going unpaid. Lilly is encouraging residents to call Gov. Rauner’s office at 217-782-0244 and urge him to sign House Bill 302 into law once it reaches his desk.

“The unexpected...

July 25, 2017

CHICAGO – Domestic violence survivors will have access to critical care following passage of a state spending plan backed by state Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin, D-Chicago.

“No one should ever have to be afraid in their own home, but, due to the governor’s budget impasse, survivors of domestic violence were turned away from shelters and forced to stay at home with their abusers,” said Conyears-Ervin. “We have the responsibility to protect individuals who are victims of domestic violence, and now they will again have access to a strong support system so that they can leave their abusers and move on with their lives.”

Conyears-Ervin voted to fully fund domestic violence shelters in the bipartisan, balanced budget that went into effect at the beginning of the month. In the spending plan, over $100 million was allocated for victims of domestic violence services, local law enforcement agencies and transitional housing support services. Conyears-Ervin wants to ensure that survivors of domestic v...

July 25, 2017

CHICAGO – State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin, D-Chicago, is hosting her first “Walk and Talk” to engage with area residents and walk the 1.5 miles down the 606/Bloomingdale Trail. The meeting will be on Saturday, July 29from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. with a starting location of Park 567, located at 1801 N. Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago.

“Being open and accessible to my constituents is the most important thing to me,” said Conyears-Ervin. “This event will allow us to not only talk about the issues that matter most to you, but also allow us to enjoy our beautiful 606/Bloomingdale Trail.”

State Rep. Melissa Conyears-Ervin represents Illinois’ 10th district. Her office can be reached by phone at 773-417-1020, by email at, or on Facebook at

July 25, 2017

CHICAGO – To provide additional protections to students and individuals paying off their student loans, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, recently supported legislation that would create a Student Loan Bill of Rights in Illinois.  

“Illinois’ college graduates can be saddled with as much as $30,000 in student loan debt,” Harper said. “This has serious repercussions on peoples’ abilities to build their own futures, and hinders the chance of our state and local economies from growing because students are forced to spend their money paying back their loans instead of buying a home and shopping at locally owned businesses. This legislation is a first step in prioritizing people over loan servicers.”

Harper supported Senate Bill 1351, which establishes a Student Loan Bill of Rights and a Student Loan Ombudsman within the Office of the Attorney General to assist students with any questions about the loan servicing process. Harper’s measure allows the Attorney General to enforce pro...

July 25, 2017

CHICAGO – State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, is calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to stand with her and help end the school-to-prison pipeline by signing important juvenile justice reforms into law.

“We should always move swiftly when working towards justice,” Stratton said. “So that’s why Governor Rauner should take the many criminal justice reforms we have sent him, immediately sign them and help create opportunities to prevent children from unfairly being swept into the criminal justice system.”

Two major criminal justice reforms that Stratton introduced this year passed both the House and Senate and now require the governor’s signature to become law. The Stratton-introduced House Bill 2663 would limit early-childhood providers from expelling vulnerable students with perceived behavioral issues and encourage them to use community services to work with children and families to address behavioral issues that students might display. In addition, the Stratton-introduced House Bill 3903 pr...

July 24, 2017

 CHICAGO – As a way to help her constituents understand important developments in Springfield, especially about the budget, state Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, met with residents at a town hall meeting with State Treasurer Michael Frerichs at the Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church in Chicago on Saturday.  

“A budget does not just consist of numbers on a page,” said Stratton. “A budget reflects our values – and I can tell you this budget shows we value children, families and our community.”

During the town hall Stratton spoke about the funding for important programs in the most recent budget, including funding for child nutrition, domestic violence shelters and assistance for low-income students to attend college. The town hall, held with Frerichs, touched on important topics such as allowing residents to access funding for higher education and how education can improve public safety. A number of other local officials were present, including Kim Foxx, Cook County Stat...

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