As we approach the end of May, which is traditionally the end of spring session and the deadline to pass a state budget, I would like to provide you this brief update on some of our recent activity in Springfield.
Securing Funding for Critical Services
Last week I voted yes for Senate Bill 2038, which will provide emergency funding for addiction treatment services, Autism services, mental health programs, youth programs, support for victims of sexual assault, breast and cervical cancer screening, health care services, homeless programs, and meal delivery for seniors. These programs will be paid for by state funds specifically designed for human services and will not add to our growing pile of unpaid bills. Governor Rauner has not yet signed this bill. Feel free to call his office at 312-814-2121 and ask him to sign this important and necessary funding bill.
Fully Funding MAP Grants
Thousands of students across the state rely on scholarships from the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP). This program provides low-income students financial aid to attend a college or university in Illinois. When we passed House Bill 5029, only part of the MAP grants were funded. This week I voted yes for House Bill 4167 to fully fund these scholarships.
Property Tax Relief for Homeowners
Homeowners continue to face sky-rocketing property taxes that increase on an annual basis. I voted yes on House Bill 696, which will freeze property taxes for homeowners. While this measure protects homeowners from escalating property taxes, I will continue to work with legislators and our local governments to explore ways we can provide financial relief to our municipalities and school districts from the State imposed unfunded mandates placed upon them, so they have the ability to control their own costs more effectively.
In the past, the politicians in Springfield have used money earmarked to address transportation needs to fund other services. I have strongly opposed this practice because of the incredible amount of financial pressure it places on our municipalities to complete transportation related projects. I voted yes for House Joint Constitutional Amendment 36 which prevents the governor and legislators from using transportation funds for anything other than transportation projects.
Protecting Victims of Sexual Assault
When DNA evidence needs to be examined, local law enforcement agencies send samples to the Illinois State Police to be tested. I voted yes for House Bill 6332, which requires the Illinois State Police to conduct DNA analysis on sexual assault evidence and notify other law enforcement agencies, including the local state’s attorney, of any DNA matches. Additionally, the Illinois State Police must publish a quarterly report proving information about sexual assault cases from every law enforcement agency. House Bill 6332 passed the House, and is awaiting action in the Senate.
Protecting Veterans’ Benefits
Currently when someone impersonates an active member of the military they face no penalties for taking benefits and resources designated our American Heroes. Senate Bill 2167 creates the charge of false impersonation and imposes a fine on any person impersonating a member of the military or a veteran. Senate Bill 2167 passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House.
Making Health Care for Children Affordable and Accessible
ALL KIDS was designed to provide health insurance coverage for low-income children who do not qualify for Medicaid. The program provides health insurance to families who earn between 209 and 318 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. House Bill 5736 extends coverage for qualified children through October 1, 2019. Additionally, this legislation ensures that Illinois is in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. House Bill 5736 passed both the House and Senate.
Join Me for a Veterans’ Appreciation Picnic!
I will be hosting my Annual Veterans’ Appreciation Picnic on Friday, July 8, 2016 from 11AM to 1PM, at Veteran’s Memorial Park, 19101 Halsted Street, in Glenwood. Local veterans along with one guest are invited to join me for conversation, bingo, hot dogs and soft drinks. Please contact my office at (708) 754-7900 to reserve your space, or if you have any questions. Click here for a PDF flier for the event: http://anthonydeluca.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Veterans-Picnic-Color-FINAL-7-8-DONE20161.pdf