August 2023 Newsletter

Happy August! Over the past few weeks, my office and I have been stopping in at events throughout the district, attending community meetings, and sitting down with constituents and advocates to begin working on our legislative priorities for the upcoming session.

I’m happy to share that I recently filed HB 4112, which will expand private insurance coverage for in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments to remove the four round limitation. Currently in Illinois, private insurers are mandated to cover no more than four rounds of IVF, with an additional two rounds if a live birth results. However, recent studies have shown that rates of live births increase drastically when women undergo at least six rounds of IVF treatment, which is why I’ll be pursuing this legislation in the upcoming session.

I had the privilege of standing in support of the members of the WGA and SAG-AFTRA at the recent Solidarity March and Rally in Chicago. Actors, writers, and film workers deserve to make a living wage, have access to health insurance and retirement plans, and be protected from the use of artificial intelligence. I was proud to champion the expansion of the Film Tax Credit in 2022, which established Illinois as a world leader in the film industry, but now the industry needs to stand up for its members.

Starting this month I will be on maternity leave, awaiting the newest arrival to the Croke family. While I’m out, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with any questions or concerns – my team is available to assist. I look forward to being back out in the district with you all soon!

The Secretary of State’s Office Announces the Skip-the-Line Program

In an effort to improve customer service and eliminate the unpredictability of wait times at Illinois DMVs, Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias will implement the Skip-the-Line program on September 1.

The Skip-the-Line Program includes: 

Appointment scheduling — Customers will be required to make appointments for in-person visits at 44 of the busiest DMVs. All Chicago and suburban locations and select central and downstate DMVs will require an appointment for REAL IDs, driver’s licenses and ID card services, and in-car driving tests. Vehicle-related services – such as titles, registrations or license plate renewals – do not require an appointment.

New extended hours of operation — Every DMV will extend hours of operation from Monday – Friday to  8 am – 5:30 pm. Select facilities will be open on Saturdays from 8 am – 12:30 pm.

Customers are encouraged to visit to schedule an appointment, look up DMV location information, and take advantage of many online services, including renewals of driver’s licenses, ID cards and plate stickers. You may also call (844) 817-4649 to schedule an appointment.

Support for New Arrivals

The 18th District Police Station is still continuing to shelter and house newly arrived migrants until space becomes available at local shelters. The biggest need is meal donations and deliveries. Please consider signing up through this link if you can donate and deliver lunch or dinner on a given day/time.

Additionally, my office is still collecting dry breakfast foods, such as cereal and breakfast bars and milk and juice that do not require refrigeration. If you are interested in supporting this effort, please consider dropping off donations at our office at 3223 N Sheffield Ave., Suite A and mention it is for the 18th District migrants.

Grant Opportunity

Governor JB Pritzker recently announced the Federal Grant Support Program to help Illinois compete for additional federal funding to strengthen our businesses and communities. Illinois-based businesses and organizations seeking federal grants that align with the State’s economic development objectives are encouraged to apply through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to have part of their match covered by state dollars. More information can be found here.

DCEO Grant Training Information Sessions

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is conducting information sessions and office hours designed to help entities seeking grants. The training session topics will detail the pre-qualification process, as well as other critical information. Check this link to sign-up for an upcoming session.

Do you want to stay up-to-date on active state grant opportunities? Subscribe to Illinois NOFO Notifications to receive a weekly digest of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) offered by state agencies.

To subscribe, send a blank email (subject and body) to

Federal Student Loans

The pause on federal student loan payments is ending in September. Interest rates on federal student loans will resume and borrowers will be notified throughout September and October of the current amount they owe along with their exact payment due date.