In late October, the Illinois General Assembly returned to Springfield for veto session. This first week concluded with the House passing Speaker Welch’s bill HB4148, which would allow Illinois’ state legislative staff to organize and bargain collectively as a union. The legislation now heads to the Senate for further consideration.
Since my last legislative update, I filed two bills that I wanted to share with you:
- Many doctor’s offices offer third-party medical financing plans as an alternative payment option for patients. However, the details of what information they are required to disclose is not explicitly detailed. That’s why I introduced HB4174 which would require medical providers referring patients to any third-party medical financing plan to disclose that the financing plan is from a third-party entity and the terms of the plan.
- HB4175 bans corporal punishment, otherwise known as punishment which is intended to cause physical pain to a person, in non-public schools. Corporal punishment is an ineffective disciplinary tool that can lead to a number of negative long term effects for students, which is why we have already banned it in public schools. Currently, only two states, Iowa and New Jersey, have outlawed corporal punishment in private schools and it’s time Illinois follows suit.
I’m back in Springfield this week for the final days of session in 2023 to review pending vetoed legislation and vote on bills brought to the House floor. If you have any questions or concerns on legislation or the legislative process, please feel free to reach out to my office.
Support for New Arrivals
The City of Chicago has continued to see an increase in the number of migrants seeking asylum. Police stations are providing temporary shelter for newly arrived migrants until space becomes available at local shelters. Alongside local faith communities, neighbors have been organizing support for migrants, including purchasing meals, collecting winter clothing, and providing transportation. If you are able to volunteer or contribute to this effort, here are some ways to help:
- 18th District Police Council Chair Brad Kessler and restaurateur Faraz Sardaria have organized a sign up link to organize meal delivery. Please consider signing up here if you are able to donate and deliver lunch or dinner.
- The Old Town Triangle Association is working alongside 18th District Police – Migrant Support Team to provide meals for the migrants currently staying at the station. To join in on one of their Wednesday packing and delivery shifts, click here. Can’t make a packing shift? The association has great resources on their page for how else to get involved.
- We need assistance from residents to drive meals purchased by donations to the police station. You can find more information and sign-up here
- Monetary donations are being collected to continue to purchase immediate needs for our new neighbors, including meals and transit cards. If you are able to contribute, please do so here.
- There are a variety of different ways volunteers can work to give their time to support our new neighbors. Please sign up here to find different ways to help.
- We are providing new arrivals with a variety of essential items to ensure they have access to some of their most basic needs. Here is an up-to-date list of what we are accepting with the drop off sites listed. The police station is not a drop off site.
My office is hosting a donation drive to help support our new arrivals. We will be collecting new recreational items including board games, coloring books, and children’s books, preferably in Spanish. Please note that for sanitation purposes, only new items can be accepted, and all used items won’t reach the intended recipients.
Donations can be dropped off at 3223 N Sheffield Ave., Suite A. If you can’t stop in to the office to make an in-person donation, no worries! We are also accepting donations via Amazon deliveries. Visit the Amazon Wishlist here.
Constituent services are a crucial aspect of my role as state representative, and I take tremendous pride in the quality of the service that my district office provides. In order to showcase the high-quality work that my office does and ensure residents know how we can be helpful, we asked a constituent who recently reached out to our office about her experience. Here is what she had to say:
We are able to assist you with any questions or concerns related to state programs. Examples of state-related programs and common constituent inquiries include:
- The Department of Aging
- The Department of Human Services
- The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
- The Department of Employment Security (IDES)
- Consumer Complaints
- The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
- The Department of Veterans Affairs
- Foreclosure Prevention Programs
- State Taxes
- Motor Services (Secretary of State)
If you are not sure who to contact regarding an issue pertaining to government affairs, my team is always happy to connect you with the appropriate resource.
The Secretary of State’s Office Announces Senior Only DMV Centers
The Secretary of State’s Office recently announced they have launched two “Senior Only’ walk-in centers at the Evanston Civic Center, 2100 N. Ridge Road in Evanston and Seat Geek Stadium, 7000 S. Harlem Ave. in Bridgeview. Seniors at these locations will not need appointments, as these walk-in centers are specifically designed to meet their needs. Seniors still have the option to make a standard appointment at these specific locations or any other DMV. Please visit ilsos.gov for more information.
Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently announced additional funding for two grant programs, the Tourism Attractions Grant Program and the Tourism Private Sector Grant Program!
The Tourism Attractions Grant Program
Eligible entities can apply for grants to attract, develop, and improve new and existing tourism-related projects, events, and festivals in an effort to boost tourism across the state. Qualified entities can apply for grants between $15,000 to $500,000, with a 1:1 match required until December 18th, 2023 at 5 pm. For more information, please view the NOFO here.
The Tourism Private Sector Grant Program
The program will provide funding to eligible entities to attract, host and develop new or enhanced events and festivals across the state. Eligible entities can apply for grants between $10,000 to $500,000, with a 1:1 match requirement until December 4, 2023 at 5 pm For more information, please view the NOFO here.
DCEO Grant Training Information Sessions
The 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. Click here 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 email@example.com.
In the Community
Illinois Principals Association’s Principal for a Day Program
I participated in the Illinois Principals Association’s Principal for a Day program where I was able to shadow Principal Fay at Abraham Lincoln Elementary School. It was my pleasure to meet all of the dedicated educators, staff, and students and I can’t wait to welcome them to the Capitol during their annual class visit to Springfield next spring!
Gold Coast Neighbors Association’s Annual Meeting
Thank you Gold Coast Neighbors Association for inviting me to speak at your recent annual meeting! I joined Alderman Knudsen, Alderman Hopkins’ office, 18th District Police Commander Barz, and 18th District Police Sergeant Schenk to discuss our constituents’ concerns on public safety, my legislative efforts in Springfield, and the Association’s plans going forward.
Third Annual Pumpkin Giveaway & Canned Food Drive
We had a blast co-hosting our third annual Pumpkin Giveaway and Canned Food Drive event at this year’s Lincoln Central Association’s Howler at Bauler. Thank you to everyone who joined my office in donating canned goods in exchange for a free pumpkin! We handed out pumpkins from Von Bergen’s Country Market and donated the canned goods to Nourishing Hope Food Pantry. We can’t wait to do it again next year!
The 27th Annual Giver’s Gift Event
Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce is bringing back their annual Giver’s Gift promotion this holiday season! Receive a $50 gift certificate from Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce if you spend $300 or more at local shops (with proof of physical or emailed receipts)! For more details on this promotion, please visit https://lakevieweast.com/givers-gift/.
The 19th Police District Council Meeting
The 19th District Council is hosting a Solutions for Safer Communities meeting on November 28, 2023 at 6:30 pm. This event will take place at the Sulzer Library, 4455 N. Lincoln Ave. For any questions, please contact their email at 19thDistrictCouncil@gmail.com.
North Dearborn Association’s Joy of Toys Event
The North Dearborn Association is hosting their annual Joy of Toys event on Saturday December 2nd from 11:30 – 2:30 pm at Mario’s (21 W. Goethe)! If you would like to donate toys prior to the event, my office (3223 N Sheffield Ave, Suite A) will be accepting donations until Friday, December 1st. To find more information, including recommended gifts and different ways to participate, visit here.
PAWS Chicago Partnership
We have a new PAWS Chicago pal to introduce for November: Meet Cascabel!
Cascabel would like nothing more than to be around humans. She loves daily walks and training to learn new tricks. She is an active, young pup, so she would thrive in a patient home with daily activity.
Are you up for the puppy challenge? Well, if puppy fun, laughter, and bonding with a new friend is something you’re looking for, then Cascabel could be the girl for you.
If you’re interested in adopting Floria or another furry friend, visit PAWS Chicago for more information!
As this is the season for giving thanks, it is my sincere hope that you find time to give back and spend time with those you are grateful for. Please don’t hesitate to contact my office with any questions or concerns. We’re always happy to be a resource for you.