December 2023 Newsletter

I recently returned back from Springfield for the last week of veto session. The General Assembly worked together to pass 22 bills that are now awaiting the Governor’s signature. Here is a brief update on the larger items that came up during veto session:

My office received a tremendous amount of outreach about the Invest in Kids Act. I have been a vocal proponent of a five-year extension of the scholarship program. Unfortunately, an extension of the act was not brought forth onto the House floor, which meant that I could not vote in favor of the legislation. Like many of you, I am disappointed that a bill was not brought forward, but I look forward to continuing conversation with my colleagues and advocates of the program to see what can be done to extend the program.

Many of you also contacted my office advocating for Karina’s Bill, HB676This legislation was named in honor of Karina Gonzalez, who was tragically murdered by her abusive partner. The legislation would tighten our red flag laws and give law enforcement authority to remove firearms earlier in the process of domestic violence orders of protection. As a cosponsor of this bill, I am proud to say this bill passed out of the House and now awaits a vote in the Senate.

Over the last two years, my office has seen an increase in constituents seeking assistance navigating the professional licensing application process through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). The current software used to process professional license applications and renewals is outdated and unable to handle the volume of applications, which has led to licensure processing delays. My colleagues and I have worked alongside IDFPR to figure out what needed to be done to improve their procedures. We introduced and passed HB2394, which would grant IDFPR emergency authority to contract with a vendor to upgrade their systems. This bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.

The General Assembly also revisited two energy bills that were vetoed by the Governor. Both bills were presented again on the House floor with the agreed upon measures presented by the Governor’s office. One of these bills is HB2473, which lifts Illinois’ moratorium on nuclear plants. The updated version of the legislation would allow for the construction of smaller modular reactors. The second vetoed item was part of the energy omnibus bill, which included language that would have granted incumbent utility providers the right of first refusal over new transmission projects. This part of the bill was removed and passed out of the House and Senate. The two previously vetoed bills now await the Governor’s signature.

I look forward to updating you on my upcoming legislative priorities next month before the spring session begins at the start of the new year. If you have any questions on the bills mentioned above or other legislative proposals you’re interested in discussing, please reach out to my office.

Remembering Andrew “Drew” Price

On November 13th, Andrew “Drew” Price, a local hero and member of the Chicago Fire Department Engine 55, lost his life while bravely fighting a fire that broke out at Lincoln Station (2432 N Lincoln Ave). I send my deepest condolences to the Chicago Fire Department, Drew’s family, and friends.

Below are a few links where those who would like to support can donate their resources:

New Arrivals Update

First, I want to extend a big thank you to all those who donated items to the recreational drive my office hosted. Your generosity and kindness is greatly appreciated and will make a significant impact to so many of our new neighbors. My office recently dropped off all of the donations to the city’s donation site.

If you’re looking for ways to continue to support new arrivals, please visit

Governor JB Pritzker recently announced that the State will invest an additional $160 million to help address the ongoing humanitarian crisis presented by the arrival of over 24,000 asylum seekers from the southern border. The State has worked alongside local partners to create a data-driven transition approach to help streamline the process and address the bottlenecks in all stages of the current asylum seeker response.

Along with the additional funding, Illinois has adjusted the Asylum Seeker Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program will now cover three months of rent, rather than up to six months, in efforts to expand the program to all shelter residents. The city also implemented a 60 day Resettlement Plan for new arrivals, which grants new familities and infdividuals entering the state stay in the emergency shelter system for 60 days. The goal is to accelerate new arrivals’ pathway to self-sufficiency, while also providing direct access to resources and support. The joint investments and policy changes made by the city and state will help ensure people can transition as quickly as possible into independent living.

The new arrivals who were sheltered at the 18th and 19th police stations have been transitioned to shelters and temporary housing. I would like to extend my gratitude to all of the officers, community groups, restaurants, local churches, and volunteers for all of their coordination and support over the course of the past year. Your willingness to work together to support our new neighbors is one of the many reasons why I appreciate this community so much.

Constituent Services

As 2023 is coming to an end, I wanted to highlight the constituent services my office and I provided over the past year. My office received outreach from over 1,400 constituents! Constituents contacted us on a variety of issues and requests for assistance with various state agencies, and I’ve also had the privilege of connecting with constituents in-person at numerous events and meetings held throughout the district.

Helping people in the community has always been a passion of mine and one of the primary reasons I ran for State Representative. My office remains committed to assisting you with any state-related issues. Here is an example of a recent issue we helped resolve:

If you are not sure who to contact regarding an issue pertaining to government affairs, my team is always happy to help connect you with the appropriate resource. Contact us at or at (773) 348-8974.

Grant Opportunities

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity recently announced the Illinois B2B NewBiz grant program! This new opportunity will provide financial relief for up to $30,000 to businesses that started during the pandemic in the industries most impacted by the pandemic. Qualifying for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations must have started operations between December 31, 2023 and January 1, 2023. Applications will be accepted until January 11th, 2o24 at 11:59 PM CT. For more information, visit

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 18, 2023 at 5:00 PM CT. For more information, please view the NOFO 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. 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

In the Community

43rd Ward Fall Senior Luncheon

Congressman Mike Quigley, MWRD Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos, Cook County Commissioner Bridget Degnen, Alderman Timmy Knudsen, former alderman Michele Smith, and I each called a round of bingo at the 43rd Ward Fall Senior Luncheon! It was such a delight to join in on the fun and to celebrate our community’s seniors.

Farewell and Good Luck to our Fall Interns!

This fall, we have been so fortunate to have had four amazing interns join our team! Brendon, Ashley, Abbey, and Lily have been working hard both in the office and out in the district, and we are so grateful for all of their hard work. We will certainly miss them and wish them the best of luck in what is next!

Upcoming Events

Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s 2023 Toiletry Drive

I am thrilled to cosponsor Commissioner Bridget Gainer’s annual Toiletry Drive to help support new arrivals. We will be accepting new donations until December 18th at my office (3223 N. Sheffield Ave., Suite A). If you have any questions please call (312) 603-4210 or email

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

Clark Street Cookie Crawl

Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce is hosting their first ever Clark Street Cookie Crawl on Sunday, December 10th from 11 AM- 1 PM! Put on your holiday attire and visit the businesses along Clark Street between Fullerton and Diversey to collect a variety of holiday cookies. Enjoy surprises along the way including carolers, hot chocolate, and the chance to snap photos with Santa. For more information including ticket pricing, please visit

The 18 District’s Annual Holiday Toy Drive

The 18th District Police Department is hosting their annual Holiday Toy Drive! Help out neighborhood youth by donating toys and winter clothing, including hats, gloves, scarves, and more. Only new items will be accepted. Donations can be dropped off at the 18th District Police Station Lobby or at my office located at 3223 N. Sheffield Ave., Suite A. The drive will run until December 16th.

19th District Council Monthly Meeting

The 19th Police District Council will be hosting their monthly meeting on Monday, December 18th. The meeting will take place at Pilgrim Lutheran Church at 6:30 PM. They will have a guest speaker from the Inspector General’s office to discuss the newly revamped Public Safety Data Portal. RSVPs are encouraged. To do so please visit,

Non-Profit Shoutout

This month’s non-profit shoutout is Marillac St. Vincent Family Services!

Founded in 1914, Marillac St. Vincent Family Services has been providing wrap-around support for people throughout all stages of their life. They offer vital programs and services in the areas of early childhood education, youth services, and community outreach services. Marillac St. Vincent Family Services has once of the largest footprints of any human services organization in Chicago, serving tens of thousands of individuals each year.

In light of the holiday season, Marillac St. Vincent is holding their Annual Christmas Store Event in East Garfield Park. The event attracts over 200 families that are part of Marillac St. Vincent. Families are able to shop a variety of generously donated items for their little ones. Attendees also receive a holiday meal to enjoy with their families. If you’re able please consider donating to this amazing event by either visiting their Amazon Wishlist or making a donation. For more information, please visit

If you know of a small business or nonprofit that deserves a shoutout next month, let us know!

PAWS Chicago Partnership

We have a new PAWS Chicago pal to introduce for December: Meet Jensen!

Jensen is a 6-year-old large mixed breed pup looking to the center of your attention! Jensen is playful and happy when around people, and would thrive in a home with lots of enrichment and training.

If you’re interested in adopting Jensen or another furry friend, visit PAWS Chicago for more information!

Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones this season. I hope you have a relaxing and joyful month. Please reach out to my office for any questions or concerns.