Senator Steans

November 15, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Last week during veto session the Senate took steps to begin to address the issue of sexual harassment in the statehouse. Both the Senate and House approved a measure to require state elected officials, employees and lobbyists to receive sexual harassment awareness training. Though the legislature passed Senate Bill 402 and sent it to the governor a week ago, he has yet to take action on this legislation.

 

The Senate also adopted a resolution to create the Senate Task Force on Sexual Discrimination and Harassment Awareness and Prevention, to which I have just been named. Additionally, we passed a measure to provide the newly appointed inspector general with additional time to investigate pending ethics complaints. The governor has not taken action on that legislation either.

 

Senator Steans announces the formation of the bipartisan Women's CaucusRecognizing the need for a formalized platform on which female Senators can make their voices heard, I formed a bipartisan Women’s Caucus. The purpose of this caucus is to promote and advance women’s issues within the legislature and to support female senators.

 

We’ve seen throughout history that when women mobilize and claim their seat at the table, they break barriers and find solutions to the most stubborn of problems. I expect this caucus will do the same for the women of Illinois.

 

I have included updates on other pieces of legislation that the Senate acted on last week below as well as some upcoming events in the district.

 

The Senate is not scheduled to reconvene until after the New Year. If you are interested in receiving more frequent updates on what bills will be heard in committee each week that the Senate is in session, click here to sign up.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

 

Legislative action

 

Debt Transparency Act
The Debt Transparency Act requires state agencies to submit a monthly report to the comptroller that details invoices waiting to be paid and the interest penalties those that may accrue on those bills. Before the legislature overrode the governor’s veto of House Bill 3649, agencies were only required to submit a report once a year with the aggregate amount of bills that it held at the end of the fiscal year. By the time the comptroller’s office received this report, it was outdated. Coming out of the budget impasse, I co-sponsored this legislation because I felt it was important to equip the comptroller with the most accurate information possible.

 

Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act
The Senate overrode the governor’s veto of a measure that will help ensure that beneficiaries receive life insurance payments. House Bill 302 requires insurance companies to search electronic records back to 2000 to determine if policyholders have died. Insurance companies will be required to take steps to find and pay beneficiaries.

 

Salary history ban
The Senate failed to override the governor’s veto of legislation that would have prevented employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. I co-sponsored this legislation in hopes that it would decrease the gender wage gap. Some senators were concerned that the fines this legislation would impose would hurt small business owners. I am disappointed that the Senate was unable to override the governor’s veto of House Bill 2462, but I will continue to work with my colleagues to address this issue and advance legislation that addresses the gender wage gap.

 

 

Upcoming events in the district

 

International Day of Unity
Join us this Saturday for the International Day of Unity from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Broadway Armory, 5917 N. Broadway. This event will feature food, music, art, dance and stories that celebrate the diversity of our neighborhoods. If you are interested in volunteering, please click here to sign up.

International Day of Unity flyer

Women’s Fair
I invite you to join me for a cross-generational women’s fair from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6. The event will take place at St. Andrew’s Greek Church, 5649 N. Sheridan Road, and will feature exhibitors and panel discussions. Click here to reserve your seat.

Women's Fair flyer

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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Senator Steans

November 7, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Steans in a committee hearingIn the wake of widespread sexual harassment claims, the legislature is taking swift action to improve the work environment in Springfield. On Saturday, the Legislative Ethics Commission appointed former U.S. Attorney Julie Porter to the position of legislative inspector general. The post had been vacant for two years. The House of Representatives is holding a hearing this week on HJR 83, which urges those in government to change the culture of sexual harassment in Springfield. The House may also consider Senate Bill 402, which would increase sexual harassment awareness training for all staff, lobbyists and members of the General Assembly. I look forward to addressing this issue in the Senate.

 

This week is the Senate’s last chance to take action on legislation the governor vetoed. It is also the last time the Senate will convene until January.

 

At this point, many pieces of legislation that the Senate is likely to take action on have already been debated in committee. As such, bills can move directly to the floor for final action.

 

Some issues that have already been debated in committee and may be addressed this week include:

  • HB 2462, which prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their previous salary history. The House overrode the governor’s veto during the last legislative week. It has been placed on the Senate calendar.

  • HB 302, which requires insurance companies to periodically check any unclaimed life insurance policies against a state death registry to ensure families are receiving their due life insurance payouts. The House overrode the governor’s veto and the legislation has been placed on the Senate calendar.

  • HB 3649, which requires each state agency to provide a report to the State Comptroller that details the liabilities held at the agency. The House unanimously overrode the governor’s veto. This bill has been placed on the Senate calendar.

  • HB 4095, which prohibits consumer reporting agencies from charging individuals to freeze or remove a freeze to their credit report. This legislation passed the House following the Equifax data breach.

 

Below please find a list of noteworthy legislation that will be considered in Senate committees this week. You can watch or listen to committee hearings in real-time here. For directions on how to submit a witness slip and make your opinion known on legislation, click here.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

Noteworthy legislation in committee this week

 

  • Downstate energy market – SB 2250 creates a market-based bidding process for all energy market participants in downstate Illinois. It allows the Illinois Power Agency to develop procurement plans. Currently the bidding process is conducted by Midcontinent Independent System Operators.

  • Nursing home licensing – HB 1281 extends the Nursing Home Administrators Licensing and Disciplinary Act until Jan. 1, 2028. Currently, the act is set to expire on Jan. 1, 2018, which may affect federal matching for Medicaid funding.

  • Opposition to federal tax code changes - SR 1053 states that the Illinois Senate strongly opposes any efforts by the Trump administration and Congress to eliminate the state and local tax deduction. The Trump administration and congressional Republicans have discussed removing the state and local deduction, also known as SALT, as a way to pay for their proposed tax cuts for the wealthy. The state and local deduction allows families that pay state and local income or sales tax to deduct those taxes from their federal income tax.

  • Law enforcement eavesdropping – Currently, law enforcement officers with prior State’s Attorney approval are permitted to eavesdrop for up to 24 hours when investigating certain offenses. HB 185 extends this allowance until Jan. 1, 2020.

 

Committee Schedule for Nov. 7

All committee hearings are held in the Capitol building unless otherwise noted.

 

  • Senate Subcommittee on Confined Animal Feeding Operations subject matter hearing on confined animal feeding operation regulations
    9 a.m., Room 409

  • Senate Energy and Public Utilities joint subject matter hearing with the House Energy Committee on SB 2250
    9:30 a.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Local Government Committee subject matter hearing on SB 2261
    11 a.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee
    1:30 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate State Government Committee
    1:30 p.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Public Health Committee
    2:30 p.m., Room 400
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Criminal Law Committee
    3:15 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee Schedule for Nov. 8

 

  • Senate Public Health Committee subject matter hearing on spinal muscular atrophy
    9 a.m., Room 400

  • Senate Executive Committee
    10 a.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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Senator Steans

October 24, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Senator Steans in a committee hearingThe Illinois Senate is reconvening for the fall session today. This is an opportunity to address new legislation and legislation that passed both chambers but was vetoed by the governor. In order for legislation to pass during the fall session, it must receive a three-fifths majority in both chambers.

 

Below please find a list of noteworthy legislation that will be considered in Senate committees this week below. You can watch or listen to committee hearings in real-time here. For directions on how to submit a witness slip and make your opinion known on legislation, click here.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

 

Noteworthy legislation in committee this week

  • SNAP benefits for college students - SB 351 addresses the governor’s veto of HB 3211. It requires the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to identify college students who may be eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

  • Running for office - SB 225 would allow a person who has previously been convicted of a felony to hold office under certain conditions, such as if the individual completed their sentence.

     

Committee Schedule for Oct. 24

All committee hearings are held in the Capitol building unless otherwise noted.

  • Senate Executive Appointments Committee
    2 p.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Human Services Committee subject matter hearing on testimony on the Department of Children and Family Services' hotline and investigative process
    3:30 p.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

Committee Schedule for Oct. 25

 

  • Senate State Government Committee
    10 a.m., Room 409
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

  • Senate Executive Committee
    10 a.m., Room 212
    To see submitted witness slips for this committee and submit your own, click here.

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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www.SenatorSteans.com

 

Senator Steans

October 19, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

With recent presidential executive orders and a Republican-controlled Congress, I believe it is now more important than ever to make Illinois the 37th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.

 

I encourage you to join me at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29 for a free screening of the documentary film “Equal Means Equal,” followed by a panel discussion about the ERA and what comes next. Click here to reserve your ticket.

 

Panelists will include Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, State Representative Lou Lang, Illinois National Organization for Women President Michelle Fadeley, Val Krejcie from the League of Women Voters and me.

 

The event will take place in the Niles West High School auditorium, 5701 Oakton St., Skokie. Click the video to the right to watch the “Equal Means Equal” trailer.

 

As a bit of background, there is no federal constitutional provision that expressly guarantees equality on the basis of sex under current law. To add the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 38 state legislatures must vote to ratify the ERA with a three-fifths majority. To date, 36 states have ratified the ERA, with Nevada voting for it this past spring. I have been working to ratify the ERA in Illinois for several years. This past winter, I introduced SJRCA 4 to work on this effort again.

 

Please join me on Oct. 29 to learn more about the ERA, past efforts and what we can do going forward to add equal rights for women to the constitution.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

ERA flyer

Senate in session next week

 

The Illinois Senate will reconvene for the fall session beginning Tuesday, Oct. 25. If you would like to receive updates about noteworthy bills that are scheduled to be heard in committee, click here to sign up.

 

These updates will be sent to your inbox weekly during the legislative session and will give you advance notice so that you can submit a witness slip and make your opinion known. Witness slips are a vital part of the legislative process that help me and other lawmakers make more informed decisions before voting.

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

Unsubscribe

www.SenatorSteans.com

 

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Contact Us

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
623 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492