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It’s just a bill

Thursday, Feb 24, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* NPR Illinois

Illinois senators have approved a plan to help survivors of Department of Children and Family Services caseworkers who die in the line of duty.

It would allow them to receive a State Employee Group Insurance death benefit, no matter how long the person worked for the agency. That’s similar to when a law enforcement officer is killed. Current law requires eight years of service for employees.

The proposal follows the death of Deidre Silas of Springfield, a caseworker killed while on a home visit in Thayer last month. The legislation would be retroactive to ensure Silas’ family receives health coverage.

Silas is survived by her husband, a five year old son and a two year old daughter.

* Press release…

On Wednesday, legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) to combat human trafficking in Illinois passed the House of Representatives. House Bill 4593 was introduced by Rep. Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) to prevent sexual predators from claiming they did not know the person they solicited for sex was underage or had an intellectual disability.

“I spoke with Rep. Bos about human trafficking in our state on my radio show, Policy Nuance, back in October,” said Rep. Batinick. “This is a serious issue affecting vulnerable populations and I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation to place responsibility on perpetrators, not victims, of sexual abuse.”

House Bill 4593 passed the House with bipartisan support and no opposition. According to Homeland Security, human trafficking involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act. According to the 2018 Illinois Human Trafficking Task Force Report, 970 children were trafficked since 2011 with the average trafficked child’s age being 13.89.

Rep. Batinick is a co-sponsor of additional human trafficking-related bills introduced by Rep. Bos. These include House Bill 4402 to create the Human Trafficking Order of Protection Act, House Bill 4407 to include sexual servitude of a minor in the definition of “sex offense”, and House Bill 4592 to increase the penalties for human traffickers and abusers who target children in particularly vulnerable settings.

If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888 or Text “HELP,” or “INFO” to 233733.

* Media advisory…

Illinois Engineering Leaders to Introduce Legislative Agenda to Prioritize the State’s Infrastructure

WHO: Kevin Artl, President and CEO of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois (ACEC Illinois)
Steve Donahue, President of Horner & Shifrin, Inc and Chair of the ACEC Illinois Board of Directors
Tanya Adams, Vice President of WSP USA and Secretary of the ACEC Illinois Board of Directors
P.J. Fitzpatrick, Principal of HR Green and Chair Elect of the ACEC Illinois Board of Directors
Linda Moen, President of EFK Moen and Treasurer of the ACEC Illinois Board of Directors

WHAT: As the country celebrates National Engineering Week, Illinois’ engineering industry leaders will unveil their 2022 ‘Prioritize Our Infrastructure’ legislative agenda aimed at ensuring Illinois’ physical infrastructure projects continue to be well-funded by the state and completed by the most qualified professionals in the industry.

WHEN: Thursday, February 24, 2022
10:00 a.m.

WHERE: Illinois State Capitol Blue Room (basement, room 010)
401 S. 2nd Street
Springfield, Illinois

* Press release…

A measure to make the capitol complex more accessible for visitors with disabilities clears an important hurdle thanks to State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago).

“The Capitol grounds belong to all of the people, ‘’ said Peters. “All people, regardless of their physical ability, should be able to freely move about the capitol and be able to navigate their way through our public spaces.”

Senate Bill 0180 requires the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate to each appoint an accessibility coordinator to work in consultation with the Architect of the Capitol to address accessibility needs for each chamber.

The measure also creates the General Assembly Accessibility Task Force, which will include members appointed by each legislative leader and a chair jointly appointed by the Speaker and the President. The appointees would include individuals who have a disability or advocates for people with disabilities. The task force shall examine issues concerning accessibility of the General Assembly to persons with a disability. The task force’s recommendations would be due by Dec. 31, 2023 and allow the task force to continue to stand until Jan. 1, 2025.

“I am pleased that we are one step closer to addressing a critical lack of inclusion in the very center of democracy in this state,” Peters said. “I hope that after the task force completes its recommendations, that we are able to make our capitol grounds more accessible to all.”

The measure passed the Senate on Wednesday.

* Media advisory…

Media Advisory: Senate Republicans to unveil legislative package to empower parents and grow opportunities for students

WHO: State Senator Neil Anderson
State Senator Jason Barickman
State Senator Terri Bryant
State Senator Jil Tracy

WHAT: Press Conference

WHEN: Thursday, February 24th, 10:30 a.m.

WHERE: Blue Room, Illinois State Capitol

* Press release…

In response to the current mental health professional workforce’s struggles to keep up with increasing demand, State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview) is leading a measure aimed at growing the workforce in Illinois.

“For people who are bravely taking the first steps to seek mental health care, overbooked providers are major deterrents to receiving the care they need,” Senator Fine said. “I am committed to making mental and behavioral health care more accessible for those who need it, which includes addressing the shortage of mental health providers needed for the demand we are seeing in our communities.”

In Illinois, there are only 14 behavioral health care professionals for every 10,000 Illinois residents. Many people are forced to wait longer for essential treatment or forego health care entirely because of this gap. This can be detrimental to their mental and physical well-being.

To address these issues, Senate Bill 3617 focuses on expanding the current workforce. It will accelerate the process for out-of-state clinicians applying for licensure in Illinois, as well as streamlining requirements for social workers, professional counselors, and clinical psychologists with licenses that have been inactive for five years. Additionally, it includes initiatives to support diversity in the mental health field, establishes tax credits, and many more provisions, all of which will encourage more quality, accessible care to those seeking assistance.

“Mental health is just as important as physical health,” Senator Fine said. “This measure will address the gap between available providers and potential patients so that all who are seeking mental and behavioral health care face fewer barriers in receiving treatment.”

Senate Bill 3617 passed the Senate on Wednesday. It now goes to the House for further consideration.

…Adding… Senate Dems…

MEDIA ADVISORY: Senate Democrats to outline plan to address teacher shortage

SPRINGFIELD – Nearly 90% of school districts across the state have reported a teacher shortage problem, with even more believing the crisis will worsen in the years to come.

To tackle the school staffing crunch, members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus have outlined a tangible solution to the ongoing issue through a legislative package. They will expand upon their plan at a press conference Thursday.

What: Press conference on measures to address teacher shortage

When: Thursday, Feb. 24 at 12:30 p.m.

Where: Illinois State Capitol, Blue Room or virtually at

Who: Senators Christopher Belt, Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Meg Loughran Cappel, Patrick Joyce, Rob Martwick, Napoleon Harris, and Doris Turner. The Senators will also be joined by a local educator from Washington Middle School.

* House Dems…

House Democrats To Highlight Week’s Legislative Activity

What: Members of the House Democratic Caucus will highlight some of this week’s activity and give a brief look ahead
When: February 24, 11:30 a.m.
Who: Majority Leader Harris and other members of the Democratic Caucus
Where: Blue Room (Room 010)
Format: Remarks; brief moderated Q&A

…Adding… This bill never got a hearing, the committee passage deadline has expired and it’s currently sitting in Rules Committee for a month

If a new bill becomes law, Illinois workers who get tips will receive the state’s minimum wage in addition to their tip money.

State Rep. Camille Lilly, D-Chicago, has introduced House Bill 5139, which would allow servers and bartenders to receive the state’s minimum wage starting in 2025 in addition to their tips.

…Adding… Media advisory…

Many farm equipment manufacturers prevent Illinois farmers from accessing the software tools they need to fix their modern tractors. That forces farmers to turn to corporate-authorized dealers for many problems, which can lead to high repair bills and delays that can put their crops—and their livelihoods—at risk. While farmers have always relied on local dealerships for help, more and more those dealerships have been bought up by large chain networks, further reducing competition and exacerbating the problems farmers already face due to repair restrictions.

WHAT: The release of a new report, “Deere in the Headlights II,” which demonstrates how consolidated dealerships have become and how these large chains can reduce choice for Illinois farmers. We will reveal which tractor-maker’s dealerships are most consolidated and talk about how this trend impacts farmers’ livelihoods and how the Right to Repair could dramatically increase farmers’ repair choices.

WHO: Representative Michelle Mussman, author of the Digital Fair Repair Act (HB3061)
Willie Cade, Midwest Regional Director at
David J Lee, Associate at Illinois PIRG

WHEN: TODAY @ 10:00 AM to 10:30 AM CT

WHERE: Register for the Zoom webinar by clicking the link below or by copy and pasting it into your browser:

…Adding… Ana Soskic, Protect Our Pets Illinois…

“This morning an Illinois Senate Committee passed yet another anti-business, anti-family bill, SB 705, targeting dog dealers who are Illinois small business owners. This time it was based on a blatant mischaracterization by Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora).

After I testified about how a recently enacted, HB 1711, supported by extreme animal rights groups, will crush my small woman-owned business, Furry Babies, and many other small businesses including veterinarians and vendors, Sen. Linda Holmes dismissed my concerns and told the committee SB 705 was merely clarifying language. That is not true.

SB 705 changes the definition of dog dealers, a valuable and lawful service, to prohibit their ability to sell dogs to the public. That’s not clarification, that’s putting people out of business.

SB 705 will continue the extreme agenda and ensure the shutdown of other businesses who sell dogs from breeders while failing to improve animal welfare standards and close puppy mills. The Illinois government is already shutting down reputable pet stores this week with HB1711 taking effect.

We’re disappointed, but not surprised, that Sen. Holmes’ mistruth carried the day. Illinois voters need to understand the extreme agenda being promoted on a daily basis in Springfield.

No one has worked harder to protect our pets than our coalition. We believe in cracking down on irresponsible breeders while ensuring Illinois families have the choice of adding animals to their families where I assure you they receive the loving care they deserve.

We are continuing our fight to pass improved legislation to make Illinois the safest state possible for our customers and their family pets.”

* Related…

* A look at what legislation is advancing in Springfield


  1. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 9:20 am:

    “capitol complex more accessible for visitors with disabilities ”
    The ADA has been in effect over 30 years. What am I missing here?

  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 9:24 am:

    ===What am I missing here? ===


  3. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 9:30 am:

    **The ADA has been in effect over 30 years. What am I missing here?**

    Ever try to change an adult diaper in the capitol? Ever try to request an ASL interpreter for a hearing? Ever try to watch a video of a legislative hearing and need close captioning? Ever try to maneuver a motorized wheelchair around 1M?

    Just a few years ago they had to make significant structural changes to Senate committee rooms so that Sen McConchie could participate in hearings.

    The link on for ADA accessibility literally links to a page with a 1-paragraph summary of the ADA, and nothing else.

    The Capitol (and the legislative process) is *incredibly* inaccessible to many people with disabilities.

  4. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 9:34 am:

    ===MEDIA ADVISORY: Senate Democrats to outline plan to address teacher shortage===

    [Sarcasm font on] They’re repealing Tier 2 pension “reforms” ??

  5. - Bruce( no not him) - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 9:41 am:

    ===The Capitol (and the legislative process) is *incredibly* inaccessible to many people with disabilities.===
    That’s what I was getting at. Why wasn’t this dealt with over the last 30 years?
    Why now and why should we expect they will do anything now?

  6. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 9:42 am:

    ===Just a few years ago they had to make significant structural changes to Senate committee rooms so that Sen McConchie could participate in hearings.===

    When Senator Geo-Karis chaired a committee later in her career, the committee met on the Senate floor so she didn’t have to deal with stairs.

  7. - MisterJayEm - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 9:45 am:

    House Bill 4593 was introduced by Rep. Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) to prevent sexual predators from claiming they did not know the person they solicited for sex was underage or had an intellectual disability.

    A law school should use this example to teach 1Ls about the pitfalls of circular reasoning and begging the question.

    – MrJM

  8. - Donnie Elgin - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 10:13 am:

    Those SEI( Statement of Economic Interest) emails are hitting inboxes of elected officials and municipal administrators. Updates in the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act, are causing quite an uproar due to the much more detailed information that filers are required to provide. Gone are the days when most folks could quickly answer “None“for the questions

    The Illinois Municipal League among others is offering guidance

    IML Releases Resource on Statement of Economic Interests Form

    Public Act 102-0664, effective January 1, 2022, amended provisions of the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act and expanded the disclosure of financial interests required to be included in the Statement of Economic Interests form that must be filed annually with the county clerk.

    IML developed a fact sheet to assist municipal officials in the completion of the Statement of Economic Interests form, which is available with all IML fact sheets on our website ( and is directly available via this link.

  9. - bogey golfer - Thursday, Feb 24, 22 @ 11:09 am:

    Familiar with the 5 ACEC reps. Good professionals.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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