Issues

 

Jobs

Co-chair, Business Growth and Incentives Committee

Local Business Roundtable

It is important to keep open lines of communication between state government and the members of our communitiesI want to be responsive to my constituent’s concerns and problems, as well as to their ideas of how to improve the business environment. That is why I initiated a local business roundtable made up of all types of businesses in our communities. Together we work at finding innovative ways to strengthen and grow our local economy. An important component of this partnership is to keep businesses informed of current issues and legislation that will impact them. As Co-chair of the Business Growth and Incentives Committee in Springfield, I am able to provide this valuable first-hand knowledge that benefits our communities.

 

Education

Member, Higher Education Appropriations Committee

Pay It Forward!

I know a goal shared by families in my district and throughout Illinois is to send their children to college. This has become an even more difficult proposition due to the economic downturn and the rising cost of higher education. As a member of the Higher Education Appropriations Committee, I am dedicated to researching and initiating innovative approaches to help families cover the cost of college. We recently passed a bill in the House to study a program called Pay It Forward, a new approach to finance higher education.  This program would allow students to attend college without payments up front.  Instead, students would sign a contract and agree to pay a portion of their income for a designated amount of time after graduating and entering the workforce.  I think this program has great potential, and I look forward to making sure it is a viable solution for Illinois’ families.

 

Consumer Advocacy

Member, Human Services Committee

Sponsor, Prior Authorization Bill

The Prior Authorization Bill I am sponsoring will help patients receive their medication in a timelier manner. Current legislation does not place limits on the length of time it takes for an insurance company to process requests for prescriptions that require prior authorization. The new legislation would require an insurance company to approve or deny a prescription within 72 hours, allowing a doctor the time to expedite finding an alternative for the patient if necessary. In the case of an emergency when a medication is needed immediately, the turnaround time required would be 24 hours.  If the insurance company fails to respond, the prescription will be filled automatically. The new bill will help families receive the treatment they need faster and more efficiently, which is especially important for those with serious illness.

 

Environment

Member, Illinois Green Caucus

The Illinois Green Caucus consists of Illinois legislators committed to advancing legislation to protect the health and environment of people throughout Illinois.  As a member of the Green Caucus, I know we share a respect and understanding of the interrelationship between the environment, energy, and the economy.  It is with this understanding that we encourage the use of cleaner sources of energy which will lead to more jobs, lower energy costs, and a healthier, cleaner environment.

Sponsor, Coal Tar Legislation

Coal Tar Sealant is commonly used to seal our driveways, parking lots and playgrounds.  The substance contains known carcinogens that are running off into our water system and being tracked into our homes. I am sponsoring legislation banning coal tar, as there is an alternative product that is equal in cost and non-carcinogenic.

 

Protecting our Children

Sponsor, Anti-Bullying Law

Cyber bullying has become a serious threat to the well-being of our children and their performance at school. Through the use of computers and mobile devices, students have found a new way to bully with sometimes devastating consequences.  An important step to rectify this problem is to revise Illinois’ Bullying Law. I am sponsoring legislation to revise the law and expand a school’s ability to respond to reports of cyber bullying. The current law restricts a school’s response to only those bullying incidents occurring on school grounds. The revised law would expand a school’s authority to act on bullying incidents that occur off school grounds, but affect a child’s performance at school.  Although a school is not able to monitor outside activities, this would allow a school’s administration to get involved if the situation is brought to their attention.