Accomplishments for our Community
Since being elected to the State Senate in November of 2006, I have pursued a common sense approach on behalf of our District. We’ve made great strides regarding the issues facing our community: road improvements, healthcare, education, jobs, individual rights, environmental conservation and more. It is an honor to represent you in Springfield and together, we’ll continue to fight for the issues important to us all and make our community even better.
Jobs & Economy
We have to keep our economy strong and offer pathways to recovery following the pandemic. In Springfield, I’ve advocated for policy changes to help individuals and businesses recover and thrive, including:
- Streamlining unemployment insurance to fix bureaucratic barriers preventing people from getting their unemployment checks quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Allowing victims of unemployment fraud to appeal and receive the money owed to them.
- Extending temporary unemployment benefits to non-instructional educational staff in schools, including cleaning staff and bus drivers.
- Legalizing electronic notarization in Illinois so that businesses can operate more efficiently.
- Creating the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program (RERZ) to help revive and redevelop environmentally challenged properties adjacent to rivers in Illinois.
Our schools are the backbone of our communities, and I do everything in my power to make sure our children have a world class education and are taught by the best teachers and instructional staff. That’s why as Senator I:
- Spoke out against unconstitutional pension reform that would have reduced teachers’ pension benefits in order to try to balance the budget. Pensions are a promise. Period.
- Required charter schools to be approved by the local school board before they can start operating so that communities have a say in who’s teaching their children.
No one should have to worry about paying exorbitant healthcare bills in order to take care of themselves or their loved ones. Now more than ever, we have to make sure that everyone has access to affordable healthcare. That’s why as Senator I:
- Stopped insurance companies from charging some women more than others for routine breast cancer screenings.
- Passed the Prior Authorization Reform Act to stop insurance companies from delaying important decisions on what treatments and medications they will cover. For patients with chronic and life-threatening conditions, these delays put them in even greater jeopardy.
I am a passionate animal lover and advocate, and over the course of my 15 years in the State Senate, I’ve passed a number of reforms geared around animal rights including:
- Protecting animals used in animal testing at universities by requiring that they are put up for adoption once the universities are no longer using them.
- Preventing pet stores from getting animals from large breeding facilities like puppy mills and requiring all pets sold in pet stores to come from shelters.
- Stopping predatory lending by pet stores by preventing them from offering direct loans for animals.
- Outlawing the sale and trade of ivory and other dead animal parts from animals on the endangered species list.
I believe that local governments know better than the state when it comes to what’s best for their municipalities. One size fits all is usually not the best solution.
That’s why I only support the consolidation of local governments if the governments themselves are asking for it. We should never think we know better and force districts to merge against their will and the will of the people who elected them.
Similarly, I believe in being very cautious before burdening municipalities with unfunded mandates. I want our local businesses to be able to grow and thrive.
Springfield should be looking for ways to support local communities, not govern on their behalf.
Accomplishments for our Community
Insurance carriers’ rules about dog breeds have pulled the industry into a new twist in the national debate over racial equity. Animal rights advocates say
Bill Aiming To Close ‘Puppy Mill Pipeline’ For Pet Sales Passes State Senate Despite Some Bipartisan Opposition
A bill to limit where Illinois pet stores source their cats and dogs from passed the State Senate in the final hours of the General
A new bill that was passed unanimously by the Illinois House and Senate before the end of session made sweeping changes to Illinois’ unemployment system