i0000010Following an investigation by Chicago Tribune/Kaiser Health News revealing wide dissatisfaction in nursing home care and illuminating the burden it places on the families of elders, State Senator Jacqueline Collins introduced legislation today designed to enhance nursing home residents’ quality of care.
 
“It has been both heartbreaking and motivating to me, through my work, to see how devastating it can be for an entire family when a loved one receives inadequate care in a nursing home,” said Collins (D-Chicago) in announcing Senate Bill 1510 at the state capitol to reporters today.
 
The legislation calls for stricter enforcement of the state’s minimum staffing requirements, heightened public transparency of nursing home violations, and enhanced safeguards regarding a psychotropic medication and a resident’s right to informed consent.
 
In 2015, 39 percent of nursing homes in Illinois received a low quality rating from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. Eighty-four percent of voters in Illinois say that action
should be taken in 2019 to increase the quality of care in Illinois nursing homes, according to an AARP Illinois survey.
 
Collins was joined by state Rep. Anna Moeller, sponsor of House Bill 2974, which would provide a non-refundable tax credit up to $1,500 for eligible family caregivers who pay for adult day services, transportation, equipment, home modifications and other expenses when caring for family. The survey found that 62 percent of Illinois family caregivers pay expenses out-of-pocket to care for an elder.
 
To view the AARP survey detailing this and other information surrounding elder care in Illinois visit: https://doi.org/10.26419/res.00259.052

001collinsState Senator Jacqueline Collins issued the following statement today after voting for Senate Bill 1, would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2025.

“A working family should not need to be on food stamps in order to survive,” Collins said. “Economists argue that by the measure of Americans' productivity – their output and real accomplishments while at work – the minimum wage should now be more than $19 per hour. To afford the average rent on a two-bedroom apartment in Illinois requires a wage of nearly $21 per hour. This is just a step toward achieving sustainability for Illinois families that doesn’t come at the expense of taxpayers.”

Illinois’ current minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, low enough that a single parent working a full-time minimum-wage job qualifies for food stamps, Medicaid and often housing assistance.

The increase under Senate Bill 1 will mean the minimum wage for workers who receive tips would increase to $9 per hour by 2025.

Senate Bill 1 would increase the minimum wage according to the following incremental schedule:

  • $9.25 per hour on Jan. 1, 2020
  • $10 per hour on July 1, 2020
  • $11 per hour on Jan. 1, 2021
  • $12 per hour on Jan. 1, 2022
  • $13 per hour on Jan. 1, 2023
  • $14 per hour on Jan. 1, 2024
  • $15 per hour after Jan. 1, 2025

Having passed the Senate 39-18, the measure now heads to the Illinois House for consideration.

001collinsState Senator Jacqueline Collins issued the following statement after today’s decision in the Laquan McDonald case:

“We commend the jurors for fulfilling their civic duty in rendering what I feel was a reasonable verdict albeit not exactly what the community was hoping for. I want to congratulate all the activists, journalists and faith leaders for keeping this issue in the public arena,” Collins said.

“The conviction of Jason Van Dyke lays bare the injustices executed by the Chicago Police Department, and frequently abetted by the criminal justice system. In this case, there was a cover-up, and everyone involved should be held accountable. If we do not tear down the blue curtain of silence once and for all, the Laquan McDonalds of Chicago will continue to die in our city. We must never forget that the video – and the truth – were not simply handed to us. Instead, they were ripped from reluctant hands by journalists, citizens and the courts.

“Four years ago, I protested and pleaded for top-to-bottom change. I was immensely proud of all who protested peacefully in Chicago. I was honored to march alongside young people and veterans of the Civil Rights Movement alike on Michigan Avenue.

“Four years later, I urge all Chicagoans to remember that this is one terrible tragedy that is a symptom of a system in dire need of change.  We must not stand by while police officers act as judge, jury and executioner on our streets. We will remain united for justice.

“Today shows that Officer Van Dyke’s gun and badge cannot speak louder than Laquan McDonald’s blood. No one is above the law. Our voices must not die away!”

05302017CM0186In the wake of a wave of deaths related to synthetic cannabis overdoses, a new law by State Senator Jacqueline Collins will broaden the classification of such drugs, which often skirt the law through minute tweaks to their formulae.

“New restrictions on drugs always come with heavy implications, and this broadening of the ban on synthetic cannabinoids came about following careful deliberations,” Collins said. “Many synthetic cannabinoids are already illegal, but by broadening the criteria, we ensure that they can’t be made legal by small and potentially deadly changes to their chemical formulae. I’m glad we acted swiftly to fight this deadly drug.”

Since March, news reports throughout the Midwest have told of the use of synthetic cannabinoids – called by names like “fake weed” and “K2” – leading to deaths and severe hemorrhaging. The Centers for Disease Control reported that 99 percent of these cases have occurred in Illinois.

The measure, Senate Bill 2341, adds all synthetic cannabinoids to the Controlled Substances Act and makes synthetics subject to emergency controlled substance scheduling. Manufacturers will be subject to a Class 3 felony charge, while those charged with simple possession would face a Class 4 felony.

Signed into law last week, it is effective Jan. 1, 2019.

Contact Info

Chicago Office:
1155 W. 79th St.
Chicago, IL 60620
(773) 224-2830

Springfield Office:
M114 Capitol
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-1607

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