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Local State Representative Receives Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award from Illinois …

ROCKFORD, IL – State Representative Maurice West was presented with the Illinois Association of Park Districts (IAPD) Outstanding Legislative Leadership Award.

West accepted this award at the Illinois Association of Park Districts and Illinois Park and Recreation annual conference on January 27, 2023. The award recognizes Representative West for his outstanding support of legislation promoting park districts, forest preserves, and the quality of life that recreation and parks provide to citizens of the State of Illinois.

“I am honored to receive the Legislator of the Year award from the Illinois Association of Park Districts. When I thought about what this award means, a lot of memories came to mind of times that I spent at various Rockford parks. I found clarity and vision during pivotal moments of my life at the parks. Park districts change lives and park districts save lives,” stated State Representative Maurice West (67th District).

The Rockford Park District has been able to invest in the next generation thanks to funding secured by State Representative Maurice West. Grants from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority (ICJIA) for Violence Prevention Programming, and from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) for Youth Investment Programming have helped to keep youth and teens active and engaged in recreation-based intervention programming along with recreation-based leadership development, training, and employment programs. These grants not only allow the Park District to provide valuable life skills and job training to area youth and teens, but they also provide budget relief. Thanks to the funding received, the Park District has serviced over 25,000 youth/teens, ages of 5-18, through a variety of community-based recreational programs. These programs engage youth during high-risk hours, filling up their otherwise idle times with great programs and caring staff or mentors. Future improvements being made at Harmon Park and erosion control work being done throughout Sinnissippi Park and the Sinnissippi Riverfront this year are also thanks to capital support secured by Representative West.

About Illinois Association of Park Districts

IAPD was established in 1928, and is the oldest state association for parks, recreation, and conservation in America. The association serves more than 2,100 elected park, recreation, and forest preserve district board members who govern more than 390 agencies employing 40,000 individuals.

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January 31, 2023 at 10:59PM

Illinois task force to study warehouse safety after Edwardsville tornado – St. Louis Public Radio

An Illinois warehouse task force will soon begin work to recommend how to make the facilities safer following the Amazon warehouse collapse in December 2021.

“The fact that we had such a tragic result makes me wonder if we don’t need to look at those building codes and see that maybe Illinois needs to go above and beyond what’s already expected,” said state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, who will serve on the 16-member Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force.

The group will meet publicly to take testimony from experts from across the country. The end goal will be a final report due Jan. 1, 2025, to recommend legislation for state lawmakers to consider. Between then and now, the committee will meet and provide reports quarterly.

Leadership in both the House and Senate will appoint lawmakers to the task force. In addition to a representative from the Illinois Department of Labor, Gov. JB Pritzker will name members from labor, business and local government backgrounds.

Stuart said she expects the group to meet within the next two months.


Derik Holtmann


Belleville News-Democrat

Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, will serve on the 16-member Warehouse Safety Standards Task Force. The group will meet publicly to take testimony from experts from across the country.

Top of mind for Stuart is determining if state law needs to make regional additions to International Building Codes. Those codes, which are set by a federal body and used across the country, do not require a storm shelter in a warehouse.

“If the building codes set a standard level, there’s nothing that stops an individual corporation or company or builder from building above that standard if they want to be concerned about worker safety,” Stuart said.

The building codes are set to be updated in 2025, Stuart said. The task force’s deadline comes at a time when lawmakers hope to make recommendations for not only Illinois but also the International Code Council to consider — and possibly adopt nationwide.

Amazon said the company followed all regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration also found Amazon did not violate any federal rules.

“We want to go above and beyond in the areas that we have the most control over and the most confidence that they would make a difference,” Amazon spokeswoman Kelly Nantel told St. Louis Public Radio last December. “And so, while that building is not being built with a storm shelter, that doesn’t mean that conversations aren’t being had.”

Amazon declined to comment on the task force’s creation.

None of the nearly 30 warehouses in the area called Logistics Valley has storm shelters, according to officials from Edwardsville and Pontoon Beach.

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January 31, 2023 at 06:34AM

State Rep. Lance Yednock blasts St. Margaret’s closing, says hospital could face fines

A state lawmaker criticized St. Margaret’s Health on Friday and questioned how officials handled the 11th-hour notice of plans to close the Peru hospital followed the law.

State Rep. Lance Yednock, D-Ottawa, also speculated whether the hospital could face fines for its actions.

“From researching (the) statute it appears SMH did not follow the law,” Yednock said in a Friday statement, “and if they close this week, then there could be fines to follow.”

When asked to elaborate, Yednock said he had spoken to a legislative liaison for the IDPH who rattled off a list of notification and review requirements, including a public hearing, St. Margaret’s was supposed to have met.

A hospital statement in response to Yednock asserted that officials had acted “in full compliance with state law.”

The Illinois Department of Public Health did not immediately reply to Yednock’s allegation.

Hospital officials announced late last Friday their plans to suspend operations at St. Margaret’s Health-Peru on Saturday. Lawmakers and state agencies both said they were not notified of the closure, with the IDPH saying it was not informed until Monday afternoon.

Hospital officials initially said they were unsure whether the hospital would reopen, but have since said they believe eventually it will.

Nevertheless, hospital officials apologized to employees and the community for how it handled announcing the closure.

On Monday, Yednock said, nothing had been filed with IDPH. By Wednesday, filings seeking to suspend the Peru hospital (a process distinct from permanent closure) were on file. Nevertheless, a liaison told Yednock that St. Margaret’s should have filed the papers much sooner, the lawmaker said.

Yednock said he’s come to the conclusion that St. Margaret’s had hoped shutting down the Peru facility would force the state to grant them rural emergency hospital designation “in record speed.”

“However, I don’t think this was well thought out,” Yednock said. “Announcing a closure, then asking for help is a terrible strategy especially since legislators do not control the Executive branch.”

“We are very disappointed we weren’t informed about this situation months ago so we could try and seek state aid or other help. This was a poor strategy at best, negligent at worst.”

Meanwhile, Yendock’s counterpart in the Illinois Senate said she was “extremely disappointed” both with St. Margaret’s Health’s decision and its handling of the temporary closure for the Peru Hospital.

“It was our understanding that Senate Bill 1435, which would have designated St. Margaret’s Health-Peru as the first Rural Emergency Hospital in the nation, was everything that the SMH management needed from the state to ensure that the Peru Hospital would remain operational,” state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said.

“The lack of communication by SMH management and the speed in which they acted has been shocking to not only myself, but the entire Illinois Valley community. The fact that I have been recently informed that SMH did not formally apply for this closure until Jan. 25 speaks volumes about the lack of comprehensive planning.”

Rezin concluded by calling on IDPH to determine whether they have the ability to require that the Peru Hospital remain open for the time being.

In a statement, St. Margaret’s said there is “a serious misunderstanding,” but also acknowledged hospital officials “should have shared more details of the financial situation which was driving our transition to a rural emergency hospital.”

While St. Margaret’s did not specifically address Yednock’s individual allegations, the statement indicated hospital officials acted “in full compliance with state law,” advising both the Illinois Health Facilities Services Review Board and the Illinois Department of Public Health of the decision to temporarily suspend operations at the Peru campus “due to unanticipated and unforeseen circumstances.”

“The Hospital has been working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health in this process,” the statement read. “It is doing so in accordance with state law, as both the Department of Public Health and the hospital are trying to ensure continued availability of health care services to the community.”

Media Feeds All

via Shaw Media Local

January 27, 2023 at 03:39PM

Rep. Yednock “It appears SMH did not follow the law”


PERU – Illinois State Representative Lance Yednock is among many of the area legislators looking into the announced temporary closure of St. Margaret’s hospital in Peru, but he thinks they may have not followed the law. Tim Muntz, President & CEO has said they hope to qualify for a Rural Emergency Healthcare designation to keep some operations going at the facility, formerly known as IVCH. In a statement given to Studstill Media, Representative Yednock said that in his opinion from researching the statute, it appears SMH did not follow the law, potentially leading to fines from the IDPH if they close this week. He is looking to find support from the IDPH, the Governor, and even state wide associations like the Illinois Hospital Association to keep the hospital open for the community. Yednock stressed his disappointment that they weren’t informed about this situation months ago.

Yednock speculated that by shutting down the Peru facility, SMP Health would have forced the state to grant them a Rural Emergency Health designation. He said they only formally applied for the closure on January 25th.

Region: Northern,Feeds,News,Region: La Salle

via WBZG

January 27, 2023 at 06:18AM

New Illinois House Budgeteer first woman, African-American to hold position

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Illinois House of Representatives has a new Chief Budgeteer, and she is making history with the new title.

Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth is now the first woman, and first African American lawmaker to run budget negotiations for the House.

Gordon-Booth first took office in 2009. She has been heavily involved in crafting the budget for years, but her new role has now given her a different perspective on the process.

"Oftentimes in what you see largely in this role, as you see, all men, and you see largely people from the City of Chicago and these positions, and I am born and raised Central Illinoisan," she said.

Gordon-Booth played a role in getting major pieces of legislation through the Capitol, including the SAFE-T Act, the assault weapons ban and the bill that requires five days of paid leave for employees.

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January 23, 2023 at 07:01PM

Rezin and Yednock talking to St. Margaret’s administrators Monday

Two area lawmakers are frustrated with the administration of St. Margaret’s Health.

State Senator Sue Rezin told WLPO Saturday, she nor State Representative Lance Yednock were briefed beforehand about plans to close SMH Peru on January 28. President and CEO Tim Muntz, Friday, referred to the planned action as a “temporary closing”. The two lawmakers are feeling ignored which Rezin expressed to the hospital’s lobbyist this weekend. Since then, St. Margaret’s Vice President Linda Burt has told us that calls with Rezin and Yednock are set for Monday. Burt also added the past work and help by the lawmakers is greatly appreciated. Rezin, Deputy Minority leader in the Senate is hopeful that Monday’s call sheds light on the Peru hospital’s future:

According to Rezin, a bill designating Peru SMH as a “Rural Emergency Hospital” was passed this session and signed by the Governor. The Illinois Department of Public Health is reviewing this, which could take two months. Rezin and Yednock promise to push it along. Even so, with IDPH approval, Rezin says, it isn’t a guarantee the hospital will re-open. Rezin saying she and Yednock want answers from hospital administrators which will entail additional meetings.


via – RSS Results in wlpo of type article

January 21, 2023 at 06:28PM

St. Rep. Yednock already has bills filed in new legislative term

Four bills that Ottawa Democratic St. Rep. Lance Yednock filed during the second day of the new legislative term concern nurses, military vehicles, farm leases, and school funding.

One bill would let student nurses close to taking their licensing exams practice under the direction of nurses already licensed. (HB1069)

Another would let counties that own farms lease them for up to 99 years. (HB1076)

A school funding formula for districts in redevelopment areas would change. (HB1115)

And people with military backgrounds would be allowed to own certain military vehicles for ceremonial and educational use. (HB1070)

Many lawmaker bills die in committee and some are turned into bills completely unrelated to what they started as, so no one can be sure what will happen with Yednock’s bills.

Region: Northern,Feeds,News,Region: La Salle

via d2674

January 21, 2023 at 04:36AM

Gordon-Booth’s bill guaranteeing all Illinois workers paid leave heads to governor’s desk – Peoria Public Radio

A bill heading to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk guarantees 40 hours, or five days, of paid leave for every worker in Illinois. The bill’s path to law has been lengthy and contentious since it was first introduced in 2019.

State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, D-Peoria, is a part of the process since the beginning. A sponsor of the bill in the House, she said the legislation provides dignity to workers across the state.

“There are millions, not hundreds or thousands, millions of workers in the state of Illinois, they get nothing. They get absolutely nothing,” said Gordon-Booth. “And they have the very same responsibilities that you and I have.”

It also comes from a personal place. Gordon-Booth said she’s a working mother and also remembers times growing up where paid leave would have made a difference for her family.

“My father had cancer twice,” she said. “And he, even through all the chemo treatments, he wouldn’t miss work. And at the time, the employer that he worked at, they did have some days, but his previous employer (didn’t), he had just been indoctrinated.”

In guaranteeing time off for every employee in the state, Gordon-Booth hopes to allow families and individuals to address emergencies and unusual circumstances. She also believes the ability to step away in a time of crisis creates better employees.

“When your employees have the ability to manage their own lives outside of the workplace, you have an employee who actually can show up and do the job and do it well,” she said.

Over the course of the bill’s life, the total number of days changed from five to seven and back to five again. Gordon-Booth said negotiations with business and labor groups from around the state hinged, at least partially, on whether or not pre-emption is included in the bill. Pre-emption would allow the state government to overrule county or local governments when setting policy surrounding paid leave.

“The reality of it is, there’s no county in the state besides the city of Chicago that actually has any kind of paid leave policy,” said Gordon-Booth. “So, we decided to not go in the direction of pre-emption. So we went back down to the five days.”

Some critics of the bill expressed concern about what the 40-hour requirement will mean for small businesses, and if it could increase operating costs when applied equally to businesses of all sizes. Gordon-Booth said officials plan on working closely with representatives of small business and business community leaders to make sure the bill doesn’t cause harm ahead of its Jan. 1, 2024 implementation.

“All voices have a seat at the table when it comes to the issues that I work on. And that’s not going to change anytime soon,” she said. “So, we’re going to keep them engaged. Because we want to hear from them.”

There are a few conditions on why and how the paid leave can be used. Workers earn the leave at a rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked and can only start using it after 90 days; employers can allow them to use it sooner if they want. The hours carry over if they’re not used within a year, but employers can still require their employees to give notice before taking the time off.

“I believe that we are leading in a very intentional, dignified way by offering this to the workers,” said Gordon-Booth. “To the millions of workers in Illinois, who don’t have any family policy.”

Pritzker expressed support for the bill and is expected to sign it. You can find the full text of the bill here.

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January 19, 2023 at 06:32PM

Moeller Named Chair of House Human Services Committee

ELGIN, Ill. – State Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, will continue her fight to secure vital resources  and improve social services for Illinois families as she is appointed Chair of the House Human Services Committee again this term. 

“As Illinois families and the most vulnerable in our state recover from the COVID-19 financial crisis and rising costs for everyday essentials, it is more important now than ever that we make government work for the people we represent,” Moeller said. “The Human Services Committee plays a critical role in connecting people with programs and serving as an oversight body for the many programs that families rely on. I am excited to continue this leadership position to ensure that the state is serving our most vulnerable families.” 

Moeller served as Chair of the Human Services in the previous General Assembly and led the effort in the House to enact major reforms in the nursing home industry. She was the chief sponsor in the House of landmark legislation that reforms how long-term care facilities are funded to ensure that they are providing better quality of care through increased staffing and other quality improvements. In her capacity as Human Services Committee Chairwoman she also served on the Medicaid Working group, a bicameral and bipartisan body that makes recommendations on how the state spends its Medicaid funding. 

 “As Chair of the Human Services Committee, I will keep pushing for better access to the healthcare services people rely on and other safety net programs that help people make ends meet. As legislators, our primary responsibility is to be of service to our constituents, and I look forward to continuing that responsibility as Chair.” 

Rep. Anna MoellerRep. Anna Moeller

43rd District

Springfield Office:
255-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8020

District Office:
164 Division Street
Suite 103
Elgin, IL 60120
(847) 841-7130
(847) 841-7140 FAX


via Illinois House Democratic Caucus

January 18, 2023 at 04:13PM

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