Public Safety is one of the most important issues facing the 14th District. My time in the State’s Attorney’s office taught me that the traditional forms of law enforcement and sentencing are not enough. Laws can only work as well as the community that enforces them. Our community needs to be involved to create alternative, holistic solutions to crime and public safety issues.
In Springfield, I have been working to make our neighborhoods safer. Responsible gun control is a pillar of my legislative agenda. Already, I have been the chief sponsor of legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of gang members (HB 3809) and legislation that requires police departments to accept unwanted guns (HB 3845).
In addition to gun control reforms, I have been working to make our streets safer for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists. I am the Chief Sponsor of HB 3849 which makes texting while biking illegal. By making cyclists adhere to the same responsibilities and standards as motorists, we can work to prevent accidents.
Aging in the State of Illinois is difficult. Many laws, statutes, and ordinances make it difficult for seniors to get proper access to the care they deserve and maintain their independence. By involving seniors in the discussions that will impact their way of life, our community can enable our senior citizens to protect the lifestyle that they deserve.
While some legislators are proposing cuts to benefits for seniors as a solution to our state’s financial problems, I have sponsored legislation that would make it easier for seniors to qualify for tax credits (SB19), and legislation that protects social security benefits (HB96). Cuts to agencies and benefits that some seniors rely on are not the answers to our state’s budgetary woes.
The number of senior care facilities in the 14th District places us in the top five districts in the state as far as number of facilities. By working with various state agencies and advancing legislation, we can work together to make sure that seniors in the 14th District are given the services they deserve and have an advocate in Springfield.
As a member of the LGBT community, I understand the struggles and hardships that can hinder daily life. I am a firm believer in equal rights for members of the LGBT community. Bullying and discrimination are two issues that plague the LGBT community. I invite to you to join me as we work to promote fairness and equality for all.
As your Representative, I plan on submitting legislation that will protect the LGBT community. I’m currently drafting legislation adding gender identity to hate crimes protections. My office has begun work on legislation that would provide extra protections for LGBT students and children of LGBT parents in schools. Bullying is a major problem and this crucial legislation will help protect children.
Job creation and economic development are the most important issues facing the 14th District. The quickest way to stimulate job creation is through economic development in our small businesses.
I have already sponsored legislation that would grant tax credits to small businesses that moves part-time workers to full status (HB1536), and I plan to work closely with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to advance Advantage Illinois – a program designed to stimulate lending to small businesses.
My office is always available to help local businesses navigate the bureaucracy in Springfield that can prevent businesses from getting the proper support they need. By working with state agencies and local institutions, we can promote a better business environment for the 14th District.
As a mother of three, I know the important role that education plays in a child’s life. However, education does not stop once the school day ends. After school programs play a vital role in child development. As difficult cuts are made in Springfield, you can count on my office to protect child development programs and education.
Recently I was selected as a National Conference of State Legislatures Early Child Learning Fellow and will spend the next year working with 34 other legislators from around the country working on better early child education policy.
Being assigned to the Higher Education Appropriations Committee gives me an opportunity to continue to support the full funding of the MAP program. Recently the Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding was cut in half. This will force many students to face the grim possibility of not being able to afford higher education. I hope that I can work with the Committee to bring these funds back to help Illinois’ students and families secure the future they deserve.
The 14th district is bordered by Lake Michigan, one of Illinois’ most valuable and most beautiful resources. One of my favorite parts of living in our community is during the summer when I get to take my boys to the beach and play with them in the sun. Preserving this natural resource and protecting our environment is a call that I am happy to answer.
As a sponsor of Senate Bill 1617, I actively worked to support the Chicago Clean Power Act which will result in the closing of coal plants in Chicago that polluted our air. I also sponsored SB 1682 which requires higher standards for water in Illinois. I have supported legislation that would ban the use of percloroethylene.
I believe that fixing and growing our economy are crucial to maintaining an environmentally friendly state. Discovering new forms of clean and renewable energy should remain a top priority in innovation and direct investment. Dangerous explorations for energy such as fracking create unsafe environments that can cause major disruptions for our natural resources and our economy.