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.

WomenAndGirlsPresserSenator Jacqueline Collins stood alongside her legislative colleagues and advocates today to call on Gov. Bruce Rauner to sign a law creating a new council dedicated to the research and investigation of the social and economic factors that hold back women and girls in society.

“The Illinois Council on Women and Girls will study the things that hold back half of our population from achieving their full potential, and it will periodically report on ways we could tear down the barriers that hold back our sisters and daughters,” Collins said, addressing reporters at a press conference at the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. “In doing so, it will start the conversations that result in change. I urge Rauner to be part of the change we want to see in the world and to sign House Bill 5544.”

Submitted to the governor June 19, the legislation, which passed the General Assembly with bipartisan support, must be acted upon within the next two weeks. Collins and partner organizations Women’s March Chicago, Cause the Effect, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, Equality IL, CNOW, YWCA- Metro Chicago, Chicago Foundation for Women, United State of Women, Women Employed, Men4Choice, Northwestern Institute for Sexual and Gender Minority Health and Wellbeing, HerStory Chicago and the Chicago Center for Arts and Technology all urged Gov. Rauner to sign the legislation rather than allow it to languish for two weeks before automatically becoming law.

“This is really the start of our activism, using social media to convey to the governor that he needs to sign the bill,” Collins said.

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Collins is urging the governor to sign her legislation adding synthetic cannabinoids to the Controlled Substances Act.

The Illinois Department of Public Health yesterday announced more cases of severe bleeding among individuals using synthetic cannabinoids. According to the agency, more than 160 people in Illinois have experienced similar symptoms, and four people have died.

“The use of synthetic cannabinoids is a legitimate public health concern,” Collins (D-Chicago) said. “Many young people are using them, and we are hearing reports that some strands contain dangerous ingredients like rat poison. We need to make all forms of this drug illegal so that law enforcement can begin to properly address this epidemic.”

Senate Bill 2341 bans the possession, manufacture and sale of synthetic cannabinoids. It passed both the House and the Senate without opposition and awaits the governor’s signature.

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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