CollinsFloorShot230-day grace periods will remain in effect for the next three years

SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) secured unanimous Senate passage Wednesday of a measure that postpones the repeal of legal protections for homeowners seeking counseling to avoid foreclosure. The “30-30-30” grace period law was set to expire this year but would remain on the books for another three years if Collins’ legislation is successful.

“Foreclosure prevention counseling has helped thousands of Illinois homeowners stay in their homes,” Collins said. “Because in many parts of our state the housing market is still in crisis, we must continue to give homeowners who have missed payments the breathing room they need to seek professional assistance.”

Since 2009, more than 48,000 homeowners have received free counseling through the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network, and the Illinois Hardest Hit program has helped more than 6,500 people make their mortgage payments.

“Foreclosure counseling is a proven tool in the effort to stabilize neighborhoods and give homeowners a chance to make it through tough times,” Collins said. “Approved counselors can help homeowners evaluate their finances, take control of their spending, negotiate with their lenders and ultimately start making manageable payments and keep their homes.”

The “30-30-30” law requires lenders to wait 30 days after the due date of a missed payment, send a notice to the borrower, give the homeowner 30 more days to seek counseling and then give the homeowner and counselor 30 days to offer the lender a workout plan. The bank may file for foreclosure only if the homeowner does not obtain counseling services within 30 days of the initial notice, if the homeowner and counselor do not present an acceptable plan within 30 days or if the borrower fails to comply with the terms of the workout plan.

001collinsSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) issued the following statement on the governor’s budget proposal, which cuts more than $300 million in funding from primary and secondary education.

We must not allow our children to become sacrificial lambs on the altar of pension inaction. As a legislator, I must be their advocate and voice to fight for adequate and equitable school funding.

If Illinois approves these drastic cuts to education in order to pay our ever-increasing pension liability, we will have won a Pyrrhic victory. Without educated citizens and an educated workforce, we cannot move forward as a nation, and our children will not be able to compete in the global economy.

Further cuts to General State Aid – the mechanism the state uses to try to equalize opportunity for children in property-poor districts – will disproportionately punish Illinois’ most vulnerable children, the ones who most desperately need the promise of public education. For these children, education can mean the difference between a life of success and giving back, and a life of poverty and crime. Lives hang in the balance. Our children are waiting for us to act.

CollinsFloorShot1SPRINGFIELD, IL – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage today of legislation she co-sponsored to extend Medicaid benefits to low-income adults not currently eligible for medical assistance:

Last year, low-income seniors and other vulnerable people were asked to bear the brunt of devastating Medicaid cuts. The 2012 Medicaid reform package ended the Illinois Cares Rx program, eliminated all routine adult dental care and undermined previous agreements about nursing home staffing. The law limits the number of prescriptions clients can have filled each month, and the process for obtaining an exemption from the limit is still unclear. Even now, we do not know the full impact the weakening of the health care safety net will have on our state, particularly the very poor and communities of color.

But today I was proud to cast my vote for quality, coordinated medical care with full federal reimbursement for people who previously had no options other than the emergency room. Accepting the federal funds will save the state more than $100 million each year, and we can and should invest the savings back into existing state medical assistance programs. Medicaid expansion will also create much-needed jobs in the health care sector, support hospitals that currently go uncompensated for many of the services they provide and boost the economy. Finally, we’re taking a giant step in the right direction on Medicaid.

Senate Bill 26 passed the Senate by a vote of 40-19 and will next be considered by the House.

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CHICAGO – On Saturday, State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-16th) attended a celebration in remembrance of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, born one hundred years ago this month, and presented a resolution she sponsored declaring February 2013 “Thirteenth Amendment Ratification Month.” John Paul Jones, one of Collins’ constituents and president of the Sustainable Englewood Initiatives, had asked her to find a way to publicly acknowledge Illinois’ status as the first state to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which outlawed slavery in the United States and formally freed all slaves still in bondage in 1865.

“Illinois’ prompt ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment is something we can all be proud of today, nearly 150 years later,” Collins said. “I sponsored this resolution because it’s important for our children to know about the significance of this moment in history – the beginning of a road that has stretched from Jim Crow to Brown v. Board to Selma to our nation’s first Black president and beyond. This part of our journey started with the legal, constitutional right to be free.”

The Illinois General Assembly ratified the Thirteenth Amendment on February 1, 1865, mere hours after the U.S. House of Representatives approved it. Governor Richard J. Oglesby informed the legislature of the amendment’s passage and urged immediate ratification on the grounds that outlawing slavery was both “humane” and “just.” Senate Resolution 65 also acknowledges this year as the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in areas occupied by the Union Army.

“Moviegoers who saw the film ‘Lincoln’ last year learned about the great political struggle to secure congressional approval of the Thirteenth Amendment,” Collins said. “The other part of the story is its ratification by the states and the fact that Lincoln’s home state of Illinois led the way.”

The Rosa Parks celebration took place at Gifts from God Ministries Church on West 74th Street. Organizers presented awards to three outstanding women in the community, and attendees enjoyed refreshments and an African bazaar.

PHOTO: from left to right, Sen. Collins stands with award recipients Evelyn Johnson, Josephine Robinson and Pamela Dominguez and Pastor St. John Chisum and Co-Pastor Gay Chisom of the Gifts of God Ministries Church, which hosted Saturday’s Rosa Parks celebration.

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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