CollinsFloorShot3SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) secured passage last week of legislation creating the Long-Term Services and Supports Disparities Task Force to examine whether, in the wake of nursing home reforms enacted four years ago, individuals experience differences in quality of care depending on race, language and geography. The task force will then issue recommendations as to how state government can best address all remaining disparities.

“Illinois is a diverse state, and our aging population is also diverse,” said Collins, who co-sponsored the 2010 nursing home reform package. “Without studying the problem, we cannot know if our long-term care facilities and workforce are prepared to offer appropriate, competent and culturally sensitive care to all of our residents who need it.”

The legislation, Senate Bill 2773, would require the task force to report back to the General Assembly with its findings by July 1, 2015. The panel, on which government agencies, nursing homes, home care providers and the advocate community will all be represented, would examine levels of care in various settings: nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care facilities and home health services.

The Senate approved the task force by a vote of 48-0 last Tuesday. The legislation is now under consideration in the House of Representatives.

The Cook County Department of Planning and Development is now accepting applications for Community Development Block Grants and Emergency Solutions Grants. Municipalities, government agencies and non-profits are eligible.

Please click here for more information and to apply.

CHICAGO - After learning about the depth of the truancy crisis in Chicago’s public schools and how it cheats children out of an education and decreases the amount of state aid flowing to schools in desperate need of resources, I decided to act. I sponsored legislation forming the Truancy in Chicago Public Schools Task Force to study why so many CPS students are not making it to school and how we can reverse this alarming trend before more children miss out on the educational opportunities they need to succeed.

The task force has met to discuss the problem and existing approaches to it. Now it’s your turn to tell us what is working, what is not working and what you believe could work to keep young people in class in your community. During the next three months, we will hold three public hearings and gather testimony to use in formulating our recommendations. All hearings are accessible to persons with disabilities, and translators will be present for our Spanish-speaking neighbors. Please contact my office at (773) 224-2830 for more information or if you require any other accommodations in order to participate in this vitally important process.

Truancy Task Force Public Hearings EnglishTruancy Task Force Public Hearings Spanish

Heartland AllianceSPRINGFIELD - Senator Collins joined Kimberly Drew and Amy Terpstra of the Heartland Alliance, commissioner Al Ridley and Ashley Lepse (Office of the Governor) at an informational breakfast sponsored at the Capitol by the Commission on the Elimination of Poverty. This group of state officials and others on the front lines of fighting poverty are working to develop and recommend policies that break the cycle of extreme poverty.

The Commission addresses challenges such as shortages of affordable housing, food insecurity and poor nutrition, barriers to health care access, unemployment, underemployment and the lack of high-quality, affordable child care. This spring, Sen. Collins is sponsoring legislation giving the Commission flexibility to set additional goals and expand its mission as needed.

Sen. Collins, who was appointed to the Commission last year, is known for her efforts to bring fresh produce to “food deserts,” help vulnerable people stay in their homes and curb the violence that too often accompanies generational poverty.

To read the Commission’s annual findings and recommendations, please visit its website.

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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