001collinsCHICAGO– State Senator Jacqueline Collins was honored Thursday evening with Woodstock Institute’s Scheinfeld Award for her work to protect consumers, promote economic opportunity and advance financial justice.

The Institute recognized Collins for her efforts to pass the new historic Illinois Community Reinvestment Act and the Predatory Loan Prevention Act this past year. Both pieces of legislation, the result of years of research by Woodstock and advocacy on Collins’ part, were included in reforms contained in the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus’ Economic Equity Pillar.  They were signed into law earlier this year.

“I accept this award with gratitude, not just for the Woodstock Institute’s years-long partnership in fighting against these racist policies and practices, but with humility in light of the work we still have to do together to bring a true end to discriminatory and predatory lending,” Collins said. “I am honored to be recognized.”

The Predatory Loan Prevention Act puts Illinois in the same regulatory stance toward payday, auto title, and other small installment loans as 17 other states and the District of Columbia, capping the rates at 36% that lenders can charge borrowers. The Community Reinvestment Act, among other things, mandates greater efforts on the part of the State of Illinois to invest in businesses and financial institutions that can demonstrate a commitment to fairer lending practices.

Named for Aaron and Sylvia Scheinfeld, who in 1973 founded the nonprofit Woodstock Institute to fight on behalf of those suffering from the policies that have fueled economic segregation, the Scheinfeld Award is bestowed upon those with a long-term and visionary commitment to financial justice. Prior to Senator Collins, the last Scheinfeld Award winner was Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan in 2013.

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate acted to fight human trafficking Friday, passing two pieces of legislation by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago) to study the problem and require more businesses that come into contact with traffickers to be more vigilant.

“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity that overwhelmingly affects people of color and women: 40% of human trafficking victims are Black,” Collins said. “We must acknowledge the hard truth that globally, the United States is one of the worst countries for human trafficking and that as a centrally located state that serves as a national transportation hub, it is happening here in Illinois.”

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001collinsSPRINGFIELD – Insurers would be required to inform policyholders whether health care providers offer telehealth or telemedicine and how they’ll accommodate a family caregiver under a plan by State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago).

“For some patients with any number of issues—like a lack of ready access to transportation or mobility challenges—the shift to telehealth during the pandemic has actually been something of an upside,” Collins said. “Health care delivery is changing to adapt to this new dynamic, but patients need to know what that looks like as they determine their coverage. This legislation ensures we’re spelling it out clearly.”

Senate Bill 332, which passed the Senate Insurance Committee Wednesday evening, would also require insurance providers to detail whether a health care provider has the ability and willingness to include a family caregiver who is in a separate location than the patient in a telehealth or telemedicine encounter.

“Ensuring this information is explicitly provided to policyholders has the effect going forward of making these services competitive, and hopefully encouraging more providers to offer them,” Collins said. “This could be transformative for families who live far apart but could help care for an aged parent if only we acknowledged that technology now makes it possible.”

Senate Bill 332 awaits consideration before the full Senate.

001collinsSPRINGFIELD – Schools would be required to maintain consistent truancy policies and communicate them to parents annually under a plan from State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-Chicago), which passed a Senate committee Tuesday and is set to be debated before the full Senate.

“Studies conducted in recent years have shown again and again that absences are a major barrier to educating so many of our students, and that the reasons they occur are complex,” Collins said. “The first step in addressing this has to be establishing truancy policies that are clearly communicated to families.”

The legislation came about due to recommendations from the Illinois Attendance Commission, which studies chronic absenteeism and truancy in schools. The number of chronically truant students in Illinois schools, who are defined as students who miss nine or more school days a year without a valid excuse such as an illness or the need to care for a family member, has increased in recent years, from about 9% in 2015 to 13% in 2019.

Senate Bill 605 passed the Senate Education Committee today and is scheduled for consideration before the full Senate.

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